South Korean stocks may be bought on the Korean Exchange, established in the 1950s. Some large Korean companies also offer their stock on the New York Stock Exchange through American depository shares. Korean stocks can also be purchased indirectly through exchange-traded funds focused on South Korea or the Asia-Pacific region. In all instances, shares must be purchased through a licensed securities dealer.
Full-service brokers provide the highest level of service. They contact their customers with stock ideas and may suggest changes to portfolios. Full-service brokers are also the most expensive. Discount brokers charge mid-level commission rates for trades but offer a lower level of service. Online brokers are the cheapest option, but they only provide market access, rather than personalized advice.
Researching Korean Companies
Gather information on the stocks available for purchase on the Korean Exchange or Korean stocks available for purchase on U.S. exchanges. As could be expected, most of the traded companies on Korean exchanges are headquartered in South Korea. After gathering your research, determine which stock you would like to trade. Obtain the latest news and information about companies at the Korea Exchange website, which includes price history, current prices and the latest news releases. For shares traded in the United States, gather information from the appropriate exchange's website, such as the New York Stock Exchange if the stock is traded there.
Initiating Your Purchase
Decide how many shares you wish to purchase, and check the latest share price. You can find share prices online through brokerage websites or a variety of stock market information sites, many of them free to use. Select a licensed broker/dealer, and then purchase the stock or exchange-traded fund through the broker. As a non-licensed individual, you will not be able to purchase the shares directly from either the Korean exchange or U.S. exchanges. You can generally buy and sell stock online through a broker and pay a smaller fee than working directly with an individual person at a brokerage, unless there are special requirements that you have.
Submit Your Order
Submit your order with your broker. The broker should confirm your trade and detail the number of shares you bought and the price per share. Always keep in mind that investing in stocks is risky. You may lose money if the value of your stock declines, so do not invest more than you can afford to lose. Remember, you are not guaranteed to make money on stock investments, and market volatility could adversely affect your stock's value over both the short and long term.