Retirement & Financial Planning Report

If you want to diversify internationally, buy stocks directly, and avoid the hassles of trading foreign stocks, you can invest in American Depository Receipts (ADRs), which represent ownership in foreign stocks. More than 1,700 ADRs from dozens of countries trade in the U.S., mainly on stock exchanges. Although you don’t have to exchange currency to purchase ADRs, their prices are influenced by currency movements. ADR holders owe foreign taxes on any dividends received. Yes, you can invest in foreign stocks through mutual funds but why bother?: the average international stock fund gained less than 7% per year over the past five years, according to Morningstar. Instead, you can buy great companies such SmithKline Beecham, British Petroleum, Glaxo Wellcome, Philips Electronics, Deutsche Bank, and Nokia through ADRs, just by calling your broker. Want more info on ADRs? Visit J.P. Morgan’s Web site at