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Taking Care of Money
Peter Hainsworth

Being an ex-pat has always been associated with earning some serious money. Indeed, why put up with the pressures of a difficult job and environment if the pennies aren’t coming in? If you are one of those fortunate enough and hard-working enough to earn reasonable money here, it does seem logical to make sure that you make the most of your capital, and take advantage of any tax advantages which living abroad ensues.

With global markets being the way they are right now, the task of managing your money has become more difficult. When should you enter a market, when should you buy shares in this fund or that fund, when to exit, when to buy property and when to sell? The list of questions goes on and on. Who is going to give you the advice you need, when you need it? Perhaps it is better to wait for a while, anyway, the job may not be as secure as you hoped. But tomorrow never comes, and opportunities carry on walking straight by every day. I for one, simply don’t have the time to track every fund let alone think about acquiring others assets. As a result, I remain, well, not rich. Enter financial service companies like The Business Class Group.

Mark Kirkham, Operations Director for Business Class Group, www.businessclassgroup. com operates a company that recommends investment solutions based on the individual’s circumstances and goals. Usually investments are made for a minimum of five years. Mark says that his companies would make allowances for a typical business cycle, irrespective of what the external environment is like. Payment holidays and flexibility is part of what makes this company’s approach different, and these can be built into the plan. Business Class Group, and more specifically Platinum Financial Services, who are now operating in Moscow, provides an additional option of full investment management. I asked Mark how this would work in practice and he explained that for between 0.5% and 1% per annum, their Hong Kong-based portfolio management team would offer both initial and ongoing investment recommendations. They would allocate client monies into funds and then when appropriate switch in line with the client’s risk profile as the dynamics of markets and asset classes change. He stresses that all monies are invested directly into the funds, and switched between one fund and another in the investor’s own name. As the investments are made on an individual basis and Business Class Group operates internationally, investment plans can be taken with you regardless of where your career might or might not take you. Business Class Group ensures that your funds are “tax effective” meaning that as long as you are an expatriate when you start investing, you will not pay a penny or a cent more tax than you actually legally have to, including on gains made whilst living abroad.

Saving for special purposes such as retirement and education requires specialist knowledge, and these are areas that Mark’s company has a lot of experience in. How many of us know all the ins and out of how best to capitalise on UK pension plans by transferring it to a “QROPS,” which has all sorts of advantages, for example? This is an area where lack of knowledge alone can cost money, a lot of money.

Business Class Group has all bases covered when it comes to their clients’ investments, many people turn to property to help them create wealth for the future. Their specialist property arm is Lifestyle Properties who are now also operating in Moscow. For the Moscow expatriate or indeed wealthy Russians, investing in the right property brings not only a feeling of security but an income through lettings, if that is the purpose you designate for your investment. Of course you may be looking purely for capital growth if the property selected is the right one. Lifestyle Properties concentrates on well-established residential areas in major world cities like London where capital appreciation is, even now, a reality. The company also helps people who basically want a lifestyle property, a pad to hang out in over the winter or a cosy place in a warm climate to retire to. There is also a third type of property investment which the company specialises in: a so-called “alternative” category, where the company helps individuals buy into land or even food producing plantations and forestry.

All of Lifestyle Properties are turnkey solutions, which means that the investor has a lot less worry and stress. The company has a whole range of investment opportunities available, for example in the UK, from student flats for £28,000 and delivering a 10% yield to flats overlooking the Queen’s gardens for millions. The company looks at real estate as being an investment product first and foremost, and this perhaps explains why the due diligence that it carries out is rather more demanding than that carried out by a real estate company which will be looking at making a profit during sale or purchase and then getting out. This factor places a whole different angle on the real estate investment business and the more one thinks about it, the more it makes sense to work with an investment company which specialises in property rather than a real estate company which tries to attracts investment from abroad. Lifestyle Brokers can arrange mortgages on favourable terms with international lenders who actually favour expatriates with their relatively stable incomes at the present time. Rob Dennis, the area development

Brian Johnson, Managing Director,
PFS International,
Office 502, 10 Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya
Tower Block C. Tel: +7 495 967
7648, Mobile: +7 916 366 7534.

manager for Lifestyle Properties added that interest can be set against tax returns. UK interest rates are much lower than for example in Russia, so the international investor can make a lot more on capital growth on money that is not actually his.

All of these issues and many more, can be discussed with Business Class Groups Moscow representative on an informal or formal basis. He’ll be glad if you give him a call:

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