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New poster - help

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Kelman
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New poster - help

Postby Kelman » Wed, 17 May 2017 8:11 pm

Hi
I'm an independent financial adviser in the U.K. But seriously considering moving to Singapore. I'm after any advice as there seems to be a plethora of websites and at this stage I can't really work out the good ones from the bad.

One major point is the potential to do business with other expats as I intended to continue in the same line of work.

As I said, any help or guidance will be gratefully received.

PNGMK
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Re: New poster - help

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 17 May 2017 9:06 pm

It's a crowded field in a shrinking market.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: New poster - help

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 17 May 2017 9:57 pm

Singapore is overflowing with "independent financial advisors", the vast majority of whom don't know the difference between shit and shinola.

I'm not going to be too harsh, but what do you know about expat finances when your experience is limited to working in the UK? What kind of advice can you give for investing in the the Australian stock market, or Singapore, for that matter? What's your views on property investment in Australia and what sort of currency hedging mechanisms should I put in place if I do invest? In short, for an expat with investments in a home country... maybe the UK, but just as likely to be the USA, Europe, or Oz... what experience and advice (investment and tax) do you have for the expat wanting to create an international portfolio?

If you think you're going to go to work for an existing Singapore firm, be aware that most likely you'll be flogging their crap because, for these firms, "independent" is a meaningless term. They'll probably be flogging a "widows and orphans" fund out of Glasgow, and there is a saying in Singapore that the farther away a recommended investment is from Singapore, the more likely you are to get your ass burned.

In fact, the whole "independent financial advisor" schtick in Singapore is so dodgy that there is an active market for expat business cards. Go to Penny Black or Harry's or anywhere else, offer your business card, and the next thing you know, your enterprising waiter has sold your card onward so it can be added to a cold call list that is peddled to "independent financial advisors" looking for their next mark. Give your business card away and you will be amazed at how many new "friends" have your number.

Harsh? Yes. Realistic? Yes. Fact is, unless you really are well versed in international markets, tax law, politics, etc, expats are far better off using an advisor in their home country, and advisors in countries in which they are thinking about investing.

Kelman
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Re: New poster - help

Postby Kelman » Wed, 17 May 2017 10:36 pm

Thanks for the posts and replies so far.

Strong Eagle, while being based in the U.K., I've had significant experience in "international" or "offshore" advice. Most investments I currently recommend have a large international element so you need to know a bit about "foreign" markets and currency risks. With regards to specific tax laws, I'll admit that I don't have worldwide tax knowledge, that's more restricted to U.K. and Europe.

I'm actually quite surprised that it's as bad as you say as the MAS website indicated that there was a reasonable degree of regulation.

PNGMK, is the market for professional advisers shrinking? My understanding was that as the regulation increased, the "less professional" were being forced out, but open to hearing from people in situ.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: New poster - help

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 17 May 2017 11:18 pm

From about 2000 to 2008, the Singapore gahmen was handing out Entrepasses to people in the financial industries like candy. The theory was that it would help build the financial sector in Singapore with the additional of new, entrepreneurial blood.

Instead, because the criteria were so lax, it brought in all sorts of riff-raff, the majority of whom were either not qualified or took money to provide useless advice. It wasn't only the financial sector, and, Entrepass requirements were severely tightened up. You cannot, as an individual in the financial services business, qualify for an Entrepass today.

Unless you can get an EP with a firm that will sponsor you, your only alternative is to form your own business with a locally resident director, apply for your own EP. It has been done, and you need to demonstrate that you have a real business, and not a scam to get into the country.

I agree with PNGMK that it is a shrinking market, especially for expats. You're not going to break into the Singapore citizen market as an expat, unless you are exceptionally lucky and well connected. And because of the abuse that has been heaped upon the expat community by other "financial advisors" most expats who have been in Singapore for any length of time will simply refuse to deal with you.

It's less about regulation that it is about clueless people foisting themselves off as advisors when in reality, their own financial needs take precedence over those of the clients they serve. If I recommend that you invest in Acme Buggywhip and it immediately goes to hell in a handbasket, I've not violated any rules but I'm still a pisspoor advisor.

You may guess that I'm not big on financial advisors, and you'd be right. You can read more on my thoughts on the subject here.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=97832&p=659903&hilit=Independent+Financial+Advisor#p659903

In any event, good luck with your endeavor, and may you bring some useful skills to the expat community.

That's my S$0.02.

Kelman
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Re: New poster - help

Postby Kelman » Thu, 18 May 2017 12:13 am

Thanks again Strong Eagle
What you say actually partially fills me with hope as I like to think of myself as a professional adviser so it may be that while it's overcrowded, I may be able to stand out from the crowd.

While I appreciate it's only an opinion, do you see a market for professional advisers there or has it gone too far already?


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