June 24, 2016
AMERICAN DEPOSITARY RECEIPTS
Want to own a piece of Toyota (or other foreign-based company)? It’s easier than you may think. Many foreign-based companies trade on U.S. exchanges. But instead of shares of stock being traded, it is typically American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Each ADR represents ownership of a specific number of underlying shares in the foreign company. The benefits of ADRs are that they are quoted and traded in U.S. dollars, dividends are paid in U.S. dollars, and shareholder communications are in English.
You may be able to purchase shares on a foreign stock exchange through U.S. brokers associated with those exchanges.
If you prefer to leave the stock-picking to professionals, mutual funds may be the way to go. In addition to professional management, mutual funds generally offer a level of diversification within your international holdings not easily achieved when buying individual securities on your own.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track foreign market indexes can be a good choice if you are looking for exposure to stock, bond, and real estate markets from around the world.