Buy Vanguard index using Taiwan broker


I have been searching quite a while, can find many related topics but not exactly this. Anybody knows or have experience with a Taiwanese branch of a bank offering online broker services including the most common Vanguard indexes? Something very basic, I am not American and would like to search for options in Taiwan.

I see many people recommend international brokers but my idea is send a fixed amount every month and I am afraid the transaction fees could greatly reduce it. I will be a very modest and passive investor.

Thank you in advance for any idea,

Many of the larger banks in Taiwan offer you the ability to buy foreign funds, but you must first have an account at the bank in the currency of the fund you want to buy. So, for example, if you have an NTD account at your bank and you want to buy a Vanguard index, you’d need a USD account to buy the shares. But these are typically offered as brokerage accounts, meaning you buy and sell shares through the account at your own discretion. If you’re looking to transfer a fixed amount into a mutual fund at fixed intervals, you might need to find something that is more along the lines of a financial advisor or financial planner.

A lot of the large american buy side firms that offer indexes don’t sell their products directly in Taiwan. But, some of them do sell their products through intermediaries or distributors. For example, Capital Group (disclaimer, I used to work at CG when I was in the US) has index funds and sells them in Taiwan through a third party broker based in TW:

If you’re interested in Vanguard funds, check out their website to see if they sell their indexes in TW through a distributor. If they do, contact that distributor and let them know your situation and your financial plans. They should be able to guide you through their setup process and follow the investment strategy you described.

Good luck.

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That is great that you allot a portion every month to invest.

Being an American isn’t any advantage here. I’ve tried for years to find stockbrokers who could assist me in active training, but because of Obama regulations, none of them will even have anything to do with me because I’m American, and too much mafan. Even my stockbrokers in the States can’t help me until I return back to the States.

I’m hoping Trump can roll back these regulations, I long to be back on the market and have assistance from stockbrokers who are looking at trends all day, which I don’t have time to do. A good stockbroker, though expensive, is worth it and can make you great money. It’s truly a case of not tripping over pennies to make dollars.

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Thank you very much for the great feedback and recommendations!

Thank you Jotham, I see it’s not easy for anybody. I know would be better to learn some value trading but really looks like a life-time hobbie!

No worries there. It’s actually not a very conducive environment right now to invest. Very low interest rates tends to punish savers and reward creditors. And when currencies are devaluated, it may stoke the stock market a bit and your portfolio in nominal dollars may rise, but your net value may come out a wash as the value of the dollar has been lowered about that much.

The US dollar at it’s highest was in 1985. At it’s lowest in 2008, we are somewhere halfway between those points now.

Keep investing and accumulating, and if Trump…if interest rates keep rising and the dollar becomes strong again, leading an international monetary, economic revolution, get yourself a good stockbroker, don’t be afraid of cost, and let him lead you at first, and learn little bits at a time. You could get software that tracks charts and have proprietary indicators that help you find knock-out stocks (I love using Telechart 2000), run them by your stockbroker and let him choose from those.

But in the current environment, I haven’t pushed too hard to be active in the market, not yet, maybe soon again.

If I recall correctly, individual foreign investors (other than overseas Chinese) aren’t allowed to open brokerage accounts in Taiwan or buy and sell securities or funds. Only foreign institutional investors are allowed to do that. Unless something has changed recently that I don’t know about. Also, trading fees for foreign securities at Taiwanese brokerages are extremely high. Taiwan’s financial markets are stuck in the dark ages.

Thx a lot, putting all the useful feedback together is much clear. I see that rely in Taiwan broker will be very difficult for a beginner investor like me. I will check options in my country for now and compare. I thought Citibank might have some options but maybe I will just go and ask.

You may be right, but what my impression was that firms didn’t want to deal with the stringent American requirements that they report to the US government for tax purposes. It’s not just in Taiwan but everywhere.

Steep penalties add muscle to the law. If a foreign bank – not just in Canada, but anywhere – fails to report even a single US citizen as a customer to the IRS, the US Treasury department would withhold 30% of the banks’ US income as penalty.

Foreign banks, some of whom earned a reputation as tax scofflaws, are now deeply afraid of the Internal Revenue Service.

The US government is policing foreign banks aggressively as it comes down hard on any company that helps tax evaders, money launderers and other criminals.

**Scared of running afoul of US banking laws, foreign banks are taking extreme steps to limit US citizens to a narrow range of services. **

** The result for expats has been a chaotic brew of closed bank accounts, mysterious excuses and a scramble to find local banks that would allow them to park their money.**

Others are amazed they can’t find a foreign bank that will take their money.

A year ago, Brian Dublin, an American finance professional living in Zurich, received a notice from his bank in Switzerland. The note told him that the bank no longer served US citizens.

Citing mysterious “regulatory issues”, his bankers at the Swiss institution Raiffeisein gave him 30 days to close his account.

Dublin moved his money to UBS, another Swiss bank. No shelter there either: UBS allowed him to open a checking account but required him to close down his Swiss retirement fund. He had to transfer his retirement savings of five years into a regular checking account.

The reason? Again, the answer came: “Regulatory issues”.

So it would be feasible for us non-Americans? :slight_smile:

@jotham @Dr_Milker @toni3d
Hi! Would love to start invest in some index funds . Is anything changed since the first post? Lot of people recommended me “interactive brokers” as I’m not an US citizen. But I’m wondering if that’s the best option in Taiwan, or is there better alternative? I’m looking into having a part of my monthly salary invested directly in funds

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I just did some research recently and found that the best way is to buy Ireland domiciled funds such as VUSD to avoid the 30% witholding tax the US charges due to Taiwan not having a tax treaty with USA. I am not from US and I found interactive brokers to be one of the few brokers that would allow signing up from Taiwan.

I didn’t open an account in the end because I found I could by a vanguard fund from my broker back home in New Zealand.



Hi. What did you end up doing?


So is still interactivebrokers best option to buy Vanguard from Taiwan as non US citizen?

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Those finance threads always end up vaguely. I guess not many forumosans are investors?


Maybe we’re just too lazy to type a comprehensive response.

I doubt that. I see the forumosa community very keen in writing extensive replies in all topics including very frivolous ones.

So I appeal to my fellow foreigners on the rock, any experience with local brokers? I would like to buy local stocks

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I use my German bank account broker. I have no residency in Germany, so no additional German taxes for me.

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Do you have access to the Taiwanese market with them?

I think it is limited. I currently hold only TSMC from Taiwan.

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