4 easy steps to investing in the US

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For many, investing offshore is both enticing and intimidating. Offshore investments allow you to diversify your portfolio and risk. But with opportunity comes apprehension, as the inevitable, “how-where-when-what?” settles in.

Fortunately, it’s never been easier. There are simple online resources that make the logistics of offshore investments accessible and effortless. Plus, if you’re looking for guidance on what investments to make, while maintaining complete control of your wealth, Lockstep is here to help. But let’s get to that later.

1. Decide how much you want to invest offshore.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to investing locally or offshore, but here are two things to consider as a starting point. Firstly, what can you afford? For an investment to be worthwhile, you shouldn’t draw from it for at least 3 to 5 years. So choose an amount that you can happily invest, knowing that you won’t want access. Secondly, as a South African citizen, you can take out up to R1 million per year without declaring it. To invest between R1 million and R4 million, you’ll need a SARS Tax Clearance certificate and for investments between R4 million and R10 million, you’ll also need a SARS Letter of Compliance. Decide which option works for you and take it from there.

2. Convert ZAR into USD and move it to an offshore bank account.

You don’t have to pack your bags, find your passport and go meet with a banker in New York. All of this is done locally through various platforms of your choice. Here are two that could work for you.


If you’re transferring less than R1 million outside of the country, one of the easiest and cheapest ways is to use Standard Bank’s Shyft app. We don’t get any benefits from recommending this service, we just love it because it’s easy to use and very well priced.

  • Open a Shyft account – you don’t need to be a Standard Bank customer.
  • Transfer ZAR to your Shyft account.
  • Buy USD with the ZAR in your Shyft account.
  • Standard Bank then holds the USD in an offshore account in your name

The Bank

If Shyft isn’t for you or if you want to transfer more than R1 million, you can approach your bank. Most banks help with the whole process, including obtaining a Tax Clearance Certificate, converting your ZAR to USD, and transferring the funds to an offshore bank account. Be mindful of costs, as Tax Clearance Certificate fees, Forex rates which are usually the largest cost, transfer fees, and others, can very quickly add up.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed about how to buy USD or transfer money out of the country you are welcome to contact us and we will assist in whatever way we can; Contact Us

3. Open an offshore broker account

Next up, you’re going to need a broker account, which is an account opened at an offshore bank/broker where you can buy and sell US-listed shares. Again this might seem daunting, but it isn’t hard. There are many options available to individuals, so the hardest part is picking an option that suits your needs. We have two recommendations, and once again, we don’t benefit from suggesting their services.


Shyft offers share trading on its platform allowing you to instantly buy and sell US-listed shares available on the app. For convenience, you really can’t beat it.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers gives you access to multiple exchanges internationally,  including US markets. Their transaction costs are very competitive and opening and funding an account is straightforward. However, the functionality of the platform is immense, so it comes with a learning curve. It’s nothing you can’t overcome and there is help available.

There are other options too such as SaxoBank, TD Ameritrade (for people living in the US only), and others. Explore all the options available, but be mindful of ease of use and costs involved.

Again if you are feeling lost or need assistance setting up your broker account we are here to help; Contact Us

4. Start Investing

Now it’s time to start investing. While the process is simple and shouldn’t take more than a few working days from start to finish, investing for yourself can be overwhelming and even scary. To grow your wealth over the long term takes time and experience. That’s why we are here to help.

We’re Lockstep Investing. We invest our own money into listed companies to grow our own wealth. Then share our portfolio and the thinking behind it, so you can invest and grow your wealth too. We don’t invest for you or force you into any investments, we just give you insights into what we are doing and why.

How it Works

With our years of investing experience, coupled with our thorough in-depth research, we look to invest in high-quality businesses listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ stock exchanges, investing only when we believe they are trading at a discount to their fair values.

When you sign up to be a member of Lockstep, you get:

  • Access to our diversified portfolio.
  • An update before we buy and sell shares, so that you can act accordingly.
  • Company-specific news, our interpretation of the news, and what action we will take, if any.
  • Any relevant macroeconomic updates that might impact the portfolio or a company within it.

Investing is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.  Invest alongside us, and let us take care of the in-depth analysis, the monitoring of relevant newsflow, and optimising the portfolio. We work hard behind the scenes, so that you don’t have to.

With Lockstep, you remain in control of your investment decisions and ultimately your wealth.

To find out more or become a member, Visit our Website.

Lockstep is not a money manager nor a financial advisor, please seek professional financial advice before making any financial decisions.

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