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How can I buy Netflix and Amazon shares in South Africa?

Finding a platform is easy enough, it’s picking the sector and the individual stocks within that sector that is more tricky.

How can I buy Netflix and Amazon shares in South Africa?

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There are some investment platforms in South Africa through which you can set up an offshore investment brokerage account for the purpose of buying US-based stocks. You currently have R1 million allocation per annum to move offshore without South African Revenue Service (Sars) clearance, and up to R10 million per year by getting a tax clearance from Sars.

Many platforms require fairly high minimums. Investec’s, for example, is $300 000 (around R4.6 million), while PSG has an option for £5 000 (around R103 440).

FNB recently launched exchange-traded notes (ETNs) for as little as R10 where you can have fractional shares that track the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

There are also other options, like the Sygnia FAANG fund; it is rand-domiciled but gives you access to stocks such as Netflix and Amazon with a monthly debit order of R500 per month.

The art of investing is getting out the crystal ball and giving yourself the headspace to really think about the future and the trends that will shape the world we live in tomorrow.

Back in 2007, you may have been holding the first iPhone in your hands. It almost feels crazy to think that the smartphone revolution started just 13 years ago. In that period, the smartphone has completely taken over the world.

If you had invested in Apple back in 2007, you would now be extremely wealthy – assisted by the rand along the way! If you had invested in BlackBerry, you would be wondering why you ever dared to buy shares in the first place.

Picking the industry is so important, but picking the stock can be critical too.

These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What will happen in the next decade, or even the next five years?
  • What megatrends should you be investing in to take advantage of?
  • Which sunset industries should be avoided?

There are now three certainties in life: death, taxes and disruption

Growth in the 1900s was kickstarted by the introduction of the telephone, automobile and electricity around the turn of the century. The modern industrial age shaped economies and favoured resource-rich countries with the infrastructure to take advantage of these resources.

Then along came computers and the internet to turn the world on its head at the start of the millennium. The Dot Com Bubble in 2001 gave people cold feet about investing in tech and the real economy enjoyed another boom until the Global Financial Crisis shocked the banking world in 2008/2009.

Resources took ages to recover. Banking has arguably never recovered. Meanwhile, in the background, computing power increased exponentially and so did the rate of innovation.

Disruption is driving major market moves across the world. Megatrends currently in play include the likes of energy storage, robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and numerous other areas of ongoing innovation.

Knock-ons: they exist outside of rugby

The great thing about breakthrough technologies is that they enable a plethora of other businesses to come into the market.

For example, podcasts have seen a meteoric rise in popularity in the past few years. Without the smartphone, this simply wouldn’t have been possible. The smartphone drove a need for apps, which allowed the likes of YouTube and Spotify to become huge global media players. The downstream impact was that content creators could produce podcasts and distribute them to the world.

Thanks to the smartphone, podcast star Joe Rogan is a billionaire.

As space exploration and tourism becomes a more important and profitable industry in future, which industries may benefit? What companies might emerge? And which companies might become obsolete in the process?

Nobody said it was easy

Trying to predict the future isn’t easy.

Luckily, applying basic investment principles to your portfolio will get you a long way down the road. Investment managers who take a long-term view and seek out truly sustainable opportunities should be favoured over those who practice short-termism.

A sensible allocation of your wealth to offshore equities will allow you to participate in these technological waves that are unfortunately taking place primarily elsewhere in the world.

Finally, where does this leave South Africa?

As we reflect on what the future may hold, it’s hard not to question what this could all mean for South Africa.

Our economy was underpinned by mining and resources for decades. These days, we are supported by growth in agriculture and a strong manufacturing base. Mining is still important but is no longer the leading light in our economy. Tourism is a major contributor but has disappeared under lockdown conditions – think of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

To take a long-term view of South Africa, one must establish not only which industries have attractive fundamentals, but which ones can survive a watershed decade of economic policy turmoil. Some believe we will be a failed state by 2030. Others believe we will be okay.

It’s worth ensuring that your money is prepared for either outcome.

Do you have any questions you would like answered by registered financial planners?

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COMMENTS   35

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By far the easiest way to buy US shares ie Netflix and Amazon is via EasyEquities. Download the app. Simple and cost effective. No minimums. You even get to learn using the demo account.

Is it dollar de-nominated?

yip

Opening up accounts directly with overseas brokerages is simple, I am not sure why people do not take this route. Once you have verified your SA identity and residency with SARS tax number you are set. Then you emigrate you money using the SARB R1m / R10m investement allowance and bob’s your uncle.

Doing it this way means that the government has no way to directly take this money, also the money is already offshore in case the pawpaw hits the fan. Meaning you can move the funds from offshore brokerages to offshore bank accounts without having to go through any local institutions. These are the types of direct offshore accounts that saved many Zimbabweans when their economy and currency collapsed.

I use Etoro.com which also gives you the ability to invest in crypto, copy trade portfolios at zero cost, copy traders and get real time market alerts.

Funny how they don’t mention Easy Equities. Which is by far the best and easiest way to buy offshore stocks.

I made 120% last year and this year I’m up 18% already. I regularly outperform all those losers like Alan Gray, Coronation, PSG etc.

The old school South African asset management industry is a disgrace, even if they did it for free I still wouldn’t invest with them.

@BigMoneyMike, They is Me-I answered a question specifically about EasyEquities in October on Moneyweb, and gave them props. Sanlam owns 30% of EasyEquities just as an FYI.

Great thanks for the reply, must have missed that article:)

Check out Easy Equities social media for my 2020 Portfolio wrap up and 2021 stocks to watch outlook, if you have free time, coming out tomorrow/Friday 🙂

You should update your article to include EasyEquities. It is the right thing to do!

@troyac- clearly the comments speak for themselves, I’m actually surprised I left our EasyEquities, even looked at my original, to see if there was any editing from Moneyweb but there wasn’t.
Also look at @Leah Buchanan comments about disinvesting in ZAR vs USD. I personally have used the ZAR EasyEquities platform when it first came out to give it a test drive, but not the USD option so can’t comment from experience on the payout into Offshore Account in USD. My belief is if you going to invest offshore in foreign currency it should stay offshore.
Other noticeable mentions would be interactive brokers, and Swiss Quote.

@troyac just saw your response that EasyEquities payments with USD investments to a USD account in your name worldwide on the EasyEquities platform- thanks for your clarification here.

The South African financial management industry is far too preoccupied with attacking those who enable and encourage foreign investments (like Ishares, EasyEquities, Webtrader, Brenthurst and others) instead of realising that they too could be getting greater commissions from these channels.

Talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees…
If you rob yourself blind, then you were likely blind to start with.

Stay away from those “FM advisor” types, they keep you poor.

EE on the international investments is all “feeder” Fund systems

EE do offer great investment choices but when one “Exits”, it all exchanged back into ZAR

Late last year, I exited Coronation Global USD and they transferred direct to Mauritius Commercial Bank, after settling CGT with SARS

Can’t do that with EE

….. I had money with Allan gray for over 4 years…. After they had taking thier fat commissions… I never made 1 cent.

Changed to easyeq…… Have a return of over 300% from March last year till now……

The time is coming for when the investor needs to start takin these fat cats to account.

Hidden costs:
EE = feeder for foreign ETFs, => pay more. Also, forex charges.
Then check out the loss of dividends.

Never fall in love with your broker, it’s just an agent.

Interactive brokers is another great option directly accessing the global markets at a very low cost. Just find an introducing broker locally like mexem africa and you sorted

Here my two-cents:

Buy Sygnia 4th Industrial Rev via Easy Equities. It one of the best thus far!

Easy Equities is an easy interface where you can buy USD, ZAR, AUD and Tax Free Accounts with ease and little admin. In 2020 I stopped investing in SA and went full on overseas and Xero is a damn good stock in AUD! If you want a TFSA, add Sygnia 4th etc to it.

Easy Equities is going to be the norm and you can setup your own debit order structure and allocate to whatever you want!

Why is easy equities not the “robin hood” of SA ?

Whats the catch or unknowns about easy equities.

I mean if u look purple capital’s share price its shocking to say the least.

Robinhood is more about day trading. Easy Equities is not. EE insist that they are more about long term investing.

A few months ago they introduced live pricing (credits based) and tried to introduce Futures. The call to include Futures was pushed back on and I think it got canned. Without live prices first and Futures they can’t be a Robinhood for SA.

How about EasyEquities..not mentioned at all as one of the cheapest platforms and easily accessible.

Why mention FNB? I’m a lifelong FNB client and cannot figure out how to use their international ETN offerings without signing up for an investment account with a minimum monthly fee of R79, correction: R83.

Investing R10 at a time is only possible on a platform like EasyEquities but you will need to convert ZAR to USD first using their EasyFX service or via your bank, but I doubt the R10 investor has this facility. You could also transfer USD directly to the US EasyEquities account.

I dont thin EE accept USD direct into your trade A/c

EE also appears as a 100% feeder system on all international ETF’s

DeGiro all the way

You can either deposit USD straight to their USD account.

Or you can deposit Rands and do an “Easy FX” from your Easy Equities ZAR to Easy Equities USD. It’s alooot cheaper than your banks conversion rates.

@Leah, the international $ transfer to the US-EE account was the only option before their Easy FX came along.

@Mike, when it comes to purchasing $, I found that FNB was cheaper considering you can get a better rate if you buy above a certain threshold.

It does, they give you the SWIFT details to do so if you have another foreign account.

The fee to convert rand to dollar on the Easy Equity platform is expensive and they don’t list all the offshore shares and ETFS.

Correct but you request them to make the stock available which I what I have done in the past

…if I remember correctly for example the EE iShares ETF’s don’t pay you the dividend Income that investing directly with iShares will, EE keeps that.

FNB Global Trading platform all the way for me – direct, offshore, in foreign currency and it has all the equity exchanges covered you need.

Huh? You rightfully own the shares, dividends are yours. Check your transaction history.

Granted, EE is limited in that not all equities and ETN/ETF’s are available (US and ZA).

That is totally incorrect! I regularly receive dividends in my USD account and you will see it under notifications.

Stick to FNB then

@Supernova.

Am with MHB & bobsmith on this page: I reliably receive my dividends from US Equities and iShare & Vanguard ETF’s paid into my US-Dollar trading account.

And not long ago, EE launched their Ozzie broker-account. Another diversification bonus.

Easy. Join Easy Equities and you will never look back.

You are more than welcome to contact us or come visit our offices in Johannesburg so we may assist you
Visit http://www.qatrade.com or call us on 0860023963
Thanks

EE may be the cheapest South African broker but’s certainly not the cheapest compared against offshore brokers. I switched to Interactive Brokers and have saved thousands in brokerage.

End of comments.

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