Connect with us


How to choose an offshore broker

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: As an expatriate, there are a number of important aspects to consider before choosing an offshore broker or a custodian to hold your investment assets. At the same time, you will need to keep in mind that not every offshore broker will be able to offer a perfect solution for all of your needs – especially if your financial situation is overly complex or unique. However, these considerations are the most important ones:

Regulatory Oversight
Offshore jurisdictions offer varying levels of protection for expat clients of offshore brokers and this level of protection can be different for someone who is a local verses a foreigner. Moreover, don’t take any offshore broker’s word for it that they have all the proper licenses in their respected jurisdiction to do business. Instead, check with the appropriate regulatory authorities yourself to confirm they are in good legal standing and don’t have any serious complaints filed against them.

24/7 Access and Support
Given that there could be significant time differences between your physical location and the broker’s location, you need to make sure they can offer 24/7 online access (baring reasonable amounts of system “downtime”) and telephone support. And if 24 hour phone support with a live human being is an unrealistic expectation, then you need to make sure that they can offer you voice support at a reasonable hour given your location or potential locations (e.g. When you are visiting your home country and when you are abroad).

Financial Product Availability
At the very least, your offshore broker should be able to offer you stocks that trade on major global stock exchanges (e.g. NYSE and the NASDAQ), individual fixed income investments, low cost ETF fund products (as opposed to just managed fund products which tend to have higher fees) and money market type of funds. You should also be able to buy and sell these products online and by yourself without having to call someone to place a trade.

Account Transparency
You will need to make sure that your offshore broker provides quarterly or monthly statements and account balances and positions can be accessed online daily. Statements and online accounts (at a minimum) should detail any transactions, distributions and any and all fees, commissions or foreign taxes paid as you will likely need all of this information to prepare your income taxes. Finally, you need to know the procedures, any fees and how long it will take to transfer funds in and out of your account. Most importantly, there should be no restrictions or lock-in periods to redeem your funds.

Account Maintenance Fees and Commissions

In addition to the usual trading commissions generated when investments are bought or sold, your offshore broker may charge fees for opening, transferring or closing accounts; for accounts that fall below a certain minimum value; for accounts that have no trading activity; or for any number of other reasons that should be clearly disclosed in a fee schedule.

Special Considerations
If you are an American citizen, there will be some special considerations as the offshore broker may not even want you as a client while using a broker based in some jurisdictions known to be tax havens or so-called “money laundering” centers may invite extra scrutiny from US regulatory authorities. Moreover and if your financial accounts in foreign jurisdictions are worth more than $10,000, you will need to complete a Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) report to report those accounts to US financial regulators. In other words, you will need to check with a tax accountant or financial advisor who understands expat tax and financial reporting issues for American citizens.

Don Freeman is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket and Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has over 15 years experience and provides personal financial planning and wealth management to expatriates. Specializing in UK and US pension transfers. Call 089-970-5795 or email:

— Don Freeman


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Thailand19 hours ago

Oct 1 reopening NOT confirmed, Kpop star sparks frenzy for Thai meatballs |Thailand News Today

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Hua Hin20 hours ago

Final arguments Tuesday on dual pricing suit against Health Ministry

World21 hours ago

Texas lawyer dressed as Halloween’s Michael Myers to spread hurricane cheer

Thailand21 hours ago

The Last Dance feat. Mike | Thaiger Bites | September 17

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand22 hours ago

No “October reopening” plan has been approved – CCSA

Thailand22 hours ago

Public Health Ministry defends October 1 reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 14,555 new cases; provincial totals

Crime22 hours ago

Torture and forced disappearances bills pass House vote 368-0

Bangkok23 hours ago

Bangkok Governor: NO reopening October 15 despite PM plans

Pattaya24 hours ago

Thai-Russian 4 year old girl drowns in Pattaya home pool

Phuket1 day ago

New centre proposed to provide ATKs cheap at Phuket entrance

Thailand1 day ago

Morning Top Stories | Covid Free setting, Pattaya bars might not open | September 17 |

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Daily Covid Update | Thursday, September 17 |

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11