When looking to diversify one’s investment portfolio, don’t be surprised if your financial advisor recommends for you to add some foreign-based equity shares. Today, global trading now includes financial opportunities to invest in equity shares of publicly-traded companies in other countries. In the past several years, one such country that has gained high repute as a source of healthy foreign investments is Malaysia.
Although the country did not escape the difficulties that nations went through during the initial year of the global pandemic, Malaysia remains as a viable source of sound investment opportunities. The country after all, has an abundance of highly skilled, English-speaking citizens making up the workforces of domestic businesses; factors that helped the country land the number 12 spot in the World Bank’s 2020 ranking of 190 economies. Actually, Malaysia’s ranking upped by 3 spots, as it was previously ranked as15th in World Bank’s 2019 assessment.
Still, being a predominantly Muslim country with almost three-fifths of its population adhering and practicing the teachings of Islamic faith, the Malaysian government has substantial discretionary powers in managing investment projects, including those involving direct foreign investments.
Take note that foreign direct investments (FDIs) are different from investing in foreign stocks. FDIs entail infusing capital funds that would make a foreign investor the owner or part-owner of a foreign-based business.
Accessing Foreign Markets via International Exchange-Traded Funds I(ETFs)
While there are several ways by which an investor can access foreign stocks, one of the most common approaches is by way of International Exchange Traded Funds or (IETFs). Basically, ETFs gives investors exposure to multiple markets because a single
ETF contract comprises several types of investments e.g. stocks, bonds, commodities or a combination of investment types. IETFs therefore focus on different marketable securities listed in the financial markets of a foreign country, let’s say in Malaysia. Like any type of equity securities, IETFs can be traded as regular investment products in financial markets outside of Malaysia
Yet when planning to trade with IETFs, you must first consider a number of factors that can influence the viability of your foreign investments. Aside from trading costs, fees and trading volumes, you should also take a look at the liquidity and portfolio holdings of the company from where you will buy IETFs.
Trading with Foreign Equity Securities Online
It is also possible to invest on foreign equity securities by way of an online trading platform. In Malaysia for example, investors can participate in the financial markets through representation of a licensed broker. However, not all online brokers operating from Malaysia are guaranteed as reputable and licensed.
Nonetheless, AskTraders Analyst Team has performed a review of Malaysia’s leading online securities trading platform, Rakuten Trading, to give you an idea of what to expect.
AskTrader’s Rakuten Trade review discloses that this broker is the holder of a restricted Capital Markets Services Licence (CMSL) issued by Malaysia’s Securities Commission. As a matter of fact, Rakuten enjoys the prestige of being a multi-award-winning equity broker, while having the distinction of being the first of its kind in the country’s financial trading industry.
Moreover, it is well liked by many because it offers the lowest fees, while allowing idle cash in trading accounts to earn interests.
Rakuten’s most recent award in addition to the many recognitions it has received since inception, is the 2018 Malaysia FinTech Award for being the FinTech Company of the Year. Still there have been instances when the trading platform of this broker became the subject of several complaints regarding trade orders that were not executed; albeit already locked-in as transactions of some affected customers.