How to buy international and foreign shares in the UK
Some of the biggest stocks in the world are listed overseas, but that doesn’t mean that they’re out of the reach of the average UK investor. Read on to find out how to buy international shares and stocks from the UK.
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Choose how you want to buy international and foreign stocks
There are two ways to buy international stocks – by investing or trading derivatives.
When you are investing in foreign stocks, you are buying shares outright at their full value with the intention of holding onto these shares for a period of time. Trading international shares involves the use of derivative products such as contracts for difference (CFDs). These products are traded using leverage, which means you only need a percentage of the value of the position to get started. However, your profits and losses will be calculated on the full position size, so you can lose much more than your initial deposit. Be sure to have an appropriate risk management strategy in place before opening position.
Why would I invest?
- You could receive dividends or income from your interest
- You want to diversify your investment portfolio
- You want to access investment opportunities in another market
- You plan to invest over a fixed period of time (eg 20 years)
- You want to own shares outright in a particular company
- You want voting rights in the companies you invest in
Why would I trade?
- You can open a position with a small initial deposit, called margin
- You’ll use leverage – which can magnify both profits and losses
- You could make a profit against the stock value, whether it goes up or down
- You generally don’t pay tax on spread bets
- CFD profits can be offset against losses as a tax deduction
Open an account
You can choose between opening a trading account. You can apply for an account on our website or via the IG app.
You’ll be asked a few questions to see whether you qualify for the account you’re applying for. If approved, you’ll have access to a wide range of trading tools, as well as our award-winning web platform.1
Buy international stocks
The process of buying international shares may vary slightly depending on which market you are interested in. Discover the details of buying foreign stocks below.
Buying international and foreign shares summed up
- International shares can help add diversity to your portfolio
- Many foreign markets can be accessed via our platform
- You can choose to either trade or invest in foreign shares
- Some of the larger international companies are dual-listed, which makes it easier to trade and invest
- However, Chinese regulation means that not all of China’s blue chips can be accessed by overseas investors
- You can open an account with us to start trading on international shares
1 As awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2020 and Professional Trader Awards 2019.
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IGA, may distribute information/research produced by its respective foreign affiliates within the IG Group of companies pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the research is distributed in Singapore to a person who is not an Accredited Investor, Expert Investor or an Institutional Investor, IGA accepts legal responsibility for the contents of the report to such persons only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact IGA at 6390 5118 for matters arising from, or in connection with the information distributed.
The information/research herein is prepared by IG Asia Pte Ltd (IGA) and its foreign affiliated companies (collectively known as the IG Group) and is intended for general circulation only. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any particular person. You should take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation, and particular needs before making a commitment to trade, including seeking advice from an independent financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment, under a separate engagement, as you deem fit.
Please see important Research Disclaimer.
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