International financial planning is a professional approach to planning your financial future.
It helps those who live overseas (expatriates), those with complex cross-border tax arrangements (non-doms), and those who own assets in multiple tax, legal and regulatory jurisdictions.
Based on your personal risks, aspirations and financial demands, a good financial planner will produce an effective road map to help you reach your desired financial destination, and meet the challenges of different life stages with peace of mind.
They may cover your wealth accumulation phase, wealth preservation phase, income in retirement phase, inheritance tax and succession planning stages.
The best offshore financial advice helps point out the risks, the returns and the flexibility of your options within a marketplace where many regulatory and legal protections may not apply.
The best international financial advisers recommend which path to take so that you can grow your money through solid investment choices, but still have enough cash and flexibility for expenditure.
We believe good international financial planning is entirely different to the pure investment brokerage offered by traditional advisers.
It typically includes:
The true value of a financial adviser often manifests itself as being a ‘behavioural investment counsel.’
To that end, we are here to help bridge the behaviour gap – that is, the difference between investment returns, and the returns of the average investor.
This gap exists because of the human tendency to allow emotions to overwhelm rational thinking when making investment decisions.
Internationally, this gap is more than just a gap - it’s a chasm - because of traditional product salespeople, expensive and inflexible products, hidden commissions and risky esoteric investments.
At AES International we steer our clients away from the risks and pitfalls of widely-touted offshore solutions, and therefore believe the value we create and add is immeasurably greater within the international advice marketplace.
The value we add starts with helping prevent potential mistakes from being made, and we continue to add value by helping you to invest sensibly and grow your wealth in a disciplined manner.
You get the peace of mind and security of dealing with a caring organisation committed to getting you better results.
Our financial planning clients are expatriates, non-domiciled individuals, or those with other cross-border or offshore financial requirements with at least £250,000 of equivalent to invest.
Our process begins by taking an holistic approach to your financial life.
We then construct a blueprint for your financial plan, that becomes the basis of your relationship with our organisation.
The process consists of several steps, culminating in a financial plan, paired with a recommended investment solution.
In our experience, clients who go through this process become investors who are better equipped to make educated decisions about their financial future.
We consider how to optimise clients’ pensions, investment platforms and portfolio approach, taking advantage of the opportunities offered to expatriates living in tax-free jurisdictions.
We bring high standards of discipline and expertise to complex matters that, if left untended, can become problems.
We employ UK-qualified financial advisers, including chartered wealth managers, chartered financial planners, retirement planning specialists and pension transfer specialists. All are highly trained, qualified and experienced professionals.
The cost of their time, and the time taken for their planning process, means that the greatest value is added with our service for clients with assets of at least £250,000.
We do not sell products. We offer clear, expert advice, cutting through the overwhelming mountain of financial information. And we put plans in place for our clients to help them achieve their financial goals.
The plans we devise are unique, as no two clients have the same set of circumstances. However, our fundamental approach never changes: -
Not all financial advisers are the same.
Good financial advice relies on the professionals who give advice having relevant qualifications, experience and integrity. This may sound obvious, but sadly in international financial services professionals like these are few and far between.
An adviser you choose needs to operate within a corporate framework which provides a regulatory umbrella, compliance supervision, good management, systems and controls, all of which operate towards treating clients fairly.
In our view, the culture and values of a company inform the type of advice and service you are likely to receive.
We strongly recommend that you run through this due diligence checklist on how to choose a financial adviser before committing to using us, or any of our competitors.
An all too common way of choosing a financial adviser is via personal recommendation – but this is not a good way.
Poorly advised people are often unaware they have received sub-optimal financial advice for many years, and may
Unfortunately, traditional financial salespeople make themselves much more visible than professional advisers! The bad ones cold call you, turn up at your house, bump into you at the golf course or in the pub, meet you at/after work...
Ultimately, they are often very slick and effective product salespeople who will tell you what they know you want to hear about great returns and better performing funds, in order to sell inflexible, poorly performing and expensive solutions.
Professional financial advisers are highly unlikely to cold call you and often reveal the uncomfortable truth about your existing situation. They will typically use data to illustrate your situation and support their assertions with evidence. They are often busy solving complex issues and are more likely to receive introductions as a result of their professional reputation and accreditation.
Your best bet
If you've already taken financial advice and want an expert analysis of your portfolio to ensure it’s correctly structured and aligned with your best interests, we offer this service for free and without obligation via our X-Ray Review™.
We believe not everyone needs a financial adviser – at least not all of the time – but there is no one who wouldn’t benefit from good financial advice!
Professional financial planning incurs professional, transparent fees, (just like those of a chartered accountant, architect or lawyer).
Good advice will be far less expensive than making the mistakes associated with ‘free’ advice and should always add easily demonstrable value.
However, the cost of these fees needs to be weighed against the benefit the advice will bring.
If your needs are simple or investments more modest, our view is that it is often better to just get a helping hand to ensure you invest sensibly without the initial or ongoing cost of full financial advice.
This fact isn't what the traditional industry wants you to know because an archaic mechanism, known as 'indemnified commission', enables traditional salespeople to make several decades worth of fees from you on the very first day you incept a plan through them!
This hidden payment creates a lack of flexibility for you, as it results in exit penalties and surrender values, at the same time as eroding your future returns and creating a conflict of interest.
Traditionally, indemnity commission enables a financial salesperson to extract anything between 7 and 12% of your investment on the first day you hand over the money. This is the reason they will target new expats and less-well informed investors who otherwise could access cheaper and more flexible platforms for investment.
This conflict means you are likely to receive very little on-going service unless you allow your funds to be churned, you have more money to invest or you provide a stream of referrals. After all, if you were paid for 25 years upfront - there would be little motivation to continue working without further payment!
We suggest that clients with under £250,000 of assets strongly consider self-directed solutions, like the Index Account™, to ensure they keep costs low, flexibility high, and maximise their returns during this wealth accumulation phase of life.