Fidelity has recently overhauled its international trading service to the point where it may be relatively useful. Previously, you needed a minimum balance of US$25,000 and over 120 trades per year or a balance of US$1,000,000, which made it extremely uncompetitive since any investor who met those conditions could do better elsewhere.
But with the international trading service now open to all account sizes, a large number of new markets added and reasonable fees for online trades in most, it now seems to be one of the most competitive providers available to US investors, at least in terms of range (Interactive Brokers is considerably cheaper, but covers fewer markets). However, be aware of the usual excessive FX conversion fee (up to 1%) – investors should try to work around this as much as possible by avoiding changing currencies within the account too frequently.
|Online trading||Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany - Frankfurt, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan - Osaka, Japan - Tokyo, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA, USA OTCBB and Pink Sheets|
|Telephone trading||As above|
|Online details||Australia A$32, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain €19, Canada C$19, Denmark DKK160, Hong Kong HK$250, Japan ¥3,000, Mexico MXN360, New Zealand NZD35, Norway NOK160, Poland PLN90, Singapore S$35, South Africa ZAR225, Sweden SEK180, Switzerland CHF25, UK £9, USA US$7.95|
|Telephone details||Australia A$70, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain €50, Canada C$70, Denmark DKK420, Hong Kong HK$600, Japan ¥8,000, Mexico MXN960, New Zealand NZD90, Norway NOK400, Poland PLN235, Singapore S$90, South Africa ZAR600, Sweden SEK480, Switzerland CHF65, UK £30, USA US$32.95|
|Account fees and inactivity fees||None|
|Custody charges for stocks||None|
|Corporate action charges||None|
|Currency conversion charges||Up to 1% margin on interbank rates: Trades up to US$100,000 1%; US$100,000-250,000 0.75%; US$250,000-500,000 0.5%; US$500,000-1,000,000 0.3%; US$1,000,000+ 0.2%|
|Hold cash in foreign currencies||Yes|
|Currencies allowed||AUD, CAD, CHF, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, SEK, SGD, USD, ZAR|
|Other products and services||Bonds, funds, metals, options|
|Minimum account size||None|
|Further information||Go to the Fidelity website|