It might be hard to believe, but opening a brokerage account in the United States is one of the more versatile ways to invest in Asia.

A U.S. brokerage account will only give you access to a small amount of investment opportunities in Asia. But it’s also far more convenient than hopping on a plane.

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 several more. The New York Stock Exchange has numerous international listings too, but the NASDAQ has even more.

In fact, some companies headquartered in Asia don’t even list on their own country’s stock market. They sometimes list on the NASDAQ instead.

Major Chinese companies such as Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Home Inns (NASDAQ: HMIN), for example, are not yet listed on any other 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 a large amount of exchange traded funds (ETFs). 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 and other assets, while others even use leverage. The ProShares UltraShort MSCI Japan (NYSEARCA: EWV) is one ETF which does both. It shorts Japanese equities with a 2x leverage.

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

This is definitely worth considering for those 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 best opportunities aren’t found on a stock exchange – especially not New York’s.

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

About Reid Kirchenbauer

Reid Kirchenbauer is the Founder of InvestAsian. He's experienced with trading stocks and buying property in Thailand, Cambodia, and elsewhere. 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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