When I was a kid, I often heard the expression “there is no point in trying to put round pegs in square holes”.
It was only years later that I finally realised that there is no point trying to match with an unsuitable person in business.
As I explained in this article, when I started out, I wasn’t that selective.
Times have changed, 8,000,000 monthly readers and countless clients later, I can now be quite selective about who I take on.
What do I expect from clients and what should you expect from me?
- Trustworthy and trusting – you would expect me to be trustworthy so I would naturally expect the same thing from you. Moreover, I really don’t have the time or energy to try to convince a cynical brain to be less untrusting and cynical.
- Loves to be efficient – time is money for you and me. I don’t want to waste your time, and I want to save you time by doing things online in a speedy way. By the same token, I like clients to take decisive actions. As the great football manager Sir Alex Ferguson said, if a decision is to be made, it is better to be made as quickly as possible, assuming you have enough basic information to make a decision. Procrastination wastes everybody’s time and energy, and I don’t need new clients to feed myself! So I have a “two-week rule”. If somebody can’t make a decision either way by then I walk away.
- Meet the account minimums – You have at least $750 a month ($9,000 a year) or $100,000 as a lump sum to invest.
- A long-term relationship – not get rich quick.
- Traceability and transparency – What is safer ? Uber and other taxi apps where everything is traceable, or a normal taxi? The traditional business world often falls down on the “his word vs my word” fallacy, where there is no trace due to an in-person meeting. That is one reason why online has taken off. With investing too, it is important for you, and me, to have traceability and transparency.
So in a way I probably expect the same as you expect – to treat me in the same way as you want to be treated.
Frequently asked questions
In this section, I will deal with some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
How do I keep track of my investments? – there is 24/7 online access.
Are there any restrictions on who can apply? It depends on your country of residence. Most can apply but a few can’t. For example, American residents (both expats and Americans living in the US) can’t apply. Americans living overseas can apply.
Do you ever hold money personally? No. I use third party investment platforms. I am the advisor and not holding money directly. This avoids conflicts of interests.
What is the value added to your service compared to say a bank? Most banks overcharge, and have an “off the peg solution”. Most banks also both hold the money and make investment choices. This conflict of interest often leads to banks only offering their own investment funds.
Do you see your account minimums increasing in the future? Most likely they will keep increasing due to rising demand.
What kind of investments do you offer? Each solution is tailored to the indivdidual. In general I offer clients a good combination of low-cost ETFs and investments that most people can’t get access to direct unless they are multi-millionaires. Having a 80:20 combination of ETFs (80%) with 20% in more adventurous assets is a winning combination.
Where do most of your clients live and what do they do? I have clients in more than 100 countries and 5 continents for a simple reason; I can be incredibly efficient online due to technology. Clients come in all shapes and sizes; expats and locals and in different industries.
What if you get hit by a bus tomorrow? Your investment is safe as i never hold money and other staff members can take over.
What about tax? We aren’t tax advisors and can’t see the future. Worrying about tax doesn’t make sense for a few reasons:
- The tax rules could change in your country of tax residency when you sell your investment
- Your country of tax residency might change in the future
- As in the vast majority of tax systems in the world, you are taxes when you make a gain and not when your account is going up, it isn’t something to worry about until closer to the end of the account.
- We, nor you, can control what tax laws will be in the future . So there is no point in worrying about something we can’t control. It makes sense to consider carefully how to withdraw in a tax efficient way at the end of the account, once the laws are known at that time.
Most of our investment solutions are in 0% capital environments, which means neither we nor the investment provider charges you tax.
If you also live in a 0% capital gains environment (like in many Middle Eastern countries), or in a country which doesn’t tax international income or overseas capital gains, that usually means you don’t need to pay tax – but again we aren’t a tax advisory service.