Avoid working with Commission-Based Firms that lack Integrity

09/23/2020

Major offshore IFA's/financial advisors in Asia, the Middle East and beyond are misrepresenting their services in their marketing to prospective clients. Their websites refer to their professionals as 'financial advisors', 'financial planners' and other titles that create the impression that advice is the "essential service" being offered. Additionally, their marketing messages aim to convince those saving for retirement, to fund school fees, house purchase etc. that they should trust their professionals, who are looking out for the client's best interest. 

It is clear that these IFA's/financial advisors are lying to you. They can't try to pretend that they are primarily providing financial advice in their marketing because they are primarily salesmen and are not engaged in relationships of trust and confidence with their clients.

If you - as an expatriate Investor - unknowingly rely on biased salespeople as if they were trusted advisors, you can suffer real financial harm as a result. Many expatriate retirement savers lose thousands a year as the result of the excessive charges associated just with conflicted financial advice from these offshore IFA's/financial advisors. The cost on an individual basis, in the form of lost retirement savings, can amount to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime of investing. In addition to paying excessive charges, expatriates who rely on biased sales recommendations as if it were unbiased advice can end up facing unnecessary risks or receiving substandard returns/no investment performance as a result of incentives that pervade the compensation system for commissions-based advisors. Cumulatively, these industry practices drain tens of millions of dollars every year out of expatriates' pockets and into the pockets of these unscrupulous salesmen.

It should be clear that these offshore IFA's/financial advisors are lying in their marketing and expatriates should avoid working with firms that lack integrity.

By contrast, fee-only advisors such as us do uphold these core values:

  • Competency: requiring the highest standards of financial planning
  • Client-Centered: committing to a fiduciary client-first relationship
  • Comprehensive: practicing a holistic approach to financial planning
  • Compensation: using a Fee-Only model that facilitates objective advice
  • Complete Disclosure: of our fees and any potential conflicts of interest

As an expatriate, you deserve a fiduciary standard of care. And with us you get an advisor who accepts the fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interests and refuses to accept any commissions or compensation that is contingent upon the purchase or sale of a financial product such as an offshore portfolio bond/savings plan. You know your financial advisor can't be a salesperson when they have nothing to sell.

There are a wide range of financial planning services which are part of comprehensive wealth management that do not involve selling expensive products. Commission-based advisors have a difficult time justifying these services when they don't bring in any product revenue. About 90% of the offshore financial services industry in Asia, the Middle East and beyond is comprised of commission-based advisors. 

Offshore portfolio bonds and savings plans are, quite simply, terrible. They are a confusing product sold through misleading statements which expatriates fail to understand. They are laden with fees and expenses. And they are rarely, if ever, a reasonable part of a financial plan which is in any client's best interests.

We are fee-only financial advisors and we do not simply follow the herd of salesmen who are peddling relentlessly the various insurance-linked investment schemes or unit-linked life assurance plans in the offshore markets to earn excessive commissions. Moreover, we didn't join forces with a multi-award winning investment advisory firm. Our priorities are simple: we are committed to providing you with a great financial experience. 

Contact us - info@expatwealthatwork.com - for Expatriate financial planning and advice via telephone and email. Video calls via Zoom and Skype.