As an Indian, I always wondered how difficult or risky it may be to invest in international stocks. Say, I want to buy shares of Google, Apple or Facebook, how do I go about buying them?

While multiple options exist, each has its own drawbacks.

The first option is that you get in touch with your current broker who will handle the trade for you. Generally these brokers have tie-ups with various brokers across the globe. So the brokers will get in touch with their alliance and ask them to buy shares for you on your behalf. The transaction looks hassle free and while your broker will convince you so, you may not be aware of the tax implications which seem cumbersome and grey. Another problem area is the need to have different wills for each country where you have invested in to have a succession should you meet a calamity. Another option is to buy ETFs but that’s for another blogpost.

The best way which is also hassle free is to just invest in mutual funds which are aligned to global markets like the goldman sachs mutual fund. Such mutual funds are hassle free both in terms of ease of buying, perpetuity, management and taxation.