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Moving abroad - What to do with portfolio?
#1
Hi everyone, 

I've been researching this topic with very limited success so I'm wondering if anyone here can help me.

In short, I'm a green card holder with a fair investment in an US broker (Merrill Lynch) and I'm considering moving back to Europe (Barcelona) or Asia (Singapore) within the next 12 months. Merrill Lynch confirmed I would have to close shop and had no alternatives to offer... 

I also have my 401K with Vanguard and I'm assuming it can stay there until retirement age (similar to a retirement account I have from my years working in Ireland). I'll give Vanguard a call to doublecheck! 

Merrill Lynch only allows for US residents to trade so I would have to change to another broker. However, I haven't been able to understand how easy it is to transfer my positions to an European/Asian or ideally, a Global broker, who could deal with the tax implications of such move.

Has anyone gone through this process or has any idea how this could be processed? Being a "global" worker is a real mess  Undecided Undecided
 
Thanks a mill in advance!
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#2
Hey. I feel your pain, having changed my country of residence for the second time in as many years. However I've been fortunate enough to stick with the same broker, though right now there is quite a bit of paperwork mess do deal with. It's annoying and frustrating... downright horrible.

So yeah your only option is to get a new broker if your current one doesn't want you as a client anymore. I'd suggest looking into big global ones... that way you might not have to face this problem again. You can also ask both the potential new brokers as well as your current one if it's possible and how much it would cost to move your holdings as they are. With the indexes being the way they are now, this would surely be the cheaper method rather than selling everything, moving the cash, and buying it again. (because that would mean lots of taxes to be paid) But each broker has their own policy and fees regarding that, so the only way to find out is to look at it broker by broker.

Good luck with it.
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#3
(04-25-2017, 09:54 PM)crimsonghost747 Wrote: Hey. I feel your pain, having changed my country of residence for the second time in as many years. However I've been fortunate enough to stick with the same broker, though right now there is quite a bit of paperwork mess do deal with. It's annoying and frustrating... downright horrible.

So yeah your only option is to get a new broker if your current one doesn't want you as a client anymore. I'd suggest looking into big global ones... that way you might not have to face this problem again. You can also ask both the potential new brokers as well as your current one if it's possible and how much it would cost to move your holdings as they are. With the indexes being the way they are now, this would surely be the cheaper method rather than selling everything, moving the cash, and buying it again. (because that would mean lots of taxes to be paid) But each broker has their own policy and fees regarding that, so the only way to find out is to look at it broker by broker.

Good luck with it.
Which broker are you working with?
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#4
Interactive Brokers.
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#5
(04-26-2017, 12:28 PM)crimsonghost747 Wrote: Interactive Brokers.


And you pay the $20 a month? 

Sorry for all the questions  Smile
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#6
where did you get $20 from? I'm pretty sure it's a minimum fee of $10 per month.. so basically you pay the difference between $10 and your commissions (per calendar month) as account management fees.

I make around 3 transactions per month (usually under $1000 each) plus one or two currency changes. I haven't kept a close eye on it, but it always ends up being less than $10 in commissions so yeah I do have to pay a little extra as account management fees. Then again, $10 for 3 transactions + 1-2 currency changes isn't a bad deal at all.
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#7
I am also using Interactive Brokers (from Europe). I have been under the impression that it's the best choice if I'd ever be working in the US for a while, as all of the banks and brokers in my country probably close of freeze investing accounts of anyone becoming taxable in US. The monthly fee is $10 and includes commissions up to $10. Also for accounts over $100k the fee is waived and after that it's really cheap, basically 35 cents a trade.
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