A Yachtie's Guide to Personal Finance

How do I decide where to invest?

Pffftt, this is a huge question. I don’t even know how or where to begin.

Straight outta the gate let me list some factors you need to consider when deciding where to invest

  • Your tax obligation
  • What currency you’re paid in
  • How often you’ll be investing
  • What you want to invest in
  • How much you can afford to invest
  • Your internet accessibility
  • Whether or not your self-managing or using an advisor
  • …and many more.

You get the point. Honestly, I’m not going to list every option of investing platforms for each country as that is waaaay too much work.

Instead, I’m going to make this up and see what comes to mind, here we go.


Tax Obligations

I know for some passports this is a biggie. Investing and moving money can be very difficult and sometimes it’s best to use an investment platform in your own country.

It’s important you consult with a tax specialist, such as Marine Accounts, before investing. The last thing anyone wants is to called up on tax issues.

Do you want this type of negativity in your life?

There are a bunch of great international offshore platforms such as Interactive Brokers (my choice), Degiro and Saxobank which are tax friendly and provide access to hundreds of markets. Although they can be slightly technically challenging, once you’re signed up and understand the basics you’re good to go.

These options would suit a nomad style investor. Someone who is paid in a different currency to their home country or doesn’t want their investments related to their home country.


Fees

Another huge consideration is fees.

We all know small numbers lead to big changes and if you don’t, click here.

Each platform carries it’s own account fees, inactivity fees, deposit fees, commissions and more. The cheapest international broker I’ve seen is Interactive Brokers which happens to be my platform of choice.

Ensure you fully understand the fee structure and how this impacts your money. Each provider will have a clear set of fees laid out.

How you can contribute

Similar to fees, it’s important to optimize your method of sending money. You might need to convert currencies (I recommend Transferwise) and will most likely get hit with international money transfer fees, especially if using Standard Bank.

Sadly, this is unavoidable for some yacht crew simply due to the intricacies of sending money through borders and exchanging currencies.

However, you can still optimize this as best you can. Sending your money in one go rather than small amounts at a time, for example, or waiting for good exchange rates. These are just small examples of how to do this.

Oh, and if you’re a kiwi, check this out.

Other Options…

  • Robinhood – US based investment platform with lows fees and a great app
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Wealthfront – Good for US citizens and index investing
  • Betterment
  • Fidelity – available in a number of countries, investment platform similar to Vanguard, also recommended
  • Hatch – A new NZ based platform that gives Kiwis direct access to US stock market
  • Stake – Australian platform
  • SelfWealth, Commsec and CMC – Australian platforms with Australian and international markets.
  • Charles Schwab – US based investment platform

Remember, there will be a lot of terms you might not know but don’t be overwhelmed with all the BS.

There are heaps of investment platform out there and it might be easier to shoot me a message and I can point you in the right direction.

Take some time to understand what you don’t know, look at review sites or ask me and I can give my opinion on it.

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