Jeff D Opdyke - The World is Your Oyster

How became a successful international investor is an Everyman tale that began thirteen years ago when he discarded conventional wisdom. At the time, Wall Street’s pros insisted that average investors buy domestic mutual funds that invest overseas. But Jeff ignored their tepid advice. Instead, he opted for the intrepid, opening bank and brokerage accounts from New Zealand to Hong Kong in order to buy the local stocks he wanted to own, not those that some fund manager deemed worthy.

Jeff did so with great insight: People are people no matter whether their home is in Madrid, Memphis, or Mumbai. They drink beer and buy homes and the furnishings and appliances to put in them. As hundreds of millions of people around the world strive to move into the middle class, the companies that meet these basic needs are becoming the great investment opportunities of today and tomorrow. Only a fraction of them, however, trade on American stock exchanges.

So, armed with simple tools available to you and me (the Internet and an e-mail account), Jeff found companies intimately tied to their local economies but capable of expansion—to America, perhaps, or more important to Asia and other regions of explosive growth. One such company is Fisher & Paykel, a New Zealand–based maker of appliances that over the course of a dozen years has produced a steady stream of dividends and special distributions and has gained more than 17 percent a year for Jeff.

How to find companies like Fisher & Paykel is the heart of this book. You can indeed make the world your oyster by diversifying your portfolio, and Jeff provides indispensable insight and practical guidelines for every aspect of investing directly overseas. He shows how to research and track companies, set up foreign brokerage accounts, handle tax issues, converts currencies, and fund accounts.

Why venture beyond the United States, to begin with? Because America is really just one small island. For every American public company, there are four beyond our shores—many of which are small to midsize and have huge potential for growth, which you’ll never find by trading in America alone.

If you’re ready to take the next step in building a truly diversified portfolio, you will gain a wealth of invaluable insight and information from Jeff’s engaging first-person accounts of his trial-and-error—but, ultimately, highly successful—globe-trotting career in search of worthy stocks.

The opportunities for investing overseas are indisputable. The World Is Your Oyster is your travel guide: pinpointing five of the best reasons to go global, detailing various ways for investors of every temperament—from timid to adventurous—to cross financial borders, focusing on how to invest directly in hot spots from China to Turkey to Eastern Europe, and revealing how the Internet and other twenty-first-century technology has opened a world of direct overseas investment opportunities for you.

From Publishers Weekly

If your portfolio is tied up solely in American stocks, you're missing out, warns journalist Opdyke. In this lucid investment guide, he advises average investors to bypass Wall Street, avoid domestically held Exchange Traded Funds and American Depository Receipts, and to put their money to work directly in foreign economies. More than 320 of the Fortune Global 500 are based outside the U.S., and tens of thousands of smaller companies never show up on the radar back in America, but afford American investors a host of opportunities for growth, diversification, risk reduction, and richer returns. Opdyke offers panoptic investment advice from finding overseas brokerage firms and picking promising stocks to funding accounts and handling tax issues. The author masterfully condenses a daunting amount of information and presents useful crash courses on how currency works and the differences between developed, emerging, and frontier markets, concluding with a detailed portrait of China's investment potential. Comprehensive and inspiring, with a strong, assured voice, Opdyke's book is a must for would-be overseas investors. (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Financial journalist Opdyke offers his theory that small and medium-sized companies throughout the world that meet basic middle-class needs offer lucrative investment opportunities, and he explains how to find these companies and invest in them. His advice includes setting up foreign brokerage accounts and funding them, conducting research and tracking overseas companies, and wiring money and converting currencies. The author teaches us about the risks—including geopolitical (e.g., terrorism), country, and government policy—of owning assets denominated in foreign currencies. Opdyke explains how an individual can capture global growth opportunities in the U.S., although these opportunities are comparatively limited, and offers important information on investing in China, Turkey, and Central and Eastern Europe. The author, contending that he is an average investor, presents the risks and rewards of seeking investment opportunities overseas and notes that all we need to follow his advice is an e-mail account and Internet access. This is an excellent book. --Mary Whaley

About the Author

JEFF D. OPDYKE covers investing and personal finance for The Wall Street Journal and is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal Sunday supplement syndicated in eighty newspapers nationwide. He is also the author of The Wall Street Journal Complete Personal Financial Guidebook and Love and Money.

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