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BANGKOK 19 March 2019 00:45
Jingthing

U.S. topic: Interactive Brokers possibly an expat friendly brokerage and IRA account firm

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Disgusting and sick because just because one is not physically standing in the US any longer, does not mean they are no longer a US citizen or that they are permanently out of the USA.  Many people choose to and are able to live abroad or travel abroad for extended periods of time.  Where one is moving about should have absolutely no bearing on anything.  Uncle Sam and the IRs will tax and report gains to the Feds and a US citizen is legally responsible for properly filing their tax returns. 


Yes, our tax dollars at work.

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We've been able to "work around" the problem of maintaining a U.S. investment account while living overseas by continuing to keep a U.S. address (a commercial mail forwarding service), continuing to us our U.S. credit union as a primary bank (doing ACH transfers to Bangkok Bank from time-to-time) AND giving our U.S. lawyer a POA -- one that was executed on a form acceptable to the financial manager's company.  They had a little heartburn when they saw that the notary stamp for our signatures was from the U.S. Consulate-Chiang Mai and not from a specific state, but they got over it, especially since the lawyer is practically within walking distance of the financial manager and drops by his office from time-to-time to sign forms.

 

All communication and decisions are routed through Hubby and me, either via phone or email with the lawyer copied.  He just ignores the communication unless he's told he has to go sign something, which doesn't happen very often.  Fortunately, the lawyer is an old friend and every year I have to remind him (well, actually his secretary) to bill us for his time as serving as our POA for the year.  It isn't much.  

 

So, I guess from the perspective on the investment company, the client is actually the lawyer, not us.  I doubt we'd be able to set up a new account with them using this "work around" however.  It's only because our financial manager didn't want to see us pull out our funds, I suspect.

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Hello everyone,

 

I dug up this old topic.  UBS has just told me that they can no longer manage my brokerage account.  I'm an American with a U.S. address.

 

Funny that for years while I was working here in Thailand, it was no problem.  Now that I'm retiring here and spending more time in the U.S., it's an issue.

 

Does anyone have another institution that is helping them?  Thanks.

 

 

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I’m with Fidelity and have had no issues, but apparently others have had trouble.

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1 hour ago, dukeandduke said:

Hello everyone,

 

I dug up this old topic.  UBS has just told me that they can no longer manage my brokerage account.  I'm an American with a U.S. address.

 

Funny that for years while I was working here in Thailand, it was no problem.  Now that I'm retiring here and spending more time in the U.S., it's an issue.

 

Does anyone have another institution that is helping them?  Thanks.

 

 

What would have triggered UBS to have any idea of, or interest in, where you're staying or planning to retire to?

 

Open a U.S. account with Schwab while you're still in the U.S. Even later, keep the address of record and any phone numbers associated with the account as U.S. ones. And if logging in to the account from elsewhere, use a VPN that gives you a U.S. IP address.  Do all those things and you should have no problem.

 

Unless you feel the overwhelming urge down the road somewhere to be confessional.

 

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK

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33 minutes ago, mogandave said:

I’m with Fidelity and have had no issues, but apparently others have had trouble.

 

That whole past deal with Fidelity and expats has been perplexing. A LOT of expats did have hassles with Fidelity a couple years back, and I think one other brokerage also... But some folks seemed to emerge unscathed.  Why???  Hard to know.

 

Suffice to say, AFAIK, with normal U.S. expat precautions as I listed above, people have not had any signif. problems with Schwab, Etrade, Vanguard and a few others.

 

For U.S. folks contemplating a move and/or retirement, take care of any and all of those kinds of things beforehand while you're still in the U.S., and remain in the U.S. as far as any interactions you have with any U.S. financial institutions. That's the safe way to proceed.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK

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That whole past deal with Fidelity and expats has been perplexing. A LOT of expats did have hassles with Fidelity a couple years back, and I think one other brokerage also... But some folks seemed to emerge unscathed.  Why???  Hard to know.
 
Suffice to say, AFAIK, with normal U.S. expat precautions as I listed above, people have not had any signif. problems with Schwab, Etrade, Vanguard and a few others.
 
For U.S. folks contemplating a move and/or retirement, take care of any and all of those kinds of things beforehand while you're still in the U.S., and remain in the U.S. as far as any interactions you have with any U.S. financial institutions. That's the safe way to proceed.
 


It could be that that some balances do not justify the amount of ATM fees that have to be refunded, or the additional work required to satisfy US reporting regulations.

If I had $50k in a money market account and was drawing $100 a week out of a foreign ATM, the house may not see the value in maintaining my account, particularly if the $50K represented the bulk of my account.

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On 2/19/2019 at 12:12 PM, dukeandduke said:

Hello everyone,

 

I dug up this old topic.  UBS has just told me that they can no longer manage my brokerage account.  I'm an American with a U.S. address.

 

Funny that for years while I was working here in Thailand, it was no problem.  Now that I'm retiring here and spending more time in the U.S., it's an issue.

 

Does anyone have another institution that is helping them?  Thanks.

 

 

 

My Fido and Vanguard accounts were opened long long time ago. I used my accountant's address to maintain those accounts when I moved here.

I have not heard of Fidelity and Vanguard closing expat's accounts last few years. I assume that they have figured out how to accommodate expat's accounts without breaking the US laws, just my opinion and no way sure...so 3 years ago I took a chance, changed my address to my Thai address, no problems. High account balances may have helped.

I suggest the next time you go back to US, open an account with Fido or Vanguard.

Also check into Schwab Singapore account , Thai address is acceptable with  $25k min. I don't know how useful is the account, is it based in Singapore or US?

 

Edited by Thailand J

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I intend to use IB for the first time and I wonder if the there is no issue wiring funds from IB account to Thai bank account?

 

And likewise wiring money from Thai bank account to IB's account.

 

And what Thai bank offers the best transfer fees and forex rate.


Thanks!

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Have done both ways. Has to be to and from an account in your name.

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Fidelity froze my account once they got wind of my living abroad.  I was able to transfer the assets to another institution.  I didn't take it personally nor did I expect them to take into account the fact that my account with them had been longstanding.  Businesses aren't sentimental.  However, since I worked in the investment industry I understand what is motivating their decision and why it has nothing to do with our supposed rights as citizens.  Investment firms are subject to regulation, the compliance with which is onerous for them and exposes them to various legal liabilities.  Therefore, they are obliged to take steps to show a good faith effort not to conduct business in a jurisdiction for which they are not licensed, eg. Thailand.  Otherwise they might face a nasty letter from some Thai agency demanding to know why, since they are conducting business in Thailand, they are not complying with Thai regulations.

 

 

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My Fidelity account has been working fine for 15 years...I do have to sign the international agreement electronically, occasionally, but have never used a VPN with them.  Been here full time for five years.  Active trader.  

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At this point, I'd just like an institution to be honest with me.  Charles Schwab had multiple people tell me that they could service my account, and they took my money gladly.  Now they're telling me about restrictions.  A check was deposited a few days ago, and it hasn't cleared, for example.

 

One guy just told me that they can't sell U.S. mutual funds to someone who spends more than six months out of the country.  What the hell is that?  What about someone from another country?
 

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At this point, I'd just like an institution to be honest with me.  Charles Schwab had multiple people tell me that they could service my account, and they took my money gladly.  Now they're telling me about restrictions.  A check was deposited a few days ago, and it hasn't cleared, for example.
 
One guy just told me that they can't sell U.S. mutual funds to someone who spends more than six months out of the country.  What the hell is that?  What about someone from another country?
 


My wife can hold equities but not mutual funds in her Fidelity Roth.

It will likely take a week or more for your check to clear if you’re opening an account.
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Posted (edited)

It seems fairly obvious they don't want people taking money out of America. I am going to guess they don't want to let expats hold tax deferred mutual funds because of that. Trump is big on bringing money back to the USA and the dems are about to make a war on Wall Street if elected. 

 

Politics aside all of this is bad for the small investor. Suretrade is a company backed by the Swiss and based in the Bahamas that doesn't care and gives margin accounts that are 6:1 leverage with a deposit of $500. If you visit their website with in the USA you will be asked to check a box saying that they didn't intend to market their services to American citizens.

 

I am not sure what products they offer but this may be of use to people that want accounts with higher amounts of leverage and low barriers to open. The trade off no pun intended is higher transaction fees from what I know.

 

If you trade frequently something like Robinhood might be useful I am not sure how much they check into where you live but trades are commission free. There is a small charge for some kind of tax or whatever that is usually hidden with in the commission structure of companies with higher fees. I made a second account with them to get around the pattern trading rules. They asked very few questions online and I simply provided a USA address and phone number. I was with in the USA when I did it so have no idea if a foreign IP address sets off alarms, these days we can assume it does.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Cryingdick

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