"I was probably overreacting to the growing crowds in the streets."

That's how he tells it now. But in 1998, as the paneled truck found the shelter of the airport, Bill Mann hid beneath a blanket, plotting his next investment.

Man, I love that story!
And best of all, it's true. The so-called next investment was Telekom Indonesia. Bill started buying at around $3 and sold at $23 -- a seven-bagger. I could never have pulled off an investment like that.

For one thing, I love America. If I never leave its shores again, I'll die happy. But here are some startling facts. Did you realize that none of the top five makers of steel, electronics, or consumer appliances is based in the United States?

Or that the U.S. market hasn't been the world's best since 1993? Or that none of the top 15 best-performing funds were U.S. funds, while investors in Hungary (up 268%), India (up 309%), Austria (up 375%), plus 19 other nations all outperformed their U.S. counterparts since September 2002?

OK, I get it ...
"It" being that it's time Americans like you and me started investing overseas. And I don't mean Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) or Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) or any other consumer conglomerate doing business "over there." I don't even mean global tech outfits like Motorola (NYSE:MOT) or IBM (NYSE:IBM).

Not even a usual global suspect like Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will do. I mean foreign companies that operate on foreign soil. Companies that benefit directly from the astonishing growth in China and India, among other locales.

After all, if we want to diversify our portfolios with international stocks, we need to find companies like Telekom Indonesia, whose fortunes are not tied to U.S. consumers. More importantly, if we want to profit from the double-digit growth expected of emerging economies, we need to own companies tied to the fortunes of those economies.

Frankly, that makes me nervous
Remember, I don't travel well. And while I'm comfortable as an investor to make a call on Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) or Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) without going near Silicon Valley, it's not the same when investing overseas. I just feel out of it.

It doesn't help, of course, that reporting and oversight are less stringent overseas than here at home, or that fraud is more rampant. Then again, these same inefficiencies overseas and the perceived risk help explain why the profit potential is so spectacular.

And that's where my pal Bill Mann comes in. In addition to telling great stories about paneled trucks and angry mobs, Bill worked in Russia and Asia for years. He even ran a business overseas. Frankly, Bill knows more about global markets than anybody else I know.

Don't be afraid to ask ...
I'm sure not. And I'm sure as heck not looking to ride under a blanket to the airport in a paneled truck. But I see the value in it. I mean, it stands to reason that if you want to invest overseas, it helps to be there -- or at least have a source you can trust on the ground.

Even better, I'll share mine with you. If you agree with most experts that global stocks will continue to outperform from here out, take it up directly with Bill and his research team at Motley Fool Global Gains. You can even get all their top global picks right now when you accept a 30-day free trial.

Of course, there is no obligation to join. To learn more about this special free trial, click here.

Paul Elliott owns shares of Pfizer and Coca-Cola. Pfizer, Coca-Cola, and Intel are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.