Opening stock trading account as a US citizen: possibilities?

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I'm currently looking into my personal finances and specifically into the possibility of investing in a few stocks.

 

Due to my US citizenship, however, I'm having trouble finding a local bank that lets me open a "depot" account to trade from. I'm also a EU citizen, but as soon as I declare my US citizenship, I'm informed that it's not possible. 

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for a bank that would let me open a basic stock trading account here - in spite of my nationality?!

 

Thanks very much.

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last I heard, the Augsburger Aktienbank was still accepting US nationals with residence in Germany.

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Consorsbank had no problems opening an account for me as a US Person.


You can also open an account at Interactive Brokers, and could use them for cheap forex between USD/EUR

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Does the bank have to be local? Charles Schwabb in the US will open trading accounts for German residents whether US citizens or not.

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On 29/04/2017, 18:37:42, Smaug said:

Does the bank have to be local? Charles Schwabb in the US will open trading accounts for German residents whether US citizens or not.

 

@Smaug  is that so? I have heard the opposite...that Charles Schwabb is canceling existing accounts of clients who have no residence in the US because they think that they can't comply with the SEC requirement "Know your customer" if clients are not actually living in the US.  Since we are planning on providing special/custom-tailored investment advice for US-Expats soon in light of the changes to German taxation of investment funds, I'd be interested in finding more platforms in the US we can cooperate with for our clients. Hence my question...

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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You might try Interactive Brokers.    

 

As far as I know, it is preferred by futures and options traders but may provide standard stock account services too.  The question of being a US citizen living in Germany is a non-issue.  

 

Good luck.  

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I (American) have a MaxBlue trading account through Deutsche Bank. I just received a letter from Deutsche Bank that they are closing my account and that I have to sell my holdings. The gist of it is that it is simply too complicated for the bank to continue comply with US regulations. This is really angering me because I don't want to sell everything and I do not know what other possibilities there are out there. I will try a couple of the suggestions here but would like to hear if others had experience opening a brokerage account.  

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19 hours ago, Lindsayj said:

I (American) have a MaxBlue trading account through Deutsche Bank. I just received a letter from Deutsche Bank that they are closing my account and that I have to sell my holdings. The gist of it is that it is simply too complicated for the bank to continue comply with US regulations. This is really angering me because I don't want to sell everything and I do not know what other possibilities there are out there. I will try a couple of the suggestions here but would like to hear if others had experience opening a brokerage account.  

I know it's a hassle but what about opening an account states side? 

 

Another possibility is TD International

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Hi everyone,

 

I have heard in this and other threads about Augsburger Aktienbank being American-friendly in terms of opening a Depot. So you are aware, this is not an option for Americans, at least not anymore:

 

Sehr geehrte ______, 

leider ist es bei uns nicht möglich, ein Aktiendepot mit einer amerikanischen Staatsbürgerschaft zu eröffnen. 

Bitte entschuldigen Sie. 

 

Deutsche Bank gave me an alternative to MaxBlue after they cancelled that account. It's expensive (28€ per trade) so I continue to look around for anywhere that will accept Americans in Germany for a Depot. No luck yet. 

 

I have an etrade account in the States but to wire money to that account in the US - the international wire makes it very expensive and sort of deflates the purpose trying to save money. I am not a big trader. When I have extra money and savings I buy some blue chips. Not much more complicated. 

 

Uncle Sam does not make this easy.
 

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Thank you for responding. I asked them in an online chat with a 24/7 bank representative and his response was very broad! "Nein, US-Staatsbürger dürfen bei keiner deutschen Bank ein Depot eröffnen." Touche! 

 

Staatsangehörigkeit non grata...

 

FATCA is the gift that keeps on giving. 

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14 hours ago, Lindsayj said:

Thank you for responding. I asked them in an online chat with a 24/7 bank representative and his response was very broad! "Nein, US-Staatsbürger dürfen bei keiner deutschen Bank ein Depot eröffnen." Touche! 

 

Staatsangehörigkeit non grata...

 

FATCA is the gift that keeps on giving. 

 

Perhaps you ought to try some international platform like Interactive Brokers instead?

 

https://www.interactivebrokers.com/de/home.php#

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Thanks Stars. Do you know much about it? I was curious how withholding on dividends works. Interactive Brokers is a UK company, I am a US citizen, and a tax resident of Germany (whether I like it or not). Who gets paid? Let's say I earned $5000 in dividends per year, who gets the roughly 15%? UK, USA, Germany? Do they offset each other? If it's a UK company would I have tax filing obligations in the UK?

 

This is all too much for my little brain...:blink:

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8 hours ago, Lindsayj said:

Thanks Stars. Do you know much about it? I was curious how withholding on dividends works. Interactive Brokers is a UK company, I am a US citizen, and a tax resident of Germany (whether I like it or not). Who gets paid? Let's say I earned $5000 in dividends per year, who gets the roughly 15%? UK, USA, Germany? Do they offset each other? If it's a UK company would I have tax filing obligations in the UK?

 

This is all too much for my little brain...:blink:

I can try to get one guy from Interactive brokers to answer that for you. Unless @PandaMunich and/or @Straightpoop

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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I think I will open an account. The fees are way less than what I have now with Deutsche and I wont likely have to live in fear anymore of getting the next letter from Deutsche where they decide that I have to liquidate everything and cancel my Depot.

 

Thanks for the tip. 

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Hello all,

 

Regarding investing in Interactive Brokers:

 

I opened a depot with CapTrader, which is a German reseller of Interactive Brokers.  After slogging through all of the research into taxation, PFIC, FATCA, Intransparente Fonds, visits to my bank, emails to various experts, etc., I decided this was the best option for me as a "US person" with no existing investment accounts to speak of to simplify tax treatment and avoid PFICs.   Last week I had finished selecting which ETFs I wanted to buy -- all nice, SEC-approved US ETFs with exposure to European markets to mitigate currency risk. 

 

To my great disgust, I learned that a new European directive called MiFiD II has taken all US-based ETFs off the market for retail investors living in Europe.  (At least through Europe-based brokerages and resellers.)  That, through some reading and a phone call with CapTrader, is where I learned that IB has implemented this directive for all its accounts in Europe.

 

This is because the directive requires funds to have a standard Infoblatt called KIIDS in the language of the country where the fund is purchased.  Of course US ETFs don't produce that information in German.  So just as punitive treatment of funds that don't conform to German accounting standards leaves, MiFiD II comes in to make sure US investors in Europe don't get any relief.

 

Now I am trying to figure out if it is better to find out if a US brokerage would apply MiFiDs as well, and if not, if it's better to try to open an account in the US or just stick to stocks and single bonds through CapTrader.  Fun times!

 

So Lindsayj, I hope you weren't planning on investing in ETFs.

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Hi Jay, awful what a maze this all is. Kafkaesque.

 

I already knew at least with my Depot by Deutsche Bank that ETFs were not a possibility. Or any sort of fund. Consequently, I have only bought stocks. I have resigned myself to the fact that my choices are limited unless I use my Etrade account in the US. 

 

If I open an account with IB I will at least see if it's possible to buy an ETF. With Deutsche I can't remember if it's blocked entirely or if they cancel the trade later. I tried one time and got a call a week later saying they cancelled it because I am a US citizen. 

 

I guess the lesson is that if you are American going overseas the US is not going to make much effort to ease your burden or care at all. Same issues with the tax filings, FATCA, the extraordinary cost to give up you citizenship.  

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As an update, I have tried to buy mutual funds, ETFs, UCITs, etc. on IB and it has not worked yet. Buying normal stocks is ok.  I am told to update my trading permission which does not work or I get a message that these types of funds are not for private investors, only institutional investors (nonsense). I tried changing my permissions but have had no success yet. The sites seem really buggy sometimes. 

 

I need a new passport. 

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we do have a working solution for our clients with a US-domiciled platform where we offer investments into passive investment funds (ETFs) that are also US-domiciled and thus solve all the taxations issues with the IRS. However, that is only possible with investment portfolios >100.000 EUR, I am afraid.  With said platform we can also consolidate and manage your 401k etc for you. 
Also I was recently approached by another provider who claims to have a good working solution for smaller portfolios, but I did not have time yet to check this (and AFAIK it is not set up with passive investments funds but rather with actively managed funds and alternative investments).
I will be writing more details during next week for both solutions, so stay tuned if you are looking for something along these lines...

 

Cheerio

 

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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