The Investor’s Passport

ADRs provide you access to companies abroad

consider currency risk, advises Neil Wolfson, a managing director at KPMG Peat Marwick’s personal finance division. A foreign company’s showing is often tied to the local currency. Should that nation’s money value shrink relative to the U.S. dollar, investors might be in for a rough ride. The stability of the local government and economy are also worth pondering, especially the possibility of political upheaval or nationalization of key industries.

As with domestic stocks, you go through a broker to purchase ADRs. Large international conglomerates, such as Sony, will have an 800 number so that you can request company information. Also, your broker might be able to provide you with annual reports, in addition to other data on a foreign industry, company or country.

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