You can buy LG stock, or consider alternatives

ByUsa Today

— -- Q: I want to buy some stock in LG Electronics in Korea. How do I do it?

A: LG Electronics is a giant worldwide maker of everything from mobile phones to TVs to washing machines and computer products. And you can invest in it, sort of.

As you mentioned, LG Electronics is a Korean company. It is a unit of Korea's giant conglomerate LG Group. LG Group has units that deal in chemicals, telecommunications and electronics.

You can invest in foreign companies on their local stock exchange if your broker is set up to handle it. You can read more about LG Corp. here, and the process of investing in foreign companies here.

But remember, if you buy LG Group, you're buying into other pieces of the business, not just electronics. You can also buy into LG Electronics on the Korean market.

If you don't want to deal with the hassle of investing on a foreign stock exchange, you have other options. If you're interested in investing in the LCD part of LG Electronics, there's an American Depositary Receipt listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol lpl. You can buy this ADR, just like you'd buy any stock, and get a piece of LG Philips LCD, which makes LCD panels used in everything from TVs to cellphones.

There's one other possibility I'll mention. There's an exchange-traded fund (ETF), iShares MSCI South Korea ewy, that owns shares of many Korean companies. The ETFs' top holdings include Samsung Electronics, Posco and Kookmin Bank. But it also has a 1.98% holding in LG Electronics.

Matt Krantz is a financial markets reporter at USA TODAY and author of Investing Online for Dummies. He answers a different reader question every weekday in his Ask Matt column at money.usatoday.com. To submit a question, e-mail Matt at mkrantz@usatoday.com. Click here to see previous Ask Matt columns.

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