With investment in US stocks geographically diversify your portfolio across industries, invest in global leaders like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. Simply create your US Stock investing account online and start investing with no minimum account.
See 7 More options
|Alphabet Inc. - Class A Shares|
|Alphabet Inc. - Class C Shares|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Hld B|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Class A)|
|Eli Lilly and Company|
|Exxon Mobil Corp.|
|UnitedHealth Group Incorporated|
|Johnson & Johnson|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.|
|The Procter & Gamble Company|
|Meta Platforms Inc|
The US Stock Market is first started in the late 1700s when a group of merchants got together to buy and sell shares and bonds. They made the Buttonwood Tree Agreement which is the basis of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the largest stock exchange in America. However, the first stock exchange in the U.S. was the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, established in 1790. For almost two centuries, these two were the major stock exchanges in the U.S., until trading began on NASDAQ in 1972.
Over the years, more market indices were created, and stock market trading moved from physical format to computerised format. The stock market evolves continuously over the next few decades, and it took centuries to create the current modern-day market. Though trading started off with shares and bonds, multiple other financial instruments also trade on the U.S. stock market today.
The total market capitalisation of the U.S. stock market is close to $ 49,107,685.7 million as of 31st March 2021. Over a period of 100 years, the U.S. stock market capitalisation increased by 200%. The U.S. stock market has approximately 5,000 stock market indices. The major stock market indices are S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite Index. Each of the indices uses various methodologies and categorisations for listing stocks on the index.
The S&P 500 is a market-cap-weighted index. Stocks with larger market capitalisation have a greater influence on the movement on the index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average uses a price-weighted average as the basis of the index. Stocks with higher prices have more impact on the index movement. Nasdaq also uses a market capitalisation weighting methodology.
The US Stock market has various financial instruments other than shares and bonds. Currencies, mutual funds, equity options, futures, REITs, sovereign debt securities, and asset-backed securities are also traded on stock exchanges.
The S&P 500 Index is a U.S. stock market index that tracks the top 500 companies in the U.S. It is a widely used index and often considered as a gauge for the large-cap companies in the country. The index follows the market capitalisation-weighted method and picks the top 500 companies for the index. However, market capitalisation is not the only criteria to pick stocks for the index.
The S & P 500 was introduced in the year 1957 by Standard & Poor. It uses free-float weighted market capitalisation as the basis to calculate the value of the index. The total number of outstanding shares is times the market price of the share to determines a company’s market cap. The company with higher market capitalisation is given higher weightage than the company with lower market capitalisation.
A committee is appointed to select stocks based on industry, liquidity, and size. The index is rebalanced every March, June, September, and December. To qualify for the S & P 500, the company must be present in the USA, and it must have an unadjusted market capitalisation of at least $8.2 billion. Also, 50% of the shares must be available to the public for trading, and the share price of the company should be at least $1. Moreover, 50% of the fixed assets and revenue should be in the U.S. It must also have four consecutive quarters of positive earnings. Shares, debentures, bonds, mutual funds, REITs, equity derivatives like options, and futures all trade on S&P 500.
Nasdaq exchange is popular for trading technology stocks. The Nasdaq Composite Index comprises more than 2,500 common equities listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The index uses market capitalisation weighting methodology. In other words, the index’s value is equal to the total value of the share weights of each security multiplied by the security’s last trading price.
Nasdaq composite index comprises of the following types of securities:
In other words, the index comprises all the Nasdaq listed stocks except derivatives, funds, ETFs, preferred shares, or debentures. Furthermore, this index includes some companies that are based outside of the United States.
Known for having more tech stocks, the index includes sub sectors such as semiconductors, software, biotech, etc. It also has securities that are part of other industries, for example, financial, transportation, insurance, industrial, etc.
The Nasdaq Composite Index primarily includes large and small-cap companies. Unlike Dow and the S&P 500, this index also includes speculative companies that have small market capitalisation. As a result, the index’s movement often indicates the tech industry’s performance and the investor’s attitude towards speculative stocks.
The Wilshire 5000 is also known as the ‘total stock market index or ‘ total market index’. The index includes all the publicly traded companies that have their headquarters in the United States. Therefore, the index represents the entire U.S. stock market and its movement.
Wilshire maintains the following three versions of the index:
Though the Wilshire 5000 is a comprehensive index, it is often less referred to than the more popular S&P 500.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is among the oldest, well-known, and most frequently used indexes in the world. The index includes 30 stocks of the largest and most influential companies in the USA.
Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index. Earlier, the price computation was easy. It was the total per-share price of the stocks of each company divided by the number of companies. With stock splits, spin-offs, etc., the computation is no longer simple.
The DJIA accounts for around a quarter of the total value of the U.S. stock market. However, the movement in the Dow should not be regarded as a guarantee that the entire market has declined by the same percentage.
A change in the Dow can imply the changes in the investor’s expectations of the earnings of the large companies. Dow is known for its blue-chip companies that give regular and consistent dividends. Hence, it can be a representation of the blue-chip dividend value market.
Large cap stocks comprise U.S. public businesses with a market cap of USD 10 billion or more. Large cap corporations are better at withstanding market shocks and volatility than their smaller counterparts due to their immense size and market influence.
Mid cap stocks refer to companies with a market cap between USD2 billion and USD10 billion. They may be tomorrow’s large cap firms or yesterday’s fallen large caps. Mid cap companies combine the stability of large corporations and greater growth potential of smaller businesses. Mid cap stocks have greater growth potential as they may increase their market share in their respective industries.
Small cap stocks represent U.S. firms with a market value between USD 300 million and USD 2 billion. There are more small cap stocks than large-cap and mid-cap stocks combined.
Small cap stocks provide investors with enormous growth prospects, and the small cap market contains a large number of future mid cap and large cap enterprises. Small cap stocks have high market volatility, thus making them one of the riskiest investment options available.
Capitalisation is often the key for index classification – small, mid, large-cap.
Furthermore, sector-based classification is another popular index classification. These indexes represent the S&P 500’s comprehensive sector segregations.
Also, there are Smart Beta Indexes that are passive indexes built using certain characteristics or fundamental screens. These help to improve the quality of the index constitution. The three smart beta index funds under the Advisors Asset Management (AAM) are:
These three smart beta index funds encompass the entire global market for dividend and value investing.
Below are the tax implications when investing in US stocks:
NOT taxed in the U.S.
Considered as “Investment in Unlisted Securities” Short-term is < 24 months (lower than 36 months in debt funds and US oriented funds)
STCG – Slab Rates (same as Debt/US oriented funds)
LTCG = 20% with Indexation benefit (same as Debt/US-oriented funds)
25% TDS will be deducted in the U.S.; Actual tax liability in India is because of DTAA
You will receive W8BEN Form from DriveWealth capturing the TDS deducted
In India, Dividends are now taxed at one’s marginal tax rates
Taxes paid in US can be offset against Indian tax liability
Example – Sagar is in the 30% tax slab in India. He holds Microsoft shares worth $10,000 and gets a dividend of $100 in FY20-21. He will get only $75 credit in his trading account. $25 are deducted as TDS and submitted with US revenue dept. If we assume USD INR as 75, he earns a Total dividend income of ~7500. His tax liability in India would be 30% of this – ₹2,250. Since $25 (₹1,875 has already been deducted by US, he could claim that as credit and his net extra liability to Indian tax dept would be ₹375).
As a note, NRIs using their foreign bank accounts for investing through Stockal would be taxed as per their country of tax residence. US taxation rules would remain the same for them.
Below are the charges which will be charged:
Account Opening and Maintenance Charges: 0
Third Party Charges: Brokerage (on buy and sell trades) 0.50% of the trade value (minimum $1 per trade)
One Time Account Setup: $5 (for processing of Form W-8BEN to prevent double taxation)
Outward Bank Transfer: 0 from Stockal; your bank could charge a fees
Withdrawal (wire chargers) to your local account: $10 (charged by the US bank)
You need to send a withdrawal request letter with the required details mentioned below: Your name
Your Stockal account number
Withdrawal amount in USD ($)
Reason for the withdrawal
Why it is requested to a different country
Destination bank’s Bank account number
Your name as per the destination bank’s record
Destination bank’s IFSC
Specify the customer’s relationship with the bank (in the different country)
Last 3 months bank statement / recommendation letter from the bank (in case of a new bank account) Request you to print, sign and email the scanned copy of the letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be a $10 fee applicable on your withdrawal amount.
The minimum amount to place the withdrawal should be greater than $10