Consulting services for Americans and UHNW

During my many years in the investment industry, I have been asked 5-10 questions more than any other.

One of those questions is whether I can accept Americans as clients.  The short answer is yes, if the Americans are based overseas.

For people residing in America, including non-Americans, it isn’t easy to set people up with accounts apart from those interested in overseas property.

For this reason, and also due to demand from high net wealth individuals (HNW), I will be starting 1-1 consulting services for Americans and HNW clients around the world.

Countless wealthier clients living around the world have asked me in the past about whether my services could extend to 1-1 support, mentoring and so forth. The answer has typically been no, but that is about to change from December/January.

Due to the considerable amount of time that needs to go into such a bespoke endeavor, I will limit the number of private consulting clients to 10 per year.

The minimum fee is $10,000 a year, or $1,000 per month if paid monthly. Therefore, the services are tailored towards the wealthier clients simply because of my limited time.

As an aside, the one area where I can provide any expertise is tax planning, beyond advising on the most tax efficient investments. Being a tax expert is very different to an investment specialist who knows about tax-efficient investments.

I do envisage spots will fill relatively quickly so please contact me if you have any questions or want to book your spot.

I would first want a quick call with you to make sure you can get value from the online consulting services.

Is this the end of Bitcoin or the start of something big?

Is the recent falls in Bitcoin the beginning of the end? That is the topic of today’s podcast.

I discuss why is the general trend of markets always higher, over 200 years?  How is this related to Bitcoin?

Further reading:

  1. How you can lose half your investment returns 
  2. How to get rich investing

How to invest in Vanguard in Singapore, Dubai and other expat markets

I have had many questions from readers over the last 6 months.  One of the most common has been how people can invest in Vanguard funds from outside the US.

Whether it is readers from Singapore, India, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai, the UK or Qatar, this question has come out again and again.

I would make two quick points on this issue.  Firstly, whilst Vanguard are good funds, there are countless equivalent funds that will perform in the same way.

Vanguard was the original for this type of fund, but countless other firms (including 3-4 large ones) have close to identical index/tracker funds. Similar costs, portfolio and performance. In fact, almost identical.

Some people do engage in analysis paralysis.  Whether you invest in fund A for 0.09% per year, or fund B for 0.08% per year, that tiny difference really won’t make a huge difference.

Second, Vanguard can’t take clients directly from many countries around the world.  However, numerous platforms can accept Vanguard and equivalent funds as I have pointed out here. and for questions and account openings.

More information about index accounts is available here.

Why your kids can make you a better investor

Consider something interesting for a moment. Scientists who have given monkeys an apple or banana will witness a satisfied animal.  Give the same monkey two apples or bananas and take one away 5 minutes later, and you will have a previously docile creature who is willing to attack the researcher.

You may assume this is an animalistic trait.  To the contrary, the same aversion to loss can be found in children, and indeed adults.

How did your kids react the same time you tried to take the old toys away?  Even the toys they haven’t used for 2 years? They probably didn’t care about the toys when they could have used them, but taking them away probably caused a reaction.

Adults are not immune from these reactions either.  Studies have shown that even wealthy people earning $500+ per hour may be willing to spend hours complaining if the ATM machine gives them $10 too little.

How is this related to investing? Study after study has shown that people find it difficult to spend less.  There are many reasons for this, but one of the biggest reasons is they perceive they are having something taken from them.

This is despite the fact that $1 invested in the S&P over a 50 year period usually results in a $15 return, despite the volatility.

So how can we overcome this bias’?  There are potentially two ways.  Firstly, see the failure to invest ASAP as a loss.  Don’t focus primarily on the long-term gain, even though markets in the US have always produced huge results over a lifetime for investors, despite short-term volatility.

Remind yourself that keeping money in the bank, or in gold, is very likely to lead to a relative loss.

Second, consider investing more when you get a pay rise. Research has shown that most people are willing to invest 50%-100% of any pay rise.

The reason is simple. They don’t perceive that as a loss.  If they are currently making $50,000 after tax, and spending $45,000 , they don’t need to give up anything if they suddenly make $55,000 after tax. In fact, they can increase their spending by $1,000-$2,000, and still invest more.

Controlling human emotions is one of the keys in the investing process.

Further reading

  1. How to become rich by investing 
  2. Turn off CNBN and Bloomberg 
  3. A crash is coming – for more questions about this article.

52 finance tips

I have been writing for years now, and it amazes me how much value can be added to people’s lives from sound financial planning.

Whether that is spending more time with the kids, to early retirement or riches, everybody has a reason to want to get better returns or change their spending and investment habits.

However, finance is a boring subject for most, unless it is made interesting.  Therefore, I will be starting a new weekly newsletter, with at least 1 fun and useful financial tip per week, every week, 52 weeks a year.

I will also be including some prizes as well.  To join the hundreds who have signed up in the last two months, email me at or click here.

If you prefer content via video, I have created a new YouTube channel for you to subscribe to- The channel will include some product reviews as well as tips.