Okami: Many are short-sighted in that case because if they meet you when you have three figures in the bank and treat you well, you'll be extremely loyal to them down the road when they've helped you get six figures in the bank.
I absolutely understand the issue, which is partly why I started the business. In truth there is enough demand that I can see 5,6,7 people each time I come to Taiwan which even with small cases makes it worth my time.
I worked in Insurance for 8 years and Banking for 8 years before that and consistently heard horror stories about people getting ripped off. I have been very lucky with my advisers and saw an opportunity to start a business for myself where I can pass that along. I'm also not solely reliant on this for my living expenses - which means I don't have pressure to sell at any cost.
My colleagues in Hong Kong have similar backgrounds to me and one of them resigned from a major UK bank when his manager asked him to do something unethical to make the branch target.
As usual I appreciate the feedback and support.
For many funds IIRC
is insufficient. You need at least 7, possibly 8.
Do we want to clarify currency as well?
KRW? I was thinking USD.
Anyhoo I think I should schedule a trip - I'll be back in town 21st through 23rd. Happy to travel to Taizhong/Kaosiung etc if you give me plenty of notice. Will follow up with those who have said they want to see me individually but if you are on the fence PM me and we'll set something up.
I just got back from HK with everything now signed and still very happy. EA and his partner spent a lot of time making sure I was clear about everything and established a portfolio that I was comfortable with.
I would suggest that anyone who has even a very small amount to invest each month get in touch with EA right now (I think the minimum is just a few hundred US$ each month). One nice thing about the plans he can offer is a very low barrier to entry that suits individuals just starting out with investment all the way up to multi-millionaires. EA is probably the first advisor/agent I met who seems genuinely interested in taking on what other advisors see as small cases and you will definitely not regret having a nice lump sum after a few years of saving.
Thanks for the positive feedback Llary.
Was a pleasure meeting Mrs Llary. Look forward to seeing you both again soon.
I met with EA again last week, then on the weekend in HK. Most of all, I am happy with the way he first listens to an individual's situation and their objectives, both long and short term to create a profile before proceeding to offer advice. I've been turned off financial planners in the past because they tend to offer products that are miles off from what I'm looking for simply because they haven't taken the time to ask or listen. Not so with EA; he took great care to find something that appealed to me, outlined and explained it clearly and completely, and made sure I was completely comfortable before proceeding with any signing.
Sounds great. What exactly were you looking for? Make sure to get it checked by a third party before signing.
Watch out for the hidden costs.
They said the same of Bernard Madoff, no?
You mean you entered a savings plan on a fund/certificate/bond?
Can you guys elaborate more? I'm interested in this too.
EA prepared a spreadsheet for me with all the hidden costs laid out over 5 years so I could see exactly what I was paying in charges. Now of course I checked the small print as well but it really made things so much easier.
Madoff was offering 20% returns to greedy investors. I am putting money that I would have otherwise spent on a nice car into relatively boring investments that will earn a little more than a savings account.
EA discussed with me some investment products that start from a few hundred US$ per month which is what, less than NT$10k/month? My electricity bill was more than that this month. The fees start to make a big dent on any investment but I guess my point is that there are probably quite a few people here who waste at least some money each month on toys, beer, whatever and could put that into an investment instead.
I guess I will leave that to EA if he wants to explain it here.
Its still your money that you need to be careful about, not matter if you spend it on booze or on the casino (also known as stock market).
You say he "helped you", does it mean you also do the investment via him now?
Or do you pay this fee's directly to a fund company?
Did he only "mediate"?
Do you pay "the investment" directly to his account or a third party (such as a Mutual Funds Issuer (i.e. Franklin Templeton)?
I'm not biased here but I'm always careful about financial advice, especially in Asia.
I know that investment fund "mediators" can also help to waive a lot of fee's as they have agreements with the Fund issuer to help them find clients (without obligation of course).
Is your investment transparent (means with a ISIN or following a underlying value or benchmark (such as a index))?
I'd only be interested what kind of investment you ended up with (in general).
Did you buy land, a spectrum of equity funds or mutual funds?
I don't want to know the amount (or is it a secret and you signed some kind of NDA)?
Sorry for all the questions.
PS. Sorry if above sounds I doubt EA. Its not the case and I'm sorry if it looks so. Its not my intend.
He introduced a product that suited what I was looking for, introduced an agent from the company that sells said product and mediated the sale between the agent and I. The investment is with a major company that has been in business for many, many years (akin to Franklin Templeton that you mentioned), with a variety of instruments from funds, insurance, reserves, pension schemes, etc, and his fees/commissions are a matter between him and the agent, not he and I, as should be.
Frankly, I think that maybe you should not contact him: You sound like the paranoid foreigner suspicious of everything here and might be better off keeping your savings in your mattress or sofa or whatever it is that you do with the money you make here. I find the questions about details that you ask a little too forward for an internet forum and won't offer much more than I already have.
For me, after years of being frustrated with local banking service/advice, looking for expat investment advice here in TW and always getting the same local agents who couldn't grasp my situation or ideas, I was pretty happy to come across EA, since he is an expat that has lived in Asia for many years and understands the interests and ideas of the kind of client I am. I have dealt with people in this industry before and have met many different types of planners/advisors. Really, engerim, rather than wax suspicious all over this board, just give him a call or set up a meeting and decide for yourself; don't carry on asking llary and I to defend the choices we have made...
First of all I apologise for not following this closely enough.
With Llary and Citizen K we used slightly different products, but essentially they are insurance wrappers with funds underneath, from a variety of established fund houses.
In terms of transparency, the documents issued by the insurance companies are deliberately obtuse. We spend a lot of time with our clients making sure that they understand what they are paying, and where the penalties are. We also aim to put them into funds that will outstrip the establishment charges, without taking on excessive risk.
I don't think I should go into specifics about what we did with individuals money but it is of course possible to invest in a variety of funds with these wrapper products or to stay with one fund provider. Some customers will require a higher degree of risk, whilst others should not be taking any risk and we have solutions for both.
We have been asked whether we touch the clients money - we do not. It gets transferred directly either by bank transfer or credit card to the product provider, who pay us a commission. This varies by product and I for one am very upfront about this being the way that I get paid.
There are other posters here who we have directed to purchase ETFs directly and explained how to do this, and yet others who wanted help to get started trading various market traded instruments. Clearly we do not earn anything from this kind of advice, nor are we held accountable - but if it is what the client wants, and they understand the risk we will give them the tools.
Not every product is right for every customer. We will not sell some of the products that are available in Taiwan because we believe they are not right for ANY customer. There are limited solutions available, from which we pick the one that we consider best for the client and then explain the arse out of it (technical term).
If everyone was as savvy as you appear to be Engerim then my service would not be required - and yet it clearly is needed in Taiwan and there are precious few "professionals" speaking English.
I hope this helps - but if not keep the questions coming.
Don't worry. I'm not after your money or want to invade your monetary Swiss banking privacy
Its funny you say I'm too forward and better store the money under a sofa, and in the same time you are afraid to give out some details on how you think it "worked out" for you. You are hiding yourself under the sofa!! Anyways, no pun intended! ... Also just frankly speaking.
If it would not be "EA's service" but some kind of bank I'd think you would be more open to discuss it.
Its totally OK if you don't want to discuss it but don't say I better hide my money under a sofa or stick it elsewhere.
Yes, it makes things clear to me. I'll definitely get in touch with you.
My problem is I had too many wishy-washy "agents".
I actually (imho) think that's 99% of Hongkong where most people live in 30 square meter shit apartments and dream of being rich. So I'm very careful with services in Hong Kong. Hope nobody feels agressed.
Not worried at all, friend. I just wonder why any of us takes the time to share positive experiences and information here, only to be subject to tiresome, boring, and endless questioning. Give him a call and make up your own mind.
I've meet EA last weekend and he gave me some good advice based on what my plans are
(which is things to keep in mind when getting a baby, keeping investment taxes low, general pension planning). He's a great guy and I'll definitely recommend him to others, hope to see him again.
Good for you!
Will be in Taipei this weekend (from Thursday lunchtime through Sunday morning) if anyone wants to have a chat drop me a PM.
I'm a South-African citizen and I want to buy US treasuries. I tried to buy some at Yuanda where I have an account and some money in stocks, but they said that the law changed recently and that's it's now illegal to buy it through a bank.
As I'm not an American citizen I can't buy it online.
Do you know where someone like me would be able to buy some T-bills?