Imagine the difficulty of buying shares that are trading in France, Germany, Turkey or Portugal. Even the process of purchasing shares trading on US exchanges can be onerous, involving realms of paperwork, not to mention hefty international brokerage rates as high as $100 a trade.

CFDs allow you to trade international shares with similar ease and at a comparable cost to trading domestic shares; Telstra can be traded alongside, and in the same account, as Nestlé or Yahoo!. As a rough guide, CFD brokerage costs on US shares are on par with Australian shares, and are slightly lower than UK shares due to additional stamp duty charges.

While trading international shares mightn’t be something that you engage in regularly, it’s handy to have the tools available should the perfect opportunity present itself.