International Investment Platforms

Are international investment platforms suitable for expats?

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    What is an international investment platform?

    Think of a platform like an online financial supermarket.

    It’s one account where you can hold your shares, funds and even your tax wrappers such as a pension or offshore bond under a single roof.

    If you are capable of controlling your emotions and confident you won’t make a mistake, the cheapest options is to do everything yourself (DIY).

    Platforms can be a great idea when it comes to managing your finances because they let you choose and hold all types of investments in one place.

    Less paperwork. One password. Less hassle.

    In the old days, people used to use either an offshore insurance company (probably an offshore bond), a stockbroker (to buy shares), go directly to a fund manager to buy funds and/or use an adviser to get help.

    This took a lot of time, was often managed on the phone or via snail mail/fax, and it could mean people had several different accounts for different bits of their savings and investment affairs. This could be expensive, opaque and very frustrating.

    Cue the advent of the platform.

    These started about 20 years ago in Australia and the US and first hit the UK in about 2002. Now you can go to one single place for most of your investment needs and it makes life a lot easier.

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    What is the best international investment platform for expats?

    Although UK and US platforms are now decently priced this hasn’t necessarily translated to the international investment platform.  Some are still mired in the opaque, murky charging structures of the past. Others flout local regulatory laws from far flung offshore jurisdictions and simply see offshore investment platforms as an opportunity to help financial salespeople aggregate all the assets of their expat clients into a single place and revenue stream.

    One size doesn’t fit all and choosing which international investment platform can make a pivotal difference in the outcome you receive. 

    Some offshore investment platforms discriminate against expatriates living in certain countries, some are suitable for DIY investors whilst others suit advised clients.  Some are sophisticated and for wealthier, experienced or institutional clients, some are best for the mainstream expat investor

    Choosing the best offshore investment platform

    Choosing the best offshore investment platform isn’t just down to which is the cheapest or the most expensive, but the one that will best enable you to reach your personal goals.  You need to ensure your account is located in a stable and well regulated jurisdiction and that you won’t be subject to unnecessary taxes.

    Our independent reviews of international investment platforms are driven both by quantitative and qualitative information that is in the public domain.  They list the company information, the advantages and disadvantages and our overall verdict with an aim of enabling you to make the decision which is best for you.

    If you would like to speak to a professional adviser about any of the information and your individual requirements we will happily give you more detailed help.

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