Luke Hunt

Saving & Investing in Volatile Markets

Generally speaking, saving money and planning for your future are two key aspects of financial planning. So, getting this right as early as possible should be one of your main priorities, to ensure that there are no nasty surprises down the line. There are a multitude of reasons that you might choose to put money aside, such as for a "rainy day fund", a house purchase, your children’s education or making sure that you can retire comfortably.

Whatever your objective is, you can save by either putting money aside each month, or, if you have already managed to save money in the bank, look to gain a better rate of interest for a greater return. This could be a particularly advantageous avenue when you consider that in fact, once you take inflation into account, most money on a bank deposit will effectively be losing its value each month.

Girl with Netherlands flag

AROUND THE BRANCHES: Living and Working in the Netherlands

The United Kingdom finally left the European Union on 31 January 2020. As such, the two jurisdictions are now in the process of implementing the Withdrawal Agreement, with the transition period ending at the close of 31 December 2020.

This means that in the short-term, nothing really changes for UK expats in the Netherlands – they will continue to enjoy the protections and freedoms of EU regulations, including, crucially, freedom of movement and the right to work and study in the country. Find out more about how Blacktower can help you during Brexit, here.

However, following the end of the transition period – i.e. after 31 December 2020 – UK nationals and their family members who live in the Netherlands will require a residence document. This should be arranged through the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), which, in theory, will be sending letters to all UK nationals in the Netherlands detailing how they can apply online.

Mark Hollingsworth

How to invest wisely during the Coronavirus meltdown

At time of writing, global stockmarkets have witnessed some of the largest daily fluctuations since the financial crisis; on the back of continued concerns with the virus and how long it will last and the impact on the global economy.

For new investors this can be extremely worrying times as you will not have been used to such short-term volatility. For seasoned investors who went through the financial crisis of 2008, the technology bubble of 2000 and even black Monday in 1987, the short term pain being witnessed is often seen as a confirmation that although stockmarkets can’t always go up, over the long term, they always have done so.   With this in mind, it is important to remain calm and not change your investment time horizon. If for example you are saving for your retirement ten years from now; then maintain that timescale and don’t panic sell on the back of a matter of weeks of market downturns. The reason for this is that the coronavirus is an unforeseen event as opposed to their being any change to market fundamentals. Parallels can be drawn with the SARS outbreak in 2003. Markets fell over 14% at that time, yet the year ended up 18% higher - a swing of over 30% from bottom to top.

Portuguese Flag and Euros

Portugal is the Place for South African Expats

Portugal is an increasingly popular choice for South Africans who are looking to embrace the adventures and opportunities of expat life in the EU. Making the move can pay dividends as Portugal offers a favourable tax jurisdiction for financially prudent and high-net-worth expats. For example, by investing at least €350,000 in the country, and meeting other criteria, South Africans can secure residency on fairly straightforward terms, while also utilising the tax benefits offered by Portugal’s Non-Habitual Residency programme.

It is easy to see why so many South Africans are doing it; Portugal’s favourable investment and residency landscape has made it a thriving and innovative economic  destination in the European Union. Couple this with one of the more enviable European climates, and you have a simple formula that makes Portugal one of the world’s leading expat retirement destinations.

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