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Who says you have to stick to American stocks? Sometimes foreign stock exchanges are better, more solid investments. But what are the different stock markets and how good of investments are they? The stock markets listed on the "best" list below have had return rates fairly consistently in the 20-30 percent range. The markets listed on the "worst" list have had negative return rates. Those stock markets have reported losses over recent years. Here are the best countries to invest your money–and the worst. (The returns are compiled from Smith Barney sources)

• Switzerland
• The United States
• Sweden
• Hong Kong
• New Zealand
• Spain
• Jordan
• Netherlands
• Belgium

• Pakistan
• India
• China
• Hungary
• Taiwan
• Mexico
• Venezuela
• Colombia

What can you learn from this list?

Sometimes the best performing markets are your best bet when investing. If you check the history of a market, and it looks fairly solid, perhaps you should invest. But the biggest investments actually could come in countries that are found in the above "worst" list. These countries have nowhere to go but up, and companies in these countries can be bought very inexpensively.
If you are going to consider investing in a foreign market, you should carefully research that market. How solid is it? How solid are the companies you'd be buying? Know what you're getting yourself into? How much are the fees? What are your tax obligations?
For instance, if you're considering investing in the Pakistani market, you want to make sure it's on the upswing rather than getting itself into an even worse situation. Do some research on the Pakistani companies you're considering: how long have they been in business, and how strong is their sales growth? The bottom line is to know what you're getting yourself into in a foreign country, just like you would domestically.