Connect with us


How to choose an offshore broker



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

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

What you get for $X15 hours ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand17 hours ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Sponsored1 day ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Weather17 hours ago

Storm Noru weakens from typhoon to depression as it moves across Thailand

World18 hours ago

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan hits students preparing for exam

Politics18 hours ago

BREAKING: Prayut reinstated as Prime Minister of Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Technology19 hours ago

What role for Thailand in China’s great European EV invasion?

Cambodia19 hours ago

Cambodian delegation in UK to seach for stolen treasures

Thailand19 hours ago

20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand

Crime19 hours ago

Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

Thailand20 hours ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room20 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime20 hours ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Travel20 hours ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel21 hours ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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