Author Topic: Where do you put your money if you're not an American?  (Read 2376 times)

patrickza

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Where do you put your money if you're not an American?
« on: February 03, 2015, 06:29:05 AM »
I've been investing in ETFs in my native South Africa, but I feel it's now time to get some money into other markets. I do have a US bank account from my employer that I get paid into every now and then, but I'm not a resident or even a frequent visitor.

What I'd like to do is get the majority of my salary paid into my US account, and then invest it somewhere low cost. Vanguard won't help me, do I have other options?

Adventine

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Re: Where do you put your money if you're not an American?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2015, 07:59:12 AM »
Commenting on this thread to follow, as I have a similar problem (with the added complication of not having a U.S. bank account). I'm extremely interested in suggestions from others.

PEIslander

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Re: Where do you put your money if you're not an American?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2015, 08:24:17 AM »
Patrickza -- I'm confused. Are you living in working in South Africa or the USA? I'd imagine the advice offered will be different depending on your answer.

Dodge

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Re: Where do you put your money if you're not an American?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 02:56:00 PM »
The specifics of it depend on where you currently live, but the general idea is you open a brokerage account and invest in ETFs. Let us know where you live, and we can help.

patrickza

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Re: Where do you put your money if you're not an American?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 10:56:26 PM »
Currently living and working in South Africa, I do put all my spare cash into local ETFs, but I'd ideally like to have more offshore investments. The local banks charge enormous fees though, so I need to sidestep them. I'm fortunate in that I can get my salary into my US account, but I wouldn't know where to begin in opening an international brokerage account.

PEIslander

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Re: Where do you put your money if you're not an American?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2015, 02:31:23 AM »
Maybe you could look into OneTradeX. http://onetradex.com/ I'm not a customer and don't know anyone who is so I have no experience with them; but, from their website it sounds like they might be just what you need.

Quote
Offshore Brokerage Trade 100 Markets In 24 Countries
Direct market access to stocks, options, futures, FX, bonds, ETFs, CFDs and physical gold.  Trade assets denominated in multiple currencies from a single offshore investment account.

Based in the Cayman Islands OneTRADEx offers tax-neutral trading accounts for offshore residents and expatriate investors, including non-resident U.S. citizens.

It is a regulated broker. Their accounts require a $5000 USD minimum opening deposit. I believe I'm correct in saying that they, like other Caymen Island financial institutions, do not share info with other countries so your home country will not be able to tax you. That isn't to say taxes at home won't apply - just it will be up to you how much you declare at home. I'd imagine most people using "offshore" services do not declare any earnings or capital gains at home - so technically such users would be considered tax evaders in their home countries (if their tax people knew about the accounts). Cayman Islands would not tax the account.

Edit: It also appears they'll accept deposits in many different currencies and accounts are insured.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 03:02:45 AM by PEIslander »

acorn

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Re: Where do you put your money if you're not an American?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2015, 03:10:53 AM »
I use Interactive Brokers, trades are cheap, $1-2 per 100 shares. BUT they have a required minimum of $10k, and there is a monthly charge of $10 (waived if you have enough trades or if your account value is more than $100k). Not sure if you can open an account from south africa but since the application is online, can't hurt to try.