How to Invest in Foreign Stocks

How to Invest in Foreign Stocks

6 min read

Do you know how to invest in foreign stocks? They’re stocks of foreign companies that can be purchased overseas, right from the comfort of your home. They help you expand and invest in different stock options across the globe. Foreign stocks aren’t limited to a particular country or nation. One of the major reasons why investors want these stocks is because of diversification. Investors buy foreign stocks mainly to diversify their portfolios to build one that yields the highest results. However, before you invest in them, you should know how to get started.

Foreign stocks are stocks that are issued by a company in or outside the U.S. In fact, they may be listed on different exchanges around the world such as in the U.S., in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Foreign stocks can be referred to as ‘global shares’.

They can be tracked by indexes such as the S&P Global 1200, which helps you invest in them without necessarily investing in the particular stock itself, but the index itself, which contains a pool or basket of such stocks.

If you’re dealing in foreign stocks, it means you’re paying a big bill in fees. They have high international costs as when you invest in them. And you might have to pay in foreign currencies. Moreover, in foreign stocks, you’ll also automatically worry about the exchange rate because if you’re based locally and are investing in the US market, you might have to pay in dollars.

Therefore, it’d automatically become more expensive to buy foreign stocks. Furthermore, if you want to invest in foreign stocks, you’ll most likely have to get registered through a broker or trading houses such as Fidelity, ETrade, or Ameritrade because direct trading can have its limitations.

However, their advantages outweigh their disadvantages. If you are interested in investing in foreign stocks, below is a guide on how to invest in them and what you need to know before you get started.

How To Invest In Foreign Stocks

Investing in foreign stocks gives you the privilege of diversifying your portfolio. They are, in fact, the number one priority of a well-diversified investment portfolio. Why? Because they have high growth potential. Foreign or overseas stocks also have higher returns and can offer low volatility in stock portfolios.

There are different ways to invest in foreign stocks. One of them is through ADRs. Few popular ADRs today are the Alibaba Group (BABA), (JD) and Gold Fields Ltd (GFI). You can also invest in foreign stocks through ETFs, global mutual funds and global depositary receipts (GDRs).

In fact, you can use new startup apps to invest as well. Startup apps such as Webull app, GROWW, Vested Finance let you install them and invest in foreign stocks directly.

Which Broker Is Best For International Trading?

Another way to invest in foreign stocks is through a broker. If you’re a part of an emerging market such as India and Russia, where people have a lot of money and want to invest, you’ll have to open an account with a foreign broker to buy foreign stocks.

Foreign stocks are registered in their parent country.  If you’re investing through a foreign broker, make sure that broker has a tie up with the other foreign broker.

Also when investing abroad, have the whole plan laid out and open so that you know before investing as to what your possibilities and limitation are.

And make sure you’re happy with the broker you choose. Not only happy but comfortable.

Popular foreign stock brokers are:

You can also buy them directly or through direct investments via interactive brokers. Interactive brokers have high charges associated with them, for instance, $10,000 a month as the brokerage fee. Such brokers may also require a minimum deposit of $5000 before you start trading. However, once you start, you will get higher freedom and the ability to invest in foreign stocks freely.

Invest in ETFs

Another way to invest in foreign stocks is through ETFs. There are many popular ETFs that grant you access to foreign stocks through direct investments in them rather than you having to buy individual foreign stocks directly.

ETFs help you diversify by investing in stocks, bonds and commodities. Did you know ETFs also help you gain exposure to many markets while a particular foreign stock may be limited to one country?

ETFs cover many investment categories such as investment styles, market capitalization and geographical regions.

Popular ETFs around the world today are the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ), Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT), Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG), Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF (SCHA), iShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETF (USMV), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF and others.


Investing in foreign stocks is a popular practice amongst investors today. It has many benefits, however, certain drawbacks too. For example, there might be higher initial charges (initial fee etc.). The profits could be subjected to the currency exchange rate of the country you are investing in, which might be another disadvantage of investing in foreign stocks.

There might also be a limit on how much you can invest in foreign stocks if you are investing directly which gives you limited freedom as compared to local/domestic stocks. However, foreign stocks give you exposure and allow you to invest in companies that are more profitable which are better advantages of investing in them.

Overall, investing in foreign stocks is a healthy practice. Before you start investing in them, you should know a couple of things. You should know if you will get full access to foreign stocks through the broker you choose to start trading in these stocks. And you should also know about the exchange rate vs. dollar effect on the stocks of the country you are investing in. Finally, you should also know about the geopolitical and economic conditions of the country where you are investing before you invest in foreign stocks.

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