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Best International Trading Brokers in 2021

Investing in US stocks can be difficult, especially if you’re outside of the US.

As there is a myriad of international brokers online, choosing the right broker is challenging.

To find the right broker, you need to watch out for several factors.

Firstly, you need to consider the commissions/fees of the broker.

If you’re using a broker that has commissions, your profits will be slashed.

Secondly, you need to check the minimum deposit amount.

If you’re a beginner with limited funds, you need to use a broker that has little to no minimum deposit.

In addition, the broker needs to have exceptional customer service.

This includes the time to connect to a call or a live chat, and how professional the customer support representatives are.

Considering the above factors, this article consists of the top 3 best international trading brokers in 2021.

Best International Trading Brokers

The best international trading brokers are Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, and TradeStation.

These brokers have little to no fees, a wide range of investment selections, and provide great customer service.

If you’re looking to invest in US stocks like Apple, Microsoft, or Disney, you need to use an international broker.

If you’re using a local exchange, you may not have access to global markets.

One of the most important factors when considering an international broker is their commissions/fees.

Hence, every broker in this article has little to no stock and ETF commissions so you can maximize your profits.

Here are the best international trading brokers:

  1. Interactive Brokers
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. TradeStation

1. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers logo

Rating: 4.5/5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Interactive Brokers is the largest trading platform in the US by daily average revenue trades.

They have very low commissions/fees, at $0.005 per share (for US stocks), and global access to stocks, options, bonds, currencies, funds, and futures.

You can invest in 135 markets, 33 countries, in 23 currencies.

In addition, you can use Interactive Brokers in 334 countries including Singapore, Germany, Australia, and others.

For client accounts, there is a $0 account minimum.

However, the only setback is that there is an inactivity fee for IBKR PRO accounts that do not meet a net liquidation value of $100,000.

For IBKR PRO accounts, you need to pay a monthly maintenance fee of $10 USD if you do not meet a net liquidation value of $100,000 and $10 USD in commissions incurred in a month.

If you’re using IBKR LITE, there is no inactivity fee.

Since 2005, Interactive Brokers has received numerous awards for the best online broker by various publications.

Barron’s, one of the leading financial news sites in the US, has given Interactive Brokers the highest ratings for eleven consecutive years, from 4.5 stars to 5 stars.

This including a range of factors such as user experience, customer service, security, and costs.

If you have an issue on the trading platform, there are multiple ways that you can use to contact Interactive Brokers including email, phone, and live chat.

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner investor, Interactive Brokers is a great choice for international investing.

Pros

  • One of the smartest order router
  • More than 4,300 zero transaction fee mutual funds
  • A myriad of investment selections

Cons

  • You cannot use the smart order router if you’re an IBKR Lite customer
  • The website has a complicated user interface
  • There’s an inactivity fee of $20 per month

2. TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade logo

Rating: 4.0/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

TD Ameritrade allows international investors to trade in the US market.

It offers $0 commissions on US stocks, ETF, and options trades.

This puts TD Ameritrade above Interactive Brokers in commissions.

In addition, there are no deposit minimums, trading minimums, or hidden fees.

TD Ameritrade has received multiple awards from StockBrokers.com, NerdWallet, and Investor’s Business Daily for its commissions, research tools, as well as ease of use.

The online broker offers a ton of educational resources including market news, articles, and webcasts.

In addition, they offer free online courses that are easy to follow.

However, TD Ameritrade does not have fractional shares.

Another setback is that getting your account approved and contacting customer support can take a long time.

That said, you can usually find an answer to your issue by browsing through their educational resources in multiple formats (videos, articles, quizzes, etc.)

All in all, TD Ameritrade is great for beginners because of its extensive educational resources—though it can be overwhelming for some people.

Pros

  • Zero commission stock, options, and ETF trades
  • Great for beginners and education on investing
  • No account minimum

Cons

  • You may have to use more than one trading system
  • There are no fractional shares
  • Multiple platform outages in 2020

3. TradeStation

TradeStation logo

Rating: 4.0/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

TradeStation provides modern trading technology and online brokerage services to American and international traders.

It has market monitoring, analysis, and charting tools that help you to easily identify trading opportunities.

In addition, TradeStation offers $0 commission stocks, options, and futures.

Options go as low as $0.50 per contract, while futures go as low as $0.85 per contract per side.

TradeStation’s trade execution speed is almost instant, and they have almost 100% uptime.

Their fills are instantaneous and accurate, unlike other brokers where delays are common.

This makes them a reliable broker for active investors.

A setback about TradeStation is that they do not provide DRIP investing, while other brokers do.

DRIP is a dividend reinvestment program that allows you reinvest your dividends for fractional shares.

This negatively impacts long-term investors.

One of the most underrated features on TradeStation is the ability to make an order to sell your contract when the underlying security meets your price target.

Most brokers do not have this feature.

If you’re looking for accuracy, fast trade execution, and highly customizable charting too, TradeStation is perfect for you.

Pros

  • Zero commission stock, options, and ETF trades
  • Stable platform with a 99% uptime
  • Great charting and technical analysis tools

Cons

  • Mutual funds have a transaction fee
  • Confusing pricing options
  • You need TS select to have free trading on the advanced platform

How can I buy US stocks internationally?

You can buy US stocks internationally by using a broker that has access to the US market like Interactive Brokers or TD Ameritrade.

However, you need to convert your local currency into USD first before you can buy US stocks.

Not every brokerage has access to the US market.

Hence, before you create an account with a brokerage, make sure to check whether they have access to the US market first.

What is the best stock trading website for beginners?

The best stock trading website for beginners is TD Ameritrade.

TD Ameritrade offers a ton of educational resources including market news, articles, and webcasts that beginners will benefit from.

Each resource is searchable and filterable by topic.

An alternative stock trading website for beginners is Fidelity, which also provides extensive research and education.

Conclusion

Before you choose a brokerage firm, there are many factors that you need to consider.

Some of the factors include your capital, trading style, and transaction frequency.

Furthermore, the broker needs to have reasonable commissions/fees, ease of use, customer service, and more.

This will allow you to shortlist the best brokers based on your needs.

In comparison with the three brokers, the best overall is Interactive Brokers (for international trading).

It has a minimum deposit of $0, which is great for people who have limited funds.

In addition, it has a low fee of $0.005 per share for the pro platform or 1% of trade value and $0 for IBKR Lite.

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About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with over 7+ years of experience in Social Media and 3+ years of experience in investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.