What Happens To Your U.S. Brokerage Account When You Leave America?

The good news is that if you are an American expat, or you are not a U.S. citizen at all, you can still benefit from having a U.S. brokerage account. 

WHY HAVE AN AMERICAN BROKERAGE ACCOUNT?

There are many reasons to keep your investments inside a U.S. brokerage account. These include: transparency and efficiency, lower transaction fees, and an opportunity to profit from worldwide markets in both dollars and foreign currencies. You can diversify your holdings inside a U.S. brokerage account, with CDs (certificates of deposit in a bank), mutual bunds, stocks, bonds, and much more. Additionally, if you are an American expat, keeping your investments inside a U.S. brokerage account will make it easier for you to file your U.S. taxes and fill out the FBAR form.

By keeping some of your investments in a U.S. brokerage account, your portfolio becomes more diverse as you are not relying on the movements of one single economy.

HOW CAN YOU INVEST IN U.S. MARKETS FROM OUTSIDE AMERICA?

While it is still possible to invest in U.S. markets from overseas, the most cost-efficient way to do so may be through a U.S. brokerage account. To do this, you need to enlist the services of an investment company that specializes in cross-border and international clientele.

The brokerage company you choose should not only be cross-border friendly, but should also specialize in customer service. It should provide you with clear advice and services for custody and clearing, meaning that it can hold securities for you on your behalf and execute your trade orders. Make sure that whatever firm you choose is properly licensed and experienced.

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Anne Liebgott 6 years ago Contributor's comment

Thank you for the article Douglas. With a US brokerage account is an FBAR necessary as you have mentioned?