7 Benefits of Investing Internationally

Foreign CurrencyWhen it comes to financial investments, it’s always better to go with an informed decision than one that relies merely on chance – besides, gambling only works when luck’s on your side. Fortunately, international investments are a financially secure and reliable form of investing as long as you know your limitations. So, in keeping with the idea of sound financial decisions, here are seven benefits of investing internationally:

Diversification of Your Funds

A diversified financial portfolio gives investors options in terms of economic fluctuations and, by investing internationally, your finances will have alternative sources of stability. In other words, if your money is spread out among various countries, then an economic crash in one country won’t affect other investments.

It goes without saying that with diversification also comes a learned understanding of various global economies and markets, but with the help of a financial adviser or with a little research, you’ll have the ability to make informed global investments, which is always better than the “eggs in one basket” approach.

Investing Abroad Means More Options

Just like there’s diversification with investing internationally, there are also many options when it comes to the way you want to invest your finances. And, with international investing growing in popularity, the investment options available in today’s market are quickly becoming commonplace.

Three of the most popular forms of international investments are mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and American depository receipts (ADRs). And, although mutual funds are a common form of investment, ETFs and ADRs trade much like stocks and therefore take a little more financial knowledge to navigate.

International Protection and Confidentiality

If you’re the type of investor that’s worried about financial scares associated with foreclosures and lawsuits, investing internationally has an added advantage of asset protection. With investing abroad, many foreign financial institutions are able to protect your investments from seizure and other threats.

Likewise, investing internationally also comes with confidentiality concerning your finances. International financial institutions are not legally required to divulge your monetary details to anyone.  Confidentiality isn’t to say that international investments are exempt from legalities, but they’re entitled to more freedoms.

Investment Growth on an International Level

In terms of household incomes, import/export strengths, younger working populations, and the lean toward free-market economic policies, investing internationally has the potential for more growth than investing in the United States alone, which translates to an increase in return potential in overseas investments.

In fact, according to the International Monetary Fund, the United States is expected to fall below the rest of the world for the next two years when it comes to economic growth. Because of this, companies like Fisher Investments Institutional Group are strategizing toward international investments in strong economic climates across the world.

Currency Diversification Strengthens Portfolios

Much like international investing gives your portfolio safety in numbers as opposed to having all assets invested in one country’s economy, so do currency differences from country to country. In relation to the US dollar, many countries across the world have stronger currencies, which helps boost returns over time.

The flip side of this coin is the idea that fluctuations in currency strengths can just as easily work against your portfolio as they can strengthen it. It’s wise to keep an eye on international currency rates and how they compare to the US dollar, but never invest solely based on rates as a country’s currency can drop in strength overnight.

A Reduction in Taxes

Otherwise known as tax havens, many countries across the world offer attractive tax incentives to foreign investors. These incentives are meant to strengthen other country’s investing environments as well as attract outside wealth.

These tax incentives are particularly attractive to US investors due to the increasingly high taxes in the country. As a result, the United States government is creating more defined restrictions and laws when it comes to international investment tax incentive regulations.

Investment Potential in the United States is Dwindling

Because the United States has both the world’s largest economy and stock market, financial opportunities are almost maxed out due to over-investing. On the other hand, emerging markets in other countries are growing in size and strength, which is quickly resulting in stronger economies and more investment opportunities.

By ignoring the potential of other world markets, you’re also ignoring global economies and stock markets that offer unforeseen investment potential when compared to the United States, which is something every investor should keep in mind.

So, from portfolio diversification to investment growth, investing internationally is a great way to expand your financial horizons.

This is a guest post.

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Why You Should Invest in Oman? Tapping the Help of International Banks

Oman - Muscat - Main Highway Light Trail

Oman – Muscat – Main Highway Light Trail (Photo credit: © Salim Photography/ www.salimphoto.com)

This is a guest post.

The Sultanate of Oman is located on the southeast coast of the Arabian peninsula, bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Yemen, the Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian sea. Oil is an important source of revenue here. According to an article reported in Arabian Business, Oman’s average daily oil production rose 4% to 918,000 barrels per day (bpd) from an average of 884,900 bpd in 2011. However, as reported in the Al Arabiya News, British oil firm BP estimated that Oman’s oil reserves will run out in 17 years unless the country raises its output from the current levels. To reduce its dependence on oil, the Oman government is diversifying its economy into the non-oil sector and encouraging foreign direct investment in order to enhance the economic growth of the country. Here we will find out why the Oman government is encouraging foreign investment, which non-oil industries present attractive investment opportunities and how international banks can assist and advise foreign investors.

Employment

The unemployment rate of Oman is one of the issues faced by the government. The International Monetary Fund has estimated the unemployment rate at more than 20% of the workforce. According to Muscat Daily, since the last census in 2010, the total population has increased by 38% to 3.83 million at the end of February 2013, of which 56% are Omanis and the remaining 44% are expatriates. The expatriate population has increased by 106.4% while the Omani population has grown by 9.7% per cent since 2010. The number of Omanis employed in the private sector remained fairly unchanged, with only 1.7% increase since 2010.

On the one hand, the Oman government needs to maintain global competitiveness by attracting foreign talents to diversify the economy such as developing large industrial and infrastructure projects. On the other hand, the Oman government is struggling to create enough jobs in the non-oil public and private sectors for Omanis. The ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, pledged to support citizens in establishing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the creation of a 70 million rials fund that will be increased by 7 million rials each year. In order for new start-up SMEs to gain a more competitive edge, the Sultan also ordered state land to be given free to entrepreneurs. In addition, the Oman government is hoping that foreign investment will create more employment opportunities for Omanis.

Investment opportunities in Oman

Oman’s Vision 2020 and Oman’s eighth Five Year Plan (2011-15) set clear objectives for economic diversification and development of Oman’s business and investment potential. Oman’s Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (PAIPED) is the government-run authority whose main mission is to facilitate investment in Oman and promote exports of Omani products and services to overseas markets. PAIPED’s 2009 Oman Investment and Promotion Strategy has proposed some industries that would meet Oman’s goal of economic diversification. These include automotive, infrastructure, ports, manufacturing, logistics, ICT, management and professional institutes, venture capital, financial services, international trade, insurance services and tourism.

Due to its strategic location, archaeological and historical remains, varied climate conditions and numerous sightseeing attractions, the tourism sector is an important and growing industry that offers lucrative investment opportunities. According to Albawaba Business, the chairman of Sundus Investments and vice chairman of National Bank of Oman, Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi, said that the Oman government is committed to boosting the tourism sector by investing in prestigious projects and encouraging foreign investment.

There are many benefits of investing in Oman, including a world-class infrastructure, incentive packages, attractive corporate tax and tax holidays, competitively priced industrial and office space, free zones and ports and a talented multilingual workforce. The Oman government also encourages foreign investors to collaborate with local companies in utilising its untapped resources, facilitating technology, innovation and management skills transfer and opening new markets for Oman products and services.

Roles of International Banks

Companies and entrepreneurs seeking to set up, expand and relocate to Oman should use international banks, which offer a range of products and services for corporate customers such as trade services, treasury services, corporate credit cards, and custody and clearing services.

If you are an exporter and need a loan to fill the gap in trade financing, you can apply for export financing in Oman to transport your products overseas. For example, with HSBC Bank, you can get pre-shipment finance to bridge the cash-flow gaps as well as post-shipment finance. If you are an importer, you can apply for documentary credits to help reduce the risks associated with international trade.

While there are numerous opportunities in the non-oil sector in Oman for foreign investors, the benefits and risks should be weighed before venturing abroad.

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