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Most Americans are so U.S.-centric in the way we perceive the world that our blindness to all things foreign often hurts us when it comes to investing. Our blinders also often prevent us from learning important lessons.

We’re even largely clueless about the country that is closest to us geographically, economically and in practically every other way. I’m speaking of Canada, of course, and when Americans pay any attention to Canada at all (quick: who is Canada’s prime minister?), we tend to view the country as a friendly, frozen giant where people say “zed” instead of “zee” and have great medical insurance – a kind of socialistic, vaguely British version of America.

Canadians More Mobile

But the assumption that Canadians live in a static, more government-heavy society than we do is distorted. It turns out that Canada beats us at our own game: the ability of the average citizen to rise from poverty to at least the middle class.

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