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Our blog and news site informs and discusses issues that impact your financial well being as an expatriate.

We cover a multitude of topics that include insurances - pensions - investments - estate planning and tax.

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Bitcoin - valid investment or criminally insane ?

Bitcoin - one of the many digital currencies

Bitcoin is the world’s most popular digital currency. having drawn millions of investors across the world, its value rocketed to nearly us$20,000 at the end of 2017, although its value has since dropped dramatically to c.$7,000 (at the time of writing in April 2018). 

Bitcoin is the best known of the 1,800-odd cryptocurrencies.

Its meteoric rise has drawn many investors, with some believing that the underlying blockchain technology (blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in cryptocurrencies are recorded chronologically and publicly) could become one of the most powerful tools ever given to civilisation. But do investors understand the risks and does the underlying technology even matter ?

The following article written by Michel Perera CIO of CGWM outlines their views.

Learn the difference in medical insurance policy excess wording

There are fundamental differences between policy excess (deductible) policy wordings

Expat Medical Insurance policies will generally all have a policy excess (sometimes referred to as a policy deductible) applied in the event of a claim.

The type and wording of a policy excess will have a significant impact on how a claim is treated and the claim reimbursement that is made.

Learn the differences between a 'per annum' and a 'per claim' plan excess.

Is there life in the old frog yet ?

Is there life in the old frog yet ?

February was certainly one of the worst months for stock markets since 2008.

A profound inflation scare led to US equity markets plummeting over 12% in just two weeks before rebounding strongly.

The drama is not over and we remain firmly in the grips of these wild swings with markets falling again during the final days of the month.

Are we heading for another recession or simply a period of heightened market volatility?

What is the value of remaining invested ?

A declining bourse need not be a signal to 'jump ship'

So much news and information is broadcast every day on financial markets and investments that it can make you feel as though it’s never the right time to invest, or remain invested.

Intrinsic carried out a useful statistical comparison that delivered clear results The comparison took data from investors using Intrinsic’s most popular diversified fund over a period that included significant market fluctuations and negative media coverage.

It shows the returns for investors who stayed invested throughout compared to the returns for investors who felt they should sell and missed out on the best month, five best months and ten best months

Estate planning for your digital assets

Digital assets are not nearly as easy to retrieve as physical assets

Further to an earlier blog post entitled 'Securing your digital assets' - another article , this time authored by the Drake University, takes the issue further.

What will happen to your Facebook account when you die?

What about all your photos shared on social media, your texts with loved ones, or documents on cloud-storage systems?

In just the two-year period from 2012 to 2014, humans produced more data than in all of human civilization before that – and the pace is only accelerating.

It’s not clear what people’s digital presences will look like in years to come, but it’s sure that an increasing number of people will be creating and accumulating growing reams of data until the day they die. But then what?

Will this market volatility sort the 'Wheat from the Chaff'?

Global equity markets have fallen and volatility has spiked. TAM ask if this will this sort the 'Wheat from the Chaff'?

For nine years we have enjoyed a steady, if not rampant, Bull market.

The disaster of 2008 seems long gone...and it is.

For almost six years now, it has been a story of almost unquenched, steady growth in financial assets and benign volatility.

Many investors have been lulled into an almost catatonic state of assuming consistent and steady gains, month after month.

Indeed, with equity markets constantly setting new highs with little or no drawdowns it is understandable why. But, as we all know, there is no such thing and markets will always be at the vagaries of buyers and sellers. The real world has returned...investment is simply not that easy!

Graham Briar a British national highlights the risks for foreigners living in Thailand without health or medical insurance.

Graham Briar & partner plea for financial help for heart surgery

Graham Briar, a Thailand based video blogger has suffered a critical illness and urgently needs a triple heart bypass operation.

However with no medical insurance and not enough money to pay for surgery he finds himself in a nightmare situation in a Chiang Rai hospital.

Graham, who has been broadcasting about his current situation live on YouTube, says that doctors have told him surgery will cost at least half a million baht (USD 16,000) or as much as one million baht (USD32,000) - this needs to be paid upfront.

Watch and listen to Grahams plea for help …

Empty homes tax - a new budjet blow for landlords

Landlords face fresh blow with empty homes tax

Property investors face another hit from the Budget as empty homes could be hit by a 100 per cent council tax premium.

The move, announced by chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond during the 22 November 2017 Budget, has been described as "crippling" for buy-to-let investors.

Today Mr Hammond gave local councils the ability to increase the council tax premium on empty homes from 50 per cent to 100 per cent.

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