Offshore Investment Choices
Sometimes our clients choose to invest offshore. Occasionally, circumstances force them to hold their investments offshore. Many are apprehensive of sending their money to travel around the world, unattended. Here are the common investment options that allow investors to maintain liquidity and preserve the principal.
Keep it Safe, Put it in a Swiss Bank
Swiss private banks have been around for literally hundreds of years. One of the banks we work with has been around since the mid 1700s. Swiss banks are conservative, privacy oriented and not subject to the whims of the U.S. government (unlike all the Caribbean banks that have to toe the line, the Swiss banks will not cooperate with any government or private inquiry regarding their clients). Most of these banks are very large, with assets in excess of $50-100 billion. In the entire history of Swiss banking, not a single Swiss bank has gone under.
Swiss private banks offer three basic investment choices. A traditional saving account, with a rate of return around 1.5-2%; a money market account with a rate of return of around 5-5.5%; and a traditional investment account, investing in stocks, indexes and mutual funds. The investment choices and the investment methodologies are almost identical to the U.S. banks our clients are used to.
Getting money out of a Swiss bank account is fairly easy, with a standard 48-hour wire transfer turnaround.
No Risk, No Reward
In addition to Swiss banks, privately owned investment management firms can offer clients the entire universe of investment choices, mirroring or exceeding the clients' investment choices in the U.S.
Let's Keep it Really Safe
A Swiss annuity is a surprisingly liquid form of investment. It is an annuity contract, returning to the client a stream of income over his life, guaranteed by a Swiss life insurance company. These annuities can be borrowed against, or cancelled with little or no penalty. The return generated by the annuity is in the neighborhood of 2-3%. The annuity offers an additional layer of asset protection because under Swiss law a creditor cannot penetrate the cash value or the income stream of an annuity.
We Can Help
We are unbiased advisors to our clients. We are not compensated by any of the investment firms we work with. Because we are not investment advisors, we will not tell our clients how to invest their money, but we can advise them of their offshore investment options and introduce them to the right bankers and investment managers. The world of offshore investing is a lot less mysterious than most clients think. We can place it within their grasp.