Broker profile


Switzerland’s leading discount brokerage offers a reasonable range of North American and European markets for online trading and a far larger number for broker-assisted trades. As far as I know, it’s the only retail-orientated brokerage in Europe that offers markets such as Brazil or Japan’s Osaka Stock Exchange (as opposed to the more widely traded Tokyo exchange) – although Daniel Stewart, a UK institutional firm that accepts private clients, can also access these and more, while the Hong Kong-based Boom Securities and Phillip Securities are other cheaper alternatives for Japan.

The main drawback is the fees. Minimum commissions on the broker-assisted markets are so high that they are unrealistic for most retail investors. This may be understandable, since they will be traded via intermediaries. However, even the online markets are not cheap – you will do better through many other discount brokers.

However, there is no minimum account size and admin fees don’t look unbearable. So if you’re aiming to make a handful of long-term investments of at least US$5,000-10,000 each in some of the more inaccessible markets it offers, Swissquote could be worth a look. Feedback on everything except fees has generally been good.

The Hong Kong and Singapore stock brokers may be alternatives for Asia, while Brokerjet, Finasta and Orion Securities may be worth considering for Eastern Europe.