A fresh approach to Expat Financial advice in Thailand.


February 12, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Finance,Thailand Business Directory


Biz-find articles |clarity for expat financial advice

Expat Financial advice in Thailand.

Ok; so you answered the advert for salespeople in the National newspapers back home, you attended the Interview, you got the job, you did the training, you paid your flight, and now you are on the plane bound for Bangkok and you are looking at a position within a prime office in the centre of Thailand’s capital, you will be well looked after with appointment makers for you, and the dream of $150,000 per year in commissions as a financial advisor in Bangkok is yours, you can’t believe your luck or can you…..

When you arrive at the office it is as expected, really great views of the city, but that’s where the dream ends for around 20 expats each year who become Financial Advisors. I met one well-spoken young man from UK who was really disappointed, he told me:

“There was around 20 of us taken on which made me start to think, and several of us arrived in Bangkok at the same time. After a week of training we were told to start making our own cold calls, we were given a desk with a phone, and that was it, you even had to bring your own computer to use.

Biz-find articles | old school client acquisition

Biz-find articles | Old school client acquisition

But that was only the start of it, we had to find our own names to call and when we started calling we realised just how proliferated the expat community of Bangkok was, it seemed like every foreigner had been called and called many times before, and we were just a nuisance to them, which is completely the wrong foot to start with when you want to discuss the finer details of their financial dealings with them.

Not only that; your business card is almost as loathed as a tax bill when you give it to people at one of the business networking events in Bangkok, so much so I became ashamed to give it to people.

A shame really because I was not ashamed of the job we did, we were experts in what was available and we simply advised people as to what was on offer from the big financial houses so they could choose for themselves. They never paid us directly, the finance companies paid us a commission for helping the client to make the best choice for them, but I suppose there will always be a minority who advise their clients on what’s best for the financial advisor before the client, but that wasn’t me.

I stuck it out as long as I could and then left. Out of the group that started with me, only I had remained, my colleauges and I had to leave for several reasons, but mainly not having not made any money, and  run out of savings to live off.”

I recently heard that one of the better known companies in Bangkok who is so synonymous with their cold calling tactics that they have to rebrand and start all over again, let’s hope they get with the new century and give up their dated telemarketing practices for everyone’s sake

A story not at all uncommon in parts of the world where there are many expatriates who can take advantage of tax free earnings, offshore Bank accounts, Education planning or retirement savings plans, US FATCA and Tax efficient solutions

This includes regulated HMRC pension regulations which mean UK expats can start receiving their private pensions as early as 55 years of age with the ability to take a tax free lump sum at the start, and place the rest of their pension in dominions which are more efficiently managed making them more money and in Thailand meaning usually no income tax is needed to be paid (particularly important for public servants, ex-military, teachers and ex-NHS as this option disappears after the start of April).

From the expats point of view , education is what is needed, so that we don’t feel like a passenger in a taxi cab in a part of town we just don’t know, where we know we are being ‘taken for a ride’ so to speak, but all we can do is hope it doesn’t hurt too much!

Expatriates would be more open to financial advisors if there was a system of education given first, so we have more of an idea what we are doing and with expert financial advice on how to manage our savings and pensions, given as just that, advice, without a hint of sales, so that we trust the people who take care of these important aspects of life for us.

As a blogger I always have tried through over 2 million plus words now to educate as to why people should blog and why giving first is the first rule of sales, so I blogged and blogged and I became the No1 Social Media marketing company in Bangkok according to Google, not through any paid online marketing whatsoever, purely from blogging and educating.

So I was quite happy to hear of one Financial Company in Bangkok called Acorn Partners who will be running a series of roadshows to educate and be transparent enough to show people what you will pay, the charging structures the financial insurance company’s use and perhaps most importantly the levels of returns we should realistically expect depending on our appetite for risk, so we the expats have clarity and faith in Thailand’s financial advisors.

Biz-find articles | Trust

Biz-find articles | Trust

It was refreshing to not only hear but believe wholeheartedly in the way the people at Acorn wish to place themselves within the expat community. All of them for various reasons have ties to Thailand and are as many of us, planning to stay here for quite some time if not indefinitely.

They explained that unlike many firms which will only work with people with an established level of existing wealth that they are very happy to give advice to people on the opposite end of the spectrum to maximise and protect what they do have, regardless of if this means they work together or if it is just one person helping another out with some advice over a coffee.“I would rather 100 people are happy with us and tell their friends and colleagues than one feel let down or like we are just chasing a sale” I was told

These roadshows are not the typical seminars run by the old stalwarts in Bangkok where half the people in the audience are their sales people, and you are pretty much herded about. They told me they certainly won’t be doing that; it’s quite simply a 10-20 minute talk, and then an open question and answers session, and they want to be asked a lot of hard questions, and they will tell you the truth “whether this means you realise the financial product you have isn’t as good as you thought or if it means you understand why charges exist and how this compares to what a product returns” I was told.

They will be visiting schools, workplaces and expatriate clubs, and they hope that they can at least make people understand that there are still many good experienced financial people who want to have long meaningful relationships with the expats of Thailand whichever city they are in and are 100% honest in their approach and who do not by any stretch of the imagination make cold calls to strangers!

Their first event is on  the 5th March at Emporium Suites Bangkok at 7pm, then at the Pattaya Expats club on the 8th March, pop along and ask then some really tough questions they are expecting it. This is particularly important if you are a British National or have worked in the UK for any length of time due to some important changes occurring in April however all other expats will benefit greatly by coming along.

If an existing event time, date or location, doesn’t work for you, your company, your social or sports club or friends from your local let them know on the email address below and they will find a way to come to you wherever you are in Thailand.

For more information email:

advice@acorn-asia.com.

Biz-find Thailand | Acorn Partners

Biz-find Thailand | Acorn Partners

Acorn Partners :: 16th

Floor Ocean Tower 2 Building,

75/18 Sukhumvit 19,

Bangkok, 10110,

Thailand
Office +66 2661 6960

Mobile +66 85 224 0480

www.acorn-asia.com

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