Global investor = Global adviser

Offshore investing and wealth management require a different perspective and view. If a wealth portfolio is global does it make sense to use a global adviser?

Mike Abbott, head of Sable Wealth, says that an international adviser can give advice when various jurisdictions are involved, and can build and manage a global portfolio.

A growing market with individual needs

As clients become more mobile, their wealth becomes more mobile. A Barclays Wealth Insights series in 2014 found increasing mobility among the world’s wealth. “Wealth is very mobile,” says Abbott, “and has always been very mobile.” This makes it essential to have an international wealth portfolio. The knowledge required to service this market can be very specialized – stretching the knowledge of local based advisers.

  • 29% of the world’s wealthy entrepreneurs are planning to move to a different country within the next five years
  • 15% of global high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are planning to move to a different country in the next five years
  • 43% of global HNWIs have lived in more than one country
  • 30% of HNWIs in South Africa have lived in three or more countries

Jurisdictions and tax

Knowledge relating to jurisdictions is quite specific, Abbott says. An international adviser can add value here – knowing the different jurisdictions and which laws and regulations apply.

Tax is also a very important issue – for Abbott it is around 50% of the whole financial planning process. An adviser can add value in the tax planning process – knowing the tax effects of moving money and the personal tax structures and laws that apply.

Tax laws are completely localized, says Abbott, and a tax event can be triggered without the individual realizing it.

There are tax havens, but secrecy is a thing of the past, according to Abbott. Different countries have different sovereign rights – and there is tax competition. Countries still become and market themselves and financial centres – but there is no secrecy.

Using an international adviser with experience and expertise in this area can be invaluable to a wealth individual.

What to look for in a global adviser

  • Skills in understanding overlaps between jurisdictions
  • Access to truly international funds or platforms
  • Focus on costs – keeping these down is essential
  • Partnerships – it may not be possible to focus on every jurisdiction – a good partner in those areas will add value

 



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