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Most US trading platforms do not offer to Pakistanis. Interactive Brokers does but there is a minimum deposit limit, and their commissions are also higher compared to Lightspeed, which is another trading platform. Lightspeed offers accounts for Pakistani clients as well. Their commissions are also lower, around $9 and change for one roundtrade. Initially, you need to deposit a minimum of $5,000 to start an account with them, with their webtrader platform, and if you want to use their lightspeed software, you need a minimum of $25,000. I’ve been trading with them for almost three years, and I’ve found their customer service to be satisfactory. They’re accomodating, and have fast execution. The wire charge, for wiring to them from Pakistan is $40, and it takes a two, three working days. They recently merged with Lime Brokerage so I don’t know if there’s been any change in the documents that they require, but when I started with them, their account opening process was quite simple and quick. The only drawback is that they don’t have a mobile based platform, and their webtrader, which I use, requires Silverlight, which only opens on Internet Explorer, and Safari maybe as well. Mozilla just stopped supporting Silverlight, and other browsers also don’t open it. So there you go, you can buy US stocks and options while living in Pakistan, and the above options are open to you.
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