Staff Reporter Windhoek-With the local economic uncertainty, more investors are seeking the protection of a diversified global portfolio. A number of myths and uncertainties, however, tend to accompany offshore investing – but achieving success and maximising outcomes need not be as unattainable as many imagine. Offshore Banking or International Personal Banking has, in fact, become much more accessible for investors as our exchange control regulations have been relaxed over the years. Additionally, a major bank like Standard Bank – the largest bank by assets in Africa – has been working hard to debunk the myth that offshore banking is “only for the super-rich”. “Our entry level offshore banking account requires an opening balance of GBP 3 000. Opening an account has also become a lot easier with our paperless application and the ability to transact 24/7 through the Standard Bank mobile banking app,” says Daniel van der Merwe, Offshore Manager at Standard Bank. Sharing the same sentiment, Head of Private Banking Britt du Plessis says, local investors are liable to pay tax on earnings regardless of the jurisdiction it is earned in and it is the responsibility of the client to declare this income in their annual tax returns. “Limiting yourself to just one market and all the concomitant risks is not a viable option anymore. However, before embarking on an offshore journey, it is equally important that you have your risk appetite assessed so that the best options can be put in place and the outcomes for investment growth maximised,” says Du Plessis. Every customer’s risk appetite and personal circumstances are different so levels of diversification will differ. As the world becomes smaller and people more informed, it is prudent to start diversifying your savings and wealth as part of your future financial goals and objectives. People seek to invest offshore for many reasons, such as retiring abroad, educating children internationally, frequent travellers, diversification of wealth or investing offshore inheritances being some examples. “However, taking these routes should never be about seeking out ‘tax havens’ or ‘beating the dollar’. It is about having a balanced portfolio of investments and spreading your risk across economies, currencies and jurisdictions,” she adds.
2017-10-03 10:21:00 11 months ago