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Fools were out and about this week in an investing world jampacked with actions and ideas. They were also sitting at their computers, answering questions from Fools in live chats. The trading week started Monday with a live chat about what the downgrade means for your money, during which Fools asked 1,300 questions. Then there was Wednesday's live chat about opportunity amid a wild market. And on Friday, it was time for The Motley Fool's thoughts on the wild week and how to survive a crazy market.

But let's also look at three non-chat-related articles from the week that you might find useful as you decide how to invest your money.

Another Reason to Hate the FrenchIf you're enamored of investing in companies residing in AAA-rated countries, you'll want to read this piece by Motley Fool Global Gains co-advisor Tim Hanson, who thoughtfully rounded up a list of the countries that still have AAA ratings and talked about their latent problems.

For instance, Tim posited that the eurozone economies of Germany, Holland, Austria, and France "will ultimately be on the hook to bail out their less-than-creditworthy brethren."

So the U.S. has been downgraded and things aren't peachy keen in the remaining AAA-rated countries. Now what?

Tim recommends that investors "stick to the AA+-rated U.S. for safety and start looking largely at AAA-rated Europe for opportunity amid the crisis." He added: "[T]here are plenty of companies in Europe that are being treated like European companies when in fact they are not. This is where the opportunity is."

Tim named five European companies that get a majority of their revenue outside developed Europe, including Telefonica and Unilever (NYS: UL) .

Read the article to get the full picture.

The 60-Second Guide to Recession-Proof InvestingMotley Fool senior analyst Joe Magyer weighed in with sage advice on how to stay sane and solvent. His seven tips for investors include:

  • "Take 10 minutes to write down your investing strategy and why you hold each of your stocks, bonds, CDs, and mutual funds. Use that document as your pillar of strength if markets go bonkers."
  • "Get easy exposure to global markets by investing in high-quality, U.S.-based businesses that do big business abroad. Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) , Wal-Mart (NYS: WMT) , and Visa (NYS: V) are good jumping-off points."

Take a break from worrying and read Joe's full article to see all seven suggestions.

Runway Is Clear for Market's Hottest Dividend SectorMotley Fool Rising Star analyst Jim Royal brought back good news from his walk in the land of mortgage REITs, which make money by using short-term financing to buy longer-term mortgage-backed securities that pay more than the short-term financing costs.

"Perhaps the most bullish piece of news for the sector is that the Federal Reserve sees lower-than-anticipated growth and has pledged to keep interest rates at 0% and 0.25% until at least the middle of 2013," Jim wrote. "Low interest rates should help Annaly Capital (NYS: NLY) , Chimera Investment (NYS: CIM) , and American Capital Agency (NAS: AGNC) continue to earn solid rate spreads. And the stability of interest rates means they can continue to maintain high leverage."

Read the article to learn more about how mortgage REITs could be kind to your portfolio.

At the time this article was published Fool online editorKris Eddyowns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article.The Motley Fool owns shares of Telefonica, Wal-Mart Stores, Chimera Investment, Annaly Capital Management, and Coca-Cola.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Unilever, Coca-Cola, Visa, and Wal-Mart, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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