More on Schwab Fees

Wed, 2017/08/02 - 12:50pm | Your editor
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Your editor is still working out how to trade global shares without bankrupting herself on the Charles Schwab platform. As I noted yesterday, I was hit with a whopping $54.95 fee for my sale of what had been a doubled stock recommended by Martin Ferrera for sale. Martin lives in Canada, and previously lived in Zimbabwe, Australia, and Britain, and is an EU national. We have other reporters around the world who also are multinational with brokerage accounts not accessible to US residents or nationals, like boom.com which sent me a 30 page questionnaire when I followed our former China correspondent's suggestion that I open an account in Hong Kong.

Your editor is a US citizen and resident who essentially has to trade shares and supply a 1099 to Uncle Sam showing her interest and dividends, and capital gains and losses. Recently foreign banks and brokerages are quick shut the door to us because of the costs and risks of having any red-white-and-blue clients on their books. That makes my experiences similar to those of the great majority of our readership, who are also US persons, although of course we have plenty of exotic readers as well

When Schwab told me I was being awarded 500 free trades in the next year when I moved my account they did not spell out that only fully listed US companies were on offer. Pink sheet or grey market stocks, like Renishaw sold via my second trade with my new broker turn out to result in huge fees. I wrote $55 in my note yesterday but Schwab is behaving like a supermarket selling something at $9.99 in the hope that I won't notice the huge bite.

Having the right to “satisfaction” with trades under the house rules I expressed my extreme dissatisfaction to my relationship manager and the trading desk. They may reimburse part or all of the fee this once. But going over my holdings—more or less our model portfolio accounts for about half of them—the brokerage warned that the shares ending in F would incur huge fees if I sold—or bought more.

I then visited the company website and discovered that they have a program run out of Indianapolis which is called Schwab Global Investing specially geared to those who read and follow the blog of the same name which I run. I learned that this offers users the right to trade in Britain; Hong Kong; Sydney; Tokyo; Norway; and European Union markets in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, and Italy. The brokerage bite is reduced to about $20 per transaction (the amounts are fixed as £9; HK$200; A$32; ¥2000; NOK 160; and Euros 19). In addition, Schwab charges 0.15% of the total value of the trade as a commission, a mark-up or mark-down.

So I told the guy in Indianapolis to sign me up. He is supposed to send me a form via emai. or  I go to their local office after work today and ask them.

 

More today from Hong Kong, Israel, Finland, Britain, Switzerland, India, and Japan, starting with a half year report from a company we like.

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