Platforms: How To Save And Invest As An Expat
What is a Platform?
An investment platform is an online service where individuals can buy various financial products in a simplified and more accessible manner. For expats, investing in locally available financial products comes with challenges that may be difficult to manage. Therefore, relying on sound investment advice from trusted experts is always advisable to avoid pitfalls.
An investment platform is usually a collection of funds, gilts, equities, cash, and structured products. Some platforms’ products may be hard to access individually or are unavailable in most cases. This further stresses the importance of seeking professional advice before getting involved in what might be a breach of a country’s tax laws.
Benefits of Platforms
Simplicity in investing
You probably don’t have the patience or background to handle complex financial concepts and jargon. Taking time to learn how each financial product operates and keeping up with its daily performance is also asking for too much of your time and other resources. Platforms simplify the investment journey by bringing different products together in a more coherent, easier-to-understand and monitor package.
Buying each financial product separately and directly from the fund managers comes with unique tariffs and associated charges. In contrast, an investment platform groups those products together and charges a single rate for servicing them for you. Therefore, you’ll incur lower costs overall, improving your investment’s performance.
Dealing with one platform is easier and more manageable than attending to each investment product separately. The best investment platforms take advantage of existing technology to increase convenience further. By utilising the service of a quality financial adviser, you can get timely notifications of performances, reminders of important events along the way and suggestions on the next steps to take.
How to Invest?
When investing in a platform, you need to pick the best one besides consulting professional financial advice. While the latter makes things considerably easier for you, it helps to know what to look for in an investment platform. Here is what to focus on in the search:
1. Check the platform’s costs
Each platform is offered at unique rates, which you need to know more about. The most expensive ones are not necessarily the best. Ideally, aim to spend for value, where each platform feature serves your needs well. You may not predict how the platform will perform, but you need to pick one that is structured to fulfil your needs.
2. Check the platform’s investment product range
Some platforms offer shares or bonds, while others offer both. Additionally, some don’t discriminate on the nature of products available, while others focus strictly on ethical investing. Therefore, you need to determine which investment mix aligns with your investment objectives and overall outlook on finances.
3. Check the platform’s customer service
You will need to interact with the platform from time to time, and it may be to seek a quick solution or ask for important information for a time-sensitive investment decision. Your investment may suffer if you can’t easily reach the platform’s customer service desk or get a fast and relevant response. Therefore, consider a platform only after checking if the customer service desk is available at any time and through various channels.
4. What does the management fee cover?
You will have to pay for assembling the diverse investment product range and overseeing their performance. However, you need to check whether the payments include transaction charges. Trading events can pile up, meaning more charges if you are billed separately.
5. Customer reviews
It helps to consult other expats in similar positions to determine what worked well for them and if you can learn from their actions. Additionally, you can check with a platform’s existing customers to see how well their investments are performing. This will give you an idea of what to expect and help you decide whether to use the same platform.
As an expat, you may not enjoy the same access and options as the country’s citizens when investing. Additionally, you may not have the time or financial expertise to manage the investments yourself. Nonetheless, investment platforms present the most convenient and legally sound vehicle for your needs. You only need to align with experienced international financial advisers. Get in touch today and access our bespoke investment services.