written by reader Is there a tutorial somewhere on how to trade international stocks?

By indimod, March 11, 2021

I don’t remember why, but I made myself a note to check out Merck KGaA (the German company, not the US Merck).
I looked at my broker (TD Ameritrade) and found it under 2 symbols, MKKGY and MKGAF. They are both associated with the right company, but have different prices. One ticker symbol seems to be an ADR, the other not? I don’t really understand international stock trading all that well. I know Travis does it often and sometimes mentions he uses some special broker for it. I’m wondering with my regular TD Ameritrade (or alternatively an E Trade account), how should one trade international stocks, especially in a situation like this where there are 2 ticker symbols? I’m basically looking for an ‘international trading 101’ tutorial/primer. Maybe Travis wrote about that somewhere? Or some other resource? Pointers appreciated.

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March 13, 2021 11:03 am

Hi. I’m not an international stock trader outside of what’s available for trading through my US brokerage account, but I know that Travis uses Interactive Brokers for foreign trades based on miscellaneous responses to Gumshoer inquiries. If you type “Interactive Brokers” in the Search Bar, you’ll see what I mean. Not a formal tutorial, but you’ll pick up some good-to-know pointers as you surf through responses. Here’s a sample copy/paste (rather than providing several links):

Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
September 25, 2020 9:06 pm
Reply to chengunlam
I recommend and use Interactive Brokers for trading in overseas markets.

And yes, there is some addition risk in buying ADRs versus buying in the home exchange… but other than price illiquidity or unfairness I think investors tend to overstate those risks. Just keep in mind that if you ever want to sell in a hurry, it is far easier to do so on a company’s home exchange. Buying is easy, selling can be harder.

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