The World's Best Low-Cost Online Brokers

In our ultimate retirement savings guide we covered why, how, and which financial instruments to invest in. We focused mostly on index funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Due to their great diversification and low fees, it is considered the most suitable security for (passive) long-term investors. There you’ll find an overview of what to look at when choosing which funds to invest in.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Hi Hanna,

What a great post! I love it and it is so useful!

My question: does any of these brokers allow opening accounts for foreign companies instead of individuals?

Thank you in advance!


Great article on brokers. Well done. In my experience (about 20 years of it) Interactive Brokers and Saxo Bank are the ideal ones for a global account/traveller, and IB is cheaper than SaxoBank. As you note, Zacks and Tradestation use Interactive Brokers anyway at the back end. My main concern is that IB has no real competition - it would be good for diversification of wealth if there was a good cheap global alternative so one could spread one’s money around. Saxo is the closest to that.

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Hi Thaiane,

Awesome to see that you found it useful! :slight_smile:

Yes, with most of the brokers covered in the article, you can open also a company account. If you want, you can pm me your residency and I can help you to filter out the relevant options.

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Thanks for the feedback, Rod!

I agree with that—if you want access to multiple markets (not just the US market) with low costs, then Interactive Brokers and Saxo are great options. Interactive Brokers has been around since 1978 and through several economic downturns, so I am not too worried about their continuation. However, you can never be too careful and it’s a good idea to diversity also across brokers (especially when you breach the investor protection amount limits).

I use degiro, however if you want to move outside the EU, it seems you need to sell everything and close your account!!
That’s the reply I got from Degiro when I queried it.

Perhaps I’m reading into it wrong, but using Degiro means you cant access your money unless you live in the EU. It seems a convoluted minefield.

Etoro is international, but I’m not sure I have full confidence it.

Anyone have any suggestions? Its driving me bonkers at the moment, so hard to get good information.


I’m guessing there is no good answer. The rules that the broker has to abide by change based on your tax residency, and I can imagine where a brokerage’s systems are all set up in such a way that they can’t just change the settings of an existing account, they just need you to start over. Especially at a discount broker who is trying for optimal efficiency to lower cost. You are a massive exception to the rule requiring a ton of additional work, but there aren’t many of you and you’re not generating enough additional revenue to be worth the bother.

if you have a high-touch relationship with a large bank that is used to an international clientele like HSBC or one of the swiss banks, it’s something they can handle because they’re used to it. But of course you pay for that privilege. The more though that I see all of the issues you all have with these kinds of things, though, I can’t help but wonder if it simply isn’t easier or better to just accept the 1% or so penalty you’re going to pay to one of these international banks just to get the customer service and systems to do what you actually want to be able to do. I know that’s hard to swallow, but.

We live in a globalised world, people move around constantly and not just nomads. I think your being a bit naive tbh. What about people who want to retire in warmer climates?

I’m guessing Etoro is the best because its international. It’s just so hard to get information on this.

What is everyone else doing?

My guess is that most (97% of people in the world) do not move around a lot but maintain one residency for extended periods. 1% of the remaining are wealthy enough that they don’t care and maintain a boutique banking relationship. The other 2% ( of nomads) will encounter these problems when they move around and as someone said it isn’t worth the trouble for the banks and investment companies to develop special rules for handling these accounts so they just pass on them.

As for people who retire to warmer climates, I have heard many of them discuss this same problem and they will often have to close accounts in one country they are leaving or create an incorrect account address to keep the accounts.


You may try Lmax or IG - 2 international brokerage. i think you can choose how to sign an agreement with them (with their UK or other western entity/license - I believe this is what matter)

Thanks Sarah, just wondering what is wrong with Etoro?

Nothing is wrong (from what i know) just different features etc. E-toro is more social trading, in which you can follow other trader and duplicate their position etc.

Thanks, I’m mainly looking to invest in S&P 500 Index fund. Degiro is ok, but inflexible, especially if you want to do a few years outside the EU.

Have you considered Interactive Brokers? They are international, low-cost and allow to trade on most exchanges in the world including Euronext Amsterdam, making it easy to invest in tax-efficient Ireland-domiciled Vanguard or iShares ETFs.

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Thanks enzomich.

Could you kindly instruct me on how exactly to do that?

Many thanks.

Their website,, is quite informative on account opening procedures, pricing, markets etc. They are also listed on this site at .
By the way, investing in non-US domiciled funds or ETFs is only possible (and makes sense from a tax optimisation point of view) if you are not a US citizen and/or resident: this is discussed in detail on the Bogleheads wiki (a site maintained by a group of fans of the late Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard). But if you are, with Interactive Brokers you may directly invest in US products.


Cheers Enzo. Good info. I’m not US citizen, or anything to do with the U.S whatsoever.

Just one question. Can you open a vanguard account if you live in an EU country?

I’ve never tried but I’d say yes:
That would be a good option if you want to invest in mutual funds rather than in ETF’s: you wouldn’t need a brokerage account.