The Most Important Numbers in Your Investment Statement

“Not only have I been a client of theirs forever,” a new client just told me. “I have a multi-million dollar account. Do they really want to lose my business?”

After my first conversation with this retiree who had both an IRA and brokerage account at Wells Fargo, he realized that being forced out of his existing account was a blessing in disguise. He was so used to the level of attention that the company 10,000 miles away was giving him, that he didn’t realize a higher level of personalized service existed. He confided that despite working with his broker for decades, he was never asked him about his Israeli pensions, Bituach Leumi, or dual-tax obligations. Moreover, he said that the time difference often made it difficult, too.

Why can we accept new clients?

Understandably, the client wanted to understand why one brokerage firm would tell him to leave while another one would be happy to assist him. The reason many brokerage firms are backing away from international clientele is because they simply are not licensed to do business in jurisdictions outside the U.S. Working as a cross-border advisor requires more knowledge, as well as international licensing, which many companies don’t have. When expats choose financial professionals, it’s critical to select someone with expertise on both sides of the ocean.

Does switching firms create tax obligations?

“If I move my portfolio to you,” the client asked, “won’t I have a lot of taxes?” I explained that although I am in Israel, the accounts are actually held in America. There are two halves of an investment portfolio: the advisory side and the clearing side. Being licensed both in Israel and the United States, we are able to guide clients in handling their portfolios. At the same time, our connections in America allow us to custody the portfolios there (see our clearing arrangement below). As such, new clients normally don’t need to liquidate assets; they can move them “in kind.”

If you want to explore receiving increased service for your investment portfolio, give me a call, 02-624-2788.

Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, GFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd. He is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Call (02) 624-2788 for a consultation on how to set up your American assets to meet your financial goals. Securities offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not those of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates. Neither PRG nor its affiliates give tax or legal advice.

Published November 11, 2021.

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