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What are FAANG stocks and how do you invest in them from Australia?

Here's how to get your hands on some of the biggest tech companies in the world.

It's hard to talk about technology stocks without mentioning FAANG. These are some of the most successful and well-known global tech companies of the last decade. Because of their success, the FAANG stocks make up almost 15% of the entire S&P 500. And that's just in 5 companies.

FAANG stocks have become increasingly popular in Australia over the years because investors have become more aware of the big profit opportunities overseas companies offer.

While Australia’s major stock exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), is the 16th largest in the world by market capitalisation, it still represents just 2% of the world's total share market value. It's also heavily skewed toward the financial and mining sectors, which account for about 60% of the ASX 200 index.

This means that if Australian investors aren’t thinking globally when it comes to their investment decisions, they could be missing out on some huge opportunities. Some of the world’s biggest and most exciting companies – such as the FAANG stocks – will not be found on the ASX. However, it doesn’t mean Aussies can’t get in on them.

Can I buy FAANG stocks on the ASX?

No, you cannot directly buy the likes of Netflix, Google, Amazon or Facebook shares on the ASX.

These major tech companies are not listed in Australia but are instead listed on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 in the US.

The good news is that you can access these markets from Australia and buy these shares directly through an online broker that offers US stocks.

You can also access these stocks on the ASX via an exchange traded fund (ETF). We’ll tell you how to do this later in the guide.

What is the Nasdaq?

The Nasdaq Stock Market is an American stock exchange. It's second only to the New York Stock Exchange by market capitalisation and is home to many of the world's leading high-tech companies seeking to list their shares. Some of the largest companies in the world are primarily listed on the Nasdaq.

This is where investors will find shares in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).

How can I access FAANG stocks that are listed on the Nasdaq from Australia?

Australian investors can typically invest in international shares in 3 ways: using a broker or online trading platform, through a managed fund or through an exchange traded fund (ETF).

Broker

You can purchase individual shares in companies by using a stockbroker or through an online trading platform using an international share-trading account, depending on how much advice you need.

For amateur investors who want advice, a full-service stockbroker might be a worthwhile option, but it will cost a lot more. Stockbrokers usually charge a high commission of around $50–$150 per trade, which means it's typically only worth the cost if you're investing a large sum of money.

If you don’t need advice, a cheaper and often easier option to purchase individual shares in a company is through an international share trading account on an online trading platform. The fees range in price and are charged per transaction. However, because it is a DIY approach, it will be cheaper than a full-service stockbroker.

Online trading platforms offer a range of services to help you do your own research, including daily market commentaries, analysts’ research, ratings advice and company profiles.

All the major banks have an online trading arm or you can open an international share-trading account with an online trading provider.

Compare online trading platforms

Name Product Standard brokerage for US shares Currency conversion fee Asset class
eToro
Finder AwardExclusive
eToro
US$0
50-150 pips
ASX shares, Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Finder exclusive: Get 12 months of investment tracking app Delta PRO for free when you fund your eToro account (T&Cs apply).
CFD service. Capital at risk.
Join the world's biggest social trading network when you trade stocks, commodities and currencies from the one account.
Moomoo Share Trading
US$0.99
55 pips or 0.0055 AUD/USD
ASX shares, Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Finder exclusive: Get $100 to trade when you deposit $1,000, or $200 when you deposit $5,000 or more. Earn 6.8% p.a. on uninvested cash. T&Cs apply.
Trade shares on the ASX, the US markets and buy ETFs with Moomoo. Plus join a community over 20 million investors.
Tiger Brokers
Exclusive
Tiger Brokers
US$2
37 pips
ASX shares, Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Finder exclusive: 10 no-brokerage US or ASX market trades in the first 180 days + 7% p.a. on uninvested cash with first deposit of any amount, plus US$30 TSLA + US$30 NVDA shares with deposits up to AU$2000. T&Cs apply.
Trade Australian, US and Asian stocks with no minimum deposit on Tiger Broker’s feature-packed platform.
CMC Invest
Finder Award
CMC Invest
US$0
0.60%
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
$0 brokerage on US, UK, Canadian and Japanese markets (FX spreads apply).
Trade over 45,000 shares and ETFs from Australia and 15 major global markets. Plus, buy Aussie shares or ETFs for $0 brokerage up to $1,000 (First buy order of each security, each day - excludes margin loan settled trades).
Webull
US$0.25
0.50% (50 pips)
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
Get advanced research and trading tools with $0 brokerage and free lvl 2 NASDAQ stock data for 30 days. T&Cs apply.
Trade ASX and US stocks and US options, plus gain access to inbuilt news platforms and educational resources. You can also start trading for less with fractional shares.
Saxo Invested
Saxo Invested
US$1
0.25%
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
Access 22,000+ stocks on 50+ exchanges worldwide
Low fees for Australian and global share trading, no inactivity fees, low currency conversion fee and optimised for mobile.
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Important: Share trading can be financially risky and the value of your investment can go down as well as up. “Standard brokerage” fee is the cost to trade $1,000 or less of ASX-listed shares and ETFs without any qualifications or special eligibility. If ASX shares aren’t available, the fee shown is for US shares. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.

Managed fund

If you don’t have the time, expertise or money to buy individual shares in a company directly, a managed fund pools your money with money from other investors and an investment manager manages it on your behalf for a fee.

You buy into the fund by purchasing units or shares in the fund. By pooling your money with other investors, you can tap into much wider opportunities that would be out of reach as an individual investor.

Each managed fund will have a specific investment objective, so you need to carefully choose a fund that suits your financial goals.

Managed funds can be bought directly from the fund manager, through a financial adviser or through an online broker.

Exchange traded fund (ETF)

ETFs can be a cost-effective way of purchasing international shares. They are similar to a managed fund in that they are made up of a group of shares and can be bought and sold on a stock exchange.

However, unlike managed funds that are chosen and managed by an investment manager, ETFs track the returns of a specific index or market sector, that is, they mirror the movements and returns of a particular market, just on a smaller scale.

If you are looking to invest in just the FAANG, you can't – but you can get pretty close. The FAANG+ gives you exposure to 10 of the largest tech stocks on the market. These include the FAANGs as well as Tesla, Microsoft, Baidu, NVIDIA and Alibaba.

If not, you can take a broader approach. This includes tracking the Nasdaq-100 or the 100 largest and mostly tech-based stocks in America. The Nasdaq is a weighted average, meaning the bigger companies (like those that make up FAANG) become a larger percentage of what you own.

Betashares ASX:NDQ is an ETF that tracks the Nasdaq-100 index and is available on the ASX. In a single ASX trade, Australian investors can add 100 leading global tech companies to their investment portfolio.

How to buy FAANG stocks in Australia with an international share trading account

Follow these steps:

  1. Compare share trading accounts. Look at the brokerage fees, what international exchanges you can access, currency exchange rates and help and advice offered.
  2. Open your account. You’ll need to provide your personal details and verify your identity. You’ll also need to supply the details of your linked Australian bank account.
  3. Fund your linked cash account. Make sure you have enough money in your account to purchase the shares you wish to buy.
  4. Place an order. Within your online share trading portal, navigate to your international share trading account. Look for the shares you want to buy using the trading code (for example, Netflix is listed as NASDAQ: NFLX). Fill in the order form with the number of shares you wish to purchase and your desired purchase price. When your target price has been hit, your order will be executed.

For more detailed instructions, take a look at our international share trading guide.

Netflix or Amazon? Google or Facebook? How to choose which international stocks to buy

International shares, like FAANG stocks, may give you access to larger markets outside Australia to diversify your investment portfolio. However, you shouldn’t jump into the global markets without doing your due diligence.

  • Take time to understand the economic and financial environment of the country you are investing in, such as interest rates, exchange rates, government fiscal policy and investor sentiment.
  • Decide if you want to invest for capital growth (long-term investment) or regular income in the form of dividends (short-term investment). As a rule of thumb, large companies like those on the Nasdaq tend to pay high dividends whereas smaller companies tend to reinvest profits rather than pay dividends.
  • Familiarise yourself with the company you are investing in by reading annual reports and company alerts and by comparing companies in the same industry.
  • Always invest in what you know. If you are passionate about the vision of a company or the industry it is in, you are more likely to recognise when it is a good investment or not.

Benefits of investing in FAANG stocks

Despite many of the FAANG stocks growing into more mature businesses, they are still showing impressive growth.

In fact, as of 27 August 2022, the FAANG stocks combined have an annualised return of 23.08% in the last 10 years. This is even with a 33.49% drop in 2022.

The best performing of the FAANG stocks is Apple, which over the last decade has given investors 30.88% returns.

This strong performance is from mature businesses that have a strong, established market share, meaning returns could be more reliable.

Are FAANG stocks safe for beginners?

Due to the sheer size of these stocks, market position and impressive growth, FAANG stocks are a great way for new investors to get into the market.

With their larger size, not only can they be safer investments, but they could continue to outperform the US market.

What are the tax implications of purchasing international stocks?

If you are an Australian resident for tax purposes, you must declare income from overseas investments in your tax return, including from international shares.

If you have already paid foreign tax on your international investments, you may be entitled to an Australian foreign income tax offset. Check out our guide on share trading and the ATO for more information on the tax treatment of investments and always seek professional financial advice before investing in international shares.

DISCLAIMER: This guide contains only general advice and has been written without taking your personal circumstances into consideration. You should consider the applicability of the advice to your financial goals and objectives.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    CraigJanuary 12, 2019

    How and where can I check my Google shares?

      AvatarFinder
      JoshuaJanuary 16, 2019Finder

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      The how and where you can check your Google share would depend on how you made the investment. There are three main ways you can buy Google shares; using a broker or online broking platform, through a managed fund, or through an exchange traded fund (ETF).

      For this reason, to check your Google share, you need to directly check with your provider. Typically, they have a platform that you can access where you can check your investments.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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