Mar 202012

There have been a number of updates to the stock broker directory recently. These include entries for:

  • DUTrade, an online broker based in Bahrain and covering much of the Middle East and North Africa
  • Dutch discount brokerage Binck Bank – reported to be a good choice for derivatives and structured products on European markets
  • IW Bank, the online brokerage arm of Italy’s UBI Banca
  • Hong Kong broker Core Pacific – Yamaichi

Other major additions to the site include a comparison table of US discount online brokerages for trading domestic shares and options – a long-standing request from readers – and a comparison table of Hong Kong online brokers. There’s also a comparison table for fund supermarkets in centres such as Luxembourg and Singapore that will accept foreign clients.

Offshore fund supermarket comparison table

Last UpdatedAug 162013

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.

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