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While it may sound like something reserved for only those living the high life, offshore investing is actually quite attainable.

As any seasoned investor will tell you, the secret to smart investment is diversification, and offshore investing is arguably one of the better ways to diversify, particularly if you’re an emerging market investor, says Francis Marais, Head of Research at Glacier by Sanlam.

In South Africa, offshore investing was traditionally a means of hedging against political and economic instability. It was also a way to benefit from the seemingly one-way direction of the weakening rand in order to provide South Africans with some sort of ability to stay abreast of global purchasing power. Noting that 99% of the world’s listed investment opportunities are outside of South Africa, offshore investing is now rightly on the radar of those who want access to investment opportunities that aren’t available locally, says Andrew Brotchie, Managing Director of Glacier International.

The (low) cost of investing offshore

It’s a common misconception that offshore investing is only available to high-net-worth individuals. On the contrary, it is accessible to everyone. “While the rand exchange rate can make it expensive to build up meaningful investment exposure in hard currency terms, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to invest offshore,” insists Brotchie. “There are local feeder funds with global exposure, but for those who wish to externalise their money properly, investment minimums are reducing for direct offshore access.”

“It’s a common misconception that offshore investing is only available to high-net-worth individuals. On the contrary, it is accessible to everyone,” says Francis Marais, Head of Research at Glacier by Sanlam.

Striking the right balance

So, how do you split your investments? The picture has changed over recent years and whereas you were once allowed a maximum of 25% offshore exposure, based on South African regulations, you can now take about half your investments out of the country. “There is also an increased awareness that, apart from investment assets, people already have a lot of their wealth in South Africa – think property and pension funds, so even if you take about half of your discretionary money offshore, you’re probably still facing a very overweight exposure to South Africa in total,” says Brotchie.

Want to know more?

Listen to Andrew Brotchie’s podcast that covers more top tips for investing offshore.

As leaders in the offshore space, Glacier International understands the needs of investors seeking offshore exposure and offers a range of different investment options, catering to both the sophisticated offshore investor, and the novice.

Glacier Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd and Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd are licensed financial services providers.
Glacier International is a division of Sanlam Life Insurance Limited, a licensed financial services provider in South Africa.

 

 

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