For each security there is in-depth research from Thomson Reuters ( TOC) and Audit Integrity, in a format similar to the research Fidelity provides for domestic equities. You'll see charts, earnings history, as well as balance sheet and income statements for each company. No longer will foreign equities, and the numbers that go into their earnings, be a "dark pool" for investors.

Not only are transactions executed instantly (during market hours for that security) but the purchases and sales show up online in the same brokerage account statement as domestic trades. One interesting statistic: For global equities the gain (or loss) percentage is shown both in dollars and in the currency of the transaction.

There is an online research center devoted to this new way to trade international markets. There is also 24-hour access to trained representatives who can answer any questions.

Global diversification required: After every global market "crashed" in synch last year, many investors must be wondering about the benefits of global diversification. Certainly, it's not protection from a market decline. But diversification does give exposure to areas of potentially greater growth.

Consider this: From the market lows in early March through the end of August, the S&P 500 Index rallied 51%. But during the same period, China's Hang Seng Index was up 74%, India's Sensex Index soared 92%, Mexico's Bolsa Index gained 66% and the Spain's Ibex 35 Index rose 67% -- to name just a few of the global markets that out-rebounded the U.S.

Fidelity has recently increased its recommended equity portfolio allocations to 30% international. The company has re-balanced its target-date Fidelity Freedom funds to include this expanded allocation to international equities.

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