Learn before you leap into swirling waters of exotic markets
By Peter V O'Brien
Few New Zealand private investors have the time, knowledge and funds to enter international equity markets on their own account, with the exception of the UK and possibly the US.
While English is usually the language of commerce in many other countries, systems are different from those in English-speaking markets and assessment of companies often requires greater expertise.
Investors tend to use managed funds or deal with brokers who have, or can access, trading offices in the particular markets targeted for investment.
There are a host of international equity funds listed in The National Business Review's table of managed funds in this issue, operating either on a global mix of securities set against country benchmarks or specialising in particular regions.
The New Zealand Stock Exchange has several listed investment companies and trusts, usually overseas-based, making international equity investment relatively simple.
Major New Zealand brokers are part of worldwide networks and can access overseas colleagues with considerable knowledge of companies in the various regions and experience in dealing with individual markets.
It is not a good idea to jump into exotic markets unless the individual investor has expertise close to the professional.
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