Many of my friends have asked me this question in the past few months: How can I invest in US Stock Market from UAE or How Do I buy the US Stocks?
I know why!! The US stock markets have peaked in the recent times.
In this post you will learn ‘how to buy US Stocks from UAE or Middle East.’
You will definitely know who Jeff Bezos is! He is the richest man on earth as of today.
And do you know how he is the richest man? Yes, he partly owns Amazon, the biggest e-commerce company. Jeff Bezos is the richest man because Amazon is listed on the US stock market and the total market capitalisation of Amazon as of writing this article is around US$ 1.55 Trillion!! Jeff Bezos owns roughly 16% of the US stock market and hence that makes him the richest man on the earth.
He is the richest man because Amazon is listed on the stock market and almost his entire net worth is tied to the stock value of Amazon stock.
10 year back Amazon shares were at 150$ per share. And today they are 3095$ per share. If you had invested 10000$ in September 2010, today that money would be 206000$; more than 20X your money.
Amazon is just one example! Companies like Google, Apple, and many other companies have given higher or similar returns.
I am not trying to persuade you to buy shares. I am trying to tell you the possibilities of enhancing your net worth over long periods of time.
The US Stock market is one of the best stock markets for return on investment. Many of the wealthy people I know in Dubai and UAE have some or the other connection with US stock markets by investing in companies such as Apple, Alphabet (Google), Tesla, Amazon and so on.
If you had just invested in S&P (Standard and Poors) Index, you would have the following returns:
That’s amazing returns for just parking your funds in the Index.
Well, now that you know what are the possibilities, I will teach you how to buy US Stocks.
But before that you may have doubts whether you as a foreigner can buyer US Stocks??
The answer is YES, you can.
Procedure for buying US Stocks:
To get started with investing in US stocks from UAE, you will require TWO things ready:
- A Brokerage Account (to buy and sell your stocks)
- Funds to buy shares
Top Brokerage Firms I use:
I spoke to few of my friends in US before I opened account. They mentioned they were using apps like Robinhood and Webull to trade and buy stocks. Unfortunately, these apps are not available if you live in UAE.
I instead found other online brokers where you could open accounts:
How to buy shares through Interactive Brokers?
My preferred way to buyer US shares is through Interactive Brokers. They are one of the cheapest and advanced stock brokers available and are completely online. At least 15 of my friends have opened account with them and have been able to buy and sell shares.
I do not trade in stocks. My style is to hold stocks for the long term. I thoroughly study the stock fundamentally and keep the long term perspective on company operations. When I am convinced that a stock can give me the kind of returns I am looking for in 10 years, I get into investing.
Why Interactive Brokers?
How to open account with Interactive Brokers?
Step 1: Visit Interactive Brokers site and click on Open Account link:
Step 2: Start Application:
Step 3: Continue with Application as you would normally do with any other account opening form:
When you have done with the process, you will require your Passport copy, Your visa, Your Emirates ID and DEWA (utility bill) for address proof.
Confirm your email which Interactive Brokers will send you:
Once you have completed these steps, it will take approximately 4-5 days for your account to be approved. Once your account is approved, you will be able to access your account and login.
The process is transparent.
Step 4: Log in to Your Interactive Brokers account:
Since I have enabled 2 Factor Authentication, an SMS or App is necessary to login to the system.
When you login, you will be presented with the following screen, which will list your available balance, returns on stocks etc:
How to US Buy Stocks on Interactive Brokers?
Interactive Brokers allows you to buy stocks from many markets including US, Canada, China, Europe, Japan etc.
When you have logged in, click on Trade button on the top right:
A separate, window will open to the right:
If you know the stock symbol you want to buy, enter in the ‘Enter a Symbol’ area. You can find the stock symbol from Google by simply searching for the company name + symbol.
In my example, I would like to buy Tesla. The symbol is TSLA.
There is a difference between all options like Limit Order, Market Order, and so on. Read what it is in the Interactive Brokers site.
I usually go for Limit Order or Market. Simply put, Limit Order means the price at which you are willing to buy or sell. Market order is the one where you are giving instructions to the system to buy or sell at current market prices.
When you are satisfied with your price, click Submit Buy Order. If the price matches under Limit order, it will be executed and you own the shares.
It’s that simple to buy your shares.
Method 2 to Buy US Stocks in UAE:
Another way for you to buy US Stocks is through a broker called: Firstrade
Step 1: Account Opening with Firstrade
Head over to Firstrade.com and click on Open Account:
Step 2: Click on For Non Citizen or non Resident of the US
I presume that you are a Non-US Citizen or non-resident of the US. Click on the Open International Account:
Step 3: Enter Your Details
In the following pages, please go as per the instructions and verify your phone. I tried receiving SMS but did not get. I opted for Phone Call and received instantly.
When you have done that, it will take at least 2-3 days for Firstrade to open your brokerage account.
Documents required to open US Stock Brokerage Account
The documentation required is quite minimal. You will/may require to submit the following information:
- Passport copy with valid residence visa page
- Utility bill or Bank statement to verify your address
Potential Questions that may be asked to you:
Since I am a resident of UAE and citizen of India, following questions were asked.
- Missing FTIN; Please provide the tax identification number issued by your country of residence.
- Please verify your citizenship. Please provide an explanation for residing outside of your country of citizenship.
- Please provide a proof of residential address, such as a copy of recent utility bill or bank account statement. You may upload the required documents on Firstrade website. (Customer Service > Form Center > Upload Form)
My responses to Firstrade queries:
- UAE (United Arab Emirates) does not have Personal Income Tax and we are not assigned any tax id here.
- My citizenship is India. I am an expatriate working in Dubai, UAE. Hence, I have to reside here.
- Please find attached the utility bill. (Attach or upload your utility bill to prove residence)
Once you have been approved, you will received following email:
Once your account is approved you will need to fund your account and start trading.
You have successfully opened your trading account. I wish you all the best. Investing can be a rewarding journey for you and your family.
I have also started a newsletter aimed at Investors where I write and speak about, investment fundamentals and particular stocks that I like. Please subscribe on Substack.
Disclosure: I am not a financial advisor. This post is not an advice to invest in stock market or any other financial instrument/s. This post is purely for educational purposes only.