Expat Investing For Retirement In Asia – You should read this warning

Would you blame the manufacturer in your new car had a flat tyre?

Down in Hong Kong Lindell Lucy is busy sleuthing in the field of expat investment. Whatever he says I’m guessing is relevant to all expatriates in Thailand too – and for those just about to hand over their bucks to an independent financial advisor you should check out Lucy’s ‘Rape of Hong Kong’ webpage.

I never did ask him why he called his site RapeofHongKong but I am guessing that its because he is writing about expats who are getting well and truly f…d not just by financial advisors but five or six major companies in particular.  I have censored the word because I used it in my last short piece and do not want to get accused of excessive dirty talk or whatever.

Lindell is leading on the fact that Royal Scandia, whoops there’s a dirty word again, has now changed its name to Old Mutual. Now does not that some like something stable with integrity as in “Old Faithful’

Plenty of stories about expats failing to get the sugar out of the elephants’s mouth.  The link is here.

I pass this on because of course this came much too late to take his advice myself and will be thus consigned to the bread queue in Bradford in my old age.

8 thoughts on “Expat Investing For Retirement In Asia – You should read this warning

  1. Some of the same MFCs (or IFAs as they like to be known) are still walking the streets and stalking the unwary expats. Others have already scarpered with their ill-gotten commissions, leaving their previous victims with nothing. They are all as big a conmen as the three stooges. What is worse is that most of us considered them mates, so took their advice on trust too.
    The warning remains to anyone considering taking advice from a Thailand or overseas based advisor – DON'T DO IT. Take your money and run, or at least leave it in the bank at home were it's safe.

  2. These people aren’t advisors at all, but aggressive salesmen pushing the same tired rip-off insurance-wrapped products from various insurance firms based mostly out of the Isle of Man. The insurance firms are FPI, Zurich, Generali, Skandia, Old Mutual, etc.

    While true financial advisors do exist, the folks pushing this crap are not it. If you’re being asked to “invest” in something that has a policy statement and where your contributions are called premiums, don’t touch it with a 10 foot barge pole. And do others a favour and report the so-called “IFA” to the Thai SEC: http://market.sec.or.th/public/idisc/InvestorAlert.aspx?lang=en&reportcode=PP07&table=T01

  3. Well done for highlighting this, AD.

    The banks are not blameless though. HSBC mis=sell high commission low return investments and get you to transfer from your HSBC bank account to an HSBC account they set up for you for FREE in one of the Channel Islands. It saves UK tax for you they say. Unless you have over 10 million, it does no such thing. What is does do is take you out of the UK regulatory system. Effectively you have no redress when there are problems. They do not have to respond to the investor or any regulator.

    HSBC recruit from Brewin Dolphin, a UK stockbroker (again with Channel Island companies ). Bfg names though now disgraced. HSBC through mis-selling and money laundering; Brewin Dolphin through paying high dividends and commissions to their owners and creating losses for tax purposes. So not only do investors get screwed so does the UK exchequer (ie the taxpayer)

  4. Great advice, Andrew, even although it's too late for many raped investors here in Thailand. Lies, lies and more lies are the illegal salesmens' stock in trade, and the tragic results are the loss of hard-earned savings and the resultant ruined lives. The IoM product providers have now been rubbished across the international media,. but it won't stop them pushing their high-cost, low return so-called investments through any crook who turns up in retirement destinations, and the Thai regulator won't ban the trade in ILAS, etc,as has its Hong Kong equivalent.

    To new arrivals in the Land of Scams – don't touch any so-called FA here with the proverbial barge pole. You'll be sorry if you do.

    1. True. What's more worrying is the HSBC and Brewin Dolphin involvement. Who do you trust if these banks and brokers are always let off the hook? Oh yes, I agree, they are fined by some regulators. But who pays those fines. It's recovered through bank charges. No prosecutions for criminal activity of miss-selling or rate fixing etc.


  5. What did I see recently regarding financial regulation in the UK…….a broker has been banned for life from operating in the City for dodging sone £8000 in train fares over a 4 ish year period……..ahmmmmmmm what about the bastards who have stollen billions upon billions under the guise of being brokers and bankers recently……..absolutely nothing…..just sums up how corrupt the world banking system is……

  6. Totally agree, Gerry.

    Kent can't agree publicly, he has to follow the diplomatic line. The FCO do not however have to continue the charade of pretending everything in Thailand is rosy. Drummond tells it as it is, though he has to be a little cautious of course. They and the UK media could do the same if they had any balls.

    I understand they can't tell the real reasons for their attitude to Thailand – the UK debt imbalance with Thailand and China; but that does not excuse their weak and soft pedalling on Thai matters.

    Matt Owens Rees

  7. True Mimi, absolutely correct.

    But the big boys are in on this too. Look how HSBC have got away with miss-selling and rate fixing by directing clients to their Channel Island companies where there is no regulation. And the UK government just looks on. The media should highlight this.

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