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Excellent point, Ed. I always forget that option; one of the reasons I think is because they don't support it in the websites and you have to call in the order. At one time, Schwab allowed it through their website, but they took it away. (Like, a decade ago.)

I guess the real question is which currencies do you want direct exposure to? Because picking a company is less than half the battle if the currency is really headed the wrong way.


Hi Robert - I wonder why Schwab dropped the capability? Fidelity offers it through their website (but not their desktop platform).

Not only do you have to get the company and currency right (or at least not horribly wrong), there are political / regulatory concerns. And language can be another big barrier to get over. I think I would limit my initial investments to Australia and the UK. Moving on to other asian countries and west european countries at some future point.

These would be long term investments for me rather than trading positions, so that should wash out some (but certainly not all) of the currency concerns.

I have experience buying foreign companies (whole or controlling interests) but none being a direct passive public investor. It's a lot easier (but not easy) to separate the wheat from the chaff when you get to have a team of crack analysts do detailed in depth due diligence on a prospective foreign investment. Having to rely on sparse (and possibly very sketchy) public info is a major concern. It may ultimately keep me from getting very far with this.

Ed
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