Buy International Stocks Online
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Ultimately, investors are well-served at Interactive Brokers and Fidelity. Fidelity can give U.S. investors a taste of international markets in an easy-to-digest format, while Interactive Brokers gives you the whole global buffet and the full array of tools to make the most of it. Which one you choose depends on your particular appetite.
An international broker is a brokerage firm that offers U.S. and/or international investors the ability to buy and sell stocks across the globe. To qualify as an international broker for our review, a brokerage firm must be U.S.-based and U.S.-regulated.
Two of the key reasons individual investors usually want to invest in international investments (or investments that offer international exposure) are diversification and the potential for growth, particularly in emerging markets. International exposure has become easier with the variety of exchange-traded funds that cover specific countries, geographic regions, or even sectors spanning multiple regions.
For some investors, however, general exposure is not as profitable as targeting specific stocks only sold in their domestic markets. General exposure to the Japanese market, for example, may be too general if an investor is really looking to target Japanese advanced materials companies. Similarly, a global oil fund washes out regional differences in both the risk and returns that companies face in terms of regulatory compliance, political stability, domestic subsidies, proven reserves, and so on. Investors with a particular fundamental outlook on a market or sector may look to invest directly in that market to test the investment thesis in the purest trade possible. ETFs and other tools can be used as proxies, but they dilute the trade by bundling in other assets outside of the target ones.
There are a few ways individual investors can gain exposure to international markets. For example, you can buy American depositary receipts (ADRs), U.S.-registered mutual funds, or U.S.-registered ETFs that invest in foreign securities. You might be surprised that many large U.S. companies do business overseas and give you access to international consumers. In this case, investing in a multinational stock might be similar to buying an international stock.
Once you have opened and funded an account with an international broker, buying international stocks is similar to buying stocks on U.S. exchanges. You may need to request access (including price data) for the specific exchange(s) you want to trade. Also, you may need to research the exchange and ticker symbol to ensure you are trading the intended stock.
In general, international stocks must be bought and sold on the same exchange (e.g., if you buy stock in France you must sell it there, too). Certain exchanges may have additional requirements. For example, the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange set daily price limits for all securities to manage volatility. In most cases it is more expensive to buy and sell stocks internationally. The commissions and fees for international trades might differ from those for U.S. stocks and currency exchange fees may apply as well.
When choosing an international broker, look for the same features you would want out of any broker: a strong industry reputation, up-to-date security standards, solid customer service, reasonable costs, robust trading tools, helpful educational content, and access to the markets you want to trade.
Access to research reports, screeners, and international news is very important when choosing an international broker. It might be more important to perform in depth research before buying an international stock than a U.S. company, due to differing legal reporting requirements for international firms.
In most cases, legal U.S. residents who are not U.S. citizens can open U.S.-based brokerage accounts, provided they complete the required paperwork and certify their tax status. You might be required to complete additional tax documents that are required for international citizens.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. This year, we revamped the review process by conducting an extensive survey of customers that are actively looking to start trading and investing with an online broker. We then combined this invaluable information with our subject matter expertise to develop the framework for a quantitative ratings model that is at the core of how we compiled our list of the best online broker and trading platform companies.
Going international with your investments may also help boost your returns by exposing your dollars to faster-growing economies. You might find favorable conditions, like progressive government leadership, tax incentives or even access to natural resources and policies that allow an industry to grow at a more rapid pace than a counterpart could domestically.
Almost any investment sold for a profit outside of a tax-advantaged account will incur some amount of taxes. International stocks are no different. However, they do introduce a few more moving parts, most of which stem from taxes you may owe in the country your stock originates from.
Which international investments to choose will change as global conditions change. Because of that, Strohmeier from Octavia Wealth Advisors says investors would do well to research individual regions of interest before investing.
We believe a global perspective that incorporates portfolio allocations to U.S. and international stock markets along with global benchmarks for performance are vital to successful long-term investing.
Taxes on international investments are often taxed at different rates than domestic holdings. Similar to regulatory changes, some foreign nations may also impose additional taxation on foreign investors.
While international stocks are subject to geopolitical, regulatory, and currency risk, a foreign security should not be judged solely because it is not a U.S. domestic product. Investors should take multiple factors into consideration when considering investing in international stocks, such as geographical location, level of development, and liquidity of the markets and complex tax regimes. Additionally, U.S. domestic securities can be just as risky as some foreign ones.
Taking a global perspective means incorporating both U.S. and international stocks in your portfolio. The market place is truly global and when it comes to investing, geographical location matters a lot less than it used to. Depending on your return objectives and risk tolerance, your international allocation should be 5-25% of your total stock market investments and the international weighting necessary for truly global exposure is likely to increase over time as global trends become even more entrenched. Investing in international stocks still carries risks, but if you limit your international exposure you may miss out on attractive growth opportunities as well as the increased diversification that can help buffer your portfolio against market downturn.
When investing in international stocks it is beneficial to understand the differences between developed, emerging, and frontier markets to better comprehend the risks, potential, liquidity, and stability of international investment products.
Dividends paid on foreign equities are generally subject to foreign tax withholding. These taxes vary greatly depending on jurisdiction, residency, and account type and are governed by applicable international tax treaties between the U.S. and the issuer's country of registration. In certain circumstances, investors may be eligible for preferential rates which are lower than the statutory rates applied by local jurisdictions.
Your approach to investing globally depends on what type of investor you are. In addition to ADRs and foreign ordinaries, investors seeking global diversification should consider exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds with concentrations in international holdings as well as other non-traditional investments such as international REITs. You can invest in international stocks on your own with a Schwab One brokerage account or call our Global Investing Services team at 800-992-4685 to speak with a dedicated broker about foreign trading.1 Our team is available between 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday and 5:30 p.m. ET Friday.
The StockBrokers.com best online brokers 2023 review, our 13th annual, took three months to complete and produced over 40,000 words of research. Here's how we tested. Our editorial content is independent and unbiased; here's how we make money.
This guide summarizes the best online brokers for international trading in 2022. To qualify, online brokers must be based in the United States, must be U.S.-regulated, and offer international investors the ability to buy and sell stocks.
Currently, there are very few U.S. brokers that support non-U.S. citizens as clients. This is mostly due to the complexities surrounding international regulations, customer service, and language translation.
If you are resident of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia, read our full international trading guide below. Similarly, if you are looking for an international forex broker, we have a separate tool for forex through our sister site, ForexBrokers.com.
Interactive Brokers countries: Andorra, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Albania, Armenia, Antarctica, Argentina, American Samoa, Australia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Bahrain, Burundi, Benin, Bermuda, Brunei, Bolivia, Brazil, Bahamas, Bhutan, Botswana, Belize, Canada, Central African Republic, Switzerland, Cook Islands, Chile, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Algeria, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Faroe Islands, Gabon, United Kingdom, Grenada, Georgia, French Guiana, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Gambia, Guinea, Guadeloupe, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Guam, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hong Kong, Honduras, Haiti, Indonesia, Israel, India, British Indian Ocean Territory, Iceland, Jamaica, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Comoros, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Cayman Islands, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Saint Lucia, Liechtenstein, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Lesotho, Morocco, Monaco, Montenegro, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Macedonia, Mali, Mongolia, Macao, Northern Mariana Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Montserrat, Mauritius, Maldives, Malawi, Mexico, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, New Caledonia, Niger, Norfolk Island, Nicaragua, Norway, Nepal, Niue, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Peru, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pakistan, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Pitcairn Islands, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Palau, Paraguay, Qatar, Réunion, Serbia, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Seychelles, Singapore, Saint Helena, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, San Marino, Senegal, Suriname, São Tomé and Príncipe, El Salvador, Swaziland, Turks and Caicos Islands, Chad, French Southern Territories, Togo, Thailand, Tajikistan, Tokelau, East Timor, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Tonga, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uganda, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Samoa, Mayotte, South Africa, Zambia. If you are a resident of any of these countries, you can open an account with Interactive Brokers and invest in U.S. stocks. 59ce067264