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TheStreet Open House

Consider Stocks From 'The Land Down Under'

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As the world watches and waits for the outcome of the U.S. government's ongoing tussle about expiring tax legislation ad nausea, some prescient investors are looking abroad for the other prizes and pay-days.

We are cautiously optimistic about the U.S. economy for 2013 and hopeful that a last minute resolution of the fiscal fandango will surface between the cantankerous political factions before 2012 ends. In case something less than encouraging unfolds, it may be in our best investment interests to look overseas.

Let me state now that I have a surprise for you at the end of this article. It's a kind of "holiday treat" worth watching and listening to, so keep reading.

One of the strongest economies isn't one of the world's largest. In fact it is often forgotten because it's not regularly talked about in the mainstream media. Although by land mass it's one of the largest nations, by population it doesn't even rank in the top 20.

Unlike the U.S. and Europe, Australia is booming! With immense natural resources and boatloads of foreign money waiting to be invested in Australian assets and companies, the immediate future still looks exceptionally bright.

Take a look at the one-year chart of the iShares MSCI Australia Index ETF (EWA). EWA has had an impressive run, but as you can see the volume has been steadily going down since September 2012.

EWA Chart EWA data by YCharts

The ETF has a current dividend yield of 4.45%. Over 12% of the holdings of the fund are represented by the natural resources, mineral and energy conglomerate BHP Billiton (BHP), which alone has a dividend payout that yields around 3% at a price of $76.

The second-biggest holding in EWA is Commonwealth Bank of Australia, representing over 10% of the fund's assets. Commonwealth Bank trades on the Australian Securities Exchange. Most of the other holdings are headquartered in Australia except U.K.-based Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO).

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