Dividends4Life: European Stocks: Big Dividends and Recovering Economies

It's a smart idea to diversify your holdings not only by market size and industry, but also geographically. If the U.S. economy stalls or slides, other economies may still be performing well, so European and other international stocks could help offset losses in your portfolio. Dividend-paying companies offer an extra bonus, as dividends can significantly boost your returns. Internationally earned dividends can be a little more complicated than domestic ones, though.

More than a handful of European stocks had strong performances over the past year. Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD), headquartered in the U.K., surged 55% and yields a whopping 5.5%. Switzerland-based pharmaceutical powerhouse Novartis (NYSE: NVS) jumped 37% and yields 3.2%. It suffered a patent expiration for its multibillion-dollar Diovan drug last year, but it has received a bunch of breakthrough therapy designations from the FDA, and its pipeline is promising. France-based oil giant Total S.A. (NYSE: TOT) popped 30% and yields 4.5%. If you're interested in adding some European stocks to your portfolio, consider doing so via an ETF. A well-chosen ETF can grant you instant diversification across any industry or group of companies and make investing in it -- and profiting from it -- that much easier.

Source: Motley Fool

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