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.


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

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