Sep 082014
 

There’s a clear shortage of fundamental data services for private investors who want reliable information on global markets at a reasonable price. So I’m glad to see that Stockopedia has now added US stocks to its UK and European coverage.

For those who haven’t yet come across Stockopedia, the site provides a huge range of valuation measures and screening tools, including screens based on popular strategies and the styles of notable investing. The underlying fundamental information comes from Thomson Reuters, but all valuation metrics are calculated in-house.

This may not sound like a big deal, but ensuring that financial statistics are calculated in a consistent, accurate and meaningful way across an entire dataset is more difficult than it sounds. Stockopedia’s data quality is superior to any other website that I’ve seen and in some respects seems better than the high-end professional services from Reuters and Bloomberg. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:53 am
Mar 212014
 

Alliance Trust Savings’ announcement that it will no longer be charging VAT [PDF] on the account fees for its dealing and ISA accounts is a small but welcome saving for clients, with quarterly fees falling from £22.50 to £18.75. But it illustrates a peculiar inconsistency in how UK brokers treat account administration fees and VAT.

HMRC guidance says that charges for certain investment services are not subject to VAT, as this notice sets out. These include brokerage commissions and fees for stock custody, dividend handling and implementing corporate actions.

As a result, if a firm charges an investor a “custody fee” or an “account fee” to cover custody and servicing for their investments, that fee is exempt from VAT. However, if the fee is instead a broader administration fee that pays for other services, the fee will not be exempt.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 12:28 am

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If you’re a private investor interested in overseas stock markets, you probably already know how hard it is to find accurate information about many aspects of international investing.

The International Investor aims to provide the answers to the most frequently asked questions and share information about stock brokers and other useful service providers. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:05 pm

International stock brokers for the rest of the world

 

Introduction | UK brokers | US brokers | Hong Kong brokers | Singapore brokers | Other

The final section of this guide lists a few international stock brokers that may be of interest to investors in some of the less accessible markets. In general, these relate to markets that I am not personally involved in and know relatively little about the options for foreign investors. The stock brokers have been suggested to me by people who are, but I have generally not had the opportunity to get full details of what they offer. If you can recommend stock brokers or share useful information on investing in these countries, please email me.

Very important note: Some of these firms below operate out of well-regulated financial centres or are subsidiaries of major financial institutions. Other may offer much less investor protection and are included here because they represent the most promising solution that I’ve received for accessing more difficult markets. While I try not to include firms I believe to be suspect or suggest unregulated or lightly regulated firms where better regulated options are available, you should take considerable care and exercise due diligence in dealing with any firm in many of these markets. Be aware that in some countries it could be easier to invest than bring your money back home. As with the rest of this guide, I do not endorse any particular firm and details below are provided only to assist your own research.
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The best Singapore international stock brokers

 

Introduction | UK brokers | US brokers | Hong Kong brokers | Singapore brokers | Other

This is an overview of the leading Singapore online stock brokers that are able to buy international shares. If you’re looking for a straightforward comparison table, there is one summarising Singapore brokers for international investing and a separate one comparing their costs for Singapore-listed shares only.

Singapore is very popular with international investors looking for a brokerage in Asia. Please see the articles on opening a Singapore bank account or opening a Singapore stock broking account for more information on how non-residents can open accounts in Singapore. Continue reading »

The best Hong Kong international stock brokers

 

Introduction | UK brokers | US brokers | Hong Kong brokers | Singapore brokers | Other

This is an overview of some leading Hong Kong online stock brokers that are able to buy international shares. If you’d prefer to browse it as a comparison table, see the table of Hong Kong international stock brokers. To compare fees for investing in Hong Kong shares only, see this comparison of Hong Kong online stock brokers. Continue reading »

The best US international stockbrokers

 

Introduction | UK brokers | US brokers | Hong Kong brokers | Singapore brokers | Other

This is an overview of the leading online stockbrokers in the US that are able to buy international shares. If you’d prefer to browse it as a comparison table, see the table of US international stockbrokers. To compare fees for investing in US shares only, see this comparison of US online discount stockbrokers. American citizens and residents who want to know about opening stock broker accounts abroad should read this article about the problems they face. Continue reading »

The best UK international stock brokers

 

Introduction | UK brokers | US brokers | Hong Kong brokers | Singapore brokers | Other

This is an overview of the leading UK online stock brokers that are able to buy international shares. To browse fuller details of their costs as a comparison table, see the table of UK international stock brokers. and check each broker’s individual entry in the stockbroker directory. To compare fees for investing in UK shares only, see this comparison of the cheapest UK online stock brokers. Continue reading »