Expat Financial Advice in Dubai & The UAE
As one of the world’s most famous destinations, Dubai’s weather and lifestyle attracts thousands of expats every year. Earning a tax-free income under year-round sunshine is too much to resist for many, and with expat relocation packages often including rent, cars and children’s education fees, in addition to an increased salary, expats often find themselves with far more excess financial liquidity than they anticipated.
Whilst this change in circumstances sometimes results in more frivolous spending habits, investing wisely instead provides the opportunity to make a real difference to your financial future. However, doing your research first is essential to avoid making costly but all-too-common mistakes.
There are thousands of expat financial advisors in the UAE and while some offer qualified, fee-based financial advice, large expat populations also usually attract those willing to take advantage of less investment-savvy expats by selling expensive, poorly regulated products for huge rewards at the expense of the investor.
With so many expat financial advisors operating varying business models, choosing the right one to give you expat financial advice can mean the difference between losing capital, or enjoying a secure and flourishing investment that can secure your retirement.
Still today, Dubai is infamous for poor levels of expat financial advice. Expensive regular savings plans, offshore bonds and suspended investment funds have caused chaos for investors over the years, often resulting in capital losses from high product costs and lock-in periods. But with increased availability of online information and improved regulation, good expat financial advisors with your interests at heart are becoming easier to find.
Choice of Currencies
Many Middle Eastern countries have currencies pegged to the US dollar owing to oil being traded in USD. As oil producing nations, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Bahrain all peg currencies to USD to minimise volatility in exchange rates.
With most salaries being paid in pegged currencies it makes sense to invest in USD. However, with the UAE being a transitional destination, capitalising on exchange rates in other currencies that may be of use in the future can be of benefit, especially if you expect to retire in the UK, Europe, the US or Australia, to name a few.
Using multi-currency platforms allows the simple transfer of one currency to another sub-account in GBP, AUD, EUR, SGD and HKD. So when FX rates look favourable you can purchase securities in other currencies, all within the same investment account and leaving you to sell the assets as and when your funds are required.
Remove Doubt From Investment Decisions
There are now multiple investment options available for expat investors, all with low custody fees and underlying investment costs, daily-traded liquidity and easy-to-understand charges that a good advisor can explain easily. But always remember the crucial rule of expat investing - if you can’t withdraw your money quickly and penalty free, avoid the investment at all costs.
To find out more about how to invest as an expat in the Middle East, using secure, liquid, and FCA regulated investments, get in touch today and you’ll get the guidance you need.
Choosing an Expat Financial Advisor
As with all investing, it is vital you speak with qualified and locally regulated advisors to assure you of the best advice. It is also important that your advisor works on a transparent fee-basis and does not take undisclosed commission from your investment, which some life company bonds still permit, so always clarify the following points:
If fixed investment terms and redemption charges apply or the advisor is 'paid by the institution', ask for clarification on how much they get paid and how
Look for firms offering fee-based investment advice with transparent, easy to understand set-up fees and ongoing charges that are fully disclosed and agreed upon before completion of business
Other than set-up and ongoing management fees, advisors should be looking to reduce platform charges as much as possible, receiving remuneration only for the services they provide and not from institutions
Ask for clarification on underlying fund charges. Your advisor should be reducing these as much as possible to give you every possibility of a positive outcome
Look at the fund institutions being recommended and check regulations, track record and key statistics
Take a look at our page on 5 simple questions you should ask you expat financial advisor.
To speak to a locally qualified and regulated advisor to help invest in the UAE or anywhere else in the Middle east, get in touch today to remove all of your expat investment concerns and get the expertise you're looking for.