How could I buy, for instance, Google stock as a South African?

Most online services I've tried requires a Social Security Number, which I don't have. Most local trading firms simply don't support anything but the JSE.


  • Certain South African-based brokers may offer offshore/foreign investments trading, giving you access to world exchanges beyond the JSE. Have you looked into this possibility? – Chris W. Rea Nov 4 '13 at 20:30
  • I have struck out on three so far. Will keep looking. :) – Meager Mouse Nov 4 '13 at 21:01
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    Try googling site:.za offshore trading and see what comes up. Be sure to DYODD. – Chris W. Rea Nov 4 '13 at 22:35

Foreigner can use ITIN in lieu of SSN to open US bank accounts.

If there's no local broker at all in your own country that allows trading in the US (which I seriously doubt...), you'll have to go through the tedious and problematic procedure to issue an ITIN, or open a trading account in person next time you visit the US (and then it will be very limited with what you can do if you don't have a tax ID).

  • I'll make some more phone calls. Are there online options - generic, multiple stock exchange type trading platforms? – Meager Mouse Nov 4 '13 at 7:23
  • @MeagerMouse what do you mean by "generic multiple stock exchange type trading platforms"? – littleadv Nov 4 '13 at 7:26
  • an online service where I can trade stocks listed on multiple stock exchanges. – Meager Mouse Nov 4 '13 at 7:29
  • Sure, plenty. Etrade, TD, Fidelity, Scottrade... – littleadv Nov 4 '13 at 7:43
  • I'll look into those, I'm pretty sure the 4 I've tried already ask for SSN. I'll read up on ITINs in the meantime. Thanks. – Meager Mouse Nov 4 '13 at 9:34

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