After speaking about expat financial advisors for people living in Saudi Arabia, this article will speak about Vietnam.
What financial investments can expats make in Vietnam – locally and internationally – and what are the benefits of portable, global and online investing offered by firms like our own?
The article will start off by defining what a financial advisor is, and then looking at bank products in Vietnam, local financial advisors and portable (and online) advisors.
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.
Table of Contents
The financial advisor is a financial policy expert who may work individually or on the staff of the firm. By the way, a company engaged in financial consultancy can also be referred to as a “financial advisor.”
People turn to a financial analyst for assistance when they need to make any business decisions or to determine the state of the company’s finances.
For example, you need to evaluate the principle of financial management, the viability of purchasing or selling debts, to decide on the sale or acquisition of shares, and to examine the company’s capital.
Some companies need a daily support of a specialist like this. They require, for example, an individual who can build a knowledgeable investment strategy, schemes to cooperate with banks, evaluate the creditworthiness of the company and find ways to enhance it, assist with advice on capital management (choose sources of replenishment, measure growth rates, etc.), forecast the effects of certain or other actions.
In such situations, the organization co-operates with the contractor on a permanent basis or also enlists the contractor on its team.
Financial advisors can also specialize in the following areas: gaining investment by issuing securities (investment advisor), investing in securities of other firms, asset management, etc.
I tend to add that not just any company, but even an ordinary individual who wants to find out how best to invest their money will turn for assistance to financial consultants. The financial advisor helps to create personal financial plans, to open a savings account, to select an acceptable mutual fund, to purchase shares, etc.
Here are a few facts about Financial advisors’ profession for today:
- In the last year alone, the number of requests for a financial analyst in Yandex has tripled (from 3 to 10 thousand requests per month).
- The list of those wishing to master the career of financial advisor is also increasing exponentially.
- According to American studies, in the next 10 years, the career of personal financial consultant will be ranked among the top 10 of the 800 most sought-after, prestigious, and paying.
Financial planning determines life. Financial planning determines the quality of life. This approach allows you to maintain and improve the quality of life today and for the future. This approach to personal finance allows you to achieve the most important goals in life:
- secure future
- old age in abundance
- better education for children
- creation and inheritance of family capital
- family and business protection and many others
Starting a relationship with a Financial Advisor as a business
Below is an example on how financial advisors can help ordinary individuals, who aim to start their own business, to achieve their goals efficiently.
Let’s say you have a passion for owning a charming bakery, an ardent love of baking, and even a clear idea of the product you want to produce.
However, due to inexperience, you lack knowledge. You did not attend a course on macroeconomics and enterprise economics at the university or you did, but you were in the clouds. Even if you understand the word “revenue”, then the terms such as “marginality”, “profitability”, “operating cash flow” may sound odd and cause doubt.
How can a financial advisor help here? Make a business plan.
Firstly, you need a financial consultant to organize your needs and expectations. You must understand how much money should be invested in the start of the process, how much time must pass to “recoup” these investments and start generating income.
The consultant will depict by means of diagrams and express in numbers how many visitors will come to you every day, how much money you will spend every week on the purchase of flour and maple syrup, he/she will calculate the payment for water supply and electricity, the salary of the baker and the chief accountant. He will also digitize the cash gap, understand the sufficiency of his own funds and the feasibility of attracting investments.
In other words, the financial consultant, based on his own, broader outlook, armed with market knowledge and the specifics of your industry, will draw up a budget where the following will be measured and expressed:
- the level of activity of your company
- key financial and economic indicators characterizing the profitability and liquidity of your business
A good consultant is always ready to delve into the details of the topic with you.
For example, if you can’t decide which is more profitable – bake croissants or pecans.
Expert advice in product selection can play a critical role in shaping your bottom line. Often, the manufacturing process for one of the products is more resource intensive and expensive than the others.
This means that in order to successfully implement our plans, we will have to optimize processes.
And the consultant will draw up a detailed plan, help to determine the approaches to cost management in each of the areas, carry out a competent calculation of the cost price and lay all this information in the basis of the pricing policy.
This article will more focus on financial advisors for individuals though.
Financial advisor’s service cost
According to international standards, the constant support of a financial advisor costs about 1% of the capital per year.
Minor upward or downward deviations are appropriate. For example, depending on the amount of capital, the term of payment (quarterly or immediately for a year) or some other factors at the discretion of the advisor. But 1% per year is a good guideline.
Given the wide range of services provided, it is wise to set a minimum absolute value.
Therefore, there is a minimum amount of free capital at which working with a financial advisor will be beneficial to you. Accordingly, cooperation with a consultant will be justified if there is a capital of 190K US dollars.
However, one-time consultations are much cheaper. Usually their cost lies in the range of 200-250 US dollars. Such consultation will allow you to get answers to the accumulated questions and, in general, determine the future capital management strategy.
Living and working in Vietnam
Expats are searching for the right work-life balance while traveling abroad. They are looking for job stability, a decent salary, and unique opportunities to explore a different culture from their own. Vietnam has a comparatively low cost of living, and with modest investment, expatriates can enjoy a very comfortable life. Living in Vietnam will provide the East with an authentic taste of life.
It is getting more and more popular for foreigners as an attractive tourist destination. The good weather, low living costs, intercultural experience, and its stunning beaches, which have become more popular, attract expats.
Finance and employment abroad are the first indexes of Vietnam. This means that, along with the better quality of life ratings and ease of settlement, according to the HSBC Expat survey study in 2019, Vietnam ranks 10 compared to Mainland China, which ranks 26.
Asia’s position in the global economy is growing, and the current economic boom in Vietnam has generated millions of new jobs. Work opportunities in Vietnam are very abundant as many parts of the world face unemployment, particularly for foreigners.
Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) has always played a vital role in Vietnam’s international economic relations. Vietnam already has many comparative benefits and a strong investment environment but is working hard to make foreign investment even more appealing. Vietnam has also benefited from the trade war between China and the US, with many firms coming here because of this.
With new luxury apartment complexes coming up in the major cities, the housing market is also booming, and many expats are looking to buy here after the law reforms to allow expats to buy apartments with a 50-year lease.
Now let’s have a look at different types of financial advisors and understand the cases in which we might need them. Even though there are a lot of types of financial advisors, in this article we will point out 3 of them.
- Bank financial advisor
As an expat in a foreign country it can be difficult to find financial services or financial aid for higher education costs, savings, and retirement planning. 15% of expats in Vietnam earn over $250,000 which leaves them with a surplus in savings. One of the smartest ways to manage your savings is to open a savings account. In this case, bank financial advisors are the ones to guide you through the process.
Below are listed a couple of savings account examples from various banks of Vietnam:
- Term savings account with accelerated interest rate based on the account balance – VietinBank
This type of account is suitable for customers who have a large amount of idle cash with a clear future plan of use, to earn high interest on such amounts deposited with VietinBank.
- Various currencies: VND, USD
- Interest increases as the account balance increases
- Customers could deposit or withdraw cash from accounts at any transaction place of VietinBank during working hours; Customers could add to the account balance on the term-ending date without having to make a new account
- Various account payment forms are available: wire transferring/cashing/interest accrued to the principal balance
- VND deposits are insured
- Interest payment method: term-end payment – you will not be able to take out your accumulated interest monthly
- Minimum Balance: 40,000,000 VND or 3,000 USD – is convenient for certain group of people
- Authorization for others to withdraw cash from account (per time or frequently) is available – may lead to confidentiality issues
- Auto savings – Vietcombank
This account is suitable for individuals who are into mobile banking and enjoy online services. This account offers periodically automatic deposit into a higher interest rate savings account without visiting the bank.
- Various currencies: VND, USD
- No transaction with bank required
- Customers are allowed for pre-mature settlement
- Attractive interest rates, simple and quick procedures
- Opportunities to join many attractive promotion campaigns of Vietcombank
- Transferred amount: Minimum 1 million VND / 100 USD
- Interest payment: at maturity
- Debit account: demand account or special savings account
- Savings with periodic installments – Agribank
This account is suitable for those individuals who do not have a large amount of cash or want to have their savings in different currencies.
- Various currency: VND, USD, EUR
- Minimum deposit: 100,000 VND, 10 USD, 10 EUR
- Term: 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 60 months
- Early withdrawal: Customers withdraw money at any time when required
- Free account opening
- Method of interest payment: at the end of the period
- Applied interest rate: fixed according to the current interest rate schedule of Agribank
- Online savings account – BIDV
This account is suitable mostly for residents.
Minimum balance: VND1,000,000
Online deposit anywhere at anytime
Fixed interest rate in the deposit period
Premature withdrawal is allowed; account settlement can be made online or at any counters of BIDV
Various interest payment methods: + Interest added to principal at maturity
Term: 1 week to 36 months
- Local Financial Advisor
Making efficient money transfers is another issue for expats abroad. But there is a whole masterpiece when it comes to quickly and without any problems transferring money to Vietnam and vice versa.
Vietnam’s economic system is transparent, understandable, and logical – while you are in the status of an observer.
The question of how to transfer money to Vietnam is especially relevant among those who have relatives or friends in Vietnam, freelancers, businessmen and real estate buyers.
So, the need to transfer money to or from Vietnam can arise for various reasons:
- Purchase of residential real estate by an expat
- Remote work and salary.
- Financial assistance (in both directions)
Below let’s discuss most popular ways of transfer and understand their pros and cons.
Through a bank account
Vietnamese banks have restrictions on the amount transferred. You will not be able to bypass conversions and commissions. But making transfers quickly, legally and with minimal loss of funds is quite possible.
Any monetary relationship with a Vietnamese bank begins with opening an account with it. From this side – everything is easy and simple. But you are obligated to notify the tax office of your hometown about opening an account with a foreign bank if you have been living abroad for more than 183 days.
Transferring is possible with the following ways:
- Through a bank branch
In this case, the transfer amount should not exceed $ 5,000 per day from 1 person. If the sender confirms the relationship with you with documents, the restrictions are lifted.
- Via online banking
Transfer amounts are not limited. But our banking system is so concerned about the safety of its customers that the sender’s financial institution may suddenly block the card for “suspicious” activity.
Also, you must pay attention to the commission of the sender’s bank and the percentage of conversion if the sending and receiving currencies are different. Also consider the interest in cash withdrawals from ATMs in Vietnam and the limitation on withdrawals.
This method works for both ways around. However, getting a transfer in Vietnam is easier than withdrawing money from there.
Wire transfer SWIFT
Wire transfer to Vietnam, i.e. from account to account, you can send from the bank where the sender has an account. The recipient must also have an account in Vietnam. Everything that is more than 5,000 USD must have supporting documents of the purpose of the payment. The recipient needs to check with his bank if he can cash out the transfer. Delivery time does not take more than 2 working days. For example, when transferring from Russia, Sberbank’s commission for transfers in rubles is 2%, in foreign currency – 1%. To send money, you must provide a passport, full name and account number of the recipient, address, name and SWIFT code of the bank where the money is transferred.
Through payment systems
If you do not want to get bothered with documents and invoices, then the method of transferring money using electronic payment systems will suit you.
From well-known Western Union, MoneyGram, Unistream, to completely electronic: QIWI, WebMoney.
In the case of bank payment systems, you will receive cash immediately. Withdrawal from QIWI or WebMoney wallets in Vietnam is possible so far only to a card.
If you cannot transfer money online, you can visit one of the bank branches, partner office or payment system branch and send cash through the cashier. To do this, you need to take your passport with you, money, you may need an open bank account. You need to provide bank details, passport details, recipient address. It may take up to 5 business days for funds to be credited. But there are also instant transfers, for example, via MoneyGram or Hummingbird. Transfer fees vary by bank, amount and currency. For example, if you transfer money in foreign currency through Sberbank, while having an open account, then the commission will be 1%, but at least 15 USD. If there is no bank account, then the commission will be 1.5%.
Now let’s see what the main issues are when performing these transfers.
The financial relationship with the Vietnamese banking system is not easy. There are many restrictions and conditions for transferring money. Common problems that you may encounter include restrictions on the maximum allowable amount of a transfer, taxation, the need to document the source of income, the inability to make a transfer to the recipient to the card. When converting money, you can lose a decent amount. Nobody canceled the commission for transfers either It is also important that the recipient has a bank account in Vietnam.
With this being said, in order to not get stuck in this complicated system in Vietnam you will need a financial advisor who will help you to find the best solution for you and your financial matters. The best thing is that the financial advisors work very individually, and even general cases are not being solved the same way.
And last but not least let’s have a look at the most popular and demanded type of financial advisors nowadays. Yes, we are about to discuss the irreplaceable work of the online financial advisors.
- Online financial advisor
Online financial advisor on the basis of analysis of financial situations and the composition of the fund recommends an investor strategy for initiating and supporting financial products. In fact, it guarantees the full transparency of the investment process, and the investment with the investor is all risky. The financial consultant cannot wait for spontaneous changes in the economy and for that, how exactly an investor will follow the financial plan. But any client of Premier BKS can be confident that the financial advisor will receive a qualified financial consultation and maximum objective recommendations. His experience and knowledge of the financial advisor is always applied in the interests of the investor, and further demonstrates the professional support of the entire investment process.
What are the benefits of working with an online financial advisor?
How does working with an online financial advisor save you time?
Meeting with online financial advisor means you do not have to drive, in traffic, to their office. You can meet with them on your lunch break at work, from your couch at home or on even while you are on vacation. As long as you have a device and an internet connection.
How does working with an online financial advisor save you money?
You don’t have to take time off work or hire a babysitter to meet with the since online financial advisors fo not hold strict 9-5 office hours. You can meet them whenever it is convenient for you, from wherever you are, and save on gas and parking costs.
Better for the Environment
How does being an online financial advisor impact the environment?
Since they do not drive to an office every day, their clients are not required to drive to see them, there are less cars on the road and less carbon dioxide being emitted.
In addition, online financial planners do not print lengthy plans for their clients. Whenever possible, they minimize the consumption of paper, ink, and other supplies.
You Can Live Anywhere
Does it matter where you live when you work with an online financial advisor?
A lot of online financial planners have lived in many states over the years and so have their clients. Over 40% of clients have moved to a new city since they have started working with their advisors. But both have been able to “move” together and remain constant for each other.
When moving to Vietnam for vacation, you can find a great online financial advisor there, and do not worry about coming back to your homeland and losing them or their precious work. You can still work together from any part of the world.
In conclusion, financial advisors play a key role whether you are managing your finances, want to make an investment or just have trouble deciding on the right way to spend a certain amount of it.
And as stated above, when you’re an expat in Vietnam, you will find the right advisor just for you and you got to choose from a variety of options depending on your location, preferences, budget measure, interests and of course, depending on your goals!