In the process of moving from the US back home to the Philippines, I had to make certain arrangements with regard to my financial assets in the US. I maintained taxable equity accounts with Wealthfront and Robinhood, both of which do not cater to non-resident aliens. While I was a “resident alien for tax purposes” while I was living in the US, I am now properly classified as a non-resident alien after returning to the Philippines.
Many such brokerages in the US do not cater to non-resident aliens and even US citizens living abroad because there are a lot of regulations to comply with (FATCA, among others). Fortunately, the bigger online brokers like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Interactive Brokers do make their services available to non-resident aliens.
Continue reading Opening a Charles Schwab Brokerage Account from the Philippines
Having been used to the mechanics of trading stocks in the US stock market, there’s a bit of a learning curve in understanding how trading stocks in the Philippine Stock Exchange works.
The first major difference is with regards to online broker commissions. In the US, flat-rate commissions typically ranging from $4.95 to $7.95 have been commonplace for the past several years. These were paid for each buy and sell transaction regardless of transaction size. Zero-free commissions were popularized by Robinhood. In October 2019, more established brokers like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, E*TRADE, and others followed suit by reducing their commissions to zero. So it’s now practically free to trade stocks in the US stock market. You’ll just have to take care of paying capital gains taxes when you file your tax return.
Continue reading Costs of stock trading in the Philippines