Financial sharks swim in local waters.  Most of them are British, selling offshore pension products. 

These pay the salespeople sky-high commissions.  Such commissions shouldn’t be legal (in many jurisdictions, they aren’t).  But they’re the most commonly sold investment products in the UAE. 

As a result of those commissions, investors pay nosebleed-level fees. Fortunately, an increasing number of expats know they can’t make money with these products.

These investors want to hear about something better.  Companies (with HR departments who care about employees) often invite me to speak to their employees about the merits of low-cost investing. 

But before we invest, we need to ask an important question:  How much should we be saving?

Andrew Hallam at Sarwa:  photo courtesy of Pele Hallam-Young

Sarwa invited me to address this question on Saturday afternoon.  Mark Chahwan, the company’s co-founder and CEO, spent a couple of minutes explaining what Sarwa does. Then he gave me the stage for the next hour and a half. 

I took attendees on a workshop ride.  They each learned how much they should be saving to reach their financial goals. 

It was the same premise described in the last two chapters of my book, Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas.  It’s the bestselling book in the UAE.

Today (see the screenshot below) it’s battling a wimpy kid.  Don’t laugh.  The wimpy kid’s wrecking ball crushes a lot of books. 



On Tuesday afternoon (November 12th)  John Hague has invited me to speak to employees at The Entertainer.  It’s the popular business that offers discounts from hotels to dining, to a variety of entertainments.  This talk won’t be open to the public.  But it’s great to see business leaders taking an interest in their employees.

If you would like me to speak at your place of business or international school, please fill in the form at

On Thursday, Pele and I will fly back to Singapore, where I often give talks. 

After a brief stay, we’ll fly back to North America.  That’s when we’ll resume traveling in our camper van.  We plan to drive from British Columbia, Canada to Argentina (after shipping around the Darien Gap).  Last year, we only got as far as El Salvador.  Unfortunately, we were thwarted by the war in Nicaragua.  But we’re ready to take another run, hoping things have settled down.

Pele will continue to accept speaking requests.  When we collect enough from a region, we’ll fly there and store the van.  When storing it in Mexico or Central America (as we’ve done in the past) we always kiss the tires when we see they’re all still there.

Pele and Andrew’s Winnebago Travato:  Guanajuato, Mexico

Photo courtesy of Pele Hallam-Young