INVESTING ABROAD

INCREASINGLY, AMERICANS ARE LOOKING TO SHARE IN THE GLOBAL-GROWTH PIE OUTSIDE THE U.S. IT'S A GOOD IDEA--WITH THE PROPER DOS AND DON'TS

Stock brokers and mutual-fund companies have been harping on the investment opportunities in foreign lands for years, and they keep making it easier to take the plunge. There are 1,200 U.S.-based stock funds that invest overseas or south of the border. Nearly 500 foreign companies, such as Russia's petroleum giant LUKoil and Mexico's version of AT&T, Telefonos de Mexico, list their shares with major U.S. stock exchanges. Those numbers are growing, and Americans are happy to take a flyer. They own $560 billion of stock issued by companies outside the U.S.--a 15-fold increase since 1985.

But given the ongoing turmoil in...

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