A leading industrial crane maker based in Finland…a fast-growing Canadian mattress retailer…and an Austrian high-tech sensor manufacturer. These foreign companies have one thing in common–you can’t buy their stocks on any US exchange. That’s because these three trade only on foreign exchanges in local currencies such as euros, Canadian dollars and Swiss francs.

It used to be difficult for small investors to get direct access to shares of many exciting and attractively priced foreign companies that are not available in the form of American depositary receipts (ADRs), which represent specific numbers of shares in foreign stocks and which are traded on US exchanges. But now brokerages such as Fidelity, E-Trade, Charles Schwab and Vanguard allow small investors to directly trade thousands of stocks on more than two dozen foreign exchanges. Important: Trading fees may be higher than on US exchanges. Also, currency fluctuations could boost or diminish your investment.

My favorite stocks available only on foreign exchanges…

AMS AG (AMS, Six Swiss Exchange), an Austrian firm, produces high-performance sensors. It is rapidly moving into sensors for 3-D imaging that go into smartphones and automated car-driving assistance systems.

Konecranes (KCR, Helsinki Stock Exchange), based in Finland, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial cranes and other lifting equipment. A recent acquisition has allowed it to expand into servicing container-handling equipment for big ports.

Sleep Country Canada Holdings (ZZZ, Toronto Stock Exchange) has more than 235 mattress stores throughout Canada. It is benefiting from the bankruptcy of a major competitor, Sears Canada.