Some of the biggest technology companies in the world include names like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix. Since these companies offer technology driven products and services, they enjoy a vast customer base across the globe. These large-sized technology companies are popularly known as FAANG companies. FAANG is short for Facebook, Amazon , Apple, Netflix, Microsoft and Google.
FAANG stocks are some of the most top-performing stocks in the US markets, so much so that these find a mention in every stock market discussion. These stocks form a significant portion of the S&P 500 at 21% and their market cap standing at about $7.459 trillion as of December 2021.
So, how can an Indian investor invest in FAANG companies from India? Here is all you need to know about investing in them from India.
Watch this video to learn more about FAANG stocks and how to invest in them:
Direct investment in FAANG stocks
By opening US brokerage account
You can invest in FAANG stocks by opening a US brokerage account. This can be done either via:
- domestic brokerages or
- foreign brokerage with a direct presence in India.
Many Indian brokerage units have tie-ups with US stock broking houses. Thus, by acting as intermediaries, the Indian brokerages offer Indian investors an opportunity to gain exposure to the US stock markets. To proceed with investment, you can open an overseas brokerage account with the domestic brokerage house. While you can use either of the above-mentioned options, it is important to note that certain buy/sell limitations may be applicable as far as domestic brokerages are concerned.
Did you know?
To invest in FAANG stocks, you must transfer funds to the US. An Indian resident can do this as per RBI’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme, with an annual remittance limit of up to US $250,000 per individual.
Indirect investment in FAANG stocks
US-focused mutual funds
Investing in US-focused Indian mutual funds that specifically invest in FAANG stocks is a good alternative for investors who want to gain indirect exposure to these stocks. The benefit in this form of investment is that, unlike direct investment mode, there is no investment limit since the investment is made in Indian rupees.
However, you must note that these involve annual expense ratios (which is the fees charged for managing the fund). Since these are US focused funds, the expense ratios may be higher because an additional expense is generally charged in relation to the underlying international scheme apart from the regular fund management fees.
ETFs for FAANG stocks
Another easy and indirect way of investing in FAANG stocks is by investing in Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). ETFs are similar to mutual funds and are essentially a collection of multiple stocks or bonds that are traded under a single fund. These funds follow a specific benchmark index composition and track its performance.
ETFs are traded on a real-time pricing basis on the US stock exchange. These allow investors an easy and low-cost alternative to gain exposure to a set of stocks.
How much does it cost to invest in FAANG stocks?
Many investors in India often assume that investing in FAANG stocks can be a costly affair. However, the truth is that it doesn’t cost a fortune to invest in these. For instance, one stock of AMAZON can be bought at a price of around $3,000, which is approximately Rs. 2.3 lakhs.
But by investing in mutual funds or ETFs that focus on FAANG stocks, one can easily gain exposure to more than one such US stock with as little as Rs. 5,000. Therefore, the cost also depends on the investment mode selected.
Factors to note before investing in FAANG stocks
Here are some of the aspects that investors must bear in mind while investing in FAANG stocks:
Dividend tax – US stocks also declare dividends, just like Indian stocks. Any dividend earnings from FAANG stocks will attract a tax rate of 25%. Investors can either opt for cash receipt of dividend or reinvestment of the same. Any tax retained in the US can be claimed for adjustment against tax dues in India.
LTCG tax – Long term capital gains tax is applicable at 20% on earnings from sale of FAANG stocks after 2 years of retention. If these stocks are sold before completion of 2 years, the returns are taxable as per individual income tax slab rate.
- Exchange rate
If you are planning to invest in FAANG stocks through the direct investment mode, you will have to transfer funds that are in INR to USD in a trading account in the US. This requires the exchange rate to be taken into consideration. Many brokerage firms have tie-ups with US banks to offer favorable exchange rates to investors.
- USD transactions
To buy FAANG shares directly, one has to make the transactions in USD as these shares cannot be purchased in INR. Therefore, an investor must buy USD from authorized currency exchange dealers to further invest in these stocks.
How to Invest in FAANG Stocks ?
FAANG stocks, just like any Indian stocks, come with a certain set of benefits and risks. Whether you choose to invest in these or not depends on personal investment goals, your risk appetite, financial health, and other factors. It is best to invest in FAANG stocks as per the requirements of your investment portfolio.
It takes approximately 2-3 working days to transfer money from an Indian bank account to a US trading account.
Yes, some of the top US exchanges allow investors to buy fractional shares. This means that you can buy a portion or whole of a share in the US markets.
Before or while investing in FAANG stocks, some of the top indices that an investor must track include S&P 500 index, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), Nasdaq composite index, Nasdaq-100 index, and RUSSEL 2000 index.
More Indian investors are exploring FAANG stocks mainly to achieve portfolio diversification and exposure to fast-growing tech giants apart from relatively easy access to these as compared to a few years ago.
Both mutual funds and index funds offer an easier and less-expensive alternative to investing in FAANG stocks as compared to the direct route. The latter are also ideal for new investors looking to gain exposure to the US stock markets.