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How to buy WhatsApp (Meta) stock

WhatsApp isn't publicly traded, but you can invest in its parent company.

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US-based messaging service, WhatsApp, has around 1.5 billion users and is often used as an alternative to regular texting and group chats. The app has become a must-have to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world.

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, so if you want to invest you’ll need to buy shares in its parent company. Investors in Canada can buy Facebook stock by opening an account with a Canadian brokerage that offers access to US stocks.

Can I buy WhatsApp stock in Canada?

WhatsApp is not a publicly traded company, so you can’t buy WhatsApp stock directly. But you can buy stock in Facebook (now Meta), the company that owns WhatsApp. Meta is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (Nasdaq GS) under the ticker symbol “FB.”

Facebook has a market cap is $887.163 billion, and it employs nearly 60,000 people. In 2012, Facebook, Inc. went public on the NASDAQ with a share price of $38. The stock saw an all-time high of $313.09 in April, 2021.

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How to invest in WhatsApp by buying Facebook stock

To buy Facebook stock, you’ll need a brokerage account. Here’s how it works:

  1. Compare stock trading platforms. If you’re a beginner, look for a platform with low commissions, expert ratings and investment tools to track your portfolio. Narrow down popular Canadian trading platforms with our comparison table.
  2. Open and fund your brokerage account. Complete an application with your personal and financial details, like your ID and bank information. Fund your account with a bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
  3. Search for Facebook. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol: FB. Research its history to confirm it’s a solid investment against your financial goals.
  4. Purchase now or later. Buy immediately with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until Facebook reaches your desired price. To spread out your purchase, look into dollar-cost averaging, which smooths out buying at consistent intervals and amounts.
  5. Decide on how many to buy. your budget against a diversified portfolio that can minimize risk through the market’s ups and downs. You may be able to buy a fractional share of Facebook, depending on your broker.
  6. Check in on your investment. Congratulations, you own a part of Facebook. Optimize your portfolio by tracking how your stock — and even the business — performs with an eye on the long term. You may be eligible for dividends and shareholder voting rights on directors and management that can affect your stock.

What’s going on with WhatsApp stock?

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla tweeted on January 7 2021 two words: ‘Use Signal’ referring to rival the messaging app. It came after WhatsApp threatened to disable any accounts that don’t accept its new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service that makes data-sharing with Facebook mandatory for all of its users by February 8 2021. As a result, Facebook’s stock price started to fall.

Is it a good time to invest in Facebook?

Facebook’s stock price dropped during 2020, which may attract investors who think the company has a bright long-term future. While Facebook’s revenue may decrease as a result of the pandemic, it remains the most popular social media platform in the world, with over 2.4 billion users.

Get info on Facebook stock and financials

Tax implications of buying US stocks in Canada

Agreements between Canada and the US require Canadians holding US stock investments to pay the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a 15% withholding tax on any dividends earned on their US stocks. Interest earned from bonds or other interest-yielding US investments are similarly taxed at a rate of 10%.

An exception is made for stock investments held in trust exclusively designed to provide retirement income. Such trusts include RRIFs, LIRAs, LIFs, LRIFs and Prescribed RRIFs. RRSPs are also exempt from US withholding tax if you own US investments in the form of US stocks, bonds or ETFs.

Investment accounts that do not qualify for this exemption include RESPs, TFSAs and RDSPs.

All income from investments, including foreign investments, must be declared as part of your income on your Canadian tax return. Unless your US earnings are exempt from withholding tax, this means you’ll be double taxed on those earnings — first by the IRS, then by the CRA. However, the CRA may allow you to claim foreign tax credits for any taxes you’ve already paid to the IRS.

Speak with a tax professional to find out what rules and exceptions apply to your circumstances.

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