Investment management can be pretty difficult, especially when you’re an expat. You may become susceptible to malicious financial advisors who want to gain from your inexperience. You also become vulnerable to unregulated companies ready to hit you with a barrage of fees when you hand over your money to them.
As a UK national, you’re protected by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its regulations while investing in the country. However, the FCA has little to no authority overseas, meaning the burden to find quality financial advice lies on you. Several UK expats make search engine queries like ‘financial advisors near me’ and find top-notch financial advisors.
However, without proper guidance, expats might fall victim to unscrupulous firms. That’s why it’s essential to know the ins and outs of the industry. Although several financial advisors incorporate honest values, some do not.
This article will enlighten you on how to spot malicious financial advisors as UK expats.
Tips on Weeding Out Malicious Financial Advisors Abroad
Here are some tips to spot fraudulent advisors and investments:
Be Careful of Advice Unaccompanied by Fees
You need to be extremely careful of financial advisors that dangle fee-free investments in front of you. Fee-free investments are touted as investments that attract zero fees. The fact remains that no financial advisor will provide unpaid work, which begs the question of how the advisor will benefit from the investment.
Most times, if the financial advisor is unwilling to disclose facts around the negligible fee, it means there’s a hidden commission or exit fee. Querying advisors about what they’ll gain from your investment might seem like an uncomfortable conversation, but you have every right to ask. It is your investment, and you should be willing to do anything to protect it.
Advice From a Close Financial Advisor
If you’re close to a financial advisor, it might seem normal that you receive investment opportunities. However, if the advisor emphasises a particular investment, almost compelling you to place your money in it, that’s a red flag.
Financial advisors become seasoned after years of making unbiased investments for clients. Suppose your financial advisor is emotionally invested in an asset. In that case, it might mean they’ll gain something from your purchase of the asset. Most times, this type of advice doesn’t work for clients, and you should avoid them.
Discovering Hidden Fees
Some financial advisors try to hide fees in quotes. You should be cautious if the advisor is ambiguous about where the money comes from. For instance, some financial advisors might inform you that they’re getting paid but will be vague about the percentage you’ll be paying.
During your meetings with your financial advisor, you must ask in-depth questions about the associated fees. You can also request the charges in writing, since verbal contracts don’t always constitute legal contracts in business law.
Companies Claiming to be Regulated by the FCA
You need to be very wary of firms that claim to be regulated by the FCA. The FCA has little to no authority outside of the UK, so the firm is most likely trying to create a false sense of comfort and belief.
If a firm claims to be FCA regulated, check the FCA register to confirm. More importantly, you need to check if the financial regulatory body regulates the company in their jurisdiction.
Managing your investments as an expat outside the UK can sometimes be complex. To avoid malicious financial advisors, you must shun investment advice that comes with pressure, false claims of FCA regulation, hidden fees, and financial investments that advisors claim require zero fees.