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4 of the Best Apps When Relocating Abroad

400 Brits move abroad every day - and a sizeable chunk of skilled professionals relocate to improve their career prospects. If you're looking for finance jobs abroad, digital technology has your every move covered. We’ve listed some of the most important apps for relocation.

1. Rightmove

If you're an international financial advisor or accountant moving abroad and looking for somewhere to live, Rightmove is a great place to start. Search for homes to rent or buy in various countries without issue with this handy to use app. Rightmove is a member of the Association of International Property Professionals, or AIPP - the industry body responsible for the sale and marketing of overseas property and you'll find more than 95,000 properties in over 75 countries - perfect if you're searching for a villa in the South of France or an apartment in Dubai. Get access to overseas estate agents and property owners at the touch of a button and make property hunting a breeze.

2. Dropbox

It’s essential you have access to your important documents when you move and with cloud based storage system Dropbox, you can access everything you need, wherever you’re moving to. Great for sharing large files such as photos with friends back home, or sharing large complex proposal with clients, this will save you time and energy waiting for that document attachment to go through on email.

3. Foocall

Presuming you’ve left at least a few loved ones or business contacts behind, the likelihood of you wanting to keep in touch to let them know how your international financial advisor job is going is high. What you don’t want, however, is your phone bill to skyrocket. Download the Foocall app and you’ll be making international calls easily and cheaply, and topping up with just how much you’ll need will avoid heavy roaming charges and keep your budget in the black.

4. XE Currency

Once you've decided on where you want to move, it can be difficult to convert different currencies quickly when securing a sale or finding out how much something costs. The XE app monitors live currency rates and can be accessed when you don't have a Wi-Fi connection - perfect for offline usage in Internet blackspots. Calculate hundreds of different currency conversions in one place, making life much easier!   These are just a few of the handiest apps on the market for those relocating abroad, but if you have these on your phone, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to your relocation.

How to Start Networking in a New Country

An increasing number people these days are seeking opportunities in other countries, and one of the problems faced by those who’ve found finance jobs abroad is how to begin when it comes to creating a network of new contacts and potential clients. Networking in a new country can be a challenging thing, but it is not as difficult as many people assume. At the heart of creating a solid network is the question of culture and the issue of adaptation that comes from it. Whether you’ve landed an international financial advisor job in Tokyo or Qatar, you will definitely find a different culture from the one you have in the UK, but when it comes to meeting people and making friends, if you’ve a good idea of where to start before you land in foreign climes, you’ll have some strategies that can help you start networking wherever in the world you are.

Learn the culture

Learning the culture of your new home is good starting point, not just for those that have landed financial advisor jobs overseas, but for anyone that travels abroad. The more you know about the country and its people, the more it will help you blend in smoothly and you won’t be at risk of offending your new contacts. A little light reading about the most important traditions and events such as religious holiday traditions, bank holidays and major sporting events, will give you something to talk about and make it easier for you to fit in.   Having learnt the culture of your newfound home, it will now be much easier for you to create networks. You will need to put in some effort here, but there are different ways to go about this.

Teach, Learn or Volunteer

If you have time to spare, like many people starting independent financial advisor jobs overseas you can start a session of classes on simple finance tips and tricks. This will give you the opportunity to do something you like and connect with a group of people, many of whom will be interested in the advice you can offer. While teaching some financial tips and tricks would be a good place to start, it’s not the only way to reach your target market, and don’t use it as your only avenue. Consider learning something new yourself, or improving on other skills, such as golf or other sports to widen your contact base in your new home and give you more avenues to find new clients. In addition to this consider engaging in community activities and projects. Volunteering your time in the community is a great way of meeting people in a more giving and open environment, and will give people a great first impression.

Social Media

Never underestimate the power of social media in building networks. Whether you join local Facebook groups, build your network of contacts through LinkedIn, joining groups affiliated with financial advisor recruitment or participate in online networking forums, all these can lead to a wider network of people with whom to connect and discover new opportunities and avenues through which to do business. The trick to social media is regularity and relevancy, and if you’re seen as being someone that pays attention to others, then they’re far more likely to pay attention to you when you have something to say.   Creating networks in a new country might sound difficult, but follow some of the tips above and you’ll start off well. Just remember to maintain your contact with those in your network and you’ll benefit from a strong network that you can build upon to secure new clients.

Are IFAs Becoming Obsolete?

With the rise of online service providers, there has been much concern in the IFA community, and those looking for IFA recruitment assistance may think that the position of IFAs is under threat. However, this is not the case. According to a study conducted by Accenture Research in the UK, 30% of the respondents still choose IFAs for their financial planning while 43% would also like to do so and this number is likely to be replicated around the world. Although customers may go online to make price comparisons of various financial products and services, it seems that they still value personal face-to-face professional advice, preferring to deal with a human being on a personal level. According to the survey, the most popular channel through which people buy life insurance products in the UK is through IFAs. This accounted for more than 35% of policy sales and pension products. The survey also revealed that IFAs remain a popular platform for consumers seeking information for the formation of retirement plans. Therefore the need for financial advice and planning benefits the independent financial advisors.

The benefits of IFAs as opposed to the Internet

Face to face services provided by Independent financial advisors are still seen to be more trustworthy. Financial planning is always a sensitive matter, and it’s essential that a client has trust in the person giving that advice. With the upsurge of the internet, it’s hard to regulate the information out there, and while anyone can set up and maintain a blog or social media account purporting to be an “expert”, some of the people who claim to provide genuine online services do not have the necessary qualifications and expertise required to give such advice. Horror stories are found in many different forums of those people who’ve trusted an online source of advice and people have lost money as a result, and this is why savvy investors, or those wishing to gain advice turn to IFAs.   Dealing with an IFA on a personal level gives clients the confidence they have the right information to make decisions that are personal to their unique circumstances and requirements. While genuine online services can be useful for some simple issues such as purchasing insurance, if there are any complicated decisions to be made, or any special circumstances involved, policies can be rendered invalid, or clients pay more than they should for premiums. In addition to this, there has been a great deal of furor around internet security, and with many online service providers requiring a myriad of personal details before services can be provided, it’s no wonder that smart clients prefer to keep their financial information off the web.

Is there room for both IFAs and online services?

It’s clear to see that there are huge benefits to using an IFA, which is why there are still opportunities for financial advisor jobs in every country. And while some online service providers are doing substantial amounts of business, there will always be those who look for a friendly face and personal, accurate independent advice before they make any financial decision.

Overseas Accommodation – Get It Right The First Time

Nowadays, an increasing number of people are taking on independent financial advisor jobs overseas, as they want the chance to explore a new destination while progressing their career at the same time. However, to ensure that your experience as an international financial advisor is a positive one, you will need to find a place to stay. Getting your accommodation right the first time is so important, as you don’t want it to cast a black cloud over your experience. Here are some tips to give you a helping hand:

Do your research

You can never do enough research when looking for a place to stay. You need to make sure that the area is right for you. Is it a quiet place or does it have a lively atmosphere? Are there a lot of other expats in the area? Is it easy for you to get from place to place? Are there plenty of things to keep you busy? You may even want to create a checklist of all of the aspects that are important to you, so you can ensure the accommodation and area you are considering matches up to your expectations.

Rent or buy?

One of the key decisions you will need to make is whether to rent or buy. If you are only planning on moving abroad for a few years, renting is the obvious option. However, if you are considering making this place your permanent home, you may want to buy. It is advisable for everyone to start off by renting, as this will give you time to decide whether you like the area and what you want from a property.

Seek professional advice

When relocating to capitalise on financial advisor jobs overseas, it is of paramount importance that you seek professional assistance. You need someone who knows the property market and legislation in the country like the back of their hand. This will ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Don’t simply go for the first rental agent you can find – make sure they have a good reputation in the industry by doing your research and reading reviews.

Consider house sharing

Although you may prefer to have your own space, house sharing is an option to consider, especially if you do not know anyone in the country you are moving to. House sharing presents an excellent way for you to meet other professionals. Not only this but it will be a lot cheaper as well.

Join forums

Joining a forum is a good way to get advice from people that have already been in your position. You can learn from the mistakes they have made, and you will probably pick up some valuable advice about relocating to your new destination that you otherwise would not have known.   Where to live is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, so take the time to get the right place, and you’re sure to find moving less stressful.

Should you really put IFA fees online?

If you are looking to capitalise on one of the many independent financial advisor jobs that are available, you will need to have a strong presence online, and one of the main things you need to concern yourself with is whether to post your fees on the Internet. This will play a massive role in your ability to secure finance jobs abroad. In this post, we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages associated with both.

Posting pros

Firstly, it is vital to stress that the vast majority of financial advisors do not post their charges online. According to research conducted by IFA Candid Financial Advice, only five of the top 50 financial advice companies disclose their fees on their website. Therefore, by posting your fees on the Internet, you will certainly be differentiating yourself from the competition. There tends to be this perception that all financial advisors charge extortionate rates, and therefore displaying yours on your website can really set you apart. In addition to this, posting your fees is something the customer will appreciate. They have all of the information they need to determine whether your service is right for them. Customers appreciate honesty, openness, and transparency, and displaying your fees online will showcase these qualities. You can also cut down time wasting; as you know those contacting you can afford your services.

It’s not all plain sailing though

However, it is not always this simple. One of the main reasons why a lot of independent financial advisors do not post their fees on the Internet is because every client is different and has their own specific requirements, and therefore different rates may be charged every time. If something is less technical and time-consuming, the client in question may experience a reduced rate, and vice versa. Therefore, in these cases it makes it very difficult for international finance advisors to offer a set price list. An additional issue with posting fees online is that the information can end up being misleading if it is not considered carefully. Furthermore, there is always the chance that your potential clients are going to give cost a disproportionate weighting over other pivotal aspects, such as your capability and experience. Finally, another solution would be to do a bit of both, i.e. post some payment terms online, but state that a quote can be discussed upon meeting with the client. Offering a free no-obligation consultation can be very beneficial. People tend to be more inclined to proceed once they have held a face-to-face meeting. You will be able to discuss the charges in further detail. However, you can display any fixed costs you have on your website, and/or your hourly charge for any applicable services.

Which Social Platform Is Best For Independent Financial Advisors?

According to a recent study conducted in September 2015 by Putnam, more than 80 per cent of financial advisors use social media for business purposes. Nowadays, social media is becoming an indispensable communication tool for local and international independent financial advisors for their day-to-day interaction with the broader marketplace as well as their investment providers and clients. If you were to apply for independent financial advisor jobs, you would be expected to have a social media presence, and a thorough understanding of social media and how to use it to full effect in your role. With that in mind, in this post we assess which social media platforms are best for independent financial advisors.

The Big 4

The big four social media platforms you need to be concerned with are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Of course, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are soaring in popularity at the moment, but with their image-based content and high female usage base, these platforms tend to be suited to industries such as fashion and food as opposed to finance. Facebook will be quite difficult for you to market on without investing. However, with 1.2 billion active users, this platform simply cannot be ignored. Twitter is excellent for staying up to date with industry news while both Twitter and LinkedIn are compliance approved. As LinkedIn is very business-focused, you simply must be present there. You can expect prospects that contact you via LinkedIn to be a lot more serious. In addition to this, while Google+ has a lot fewer users, having a presence on it will improve your search engine rankings too.

LinkedIn benefits

Out of the four main social media platforms mentioned, one that deserves further elaboration is LinkedIn, a hugely effective tool for financial advisors. In fact, of all financial advisors that have used at least one social network for business, 91 per cent have chosen LinkedIn, with less than a third selecting Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. This is particularly due to the professional context of LinkedIn and the increasing audience of valuable financial consumers. LinkedIn also presents an exceptional way for independent financial advisors to enhance the traditional business cycle by, for instance, using their full-extended network for possible leads.   It is a great way to show yourself as an expert in your field by hosting and distributing content without the need for a blog. The search function is also beneficial, as you will find connections based on your network, and thus you don’t have to know the perfect spelling of someone’s name to find them. One thing you are advised to do is have a professional photograph taken for your profile. There are also many ways you can turn online activity into offline returns with LinkedIn, such as via developing relationships with local professionals in complementary businesses, uploading videos, creating a wider audience for columns, newsletters, and blog posts, while also promoting any speaking engagements or offline events.

Marketing yourself – How to win customer confidence

As an independent financial advisor, there is one key ingredient that you need wherever it is you’re working, and that is trust. Your clients need to trust that you are going to be able to provide them with the most effective service. They need to know that your advice is going to be the best and that the financial products and strategies you introduce them to are going to be the most suitable. It is up to you to create this trust by marketing yourself effectively. Keeping that in mind, read on for some top tips on how to win customer confidence.

Use social media

Social media is a platform that can no longer be ignored. If you can build a strong presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter you will encourage clients to trust you, by attracting new interest and reinforcing current relationships. There are plenty of compelling reasons why all financial advisors need to have a social media presence. Including the fact that 44% of affluent customers engage with financial institutions via social media, also 72% of clients trust online reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations.

Specialise

One of the best ways to increase trust is to specialise in a specific area of finance, or several. Most people do not want to employ someone who is a jack-of-all-trades – they want an individual that excels in a specific area, and has the knowledge and connections to really help them. You may think that you are cutting yourself off from a whole host of potential customers if you do this, but that is not the case. Instead, you are making yourself appear more credible and enhancing your image in your niche, and this will lead to more people trusting you and wanting to use your service.

Drop the financial jargon

IFAs can fall into the trap of using as much financial jargon as possible to make themselves seem an expert in the field. The truth is that all you are doing is confusing your customers. This alienates more clients than attracts them. Instead, you need to make yourself approachable, and you must explain everything in a manner that is easy for everyone to understand. By doing this, customers will trust that you are on their level and that you can deliver a service that is to their requirements.

Sell a story

Finally, one of the most effective techniques is to sell a story, as this makes it easier for your clients to grasp your strategy and what you are going to be selling them. You can use stories from your own personal experience, or you can use metaphors to illustrate a process. A common example of the latter relates to the stew pot story that a lot of mutual fund salespeople use when attempting to sell their products. They use the ingredients of a stew to illustrate the securities that are selected by the fund managers, and then they explain that, just like a spoonful of stew – where there is a tiny portion of all ingredients, a fund provides a fractional interest in each security in the portfolio.   Using the above tips to win customer confidence will see you win more word-of-mouth referrals, and therefore more customers, allowing you to build up your customer base with ease.  

How to begin life as an expat

So, you’ve decided to move abroad – you’ve found a place to live, and you don’t have to work ridiculously long hours. Away from friends and family, and with little to occupy yourself after unpacking, it’s time to begin life as an expat. But where do you start? Here, we’ve put together a handy guide to settling into your new country, so it’ll soon begin to feel like home.

Recognise that things may feel weird for some time

There are certain stages that come with settling into a new country, and while you’re bound to feel some sense of homesickness at some point – after all, everything is so strange – it’s important not to feel like you’ve made a mistake. Feelings of homesickness do pass, especially once you’re in a routine, so make sure you try and set one up as soon as you possibly can. This will add a sense of normality to daily life, and help you to adapt more easily. That said, allow yourself some time to take in your new surroundings – walk around the neighbourhood, visit neighbouring towns and explore – and you’ll soon begin to feel like a local.

Learn the language

Few things bring people together like a shared interest, and finding classes where you can learn the local language will certainly put you together with people in much the same situation as you are. Whilst you may have learnt some of the language before you moved, immersing yourself in the complexities of another language can only be a good thing, and even if your destination country’s primary language is English, there are sure to be some differences in how English is spoken there than in the UK.

Join in with everything you can

From forums set up specifically for expats, to local events, festivals and community groups, join in anything you can. Look at every event, group or class as an opportunity to learn more about your new home and meet like-minded people. Whether you choose to keep up with these activities after you’ve built up your social circle is up to you – but you may be surprised at how much you get out of them – and of course, as an IFA, the wider your circle of connections, the more great work you can do.

Ask lots of questions

From asking about a dish on a menu, to speaking to your local shopkeeper about great places to visit, or about the local customs around the holiday seasons, asking questions will allow you to learn about the people and the culture you’re gradually immersing yourself in. Being open and honest about things you don’t understand will also ensure that people warm to you quickly and they’ll be willing to help you settle in even better.   Finally, it’s important to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t expect to feel like a local within a couple of weeks. Having said that, following the tips above will be sure to help you settle into your new home quickly and happily.        

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