Toronto skyline at sunset.

Moving to Canada from the U.S.? Learn How a Cross-border Financial Advisor Can Help You Meet Your Investment Goals

For many Americans, living in Canada can be very appealing thanks to the country’s diverse nature, liveable cities and publicly funded healthcare. But once in the Great White North, U.S. expats can find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when they invest with their U.S.-based financial advisors. They have to either find a new advisor within 30 to 90 days or liquidate their U.S. investment accounts.

That’s because unlike cross-border financial advisors, most U.S. broker dealers and investment advisory firms aren’t registered to do business with Canadian residents.

Take Eddie and Lisa for example. High school sweethearts, Eddie and Lisa were born and raised in the U.S. When they hit their 30s, they decided to move to Canada for work. Eddie was a doctor, and Lisa was a real estate agent. Together with three children, they made Canada their second home.

Chasing the Canadian dream, Eddie and Lisa focused on contributing to RRSPs managed by their financial advisor in Canada. However, since they became Canadian residents and were only making Canadian-sourced income, they weren’t allowed to fund their IRA and 401(k).

Why Work with a Cross-border Financial Advisor?

Two decades later, their U.S. advisor delivered bad news.

“There’s been a change of rules. I’ll no longer be able to manage your IRA and 401(k) because you’re Canadian residents,” he said. “You have 30 to 90 days to find a new advisor, or I’ll have to liquidate your IRA and 401(k) accounts and mail you the net proceeds.”

But what their advisor didn’t say is that a cross-border financial advisor can help them navigate those wealth management challenges, so they avoid such taxable and potentially penalized IRA and 401(k) distribution.

At Raymond James (USA) Ltd., our advisors are licensed in both the U.S. and Canada, and we understand the complexities a financial life that spans borders can bring. Every day, we work with Americans living in Canada to ensure they avoid financial pitfalls and smoothly manage their financial assets across the Canada-U.S. border.

We develop solid, effective financial plans and create a disciplined investment strategy to help professionals with ties to both the U.S. and Canada meet their investment goals.

If you, like Eddie and Lisa, hold financial assets on both sides of the border, reach out to us so we can help you align the distinct pieces of your financial life with one another.


Raymond James (USA) Ltd. advisors may only transact business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered. The information above is from sources believed to be reliable, however, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete and it should not be considered personal tax advice. We are not tax advisors and we recommend that clients seek independent advice from a professional advisor on tax-related and legal matters. Raymond James (USA) Ltd., member FINRA/SIPC.