Opening an investment account in a foreign country can be a bit scary, especially if you’ve never invested before. But, just like taxes in Thailand, opening an investment account is simple and easy.
You only need a few documents and just a couple thousand Baht to get started.
To open an investment account you need the following:
- Work permit or visa (valid for more than 3 months)
- Bank account book for an account in Thailand
- Minimum of 2,000B (65 USD)
There are over 20 asset management companies in Thailand to choose from. Every major bank has their own asset management division and there are a few stand-alone asset management companies as well. You can usually open an investment account from any bank branch, and you will often see them promoting their LTF and RMF’s, especially around tax time. With only a 2,000B (65 USD) minimum investment for most funds, there’s no excuse not to open an account as soon as possible. Make sure you apply for their online service so you can subscribe and redeem your investments without going into the branch.
I’m not going to recommend specific companies or investments, but I will point you in the right direction and tell you about my experience.
Morningstar Thailand is a good resource for information on funds and investment news. Their fund selector works well in the Thai language but doesn’t let you to filter by LTF or RMF in English.
Thai Funds Today may look like it’s from the 1990’s, but it’s actually a very powerful website that allows you to filter by LTF and RMF as well as sort by performance. The web version has a free portfolio tracker that can track investments from multiple asset management companies and it shows information such as % gain and annualized return. You can graph your portfolio versus time and it tells you when you can redeem your LTF’s and RMF’s. Also, there are Android and iPhone apps that give free fund information but you need a paid subscription to use the portfolio tracker (less than 1B per day).
I first started out with ING Thailand, but they sold their asset management division to UOB. As an international bank, UOB is friendly to foreigners and offers credit cards and mortgages. UOB has some high quality funds and I’ve been happy with their service.
I also opened an account with Krungsri Asset Management. Krungsri took over HSBC’s Thai operations and also provides credit cards and mortgages to foreigners. Krungrsi complies with the US FATCA reporting requirements and will open investment accounts for Americans.
There are two things I really like about Krungsri. Firstly, they allow you to purchase mutual funds using your Krungsri credit card. This is useful if you are running low on cash and want to max-out your LTF and RMF purchases before the end of the year.
The other thing I like is their online banking system shows your investment account balances in addition to your bank account and credit card. You can also purchase and redeem investments from within their online banking system. Every bank has an online asset management system for investing (Krungsri does as well), but with Krungsri you don’t need to login to their separate system to see your investments. It’s not a huge deal, but I like the convenience.
There are over 30 stockbrokers in Thailand that offer a full range of trading options, including future contracts. FIRE doesn’t recommend investing in individual stocks, so I won’t go into detail about those platforms, but they are available.
Click here to find out how to invest internationally from Thailand.
Please read the disclaimer. I am not recommending any specific investments or companies. I am only sharing my personal experience and opinions. Investments are not guaranteed and you may lose some or all of your money. Obtain professional advice before making any investment or financial decisions.