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Interactive Brokers or Charles Schwab

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Old 29-08-2017, 10:55 PM   #1
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Interactive Brokers or Charles Schwab

Is IB the preferred choice amongst us, given that there is a long and good thread about IB in the forum.

I came across some good words on CS recently, especially non US resident friendly account opening on Bogleheads forum [1]

Can anyone advice on which is better? I do not trade actively but plan to put 40-50kUSD into long term ETF holdings.

Thanks

[1] bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=185560o
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Old 29-08-2017, 11:07 PM   #2
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I've not looked at Charles Schwab closely so I can't provide a comparison. But I opened my IBKR account via their HK website and I found it easy enough.

IBKR charges a minimum monthly activity fee of USD 10 for accounts with NAV below USD 100k. So if you're only parking USD 40 - 50k worth of ETF, that's something to take note of.
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Old 30-08-2017, 12:26 AM   #3
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I came across some good words on CS recently, especially non US resident friendly account opening on Bogleheads forum [1]
Residents of Singapore cannot open Schwab One international accounts, so that's why you're not hearing much about Schwab in this forum. Residents of Singapore can open OptionsXpress Singapore accounts, however. OptionsXpress is a subsidiary of Charles Schwab. And it's a good option for certain types of investing in U.S. stocks.

Legal residents of countries where it is possible to open a Schwab One account can open a Schwab One account and then move to Singapore -- that's allowed.
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Old 30-08-2017, 04:59 AM   #4
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I've not looked at Charles Schwab closely so I can't provide a comparison. But I opened my IBKR account via their HK website and I found it easy enough.

IBKR charges a minimum monthly activity fee of USD 10 for accounts with NAV below USD 100k. So if you're only parking USD 40 - 50k worth of ETF, that's something to take note of.
The minimum rate is something to take note about, thanks!

IBKR HK and US, any particular reason we should pick one over another.
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Old 30-08-2017, 05:01 AM   #5
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Residents of Singapore cannot open Schwab One international accounts, so that's why you're not hearing much about Schwab in this forum. Residents of Singapore can open OptionsXpress Singapore accounts, however. OptionsXpress is a subsidiary of Charles Schwab. And it's a good option for certain types of investing in U.S. stocks.

Legal residents of countries where it is possible to open a Schwab One account can open a Schwab One account and then move to Singapore -- that's allowed.
Hi BBCWatcher, what's your experience and how would you rate between the two? OX and IB?
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Old 30-08-2017, 07:22 AM   #6
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The minimum rate is something to take note about, thanks!

IBKR HK and US, any particular reason we should pick one over another.
I believe the US website does not entertain non-US customers. I found that I could only open an account through the IBKR HK website.
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Old 30-08-2017, 02:38 PM   #7
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Hi BBCWatcher, what's your experience and how would you rate between the two? OX and IB?
I like them both but for different reasons. OptionsXpress has a small office and holds some in-person seminars in Singapore, and that's nice. Their low, flat commission for trading U.S. listed securities is easy to understand and reasonable. They don't charge any minimum monthly commissions. Their trading platform is a bit simpler.

IB's variable commission often makes financial sense, and they have generally better commissions for non-U.S. markets such as London (where the ETFs are more appropriate for non-U.S. persons). The trading platform is quite powerful, and they offer a wider range of user interfaces. They don't automatically convert currencies, and their foreign currency exchange services are very good indeed. It's generally less expensive to withdraw funds back into Singapore.
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Old 31-08-2017, 05:09 AM   #8
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I like them both but for different reasons. OptionsXpress has a small office and holds some in-person seminars in Singapore, and that's nice. Their low, flat commission for trading U.S. listed securities is easy to understand and reasonable. They don't charge any minimum monthly commissions. Their trading platform is a bit simpler.

IB's variable commission often makes financial sense, and they have generally better commissions for non-U.S. markets such as London (where the ETFs are more appropriate for non-U.S. persons). The trading platform is quite powerful, and they offer a wider range of user interfaces. They don't automatically convert currencies, and their foreign currency exchange services are very good indeed. It's generally less expensive to withdraw funds back into Singapore.
Thanks BBCWatcher, very informative, now you are making it hard for me to decide London or Irish domiciled ETF for US should be more attractive given the withholding discount, but I might also be starting with less than 100k USD. So I want to avoid the minimum charges but also enjoy the non-US domiciled ETFs

Still scratching my head learning, advice appreciated
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Old 31-08-2017, 07:51 AM   #9
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If you are starting off with 10K and then you are investing atleast 1k every month, then the 10USD per month becomes too small already, relative to the exchange rate savings and commission savings. Per year you are spending about 120USD which is like 1.2% of the initial 10k assuming you don't put in more money. So worst case scenario, it is a bit like a unit trust with 1.2% expense ratio. But best case is of course lots of savings in exchange rate and commission if you trade often and also you have a nice platform with so many instruments to learn real trading.

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