The US stock markets are the most liquid and highly traded of all, but if you’re an investor or trader wondering how to buy US stocks in Malaysia, there are a few things you will want to know in order to do so safely.
We have put together this simple guide on how to buy US shares in Malaysia that will help take you through the most important elements.
The actual process of buying US stocks in Malaysia is similar to buying stocks in any other country but there are a few key differences that you should be aware of.
In this easy to understand guide, we will take you through what you need to know on how to buy US stocks in Malaysia; as well as some of the reasons why you might want to, some of the risks involved, and the costs to trade in these International markets (including tax considerations).
You can jump to any of those sections by using the links below:
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Process Of Buying US stocks in Malaysia
MINIMUM DEPOSIT – $200
REGULATION – LFSA, FCA, CySEC, FSCA
> Trade US Stocks Commission Free
The actual process of buying stocks in Malaysia is one that may seem straight forward to experienced investors, but if you are just getting started out as a beginner, the below steps will guide you through it in simple terms.
- The first thing you need to do to buy US stocks in Malaysia is open a brokerage account with a broker that offers access to US markets. Not all brokers offer this, so it’s important to check in advance (hint: we have helped you out with this below and you can jump to that list here).
- Once you’ve opened your account, you’ll need to fund it either with Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) or USD (US Dollar). As the underlying US stocks to buy from Malaysia will be priced in USD, it is easier to operate your account in USD also.
- After your account is funded, you can start to buy US stocks in Malaysia with very little trouble. To do this, you’ll need to place a buy order through your broker which is best done as a limit order. This means that the order will not go through if the price is above the limit you set, but if the price is below the limit order, you will be delivered the stocks at the best possible price. We have a guide on the different order types you may want to consider when opening or closing a position.
Note : When placing your order, you’ll need to specify the ticker symbol of the stock you want to buy, as well as the number of shares. We have an article relating to the main information you will need relating to the US indexes and stock exchanges.
How To Buy US Stocks In Malaysia Checklist
- Find a stock broker in Malaysia (or CFD trading platform) that offers US stocks
- Open an account and have it approved
- Make a deposit, ideally in USD to avoid ongoing currency exchange
- Go ahead and buy or trade US stocks in Malaysia (setting up appropriate buy order)
That is the simple process for how to buy US stocks from Malaysia. Once you have taken care of the buy side, executing the sale of stocks just involves the action in step 4 of the checklist but in reverse (setting up sell order, ideally using limit order). Assuming you know exactly what US stocks to buy, and how the market works, the above steps will serve you just fine.
This process itself however is not the first thing you will need to do when buying stocks but the steps to take once you know how the market works, what your tax liabilities and costs to trade would be, and which specific stocks you wish to buy or invest in.
What to consider when you are investing in US stocks
Firstly, it is important to note that the US stock market is much larger and considerably more liquid than the Malaysian stock market.
This means that there is a greater variety of stocks to choose from, and it is easier to buy and sell stocks.
It will also mean a greater degree of difficulty in picking the best US stocks to buy from Malaysia as your choice is so great.
Do not forget to consider taxation
It’s important to remember that when you buy US stocks, you’re subject to taxes if you buy the actual asset. If you going to trade US stocks in Malaysia that could be negated depending on how you trade and whether you are using leveraged equities, CFD trading, or other contract types. So be sure to factor this in when making your investment decisions.
Another key difference is the time that the US markets are open locally. The US stock market opens at 9:30 am EST, which is 9:30 pm Malaysian time.
This means that you will need to be online and trading during these hours if you want to buy US stocks live, or alternatively you can set up your buy order to execute upon market opening even if you are away from your account. This will complete the order at a pre-defined price that you agree to, assuming you set a limit price order for the stocks.
Not all stock brokers are created equal, so it is vital to evaluate the fee structure of the various types.
Finally, it is important to note that the fees and commissions for buying US stocks in Malaysia with a local broker will usually be higher than if you were buying Malaysian stocks or ETFs. This is because the brokerages need to make money somehow, and they do this by charging higher fees for International trading.
If you invest in US stocks from Malaysia with an International broker or trading platform, usually you can do this without a per trade transaction cost, and commission-free. The broker or trading platform would then typically make money with the ‘spread’, which is a small difference in the price of the US stocks.
To recap, you will want to consider the below shortlist before investing in US stocks in Malaysia to make sure the market is right for you:
- Choice and Liquidity Levels
- Tax considerations
- Time difference of market operations
- Broker commissions/fee structure differences
Despite these differences, buying US stocks in Malaysia is still a relatively easy process. We have broken down some US stock market essentials in a separate article, so if you would like more detailed information on the various US exchanges and indices feel free to jump over there.
Once you know the basics, this is an example of something you learn once, but then becomes very easy thereafter.
Why buy US shares in Malaysia?
There are many benefits of investing in US stocks from Malaysia. For one, the US stock market is much larger and more liquid than the Malaysian stock market. This means that there are more opportunities to find profitable investments, and it is easier to sell your investments when you want to exit.
You can see below the market capitalization of US listed stocks on major exchanges are making up both position 1 and 2 on the global ranking list. This list is sorted in size of market cap of global stock exchanges.
Another benefit is that the US dollar is a stronger currency than the Malaysian Ringgit. This means that your investment value could act as a buffer against inflation and help you grow your wealth over time, depending on how the currency values change.
Finally, investing in US stocks can help diversify your portfolio and reduce your overall risk. By investing in different asset classes, you can mitigate the effects of any one investment going sour. This can help you weather the ups and downs of the market and come out ahead in the long run.
Diversifying your portfolio by investing in US stocks from Malaysia
Diversification is a key component of any successful investment strategy. By spreading your stock investments across a range of different asset classes, you can reduce your overall risk and protect your portfolio from volatility.
Diversifying your stocks portfolio by investing in US stocks from Malaysia will also give you access to a wider range of investment opportunities in the largest global economy.
By considering several different companies and economies, you can target different growth areas and sectors. This gives you the chance to better balance your investments over the long term and potentially profit from the growth that has historically been seen in the US stock markets.
What Are The Risks When You Buy US Stocks In Malaysia?
When you buy US stocks in Malaysia, you are exposed to the same general risks as if you were investing in any other country but potentially more localised to the US economy.
For large multinational listed companies, and those that have global operations, the risk is more aligned with global trends as their trade takes place in many different Countries. The effect then of each of these will play some part in the performance of the underlying company.
With some of the smaller cap US stocks out there, they are more likely (although not always) going to be more aligned with US economic health than purely global, as their trade is generally more localised
More generalized risks remain political, economic, and currency risk.
Political risk is the risk that the government may change its policies or regulations in a way that adversely affects your investment. This applies to the US government, and any Countries that are particularly important to the business of the stock you are considering investing in.
Economic risk is the risk that the country’s economy may deteriorate, potentially affecting the value of your investment. There is some variance in sectors here quite a bit. A company which is in consumer discretionary sector for example is more likely to struggle during recessionary periods when consumer savings balances are low than a consumer staples business that trades in the essentials.
Currency risk is the risk that the Malaysian currency may appreciate against the US dollar, making your investment worth less in Malaysian terms once you sell and exchange back. Currency risk can be hedged in some ways with appropriate forex trading strategies.
How to Work With Risk Within Your US Stock Portfolio
If you’re considering investing in US stocks from Malaysia, you will want to know the full range of risks involved. While the potential rewards are great, there is always the chance of losing money.
Second, consider using a diversified portfolio to spread your risk. This can help you protect your investment and maximize your chances of success.
Third, depending on your goals, you will want to monitor your investments periodically. The stock market can be volatile, and it’s important to stay on top of your investments to make sure they are performing as you expect.
The duration of your stocks holding can impact how you might want to manage risk
If you are investing in US stocks from Malaysia for the long-term and in companies that you believe will continue to grow over the next 5 to 10 years, then this constant monitoring is less important of course. The peaks and troughs of a market generally are not necessarily something to fear with a well thought out plan and a group of solid companies.
If your goal is to day trade US stocks in Malaysia, then you will likely already be glued to your trading screens and platform, and this monitoring is going to be a regular part of your day.
To mitigate these risks, you should diversify your portfolio by investing in a variety of different stocks and assets. You should also carefully research the companies you are considering investing in and monitor their financial performance.
Costs of Investing In US stocks from Malaysia – Brokerage Fee & More
Whilst investing in US stocks can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and get exposure to some of the world’s leading companies, there are a few things you should know about the costs involved.
One of the main costs of investing in US stocks is commission fees. The brokerage fee Malaysia platforms charge is usually for each trade that you make, and can add up quickly if you’re an active trader.
Fortunately, there are a number of discount brokerages that offer low or no commission fees, so it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal. Keeping your brokerage fee in Malaysia down to a minimum is a challenge, but one we are happy to help with. You will find some low cost brokers in the stock brokers list below that will help you trade US stocks from Malaysia with lowest costs.
Another cost to consider is the currency exchange rate. If you’re investing in US stocks using Malaysian Ringgit, you’ll need to convert your money into US dollars first. This can add an extra cost to your investment, so it’s important to factor in the exchange rate when making your investment decisions.
Finally, you may also need to pay taxes on any gains you make from investing in US stocks.
Capital gains tax rates vary depending on your status so it is important to check the rules from a recognized tax professional. If you buy US stocks in Malaysia and hold them through the issuing of dividends, then you will be liable for dividend taxes, which are typically treated differently from profit on the net sale value and could be deducted at the source.
You could choose with some online brokers to roll the dividends straight into new shares in the same company and in which case you are not receiving immediate payment.
Despite the costs, investing in US stocks can be a great way to grow your portfolio and still largely remain cheaper on transactional fees than local markets. Just be sure to do your research and understand the costs involved before making any investment decisions.
List Of Best Stock Brokers Malaysia To Buy US Stocks
MINIMUM DEPOSIT – $200
REGULATION – ASIC, FCA, CySEC, DFSA, CMA
Pepperstone offer more than 60 different US stocks to buy from Malaysia via CFDs at super low spreads. This is a broker that has multi assets available to trade under one roof and with the support of numerous Tier 1 regulators in FCA, and ASIC.
For a safe place to trade US stocks in Malaysia, you will not go far wrong with Pepperstone.
MINIMUM DEPOSIT – $100
REGULATION – FCA, CySEC
You find in Libertex Malaysia a European broker with a strong regulatory framework and a newly added stream of US stocks to buy in Malaysia with 0% commissions either as real stocks, or via CFDs. Whilst Libertex was historically more of a CFD broker that offered a range of forex, commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies to trade; it is in the realm of stocks that the broker is beginning to make a name locally.
The Libertex trading app is a great entry way for Malaysian users to begin trading US stocks either with or without leverage. The app is user friendly, very easy to start with, and your account can be up and running within what seems like no time at all.
It is a huge advantage to be able to trade US stocks from Malaysia on the same stock trading platform as you can trade all your other assets, as this greatly minimizes administration and cross platform transfers which usually all cost money. If you at in doubt about the Libertex reviews, start with a free demo account and test the trading app first before deciding whether this is going to be for you.
MINIMUM DEPOSIT – $100
REGULATION – CySEC, FCA
Skilling is another global operating European broker regulated by CySEC and registered with the FCA in the UK. As a CFD trading platform Malaysia, Skilling offer a really wide range of stocks CFDs available for you to trade US stocks, as well as many other international markets simultaneously.
The current range of stocks available to trade is more than 700, which will give you plenty of opportunity to trade US stocks in Malaysia with low spreads, on a user friendly but feature rich platform.
Minimum deposits with Skilling are set at $100 for the standard account, which will allow you to begin trading for real; or you can go ahead and take advantage of the free demo account offered to get familiar with the platform before depositing.
MINIMUM DEPOSIT – $200
REGULATION – ASIC, FCA, CySEC, FSA, NBRB
The volume of US shares to buy in Malaysia on Capital com is now up over 1000, with more than 5000+ global stocks available to trade on a single platform. This is a stock trading broker that has won numerous awards for its’ trading platform Malaysia users will likely love.
There are a vast array of educational resources on Capital com, supplemented by trading guides, market analysis, and a very competitive full range of assets and instruments to trade.
If you like some variety in your trading, and would like to consider other stock markets to trade in from Malaysia such as UK, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and many others; you will find that support at Capital com.
MINIMUM DEPOSIT – $200
REGULATION – LFSA, FCA, CySEC, FSCA
This is a locally LFSA regulated broker with a forex trading history and a diverse range of trading assets including US stocks in Malaysia. The recent addition of more than 100 US stocks makes Tickmill a definite inclusion on this list, especially in light of the International, and local regulation protection.
We have analyzed Tickmill broker in great detail for a range of products and their service is always excellent, supplemented by a high level and advanced trading platform.
There is a bonus of $30 offered for signing up with Tickmill Malaysia that is offered risk free, and this is a truly great way to begin trading in US stocks from Malaysia with all the upside potential but without the capital risk. Get the Tickmill Bonus Here.
MINIMUM DEPOSIT – $200
REGULATION – ASIC, FCA, CySEC, DFSA, CMA
This brand you may recognize before the relaunch when it was known as Vantage FX Malaysia, but now the FX has dropped and been replaced with ‘markets’. This is a sign of a broker that is moving its’ focus away from just forex and diversifying into stocks, cryptocurrency, and CFD trading in Malaysia in general.
Vantage Markets is a broker with a strong history, and good track record in the South East Asia, as well as Internationally and this diversification is good news for all Malaysian stock traders interested in a known platform.
With Vantage Markets Malaysia you can find up to 500:1 leverage, US stocks CFDs and a 50% welcome bonus to get started. The platform still offers the same lightning fast execution and negative balance protection that we have come to expect, and we are happy to see other things changing for the better.
If you would like to take advantage of the Vantage Markets bonus in Malaysia, feel free to click here to gain access and begin to set up your account. Otherwise, feel free to select another broker that might be more suited to your own individual requirements.
Local & International Brokers That Offer US Stocks Investments Will Differ Somewhat
One important factor you must consider when buying US stocks in Malaysia is whether to go through a local or an international broker.
A local broker may be more convenient as they are regulated by the Malaysian Securities Commission, and you may feel more comfortable dealing with someone based in Malaysia. However, an international broker may offer greater choice and access to US stocks, and there are also international brokers with local offices.
Another factor to weigh up is the fees charged by the broker. Local brokers typically charge higher fees than international brokers, so it is worth shopping around to compare rates.
You should also consider whether you want to use a broker that offers online trading or one that requires you to place trades over the phone.