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I often write on Quora.com, where I am the most viewed writer on financial matters, with over 292.2 million views in recent years.

In the answers below I focused on the following topics and issues:

Some of the links and videos displayed on the original answers might not show up on here, and if so, you will need to refer to the original answers to view that.

If you want me to answer any questions on Quora or YouTube, or you are looking to invest, don’t hesitate to contact me, email (advice@adamfayed.com) or use the WhatsApp function below.

How does citizenship by economic investment profit you financially?

Source: Quora

If you are from most countries, it doesn’t usually benefit you. That is because changing your residency is usually enough.

If you are British and you move yourself and your firm to the UAE, you usually don’t need to pay UK taxes anymore.

There are caveats to this, like the UK now has a “ties test” and Australia makes expats “show intent”, but basically you can do it.

For Americans, like Eritreans, the taxation is by citizenship. Therefore, even if you move overseas, you can’t legally pay zero percent tax if earnings rise above a certain threshold.

This means that Americans in particular can benefit from changing residency and citizenship.

This man co-created Facebook:

main qimg 969846d428c7934fd901337406a0ad9d

He was born in Brazil but got US citizenship. His name is Eduardo Saverin. He gave up citizenship for tax reasons.

He made the move before Facebook’s IPO, in the hope of reducing his tax bill. A record number of American expats are doing the same.

However, citizenship by investment isn’t the only option. Others include:

For some people, they also use citizenship by investment to “kill two birds with one stone”.

This tends to be the case when governments allow real estate to be used to apply for the program.

Finally, you have diversification. If you are worried about how your own country is going, you want to make to have some insurance.

I am sure most Venezuelans who could afford it wish they had a second option.

Is gold still a solid investment?

Source: Quora

“Still” implies that gold used to be a world-class investment. Gold has never done that well ultra long-term.

It merely has its great moments, as well as terrible and OK time periods.

main qimg 3acd02338c55d7c02a2e88e8b054f221

I guess the bottom line is how you define “solid”. If you mean an OK investment that can offer diversification, then a sensible argument can be made for this.

Gold bugs come in two shapes

  1. The deluded. People who believe civilizational collapse is always around the corner
  2. The sensible. Those who just want to put say 5% of their portfolio into gold

The issues I have with gold are

  1. It doesn’t pay a dividends unless you buy the gold miners
  2. It is expensive to insure and hold. This isn’t a big issue now due to ETFs and other structures but would have further made the historical net returns look awful. As per the chart above, if our great great great grandad had purchased gold in 1802, it would now have gone up about 0.5% above inflation per year. However, ETFs weren’t available until recently, so the real net returns are negative.
  3. It is usually very difficult to know in advance of time when gold will do well. Now sure, gold had a great 2000–2010, and especially 2000–2007. Yet it did badly during the worst of the 2008 crisis. What’s more, the outlook for gold looked great ten years ago. Yet gold has fallen even in nominal terms (it was at $1,800–1,900 in 2011 and is now at 1,795). That is a big fall in real terms
  4. As per the last point, gold isn’t a safe-heaven. It fell during 2020 as well as 2008. In comparison, short-term treasury bonds increased during both events. That means you can get diverisifcation in other assets
  5. If scarcity is the advantage of gold, you can say the same about so many assets. Look at Bitcoin now. I am not a huge fan but it is also scarce.

The only possible advantage of gold is if you hold it for 50 years, you will probably at least make inflation, and there will be periods when it does much better than stocks.

That is why even some sensible investors hold it as part of a wider portfolio.

How can an expat in South Korea make a six-figure salary using a teacher’s salary plus the internet?

Source: Quora

It is unlikely that many people will make six figures from teaching internationally and using the internet for a side income unless:

The latter option is more likely to work than doing both. The reason is simple. If somebody has say 3k from a day job, it is unlikely they will carry on to build 5k-6k online.

Once they get to 2k achieves from online sources, the incentive is to think “well I am living very comfortably now”.

In comparison, if somebody quits the day job and goes “all in” the incentives are different.

You will be motivated to not only make more money but to gain security.

Security is only achieved as a self-employed person if you start to earn twice as much as you need for a period of time and start saving.

I can’t speak about your exact situation. What I can do is speak in general terms.

When it comes to online income and starting a business it is best to:

In either case, playing it safe forever seldom works. I know living overseas makes it more difficult, due to visas and so on, but eventually the decision has to be made to go alone.

How does a person achieve total financial security?

Source: Quora

Firstly, “total” security probably isn’t going to happen. That is because nobody knows if there is going to be say a nuclear war or some unexpected event.

Covid-19 revealed that. So many people got complacent. I am speaking about people like business owners who thought “business has been good for decades now. Why won’t it be like that in the future?”.

So, firstly diversify your income streams and assets. Make sure some of your assets are in liquid instruments like ETFs.

There is a reason why liquid net worth is a thing, and not just net worth

Second, learn from the mistakes of others. Was this man financially secure?

main qimg 38b48933f55fdffd00e7319c319568e6

How about this man?

main qimg 903b6076c2b3baacd6d2cfd134ba57cd

No, they weren’t. They made loads of money but also spent loads. Tyson made over $500m ($1billion adjusted for inflation) but was once incredibly broke.

So, don’t just focus on making money. It is important, but managing and growing money is more vital.

That means spending below what you earn and the investments you pick matter more than merely earning a lot.

If you are lucky enough to earn a lot, delay spending much more by a few years at least, and even then, don’t go crazy.

Remember that over 70% of former elite sports athletes go broke in retirement, and there are tens of millions of “every day” millionaires globally.

These people have never made much, but have grown their wealth gradually over the decades with compounding.

Reading a lot, and executing what you have learned, is important.

Other tips are

Also, take your calculated risks early when you can afford to fail.

Do you invest in China stocks?

Source: Quora

Indirectly, I do, for the following reasons:

  1. Chinese stocks are part of MSCI World:
main qimg 72fe87251f3c3c8ea712abfa50ddfc20

Here is the composition of MSCI Emerging Markets:

main qimg a5ce5a9fd3730f0ec008cf9ba97deaab

2. Some Chinese firms have done IPOs on the New York State Exchange

main qimg c18c1063dbebec23178beafd9fb624db

I wouldn’t buy individual Chinese stocks because:

With that being said, the Chinese markets do look quite undervalued now, but that is also because of the mentioned risk.

The bottom line is having a relatively small allocation is fine. I wouldn’t be worried about Chinese firms being part of MSCI World.

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Financial Planner - Adam Fayed

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 292.2 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon

Further Reading 

In the article below, taken directly from my online Quora answers, I spoke about the following issues and subjects:

To read more click on the link below.

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