Millennials are witnessing a free flow of capital across geographical boundaries.
You can invest in foreign companies not listed in India with just a few clicks. Investors are taking their portfolios global and investment platforms are bringing in facilities for the investors to invest globally. US stock markets are leading the race when we talk about global investing.
If you are also keen to include global stocks in your portfolio, you need to open a Demat account with a service provider that allows global investments.
Stockal and Vested are two dedicated foreign investment platforms that allow investors to invest in US equities and ETFs. Check these platforms to find which one’s more suitable for you.
Stockal is ideally suited for investors looking to invest directly in US stock markets or through ETFs. Currently, it only allows investments in US stocks. Other markets are in the pipeline, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Africa and other countries in the Middle East.
Through Stockal, you can invest in 1000+ companies listed in US stock exchanges like NASDAQ or NYSE. Stockal acts as a 3-in-1 account, i.e., trading, Demat and bank account. Further, it also allows fractional investing. Here are some of the features of Stockal that are worth discussing:
Stacks: These are carefully curated and ready-made thematic portfolios. These require a minimum investment amount and are actively managed by professional fund managers.
Cash Management: Investing in US companies requires you to invest US Dollars. While the stock brokers usually provide a currency conversion facility, Stockal allows you to save, spend and invest in US Dollars. Through its cash management services, you can earn interest on your Dollars.
Global: This subscription plan is free and provides unlimited investing power. However, it offers limited stacks, and the commission charges are 5 cents per share.
Global Plus: This subscription plan costs Rs. 9,999 annually and has unlimited investing power. Further, it offers a dedicated hotline for customer support. The commission charges are 1 cent per share, and it also offers in-depth research benefit that includes the following:
Zacks for analyst rating
TipRanks for insider transactions and price target
Morningstar for ETF holdings and rating
Pros and Cons of Stockal
Following are the pros and cons of Stockal that investors should know before using the platform:
Stockal has a clearly defined charge and commission structure. It offers 2 different plans, i.e., global and global plus.
Commission charges are high for the basic plan. Further, support services are restricted.
Premium users can avail of support services from a dedicated support helpline and email and 24×7 support.
It does not allow investing in other investment avenues like IPOs, derivatives, bonds etc.
It has unique features like stacks and cash management.
Resources are limited when it comes to market analysis and updates.
Vested is another dedicated foreign investment platform that allows investors to invest in US equities. Like Vested, Stockal is also a 3-in-1 account that provides trading, Demat and bank account facility in a single platform. Following are the investment options that Vested provides to the investors:
Stocks: Vested allows you to invest in 1000+ companies listed in NASDAQ and NYSE. Further, it also allows you to invest in fractional shares. Thus, you can invest for as low as $1.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): You can invest in US ETFs if willing to diversify your portfolio. Vested provides you with the opportunity to invest in 100+ ETFs.
Vests: Vests are similar to stacks in Stockal, i.e., ready-made and carefully curated portfolios that professional fund managers actively manage.
Basic: This subscription plan is free of cost. However, it comes with zero free withdrawals. Further, vest portfolio purchase fees are 0.5% of the investment amount (maximum up to $3), and the number of accessible vests is 7. The basic plan does not include certain features like Alphascreener, investment in OTC securities, or access to premium support.
Premium: This subscription costs Rs. 4500 per year and comes with unlimited free withdrawals in case of fund transfers via Vested Direct and two free withdrawals in case of fund transfers via traditional banks. The vest portfolio purchase fee is zero, and ten vests are accessible in the premium plan. Further, it also provides access to restricted features like Alphascreener, OTC securities investment and access premium support.
Pros and Cons of Vested
The following are some of the pros and cons of Vested that investors should be aware of:
It offers zero-commission trades
It does not offer investment options in different avenues like IPOs, derivatives, bonds etc.
It offers unique features like Vests.
Withdrawal charges are $5 per withdrawal, which is a bit expensive.
The charges and commission structure is transparent. It offers two different plans, i.e., basic and premium.
It allows you to set alerts for events like company announcements, news, stock movements, board meetings etc.
You can access various tools and features like analyst updates, market screeners, research articles etc.
In a Nutshell
Stockal and Vested are dedicated investment platforms providing the opportunity to invest in foreign companies. The US is home to some of the world’s largest corporations, whose products have become integral to our lives.
Be it Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon or entertainment and social media platforms like Netflix, Facebook etc. – all these companies have one thing in common. They have global operations. Therefore, investing in US companies means investing in the world.
One of the key benefits Vested holds over Stockal is that it charges lower fees than Stockal regarding subscription plans. Further, Vested offers zero commission trading, which is not available in the Stockal. Therefore, if you want to go for an affordable foreign investment platform, then vest your interest in Vested.