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10 Best Online Brokers for Non-US Residents

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Ty Haqqi
·8 min read
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In this article we are going to list the 10 best online brokers for non-US residents. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 best online brokers for non-US residents.

Are you a US visa holder or a Non-US resident looking to invest into the US stock market? Finding a broker may seem complicated, but there are actually a few brokers out there that are by far the best brokers for Non-US residents which allow people from many countries to register. If you want to find out who are the best online brokers for non-us residents keep on reading so that you can be a part of the world of Non-US residents online trading soon enough!

Whether you are a foreigner living in the United States or a citizen of another country in the world, the U.S. stock market is the go-to destination for all investing opportunities. Two of the most lucrative stock markets in the US include the NYSE and NASDAQ. Both markets offer US traders and investors a chance of buying and selling stock for publicly traded companies. Amongst many of the companies listed on the US Stock Exchange there are many you have probably heard of already. For example, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA), GameStop Corp Holding Company (NYSE:GME), Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO), Pinterest Inc (NYSE:PINS), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) etc. Thanks to the success and high-profile trading engaged in US markets, non-US citizens have been wondering if they can trade in these markets too. The answer is yes. Currently, there are no regulations that stop online traders from trading in US markets.

10 best online brokers for non US residents
10 best online brokers for non US residents

Image: Depositphotos

To participate in online trading, you will need to open an account with an online broker. The right choice for an online broker is essential if you want your trading to be profitable. So, what are online brokers and what can they do for you? An online broker is one which facilitates buying and selling of securities/assets over the Internet. The transactions are mostly done through the broker owned trading platforms. Online brokers began to gain popularity in the mid and late 1990s, facilitated by the development of high-performance computers and faster Internet connections.

Why online trading? Well, trading is one of the most lucrative professions that anyone can engage in. It is convenient for many, as you can place orders, check quotes, and make changes from anywhere. It also facilitates faster execution of traders, helping to take advantage of the volatility in a better manner. By taking advantage of market discrepancies, it allows traders and investors an opportunity of implementing their strategies. Above all else, online trading is more cost-effective compared to trading through a traditional broker and the market offers some of the most desirable goals people could want like financial gain and more time to pursue hobbies.

As a non-US citizen who is interested in the US stock exchange, finding the right stockbroker can be super frustrating. For starters, you may end up selecting a broker who promises something he cannot deliver, and you end up in loss. Secondly, comparing brokers and finding the one suitable for you can be quite tricky. If you are a non-US citizen than you need to know that there are many rules and regulations surrounding the opening of a brokerage account. Before you open an account, it is wise to consult with the brokerage firm. There are firms that will allow online applications while others will require paper filings. Also, there are brokers who will demand for legitimate visa information and the W-8BEN form among other requirements.

Before considering an online broker, you should consider the factors outlined below:

Let's first start with the products offered. It is important to consider the type of products offered by the broker. This should be relative to what may be geographically possible. For example, the online company may offer access to top stock markets like the London Stock Exchange, NYSE, and NASDAQ but not those markets of Japan and China. When it comes to products, look for a broker that will allow you to trade with all US stocks as well as mutual funds, forex, and futures, among others. Secondly, consider security. This is very important especially when it comes to your own funds. One feature to check out is the platform’s security. The firm must have an authentic SSL certificate. If they do have a valid SSL, their trading platform URL will be a secure one. It will start with https and not http. It is also important to consider what investor protection law you are under. Last comes pricing. You must look out for the brokers minimum balance, the fees you will have to pay per trade, due fee in case of inactivity. Other additional fees could be withdrawal fees and commissions. By researching pricing related matters, you will be able to select a brokerage firm that is within your budget.

By now you understand that an online broker should offer a reasonable minimum investment amount, trading platforms with top features, top customer service facilities and no additional account fees. Based on this criteria, we have outlined the brokerage firms below that make it on our list of the 10 best online brokers for non-US residents.

Brokerage firms and investment companies have been evaluated based on their provided services that are important to various types of investors. Such as for active traders, online brokers with low to no commissions and hi-tech mobile trading platforms are most ideal. For people venturing into online trading for their very first time, online brokers that provide educational resources, research and customer services like on-call chat and phone support have been added to the list. The rankings have been based on reviews, ratings and experiences compiled from Nerdwallet, Brokerchooser and Warriortrading. So let's take a look at the online brokers ready to open up and entire new world in trading for you, starting with number 10:

10. LightSpeed

Overall Rating: 3.25/5 Investopedia

Account Minimum: $10,000 (web), $25,000 (software)

Fees: Max $4.50/stock trade, $0.65/options contract. No charge per leg

Lightspeed is a good bet for very frequent traders, as their account minimums are on the high side, but the cost of trading is very low. You will not find any planning tools or educational guidance for amateur traders on Lightspeed, but advanced traders can benefit highly from their available trading tools.

Kite_rin/Shutterstock.com

9. Charles Schwab International (NYSE:SCHW)

Overall Rating: 4/5

Account Minimum: $2500 for non-US residents

Fees: Free stock, ETF trading, $0.65 per options contract

Rated as one of the best brokers for ETFs and ETF screeners, the company offers a wide array of tools and services designed to appeal to all investing levels. It offers various platforms including Mobile web platforms and native mobile apps along with a desktop platform. On Nov. 25, 2019, Charles Schwab announced it would acquire TD Ameritrade's online brokerage. In August 2020, Schwab confirmed that TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim platform will live on after the acquisition is complete.

Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock.com

8. TD Ameritrade

Overall Rating: 4.2/5

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: Free stock, ETF, and per-leg options trading commissions in the U.S., as of October 3rd, 2019. $0.65 per options contract

TD Ameritrade remains one of the largest online brokers and it has continued to advance based on its advantage with beginner investors. TD Ameritrade reaches out to customers and prospects detailed and comprehensive outlines to its services constructed on a variety of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Once it grabs the customers attention, TD Ameritrade offers customers a choice from their platforms, including its basic website, mobile apps, and thinkorswim, which is designed for derivatives-focused active traders. Education is a key component of TD Ameritrade's offerings.

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Undrey/Shutterstock.com

7. Firstrade

Overall Rating: 4/5

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: $0 commissions for most stock, option, and ETF trades

Founded in 1985, Queens New York, Firstrade offers commission-free trades for stocks, options and ETF’s and does not charge on any mutual funds it has to offer. With multiple trading platforms and access to free research it also provides biweekly educational seminars for beginner traders. It also provides an Android and iOS Mobile Application with a dashboard and research features like advanced charting. Firstrade accepts clients from 60 countries and does not require a Social Security number or a tax ID number.

one photo/Shutterstock.com

6. Zacks Trade

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Account Minimum: $2500

Fees: $0.01 per share

Zacks Trade is an ideal firm for active traders and investors seeking access to a human broker as well as trade in foreign stock exchange. Zacks trade provides three free trading platforms and access to 20 free research reports. Due to its connection with Interactive Brokers, Zacks Trade is available in 218 countries and allows over 90 international exchanges.

Please continue to see the 5 best online brokers for non-US residents. Suggested articles:

Disclosure: No position. 10 best online brokers for non-US residents is originally published at Insider Monkey.