We are all getting used to social isolation and where possible and fortunate enough, working remotely, however we know there is a lot of concern among the international community in Europe. Expats are worried about job security, income levels, their investments, their pensions, and of course the health of their loved ones here where they live and back home.
At this specific point in time we have 3 vital pieces of advice for expats and internationals in Europe.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
In this environment, across many aspects of our lives we need quality advice now more than ever. Our experience suggests that in a time of need, it can be difficult to ask for help. Pride, worry, embarrassment and anxiety all play a role in people’s wellbeing and this can be especially so when people are facing personal and professional upheaval, health risks and a changing financial landscape. We advocate the benefit in having someone to speak with, that can empathise and support you. When it comes to your investments and finances, we are on hand and can schedule a video call to discuss how this environment is impacting you and what you can do about it.
Whatever field you need to improve, make sure you get advice from professionals. There is so much information on social media and across the internet, much of it at best hyperbole and at worst outright dangerous. Focus on credible sources and speak with those you can trust, who are appropriate professionals in their field. Make sure they are qualified, and in the case of investment advice, licensed, regulated and independent.
2. Look out for scammers
It is a sad reality that at this time, scammers have increased. There are reports of fake emails from tax offices, banks, pension funds and “too good to be true” investment opportunities.
It can be particularly difficult for expats to spot these, especially if they are not in your first language. Our key advice: be careful and to take a critical view of all such correspondence. Check the sending email address and if in doubt go to the source they are supposedly representing.
Within the world of finance and investments we urge you to be particularly careful of anyone contacting you regarding your pensions here or overseas, such as in the UK with promises of greater returns or the ability to free up your pensions. The UK regulator is focusing on this right now as scammers have been targeting people with UK pensions promising access to cash. If you receive this, it is may well be a scam. If you are not sure contact your pension fund directly or speak with us.
3. Make sure that you are in good hands
If you have a financial or investment adviser and you haven’t heard from them since this covid-19 crisis emerged, you might need to find someone more engaged that can be by your side through all market conditions. You should be hearing from your financial and investment adviser regularly throughout this time.
We are here and have full capacity to speak with anyone in the international community in Europe that would like to discuss how this is impacting them and their families and to help position them for when this does pass. We are here in good times and bad with the purpose of helping all expats and international in Europe. We cannot say what will happen in the future, but we do know how to manage target based financial planning for expatriates in Europe and the best courses of action in periods of uncertainty. We know the importance of communication, of staying in touch and being available for our clients. We have the direct experience of helping clients through economic and financial crises for over 20 years and do know that a) it will eventually end and b) you still have long-term goals you need to achieve.
Black Swan Capital Europe is hosting free webinars every week to discuss what is happening in the market and how it may impact you or if you prefer a one on one discussion, we are available by telephone, video call or email.
If you haven’t heard from your adviser, speak with us.