how to buy shares

How To Buy Shares in Australia?


One of the most popular questions that we receive from Australian expats is how to buy shares in Australia? The reason that this is a popular question is by and large most expats want to repatriate their earnings from overseas back to a country that they are not only familiar with but also provides a lot of opportunities.

We have written a number of posts in the past about our views on where an Australian expat should accumulate their wealth but in case you have missed it here it is:


You should accumulate wealth in the country and currency you intend to return to or retire to

The reason we say this is that currency risk is one of the largest financial risks that an Australian expat faces when they live and work overseas. By accumulating your assets in Australian dollars (that’s assuming you are returning to Australia) then when it comes time to return home you don’t have to worry whether the exchange rate is in your favour or not.


So how do you buy shares in Australia when you’re an Australian expat?


There are a number of steps in the process which we’ll outline below:

Step 1 – Open an account – this is the first stumbling block that most Australian expats face. The reason being that in today’s compliance driven world the administration that is required behind an Australian expats account (that is an investment account for non-residents) is quite complex and they don’t want the extra work. More and more companies are now refusing to open investment accounts for non-resident investors. We have negotiated with a number of the largest account providers in Australia to allow our Australian expat clients to buy shares in Australia companies.

Step 2 – Research what you are going to buy – when you are researching what companies to buy you need to not only consider the individual investments but also how they will work with your country of residence. For example are you based in the US and looking at buying an Australian Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)? Is that ETF classified as a PFIC? Are you looking at buying a listed company that pays unfranked dividends? If so how does the Australian taxation work for a resident in a country with a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Australia versus another country that doesn’t have a DTA with Australia?

Step 3 – Build the portfolio and monitor it – once you’ve opened your account and selected the shares you want to purchase now comes the time to buy them and then monitor your portfolio. When monitoring the portfolio as a Australian expat you need to keep in mind three areas: 1. any changes to the tax laws that may affect you 2. whether the economic environment is changing (either positively or negatively) for the company(s) that you hold 3. what is your investment time frame.



Atlas Wealth Management has a lot of experience in recommending and providing ongoing financial advice to Australian expats. We are proud of the level of detail that we go to when recommending a portfolio to our Australian expat clients, including customizing the portfolio to not only suit the clients risk profile, but also their country of residence and investment time frame.


If you would like to know more, please click below to contact us.

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General Advice Disclaimer

The information provided on this website has been provided as general advice only. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives and you should seek the assistance of your Atlas Wealth Management Authorised Representative before you make any decision regarding any products mentioned in this communication. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither Atlas Wealth Management nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information.