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Investing from Saudi Arabia

Financial discussion for any financial queries for Expats
The full Lemon
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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby Dod101 » August 15th, 2022, 7:03 am

flyer61 wrote:evilbungle

My two pennies worth from my experience in the 'sandpit(s)'

You are going to meet a lot of people when you get out there who have just recently become experts in all financial matters. A high salary does not equate to financial acumen. Currency trading 'funds', Crypto 'funds', Teak forest Plantations in Columbia, ostrich farming in NZ the list of fabulous schemes with stupendous returns is mind boggling and they are waiting for fresh blood all the time. You have been warned!

Why make life so complicated? If you have a house in the UK pay it off. If you want to be cautious (yes I know inflation is rampant) put the first 50K in Premium bonds. I wouldn't leave to much money in Saudi and if you ever find yourself taking money out of the UK then you are most definitely doing it wrong.

Get some time under your belt out there before doing anything that has risk attached to it. That includes shares etc Start saving from Day 1 - 12months will come and go in a flash, you may have had a nice holiday and a fab Mustang car but that is not why you are there.

Enjoy, I made the most of my 5 years in the MidEast and would do it again.

I could go on..... Good luck!

As a one time long term expat in Hong Kong I too have seen everything you write about and there is a lot of good advice there. However, you say 'That is not why you are there' . I am not advocating a fab Mustang car but a good holiday or three? Most definitely yes. I had 23 years in Hong Kong and in that time I saw a number of expat couples who were there for one or two reasons only, usually related to saving money, such as paying off their mortgage and so on. On a three year contract, they returned directly to the UK maybe twice in that time (fare paid by the employer of course) and took part in very little of the socialising and general 'life' of the average expat. Our priorities are all different of course but that is no way for people to live who have been presented with the opportunity of experiencing a different lifestyle, to travel and experience different cultures. I felt quite sorry for them.


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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby flyer61 » August 15th, 2022, 11:47 am

Agreed Dod,

We had some fabulous holidays to destinations we would not have gone to, also on my first contract we lived amongst the locals. Goat in the lift anyone? My first child was born in the MidEast so we certainly have life long memories.....mostly happy.

I could have added don't be surprised about the costs involved in relocating to a new Country particularly if you are not on a comprehensive package like the Al Yamamah contract. ergo why you need to start saving Day 1....people do exit for all sorts of reasons at times not of their choosing.

As I say...enjoy!

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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby evilbungle » August 16th, 2022, 1:35 pm

Great advice, Thank you.

I am pretty sure that "opportunities" will come my way once I am there, this is why I wanted to come to a trusted source first.
I will definitely be weary of any "get rich quick schemes" - I do tend towards a low(ish) risk diet myself anyway.

We will be indulging in a few holidays whilst we are there, there are a lot of places within a relative short flight so it seems wrong not to. and it will be good to visit some of the places that wouldn't justify a trip from the UK but are only an hour away so why not!

However we won't be spending on anything else though as everything else is provided (Accommodation, Food, Car, School, Bills etc...) so we will overpay on the mortgage as much as is allowed (I think my mortgage only allows 15% over payment each year.) and build up a decent sized "escape fund" but then I guess it is just adding to my normal investments same as I would at home? (Except for the tax benefits of ISA/SIPP etc...)

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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby servodude » August 17th, 2022, 1:44 am

evilbungle wrote:I think my mortgage only allows 15% over payment each year.

If you think you want to exceed that limit you can possibly refinance before you go (that said I have no idea what's available).

Whether that made sense would probably depend on your expected time scales; but paying down >20% pa could go someway to offsetting a cost of borrowing jump.

If you're risk averse it might be a pleasant thought to expect to return to the UK in 4 or 5 years with the house paid off

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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby rhys » August 18th, 2022, 4:05 pm

I was seconded abroad for three months. Once there I dragged it out to twelve months. By that point I'd realised that I had no interest in returning to my original employer, and remained expat, across another six countries until I returned to the UK after nine years.

Be aware of the Remittance rule for income, and of course realise your capital gains prior to permanent return to the UK. Personally I wouldn't advise anyone to come back, but then I would never have wanted to live in KSA. My father in law worked there, said it was awful!

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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby BigBooks » September 17th, 2022, 12:40 pm

Just joined the forum and so please to have read this thread

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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby tjh290633 » September 18th, 2022, 8:48 am

BigBooks wrote:Just joined the forum and so please to have read this thread

Welcome to the forum, bigbooks. Enjoy the content.


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Re: Investing from Saudi Arabia


Postby deadsimplesaving » July 4th, 2023, 9:54 pm

Evilbungle, I'm coming to this late but did you find a way forward? There are many of us long-term expats who have eventually figured out what to do.

I would recommend:

1) Avoid all commission-driven financial advisors, who plague the region selling long-term savings plans and whole life insurance.
2) Join the SimplyFI facebook group (28,000 members and counting!) which is full of volunteers helping educate people on expat personal finance & investing from the Middle East, mainly as a reaction against 1).
3) The secret sauce for expats wanting to invest is using global index ETFs (exchange-traded funds) via an international brokerage (IB, Saxo, Swissquote etc.) - low cost and sensible.

Best of luck
Steve C

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