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Australians invest at a higher rate than most

Although the 2012 Australian Share Ownership Study released yesterday revealed that only 38% of Australians are involved in the share market either directly or indirectly, our country still has a much higher participation rate than in overseas markets.

Likely due to the current poor confidence in Europe, Australia’s 38% compares to countries such as Germany and Sweden in which only 15% of adults are participating in shares.

Many investors choose to remain only within the local share market, due to simplicity, understanding of the market or for dividend and taxation purposes. Whilst the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has risen over 20% since the study was conducted in September-November last year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Index: ^DJI) has also climbed very strongly (it reached another all-time high overnight!).

The high Australian dollar offers investors a fantastic opportunity to purchase shares overseas. If you’re considering this prospect, well-known companies such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA) are excellent companies with enormous upside potential.

Otherwise, if you’d prefer to stay within Australia, companies such as QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE), Cochlear (ASX: COH) and Thorn Group (ASX: TGA) also have significant room to boost your portfolio.

The Australian Financial Review says “good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

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The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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