Schwab Goes Global: New Platform Gives Investors Direct Access to 12 Non-U.S. Markets

Clients Trade Commission-Free in the New Global Account Through March 2013

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 10:00 am PDT



Public Company Information:

"A growing number of investors are looking beyond U.S. borders to diversify their investment portfolios and we want to help take them there with an easy-to-use online global trading platform that complements Schwab’s extensive global investing services"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles Schwab today announced the expansion of its global investing capabilities with the launch of the Schwab Global AccountTM, a platform providing investors direct, 24/7 online access to 12 foreign equity markets with the ability to trade in their local currencies whenever the markets are open.

The new platform, available at, comes at a time of renewed demand for global investments: a new Schwab survey finds that 73 percent of investors are interested in global investing and 41 percent will consider investing in equities on foreign exchanges in the next year. It also comes with a bonus for global-minded investors, who can trade commission-free in the new account through March 2013 (currency conversion and other fees will still apply).

“A growing number of investors are looking beyond U.S. borders to diversify their investment portfolios and we want to help take them there with an easy-to-use online global trading platform that complements Schwab’s extensive global investing services,” said Brian McDonald, Senior Vice President responsible for Schwab’s global investing offering. “We believe the Schwab Global Account can be a passport for investors to access some of the most popular global markets in an easy and transparent way.”

The Schwab Global Account allows investors to trade equities directly online through Schwab in 12 of the world’s most liquid foreign markets, currently offering access to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Providing online accessibility whenever foreign markets are open, Schwab clients can trade global stocks that are not always available via American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) or in the U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) market. Investors also have the ability to buy, sell and hold equities in local currencies, allowing them to hedge their exposure to the U.S. dollar and to measure how a specific foreign stock is performing without having to take the impact of a fluctuating exchange rate into account.

Additional key features of the Schwab Global Account include:

  • Round-the-clock access to a highly skilled Global Investing Services team.
  • Real-time1 local stock market quotes.
  • Access to award-winning global research, including Schwab Equity Ratings International, a proprietary international stock ranking methodology covering approximately 4,000 large and small cap stocks in 28 foreign equity markets. An extensive range of third-party research is also available, including country profiles from The Economist Intelligence Unit and international research from Credit Suisse.
  • No minimum dollar amount trade requirements.
  • Easy, user-friendly account format, navigation and multi-currency reporting capabilities.

Going Global

According to the new Schwab study, 35 percent of investors surveyed believe investments outside the U.S. offer better growth opportunities than investments in the U.S., with Canada, Germany and Australia topping the list of the most attractive markets. Further, given a $100,000 windfall, 83 percent of investors say they would allocate a portion to non-U.S. equities.

Sixty-seven percent of investors in the study cite diversification as the primary reason for global interest. Other key reasons for investing in equities on international exchanges included access to securities that are not available via a U.S. stock exchange (48 percent), hedging against the U.S. dollar (47 percent), and attaining higher potential returns (44 percent).

Fifty-five percent of investors have personal motives for crossing the U.S. border. These investors say they view themselves as global citizens thus want to be invested globally; they are also interested in investing in countries where they have vacationed. Another key driver is the desire to apply specific knowledge about foreign markets that they have gained through business dealings.

Appetite for Knowledge and Access

Today’s investors recognize global investing comes with a unique set of challenges – but appear to have the appetite to overcome them. More than 40 percent say they do not have access to relevant company-specific research on foreign stocks. Investors also say they don’t know enough about trading in foreign currencies and don’t have access to an appropriate trading platform. Yet these investors also indicate that:

  • They would like to learn more about foreign stock markets (62 percent).
  • More than half (52 percent) say an easy-to-use trading platform would make them more interested in foreign investing.
  • Forty-seven percent would trade foreign equities on foreign exchanges if they knew more about how to do it.

“While most of those we surveyed clearly recognize the potential benefits to investing internationally, four in ten acknowledged they had little to no idea about how to trade a stock on a foreign exchange or find objective research on a foreign investment,” added Schwab’s McDonald. “A smart, thoughtfully crafted global strategy can be a very important component of a long term investing plan, and we are excited to be able to help demystify foreign investing by providing the research, education and trading tools that our clients need to be successful when going global.”

The Schwab Global Account is the latest enhancement to Schwab’s robust global investing capabilities. Schwab’s OTC global offering provides clients with access to securities that trade in over 30 countries, and Schwab’s Global Investing Specialists can place trades over-the-phone in more than 40 international markets. Clients have access, through Schwab, to extensive resources and expertise in investing in international stocks, including institutional-level research that’s focused on international investing, as well as specialized guidance and trading services.

For More Information

For more information about the Schwab Global Account, please visit or call 1-800-992-4685. To learn more about Schwab’s global investing capabilities, visit

About the Study

Koski Research conducted an online survey of 214 investors who trade at least 24 times per year and identified themselves as at least somewhat experienced as an investor with self-directed or light-validator investment styles. Respondents had investable assets of at least $250,000 and were between 25-75 years of age. The survey was conducted from June 14 through June 20 2012.

About Koski Research

Koski Research is a marketing research firm that helps leading financial services firms use market research to improve decision-making and stimulate communication efforts. Koski Research has conducted thousands of surveys and interviews among executives, individual and institutional investors, and intermediaries that have enabled financial services firms to have a deeper understanding of their clients and better meet their needs.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.7 million active brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 829,000 banking accounts, and $1.82 trillion in client assets as of July 31, 2012. The company was ranked ‘Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services’ in the 2012 US Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction StudySM from J.D Power and Associates. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services division. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides trust and custody services, banking and mortgage services and products. Investment products offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank, and are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. More information is available at and (0912-5746)

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International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets

The Schwab Global Account foreign currency capabilities allow clients to convert into multiple foreign currencies to purchase stocks in foreign markets.

The Schwab Global Account is restricted to certain account types. Only U.S. citizens residing in the United States are eligible.

The Schwab Equity Ratings - International are not personal recommendations for any particular investor or client and do not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, investment or other objectives or needs.

The Economist Intelligence Unit and Credit Suisse are independent third parties that are not affiliated with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

1 Quotes may be delayed for professionals.


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