By Lisa Springer
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - This New Year, income investors like me will likely be finding some of the richest dividend yields overseas.
As a general rule of thumb, foreign stocks often have higher dividend payouts than their U.S. counterparts, and pay a much larger dividend as well. While lately there's been more emphasis on dividends in the U.S., domestic stocks on the whole still offer some of the lowest yields in the world.
At present, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index yields a paltry 1.8%. Yields on the MSCI EAFE Index, a widely followed measure of stocks in developed foreign markets, are far more attractive at 2.4%.When foreign companies have extra cash, they are far more likely than U.S. firms to share the cash with investors as dividends. And most indicators suggest it will be foreign companies with much of the excess cash this year, since many overseas economies are predicted to grow faster than the U.S. Experts forecast 3% growth for the U.S. economy in 2011, while growth is pegged at 6% for Latin America and 7% for parts of Asia.