Broker profile

Charles Schwab Global Account

Charles Schwab’s online global trading service is distinct from the international dealing option in its Schwab One Account and, unlike the latter, is only open to US citizens (US residents who don’t hold US nationality will apparently not be eligible). It offers online trading for 12 markets in Europe and Asia – some publicity material claims access to 30 countries, but this larger number refers to trading in foreign ADRs and OTC stocks, which is not the same as having direct access to an overseas exchange.

Fees are more competitive than the Schwab One telephone dealing offering. However, be aware of the currency conversion commissions (up to 1% over interbank rates) and also the 0.1% extra commission that Schwab’s local broker will add on – detailed rates are in Schwab’s fee guide [PDF]. On the plus side, this account has no minimum balance, other than requiring clients to already have a Schwab One account.

Overall, this is more realistic for smaller investors than anything Schwab offered previously, but it is still more expensive than Interactive Brokers and covers less markets than the similarly priced Fidelity.

Markets available
Online tradingAustralia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany - Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan - Tokyo, Netherlands, Norway, UK, USA, USA OTCBB and Pink Sheets
Telephone tradingAs above
Dealing commissions and charges
Typical onlineUS$8.95-35
Online detailsAustralia AS$32, Canada C$14, Eurozone €19, Hong Kong HK$250, Japan ¥2,000, Norway NOK160, UK £9, USA US$8.95, foreign stocks traded OTC in the USA US$58.95
Typical telephoneUS$35-75
Telephone detailsAustralia AS$70, Canada C$70, Eurozone €50, Hong Kong HK$600, Japan ¥6,000, Norway NOK400, UK £30, USA US$33.95, foreign stocks traded OTC in the USA US$83.95
Other fees and charges
Account fees and inactivity feesNone
Custody charges for stocksNone
Dividend chargesNone
Corporate action chargesNone
Currency conversion chargesUp to 1%
Hold cash in foreign currenciesYes
Currencies allowedAUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NOK, USD
Other details
Tax-advantaged accountsNone
Other products and servicesNone
Minimum account sizeNone, but a Schwab One account is required with minimum account size US$1,000
Company locationUSA
Further information

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