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BANGKOK 22 October 2018 11:45
Jingthing

U.S. topic: Interactive Brokers possibly an expat friendly brokerage and IRA account firm

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I've been using Interactive Brokers for about 20 years. I began touting here for expats about 15 years ago. I had assumed that with all of its advantages that most people were using it by now. I haven't used it from Thailand for about 5 years now so things may have changed. When last I did transfers to Thailand from IB were a flat $10.  They were pushing some piece of hardware at that time a "security device" but I managed to duck that for a number of years.  If you are a trader, IB makes markets and has data and platforms for just about every financial instrument in every major market on Earth, done in whatever currency you prefer.

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I use Etrade and am still in the USA.  I am not aware of Etrade having large issues with expats living overseas.  I certainly heard nightmares about Vanguard and Fidelity as brokerages.

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IB is the best brokerage firm I've ever used.  Highly recommended.  

 

Also, if you're American then you really need to look into Charles Schwab Bank.  Their high yield investor checking account has no ATM fees and reimburses fees from other ATMs, including overseas.  Those 200 THB ATM surcharges were all credited back to my account at the end of the month, in addition to the foreign currency conversion charge.  Free checks too.

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I have not had any trouble with Fidelity, but I use a US address.

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For example?

 

They’ve always been great for me.

They are actively threatening me to either freeze or close my account which as it's an IRA would be devastating to me tax wise. Do some research. Fidelity is the worst.  

To add I've been with them for about 40 years. Infidelity would be a more apt name.

 

 

"Many US citizens living abroad have recently been contacted by their US brokerage firms to inform them that their accounts have either been frozen such that they can no longer change their investments or that they need to close their accounts entirely."

 

http://www.expatfocus.com/c/aid=1192/articles/financial/why-is-my-us-brokerage-firm-closing-my-account/

 

 

 

Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

 

 

 

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They are actively threatening me to either freeze or close my account which as it's an IRA would be devastating to me tax wise. Do some research. Fidelity is the worst.  To add I've been with them for about 40 years. Infidelity would be a more apt name.
 
 
"Many US citizens living abroad have recently been contacted by their US brokerage firms to inform them that their accounts have either been frozen such that they can no longer change their investments or that they need to close their accounts entirely."
 
http://www.expatfocus.com/c/aid=1192/articles/financial/why-is-my-us-brokerage-firm-closing-my-account/
 
 
 
Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
 
 
 
 
 


Yeah, a have a number of accounts with them including an IRA and I have not been threatened with anything.

My wife’s Roth was frozen for a while, but she just called and they unlocked it.

When do you have to decide to close it or freeze it?

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6 minutes ago, mogandave said:

 


Yeah, a have a number of accounts with them including an IRA and I have not been threatened with anything.

My wife’s Roth was frozen for a while, but she just called and they unlocked it.

When do you have to decide to close it or freeze it?
 

 

I don't want to go into such personal details here but it's been a nightmare. I strongly suggest people that haven't moved abroad yet to set yourself up beforehand with financial firms that aren't known to majorly mess with expats. 40 years ago I didn't foresee such issues. 

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You've posted about this on and off over recent years and Fidelity does seem to be an oft mentioned firm on the internet on this topic. 

 

How long have they been threatening to close or freeze your account? 

 

Have they?  If not, do you have any idea why not?

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, 55Jay said:

You've posted about this on and off over recent years and Fidelity does seem to be an oft mentioned firm on the internet on this topic. 

 

How long have they been threatening to close or freeze your account? 

 

Have they?  If not, do you have any idea why not?

Because they have not yet fully confirmed I'm living abroad although it's clear they strongly suspect it. I really don't want this thread to be about the painful details of my personal headaches with Fidelity so don't bother asking more questions about that on this thread.

 

It's more general that this really is a problem not only with Fidelity but other major firms. Some people think this is "fake news" promoted by  other firms trying to sell expat financial services and advice. NO! It is very real. People can try to fake out such firms (most of them) using a U.S. address, U.S. phone number, and VPNs but that might not necessarily work in the long run of several years or decades.

Edited by Jingthing

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Just now, Jingthing said:

Because they have not yet fully confirmed I'm living abroad although it's clear they strongly suspect it. I really don't want this thread to be about my personal headaches with Fidelity. It's more general that this really is a problem. People can try to take out such firms (most of them) using a U.S. address, U.S. phone number, and VPNs but that might not necessarily work in the long run. 

Oh, ok then. 

 

I had a run in 5 years ago (not Fidelity) and both banks/brokerage house were very abrupt.  They backed off and I'm still with them to this day.   Stevie Wonder can see my account activity is all Thailand all the time.

 

Good luck.

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2 hours ago, Jingthing said:

They are actively threatening me to either freeze or close my account....

i got caught up in this.  after ten years of swift xfers to china, then linking to bangkok bank, somebody figured out i wasn't in the us any longer.

 

no freeze or closure here, but account is now restricted.  cannot purchase

mutual funds as they are for sale only domestically.  can keep the ones i have,

and reinvest dividends into the funds, but no new purchases.

 

no interest on cash held in core account as the fdic sweep is done to a money market mutual fund.

 

no restrictions on etf's.

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21 hours ago, ChouDoufu said:

i got caught up in this.  after ten years of swift xfers to china, then linking to bangkok bank, somebody figured out i wasn't in the us any longer.

 

no freeze or closure here, but account is now restricted.  cannot purchase

mutual funds as they are for sale only domestically.  can keep the ones i have,

and reinvest dividends into the funds, but no new purchases.

 

no interest on cash held in core account as the fdic sweep is done to a money market mutual fund.

 

no restrictions on etf's.

Disgusting and sick because just because one is not physically standing in the US any longer, does not mean they are no longer a US citizen or that they are permanently out of the USA.  Many people choose to and are able to live abroad or travel abroad for extended periods of time.  Where one is moving about should have absolutely no bearing on anything.  Uncle Sam and the IRs will tax and report gains to the Feds and a US citizen is legally responsible for properly filing their tax returns. 

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