When clients ask to transfer dollars from their U.S. investment account to their Israeli bank, the details they must provide sometimes take them by surprise.
Living in a different country from your assets means that money transfers are necessary to meet your cash-flow needs. Following procedures properly can expedite the process.
The easy system of transferring funds
Although we help people choose investments for their U.S. brokerage, IRA, and 401(k) accounts, many clients seek more than advice on what to buy/sell. They are looking for service and attention to details.
When transferring funds, you must pay meticulous attention to details. Even if all the account numbers, names, and addresses match up, the clearing firm often asks additional questions. Because of regulatory concerns and anti-money-laundering policies, compliance officers can require documentation related to the purpose of the funds. This means that what you might have expected to be a quick wire ends up taking longer. (Typically it can take two or three business days for a routine dollar wire to settle. And, if you then need to convert the dollars to shekels it can be even longer until you have access to your money.)
Timing is crucial if you plan to transfer your American assets to Israel. If you leave adequate time for the inevitable back-and-forth, you should be fine. On the other hand, waiting until the last minute to request a money transfer could create a ripple effect of difficulties. Be prepared, and begin the transfer process well in advance. Remember money doesn’t move in America on Sunday or on bank holidays.
Is service important with bank transfers?
Moving money is more complicated than simply pushing a button. Having a good relationship with your bank or money transfer company is crucial, especially if they need to hunt down a lost wire. Make sure that any company you use to transfer funds is legal and properly qualified to handle your money. Following money-transfer instructions carefully is crucial to make sure your money lands in the right spot in a timely fashion.
For more strategies to best manage a multi-currency lifestyle, click here.
Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the Director of Profile Investment Service, Ltd., which specializes in helping people who live in Israel with their US dollar assets and American investment and retirement accounts. He helps olim meet their financial goals through asset allocation, financial planning, and using money managers.
Published June 14, 2016.