Sweden is best known for ABBA and IKEA, but these are just a couple of Swedens many exports. The country is home to a long row of large international companies. Did you, for example, know that a Swedish company own 11% of the NASDAQ stock exchange or that a large number of the world’s mobile networks have been built by Swedish companies or have been built using Swedish network technology.
Other well known Swedish brands include fast fashion giant H&M, the music streaming service Spotify, Dice the developer behind the Battlefield series, and Mojang, the developer of Minecraft. Mojang has since been acquired by Microsoft and Dice has been bought by EA.
Why invest in Sweden
Sweden offers great opportunities to invest in up and coming companies in new and exciting industries. Swedish companies often get listed on the stock exchange earlier than US start ups, and it is therefor easier to get in early then it is in the United States.
This is especially true if you are willing to invest on the smaller stock exchanges such as Aktietorget, Pepins, FirstNorth or Nordic Growth Market (NGM). Investing on these markets is high risk, and the stock markets contain a large percentage of junk stock that is unlikely ever to give a decent return. The stock markets are also home to a small number of gems that are likely to turn into large companies that will move to Nasdaq Nordic or other major stock markets. Finding the gems require a lot of research but can be very profitable if you are able to find them. It is not uncommon for stocks on these stock markets to increase several hundred percents in value in a year. Some stocks increase more than a thousand percents.
Only invest money that you can afford in these high-risk stocks and diversify your portfolio by investing in several different companies. You can often spot and avoid the garbage stocks, but it can be hard to know which of the remaining stocks that are going to turn in to rockets.
How to invest in Swedish stock
If you want to invest in large Swedish companies, then it is very easy to do so. The stockmarket in Stockholm is now a part of the NASDAQ and commonly referred to as NASDAQ Nordic. Since the stock market is a part of NASDAQ you will be able to buy stock on the Stockholm stock exchange using a US stock broker such as eTrade or TD Ameritrade. The fees for trading on NASDAQ Nordic is usually very low.
If you want to trade on one of the smaller markets then it can be very expensive to do so if through your US broker. It is better to open an account with a broker that specializes in the Nordic markets. There are two large online stock brokers in Sweden, Nordnet and Avanza. Neither of these brokers is a good choice since neither Avanza nor Nordnet accepts US customers. They require you to live in Sweden to open an account. DeGiro, a Dutch broker, is a better option. They focus a lot on the Swedish market and is open for clients outside if Scandinavia. You can also choose to open an account with one of the large Swedish banks but doing so can be complicated as they might request a lot of documentation to allow you to open an account.