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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:

Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

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 with your savings from working overseas - open a brokerage account before you go. 

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.  This will still be true even if you pay property taxes, vote and even own a home "back home".

Managing your investments online

Get it done before you go - and sort out any and all the problems of using the account online while you are still in the same time zone as the "help" or support people. 

Most brokerages (and banks and credit card companies) these days 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.

Get online with your bank too

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.  And things are a WHOLE lot easier now then 15 years ago during the Internet Ice Age . . .



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