Expat Financial Advisors in Honduras – 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.
It makes sense to have a portable option as an expat, as opposed to a localized one, and that is something we specialize in.
If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).
Table of Contents
Honduras is a republic in Central America, bordering on land with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, as well as with the coasts of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. The country consists of the mainland, the three Gulf Islands of Roatan, Utila and Guanaja, and the lesser-known Swan Islands, which are uninhabited except for a small naval base. Although the country was once rich in natural resources, it is economically, politically, and socially unstable and is known as one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
In spite of being one of the not rich countries in the world, there are still many factors that can make a lot of expats move to the beautiful Central American destination. The country’s expat population may be relatively small, but it’s growing steadily with people from Germany, France, Norway, and the US in particular looking to find a piece of Caribbean paradise in Honduras where they can enjoy a better quality of life without breaking the bank.
Living in Honduras as an expat
People usually decide to move to Honduras for different reasons. Many foreign residents living in the country have taken advantage of the favorable property prices and low cost of living and have chosen it as their retirement destination. Others move to the country to work in an NGO, a missionary organization, or in the medical field. With many of the wealthier locals choosing to leave the country in search of work abroad, there is a huge demand for professionals with skills in sectors such as information technology, administration, and hospitality.
Expats moving to Honduras should be prepared for a slower pace of life and general bureaucratic delays. The official language of Honduras is Spanish, and it is recommended to take a basic language course before moving. Those who take the time to learn the local language will gain much more experience through their ability to communicate with the locals.
Crime is a social problem in Honduras, with armed robbery and violence causing serious problems. As a rule, the most dangerous areas are parts of urban centers and areas located near the borders with El Salvador and Guatemala. However, it is important to remember that most crimes committed against foreigners are opportunistic in nature, and expats can avoid prosecution by taking basic security measures. The quality of health care in Honduras varies by region.
Public hospitals don’t really live up to the standards that most western expats are used to. These facilities are at a low level due to poor funding and lack of staff. There are a few private hospitals in urban centers, but it’s smart to invest in a fully comprehensive health insurance plan that covers the costs of evacuating to the US for medical emergencies.
Cost of Living in Honduras
One of the reasons why so many expats choose Honduras is the country’s low cost of living. Housing, food, schools, health care and pretty much everything else is very affordable. Those expats who earn foreign exchange especially can afford the best things in life in Honduras.
Expat families and children
Honduras may not be at the top of the list for family vacations, but many expatriate families work here and enjoy a peaceful, affordable lifestyle. It is also a great base for families traveling in the Americas and the Caribbean. While education is highly valued in Honduran society, as clearly evidenced by the fact that the country’s literacy rate consistently exceeds 90 percent, the sad reality is that, due to economic constraints, many people do not graduate.
Public schools in Honduras are not suitable for foreign students because they are often underfunded and also because the instruction is in Spanish. There are only a handful of international schools in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, and it’s best if expat parents start the application process early to secure a place for their child long before they move to Honduras.
Climate in Honduras
Honduras has a tropical climate, with hot and humid conditions almost all year round, although the highlands are slightly cooler than the rest of the country. Foreigners should be aware that the dry season runs from November to April and the rainy season runs from May to October. On the north coast, it rains all year round, while on the Caribbean coast, heavy rainfall occurs from September to February.
While expats moving to Honduras may be shocked by the high levels of poverty, those who choose to settle in this country will be rewarded with a relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, a great climate, and the opportunity to contribute to the development of the country. Whether expats choose Honduras as a long-term option or only stay for a short time, there is no doubt that the experience will be unforgettable.
Healthcare in Honduras
Although there are several publicly funded hospitals in Honduras, they are underfunded and there is a shortage of medicines. Expats living in Honduras are advised to have health insurance and, if possible, go to private clinics. There is a high risk of both waterborne and vector-borne diseases, including dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, typhoid fever, and bacterial diarrhea, so it is recommended that expats traveling to Honduras be vaccinated and avoid mosquito bites by using repellents.
There is a huge difference in water sanitation between rural and urban areas in Honduras. It is considered unsafe to drink tap water, even in cities, but bottled water is widely available.
Education in Honduras
Approximately 95% of the population of Honduras is literate. The average time spent in school is 11 years, but part of that figure is due to repetition of classes. Although the acceptance rate is high at almost 100%, the completion rate is about half of all enrolled. The quality of education is poor by international standards, and teachers and schools are not held accountable. Instead, during the school years, a sufficient number of children are forced to work. Child labor rates are high and unemployment among 15–24-year-olds is comparatively low.
There are several schools in Honduras, some bilingual (Spanish and English) and some even trilingual (Spanish, English and Arabic, French or German). For expats moving to Honduras with children, there are also many international schools, some of which offer a British or American curriculum, while others teach the International Baccalaureate.
The National University of Honduras is a public university with campuses in most cities in Honduras throughout the country and is considered one of the largest university systems in Central America. The main campus is located in the capital Tegucigalpa and is home to the School of Medicine.
Safety and security in Honduras
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras has the highest intentional homicide rate in the world. However, it is believed that this does not affect expatriates as much as it does for native Hondurans. With a poverty level in the country of more than 50%, the crime rate is high, including petty theft and robbery. Expatriates living in Honduras are advised to carry a small amount of money with them at all times to avoid confrontation in the event of an incident. The police emergency number is 199.
Emigrants encountered crime at transit points, such as on ferries to the Gulf Islands, at the borders with El Salvador or Guatemala, or at public transport stops. It is wise not to travel alone, not to use secondary roads, or to use elevators from strangers, but with common sense, expats should have no problem in Honduras.
Who is a financial advisor?
This specialist provides his clients with financial advice or strategies. Financial advisors can offer a variety of services such as investing, tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning, education planning, or even simple budgeting. These people can offer everything from portfolio management to insurance products.
A financial advisor is actually a term with no specific responsibilities. Stockbrokers, insurance agents, tax agents, investment managers and financial planners may work under the name of “financial advisors”. Estate planners and bankers may also fall under this name.
However, an important distinction can be made: a financial advisor must actually provide advice and guidance. A financial advisor can be distinguished from a stockbroker who simply posts trades for clients, or a tax accountant who simply prepares tax returns without giving advice on how to maximize tax credits.
Typically, a financial advisor is an independent practitioner acting as a trustee in which the client’s interests take precedence over his own.
Some agents and brokers choose to work in this capacity as proxies to attract clients. However, the structure of their remuneration is such that they are bound by contracts of the companies in which they work.
How can a financial advisor help you?
A financial advisor helps a client plan for both short-term and long-term financial goals. These goals may include saving for retirement, attending college, and ensuring that the client has the appropriate insurance plan to ensure a stable financial future. Their main purpose is to advise on financial security issues.
To become a certified financial advisor, a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, business mathematics, or law is required. The Master of Business Administration will definitely improve your career opportunities. It is highly recommended to take courses in investment and risk management along with courses in tax and estate planning.
Financial advisors help clients with their financial planning. The client’s life can also suddenly change, so a financial adjustment will be required. For example, it could be a death in the family, a marriage or divorce, a chronic illness or disability, or a person may receive a large sum of money.
A financial advisor can help plan college preparation for yourself or your children. While most financial advisors work in offices, a quarter of them are self-employed. They may attend conferences and seminars to network and promote themselves to meet potential clients.
The heavy responsibility of investing in personal savings and helping them into retirement requires both financial knowledge and interpersonal skills. Personal financial advisors give advice on investments, property ownership, estate planning and more to help people manage their finances and plan for the future. Personal financial advisors begin their collaboration with the client by determining their financial needs and goals and, of course, the level of risk they are willing to take, and then help them set short- and long-term goals.
Financial advisors are experts in the benefits and limitations of various types of investments such as mutual funds, stocks and bonds, real estate, as well as related topics such as insurance and the tax implications of various investments. Marketing their services to potential clients is an ongoing part of the job. To expand their client base, personal financial advisers conduct seminars, participate in networking events, and seek referrals from existing clients. As a rule, advisors meet with clients annually to discuss their investment portfolio and make changes.
Most personal financial advisors work in finance and insurance, while many others are self-employed. They usually work in offices full time, and some may meet with clients in the evenings and weekends.
As a general rule, personal financial advisers must have a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting or law, all of the above are suitable. Finance is a highly regulated industry: certain licenses are required to sell various investment or insurance products.
Financial advisers cannot be universal. They receive various degrees and certificates. They come from different countries and offer a wide range of services. Because of this, they can do a lot more than explain confusing jargon and help you choose mutual funds.
Simply put, financial advisors can help you with all kinds of financial planning, which means they can help you with any financial activity, from budgeting to retirement savings.
To accomplish all these tasks and achieve your financial goals, from small to really large investments, as mentioned above, we will try to consider two main types of financial advisors.
Local Financial Advisors
A local financial advisor can offer a professional service approach and a product-specific approach. Of course, rich local experience is an advantage.
Having a local financial advisor has one key advantage. Choosing a local financial advisor allows you to meet with someone who can advise you on the rules for a particular location.
National firms cannot afford it. Even if you are comfortable doing business online, there will inevitably be times when you want to meet and have an honest conversation with the person who is giving you advice.
Other financial consulting companies usually distribute their workload among separate departments. Your “consultant” is most likely an account manager who acts as a buffer between you and some other people in the back office who actually do the work.
Your “planning” probably comes from the planning department; your investment analysis most likely comes from an analyst who is far from what really matters in your life, and those who actually implement the strategy usually see you as just a set of “buying” and “selling” that they make every trading day. You simply won’t be able to meet a real “adviser” because these duties are divided among several people in different offices.
On the other hand, you should be able to meet with a consultant if you choose an independent service-oriented consulting firm. Again, hiring a local financial advisor is optional, but in most cases, there are many benefits to having face-to-face meetings.
Most “advisers” to large financial companies, such as banks, will receive some or all of the compensation for selling you a product, whether it be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance policies, or annuities.
This creates an inevitable conflict of interest. The securities laws in this country recognize this fact and require these “advisors” to be at a lower level. This is called the “fitness” standard, which means they only need to consider whether the products they sell are suitable for your broad investment profile.
The highest standard is the “fiduciary” standard. An independent consultant, online or local, who agrees to abide by this standard must by law always put your best interests first.
These consultants never sell products, charge commissions, or do anything else that could create a conflict of interest. They weigh all the factors in your situation before making any recommendations. Their advice is 100% objective. Whether you hire a local financial advisor or not, it’s really important that they be objective and put their clients first. Speaking of online financial advisors, let’s talk a little about them.
Online Financial Advisors
Online or virtual financial advisor is the new concept of this century. The online consultant helps clients choose investments and develop short-term and long-term financial planning strategies.
In this role, you don’t usually meet with your clients in person; you communicate with customers through phone calls, email, video conferencing and chats.
The job of a financial advisor involves assessing your clients’ current financial health by reviewing their assets, investments, and other financial decisions they make, such as pension plans and life insurance policies.
Once you assess their finances, you will determine an investment and budget plan to achieve your client’s financial goals.
The plan might include making regular savings deposits to boost your emergency funds, opening college accounts for your kids, or investing in retirement plans. Below are some of the benefits you will get by working with an online financial advisor.
Saving time and money
You never have to interrupt your day or drive to a meeting. Everything is online, from weekly meetings to documentation. Of course, all this will be confidential and secure. This means you don’t have to print documents or write meeting notes.
Joining a virtual meeting from a familiar location allows you to be honest about your situation, goals, and things you don’t know about. And to be successful with your financial plan, you must be honest with your financial planner. With us, every online financial planning meeting is judgment-free and simple advice is our bread and butter.
A virtual board should also not be confused with a high-end call center or low-cost customer service center. This is not a digital edition. Rather, it is an ongoing financial advisory model that replaces the personal advisor and offers a different value proposition to a specific consumer segment.
In fact, the ideal experience is pretty simple: you want to feel like you’re talking to a good friend who’s just plain talented with money. There is no need for a large conference room.
They are by your side, they are fun to talk to, and they will tell you everything you need in plain language. Because if you’re really an expert, can’t you drop the jargon and just explain?
A virtual board should also not be confused with a quality call center or low value customer service center.
Should You Hire a Financial Advisor?
If you are not familiar with all financial products, be sure to hire one of them. Typically, a financial advisor will charge between 0.5% and 1% of the value of a portfolio.
For investors who do not understand the range of financial products and want to invest, choosing a financial advisor is the best option, especially if you have moved and live in another country.
However, investors who are knowledgeable about the products and don’t have time to follow them regularly can also appoint a financial advisor. They will help you monitor and review your portfolio periodically to keep up with changing market scenarios, which is a great option to save you time and find someone with sufficient knowledge and skills.
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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 548.6 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon and a contributor on Forbes.