Investments always come with some risk, but there are certain things within your control that you can do to reduce your chances of walking into a disaster.
In the offshore financial services industry, expatriates are often exposed to broad spectrum of potential pitfalls, ranging from well-intentioned-but-poor advice to blatant mis-selling to outright scams.
Based on what I have experienced in the industry over the past decade, here are 5 things I recommend you do and don’t do when it comes to investing or meeting with a financial adviser as an expat.
DO work with an adviser who has qualifications. Many regions are not regulated and do not require the advisers to have any form of financial planning qualifications, but even if that is the case, a good financial adviser is committed to an on-going financial education and should care about doing as much as possible to achieve and demonstrate competency.
If you’re working with someone that can’t be bothered to study for a couple of exams to demonstrate that they might actually know what they’re talking about, then why are they going to give a damn about your investments, right?
Of course, qualifications do not guarantee you’ll get a competent, morally and ethically sound adviser, but not having them says to me that the adviser is only interested in making money and does not really care about providing the client with accurate, meaningful and useful advice.