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buying US stock

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rgetty
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buying US stock

Postby rgetty » Thu, 12 Mar 2009 10:17 pm

Hello,

I am from the US and I am now working here in Singapore and I am looking into buying some stocks in the US. However I seem to keep running into a wall and being told that I can not buy any. I went to Phillips Security and they told me being and American I can not buy stocks from the US from here in Singapore. Does anyone know of a way I can buy stock? I have even tried on- line companies and they say I have to be in the US to buy them on line. I was thinking maybe Hong Kong would be easier then trying here in Singapore. Any help is much appreciated.

rgetty9@gmail.com

Thanks,
Rob

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maneo
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Postby maneo » Fri, 13 Mar 2009 1:49 am

I believe that the issue is with tax liabilities for US citizens.
Suspect that you won't be able to set-up an account for trading US securities in HKG either.

Am using the same broker I had before I left the US.
Ran into some "obstacles" when I tried to set-up online trading after I moved here, but a helpful customer service person managed to find a way around them for me.

Have not tried opening a new account with any of the US online brokerages, though.

Am also able to trade on HKG exchange through a SG brokerage (UOB).

Jangu
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Postby Jangu » Tue, 24 Mar 2009 6:58 pm

This seems like too obvious of an answer but I'm going to give it anyway.
If you are an American citizen, you can (and will want to) trade US stocks while residing in Singapore over the internet or phone by using an American stock broker like TDAmeritrade or Schwab that is based in the USA. One drawback is that you can't do a face-to-face transaction, although I would think you would be satisfied with internet transactions or talking to a customer service rep over the phone. Personally I have accounts with Fidelity, Schwab, and TDAmeritrade and have never seen anyone in person. I have never run into any issues with any of the above companies due to the fact that I'm residing outside the USA. I work for a global company and they use Schwab for both USA and non-USA citizens and for both people living inside the USA and outside (in all combinations).

I can only think of one other disadvantage and that is if your money is in singapore. Then you must do an int'l wire transfer to your brokerage in the USA but actually I think it's cheaper than using a Sing broker anyway because I've studied a bit and Sing brokerages charge much more fees than any USA discount broker. The USA brokerages make a lot of money just handling your money to care about fees.

Concerning the reply from maneo, I don't believe anyone can buy any stock or fund outside the country that the stock or fund is listed in. That is why in the USA you have pink sheets or foreign mutual funds to proxy buying stocks in other countrys' exchanges. I think Singapore brokerages have something similar. I think it's similar to the concept that you can't just go around buying land and buildings in other countries when you don't have any address or even telephone number in that country. Some companies will list on multiple exchanges so that people in multiple countries can buy their stock but it's up to the individual company.

What is a little strange maybe to the Singapore broker is why you would buy through a non-USA broker when you could just buy it directly, unless you're trying to avoid taxes by hiding your money.

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maneo
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Postby maneo » Wed, 25 Mar 2009 1:01 am

Jangu wrote:Concerning the reply from maneo, I don't believe anyone can buy any stock or fund outside the country that the stock or fund is listed in.

Believe what you want.
Just reporting what UOB said I can do from SG -- trade HK shares on the HKG exchange.
I hope you weren't reading anything more than that in what I wrote.

SG brokers will not allow US citizens to buy US shares through their brokerage.
It is also unlikely that HK brokers are able to allow this.
However, UOB can buy US shares for non-US citizens from here in SG.
Another client (non-US citizen) set-up an account to do so, while I was setting up my SG share account.

The original poster (OP) said he "tried on- line companies" but that "they say [he has] to be in the US to buy them on line."
So, if you have been able to open an account with an online broker from SG using a SG address, perhaps you could let the OP know with which brokerage you were able to do this.

[edited to fix typo]
Last edited by maneo on Wed, 01 Apr 2009 5:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

psp3002
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Postby psp3002 » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 3:52 pm

Hey, in the case maybe it's worth having a try with some oversea firms with good reputation. like wsd-nz based in nz or similar company with strict regulation for security of funds. I believe you can find this type companies quite easily on interenet

Jangu
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Postby Jangu » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 6:43 pm

I apologize if anything I said offended anyone. I really don't like contradicting people but I don't like misinformation even more.

maneo wrote:The original poster (OP) said he "tried on- line companies" but that "they say [he has] to be in the US to buy them on line."
So, if you have been able to open an account with an online broker from SG using a SG address, perhaps you could let the OP know with which brokerage you were able to do this."


I did say that I use Fidelity, Schwab, and TDAmeritrade already. Just to be absolutely sure, I called Schwab at 866-232-9890. (Also you can view the application form at www.schwab.com which shows you can open a stock account with a non-usa address and also as a non-usa citizen.) The representative said "absolutely" you can open an account as either a usa citizen or non-usa citizen, whether you live in the usa or not. He thought you couldn't use the online form possibly though and might have to fax it in. He didn't know of any Singapore restrictions and he couldn't think how anyone would know or care whether the IP address of an American's computer came from USA or Singapore.

Also he gave me the number to the international help desk at 415-636-8810, which I didn't call. After googling it, the phone number is from www.schwab-global.com. I think everyone should verify for themselves if what I'm saying is correct. Maybe I'm missing a critical piece of information. Please post if you find something different, especially about Singapore law since I'm moving to Singapore this year.


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