Just like people are used to common bank accounts, there is a tendency to carry the same argument when one shifts to a nomadic lifestyle. However, a lot of things change, new opportunities open, and a different focus is warranted. Things cannot be the same again. It is prudent to craft a proper banking strategy in line with the new lifestyle. This post demonstrates why and how to construct a good nomadic banking strategy.
Why a strategy is very critical?
Ability to bank with top banking institutions: When you develop a good strategy, it helps you look for the best banks. These institutions guarantee you the best services irrespective of your location or their operational base.
Higher stability: This is a very important component though often undervalued by nomads. Some nomads bank with new institutions that put their cash at great peril because the institutions are not stable. Note that many western banking systems are not stable at all because of political interference and operational fundamentals. The best bank should be located in a country that has stable systems so that you can always relax without worrying about possible collapse or regulatory changes. At any moment, you can rest knowing that your cash is safe and available when needed.
Bank charges/fees: The fees that banks charge clients is a critical factor when building a strategy. If the charges are too high, they will eat into your hard earned cash. However, it is possible to stay free from these charges or get minimal fees by selecting the right bank. Think of a situation where you do not need to worry about wire transfer charges or ATM withdrawing fees.
Accessibility: When many people living a nomadic lifestyle set out to open a bank account, rarely do they think about accessibility. Yes, the bank of choice is offshore; but do you have more access in other jurisdictions? For example, Hong Kong stands out because banking institutions there allow their users to access their cash in the mainland China, Macau, and many other jurisdictions.
Customer services: How does the bank of choice address clients’ issues? For example, if your ATM gets lost, how fast and conveniently does the bank handle the issue? A good bank should be very supportive and be ready to resolve every issue professionally and fast.
Opening a bank account remotely: Is it possible?
This question always comes to the mind of people who decide to open a foreign bank account for the first time. The answer is yes. However, it is the thing that you should not try. Many banks are not willing to put their operations and reputation at stake by working with remote clients. They want to see, feel, and understand you.
If you cannot make a trip to open a bank and settle other logistics, the banks will simply turn down your request. The only banks that will allow remote account opening are private ones. However, their operational balances and charges are very costly. This makes them unsuitable for regular account operations.
The Nomad banking strategy
Note that no one single strategy fits all clients. Your strategy must be drawn based on personal needs, expectations, and prevailing circumstances. Here are two demonstrations to help you understand how to craft a perfect strategy.
Strategy for experts, consultants, self-employed and even freelancers
This strategy should be broken into three various accounts; investment, savings, and daily transactions. The key goals of the strategy include:
- Facilitate payments
- Guard against currency fluctuation
- Keep operating costs as low as possible
- Help identify and take advantage of investment opportunities
- Help align operations with long-term goals
- Ensure you get credit when needed
By separating the accounts, it is easy to keep every section independent, manage risks well and raise the overall efficiency.
The daily transactions account: It is preferable to put this account in the currency of the jurisdiction you will be taking most of the time. If in Asia, consider Hong Kong dollar. You also need to have an appropriate banking app to make it possible to initiate payments online. Your credit card should also be linked to your account so that payments are made direct without incurring ATM fees and currency exchange costs.
The saving account: At the moment, you might feel the need to travel and keep traveling. But it will come to a point, and you will want to settle in a country of choice. Therefore, it is important to identify this long-term goal to ensure that the account aligns well with the objective. If you target settling in Hong Kong, keep your savings there.
Other top currencies include USD when considering North and South America, CNY when considering Africa and EUR is you prefer Europe.
When picking the specific currency, it is important to consider;
- Stability of the selected country
- Selected bank’s stability
- Interest rates
- Capital gains and taxes
- Currency controls in the respective country
Because of these considerations, you will find that many countries will tick no. This is true, especially in most OECD states. Some great examples of where you should consider banking include Hong Kong in Asia and Pacific, U.A.E in the Middle East, and Mauritius in Africa.
The investing account: Letting all your cash to lay on the saving account for all the time is never a great idea. To maximize returns, it is important to start some investment. The best option is having a brokerage account. Ensure to select the country of trading carefully so that your brokerage and dividends are not charged or attract a reasonable fee. Make sure to also have significant cash with you to be able to grab a new opportunity that comes your way.
If you are an entrepreneur/investor, what you need is similar to the one described above, but add another strategy for the business. The enterprise strategy requires to factor ease of getting payments, low charges, stability, respective currencies, support, and such considerations. Unlike with the personal strategy, it is advisable to focus more on the jurisdiction that the business is registered in. This is important when it comes to making payments and proving tax residence when handling international deals.
To ensure that you get the best, it is advisable to ensure that an expert, preferably a tax professional, approves of your strategy. Contact us today for help in every section of the strategy so that you can enjoy every moment of the nomadic lifestyle.