Trade foreign stocks on Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade (London stock exchange, Hong Kong, European, Japanese, and international stocks)

Overview of Foreign Stocks Investing

In today's global economy, there are many investment opportunities outside the United States. Some brokers, like Schwab, E*Trade, and TD Ameritrade, offer access to foreign stock markets, providing ways to invest in international stocks that can offer high returns but also come with high risks. Here’s how you can access these opportunities with each broker.

Foreign Stocks on Charles Schwab

With Schwab, you can open a global trading account that lets you trade in twelve foreign stock markets directly. Quotes are shown, and trades are settled in the local currency of each market.

Schwab's available markets include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, and the UK. These cover seven currencies: the Euro, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen, Norwegian krone, and British pound.

Notably, Schwab does not charge any fees for this service, and there is no minimum balance required. However, opening a global account requires you to fill out a paper form and send it to Schwab since there's no online application available. The account statements reflect multiple currencies due to the international nature of the investments.


Charles Schwab International Stocks Investing


Schwab provides real-time quotes during the trading hours of the twelve foreign markets. They also offer specialized representatives trained in foreign trading, available from Sunday 5:30 pm EST until the same time on Friday.

Schwab's website features a video explaining the global account, its uses, and trading features. There's also a downloadable brochure in PDF format detailing the risks and benefits of investing in global markets, including trading foreign bonds.

The Schwab website offers detailed information on various countries, including free Morningstar reports on Canadian stocks. Schwab advisors contribute articles on emerging markets and other regions, providing valuable insights.

Schwab allows trading in foreign stocks over-the-counter in the U.S. (FOTCs) with a high commission of $54.95. Clients can also trade ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) of international companies at the regular $0 commission.

Schwab’s commission for international stocks varies by currency, offering transparent fees for traders.

CurrencyOnlinePhone
Australian Dollar$32$70
Euro€19€50
Canadian Dollar$14$70
HKD$250$600
Yen¥2,000¥6,000
Krone160 kr400 kr
Pound£9£30


These rates are higher than the $0 Schwab charges for U.S. equities. The broker also charges a foreign currency conversion fee between 0.20% and 1%, depending on the amount exchanged.

For a complete Charles Schwab review, click here.

Promotion link: Satisfaction guarantee and $0-fee trades at Charles Schwab.

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Foreign Stocks on E*Trade

E*Trade used to offer a comprehensive global trading service but stopped in 2015. Now, they provide limited access to foreign stocks. You can place orders for international equities over the phone. E*Trade charges its regular commission ($0) plus the broker-assisted trade fee ($25). All orders for international stocks are executed on a best-efforts basis.

Their website includes information on global markets, with data from exchanges like the Tokyo Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, and Hong Kong market, as well as from Germany, France, and Canada. E*Trade provides research tools for stocks listed on these exchanges.


Etrade International Stocks Investing


For example, if you search for Honda Motor Company on the Tokyo market, you’ll find the ticker symbol 7267. E*Trade provides detailed information on the stock, noting that it’s listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, not as an ADR in the U.S.

Information provided includes Honda's 52-week high, recent dividend, market capitalization, and P/E ratio. E*Trade’s website also offers charting capabilities and news related to the stocks.

E*Trade features an international watchlist for tracking securities on markets like Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and the UK. You need the correct ticker symbol to add a security.

The website displays stock indexes from various markets like the FTSE 100 and Hang Seng, with a 20-minute delay. News from Reuters and information on market movers are available, showing active stocks, gainers, and losers.

E*Trade also provides downloadable PDF reports from Reuters on select global equities, which include analyst recommendations and detailed stock performance history.

For a complete E*Trade review, click here.

Promotion link: No commissions on stocks and ETFs.

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TD Ameritrade Have Transitioned to Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab has acquired TD Ameritrade, and all new clients now have to open a Schwab account. For the most up-to-date information, please read Charles Schwab Review.

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Foreign Stocks on TD Ameritrade

Unlike the other brokers, TD Ameritrade doesn’t provide direct access to foreign exchanges. However, their clients can trade certain over-the-counter (OTC) stocks in the U.S., which may include foreign stocks.


TD Ameritrade International Stocks


For example, Volkswagen AG trades on the pink sheets in the U.S. under the ticker VLKAY. TD Ameritrade provides information on the company, including free stock reports from various analysts and news from sources like Zacks and Dow Jones. While annual earnings data is available, quarterly earnings might not be. The platform also offers charting with technical indicators.

For a complete TD Ameritrade review, click here.

Promotion link: Get $0 stock/ETF trades + transfer fee refund.

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International Stocks Brokers Recap

Global trading services vary widely among brokers. Remember that commissions for international stocks can be significantly higher than those for U.S. equities.

Updated on 6/24/2024.

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