A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

Should I open a brokerage account for investment? 

Can I open one from overseas?

Stock brokers?  Who needs them anymore?  Everything is done online.

If you think you might want to invest in stocks, mutual funds and/or bonds, open a brokerage account.  Look on the Internet for a good company.  Almost everything can be done online once you have the account set up.

It is usually much easier to do it before you go.

Once overseas, it is usually difficult to open a brokerage account.  You will be the square peg that doesn't fit into the round hole.  Many financial regulations are based on WHERE YOU LIVE and where the brokerage company is based.  And, while you might not consider Japan or Korea or Saudi Arabia to be your real "home" - brokers will not know what to do with you - so they won't typically do anything.


Get it done before you go - and sort out any and all the problems of using the account online.  Most brokerages (and banks and credit card companies) have "paperless" transactions and statements.  This is where your statements are sent to you via e-mail, or you can download them from the Internet.  This avoids having your family swamped with mail.  It also avoids the problem of having them decide what should be mailed to you - and what isn't really needed and should just be thrown in the trash.

Connect with your Bank

Arrange your brokerage account to be interconnected with your bank.  Most brokerage accounts - and most banks - will allow you to set up back and forth movement of your funds.  Then you can do it all online and you won't have to make those 3AM phone calls to the brokerage during their business hours.

Caveat: These are only my opinions, I am not a financial consultant, but I do have online brokerage and banking accounts.


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