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International Investing

Sept. 2, 2011

More Americans are investing in international investments or in domestic investments that give them an international exposure than ever before. Although most foreign stocks trade in the U.S. markets as American depositary receipts (ADRs), some foreign companies list their stock directly here as well as in their local market. Many foreign companies are registered and file reports with the SEC, and many more are unregistered and trade in the over-the-counter market. Investors also can purchase stock directly on foreign markets.  In addition, Americans can also gain international exposure by investing in U.S.-registered mutual funds or ETFs that hold international investments in their portfolio.

For more information on the basics of international investing, including the risks of investing internationally and how to get more information about foreign companies and markets, please read our investor bulletin on international investing.

The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has provided this information as a service to investors.  It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy.  If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.