How can I invest offshore and locally in a cost-effective manner?

Dear Reader,

Many thanks for your question.

The above information provides a substantial amount of information about your existing investment portfolios but contains very little information about your:

  • Personal / investment goals, risk tolerance and return expectation versus time horizon;
  • Career plans and retirement date; spirit
  • Estate / succession aspirations (although you are single currently, with no dependents or debt).

Financial advice, however, should speak to clearly defined personal finance objectives of the client. The investment and portfolio structure can change when the client’s objectives / circumstances change. As such, my answer is not going to go into the level of detail you desire. However, I will offer you some observations you should bear in mind when it comes to portfolio construction in general and financial advice in particular.

One of the questions confronting me while reading your original question was: “If the investment values ​​per your original question were tenfold, as one day it would be, would your objective still be cost-saving, or would it rather be risk management / peace of mind? ” I have therefore in my response added a zero to all the amounts you provided, for our wider audience to consider. The point I want to drive home, with bigger investment amounts, is that individuals generally need advice from a trusted specialist to enjoy peace of mind during retirement.

While one can find a lot of ‘free’ investment advice out there, it is (by virtue of its nature) only offered in a piecemeal manner. It offers a great way to educate yourself, but the danger is that answers that make a lot of sense individually will still not help the investor plan holistically. It takes an experienced financial advisor to string all these pieces together for their clients… It is comparable to building a quality wall versus building a quality house.

Thus, by focusing on the cost component alone, you may be doing yourself a disservice in the long run.

Reputable institutes (including Investment Funds Institute of Canada) and others such as Dalbar, Morgan Stanley, Vanguard and Coronation locally, have concluded that disciplined “principle-lead” financial advice delivers excess returns of 1.5-3% per year (after fees) to their clients. In short, do not fall into the trap of thinking successful investment is just about saving costs. It is not.

However, I believe your financial savvy puts you in a great position to identify an advisor that can add value over and above their advice fee. This will provide the necessary reassurance so that you can rather focus on becoming an expert in your area of ​​expertise and focus on retirement objectives during your retirement.

It is difficult to express a view on the existing portfolio as there are no matching financial objectives mentioned, besides costs and streamlining cash.

Cash, in my view, is a method of payment and should only be held for known bonds within 24 months. It is hence not an investment.

What rings true for me here is that “there is beauty in sophisticated simplicity”. Spreading your investment capital over more than one administrator does not necessarily improve diversification or reduce your risk. You also need to consider the spread of underlying investment instruments and the managers’ various investment styles. Despite using different managers, your underlying investments may behave more similarly than you think!

Dispersing capital via more than one administrator can become:

  • An administrative, management and succession nightmare; spirit
  • Investing sub-optimally from an admin fee perspective (economics of scale). Fees are not only taken on the advice level, but also by the product administrator (and in the funds). Therefore, it is very important to see that your admin / asset management fees (eg performance fees on some of your funds) are reasonable.

Portfolio management, in my view, optimally takes place within a “fund of funds” investment portfolio structure, where financial instruments are constantly valued (and traded, if needed) by professional asset managers. The portfolio changes in these portfolios are made by unbiased / unemotional investment specialists (financial analysts) who constantly evaluate risks versus rewards. Fund changes within a fund of funds structure bear no capital gains tax implication to the client.

When it comes to financial planning, we all simply “do not know what we do not know” outside our areas of expertise. While we can view financial planning as an expense, research shows it is an expense that repays its own fees. The trick, however, is to find a financial advisor who adds value, whom you can build a long-term relationship with, and who provides the necessary peace of mind – which today is priceless.

Leave a Comment