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I'm looking for a US based CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or an Investment Advisor who can work for US Expats in the Philippines.

 Eyal
(@Eyal)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

It seems that CFPs have a heavy regulation if they work for expats, so almost all of them prefer to avoid the burden and work only with US Residents.
One of the candidates has told me that they are required to have a legal representation in the Philippines.

I did find 1 CFP that claims to specialize in expats, but he had already raised 3 red flags, so I will avoid him.

Do you know about any US based CFP or Investment Advisor who works for US expats in the Philippines?


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 586
 

I had a CFP prior to retirement, but mostly as a sounding board for my strategy and ideas. I generally always pick and managed my own investments. 

Out of pure curiosity, what information are you looking for? Are you thinking about investing in the Philippines? Are you looking for general strategy as an expat? Tax minimization? 

 


   
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 Eyal
(@Eyal)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

@marco-expat

Thanks Marco, for your quick respond.

I'm looking simply for a US based CFP with standard investments strategy and management. I have no special interest to invest in the Philippines.
My motivation is 2 reasons:
1) I believe that a professional CFP will have a better strategy than me learning it from scratch.
2) I do not have enough trading experience to be sure to avoid technical mistakes that can jeopardize our family life savings.

The hard part is to find a trustworthy CFP that accepts clients that will become expats in the Philippines. (Currently we are still US residents).


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 586
 

That is a bit why I was asking. I 100% agree having a CFP is a good idea for the reasons you mention.

However, if your investments will remain in the US, I'm not sure what extra benefit having a CFP with a Philippines specific focus provides.

The main concerns you'll likely have will be tax related (FEIE, tax credits, tax minimization, etc.) and those are better answered by a tax advisor than a CFP. 


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 586
 

I just thought of something. I know Schwab has an international arm, and HSBC has physical branches in the Philippines. Both have advisory services, but I cannot specifically vouch for them as I have not personally used them.

It may be worth calling them and seeing what options they have.

https://international.schwab.com/investment-advice

https://www.us.hsbc.com/investments/asset-allocation/


   
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 Eyal
(@Eyal)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Thanks Marco for the links.

I had done a web search and contacted them by phone, here are the findings:

Schwab:

  1. They will not open an investment account to Philippines residents. 
    You can see it by clicking the "Open an account" and then choosing the Philippines as "country/region of residence" from the link here https://international.schwab.com/expatriate-essentials and 
  2. Also their checking account, (which is desired due to refunds of any withdrawal or ATM fees abroad), is not available if you do not have a US residential address. 
    Obviously, keeping a US residential address by a service that scans the mail, is an issue you covered thoroughly.

HSBC: 

  1. For managed investment account there are limitations that make it impossible for US citizens:
    US citizens can't have an international investment account, but only international investment account allows an out of US resident address.
  2. However, A US citizen can have an international residency address for non-managed investment account.
    That's mean that HSBC can't consult you on managing your investments, but maybe an independent CFP will feel comfortable on advising only (without management).
    The worry of risking our life savings due to a technical error when placing a trade, can be solved by HSBX advising real time on the technical aspects, and if you want to be completely safe, they will trade themselves by your instruction for a fee (about $50 or less per trade, which is not terrible considering how rare are trades over long term investments).
  3. Another plus is that a refund of the debit card transactions (like Schwab), just limited for 5 times a month. 
    + There are no fees for sending a wire transfer.
  4. The cons is that HSBC requires to keep with them $75,000 in all the checking and investment accounts combined, or have a Monthly recurring direct deposits (salary) of $5,000 or more.
    There are also the irrelevant possibilities of having a $500,000 with them, or a $50 monthly charge to maintain the account (if the other requirements are not met).
  5. There probably more pros and cons, I had just started to learn about HSBC.

   
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