NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors tend to focus on opportunities that are right in front of them, domestic companies and indexes, generally those in the news.
While there is nothing wrong with these processes, self directed investors can tend to invest on the wrong side of the market. Simply put, they buy at highs or sell at the lows, following news and investing trends long after they've been digested by the market. They also may not even be aware of opportunities beyond U.S. markets.
Best International Opportunities Explained Visually
Finding low hanging fruit or markets that provide value is the key for investments you plan to hold for one-to-three years in length. The table below show the three countries with the lowest price-to-earnings ratios and the best looking chart in terms of buying near long term support.
Looking at the charts you will see how each of these markets has been under heavy selling along with negative headline news. Knowing what we know, it is very likely most investors holding equities within these countries that are scared by the news have already sold their positions. Those who have not will likely continue to hold long-term for prices to rise eventually. Below you can find charts of three ETFs that track the country's markets that could provide good value to investors interested in tapping overseas markets that have a higher level of risk.
*With Russia, it should be noted that there is very high political risk and there are some analysts that believe the market is still overvalued.
What Should You Invest In Next?
Investing is one part time, and one part timing. What I mean by that is if you have a long time (say, 10 years or more) for an investment to mature you should be rewarded for holding and committing to that investment. But if you want real eye popping performance year after year, it is important to try to time your entries and exits.
Every year you should review your portfolio and re-balance. Shuffle funds out of mature markets and into ones which provide more value and have room to grow. Investors should consider the three ETFs listed above.
Slowly averaging in, meaning buying a small portion ever week or every month is the best way to get involved in long term investments. These country ETFs could make minor new lows before going higher but we never really know what an investment will do and when, which is why we need to slowly build positions when you know a particular market is ripe for the picking.
More information about these foreign investment opportunities: My interview with Jim Goddard of HoweStreet.
As hard as it may seem, buying into assets getting a lot of negative news could turn out to be some of your best performing investments. For example, getting long precious metals right now may seem crazy, but here are 10 gold stocks that look ready to make big moves.
After all, as investment guru Warren Buffett says, "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.
Chris Vermeulen is full time trader and research analyst for