You might find it hard to believe, but opening a brokerage account in the United States is one of the most versatile ways to invest in Asia.

A U.S. brokerage will only give you access to a small number of investment opportunities in Asia. But getting an account is far more convenient than hopping on a plane too.

The NASDAQ has the highest concentration of stocks in Asia outside of the continent itself. There’s 197 different stocks from China, Japan, India, the Philippines and more.

In fact, many companies headquartered in Asia don’t even list on their own country’s stock market. They often list on the NASDAQ or another exchange instead.

Major Chinese companies such as Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Home Inns (NASDAQ: HMIN), for example, are not yet listed on any stock exchange in Asia.

 

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Baidu, the largest search engine in China, is only listed on the NYSE.

 

ETFs and Mutual Funds Can Help You Invest in Asia

Besides that, the U.S. has lots of exchange traded funds (ETFs) listed too. You can invest in diversified funds made up of stocks from individual countries such as Malaysia (NYSEARCA: EWM) and Hong Kong (NYSEARCA: EWH).

Some ETFs short stocks or other assets, while others even use leverage. The ProShares UltraShort MSCI Japan (NYSEARCA: EWV) is one ETF which does both. They short Japanese equities with a 2x leverage.

Opening a U.S. brokerage account also lets you access stocks from around the world. You can trade European, South American, and of course U.S. stocks.

That’s certainly worth considering for anyone wanting to diversify outside of stocks in Asia.

With all of that said, ETFs are not the best way to invest in Asia. The region’s greatest opportunities aren’t found on a stock exchange – especially not New York’s.

It’s probably better to visit Asia yourself and find assets which aren’t as easily accessible. Barriers to entry are inconvenient, but they often hide the best investments.

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About Reid Kirchenbauer

Reid Kirchenbauer is the Founder of InvestAsian. He's an accomplished stock trader and property investor in Thailand, Cambodia, and many other places. He's been featured in publications such as Forbes, Nomad Capitalist, Property Report, and Seeking Alpha. Download his free investment guide by clicking here.

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