How can Aussies invest in US shares?

Aussie trading us shares on brokerage platform

Are you an Australian investor looking to trade shares in the US shares? It’s not hard to see why you’d be interested—McDonald's, Apple, Coca-Cola, and a hundred other recognisable brands all trade on the American stock market. Not only that but getting access to the world's biggest stock markets can help you to diversify your portfolio. 

But are Aussies even allowed to invest in the US stock market? In short, yes. The US stock market allows international investors to buy in. However, there are a couple of things that you want to keep in mind before you get started.

Brokerage platforms

Brokerage platforms let you buy and sell shares on a wide range of markets, with Australian investors most frequently gaining access to either the Australian or US stock markets.

Not all brokerage platforms let you invest in US stocks, so make sure you double-check. Some of the trading apps that are currently offering access to the US stock market include:

Other ways of buying US shares: ETFs and Managed Funds

If you’re less keen to invest in individual stocks, ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and managed funds can also be a good option. The benefit is that they’ll buy a large basket of stocks (and sometimes bonds and property too) so you don’t have to worry about picking and researching individual companies. 

This is best exemplified by Jack Vogel, the founder of investment management company Vanguard, who said “Don't look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack”. 

ETFs and managed funds can also be helpful if you want to stay entirely within the ASX. This is because some ETFs buy international indexes, although these are usually excluding Australia if you buy them on the ASX, so you might have to buy two different kinds of ETFs. 

Do you pay US or Australian tax?

Investing in US shares as an Australian might have tax obligations if you earn dividends. Thankfully, Australia has a treaty with the US to prevent double taxation, so you don't have to pay the full 30% US withholding tax. 

When you receive a dividend from US shares, a 15% withholding tax is usually applied first. Remember that you'll need to complete a W8-BEN form, or you'll be subject to the full 30% withholding tax, plus any additional taxes owed to the Australian Tax Office.

How to get started trading

Once you know what kind of investing strategy you’re going for, the next thing you should do is find the platform you want to use. ETFs and shares are listed on the ASX (and/or Wall st). So all you have to do is sign up to a brokerage platform to get started. 

On the other hand, if you’re buying into a managed fund, then you’ll generally have to buy and sell units on the website. Whichever method you opt for, it’s always a good idea to first research the fund or company that you’re putting your money into, no matter how reputable the name.

Looking to start trading US stocks? At Mozo, we have comparisons on dozens of share trading platforms. Check out some in the table below.

Share account comparisons on Mozo

Mozo may receive payment if you click to the website of one of the products below. Mozo does not compare the entire market, but you can see more products by clicking on the ‘See more’ button under the table.
Last updated 21 July 2024Advertiser disclosure
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  • Tiger Account

    Small trade brokerage
    Monthly fee
    $5.50
    $0.00

    Tiger Brokers is an online broker listed on NASDAQ. It offers access to US, ASX & HK stocks, ETFs and US options trading. Mozo special offer for new users only: 7% p.a. on uninvested cash balance up to AUD 100,000 for the first 150 days, with a value up to AUD 2,877. Plus receive US$30 Tesla (TSLA) and US$30 NVIDIA (NVDA) shares with an accumulated deposit of at least AUD 2,000. T&Cs apply – for full details, go to the Tiger Brokers website.

    Details

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While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.