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International Investment Best BuyEME are a marketing brand that offers independent reviews on a range of products. To highlight the current best product that we have reviewed we have duplicated that review here to make it easier to find what we believe is the International Investment Best Buy.

However, it may not be the best for your circumstances and you should take advice if unsure. This solution is for a lump sum investment.

EME are independent and are not tied in any way to the product on this page, and nor do we receive marketing money or incentives for listing it here.
We also will update this page and section each time we find a better product (we have updated it 3 times in the last 2 years) and the latest product only became recommendable in July 2016.

Find out more





Expat Money Expert Best Buy Summary

International Investment Best Buy

Expat Money Expert think the Interactive Broker trading account is the highest rated solution for most clients currently who do not require the benefit of a life insurance wrapper. It is an up-to-date 2016 offering which offers full transparency with regards to charges and funds / equities / ETF from territories such as the UK, the USA and some European bourses making it our International Investment Best Buy; ultimately, an Interactive Brokers trading account is an inexpensive pure platform solution. The loss of a half a star is purely because it does not offer an insurance tax wrapper.


For


  • Full flexibility with full withdrawal or full access in the early years without penalty
  • No commission, and no hidden charges
  • Full transparency of costs leads to lower charges
  • Provides full access to lowest cost funds, passive trackers and equities throughout the worlds markets

Against


  • Not available to everyone in every country
  • Outside of a pension, many countries do not recognise any tax concessions
  • This is a fee driven product which must be paid at outset
  • Not suitable for novices as the trading platform can be complex



What does Interactive Brokers write about their own platform? Interactive Investors was founded in 1993 by Thomas Peterffy, an early innovator in computer-assisted trading. He introduced electronic devices to options floor trading at the Chicago Board of Trade and went on to develop related trading technologies before entering the electronic brokerage business.

In 1983, the company created the first handheld computers used for trading. As Peterffy explained in a 2016 interview, the battery-powered units had touch screens for the user to input a stock price and it would produce the recommended option price, and it also tracked positions and continually repriced options on stocks.

Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 18 that is resident in an acceptable country. US clients are welcome with Interactive Brokers, in fact it is the only investment platform among all of the companies reviewed that welcomes US clients.
Life Insurance: Interactive Investors does not offer life assurance, it is a trading platform purely for investing your money with a wide range of investment options.
Capital Redemption: Our International Investment Best Buy has no penalties.
Minimums: Targeted minimum single premium is $10,000 with the aim of building the account to $100,000 as this negates the monthly charge as detailed below. Although Interactive Brokers gives you a grace period of three months before the monthly charge applies.
Charges: There is a choice between an “establishment charge structure” and an “annual policy charge structure”.

Establishment Charge Structure:
There is no establishment charge, this platform is very different from most of the other companies offering investment opportunities.

Administration charge:
There is a monthly charge $20 if your account balance is below $100,000, once the account has reached this amount then there is no administration charge as the monthly trades conducted within the portfolio cover the administration.

Other Charges:
Charges are minimal and they depend to the specific portfolio chosen, for example, trading a US stock is $1 per trade. Interactive Brokers has charging rates on their website here.

An adviser charge to manage the portfolio, this typically can be between 1 to 1.5% per annum depending on the chosen advisers charging structure and service provided. The Interactive Broker trading account can be managed completely by the client that is comfortable selecting and trading stock.

Full details can be found here.

Are charges explicit: By explicit, it means that it is clear to see not only the charges for taking out the plan but also the cost of funds annually, any upfront fund costs. No penalties on access, etc. Yes, our International Investment Best Buy charges are clearly shown and any professional should be able to interpret them.

Expat Money Expert Verdict on Charges

Surrender of the Interactive Broker trading account: There are no surrender charges and no early redemption charges as there is no commission charged when the account is set up. This is the future of investing, portfolio can be built based on the clients specific appetite to risk included IRS compliant portfolios for US clients.

Expat Money Expert Verdict on Accessibility  



International Investment Best Buy

To see our verdict on our International Investment Best Buy, Interactive Brokers, then see their review

WARNING: Costs and information is correct as of July 2016. Please refer to a brochure from the company for current up to date information and any changes on costs or information. You should not buy based purely on information contained within this article and EME do not accept liability for purchases. If you have any doubts then please speak with your financial adviser or a representative of the company for further advice.

If the provider improves or amends its terms then EME would like to hear from them to amend the review page accordingly, and providers are encouraged to comment on errors or omissions to ensure that readers have the latest and correct information.




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  • Charges criteria

    Charges are assessed inclusive of fund fees, capital units, bid/offer spread criteria and third party management fees which are often ignored but are, in effect, compulsory additional costs that essentially must be considered by clients.


    Star ratings

    The star ratings apply at inception of the products and in at least the first 2 -8 years. Some products reduce charges or become more accessible with time held, but the length varies for each product; from our reviews it is typically overall between 5-10 years.

    These ratings are awarded based on information obtained from the companies at a certain date. It is worth considering obtaining the latest updated information yourself before making a decision.


    Star ratings

    ChargesOverall charges greater than 5% per annum.
    FundsLimited selected range of collectives or mirror funds with upfront additional charges (Bid/Offer spread) or initial “capital” units.
    AccessibilityTo avoid access penalties, only accessible after establishment period of 8 years or longer.
    Overall AssessmentA commission-based adviser’s product. Not recommended under any circumstances.

    ChargesOverall charges greater than 4% per annum.
    FundsIn-house range of collectives or mirror funds with upfront additional charges (Bid/Offer spread).
    AccessibilityPenalties resulting in loss of fund value may exist for 5 years – 8 years.
    Overall AssessmentA predominantly commission-based adviser’s product with limited use or appeal.

    ChargesOverall charges between 2.5% and 4% per annum.
    FundsIn-house or limited range of collectives or mirror funds with no Bid/Offer spread.
    AccessibilityTo avoid access penalties, only typically accessible after establishment period of 12-24 months or longer, but with no penalties thereafter.
    Overall AssessmentFor those seeking lock-in target dates (perhaps with guarantees) over 5 years.

    ChargesOverall charges less than 2.5% per annum.
    FundsFull range of collectives with no Bid/Offer spread and rebates on charges reducing annual costs.
    AccessibilityImmediate within 60 days without any penalties on any item.
    Overall AssessmentRecommended for some situations and some people due to lower charges and flexibility.

    ChargesOverall charges less than 1.5% per annum.
    FundsIncludes ETPs (passive) and Individualised accessible collectives with no Bid/Offer spread and clean share classes for lowest annual costs.
    AccessibilityImmediate within 30 days without any penalties on any item.
    Overall AssessmentRecommended for most situations and most people, with full transparency and low charges.