Hi all. My husband and I are just about to start our investment portfolio, but we have few questions and would appreciate your advice. We are EU nationals currently living in the UAE, but we plan to retire in the EU. We intend to open a joint account either with IB or Swissquote Luxemburg, but cannot decide which one. I would appreciate your advice on the below.
If we open a joint account with IB or Swissquote, can we both be the owners of the account?
2)If we open an IB account and invest in Irish domiciled ETFs, in case of a death of one of the account holders, will the account be frozen until the inheritance issues are sorted out or will the other account holder become 100% owner of the account?
3)Between IB and Swissquote which one would you recommend for someone who is very new to investing? I understand that IB has much less fees that Swissquote. Is this correct?
With IB yes, with SQ LU most probably also (possible with SQ CH). If you are planning to move, IB is probably better.
It is not! It is just so that many things related to investments, mostly around the taxes, are very county-specific. Our community knows a great deal about the system in Switzerland, but not necessarily in other countries.
You probably can with both. Keep in mind that brokers exact terms may be different in different country branches - and most Swiss residents on the forum will hold their accounts with IB U.K. or Swissquote CH (rather than in Luxembourg).
A personal preference AND the fact that IB has a global presence. If you move to another country, your IB account is going to be transferred to another entity. How other brokers handle such situations and if you will be able to open an account with SQ LU at all, I have no idea.
Furthermore, I don’t understand why you limit yourself to IB and SQ. There are tons of cheap and reliable EU brokers, in particular German ones.
A big reason why I switched to IB is that if I move abroad I can easily transfer my account. Doing this with Swissquote is either not possible or will cost you a fortune. Share transfer or selling and rebuying are at least 2 orders of magnitude more expensive with SQ. You could also look into Degiro, but tbh they’re quite shady and I would not trust them with my full estate.
There is a bogleheads subforum for the UAE maybe they can help you too.
If you limit yourself to IB/SQ as a newbie you’d probably feel more comfortable using SQ. IB can be a tad bit more complicated but in my opinion very well worth the short learning curve.
IBKR has roots in being a broker for professionals and experienced investors. They’ve made some strides at consumerising their product with their new online portal and GlobalTrader lately, I’ve found them harder to grasp than most (any) other European broker I’ve been with - though I admittedly have no experience with Swissquote in particular.
European Vanguard ETFs are available at most European brokers. U.S. ones? Probably not on most, if supervised by EU authorities (unlike Swissquote).
What about U.S. estate (inheritance) tax for nonresident investors?
It’s not just the duration of an account freeze. If anyone (that’s not a multimillionaire yet) on this forum should ask the question about U.S. estate tax, it’s probably you. You may not only have to take the time effort to sort it out with Uncle Sam - you may (possibly) also have to pay U.S. taxes, especially when you’re not subject to the (beneficial) U.S-Swiss double taxation agreement.
„even without any other connections to the US, non‑US individual investors holding shares of outperforming securities at death may leave a US estate tax bill.“