New to investments? You probably have no idea where to begin or what to do next, but there is nothing to be worried about. While you can take the time to educate yourself and perhaps learn the hard way - with a bunch of financial failures on the way, an investment broker could be an excellent choice. The broker will practically connect you to the market. Investment brokers which accept international customers will serve as a bridge between buyers and sellers. They enhance the stock market and allow their customers to purchase bonds, stocks or various securities.
Understanding the concept of investment brokers
The investment broker could be an actual person (self-employed professional) or a company. They will conduct transactions for various investments in your name. Most commonly, individual brokers will not really work by themselves, but for large firms - or at least they are connected. You can buy investments, but you can also sell them to make money. This is what a regular broker does.
On the other hand, a broker reseller is an intermediary between large brokerage firms and clients. Such brokers deal directly with clients. Services are quite varied. For example, you can seek help from a broker regarding your retirement plan or perhaps some investment advice. All in all, someone who can provide a range of services based on your unique needs is referred to as a full service broker.
When looking for investment brokers which accept international customers, you may also run into large companies or firms. The firm is the transaction agent for the client. This aspect is more common over the Internet. All in all, while most brokers stick to local customers, you can find international solutions as well, yet not all of them may raise to your expectations.
Assuming you are interested in learning yourself, do you actually need a broker to make international investments? When it comes to investments - such as dealing with stocks, you will need a broker. An investment broker is licensed to perform trades and deal with security exchanges. You can, however, choose how much you want from the broker, as there are more options out there.
Deciding if you truly need a broker
The full service broker is the complete option - it could be an actual agent or the whole firm. You will discuss the goals of your investment, as well as your financial possibilities. Brokers will conduct some research in your name and provide unique and customized advice. They will also give you updated advice on trends, laws and performances.
The full service investment broker is an excellent choice for those with a massive investment portfolio. You risk losing money, so you want an expert to take care of your finances. Furthermore, make sure you research the broker and find someone with a fiduciary duty. What does it mean? Simple - the broker will act in your interest, rather than trying to earn commissions from third parties.
Opposite to such investment brokers, you can also seek help from a discount broker. Discount brokers will follow your advice in the smallest detail. You tell them what trades you want and they will get the job done. Forget about advice or suggestions. Forget about reviews. Instead, you should be experienced enough to handle most of these things yourself.
There are lots of brokers and firms out there and there is plenty of research required to come up with a good final choice. Again, it is important to determine upfront what type of investment you want, as well as how much money you are willing to put in. Then, you can go through different offers, terms and conditions to make a final decision.
How to find investment brokers which accept international customers
When it comes to choosing the right broker, decide between full service and discount brokers first. Most investment brokers which accept international customers will be full service brokers. As a foreigner, you may not necessarily be familiar with the tax laws or requirements. Therefore, even if you do find discount brokers, it pays off going for a full service one.
Are you planning to make many trades yourself? Choose a broker who provides low trade expenses then. How about investing? Are you interested in stocks or bonds? How about options? No matter what you are after, make sure the broker deals with such securities. Consider the availability though - be it online or over a phone, not to mention fees and withdrawal options.
You need extra research before actually opening the account. Make sure the broker is licensed and certified. Check the licenses - they should come from financial authorities in the respective jurisdiction. A bit of history research will also help in the process - double check credentials, employment data and so on.
As for international customers, some brokers are specialized in offshore or foreign applications only. They allow investors from all over the world. They are most commonly located in financial heavens, but this is not a general rule. You can also find brokers that deal with both local and international clients. Now, what are some of the top-rated options on the market and what makes them stand out in the crowd?
With close to 400,000 customers all over the world, Swissquote is one of the leading investment brokers which accept international customers. Listen on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2000, it has a good reputation and brings together investors from all over the world. By 2021, the client assets exceeded CHF 33.5 billion.
There are more types of investments you can make based on the account you get. For example, a trading account is classic and allows access to stocks, ETFs or funds. You can also build your wealth in an easier way with a smart portfolio managed by someone with experience. Join the world’s largest financial market with a Forex and CFD account or simply stick to cryptocurrencies only. There are 12 digital coins to choose from.
Choose the account you want and start an account straight away. Swissquote accepts customers from around 60 countries. Once you set your profile, you will need to provide some financial information as well. Registering should take less than five minutes. If you are not sure about the account you need, get in touch with the company or make a request - an expert will get in touch with you in no time.
Opening an account with Swissquote is free of charge. You will not have to make an initial deposit either, so there are no requirements from this point of view. You will have to provide proof of identity and address. Make sure you check all the terms and conditions upfront. Swissquote will provide an exquisite service at high standards, but trading fees are a bit higher than average.
You do not necessarily need a bank account with Swissquote in order to open an account, which is a plus. As you dive in, you will find a trading platform. A bit of experience is required there, as it may seem a bit confusing for first-time users. On a more positive note, even if you do not feel like getting used to it right now, there are no inactivity fees for your account.
You can conduct your own research through a series of educational materials over the website. This is definitely a plus, as the actual education is free. But then, not all the features associated with your account are free, so expect to pay a bit more for some research tools.
InteractiveBrokers - also known as IBKR - allows customers from all over the world to invest globally. The broker features fully transparent costs and relatively low fees when compared to other brokers. You know precisely what you are about to spend and how much extra you will pay. Whether it comes to bonds, currencies, options, stocks, futures or funds, you can do everything with a single account.
Registering an account is a matter of minutes - a few confirmations and you are ready to go. Make sure you enter the right personal information. You will also need to provide a few details regarding your residency, not to mention the income and tax details. IBKR accepts customers from pretty much any country out there.
It makes no difference who you bank with. You will still have to enter a few details about your bank - for deposits and withdrawals. At the same time, the broker will try to provide a more customized experience, so you will need to come up with a few details regarding your trading experience, as well as your goals in the long run.
Are you representing an institution or registering in the name of a company? Business accounts are also accepted during the registration process. You will have to provide details on the tax and contact information of the institution, as well as personal information for authorized individuals, documents proving the existence of the business and bank account information.
IBKR provides access to 135 different markets, 33 countries and 23 currencies. It has an advanced trading platform and a suite of modern technologies to optimize the trading efficiency and speed. Some trading tools are available for free. Clients also gain access to the IB SmartRouting system, which offers rewards for every 100 shares.
InteractiveBrokers IBKR is not really for everyone, but for those with a good budget allocated for trading. The broker requires an initial deposit of USD10,000, which must be applied against the minimum commissions over the first eight months. There are no maintenance or trade fees, but there is an inactivity fee.
It is worth noting that InteractiveBrokers IBKR comes with a pro account as well, which does include more fees. Fees often depend on the amount of money in the account. Monthly maintenance fees are also included for the pro account. The good news is you know what you pay for - lots of extra features and more detailed analyses on trends and trades. Generally speaking, the pro account brings in good value for money.
Established in 1992, Saxo Bank dominates the trading industry in Denmark and not only. The bank is one of the leading institutions in Denmark and one of the few local investment brokers which accept international customers. It is regulated by the Danish FSA and the British FCA, as well as a few other financial authorities across the world. The global service provider has numerous subsidiaries, yet fees and services may vary from one to another.
Trading fees for Saxo Bank are below average for this industry. For example, you will find low fees for certain services, as well as high fees for others. Forex fees are quite low and make it very accessible. The same rule applies to fund fees. Even if you want to withdraw money, do not expect to pay any fees whatsoever. On the other hand, expect to pay a fee for inactivity. Expect different fees for different services or jurisdictions.
Opening an account is fairly simple. The process is entirely digital. Not sure about what you need? You can also get in touch using a contact form and request a call back, Someone will ring you and discuss your available options in more details - based on your goals, of course. The registration is user-friendly and available in almost every country. Exceptions include the USA, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Sudan.
You will need an initial minimum deposit, which also varies based on the client’s location. For instance, if you live in Switzerland or Australia, you will be asked for a lower deposit than those living in the Middle East or Central Europe. Danish users will not be asked for a deposit though, while residents of many countries will have to come up with USD10,000.
There are more types of accounts based on the country and each of them comes with various specifications. For instance, British citizens have three different options - classic, platinum or VIP. The VIP account comes with an initial deposit requirement of GBP1,000,000. Of course, everything is deeply customized in the smallest details - in fact, for such a deposit, you will also have your own dedicated broker to help.
To verify the account and your identity, you will need to provide a few documents. The proof of identity is mandatory, but then, you will also need to prove your residency. A bank or tax statement will do. The good news is you do not need a bank account with Saxo Bank in order to trade. You will have to provide a few more details about yourself. The whole process takes up to 15 minutes, while the verification will most likely take a few business days.
Saxo Bank allows choosing between 26 different currencies. Under your own account, you can also open some sub-accounts in different currencies, so you do have the option to diversify your money a little. Deposits are straightforward and can be done via bank transfers, credit or debit cards. Saxo Bank does not accept electronic wallets of any kind. As for withdrawals, you can mostly do it by bank transfer. Keep in mind that Saxo Bank has different rules for each country, so services vary widely.
Naga is a worldwide broker where traders - both experienced and newbies - can trade, share their investments and trends or communicate. There are almost 1,000 trading instruments available, from stocks and CFDs to Forex. Trading conditions are quite competitive, making Naga one of the top choices for traders. Plus, it is one of the most reliable investment brokers which accept international customers, with a few exceptions.
Naga is a top choice for newbies for a few different reasons. Transparency is one of them. All profiles are visible and certain details are shared, such as the winning rate, the overall performance or assets traded. Moreover, there is a leaderboard where the top traders can be watched. Users have the option to copy some of their trades if they feel like it, meaning you could make some money with no experience whatsoever - not to mention the possibility to learn from top players.
Founded in 2015, Naga is part of Naga Markets Ltd. The company is established in Cyprus and fully regulated by the local CySEC, meaning Naga must respect the EU laws and regulations. Client funds are managed in segregated accounts over various banks in the EU, meaning they are kept away from the company funds and cannot be used. There are no risks of losing money due to a financial issue.
In terms of international customers, you can use Naga from pretty much any country, yet there are a few exceptions out there. For instance, citizens of the USA are not allowed to trade on it. Other countries on the exception list include North Korea, Japan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Canada and Belgium. While generally you can register and use all features from most other countries, some services may not be available everywhere based on laws and restrictions.
Apart from an incredible community and transparency, Naga provides access to MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, some of the most popular trading platforms in the world. They are easy to use and intuitive, but they also provide access to various indicators for better market analysis. The platforms have their own communities as well, but they also allow automated trading through expert advisers. A deep customization is also allowed through the MetaEditor feature.
It makes no difference who you bank with. There is one main type of account with a leverage of around 1:30, yet it depends on the assets you deal with. Registering is fairly simple and implies providing a few details. Other than that, account verification may take a few business days. Professional traders have the possibility to apply for a trader account. Features are slightly different and the leverage may go up to 1:200.
The minimum deposit is relatively low - just USD30. There are no commissions or fees on deposits, but there is a withdrawal fee - USD10, regardless of how much money you withdraw. You can deposit money over bank transfers, credit or debit cards and a few online payment platforms. The minimum requirement for withdrawals is USD50.
TradeStation is one of the most advanced investment brokers which accept international customers. The company has an excellent policy that may seem strict sometimes. It is mostly aimed at more experienced brokers. There are a few monthly requirements to be met. Failing to meet these requirements will lead to hefty fees, hence the necessity to be active and well involved with the trading industry in order to succeed here.
In terms of investments, your options are quite varied - you have stocks, bonds, options, funds, futures and ETFs. The minimum deposit is not too big, but not suitable for beginners - USD500. The good news is you will not pay anything for trades, as they are totally free. Double check the activity requirements upfront - such as the minimum requirements for share or option trading or perhaps the minimum balance to hold in the account.
TradeStation earns as you trade. There are prices for stock trades and option trades, not to mention contracts. As for brokerage fees, they are low and competitive - a bit under the competition. You need to be very active and meet the requirements - you will also have to pay for the basic trading platform on a monthly basis. The platform is friendly and intuitive though, but a bit of experience is still required to take advantage of every feature.
TradeStation accepts traders from most countries out there, with a few exceptions. Registering an account is fairly simple and only takes a few minutes. You will have to prove your residency though. It must be verified and this step may take another few days. It is important to know that you have the option to use TradeStation as a guest too. Obviously, access is limited, but at least you can get an idea about what to expect from it.
TradeStation has a separate platform known as Tsgo - TradeStation Go. It is relatively new and provides access to free investing and trading. Basically, there are no commissions. You will not pay anything for ETFs, options or stocks. But then, you do have a few limitations - you can only use it over a mobile application or web platform. Access to tools or services is restricted too. It works for some people, but not for everyone.
Some of the main benefits of the platform include the technical analysis - more than four decades of historical data to help users get an idea about trends. You can test various strategies based on such data. Market updates are instant - about 1,000 symbols with real-time statistics. The software is excellent too. Indeed, it is not free, but it has incredible indicator accessibility and a superior speed. Finally, you will love the trading community on the forums.
There are more choices when it comes to deposits and withdrawals too. You can make deposits over a few online payment platforms, wire transfers, debit or credit cards. Withdrawals are a bit more limited, but you do have options. Finally, it is important to know that active duty military will not be charged commissions for trading.
Established in 1985 in New York, Firstrade was initially developed for the local community. It was a low-cost choice with numerous benefits. Time has passed and Firstrade is still one of the most accessible investment brokers which accept international customers. It is true to its roots - it was originally created for Chinese immigrants and it still supports the Chinese by providing support in this language. Obviously, the main version is in English.
While not an actual feature, Firstrade is now known for no commissions for option and stock trades. It has not always been like this, but the broker has recently switched to this option. Of course, the company makes money on other sides - research and tools. However, the overall value for money is still better than in most of the competition. Even the initial deposit is relatively low - start with as little as USD500 on your account.
Apart from providing low cost solutions, there are other things that keep Firstrade among the top players on the market. The security lending program for investors stands out in the crowd. It is specifically designed for investors who are interested in making more money by lending stocks to various financial companies. There are no restrictions involved and the account holder can still sell the stock at any random time. This is a major benefit for investors with loaded accounts.
Firstrade's platform is not very sophisticated. It may seem basic at first glance, but it is usable and user-friendly. It feels familiar, whether you are completely new or you are after complex orders. Spread legs must be entered by hand, but a built-in chain sheet adds to the ease of use. Super active traders may find the manual input a bit time-consuming, but it gets the job done. On the other hand, there are lots of research and screening tools all over the interface.
Registering an account is fairly simple and fully digital. Provide a few details about yourself, confirm the account and you are ready to go. The verification takes a day or two. In terms of education, the section is pretty aerated. You have a few articles for each asset - basic stuff for newbies, as well as some official videos. It will get a newbie ready for the trading industry, but you will require more research for better results.
Firstrade does not offer any services related to banking. This is a plus. Many traders also provide banking services. While it may seem convenient, some of them will force you to open a bank account with them in order to take advantage of the trading opportunities. Firstrade does not care who you bank with. As for your location, it takes a few dozen countries - major hubs, so you might get lucky. It is not suitable for those living in small countries.
Costs are low and many of them revolve around nothing. There is no such thing as a minimum deposit - you can start with as little as you want. ETF, stocks, options and mutual funds can be traded for free. The company makes money over payment for order flows. Unlike other brokers, Firstrade does not provide access to fractional shares. Bottom line, it keeps things basic and makes a great choice for both beginners and experienced traders.
Established in 1996, Oanda is one of the few investment brokers which accept international customers that actually allow citizens of the USA to trade. Many top brokers block Americans due to the strict regulations and laws in the country, which may interfere with various international laws. Therefore, Oanda is one of the top choices for traders in the USA and it does everything you can think of in terms of currencies.
At an international level, Oanda provides access to two types of accounts for most of its clients, regardless of the location - a few exceptions here and there, of course. You have a standard account for the most common features associated with the trading industry, as well as a premium account for extra tools and features. Apart from FX, Oanda also offers access to commodities, indices, bonds and metals for traders.
In terms of fees and costs, Oanda is actually better than most of its competition. It is an affordable choice with low bid and ask spreads. The lowest advertised rate is in theory bigger than in other brokers, but most other brokers advertise a minimum rate that is almost never available. Overall, Oanda provides better pricing and will not bring in any unexpected surprises. It is fully transparent and offers specific prices for everything - no hidden fees. Furthermore, there is no minimum deposit required.
Oanda runs its own trading platform - known as fxTrade. It is available in more forms - mobile, web application or desktops. Run over TradingView, fxTrade comes with more than 80 indicators and plenty of extra features for analyses. You also have the possibility to overlay different currency pairs over one chart. No matter what device you use the platform on, it is identical on all of them - swapping will never confuse you.
Oanda stands out in the crowd through its educational articles. The portal wants traders to make money. If traders win, Oanda wins - simple as that. There are both written and video tutorials - more or less advanced. The staff often runs webinars for the users interested in learning more - as well as those who have questions to ask. From this point of view, Oanda is better than more reputable companies out there.
Oanda does not require having a specific bank account in order to use the brokerage services. You have more options to make deposits or withdraw money too. Registering an account - whether standard or premium - will take less than 10 minutes, but you will need to wait for the verification. The process is straightforward and should not take more than a couple of days anyway.
IG is one of the oldest investment brokers which accept international customers out there. It has been around for decades, so it is now regulated all over the world. It provides numerous packages, as well as trading tools, research programs and top notch education - great for both beginners and experienced traders. Unlike most expectations, its prices are competitive and less likely to surprise you if you have used a broker before.
There are lots of trading opportunities out there. As you register, you will need to choose an IG entity - an option required for residents of New Zealand, Japan, the UK and the USA. Markets depend on this entity. The registration is a matter of minutes only, but your account must be thoroughly verified, which may take a few hours or a few days. Once verified, your account is ready to go and you can start trading straight away.
Believe it or not, there are around 20,000 CFDs to choose from. IG provides access to more opportunities though - you also have securities if you live in Australia, Germany or the UK. Moreover, apart from the classic Forex options, you have Turbo warrants and even cryptocurrencies - available through the CFDs. Digital coins are not available as underlying assets though. Keep in mind that cryptocurrencies are not available in all countries.
IG is one of the largest brokers on the market. It uses its size to offer extremely competitive fees and costs - while it may lose money here and there, it will win somewhere else due to its size. Therefore, it can beat most of its competition. It makes no difference what products you want to trade. The DMA account for Forex Direct is what stands out in the crowd - suitable for those who are after bigger discounts than the ones for CFDs.
It really makes no difference who you bank with. Bank transfers are allowed for deposits, as well as debit and credit card. Online payment platforms are also accepted. Once your account is verified, you will need to start with an initial deposit of USD250. The requirement is basic and outweighs the competition.
Tools and platforms are just as attractive and represent another great benefit for IG users. The selection is incredible and functionality is complex. You have the world renowned ProRealTime and L2 Dealer, but IG also has a proprietary platform - based over a web application and accessible through a browser. It is well featured and easy to use, especially if you already have a bit of trading experience. You also gain access to numerous research tools. It can be customized, so it needs a few minutes - you can even save more layouts.
Last, but not least, IG has great educational materials for both newbies and experience traders. It also allows mobile trading - easy to use application for both iOS and Android users. You have the same features, regardless of what you use. The app is faster than the web interface on mobile devices. Plus, it comes with push notifications too.
Established in London, UK, Trading 212 is an online broker providing access to a plethora of different assets and classes. The company is fully regulated by international organizations, so it is trustworthy and has gained great notoriety over the past few years. It dominates the market since 2016 and provides access to one of the most attractive, intuitive and modern cross platform experiences. What makes it so special? There are more pluses coming with it, but the zero commission basis is what makes Trading 212 stand out.
The broker serves more countries - over 100. From Australia and Singapore to Romania and the UK, you can trade from pretty much every country out there. However, there are a few restrictions. Residents of China, Canada and the USA are not allowed to trade due to the strict regulations associated with these places. It is worth noting that apart from the company in the UK, Trading 212 runs a secondary one in Bulgaria. It is regulated by the FCA and FSC.
Both the website and the platform are available in 11 different languages, so it is also suitable for those who cannot understand technical English. However, since it is based in the UK, the customer service is only available in English. Customers’ funds are kept in separate bank accounts. They are protected under the ICF and FSCS.
Opening an account implies providing a few details about yourself. Choose the country, enter your contact details, a national tax identifier, preferred currency and some details about your employment status. You will also be asked for your trading experience, as well as some verification - selfie, valid ID and proof of address.
Apart from the standard account, you can also get a professional account, which comes with some extra requirements. You will need a full year of professional experience, but also a portfolio of EUR500,000 or more - other requirements are also included, but they are less significant. Not sure whether or not this platform is for you? Start with a demo account. You will only require an email address and a password and you will get EUR50,000 virtual money.
You have more options in terms of trading, meaning you can get access to Forex, stocks, commodities, indices and exchange traded funds. There are more than 200 Forex pairs to play with, as well as numerous other assets. As for deposits and withdrawals, you can use bank transfers, credit and debit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay and various other online payment platforms. There are no deposit fees until you reach GBP2,000. Once you get over this limit, the deposit fee goes up to 0.7% - relatively small.
When it comes to withdrawals, there are no fees. The minimum deposit is EUR1, yet bank transfers require a minimum deposit of EUR10. Similarly, you can withdraw as little as EUR1. There are no overnight trading fees.
Finally, you can access Trading 212 over desktops or mobile devices. They are similar in appearance and quite intuitive, so you are less likely to go wrong. Trading 212 may not be the most suitable choice if you are interested in digital currencies. The platform has stopped trading cryptocurrencies in the fall of 2020.
Founded in 2007, eToro is regulated by a few associations and represents an excellent choice for both newbies and experienced traders. It is one of the investment brokers which accepts international customers and aims to establish a community where everyone can make some money. In fact, eToro is known as one of the most appreciated copy trading platforms. Newbies can copy successful trades from more experienced traders, but also observe trends and learn.
All in all, eToro provides access to more than 2,300 instruments. There are lots of choices out there. You gain access to some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, as well as CFDs, Forex and exchange traded securities. There are different rules and instruments for different countries though, based on the laws and regulations. The good news is citizens of the USA can also trade.
eToro comes up with a typical variable spread of just one pip on the EUR/USD, which is a bit higher than average. Generally speaking, fees are average. Some of them are higher, while others are lower. Most customers can find better rates out there, but eToro has a feature that makes it stand out in the crowd - the ability to copy trade. New or learning traders can learn from more experienced users due to a high level of transparency.
There are more types of accounts - in fact, even the VIP account has five different options. The VIP account is aimed at people who can maintain a balance of USD5,000 or more. The higher the level, the higher the requirement too - up to USD25,000. Benefits obviously vary from one account to another. The most expensive ones will even bring in a dedicated account manager, discounts, private signals or exclusive assets.
Account registration is quick and digital. Simply provide some details about yourself - including contact and personal information. You will also need to provide info about your experience and goals. The account must be confirmed, but then, the eToro staff will have to verify it. You will need a bill or proof of residence, as well as an ID. Verifying the account takes a couple of working days. Since eToro does not provide banking services, it makes no difference who you bank with.
The minimum deposit varies from one country to another. Most customers could have done it with USD200. The requirement has gone up to USD1,000. Residents of some countries - such as Algeria - will need USD5,000 to open an account, while Australians can do it for not more than USD50. Such fees may change every now and then, so double-check upfront.
You have more options for deposits, as well as withdrawals. You can use bank transfers, debit or credit cards or various online payment platforms. The customer service is friendly and knowledgeable - do not be afraid to go ask questions if you are unsure about something. At the same time, eToro has a good library for educational materials.
What to consider when looking for investment brokers which accept international customers
There are a few general things to keep in mind when looking for a good broker.
- Fees - Fees vary widely. Some brokers come with fees costing up to 50 times more than others. Therefore, it is totally worth checking for everything upfront.
- Deposits and withdrawals - The deposit and withdrawal could be free, but they may also come with some fees. At the same time, some brokers take longer than others for withdrawals - deposits are usually instant, unless they come over bank transfers.
- Platform - Make sure the trading platform is straightforward, intuitive and user friendly.
- Account opening - Some brokers come with requirements for minimum deposits. Some others only require one first deposit and all the others can be random.
- Markets and products - Make sure the broker you choose has the instruments you are after.
As a short final conclusion, you do have options when it comes to investment brokers which accept international customers. Some of them are basic and provide small investment opportunities, but mostly trading capabilities. Some others are more diversified. Everything comes with a price, so you need to assess your options very carefully before making a final decision.
Make sure the broker you choose can target your needs in the smallest details and not the other way around. You need a broker who can match your necessities - rather than a broker who will force you to change your ideas in order to match what they can provide.