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Ross Cameron Reveals the Best Brokers for International Traders

When you’re a successful day trader like Ross Cameron, people are always asking you for advice. And for Ross Cameron, that’s great. As much as he loves day-trading, he also loves helping people learn. One of the most common questions he gets asked by traders from all over the world is: What are the best brokers and trading platforms for international traders who want to trade the US markets? Here’s what Ross Cameron tells them.

The four main brokers he thinks international traders should consider are Charles Schwab, Capital Markets Elite Group, TradeZero, and Interactive Brokers. Ross Cameron is quick to point out he doesn’t have affiliate relationships with any of these brokers.

“Sign up if you want, don’t sign up if you don’t—doesn’t make a difference to me. I’m just sharing with you the tools that I would use,” said Ross Cameron in a recent YouTube video.

The first question to ask yourself is, “Are you a long- or short-bias trader?’” asks Ross Cameron. “The next question is, ‘Do you have more than $25,000?’”

Each broker has its pros and cons for long or short traders. In addition, US regulations require that day traders maintain a minimum of $25,000 in their margin account on any day that they day-trade. Brokers in the US must enforce this pattern day trader, or PDT, rule, while brokers located outside the US don’t have to.


Ross Cameron’s Take on Charles Schwab for International Traders

Charles Schwab is one of the most popular brokers in America. The first thing Ross Cameron points out is that the company recently acquired TD Ameritrade. So all TD Ameritrade customers have moved—or are moving—underneath the Charles Schwab umbrella.

The reason Ross Cameron views this as important is that TD Ameritrade has a popular trading platform called Thinkorswim.

“Charles Schwab has said they’ll continue to allow traders to use the Thinkorswim platform. So at this point, traders who want to use that must sign up to Charles Schwab,” says Ross Cameron.

Charles Schwab is a commission-free broker (for regular stocks and exchange-traded funds) that accepts international traders, says Ross Cameron. He also notes that trading options does require a fee.

“There are no platform fees even for the real-time data, which makes it a really competitive offering. Honestly, they’re really fantastic,” says Ross Cameron.

But there’s one problem for international traders.

“They’re a US broker dealer, which means they enforce the $25,000 minimum,” he says. Here he also notes noting that in his opinion, Charles Schwab doesn’t really cater to short sellers. “They don’t have a great inventory of shares available to borrow. So, for a long-bias international trader with an account above $25,000, Charles Schwab—using the Thinkorswim platform—is great. But for the international trader who is below $25,000, Charles Schwab is not going to work.”

Cameron’s View on CMEG

Capital Markets Elite Group is located in the Cayman Islands and has a minimum account size of $500. It charges monthly platform fees, so it’s more expensive than Charles Schwab. What’s more, it also charges commissions of $2.99 per execution, notes Cameron.

“CMEG is nice, and a lot of traders really do like them. But it’s worth noting that they do restrict leverage,” says Ross Cameron. “They don’t enforce the PDT rule, but they restrict margin and the use of leverage on a lot of stocks.”

CMEG does not solicit United States-based persons. However, those who live in the U.S. can still open an account with CMEG by visiting its website and acknowledging the pop-up prompt that verifies they haven’t been solicited.

Ross Cameron explains that traders might see a stock that they like. But then can’t use any of their leverage—only their cash balance.

Ross Cameron admits CMEG has a better inventory of shares available to borrow than Charles Schwab on the Thinkorswim platform. However, CMEG doesn’t really cater to short sellers.

“It may not be the best platform for short sellers, but it’s also not bad for international short sellers who are below $25,000,” says Ross Cameron.

Ross Cameron’s Position on TradeZero

TradeZero, located in the Bahamas, caters to both international traders and short sellers.

“They have a great inventory of shares that you can borrow, which is fantastic. Their borrowing fees are competitive (though not always cheap) and they do not enforce the $25,000 PDT minimum on an international trader,” says Cameron. He adds that TradeZero has a sister company in the US for traders above $25,000.

Ross Cameron says when it comes to fees and commissions, if a trader uses limit orders, they have no fees and commissions on TradeZero.

“So it’s free trading if you use not just a limit order, but if it’s a nonmarketable order,” says Ross Cameron. He explains that this means if traders want to buy a stock, they buy at the bid. Then they wait for someone to sell their shares, or when they sell, they sell on the ask. Then they wait for someone to buy their shares. “When you trade like that, you’re adding liquidity to the market, so the trader receives a rebate. That is how TradeZero is able to give you free commissions, which is nice.”

Ross Cameron has heard some traders say they don’t like TradeZero’s trading software interface compared to CMEG or Charles Schwab’s Thinkorswim. He suggests traders check out demos to see what platforms are a good fit for them.

Ross Cameron Looks at Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is one of the largest brokers in the world, and does cater to international traders. They also let traders trade international markets, while some brokers only trade the US market.

Interactive Brokers, being a US broker dealer, enforces the $25,000 minimum and offers four times leverage.

“But they also have pretty good availability of shares to borrow, so a lot of people really like their platform. And they are a [commission-free] broker, so there are a lot of upsides to Interactive Brokers,” says Ross Cameron. “But if I was going to line them up next to Charles Schwab—with both of them requiring a $25,000 minimum—I would say Charles Schwab is better. I like their platform better and the execution speed is pretty good. Yet, in a coin toss, Interactive Brokers has better availability of shares to borrow, so they’re going to be on the list of better brokers for short sellers.”

Ross Cameon notes there are other brokers for international day traders besides Charles Schwab, CMEG, TradeZero and Interactive Brokers, some of which are popular among short sellers. These include CenterPoint, Cobra Trading, and Guardian Trading.

“They do enforce the $25,000 minimum [but are] popular brokers,” says Ross Cameron. “They’re not nearly as big as Charles Schwab or Interactive Brokers, but they’re more boutique brokers that really cater to short sellers.”

In his experience, Ross Cameron says most international traders end up with either TradeZero or CMEG. This is because both of them allow you to trade the US market with less than the $25,000 mark. But whichever platform you’re considering, Ross Cameron suggests fully checking them out to make sure they meet your trading requirements and needs.



The term “Best Brokers for International Traders,” as used in this content, represents the personal opinions of Ross Cameron and is based on his individual criteria and experience. This subjective assessment should not be the sole basis for any investment decision. Information regarding brokers and trading platforms, including fees, services, and regulatory requirements, may be subject to change without notice. Please verify all terms and conditions with the respective financial service providers before opening an account or executing any trades.

This content is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as investment advice, endorsement, analysis, or recommendations with respect to any securities, financial products, or brokers. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and consult with a professional financial adviser before making any investment decisions. Trading in financial instruments is risky and can result in losses, and therefore, should be undertaken only by individuals who understand these risks.