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    • London2017
    • By London2017 14th Mar 17, 1:12 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Charles Schwab, e-trade or Interactive Brokers...
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 1:12 PM
    Charles Schwab, e-trade or Interactive Brokers... 14th Mar 17 at 1:12 PM
    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone here has experience with Charles Schwab or E-trade or Interactive Brokers.

    If you want to invest in US ETFs or stocks, they seem cheaper than many of the usual brokers based in the UK (H&L, Charles Stanley, etc.).

Page 1
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 14th Mar 17, 1:42 PM
    • 7,825 Posts
    • 14,292 Thanks
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 1:42 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 1:42 PM
    The trouble with US brokers who have small UK operations leveraged off the US service is that you can get access to US pricing levels (eg $5-10 a trade might be normal) and decent trading functionality but you often don't get useful features standard with the UK brokers.

    For example if I go to many UK brokers that offer international dealing (e.g. someone like TD Direct):
    -I can do my investing through a UK tax wrapper like an ISA or SIPP (unlike at Schwab),

    - I get access to the UK FS compensation scheme if the broker goes titsup (unlike at Schwab)

    - I don't need a minimum of $25000 to open the account (unlike at Schwab).

    When your account minimum is 20k or so, an ISA wrapper is handy.

    Similar problem at Interactive Broker, whose account minimum is only $10k and buys/sells are cheap as chips - but if you don't keep $100k in the account then you have to pay the account minimum charge of $10/month (e.g. if your trading fees were only $4 one month and $0 the next, you'd have to pay an activity fee of $6 the first month and $10 the next)

    Other brokers that don't have massive high prices on US trades and have been mentioned here before include and Saxo Markets UK.

    But i confess to not actually having used any of the accounts you were asking about.
    • London2017
    • By London2017 14th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
    Thanks for your reply, Bowlhead99.

    Indeed, you are right on all counts. I was thinking of investing a sum above the brokers' minimum and outside an ISA/SIPP wrapper, in which case the US brokers might be an alternative.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 14th Mar 17, 2:09 PM
    • 9,380 Posts
    • 10,356 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:09 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:09 PM
    I think there is a move amongst US brokers to get rid of foreign domiciled clients due to the paperwork/legal complexities. I am with TD Direct in the UK only because I got bounced out of a US brokerage I had, may have been Schwab but i forget.

    TD Direct is reasonable to use, and key as a UK broker is that you can sell and buy in the same currency, say US$, so not making currency losses each time.

    I am also with Etrade in the USA but thats mainly because my company had a stock plan and I get an associated account (which I also trade in). I will soon (as a part of retirement) start selling down my assets there so they are all in the UK. It does though have a good service, and doesn't have one irritation that TD Direct has which is the 3 day rule, eg sell something with TD and it take 3 days to get the money.

    With Etrade its immediate which I was more used to from my frequent trading days so I could sell and buy a minute later. Dont think I can do that with TD. I can with ETrade AFAICR
    • brianposter
    • By brianposter 14th Mar 17, 2:39 PM
    • 202 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:39 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:39 PM
    I have a Schwab account which appears to be very efficient.

    Note that the US has some very different rules if you are a short term trader.
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