Author Topic: US brokerage for a non-resident/alien  (Read 3624 times)

idjces

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US brokerage for a non-resident/alien
« on: April 01, 2017, 02:21:07 PM »
I'm currently on vacation in California and want to sort out my financial options while I'm over here.

I've opened a checking and savings account with BOA. Charles Schwab said they couldn't help me, and Chase said they need proof of residence (or try other main banks like BOA first and then bring a statement from them as proof).

So now I would like to look into options for investing into some of the bigger stocks (eg Berkshire), and the typical ETF's (eg vanguard s&p500). Back home everything is invested in the Australian share market as the ongoing currency exchange fees look expensive, amongst other reasons.


Firstly, can you recommend any of your favorite brokers with minimum fees? Fidelity rings a bell, and there was a branch nearby I might try having a chat to


Secondly, any suggestions on how I can minimize my banking account fees? I'm not too sure how American accounts may differ from Australian. I have a checking account with a $12/month fee (voided with $1500 balance). A savings account with a $5/month fee (voided with $300 balance). I also have a prepay visa card to spend $USD with, and hope to upgrade to better rewards cards down the road. Could I close one of the accounts? can a savings account do everything the checking account does?

Thank you for your help!

Paul der Krake

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Re: US brokerage for a non-resident/alien
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 02:42:52 PM »
Forget BoA, open a Fidelity Cash Management account along with a brokerage account. Zero fees, zero minimums. They allow NRAs all day every day.

idjces

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Re: US brokerage for a non-resident/alien
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 03:12:38 PM »
That Fidelity Cash Management account looks much more appropriate, I'll check into their branch early next week, thanks!

Kalergie

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Re: US brokerage for a non-resident/alien
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 04:28:19 PM »
A non-resident who is not even US citizen can open this account? That's surprising news to me.

An alternative for OP could be Interactive Brokers. Also, couldn't you just open a brokerage account in Australia with a US$ base currency if you only plan to trade US denominated stocks?

farfromfire

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Re: US brokerage for a non-resident/alien
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 06:03:20 AM »
TD Ameritrade and IB both allow this.

Note that with stocks/etfs held at any broker by a non-resident alien, 30% of dividends will be withheld by the IRS.


Kalergie

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Re: US brokerage for a non-resident/alien
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 02:35:56 PM »
Unless you live in a country that has a treaty with the US. https://www.irs.gov/PUP/individuals/international/Tax_Treaty_Table_1.pdf

farfromfire

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Re: US brokerage for a non-resident/alien
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 03:13:12 PM »
Unless you live in a country that has a treaty with the US. https://www.irs.gov/PUP/individuals/international/Tax_Treaty_Table_1.pdf
Correct me if i'm wrong, but doesnt that mean that there's no double taxation, but he pays either 30% to irs or australian dividend tax to australia, whichever is higher?