Market volatility is causing caution amongst expat investors

Published:  30 Aug at 6 PM
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Brits investing from overseas are showing their concern about the present volatility of the global stock markets by simply sitting on their hands.

A recent report by Lloyds TSB International revealed an increase from 36 to 40 per cent in the number of British expat investors admitting concern about swings in the markets. Respondents showed distinct reluctance to make any portfolio changes in all but 20 per cent of those surveyed.

The problems faced by expat investors differ from those being faced by UK-based investors due to currency fluctuations. Many expats choose to convert their foreign currency salaries into sterling and invest using UK-based FAs and investment houses, leaving them open to currency volatility over the past year.

According to Lloyds TSB’s Ian Martin, investors concerned about the weakness of any local currency should take care, as the risk of an unexpected market dip could result in even more losses. He added that, of those who were surveyed, 53 per cent have not changed their investments during the last six months.

Over a third of respondents reported being discouraged by the lack of investment opportunities outside the UK, adding that they were in waiting mode as a result. Most expat investors are aware that living overseas gives a disadvantage when planning an investment strategy as a long-term approach is necessary.

Expats who change jobs and countries frequently are in a worse situation as they may not have time to monitor their portfolios on a frequent basis. At present, London and Home Counties property investments are in favour for buy-to-lets and future homes, with prices continuing their steady rise in the capital and commuter zones.
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