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Best Stock Brokers for International Trading—October 2019

A key component of a equalized portfolio is exposure to international markets. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) focused on a particular geographical area can be added to any portfolio, but the investor has petite control over the stocks included in the fund. Most brokers also allow their clients to trade American Depositary Proceeds (ADRs), which are certificates representing shares in foreign stock. ADRs are traded on U.S. exchanges.

For investors who want to business directly in instruments traded in markets outside the U.S., a small subset of online brokers allows you to place trades on transalpine markets. You’ll find stocks, bonds, futures, and currencies to trade, but be mindful of additional risks like limited liquidity and currency reciprocate rate fluctuations.

If you’re interested in one or two international markets, you might consider opening an account with a local broker in that native land. The major risk here is that regulatory agencies outside the U.S. are not as proactive, and foreign brokerages have been known to shut down overnight, absconding with their purchaser’s assets. 

Best for International Trading

Our list of the top brokers for international trading:

Interactive Brokers

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Recompenses: $0.005 per share for the standard platform, $0 for IBKR Lite
Read full review

Nobody does it better. Interactive Stockjobbers offers a multi-currency account that lets you trade in products worldwide as well as make deposits and withdrawals in distinctive currencies. You choose the base currency for your account for reporting (Americans usually choose the US dollar). Using the downloadable Purchaser Workstation (TWS), all international positions are opened using a margin account, which does not require you to convert currency beforehand, granting your holdings in the international asset are subject to currency fluctuations for profit/loss calculations. IB’s charting and quote appointments can be used on any asset for analysis and risk assessment. When a new electronic exchange opens anywhere in the world, IB soon proposals its products on TWS.

Interactive Brokers also received awards for Best Overall Online Brokers, Best for Low Costs, Most artistically for Options Trading, Best for Penny Stocks, and Best for Day Trading.

Pros

  • IB allows trading on almost every electronic interchange worldwide.

  • IB also offers 104 currency pairs for forex trading.

  • Use the IBot feature to find international exchange features easily.

  • International assets can be traded around the clock.

Cons

  • You will likely pay additional data emoluments for international markets.

  • High risk of margin call if an international asset experiences a sharp drop in value.

  • Uncountable of the international trading features are available only on the TWS platform.

Fidelity Investments

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: $4.95 per stock/ETF, $4.95 addition $0.65/contract per options trade
Read full review

Fidelity customers can trade in 25 countries, and can decide whether the transactions will settle in U.S. dollars or the local currency. There are 16 currencies available to trade, and you can clutch domestic and international stocks in a single account. All foreign currencies and international stock holdings are displayed on the Positions shield, sortable by currency and country. However, there are no good-til-canceled orders, short sales, or additional order instructions (e.g. seal or kill) for international orders.

Fidelity also received awards for Best Overall Online Brokers, Best for Beginners, Best clothes Stock Trading Apps, Best for ETFs, Best for Penny Stocks, Best for Roth IRAs, Best for IRAs and Most appropriate Web Trading Platform. 

Pros

  • Well-organized news and data sections on the website and in mobile apps.

  • Real-time quotes are convenient for international stocks at no additional cost.

  • Fidelity’s International Trading Desk has brokers available for support.

Cons

  • All trades are restricted to cash. No margin trades for international equities.

  •  Orders are good only for the trading day, and only for market or limit corrects.

  • International trading is not allowed in retirement accounts. 

Charles Schwab

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: Free stock, ETF and choices trading commissions in the U.S., as of October 7th, 2019. $0.65 per options contract.
Read full review

Schwab customers with a Schwab One account (which also includes moolah management features) can make trades with broker assistance on 30 different exchanges. A separate Schwab Universal Account offers direct online access to 12 markets in their local currencies. Whichever you choose, you can access the global stock screener which lets you sort by 30 criteria such as country, sector, market cap, and stock appearance. Schwab’s international equity ratings cover more than 4,000 stocks and offer in-depth analysis, headquartered on 14 predictive criteria including momentum and risk for than stocks 28 countries.

Charles Schwab also pull down awards for Best Overall Online Brokers, Best Web Trading Platform, Best for Options Trading, Best for Penny Stereotypes, Best for Beginners, Best for Roth IRAs, Best for IRAs, Best for ETFs and Best Stock Trading Apps. 

Pros

  • Terrific proprietary investigation is available with Schwab Equity Ratings International.

  • Market commentary relevant to current conditions is updated about daily.

  • Third-party research is available from Morningstar, Credit Suisse, Ned Davis Research, and the Economist.

Cons

  • No fixed-income guardings are available in a Global Account.

  • The Global Account is linked to, but separate from, your regular Schwab brokerage account.

  • Trades placed via go-between on the Global Investing Services desk incurs higher fees.   

Merrill Edge, TD Ameritrade and Vanguard allow universal transactions via a live broker, but they do not enable online trading of international securities. TradeStation allows its customers to merchandising futures on seven European exchanges.

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