I grew up with a padded passport, but I didn't like it at the time. My parents had a penchant for global summer family vacations, and I was the reluctant globetrotter. My sisters loved it, but I was the brooding teenager with the Walkman on, cursing the parties and television shows that I was missing. Meanwhile, amazing destinations in Europe, Asia, and South America rolled out before my eyes.
I've since thanked my parents -- and apologized to them profusely -- for the amazing opportunities that I took for granted.
When it comes to padding my portfolio's passport with international investments, I'm pretty much the same way. I go in kicking and screaming, fearful of the risks I'm taking on and the costs of bypassing more familiar opportunities closer to home. Yet I ultimately find myself grateful for a chance to be a part of something that I could never see closer to home.
Everyone approaches global investing in different ways. I do so with an aggressive bent. If I'm chasing growth stocks at home, I'm not going to settle for anything less elsewhere. Settling for a foreign blue chip is like hitting up a McDonald's in an exotic country when there's a local favorite eatery next door. If I'm going to take a chance to enhance my returns by diversifying abroad, I may as well load up on octane.
Feed the world
Why look for growth stocks abroad instead of sticking to the States? Growth-stock investing can work even better abroad than it does at home, because gains can be amplified by unsaturated markets and greater growth potential.
I would rather buy into China's Home Inns
Give me China's Sohu
The growth-stock research service for which I write -- Motley Fool Rule Breakers -- is a great source for building a globally diversified portfolio of fast-growing companies.
Some Rule Breakers picks show just how much growth you can find abroad. Syneron Medical
If you're going to stamp that investing passport, do it with brute force. Kick and scream if you want to. Just remember to take the time to turn down that Walkman/iPod attitude and be grateful for the opportunity to travel.
Become a globetrotter with more Foolishness:
This article was originally published on June 21, 2007, and has been updated.