Investors have many options and choices, from asset classes to the financial instruments to play them. Low-cost online brokers and trading platforms have given investors access to a world once open only to professional traders and institutions.
IRAs and 401(k)s offer vast opportunities, whether it's equities, fixed income, currencies, real estate, or commodities.
"We think the retail investor has gone a bit more global and become a bit more sophisticated in the type of assets being included in their portfolio," says Mitch Schlesinger, CFA, chief investment officer at FBB Capital Partners in Bethesda, Md. "They are definitely open to alternatives to the plain vanilla."
But variety brings volatility, which offers both risk and reward. Major events, such as the Arab Spring or EU sovereign debt crisis, have sometimes made the global economy seem like a small place, where markets move in lockstep around the globe from sunrise to sunset.
But savvy, open-minded investors know there are always profitable plays in countries and asset classes.
So as 2013 dawns, click ahead to see how your portfolio should reflect the global economy and the wide world of finance.
Updated Dec. 19, 2012