Investing Abroad

Investing Abroad: Be an Oxymoron, a Cynical Dreamer
As in international corporation, we at PaydayLoansCashAdvance understand the complexities of international investments. We encourage our clientele to consider all of their investing options and there are lucrative opportunities abroad. However, there are a few realities you should understand about foreign investments before you make one.

Pros
There are still countries in the world where you can buy a luxury home on a middle-class budget. There are people in countries outside your own who are willing to sell profitable businesses at basement bargain prices. There are stable governments that demand very little income tax, so small an amount that it’s not worth the time to hide income in tax shelters and non-liquid assets. There are foreign banks that offer CDs and bonds with returns of 10% or more and interest rates on savings of up to 8%. There are all kinds of sound investments that can make spending your money abroad lucrative.

Cons
On the other hand, there are private individuals — as well as large corporations — in foreign countries that will attempt swindle you out of your money and do it with a smile. Furthermore, there may be a language barrier preventing you from understanding exactly what your investment’s growth potential is. There are investment brokers that will defraud you, there are business owners that will cook their books so earning potentials look greater than they actually are — they do so in the hopes of getting a higher price out of you when they sell — and there are private land owners that will sell you land without giving you the title, yet take your money nonetheless.

Moving Forward
It’s very simple. Be a nice person and a friendly businessman. But, trust no one: not the seller or broker, not their lawyers, and not your lawyers. You are the only friend you have when it comes to investing, especially abroad. The key is to educate yourself. Make certain you know as much as possible about potential investments. You should make it your goal to know as much about the investment as the seller knows before you buy.

Be inquisitive. Ask every question you think of and continue asking each until you get the answers that satisfy you. Then, find out if the information you were given is accurate. Don’t take anyone’s word about anything. Second hand information — even in regard to investments — isn’t knowledge, it’s hearsay.

Investing in Businesses and Properties Abroad: Do Your Homework
Even if you don’t speak the most prevalent language in the country of which the potential investments exist, remember that purchasing a business or property in any country — around the world — requires three things: a title, rights to sell (meaning the seller doesn’t have leans against the property) and a legal contract.

Find the title in the state (often called “provinces” or something of the like) or national records or registry. Some countries — Costa Rica for example — make the process of finding a title incredibly easy. If the land titles and business licenses are documented online — even if you don’t speak the language — your title search is simplified exponentially. If they are not online, you need to find the physical documentation at the records or registry office.

In order to find a title, you need the sellers name and personal identification number. Almost every country in the world with investing opportunities worth your while have laws requiring their citizens obtain a number associated with their name.
If you discover that the person attempting to sell you a business or property is actually the owner, you must then find out if there are liens against the property — if there are other parties with rights to that property. Even if there are other parties invested in the property — and often times there are — that does not mean you can’t buy it. It simply means the process will be more complex. However, always consider a lien a red flag.

If you discover liens, do not volunteer the fact that you know to the seller. Ask the seller if they have liens and wait for a response. If they’re dishonest with you, walk away from the deal. Any kind of dishonesty in a business transaction — particularly in a foreign country — is a deal breaker. If the seller is honest with you, you can feel slightly more comfortable moving forward.

The final and most critical aspect of investing money in a foreign business or property is the contract. Once you sign the contract, you’re legally bound and your money is committed. Prior to signing a contract, hire an attorney, your own attorney. Never agree to a seller’s pitch if they try to persuade you to, “use their lawyer, because they trust him.” Remember, you don’t even trust your own lawyer. Certainly don’t trust a lawyer with someone else’s interests at heart.

If the contract is in a foreign language, have it translated professionally and take it to a lawyer that speaks your native tongue so you can easily understand the terms and conditions they explain to you. In addition, make certain your lawyer knows more than you do. Do not spoon feed a lawyer answers; feed him questions and find out if he can discover what you’ve already uncovered. If he can’t, get a new lawyer.

Foreign Market Investments: Investigate and Read the Fine Print
Before investing in foreign CDs and bonds or putting your savings in a foreign bank, you need to know two things: the investment institution’s history and the meaning of the fine print. Don’t let a broker sell you a CD or bond. A CD or bond should sell itself. What kind of return does it generate? What is the term of the investment? How is the investment insured?

Once again, if the language of a potential investment opportunity is in a foreign tongue, have the language in the contract professionally translated before you decide to invest. Don’t trust anyone, particularly a broker working off commission.
If you are going to invest money in a foreign savings account, research the bank. Find out how long the bank has been in business, what its current solvency is, how many times ownership of the bank has changed hands and — if possible — why it was sold. In regard to foreign banks, stability is a positive sign. If the bank is more than 100 years old, has only changed hands once in the last 50 years and is solvent to date, you can probably trust that you will get the 9% interest return on your savings that was promised.

Take Your Time
Particularly if you are investing outside North America or Western Europe, slow down and do your due diligence. The vast majority of the world is not moving at a Wall Street pace. Any investing opportunities that are available today will likely be available in a month or two or even in six months or a year from now. Hurrying to make investments in a foreign country is not only unnecessary, it can be disastrous.

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