Expat Retirement Plan​: Free Review!

04/23/2022

What is an Existing Expat Policy?

Any investment product purchased through a financial adviser while living abroad

If you have been living abroad for some time, an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) has likely approached you already. You may have taken out a savings plan or investment plan with them. It is also possible that you are no longer in contact with the adviser. Old financial policies usually are located in jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Malta, Gibraltar, Cayman Islands, Bermuda etc. If any of these locations sound familiar, then you have an existing expat policy.

Why is it wise to review an Existing Expat Policy?

This investment product may be outdated - leading to a loss of growth

Many expats may have had their policy for over 5-10 years. Your financial goals have likely changed since you took out the plan. Your attitude towards risk could also be different as you approach closer to your retirement. When was the last time a qualified adviser reviewed your investment portfolio? When was your allocation last updated? What are the costs of your plan? When is your policy maturity date? These are just some of the questions expatwealthatwork can answer within a few hours of speaking with us.

Can I change Financial Adviser?

You always have the freedom to move financial adviser

Every client has the right to change financial adviser. It ensures clients can monitor the service and performance of their adviser and take action if they are not satisfied. Many financial advisory firms do not advertise this to clients. At expatwealthatwork, we are transparent about this. For example, if your car kept breaking down, you would likely change the mechanic rather quickly. Financial advice should be no different. You should not put up with a poor level of service or performance.

Should I change Financial Adviser?

If you feel uncomfortable asking your financial adviser a question - it's time to change

Whether we like it not, money is essential. It can also provide security and opportunity for you and your family. For example, a well-managed retirement or education fund can alleviate stresses or create opportunities. In our opinion, you should feel confident asking your financial adviser any question about your policy. If you do not feel comfortable, you will not ask the questions you want. It will eventually lead you to become less connected with your investments.

Why doesn't my Financial Adviser contact me?

You may no longer be a priority - commissions!

We hear a similar story from clients who join us from another financial adviser. Their adviser was proactive and took a real interest during the early months or years. However, their communication then dried up. After reviewing the clients' investments, there was a recurring theme. In the majority of cases, the previous adviser received an opaque commission of circa 7% for setting up the policy. Once the paperwork had been signed, they were paid their commission and moved onto the next client. This commission-based advice model can be damaging to client results. At expatwealthatwork, we only operate on a transparent model of advice. You will always know exactly how much we are being paid, allowing you to make an informed decision. Moreover, our performance fee charging schedule motivates us to look after our clients with the same level of care and attention on an ongoing basis.

How do I change Financial Adviser?

Simple. You complete one-sided Change of Agency (COA)

With any existing expat policy - There are three parties:

  1. You - The Client
  2. Your financial adviser
  3. The investment/life company.

The contract between yourself and investment/life company cannot be changed unless you terminate your portfolio, which may incur penalties. The relationship between you and your financial adviser is changeable though. So if you are ever unhappy with the level of service or performance, you always have the freedom to talk with your feet and move adviser. There is no penalty or charge for changing adviser. This change of adviser is completed with one A-4 form called a Change of Agency (COA). This informs your investment/life company that you would like to turn off the servicing light for your old adviser and it turns on the servicing light for your new adviser. The ongoing servicing is effectively moved from your old adviser to your new adviser. This allows to review your policy in detail, including your charges and portfolio allocation. expatwealthatwork will then send you an advice report outlining our recommendations for improving your policy performance and reducing your costs. You are under no obligation to accept or implement the changes though, this is your choice, we will just offer our professional advice. Change of Agency's (COA) are common in the expat market and take up to 48hrs to process.

How much will it cost for your new Financial Adviser to review your policy?

The advice report is free and it is yours to keep

There is no cost for reviewing your policy. We will provide you with a detailed advice report outlining what you could do to improve its performance. The decision is then yours. You can either leave the policy like it is or, if you wish to take our advice, we will implement the changes for you and keep you updated on an ongoing basis. There are no hidden costs. All costs are the same for all clients. So if you are joining us from another financial adviser, you are not disadvantaged.

Our Advice Process

Simple and Straightforward

  • Contact Us
  • Situation Analysis
  • Solution Appointment
  • Complete Application
  • Ongoing Reviews

Advantages of Changing Financial Adviser

Fresh Start

Whatever the reason for your relationship breaking down with your old adviser, it is harming your financial future. You need to know your policy is being looked after and that your financial adviser is on top of it. You can also learn from the previous adviser relationship and set clear expectations with your new adviser.

Reduce Charges

Your new adviser can review the start of your policy and work out exactly which charging schedule you are on. With this information we can investigate how to reduce the costs on your investment portfolio. For example, on maturity of your plan (typically 8-10 years since you signed the paperwork) it may be optimum to transfer the capital onto a much lower-cost platform solution.

New Sets Of Eyes

Your new financial adviser is not accountable for the previous investment decisions. It allows us to provide you an unbiased opinion on your portfolio. Your former adviser may not have wanted to admit that certain investments had been a wrong decision and so continued to advise you to hold them in your portfolio. This inability to sell a losing position is because of an emotional impulse as opposed to logic. It is commonly known as the breakeven fallacy.

Close Your Losing Positions

Losing positions that are substantially down (30-50%) rarely turn a significant enough corner to break-even but they provide a profit. However, losing positions do not always indicate lousy wealth management advice. You may have invested before a correction in the markets, which is entirely beyond your control. Also, a well-diversified investment portfolio will naturally have uncorrelated winning and losing positions to spread risk. We further highlight the problem of ignoring poorly performing assets. A 40% loss requires a growth rate of 67% for it to return to its original investment value. Once an asset reaches a 50% loss, the percentage rise needed to break even is 100%. Few financial advisers openly discuss this with clients as they are concerned their clients will be angry about any portfolio losses. We prefer to be upfront and treat our client's money with the same honesty we would treat our own. Positions that are substantially down need to be reviewed by your financial adviser carefully.

Regain Trust

If you are reading this page is likely your portfolio performance has not been excellent. That will understandably have damaged or ruined your trust in financial advisers and wealth management. Starting fresh allows you to move forward with your policy and focus on the future.

Disadvantages of Changing Financial Adviser

Admin

Firstly, you will need to complete a Change of Agency (COA). Secondly, you will need to have at least one 45-minute consultation with us. That will allow us to understand your goals and objectives for your investment with a fact find. You will need to read the advice report before signing and returning by email to implement the updates.

Highlights Issues

You may have trusted your previous financial adviser and a review of your policy may bring to light new information. Mainly, how much your old adviser may have been paid for setting up your investment. Some clients dislike hearing such information even if it is the best course of action to rescue their finances.

Financial Adviser Fact Find

A fact find is a tool for us to understand your situation

A fact find will typically be completed during your consultation with us. It provides a snapshot of your existing financial situation and a clear picture of your financial goals and objectives. A diligently completed fact-finding process lays the foundations for robust financial planning advice. A fact find also helps highlight the areas of your financial planning that are complete and the areas to work on.

How much does my Financial Adviser get paid?

It will depend if they are working on a performance fee basis or a commission basis

A commission-based financial adviser will typically receive a one-off commission of 7% on day one of your investment. A performance fee-based financial adviser charges a transparent flat fee of 0.4%. In our experience, performance fee-based advisers form much longer and much more mutually beneficial relationships with their clients than commission-based advisers. That is because performance fee-based advisers are incentivised to continue delivering high-quality service to their clients on an ongoing basis. Whereas, a commission-based adviser is often only incentivised to receive their commission and move onto the next client. At expatwealthatwork, we believe transparent performance fee-based advice provides the best client outcomes.

Do I really need a Financial Adviser?

In our experience expats who take sound financial advice reach their retirement earlier

Not everyone needs a financial adviser. Individuals in your home country may have a more straightforward financial situation. They bank, save and have their mortgage all with the same bank they have used since they were 16. They also automatically save into a pension scheme each month through their employer. As an expat, you have many advantages of living abroad, but financial planning requires you to take the initiative. It is unlikely that your employer is providing you with a free pension scheme. You require global mobility with your financial planning.

What are Financial Advisers Regulations?

At expatwealthatwork, we are duly qualified

Financial advisers in Europe and the UK must be qualified and regulated. Outside Europe and the UK, financial adviser regulations and qualifications vary. In established countries such as the United States and Australia, financial advice is strongly regulated. In other parts of the world, there are no regulations at all. In our opinion, it is unwise to work with an unregulated or unqualified adviser.

At expatwealthatwork, we are duly qualified. We do not allow providing financial advice without having completed all of our qualifications. So with us when you pay for financial advice, you know you are receiving the highest level of advice.

Top Financial Advisers

You need a financial adviser who understands you situation as an expat

Europe and the UK has some of the best advisers in the world. However as an expat, European and UK advisers will have little knowledge of your requirements such as international SIPPS, QROPS or EURBS. As a non-European or non-UK resident, European and UK advisers are typically also unable to provide you with Final Salary or Defined Contribution pension transfer advice. Even if they were legally able to advise you, they do not have terms of business (TOB) with the international providers that would accept you as a non-European or non-UK resident. Expats need to work with a financial adviser who has cross border knowledge of your European and UK pensions and your new country of residence.

Typical Expat Life Providers

If you recognise one of the logos below - Get in touch - info@expatwealthatwork.com - for your free advice report to understand your options.