Last updated 1 August 2016

Quick start to Investing Internationally

Achieving stability in a mobile lifestyle is a goal for every expatriate. Alongside with core areas such as housing and insurance, is finance. Thankfully, in an ever more flatten world, there are a wide variety of financial products that cater to the needs of globally mobile employees.

While many do save on various products locally or back home, the less commonly talked about is the more complex art of investment. Rather than juggling multiple portfolios in different countries, one of the smarter way for expatriates to grow their wealth is through offshore investment.

How is it different and what are the benefits?

      1. Continuity

Offshore investment via an international wealth manager will mean cross-border portability. Think of the added convenience –you get access to the records online and an actual adviser at any of their offices. No more making tedious email exchanges and overseas calls despite time differences! Also, with no disruptions whenever you move, your investment portfolio will be consolidated in one place, and you or your adviser can better evaluate according to market changes. 

      2. Tax advantages

Most offshore bonds exclusively offer a tax haven or what AXA Wealth termed as “time apportionment relief”. It allows expatriates to claim tax rebates against gains made during the time they are away from their homeland.Some countries subject you to high taxes, so this exemption makes all the difference. 

      3. Diversification

Without a commitment to a particular sector, country or wealth manager, expatriates will have greater flexibility over their portfolio. Investors can maximise their gains and reduce their risks with the wider selection of instruments. 

      4. Multi-national currency

Offshore investment providers typically allow you to open multi-currency accounts or invest in your preferred currency - the popular US dollar, for example. This is especially convenient for investors banking on a common carry trade strategy in the foreign exchange market. It allows investors to borrow money at a low interest rate and convert them to high-yield currencies to invest in assets providing a higher return.

What and where to invest?

Offshore instruments available are about the same structure as onshore ones. From funds and commodities to stocks and government bonds, take your pick! What investments apart is the expat-specific benefits listed above.

When selecting an investment company, do not forget to look into aspects such as broker’s fees and accessibility internationally. Most importantly, though, you should be able to find an experienced and professional financial advisor who you are comfortable with. They will work out something for you based on your risk profile, duration term and asset liquidity. You can check out BGL BNP Paribas for a start.

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