The three “Don'ts” when looking for an offshore safe haven

by , 21 September 2017
The three “Don'ts” when looking for an offshore safe haven
Around decades ago, offshore investing was only available to ultra-high net worth investors; but we've come a long way since then.

Now you can invest in markets across America, Asia, Africa…you name it.

And this makes the idea of offshore investing not only interesting, but downright exciting too.

However, just as there are endless opportunities out there for you to choose from, there are an endless amount of decisions to be made.

For example…

Where do you invest? What regions are stable? What countries are safe?

You can't just throw your money anywhere in the world and expect your investment to grow.

That's why I'm going to explain three basic “Don'ts” when looking for an offshore safe-haven. This will ensure you don't lose your entire investment.

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#1: Don’t put your money in risky “investor paradises”
 
Hot spots for political unrest exists all over the world.
 
The Middle East is in tatters and has been for a long time now.  The sounds of war plague this resource rich region. And there’s no sign that things will die down.
 
And 8 out of 10 most water-poor countries in the world are in the Middle East.
 
Agricultural policies in the region are depleting already scarce groundwater reserves at an alarming rate.
 
While, Africa has the huge potential for investment opportunities. All over the continent there are untapped resources – Oil, diamonds, gold, iron, silver, uranium, silver, petroleum and many more.
 
You could say it’s an investor’s paradise. But it certainly doesn’t live up this statement.
 
Just like the Middle East, Africa also suffers from destructive conflicts, poverty and disease that riddles the continent in every corner.
 
So be careful where you send your money. After all, even parts of Europe are in political and economic turmoil. It’s not an investor’s paradise right now.  
 
#2: Don’t leave your investments exposed to government’s whims
 
A government that welcomes offshore investing and includes financial incentives, sends a positive message to offshore investors.
 
Some offshore safe-havens promote foreign investment, while others just tolerate it.
 
An offshore safe-haven that doesn’t completely support and encourage investment foreign with a history of radical government policy upsets could possibly change their policy overnight at any time. This can leave your investments exposed to vulnerable.
 
I’m sure you don’t want your hard-earned money stuck in a country that could possibly increase taxes or reveal all of your investments.
  
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#3: Don’t let taxes eat your returns
 
The best choice for a safe haven is one that offer you a tax-free environment or a low taxation on investment income.
 
Obviously, less tax means more money in your pocket.
 
With South African residents taxed on a world-wide basis, income and capital gains made from offshore investments will be also taxable in South Africa.
 
Credit is given for foreign taxes paid on offshore taxable income or capital gains against the South African tax liability on the same income or capital gains.
 
Importantly, dividends paid by a company that’s not a South African tax resident, are subject to income tax in the hands of South African residents.
 
Also, picking an offshore haven with no existing tax treaties with other countries is a good option. Countries like Belize, Nevis, and St Kitts, amongst many others are perfect examples of excellent tax rates.
 
Just remember, going offshore opens the door for wealth preservation and retirement planning. Knowing you can support you and your family for years is the best feeling to have.
  
Always remember, knowledge brings you wealth,
Joshua Benton, South African Investor
 
 

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