The table below lists brokerages around the world that offer a range of mutual funds from different fund managers and are willing to accept non-resident clients. As a result, they may be useful to expat investors – or anyone else looking to invest offshore – in search of a convenient platform for buying funds.
Investors familiar with fund supermarkets in countries such as the UK and the US may be surprised by the relatively small number of funds available and by the fact that these companies do not offer reduced annual management fees on the funds through trail commission rebates (although most at least reduce or get rid of the entry fee). Unfortunately, straightforward multinational fund supermarkets offering a wide range of funds at low cost don’t really exist at present, for reasons discussed in this article.
Despite their limitations, these firms may well be cheaper and more convenient than purchasing funds directly from a fund management firm. And they are likely to be substantially cheaper and more flexible than the offshore investment bonds from life insurance companies that are aggressively sold to expatriates in Asia and the Middle East.
These fund supermarkets generally do not accept US citizens or residents and offer very limited choices to them if they do. This is a common problem for all US persons trying to open financial accounts overseas today, reflecting the reluctance of foreign firms to risk complications from Regulation S and now FATCA. In practice, investing in non-US mutual funds has tax disadvantages for US persons in any case and it may be better to invest in US funds through a US discount broker.
Charles Schwab Global (USA)
No-transaction-fee funds US$0 online or US$25 broker-assisted; others US$76 online or US$101 broker-assisted Sell fee of US$49.95 online or US$74.95 broker-assisted for no-transaction-fee funds sold within 90 days
Custody fees: None
249 funds from 21 managers - Alliance Bernstein, Allianz, DWS, Eaton Vance, Federated, Franklin Templeton, GAM, Goldman Sachs, Invesco, Investec, Janus, Legg Mason, Manuife, MFS Meridian, Morgan Stanley, PIMCO, Pioneer, Reich & Tang, UBS Minimum account size US$25,000. Minimum investment from US$1,000, depending on fund. Yes (except US persons, who will need to use Charles Schwab USA and can't access the offshore funds)
Equity funds - accounts under S$25,000 1.5%, S$25,000-200,000 1.2%, S$200,000+ 0.75%; Bond funds 0.5%; Moneymarket funds 0% Fund switches free into funds with same or lower entry charge
Custody fees: None
485 funds from 31 managers - Aberdeen, AllianceBernstein, Allianz, Amundi, Aviva, Barclays, Blackrock, BNP Paribas, DWS, Fidelity, First State, Franklin Templeton, Fullerton, Henderson, HSBC, ING, JP Morgan, Jupiter, Legg Mason, Lion, Man, Manulife, Nikko, Phillip, PineBridge, Prudential, Russell, Schroders, Skandia, Threadneedle, UOB Minimum investment from S$1,000, depending on fund Limited - residents of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand only
Fundsupermart (Hong Kong)
Equity funds - accounts below HK$50,000 2%, HK$50,000-500,000 1.8%, HK$500,000-1,000,000 1.6%, HK$1,000,000+ 1.4%; Bond funds - accounts below HK$50,000 1%, HK$50,000-500,000 0.8%, HK$500,000-1,000,000 0.6%, HK$1,000,000+ 0.4% Fund switches free into funds with same or lower entry charge
Custody fees: None
433 funds from 34 managers - Aberdeen, AllianceBernstein, Allianz, Amundi, BEA, BNP Paribas, Barings, CCB, Citibank, DWS, Fidelity, First State, Franklin Templeton, Guotai Junan, HSBC, Henderson, ING, Invesco, JP Morgan, Legg Mason, Lyxor, Macquarie, Man, Manulife, Mirae, Nikko, OSK, PineBridge, Polaris, Principal, Prudential, Robeco, Schroder, Skandia Minimum investment from HK$8,000, depending on fund Yes (US persons theoretically permitted, but currently no available funds)
Equity funds 0.5% (min S$10); Bond funds 0-0.2%; Moneymarket funds 0% Fund switches free into funds with same or lower entry charge
Custody fees: Equity funds - first S$50,000 0.125% per quarter, next S$150,000 0.11% per quarter, next S$300,000 0.09% per quarter, balance 0.05% per quarter; Bond funds - 0.05% per quarter
426 funds from 31 managers - APS, AXA, Aberdeen, AllianceBernstein, Allianz, Amundi, Aviva, BNP Paribas, DB Platinum, DWS, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity, First State, Franklin Templeton, Fullerton, HSBC, Henderson, ING, JP Morgan, Legg Mason, Lion, Man, Manulife, Nikko, Phillip, PineBridge, Prudential, Russell, Schroder, UBS, UOB Minimum investment from S$1,000, depending on fund Yes (US persons permitted but options currently limited to 39 funds from UOB)
0% Early redemption fee of €50 on positions held for under 12 months
Custody fees: 0.05% per quarter (min €15, max €150)
396 funds from 19 managers - Aberdeen, Allianz, Amundi, Blackrock, BNP Paribas, Carmignac, Credit Suisse, Dexia, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, Henderson, HSBC, ING, Invesco, Lyxor, Morgan Stanley, Nordea, Pictet, Schroder Minimum investment €2,000 or €10,000 for moneymarket funds Yes (except US persons)
Keytrade Bank (Luxembourg)
€9.95 Carmignac and Petercam funds have 1% entry charge instead of €9.95 fixed fee
Custody fees: None
~400 funds from 36 managers - Aberdeen, ABN Amro, Amundi, Aphilion Q², Aviva, AXA, Ålandsbanken, Banque de Luxembourg, Blackrock, CapitalAtWork, Carmignac, Cazenove, Comgest, Delta Lloyd, East Capital, Ethna-Aktiv, Fidelity, Financière de l'Echiquier, Flexam, Franklin Templeton, GAM, Gartmore, Henderson, Invesco, IT Asset Management, JPMorgan, Julius Baer, Lazard Frères, Legg Mason, Leonardo Invest, Lombard Odier, Merclin, Morgan Stanley, Petercam, Pictet, Quest, Robeco, Rothschild, Sarasin, Schroder, SKAGEN, Société Générale, Swedbank Robur, Threadneedle, Tocqueville Finance, Triodos and Union Bancaire Privée Minimum investment €300-1,000 depending on fund Yes (except US persons)
Phillip Unit Trust (Singapore)
Equity funds from 0.75% Custody fees: None 413 funds from 27 managers - Aberdeen, AllianceBernstein, Allianz, Amundi, APS, AXA, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, DWS, Fidelity, First State, Franklin Templeton, Fullerton, Henderson, HSBC, Invesco, Legg Mason, Lion, Morley, Nikko, Phillip, PineBridge, Prudential, Schroder, SFM, Singapore Unit Trusts, UOB Minimum investment from S$500, depending on fund Yes (except US persons)
Prime Partner/Tier A+ funds CHF9; others 0.5% (min from CHF9/CHF50/CHF150) Custody fees: 0.025% per quarter (min CH15, max CHF50) 2,520 funds from 29 prime partners - Aberdeen, Allianz, AXA, Banque Syz/Oyster, BlackRock, Carmignac, Credit Suisse, DWS, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, HSBC, IAM, ING, JP Morgan, Julius Baer, Lombard Odier, Man, Neuberger Berman, Nordea, Pictet, Pioneer, Robeco, Sarasin, Schroders, Swisscanto, UBS, Vontobel, Zurcher Kantonalbank. Around 8,000 funds available in total. Minimum investment varies depending on fund Yes (but funds are not available to US persons)
The companies listed above operated in regulated financial jurisdictions that offer some investor protection (although this should not be taken as an endorsement of any particular firm). There are other companies claiming to offer offshore fund supermarkets that can easily be found by searching for the relevant terms online. However, it is often unclear who is behind them or they are attached to companies with a very mixed reputation. As a result, they are not included here.
However, this table is not necessarily comprehensive – it simply reflects those fund supermarkets currently known to accept offshore clients and believed to be reliable. If you would like to suggest another reputable broker for inclusion, you can send an email using the contact form.
Information in the offshore fund supermarkets comparison table comes from the companies’ websites and leaflets, conversations with staff members and conversations with investors who use the services. While I try to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, I cannot guarantee that. You should always check current terms and conditions before opening an account. If you identify any errors or omissions, please email me using the contact form.