Our New Blogon Wednesday, 12 September 2012. Posted in About CGP
An old piece of wisdom on investment books has it that “if their advice was truly that good, then why would they share it with the likes of you? They’d keep it to themselves and make a bundle”. In many cases, particularly when unseemly timeframes for a large return are promised, they are right. The fact that so much investment nonsense exists however, is all the more reason to write.
We want to bring some clarity to investing for expatriates, since in our opinion it is long overdue.
So what are our goals for the blog?
We hope to do several things:
- Provide a knowledge bank or reference source on regular topics or issues for the average expatriate and their family in regards to their own financial situation and goals;
- Provide an honest opinion on what we like, we avoid, we advise and advise against;
- To write clearly, succinctly and provide useful guidance;
- Educate the average expatriate to the point where they can make sound decisions about their finances;
- Occasionally discuss, analyze or highlight opportunities;
- Sometimes mention tax issues as they apply to investing (although we aren’t tax advisers);
- To entertain (yes we said that right after a point on tax).
Why a blog on investing for foreigners in China specifically?
Firstly we are here in China and we believe, quite earnestly, that if we provide quality and entertaining advice then people will find us for our services. We promised to be honest if you recall.
But we can only succeed in that if we do three things.
a) Write honestly about investment ideas or topics in a quality way.
b) Provide insight and advice that is useful.
c) And do so entertainingly.
Another reason for a blog on money for foreigners is that aren’t aware of anything out there that is even similar. Sure there are blogs on investment in the sense of foreign companies who want to set up operations or companies here. Many of them are excellent but that is very removed from the topics we wish to discuss and can assist. If you want to set up a company in China to sell your widget to the 1.3 billion Chinese, then you’ll need to go elsewhere.
We also believe there is a strong need for practical advice. Being an expatriate is far more complicated than being back home. Often times your assets might be spread across different time zones, currencies and jurisdictions with vastly different tax systems. Investment products from all the good and bad places in the world can be stumbled into in these parts. Finance and investing can be tricky if you aren’t a specialist. Getting quality advice and assistance is also not easy.
We believe is the dearth of truly independent advice worthy of the name, despite many companies being enthusiastic in their attention to foreigners. We don’t cold call (and we will write on this topic soon) but dozens of companies do as any foreigner who has been in China 5 minutes can attest. Some companies have dozens of staff dedicated to this facet of their marketing. We don’t think it does our industry’s reputation any good at all however. This is not the only problem, but it is certainly a big part. We hope this blog helps in some small way.
We aim to be bold in our opinions. This is going to annoy some people with vested interests, but we aren’t doing it for that purpose. Our goal will always be the truth and the best solution for clients or potential investors. So sometimes we will discuss topics or ideas whilst avoiding company and product names since we hope to make our clients rich, not lawyers. You’ll have to read between the lines on occasion, but we promise to strive to give you enough clues. It will mean that some of our posts will be contended and if that is respectful and focused on the facts at play, then we are happy for this to occur. But if a poster or commentator starts playing the man and not the ball, or becomes a troll, we will remove them. A healthy knowledge advancing debate is our goal.
It’s time to stop keeping the best investment knowledge to ourselves.