How does Net Foreign Assets (NFA) differ from Net Foreign Investment (NCO)? Yes, the former counts assets, and the latter counts investment, but I can't quite wrap my head around the difference.

  • $\begingroup$ It depends on what the user intends, but one possibility is that for country A, its net foreign assets is the value of the stock of its (and its citizens' and companies') assets overseas minus its (etc.) liabilities to foreigners, while net foreign investment might be used to mean the net flows in the financial account of the Balance of Payments (old-fashioned people call this the capital account). But others might confuse the two $\endgroup$
    – Henry
    Nov 18, 2020 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


One is a stock another is a flow.

Net Foreign Assets are:

Net foreign assets (NFA) determines whether a country is a creditor or debtor nation by measuring the difference in its external assets and liabilities. Net foreign assets (NFA) refer to the value of overseas assets owned by a nation, minus the value of its domestic assets that are owned by foreigners, adjusted for changes in valuation and exchange rates.

Net Foreign Investment is:

Foreign investment involves capital flows from one country to another, granting the foreign investors extensive ownership stakes in domestic companies and assets.


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