I wonder if being a foreigner living outside the US I am allowed to buy stock listed in the NYSE or other American stock exchanges. In case it is possible, how do I do that?


Update: I live in Colombia (South America.)

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    Yes, certainly. Generally speaking, you find yourself a local brokerage firm (i.e. in your country) that will permit you to place orders on the NYSE. For instance, I can buy U.S.-listed stocks via my Canadian brokerage firm. However, whether you have brokers that can access the NYSE depends on where you live. Your question, therefore, is too vague and cannot be answered. Tagging "united-states" by itself isn't helpful. We need your country, not for the exchange where you plan to make trades. – Chris W. Rea Aug 18 '15 at 21:38
  • His math blog identifies his location as Columbia, South America. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Aug 18 '15 at 23:19
  • Thanks for your answer, @ChrisW.Rea As I've updated the question, I currently live in Colombia, South America. – numberfive Aug 19 '15 at 1:12

Yes, almost certainly. Probably as easy as asking your broker.There are some complications in owning foreign stocks in a foreign currency. Currency conversion costs (and risks) are one, and there may be withholding tax on dividends or other costs/complications in getting money out. Since your country Colombia has no tax treaty with the U.S., I believe your dividends will be subject to a 30% withholding tax. It can be reduced to 15% in the case of tax treaty countries (after submitting a W8BEN form).

Suggest you explore the tax implications with information from sources in your country.

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    Thanks, Spehro. Your answer has been very helpful. I didn't know the tax part, that is key. Thanks again. – numberfive Aug 19 '15 at 15:04

Yes, you are allowed (and encouraged) to invest in stocks outside your borders. This can be in multiple forms ; you can invest in a Mutual Fund which invests your money for you on foreign stocks. You can also contact your broker and ask him to purchase the stocks, he can execute the orders for you.

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  • Thanks, Darshan for your answer. Mutual Funds seem attractive, too. Have a nice day. – numberfive Aug 19 '15 at 15:02

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