Expat Investment Platforms
Investment platforms are common in developed markets such as the UK and the US, but options designed with expats in mind have been few and far between. This is now changing and many established onshore platform providers are now entering the offshore market successfully.
The benefits of platforms are a welcome change as the expat market has been flooded with inflexible products for many years. Expat investors can now enjoy improved functionality and transparency on fees, with many platforms only permitting the purchase of only 'clean' funds.
Transparency, Flexibility, Value
Non-contractual investment platforms allow fee-based expat financial advisors to provide offshore advice with onshore regulatory standards. Many providers now offer international versions of their onshore platforms with the same investment guidelines, with only commission-free, low-cost funds available for purchase without lock-in periods or hidden fees.
Online access is more advanced with enhanced reporting technology. Detailed statements and valuations can be generated in just a few clicks and a streamlined administration process opens accounts quickly, providing access to fund research, comparison tools and online trading capability.
Pensions, Lump Sums and Savings
Expat pension transfers can avoid the antiquated offshore structure of a separate trustee and platform, with integrated SIPPs schemes now housing your assets all in one place at a much lower cost.
Lump sum Investments are opened quickly and invested across thousands of fully regulated funds, ETF's, discretionary fund managers and model portfolios. Trading fees are often $5 or less and can be much less for portfolio rebalancing.
Regular savings can be made with relatively small amounts, allowing you to start your investment journey without the commitment, restrictions or high charges of expat regular saving plans. Your expat financial advisor can charge only for ongoing advice, keeping platform and fund costs to a minimum and allowing you to contribute what you want, when you want. Expat investment platforms offer penalty-free access to savings, so you can save for the long-term with short-term commitment.
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While platforms are compliant in most countries, tax residency has an impact on suitability. In countries such as Spain, France and Portugal, the use of locally compliant expat investments can have significant tax advantages and should be considered. In such cases however, be sure to first quantify the higher costs and avoid fixed charging as detailed in our page on Offshore Bonds.
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