Increasing numbers of investors are looking to diversify their wealth by investing outside the United States. Working with financial advisors in the US and abroad, we assist clients with the complex reporting in the US that goes along with owning foreign financial assets. There are many reasons our clients decide to move assets outside the US:
The stability of investments are linked to a jurisdiction's political stability. Politics can impact asset values and moving some assets to a new jurisdiction can mitigate relying on one country's political stability.
The US dollar is volatile compared to other foreign currencies. Investments made in a country with stable currency fluctuations will reduce this exposure.
Access to Investments not available to US Domestic Investors
Using a foreign exchange, an investor will have a greater selection of multi-currency and multi-asset portfolio opportunities.
Assets in a a foreign jurisdiction present an additional obstacle for creditors and lawsuits brought in US courts. Foreign jurisdictions with strong asset protection statutes are popular for clients in professions prone to lawsuits such as the medical field or real estate.
Laws in foreign jurisdictions may have stricter privacy and confidentiality laws regarding the identities of investors.
Outside the US Perspective
Using an advisor based outside the US will provide a unique insight into global markets and investments.
Ease of Physical Access to the Account
Some clients have a favorite destination they repeatedly visit, for example, when owning a vacation home in Italy or the UK. Having foreign investment accounts makes it easy to access funds when visiting and also provides a risk diversification of their assets.
Retiring outside the US has been increasingly popular for many reasons, including costs savings and warmer climates. Many countries offer retirement visas to US citizens that require investments in that country.
Reporting Foreign Assets
The US government does not want to deter foreign investment but it does require the reporting of foreign accounts and income on an annual basis. This could include the FBAR or the Form 8938 "Statement of Foreign Financial Assets' depending on the asset value. In addition, there are many transactional reporting forms that may also be required depending on the situation.
With the assistance of a financial professional and a US international tax practitioner, investing outside the US can be an exciting addition to your portfolio.