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Author: Utekai One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2359  
Subject: Re: Interesting German Opportunities Date: 5/7/2006 4:18 PM
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There is a misconception that Americans can't buy European stocks directly. Actually they can. Americans can open accounts in any brokerage that will let them. The catch is a lot of banks won't offer Americans services because the Americans cheat on their taxes.

The fact is as long as you report any account over $10,000 to the US Treasury yearly and report all earnings on your taxes there is no limitation on Americans buying German stocks directly. I find the probability of an IRS audit does increase though.

One of my American acquaintances has a good Irish friend. They put money into local accounts for each other and let the other trade off it. They each get access to the markets they want, and taxes are paid out of the account. Such an arrangement does take trust, but it works well for them.

I find several of the European exchanges are getting better at getting out financial information, at least better than a few years back. Once I've zeroed in on a company that is interesting, the company's website usually offers pretty good financial info, but agree not nearly as detailed as I can get from the SEC website on US companies. You need a couple contacts at European brokerages to keep in the flow of timely info. I think French and German companies are the easiest to research, and Swiss the hardest.

As for why I like Singulus, I'm not ready to post a full thesis or get into the numbers (I rely heavily on free cash flow as a valuation indicator), but much of the info on the company I gleaned from http://erscontent.deutsche-boerse.com/erscontentKir/bericht?isin=DE0007238909&id=20054&language=EN . Because the stock has taken a hit it seems to be fairly valued. Though if European and world markets take a downturn, this stock will certainly follow it down, perhaps not as fast though.

Same doc for United Internet: http://erscontent.deutsche-boerse.com/erscontentKir/bericht?isin=DE0005089031&id=20054&language=EN . This company is entirely different than Singulus, and would roughly fall into the rule breakers category. This company really gets my attention at how well they're able to invade the US market. I think their success will continue and their business model is playing out well. I think they've got at least another five years growth at current levels, and they've not yet moved aggresively into some markets, and will be opening new product lines in others. This company really is selling the shovels to the gold miners, and keeping a lot of gold dust for themselves.

My German is rather rusty, so I'll only be posting here in English.
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