How to Invest in US Stocks by a Non-American

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American stock exchanges are some of the most highly rated stock markets in the world and they control the trading of stocks issued by companies in the country. To invest in US stocks, all a US citizen need do is open a trading account with a brokerage house or bank. For non-American citizens, the process is different. Here is how to invest in American stocks for non-Americans.

Things You'll Need

  • Personal computer
  • Internet access
  • Log onto the Internet and research international banks and brokerage houses in your country. Many US banks now have foreign branches or subsidiaries all over the world. Full service and discount stockbrokers have also opened foreign branches in recent years. When you find an American stockbroker or bank's branch, or subsidiary in your country, visit them and familiarize yourself with their services.

  • Open a brokerage account with the international bank of your choice. Brokerage accounts are different from regular banking accounts so confirm that you are opening a brokerage account. Choose your brokerage house wisely. Pay attention to the services they offer and the costs. Fund your account following instructions from the bank or brokerage house.

  • Research US stocks. Log on to the Internet and research the stock market. Pick stocks that meet your criteria and place buy orders with your broker when you are ready. Monitor your portfolio and sell when you have a profit or to curtail your losses.

  • Buy US stocks through international mutual funds. Most United States based banks and brokerage houses offer mutual funds aimed at foreign investors. Read business or finance related publications in your country to locate these types of investments. Ask your bank or stockbroker if they offer them. Pay attention to fees and when you find a mutual fund you like, invest in it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buying stocks through mutual funds offers additional protection since they are long-term investments and not affected deeply by daily fluctuations in the market. This is the best way to go if you don't know much about the stock market or if you aren't comfortable picking your own stocks.
  • If you don't have Internet access, you can get information about foreign banks or brokerage houses in your country through the Central Bank or finance ministry.
  • Stock markets are volatile and it is easy to lose your savings. Be careful when buying stocks.
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