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Charles Schwab International Exchanges Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, and Foreign Markets (2021)


Charles Schwab global stocks, ETFs, ADRs and mutual funds. Does Charles Schwab offer investing on foreign market exchanges: Hong Kong, China, Germany and others?



International Stocks at Charles Schwab


If you’re looking for a brokerage firm to help you invest in the international economy, Charles Schwab should be at the top of your list. The company offers several ways to invest in foreign companies. Here’s the rundown:


Charles Schwab Global Account™


The first, and perhaps the most significant, method Schwab customers have available to them is a discrete foreign equities account. A pdf application is required (there is no online form), which isn’t the only disadvantage. The other is that Schwab’s $0 commission schedule only applies to U.S. equities.

Despite the two drawbacks, there are many advantages to Schwab’s international account. For instance, it provides access to twelve foreign markets. These include Australia, Japan, the UK, Hong Kong, and several EU countries. Trades are based in the local currency. The Norwegian krone, Hong Kong dollar, Canadian dollar, and British pound are a few that we found.

The Schwab Global Account has no annual fee. Some of the commissions for online trades are €19, £9, and HK$250. Online trades placed on Canadian exchanges are commission-free. Converting U.S. dollars to a foreign currency to place a trade in a foreign market incurs a forex surcharge between 0.20% and 1.00%.

Schwab’s international trading account comes with a global stock screener that is able to look for equities based on a variety of criteria, such as country of origin and many other typical criteria, such as sector. Foreign market research from Schwab and third parties is available, as is real-time data on global stocks.


Charles Schwab Global Stocks


In a regular account, it’s also possible to trade foreign stocks. The difference between a regular account and the Global Account is that international trades in the former must be placed with a representative over the phone, and trades settle in U.S. dollars.


American Depository Receipts


Schwab customers have access to ADRs that trade in the United States. We found companies such as Air France KLM (ticker AFLYY).


Mutual Funds and ETFs With a Global Emphasis


Schwab’s website has tools to find mutual and exchange-traded funds that have portfolios with large holdings in foreign equities. For example, on the broker’s ETF home page, we found collections of foreign stocks, such as “foreign large value” and “Japan stock.” One of the securities in the latter category is the WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund (ticker symbol DFJ).


OTC Marketplace


The U.S.-based over-the-counter arena can be accessed through a Schwab brokerage account. The firm’s stock screener can specify the OTC marketplace as a search variable; and doing so produced 6,582 results during our investigation. Some of these are foreign equities. One we located was ABN Amro Bank NV with ticker symbol AAVMY.


Comparison


Other brokerage firms in the United States, including some of Schwab’s major rivals, don’t offer a dedicated international account. TD Ameritrade is one example. On the other hand, TD Ameritrade’s stock screener is able to search exclusively for ADRs; Schwab’s screener doesn’t have this feature. Read TD Ameritrade foreign stocks review.

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