When it comes to money, most of us are only concerned with looking out for ourselves. That means our own bank accounts, our families' trust funds, our company's pension plan, our community's jobless rate, and our country's economy. But there are a few people who think beyond that. Why? Because they know the truth - that economics is an enormous, complex system where everything is interconnected. If you're an insular minded economist, here are some reasons to broaden your focus and some tips for doing it.

It's all well and good to sell art prints in Canada, but haven't you ever thought of expanding your focus? Don't people in China and Germany and New Zealand like to buy art prints for their homes as well? There could be a global art market out there which is completely underserved and just waiting for you to step in and exploit it, but you'll never know if you don't think beyond your own borders. Learning about the economy from a global perspective will also give you a more realistic picture of your worth.

You might think it's difficult to keep track of the economy of the entire world, but no one is asking you to collect and analyze your own data. There are experts at universities, governments, and financial magazines whose job it is to study and understand these complex systems. All you have to do is read their reports. You can even embed the financial news section of your favorite paper into your dentist website interface so you can check out the latest news while you work.

Jumping from learning about the global economy to working with it is the next logical step. Your mortgage is affected by the push and pull of global economic forces, so why not try to use them to your advantage? Be careful, though. Even economists haven't developed accurate enough models to be able to predict whether an investment will succeed or fail, so your best bet is to diversify enough that all your holdings won't get wiped out at once in a crash.

So how can you participate in a global economy? Well, if you have enough capital you can actually invest directly in new ventures, such as concrete forms for the construction and development industries. You can also buy into a fund that has international connections or take your small business global. That doesn't mean you'll have to become a jet setter, either. You can start with something as simple as a web presence overseas, which can be created from home.

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