Trading futures with thinkorswim

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by HKIB, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. HKIB


    I wish to trade futures with td/thinkorswim. I don't understand why they allows me to open an account but not allowed me to trade futures simply because I am a foreign citizen residing out side of US.
  2. There is no law precluding foreigners residing overseas from trading US Futures. There are regulations or guidelines (not sure from where, but they exist) specifying financial minimums for trading futures. For this reason you get all the questions about income and nett worth when you open the account.

    Also in the fine print at the bottom;

    "Options, futures, and forex trading privileges subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Not all account owners will qualify.

    thinkorswim, Division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC/NFA. This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business."
  3. HKIB


    Thanks for your information. I have been happily trading futures with IB, but I wish to have an account with another firm to spread out the risk. thinkorswim seems to be good to most people, but it is not good for me.
  4. Did they give you that reason in writing? I always thought that once you have 1 account with a US broker, the 2nd broker would be easier, given that they ask you if you have other accounts.

    I have an account with Vision Financial Markets. Like you, in time I will open a 2nd account and was actually considering TOS (for Futures Options), which is why your post caught my eye.
  5. It's because futures trading is based on margin and your account could go DEFICIT ("DEBIT").

    Because you live in a foreign country it would be difficult or impossible for a US broker to compel you to pay what you owe them, if your account goes debit.

    I recall working at a major FCM in Chicago and we wouldn't accept accounts from Germany, because German laws regard futures trading similarly to gambling, and accounts that went deficit would be impossible to collect upon!

    Kid you not.

    OP - if you talk to a live person there maybe they will approve your account for futures.


  6. HKIB


    They did not give me a reason in writing. Thanks for explaining the reason behind and now I understand why IB has an automatic liquidation policy. I am actually a very conservative trader and trade only a few times a year and can prove to them with my IB account.
  7. luisHK


    HKIB, it's not only thinkorswim, Etrade has similar restrictions.

    Tradestation seems to be a broker, along IB, which allows a multiproduct platform for overseas users.

    Besides, considering the troubles some overseas users seem to have encountered recently to repatriate funds from their TD ameritrade account, I would definitely not use them.
  8. Are the problems with repatriation related to providing a reason why the funds are being moved? I read somewhere that one person said it was for settling a credit card bill and it was rejected, but I think that was a local withdrawal and I don't remember the broker.

    It seems to be about how different brokers handle anti-money laundering rules and obviously we want to deal with reasonable people.
  9. HKIB


    Thanks. But Tradestation is pricey to me because I don't trade often.
  10. luisHK


    AFAIK yes, the Patriot Act was mentioned, you can look up the issue on ET as well as on google. Some HK residents were complaing.
    #10     Aug 17, 2012