UK Ranks Ninth Overall in World Bank’s Latest Ease Of Doing Business Report; Usual Suspects Grab Top Rankings

The World Bank’s latest findings indicate that countries are innovating like never before to make it easier to do business globally in today’s connected world. Read more “UK Ranks Ninth Overall in World Bank’s Latest Ease Of Doing Business Report; Usual Suspects Grab Top Rankings”

3 Best Credit Cards For Picking Up Free Air Miles

If you are a frequent flier, and a fan of using plastic over hard cash, then doubtless you will be aware that you can collect points for spending with your credit card that can be used to subsidise your air miles.

Air miles and credit cards seem to enjoy a fruitful relationship, and have done so for a matter of decades; and yet so few of us take advantage of the options available to us. Read more “3 Best Credit Cards For Picking Up Free Air Miles”

3 Great Deals For Sending Money Overseas: Pounds to Euros

Take a deep breath. For once, Brexit woes have taken a back seat and the currency markets have had a little breathing space. With no fresh crises or emergencies, it has been relatively plain sailing this week for Sterling. Perhaps a good time then, to think about making that pounds to euros transfer you had been putting off? Read more “3 Great Deals For Sending Money Overseas: Pounds to Euros”

3 Of The Best Mortgage Providers For Non Residents Buying Property In Spain

Spain is generally regarded as being an expat friendly country, and indeed it is, but if you are not a permanent resident in Spain (and here is a guide explaining how you can become one) then obtaining a mortgage to purchase a property in the country can be tricky.

Tricky, but far from impossible. Whilst some lenders are not open to borrowers from overseas, others are more than happy to help foreigners finance property purchases. But, if you are an overseas buyer, or even a Spanish person living abroad, then you can expect to pay higher interest rates on your mortgage. Read more “3 Of The Best Mortgage Providers For Non Residents Buying Property In Spain”

3 Overseas Credit Cards To Use Abroad

Before you pull out and flourish your credit card to pay for your goods and services whilst travelling overseas, think twice – then think again!

Withdrawing money using a credit card is a costly move even in your own country – credit card companies penalise cash withdrawers heavily with a host of associated charges – and the same applies overseas – don’t think the same rules do not apply. Read more “3 Overseas Credit Cards To Use Abroad”

3 Of The Best Expat Overseas Bank Accounts

Overseas investment; property, financial, or business related; supporting family and relatives overseas; moving and living abroad; importing or exporting goods over the medium to long term.

These are all good, and prominent reasons for taking extra care that you are managing currency exchange rate risk effectively. Failure to do so; using a high street money transfer company last minute to make a significant transfer of funds from pounds into euros, dollars, or renminbi, for example; can result in paying way over the odds, in fees and charges, or exchange rates skewed in the vendors favour. It could cost you 5% extra each and every time you make such a transfer, research shows. Read more “3 Of The Best Expat Overseas Bank Accounts”

Flavors of Fast? 40 Countries Now Using Faster Payment Schemes As Business Case Becomes Unarguable

To use a straightforward example, isn’t it strange that, in a tech-mad world, we still need to employ advanced mental arithmetic skills to work out how much money we have in our bank accounts. Read more “Flavors of Fast? 40 Countries Now Using Faster Payment Schemes As Business Case Becomes Unarguable”

Singapore Claims Top Spot In HSBC Expat Explorer Survey For Second Year Running

We are big fans of the “Lion” City State Singapore here at The Money Cloud. Ever since spending a fortnight there in the summer of 2017, we’ve been blogging about its history, business environment, culture, and smorgasbord of activities and entertainments the city teems with.

It’s also a haven for the world’s rich and wealthy; the “made-it” or “making-it” class who find Singapore’s always-on, hard working and uber-disciplined business culture very much to their tastes (as well as the super stylish malls, country clubs and man made Sentosa beach – the most Southerly tip of Asia). It is rumoured that roughly one in every three Singaporean citizens is a millionaire.

In all respects, Singapore is a state that punches above its weight, so perhaps it’s hardly surprising that The Lion State has retained its spot at the top of HSBC’s rankings, in the 2018 version of its 2018 Expat Explorer survey.

Reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of the survey, New Zealand places 2nd this year, and Germany third. Three contrasting countries, each with different strengths and weaknesses; it just goes to show that expats relocate for all kinds of reasons; work, family, romance, adventure, escape; and what suits one type of expat explorer may not suit another.

Canada and Bahrain take spots 4 and 5 on the list. Both are traditionally popular destinations for expats, and again for contrasting reasons. Bahrain ranked number 1 in Internations’ comprehensive analysis of all things expat related, thanks to its friendly environment, high quality infrastructure and job security, whilst Canada offers first-world living in beautiful surroundings, plus an eclectic culture and stable political environment.

Completing HSBC’s Top 10 are Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

Before we take a deep dive into selected countries next week, let’s examine what makes Singapore the outstanding expat destination in HSBC’s eyes.

The split of male to female amongst Singapore expats is 60/40, and the vast majority (56%) are aged between 36-54. On average, expats earn in the region of $221,500 SGD, which works out at approximately $160,000 USD – one of the healthiest wage packages on offer for expats anywhere in the world.

Although Singapore boasts outstanding cultural, social and family life, inevitably, when it comes to the reasons why expats make the move there, career progression comes first. Singapore rewards hard work and dedication and its entire culture is designed to give individuals the greatest chance of personal success.

Living and working in Singapore is in every sense a challenge, that expats must embrace. Finance, consulting, trade, and hi-tech are the dominant industries, but Singapore is also embracing start-up culture, and most notably fintech, with the Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) having built bridges with countries and cities all over the world, from London, to Sydney, to the Caribbean.

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

The Ripple Effect – Can The Silicon Valley Decentralised Payments Co. Build On This Week’s New Client Wins?

California based blockchain instant payments platform Ripple has emerged as the leader of a vanguard of decentralised ledger payments solutions that is threatening the hegemony of current FX payments solution incumbent SWIFT. Read more “The Ripple Effect – Can The Silicon Valley Decentralised Payments Co. Build On This Week’s New Client Wins?”

Overseas Weddings: Thinking Of Getting Hitched Abroad? Here’s How Much You May Have To Pay

There is a hopeless romantic inside every one of us, and if ever there is a perfect time to give it free rein, it’s your wedding day. How much will a dream overseas wedding set you back? At The Money Cloud we have carried out some research on your behalf, to make sure you have the “perfect figure” in mind for your big day. Read more “Overseas Weddings: Thinking Of Getting Hitched Abroad? Here’s How Much You May Have To Pay”

Revolut Rejects Macron Overtures But Can London Stay Ahead Of Paris For Fintech?

Emmanuel Macron is an ex investment banker which may explain why the French President is pursuing an aggressive strategy to try to relocate fintech startups and financial services companies to Paris in the aftermath of Brexit. Can he succeed? Read more “Revolut Rejects Macron Overtures But Can London Stay Ahead Of Paris For Fintech?”

Starting An International Online Business? Try Canada or UK, New Study Says

The dream of becoming the next Amazon-affiliated drop-shipping millionaire is one that most of us have had at some point in our careers, usually after a bad day at the office or a long holiday. But can it be done? Read more “Starting An International Online Business? Try Canada or UK, New Study Says”

Dancing Queen or Brexit Screen? May’s Annual Conference Speech Dissected For International Traders

The “Maybot” was given a fresh new outing today as British Tory Prime Minister Theresa May danced her way onstage to deliver the annual speech at the Conservative Party conference. But did the international trade and finance community or those of us with personal finance interests abroad  learn anything new about the party’s plans for Brexit and foreign policies? Read more “Dancing Queen or Brexit Screen? May’s Annual Conference Speech Dissected For International Traders”

Cannes It Be? Don’t Expect Your Pounds To Go Further Than The Euro On Cote D’Azur

Whilst enjoying some late season sun in Cannes, France, I’ve noticed that my pounds and my euros are virtually interchangable.

Let’s start at the beginning. Flights to the Cote D’Azur with the likes of Ryanair are, in our humble opinion, currently Europe’s biggest travel bargain. Tourists love the South coast of France, and France loves having them here – provided they are not too rowdy and don’t jump in the fountains – that is, after all, what the sea is for. Read more “Cannes It Be? Don’t Expect Your Pounds To Go Further Than The Euro On Cote D’Azur”

Fast Internet, Cashless Payments & Social Media Spying: The World’s Digital Havens Uncovered

This week at The Money Cloud we are taking stock of the latest Internations Annual expat survey. Yesterday we explored the global networking and event company’s overall country ratings, which saw Bahrain emerge for the second year running, as the top rated destination for expats, with Taiwan a close second, Ecuador third, and reality checks for the likes of the UK, India and Saudi Arabia.

But how do the world’s countries rank for all things digital? From always-on South Korea, to the cashless Nordics, to Estonia, the digital nomads paradise, let’s examine Internations findings more closely. Read more “Fast Internet, Cashless Payments & Social Media Spying: The World’s Digital Havens Uncovered”

This Gulf State Has Just Been Voted Best Expat Destination For The Second Year Running

Anybody considering life as an expat should pay special attention to Internation’s latest Expat Insider survey. The international networking and events group for people living overseas questioned more than 18,000 people to compile its annual list of the best and worst destinations for expats, based on factors such as Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, and Personal Finance. Read more “This Gulf State Has Just Been Voted Best Expat Destination For The Second Year Running”

Breaking Down The World’s Wealthy: How They Live, What They Buy, And Where They Hang Out?

If you are one of the world’s 15.8 million high net worth individuals, then you may well dream of becoming one of its 584,000 multi-millionaires, or even one of just 2,252 billionaires that exist in the world today. Read more “Breaking Down The World’s Wealthy: How They Live, What They Buy, And Where They Hang Out?”

Where Do All The Millionaire Migrants Go? New Report Reveals All, Including UK’s Abandonment Issues

When things starts to go wrong for a country, economically, politically, or socially, its wealthiest citizens are usually the first to know, and also the first to jump ship and migrate somewhere else, research from AfrAsia reveals.

The bank recently published its Global Wealth Migration Review for 2018,  in which it argues that a trend of departing millionaires, billionaires, and mass affluents, is nearly always a sign that a country fortunes could be in decline. According to the reports authors:

“If a country is losing a large number of HNWIs to migration, it is probably due to serious problems in that country (i.e. crime, lack of business opportunities, religious tensions etc.). Conversely, countries that attract HNWIs tend to be very healthy and normally have low crime rates, good schools and good business opportunities. “

Unlike ordinary immigrants, who can be perceived by some sections of society as taking a toll on public services and claiming benefits without contributing enough to a country’s infrastructure and society in return, wealthy immigrants are generally welcome as they very rarely take jobs from locals, and almost never claim benefits, preferring to educate their children privately, use private healthcare, and pay for their own housing.

The report goes on to suggest that “in our view, the only possible negative of taking in a wealthy person is that they can push property prices up to levels that locals cannot afford.” Some might take issue with this statement, arguing that a wealthy immigrant could have the power to upset social norms, influence local politics, or deny locals access to public land by buying it up; such circumstances have pushed New Zealand, for example, to introduce a law preventing foreigners from buying property in the country (but not before some notable Silicon Valley billionaires bought huge estates in the country and even claimed citizenship).

Of the world’s 15 million High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), AfrAsia calculates that some 95,000 migrated in 2017. Their preferred destination? Australia, which attracted 10,000 HNWIs, followed by the US, 9,000, Canada, 5,000, and the United Arab Emirates, 5,000. The Caribbean, Israel, Switzerland, New Zealand and Singapore all attracted more than 1,000 wealthy immigrants.

In terms of net outflows, more wealthy Chinese left their country of birth than any other, although given China’s vast population of more than 2 billion, this represents a tiny percentage of the population, and may not reveal much about the state of the country’s economy, although it is worth remembering that the Chinese government has recently imposed strict controls on Chinese moving money overseas, which may have prompted some HNWI’s to skip town altogether.

Australia represents a convenient location for Asian HNWI’s as it puts them near to the original source of their wealth, has low inheritance tax, is safe, and provides a high standard of living. Compared to the US, AfrAsia notes, wealth has grown 83%, versus 20%. That said, the US is described as a “steady performer” when it comes to attracting the world’s wealthiest immigrants, and Australia is sometimes regarded as being too much of a “nanny state”, with complex rules and regulations, by some HNWIs.

In the UK, traditionally an attractive destination for incoming HNWIs, the country experienced its first ever net outflow in 2017, with some 5,000 wealthy citizens leaving, and only 1,000 HNWIs arriving. Factors that have affected this trend reversal may include the introduction of new taxes for non-doms, high inheritance taxes, rising crime, and, of course, the threat of Brexit.

AfrAsia cited the main reasons for HNWIs decision to migrate to be schooling, financial problems, lifestyle, safety, work and business opportunities, taxes, healthcare, religious tensions and overall standard of living.

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

From The Highest & Mightiest, To The Humblest “Unbanked”, Everybody Makes International Money Transfers!

It’s often said that “money makes the world go round”, but in today’s connected world, it may be more true to conclude that, in fact, the world makes money go round.

A Buzzfeed expose this week focused on the now famous – for all the wrong reasons – meeting at Trump Tower on June 9th 2016, between a publicist named Goldstone, a lawyer named Kaveladze, Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, the now President’s son-in-law, and at least two other attendees, including the now disgraced Trump aide Paul Manafort. Read more “From The Highest & Mightiest, To The Humblest “Unbanked”, Everybody Makes International Money Transfers!”