Expat financial advisor in Bahrain 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
I will compare some of the options available locally, alongside more portable, online and international options like what we offer.
For any questions, or if you are looking to invest as an expat, you can contact me using this form, or via the WhatsApp function below.
It makes sense to have a portable option as an expat, as opposed to a localised one, and that is something we specialise in.
Table of Contents
Bahrain is a small Arab state located in a bay on the southwestern coast of the Persian Gulf. It is an archipelago consisting of the island of Bahrain and about 30 small islands. Its name comes from the Arabic word al-barayn, which means “two seas”.
Bahrain itself, located in one of the main oil-producing regions of the world, has only small reserves of oil. Instead, its economy has long relied on the refining of crude oil from neighboring countries, and more recently the financial, commercial and communications sectors, as well as tourism, have grown markedly.
Bahrain’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas. Bahrain’s currency is the second largest currency in the world. Bahrain has invested heavily in the banking and tourism sectors since the late 20th century.
The capital of the country, Manama, is home to many large financial institutions. Bahrain’s financial industry is very successful. Bahrain was named the fastest growing financial center in the world in 2008 by the City of London Global Financial Centers Index. Bahrain’s banking and financial services sector, especially Islamic banking, has benefited from the regional boom fueled by oil demand.
Oil production is Bahrain’s most exported product, accounting for 60% of export earnings, 70% of government revenues and 11% of GDP. Aluminum is the second most exported product, followed by finance and building materials.
According to the 2020 Index of Economic Freedom, Bahrain is ranked fourth among the freest economies in the Middle East and North Africa region and 63 among the freest economies in the world. An alternative index published by the Fraser Institute places Bahrain in 70th place. Bahrain has been recognized as a high-income country by the World Bank.
Briefly, this is a great place for investors and people who want to start a business in Bahrain, as there are no taxes on income, or other usually taxable money in other countries. About Bahrain taxes we have a separate article, and in case you want to know more you can read it here.
Anyways, in any foreign country you will need a financial advisor’s help, whether you are an investor with big free funds, or a simple average-salary person who moved to Bahrain with a goal to earn more.
Who is a financial advisor?
A financial advisor is a financial professional who assists clients in matters related to their personal finances. While financial advisors are generally viewed as working with individuals, many financial advisors also provide services to institutional clients such as retirement plans, charities, municipal governments, and corporations. Some even advise other financial advisors. However, in this article, we will focus on three different types of financial advisors, that you can find in Bahrain.
All financial advisors help clients with money problems, but the exact services they provide will depend on their specialty and background. Broadly speaking, there are two types of financial advisory services: financial planning and asset management. Some advisors do only one of them, while others do both.
One service that many financial advisors provide is financial planning. Financial planning usually refers to the non-investment aspects of wealth planning.
This can mean a lot, but some of the services you can expect include:
- Tax planning – helps you minimize tax payments and possibly actually file your tax return.
- Estate Planning – Helps you keep your estate in good condition and with minimal taxes for your family when you die
- Retirement planning – make sure you have saved enough to comfortably retire when you’re ready
- Charity Planning – Help Get Money Back With Tax Savings
- Insurance planning – make sure you are sufficiently insured and get the best option for your situation
- Budgeting – Make sure you know what you should be spending and saving each month.
As noted earlier, financial advisors are not required to have a certain degree to call themselves financial advisors. However, many undergo special training for certification in topics such as accounting, investing, and life insurance. Some of the most common certifications are: Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Life Insurer (CLU).
How to choose a financial advisor?
First of all decide where in your financial life you need help.
Before finding a financial advisor and working with him, decide in which aspects of your financial life you need help. When you first meet with a consultant, you should be prepared to explain your specific money management needs.
Remember, financial advisors provide more than just investment advice. The best financial planner is someone who can help you chart a course for all of your financial needs. This can include investment tips for retirement plans, paying off debt, offering insurance products to protect yourself and your family, and inheritance planning.
Depending on your financial life, you may not need an in-detailed and comprehensive financial planning. Usually people whose financial lives are relatively simple, such as young people with no families of their own or significant debts, may only need help planning for retirement.
However, people with complex financial needs may need additional help. They may seek to create college funds or trusts for their children, deal with aggressive debt repayment situations, or solve complex tax problems. Remember that not all financial advisors offer the same services, so you have to decide which services you need and let that guide your search.
Get to known to the different types of financial advisors
There is no federal law that governs who can call themselves a financial advisor or give financial advice. While many people call themselves financial advisors, not everyone cares deeply about your best interests. Here is why you have to evaluate the potential financial advisors and be sure they are right decision and a valuable tool for you and your money.
That is why for this article we have separated only three different types of financial advisors, which are most popular and after the review you will immediately understand which one is the best match for you.
Bank financial advisors
The bank’s financial advisors help their clients determine how best to manage their money through short-term and long-term investment planning.
Most of them have bachelor’s degrees in areas such as finance, accounting or business and have completed related courses such as risk management, taxes, and real estate planning. Certain positions, such as those requiring the sale of stocks and bonds, require licensing, and professional certifications are useful for moving up the career ladder.
Bank financial advisors can work as consultants for the bank through which they work, or for individual and corporate clients of the bank. Either way, a financial advisor works closely with their clients to determine how best to manage their money and assets.
Self-financial planning is fine, but seeking professional help takes your monetary strategy to another level. A bank financial advisor is someone who has ideally gained years of training, education, and experience in everything related to finance. They can significantly affect the quality of your financial choices, but trying to sell the bank products and tools.
A bank financial advisor should collect personal and financial information about you and use that data to help you plan for your current and future needs. Your financial planner should take the time to understand your goals and formulate a long-term monetary plan for you before making any recommendations.
Anyone who starts talking about a financial product before asking about your own situation or financial goals is most likely a salesperson or investment advisor. Often a financial advisor can be also a financial planner and an investment advisor, but not vice versa.
To understand how a financial advisor can help you, you need to know what he is doing and on what topics he can advise you.
In addition, a bank financial advisor will advise you on the following bank tools: savings, mortgages, all types of insurance, emergency fund, tax situation, finding the best interest rate for investments, etc.
Let’s see some of the best savings accounts in Bahrain, and make it easy for you to choose it.
Ahli United Bank
Ahli United, although a local bank, has earned a significant reputation among expats as well.
This savings account helps you earn interest and also gives you quick access to money.
- It is possible to keep an account in international currencies, including Bahraini dinars, Saudi rials, Kuwaiti dinars, US dollars, British pounds, euros and a few others.
- Internet and mobile banking
- 24/7 Contact Center
- An auto payment option is also available
HSBC provides a variety of services including savings accounts for expats, time deposit accounts, and more.
- Internet banking
- Telephone banking via mobile and landline phone
- Free debit card with savings account (no debit card for savings account)
- Withdrawing up to 1000 BHD per day via ATM.
- Checkbook is not issued
- A minimum monthly average balance of 20 Bahraini dinars is maintained
Thinking about investing in Bahrain?
If you look at Bahrain as an investment opportunity, this is becoming a wiser decision. Bahrain is booming in the real estate sector, which currently offers unrivaled real estate investment opportunities with significant short-term growth potential and significant long-term returns.
As Bahrain focuses on developing its economy in five core business areas, the country’s international population is growing rapidly, the Kingdom’s infrastructure is improving, and the attractiveness of this island nation in the Persian Gulf is increasing – all together, this creates a sustained interest in the real estate sector.
The five main economic areas that the Bahraini government has successfully targeted in an effort to replace its current oil-dependent income:
- Business and financial services
- Information Technology
- Healthcare and education
Medium Investment The growth of these five key areas acts as a catalyst for the development of the real estate sector and is being realized by an increase in the number of international executives and employees moving here to establish businesses or to obtain employment and permanent residence.
As developments are sold and international interest in Bahrain grows, Bahrain is becoming an attractive destination for business and tourism, and the prices of properties available for sale to foreign buyers and investors are skyrocketing.
Likewise, rents in Bahrain are increasing with increasing demand, so the long-term prospects for investment properties in Bahrain are exceptional.
Since 2001, foreign investors have been able to purchase real estate in Bahrain following the Royal Declaration. In 2003, after intense demand from abroad, it was fully authorized and approved by law to allow foreign buyers to own property in areas designated for foreign ownership.
The demand for high-quality housing in Bahrain has not diminished since then, and as a result, large investments are being made to improve infrastructure and services – and thus developers are selling fully serviced plots for development.
Many large residential projects are under development in Bahrain and as the real estate sector currently lacks fashionable appeal, construction phase prices are particularly attractive.
The local interpretation of the rules relating to foreign ownership in Bahrain assumes that foreign investors acquire any type of residential property on any developed land in the Kingdom.
However, under the original terms of the Royal Declaration, a foreigner wishing to acquire ownership of property in Bahrain – whether for investment or residential purposes – was allowed to buy residential or commercial property in five designated areas of the capital city of Manama.
These five areas include Ahmed al-Fateh, Hura, Bou Ghazal, and parts of northern Manama such as the diplomatic area. Since the declaration was ratified in 2003, the Seef area has become the most popular area with foreign buyers, and here property prices have risen to an incredible 400%.
Local financial advisors
As an expat in Bahrain, you will often face the situation to send or receive money. Especially if you moved to Bahrain to work and earn, you will definitely need to find the most cost-effective way to do that.
And in that case you will probably need a local financial advisor to give you best options, low fees, good conditions, fast deliveries and much more.
But we have prepared a short list for you, and chosen a few but best money transferring companies to use in Bahrain for your money transfer.
- Available if you deposit money from a bank account. Xoom charges a little fee for bank account transfers to many destinations, no matter how much you send.
- Xoom is fast. In most cases, money can arrive within minutes, even transfers financed from bank accounts, which can take a whole week for some competitors.
- High transfer limits for verified accounts. Send up to $ 50,000 per day to the recipient’s bank account, verifying personal information through Xoom.
- Low gear minimum. You need to transfer at least $ 10 to transfer money using Xoom.
- Easy to use website. Xoom organizes its website by the country you are at the moment, so you can see the details according to your country: costs, speed of money trasfer, and shipping options, and all this is available for your transfer without logging in. For regular customers, there is a function that allows you to quickly send a transfer that you have already made.
- Easily accessible customer support. You can reach someone at any time thanks to OFX offices in different time zones.
- Mobile app with a good rating. The OFX mobile app displays useful features such as current and historical average market rates, as well as the status of ongoing or completed transfers. The app gets high ratings from users.
- No transfer fees. Unlike some other money transfer providers, OFX does not charge a transfer fee, regardless of the amount transferred. Like other providers, OFX makes money off the exchange rate premium. But for transfers to the countries we study, its margins above the average market rate, as a rule, are about 0.03% or below. Other providers are raising rates for these countries to 0.04% for bank-to-bank transfers.
Online financial advisors
These are todays best option. The concept of having an online financial advisor is a relatively new concept.
This is a model that has been successful in every developed country. Generations X and Y are used to interacting with people on the Internet. Whether it’s sharing selfies with your friends and family on Facebook and Instagram, or via Skype video calls, we are open to daily communication with those who matter to us online.
So here’s a question: if your friends and family are online, why isn’t your financial advisor?
Here are some benefits of an online financial advisor that will give you an idea of the benefits of a financial advisor who uses technology and wants to connect with you.
One of the biggest benefits of having an online financial advisor is cost. Financial advisors and other service professionals usually own and rent very fashionable offices in high-profile locations. The luxury offices you see of course can make a great first impression, but are also extremely expensive. And you pay for it. With an online financial advisor you office is your own sofa and laptop
We don’t need to rent fancy offices – we need a fancy website with helpful information, that’s why it will be cheaper than services of a bank or local financial advisors!
If you are currently working with another financial planner, we highly recommend to review everything again, and compare the fees you pay with ours.
We can provide you with quality advice from the comfort of your own home and we are quite sure that we can do it cheaper.
When people hear of an online financial advisor, they immediately imagine robots first. Anyways, that does not sound good, because no one would like to trust his funds to a robot.
Also there are articles that show the disadvantages of having a “robo-advisor”. The robot advisor will not be able to help you when the markets are crashing or when you need to demand your plan B.
With us you can be sure that you are working with a real person who has a real families and real qualifications in financial planning.
It is important to mention that you are working with people who have experience, who understand that working with money is a very emotional thing that requires a human factor.
The comfort of your own home
Today we all value our comfort and time, because time is money. With an online financial advisor you can talk to from the comfort of our own home! You don’t have to get in your car and try to find the parking. No need to board crowded public transport. We can meet you wherever you will have time, in taxi, in kitchen while eating, in the office, on the beach in Maldives, or if you want advice.
If you have any gadget that can be connected to wi-fi, we can advise you.
Financial planning requires a LOT of documents. Those who receive basic financial planning advice will easily get over 200 pages of documentation with the advice provided.
There will be many documents that will also require your signature.
Where do you keep all this documentation? Especially if you love to travel?
As an online financial advisor, we use technological advantages. Therefore, we can safely send you all these documents online by email.
But what is a real fun is that you can put your electronic signature! Use a few clicks to sign documents to flip your super user, adjust your investment, and implement Plan B.
All of these documents will be securely posted on an online portal that only you and your online financial advisor have access to.
Many people can approach this with a skepticism, which also has its explanation. This is a relatively new concept, and people are hardly getting used to some things to be also done in an online platform, but that is a great tool, to first of all save your time and take benefits from that.
Have you already chosen which type of financial advisors you need? Answer in comments!
Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?
Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 265.1 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon