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This is a follow on from another thread:

http://boards.fool.com/1228/one-of-those-days-31655315.aspx?...

and posted here to allow better visibility and hopefully attract good discussion. All my posts in this discussion will be from a US point of view and the word foreign should be read as "non-US".

My approach WILL NOT involve setting up any foreign accounts. It also will not involve using ETFs or ADRs. Instead I will trade directly on foreign exchanges in local currency through my US brokerage account. Fidelity appears to make this very easy (I haven't done it yet, but I've enabled the feature and done a bit of research on potential pitfalls). The currency exchange issues can be as transparent as you like, or you can actively manage currency issues. I'm pretty sure other brokers offer similar capabilities.

I accept that there will be additional costs (trading fees, currency fees / exposure) and minor tax complications (foreign dividend with holding and US tax credits for such). Liquidity and geopolitical issues are other areas requiring attention. Tax advantaged accounts are also off limits (at Fidelity) for foreign trading, but that's not a show stopper for me. With the foreign withholding on dividends, it would make sense to keep things out of IRAs anyway.

I'm going to stop now and give others a chance to talk and see where this goes.

Ed
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