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  • FIRST POST
    • britishboy
    • By britishboy 4th Mar 18, 7:59 PM
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    britishboy
    How to buy shares in a US based company
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 18, 7:59 PM
    How to buy shares in a US based company 4th Mar 18 at 7:59 PM
    As above, I use X-O to buy uk shares but want to buy some in a US based company, but they donít come up when I search to buy them through X-O

    Howís best to buy US shares please?
Page 1
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 4th Mar 18, 8:52 PM
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    • #2
    • 4th Mar 18, 8:52 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 18, 8:52 PM
    have you completed a W-8BEN form?

    US Stocks - Important Documentation

    W-8BEN form - if you wish to invest in US shares, you will need to complete a W-8BEN form before you can trade. This form ensures that you are afforded the appropriate tax relief on any income that is paid to you. Please refer below for additional links:


    (this is from X-o)


    It may be that they dont show you US shares until youve done that. What are the sh`res? Are they "mainstream"?
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 4th Mar 18, 9:51 PM
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    Thrugelmir
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 18, 9:51 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 18, 9:51 PM
    As above, I use X-O to buy uk shares but want to buy some in a US based company, but they donít come up when I search to buy them through X-O
    Originally posted by britishboy
    Do the shares have a London Stock Exchange listing?
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 4th Mar 18, 9:55 PM
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    bowlhead99
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 18, 9:55 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 18, 9:55 PM
    X-o never used to offer share dealing in foreign markets, so I had assumed the US and Canadian tax forms on their site were only for if you had bought shares which happened to be US/Can based but listed on the London market, or if you ended up with such shares via a round-about route (e.g. you own a UK company, it gets taken over by a US one and part of the deal is you get some of their US shares)

    Do x-o actually offer foreign markets then? They don't advertise it, and it would be something new if they did because they have always been a no frills cheap execution only broker for buying things listed on the UK exchange only.

    Brokers that do offer foreign markets include IG.com, interactive investor, AJ Bell You invest and others.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 5th Mar 18, 9:14 AM
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    AnotherJoe
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:14 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:14 AM
    The wording i posted implies they do trade foreign shares since it says "if you wish to invest in US shares" rather than, say "if you wish to sell US shares". I dont know that they do, just going from their wording. OP should ask them !
    If the shares are listed on a UK exchange then they effectively arent US shares, you'd be buying in Sterling in the UK so a W8BEN wouldnt be needed.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 5th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
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    bowlhead99
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    I dont know that they do, just going from their wording. OP should ask them !
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    Fair comment.

    As they don't advertise investing in foreign markets (not that they advertise much of anything) I was assuming they still don't offer that, as they didn't in the past. Perhaps the wording should be "if you want to be invested in..." rather than "if you want to invest in..." US shares...
    If the shares are listed on a UK exchange then they effectively arent US shares, you'd be buying in Sterling in the UK so a W8BEN wouldnt be needed.
    I don't want to insult you by implying you don't know what a W8BEN is used for but it is possible for an investment in a US company to generate US source FDAP income regardless of the currency in which its shares are quoted.

    -edit-
    You may have heard of IBM which is a company with a London listing and a market cap of over a hundred billion quid. That one happens to be quoted in dollars but you can't say "they are listed on a UK exchange then they effectively aren't US shares". The CEO of IBM would beg to differ. You are buying common stock of a US corporation. They have a UK ticker so there would be no issue buying them through x-o.co.uk or anyone else who lets you trade on the main London market.

    Across AIM and main market you'll find over 30 US and Canadian incorporated companies, the total market cap of their London-listed shares is over a third of a trillion pounds.
    Last edited by bowlhead99; 05-03-2018 at 9:51 AM.
    • britishboy
    • By britishboy 5th Mar 18, 10:03 AM
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    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:03 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:03 AM
    Do the shares have a London Stock Exchange listing?
    Originally posted by Thrugelmir
    No they dont (pretty sure anyway). Am I allowed to say the companies name on here?
    • britishboy
    • By britishboy 5th Mar 18, 10:07 AM
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    britishboy
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:07 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:07 AM
    have you completed a W-8BEN form?

    US Stocks - Important Documentation

    W-8BEN form - if you wish to invest in US shares, you will need to complete a W-8BEN form before you can trade. This form ensures that you are afforded the appropriate tax relief on any income that is paid to you. Please refer below for additional links:


    (this is from X-o)


    It may be that they dont show you US shares until youve done that. What are the sh`res? Are they "mainstream"?
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    I havent completed a W-8BEN form yet no, I'll speak to X-O this afternoon and go from there, many thanks AnotherJoe.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 5th Mar 18, 10:10 AM
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    bowlhead99
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:10 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:10 AM
    No they dont (pretty sure anyway).
    Originally posted by britishboy
    So you can only buy them from a broker that places trades on the specific foreign stock exchange on which they are listed. As you suggest, best to speak to X-O to see if they deal on that exchange before you go filling out forms etc.

    Am I allowed to say the companies name on here?
    Yes.
    • britishboy
    • By britishboy 5th Mar 18, 10:14 AM
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    britishboy
    So you can only buy them from a broker that places trades on the specific foreign stock exchange on which they are listed. As you suggest, best to speak to X-O to see if they deal on that exchange before you go filling out forms etc.


    Yes.
    Originally posted by bowlhead99
    Thanks bowlhead, will give them a call later.

    The company is Sierra Oncology
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 5th Mar 18, 11:14 AM
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    bowlhead99
    OK so you want to know if you can use their account service to trade small companies ($100m market capitalisation, $2 a share) on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Let us know what the answer is as I'm happy to be proven wrong if they have started offering that service now - I might even open an account with them myself.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 5th Mar 18, 11:44 AM
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    AnotherJoe
    Fair comment.

    As they don't advertise investing in foreign markets (not that they advertise much of anything) I was assuming they still don't offer that, as they didn't in the past. Perhaps the wording should be "if you want to be invested in..." rather than "if you want to invest in..." US shares...
    I don't want to insult you by implying you don't know what a W8BEN is used for but it is possible for an investment in a US company to generate US source FDAP income regardless of the currency in which its shares are quoted.

    -edit-
    You may have heard of IBM which is a company with a London listing and a market cap of over a hundred billion quid. That one happens to be quoted in dollars but you can't say "they are listed on a UK exchange then they effectively aren't US shares". The CEO of IBM would beg to differ. You are buying common stock of a US corporation. They have a UK ticker so there would be no issue buying them through x-o.co.uk or anyone else who lets you trade on the main London market.

    Across AIM and main market you'll find over 30 US and Canadian incorporated companies, the total market cap of their London-listed shares is over a third of a trillion pounds.
    Originally posted by bowlhead99
    Every day is a learning day

    However i think we are talking at cross purposes.

    If I look up IBM on HL for example, i get this
    ==========================================

    International Business Machines Corp (IBM) Com Stk USD0.20 (CDI) (View Factsheet)

    Sell:
    $154.46
    | Buy: $154.48 | $0.66 (0.43%) | Ex-dividend


    Market closed | Prices as at close on 02 March 2018

    =======================================

    Note - market closed. eg I'd be buying US shares on a US stock exchange.

    And if I look up IBM on HL without ticking "overseas" nothing is found. So they regard it as overseas.
    If its merely a "convenience" listing and its bought and sold only in dollars on a US market then to all intents and purposes it is a US share. So fair enough you'd need a W8 in that case.
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 05-03-2018 at 11:49 AM.
    • Lokolo
    • By Lokolo 5th Mar 18, 1:45 PM
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    Lokolo
    OK so you want to know if you can use their account service to trade small companies ($100m market capitalisation, $2 a share) on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Let us know what the answer is as I'm happy to be proven wrong if they have started offering that service now - I might even open an account with them myself.
    Originally posted by bowlhead99
    ^^ from what I recall they don't. But like you, they may well offer this service.

    Charles Stanley Direct offer trades on the "main" US, Canadian and European exchanges. HL also do. But there is a much larger cost to trading on these.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 5th Mar 18, 1:50 PM
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    bowlhead99
    And if I look up IBM on HL without ticking "overseas" nothing is found. So they regard it as overseas.
    If its merely a "convenience" listing and its bought and sold only in dollars on a US market then to all intents and purposes it is a US share. So fair enough you'd need a W8 in that case.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    Maybe that is a bad example with IBM but what you are looking at there is a Crest Depositary Interest made available on the London market and representing one share of common stock as also traded in New York and Chicago and Paris or Switzerland. There is a 1:1 relationship between what is traded in London and the underlying US instrument because the units settling through Crest (our local UK clearing system) represent actual stock held by the depositary in the US clearing system.

    So, you don't need a broker who can access the New York market, you can use a broker who can access the UK market, but it's still US basically stock of a US corporation and you should fill out a US tax form to minimise withholding taxes.

    A different example would be relative minnow, Avesoro Resources. A Canadian company that's listed on the Toronto exchange but also on London's AIM. You can buy it for a little over 2 GBP a share in London or for more like 4 CAD in Toronto. If you went to a broker who could only deal on the London exchange he would buy it for you in London but it's the same share as what's listed in Canada and he doesn't need to have access to the Toronto exchange to buy and sell. Still, you should fill out a Canada tax form as you'd be buying a part of a Canadian company.

    So, a) you can access certain foreign listed companies through their listings on the UK stock exchanges without needing to find someone who can deal in New York or Toronto; b) tax forms are available for you to mitigate your exposure to foreign income taxes but that doesn't mean your UK broker who offers the forms to you will also offer the service of buying or selling any shares on foreign stock markets.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 5th Mar 18, 2:38 PM
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    AnotherJoe

    A different example would be relative minnow, Avesoro Resources. A Canadian company that's listed on the Toronto exchange but also on London's AIM. You can buy it for a little over 2 GBP a share in London or for more like 4 CAD in Toronto. If you went to a broker who could only deal on the London exchange he would buy it for you in London but it's the same share as what's listed in Canada and he doesn't need to have access to the Toronto exchange to buy and sell. Still, you should fill out a Canada tax form as you'd be buying a part of a Canadian company.

    So, a) you can access certain foreign listed companies through their listings on the UK stock exchanges without needing to find someone who can deal in New York or Toronto; b) tax forms are available for you to mitigate your exposure to foreign income taxes but that doesn't mean your UK broker who offers the forms to you will also offer the service of buying or selling any shares on foreign stock markets.
    Originally posted by bowlhead99
    You are correct.

    Because if i attempt to buy US shares HL wont let me unless i have previously lodged a W8 with them. And now I have, when i try i get a message "because you've filled out a W8 you can buy.."

    I just attempted to buy Avesoro Resources and see the same such message but for Canada specifically I think (because i dont get that message for IBM or any other US share having already done one)

    As I said, every day is a learning day, thank you
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 05-03-2018 at 2:50 PM.
    • Economic
    • By Economic 5th Mar 18, 4:44 PM
    • 247 Posts
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    Economic
    Sierra Oncology is available on IG.
    • britishboy
    • By britishboy 5th Mar 18, 8:09 PM
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    britishboy
    Thanks everyone

    Economic, I spread bet with IG so have opened a share dealing account with them, took me 5 minutes, perfect!

    Thanks again
    • shreya
    • By shreya 6th Mar 18, 7:36 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    shreya
    have you completed a W-8BEN form?

    US Stocks - Important Documentation

    W-8BEN form - if you wish to invest in US shares, you will need to complete a W-8BEN form before you can trade. This form ensures that you are afforded the appropriate tax relief on any income that is paid to you. Please refer below for additional links:


    (this is from X-o)


    It may be that they dont show you US shares until youve done that. What are the sh`res? Are they "mainstream"?
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    Are there any other forms that i need to fill out in the beginning?
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 6th Mar 18, 8:34 AM
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    AnotherJoe
    The broker will tell you.

    Main thing regarding trading in foreign shares, if you do it a lot, is can you keep the money in that currency.

    Eg say you buy share A in $. There will be a cost to change your £ to $. When you sell share A, if you intend to buy share B which is also in $, what you want is that the proceeds from A remain in $ so you can buy B directly with those $ rather than be converted back to £ and then converted back to $ to buy B, since there's a loss on every conversion.

    I know iii do this possibly not all brokers do. I also don't think you can do that inside a SIPP or an ISA.
    • shreya
    • By shreya 6th Mar 18, 9:00 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    shreya
    As above, I use X-O to buy uk shares but want to buy some in a US based company, but they donít come up when I search to buy them through X-O

    Howís best to buy US shares please?
    Originally posted by britishboy
    Staying in the UK and buying shares in the US can be a challenging task due to the time difference. Thats why i would recommend a trading app since you can set alerts and try triggers which activate when certain specifications are met.
    It can turn out to be quite helpful!
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