The Global Index Investment Company Builds Portfolios of Index Funds For Australian Expats



Many Australians realize that investing with index funds gives them the best odds of investment success. 

Since Vanguard Australia arrived Down Under, those investing from Australia have been given a variety of low cost options.

But expats overseas can’t open accounts with Vanguard Australia.  To invest with index funds, many must buy low cost ETFs (exchange traded index funds).  Or they can search for a company that will build a portfolio of index funds for them. 

The Global Index Investment Company offers such a solution.

Malcom Lewis and Scott Burton formed Global Index Investment Company in 2014 to work predominantly with Australian expats or British expats planning to one day move to Australia.  Both founders grew frustrated by the international investment firms they previously worked with.  “We found that fees, charges and other high cost penalties were really taking away from clients’ investment returns,” explains Malcom.  So they decided to start their own firm.

Malcom and Scott strongly advocate index investing.  But for them, other factors are equally important.  “We believe budgeting, cash flow and debt management are just as important as investing,” says Malcom.  “There’s little point investing until these areas are in order and if your advisor doesn’t examine this for you then you need to ask yourself, why not?”

The team runs a variety of fee models, with the typical investor paying roughly 1.2 percent each year for investment management.  Such costs include client goal setting, budgeting, cash-flow management, debt management, tax minimization, and advice on wills and insurance.

Total costs for money management would be roughly 1.5 percent per year, including management fees and fund expenses.  This is less than half of what investors would pay with firms like Friends Provident, Zurich International, Generali, Royal London 360 and Royal Skandia.

What’s more, investors can sell at any time, without paying penalties.


Contact Information


Part of the excerpt above was taken from The Global Expatriates Guide To Investing (Wiley 2015)

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Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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12 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    do you think there may be a conflict of interest between providing investment advice and then advocating that people invest in a company which you have a financial interest in.

    Have you fully disclosed your profits or interests in said companies.

  2. Matt says:

    Hi Andrew

    I am an Australian expat in Hong Kong, and was able to set up a Vanguard Australia account.


    • That’s very surprising Matt. There are no tax consequences for you to do so? Please tell me more. Will your money grow, free of all capital gains taxes, as if you had set up the brokerage account in Hong Kong?


  3. Matt says:

    yep, that is my understanding Andrew. The account has been set up with non-resident status. I will receive the first tax statement next month, so will double check how it is being treated then…


  4. Chris says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I have tried to make contact with the Global Index Investment Company through the two email addresses above. Malcolm did not reply to his email and the email bounced. Do you have other contact details for this organisation or a different investment suggestion for an international living in Egypt?

    • Chris,

      I have also emailed Malcom, but have not heard back. The problem with such advisors is that their profit margins are so lean, and the public so financially uneducated, that they don’t attract much business. They could have pulled the plug. In that case, I suggest you invest on your own. It’s easy. You could open an account with TD Direct International or Saxo Capital Markets. I explain exactly how, and what you would need to buy, in this book:


  5. Barry says:

    Vanguard Australia have plans to launch four new ETFs in the fourth quarter of this year (pending approval from the ASX).

    These comprised an international fixed interest index (hedged) index ETF, an international credit securities index (hedged) ETF, a FTSE Europe shares ETF and a FTSE Asia ex Japan shares index ETF.

  6. Adrian says:

    BTW, I believe Australians do not have to pay capital gains on share portfolios if non-resident for tax purposes. But they will have to sell the portfolio before returning to Australia otherwise Captial gains will be due.

  7. C says:

    You should know that both Malcom Lewis and Scott Burton were selling the now infamous MPF to gullible investors; which lost investors everything as it turned out MPF was a ponzi scheme. Do your research.

  8. Chris Nelson says:

    The company registration with ASIC has been CANCELLED – Not de-registered as with most companies that are wound up, CANCELLED.
    I don’t have access to further information than that.

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