Interactive Brokers Allows U.S. Expats To Invest With Index Funds


If you’re an American international teacher, you might have a tough time opening a U.S. based investment account.

Plenty of sharks offer offshore options.

But these accounts cost a fortune in fees, they incur massive IRS taxes (when filed properly) and they hammer investors who try to withdraw money before a predetermined date. Investors aren’t often told about these penalties.

I’ve just written about an excellent, low cost alternative for American expats, whether they want to DIY or use one of two investment guides to help them.

Image by Pixabay

Read More at Assetbuilder

Please share this post. I think it could help a lot of people

Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School and Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas. My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions.

You may also like...

8 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    I’ve been with Interactive Brokers for almost a year and its been wonderful. Learning their trading platform isn’t hard if you watch the tutorial and gain experience for a few weeks on their paper-trading (demo) setting. And don’t let the negative reviews of IB’s customer service scare you, calling in has only given me helpful advice. If they’re a bit gruff with you, remember the lack of frills is a result of you paying very very very low fees.

  2. Nawaz says:

    My wife and I are US citizens who live in Singapore. We have an US based advisor who is associated with UBS. She has be advising us for the last 7 years and charging us 1.5%. We have decided to end our relationship with our advisor and UBS.

    We have both our IRAs and Roth IRAs with our advisor.
    We also have 2 college savings account (529s) through our advisor.

    I have researched Andrew’s articles and have read both his books.

    What are my options to roll over our IRAs, Roths, and 529s since none of the US based discount brokers will allow us to create accounts?

    Any pointers will be much appreciated.

  3. Nawaz says:

    Thanks. Have contacted Mark and will engage him.

  4. kannan says:

    hi Andrew,

    I have been reading about binary options, what’s your opinion about shares and binary options as I m new to shares.

    thank you

  5. Ethan says:

    Hi Andrew!

    Thanks for all the great work you do. I really enjoy Millionaire Teacher and have used it to help define my investing strategy.

    I’m an American citizen which obviously complicates the investing situation if you’re an expat. Is your new book The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing relevant for American citizens? As a Canadian citizen and resident I’ll probably retire here but the US citizenship adds considerable complication to investing. Do you have any advice for people that are in my situation? Canada has some great low fee ETFs that I could build (e.g. Canadian Couch Potato strategy) so I’d like to go that route. Do you have any suggestions?

  6. Larry says:

    Hi Andrew,

    The usual accolades. I just say great work! since switching to a couch potato investing our savings have really been on the up swing.

    I have a question about IB. I’m an expat Canadian and have an account with IB. It’s been fine even though it’s a bit complicated for a simple index fund investment. I heard you speaking a few years ago and you mentioned not recommending IB for Canadians any more. For the life of me I can’t remember why?

    A friend of mine is interested in setting up something similar and wondering which brokerage to use or if the should just use Weatherbar?

    Thanks for everything


    • Hi Larry,

      I’ve never not recommended Interactive Brokers. But as I wrote in Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2018) and in The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing (Wiley 2014) there’s a tiny, tiny, tiny risk of having to pay U.S. estate taxes upon death if you use IB. It’s hardly worth worrying about. Most expats use them. I’m a chicken, however, and don’t mind paying slightly higher fees to use Internaxx, where there’s no such risk. Again, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use Interactive Brokers. You are probably 99.999999% safe with them. But if you’re a chicken, like me, here’s a link to the brokerage I use. It’s a discount link:


Leave a Reply to Nawaz Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.