Equities excite expats ahead of other investments

Expat investors prefer equities ahead of any other investment class for income and growth, according to new research.

Despite general economic malaise around the world, expats are confident patience in equities will pay off even if the global economy slips back in to recession, as most expect.

These are the findings of a survey by TD Global, which asked more than 2,000 expats around the world  about their investment opinions.

More than half (52%) of expat investors expect global recession before the end of the year, but are confident in equities to generate income (44%) and growth (41%).

Nearly half (45%) predict the UK economy to either contract or show no growth in 2012.

Most popular market

Asia remains the most popular market among 46% of expat investors, followed by the USA (18%) and Australia (8%), while only 5% see European markets outperforming the rest over the year.

Annemarie Jung, CEO of Internaxx Bank, a TD Company servicing international and expat investors, said: “Recent economic turmoil in Greece, Italy, Spain and Ireland will no doubt have placed a heavy burden on both expat and UK investors, demonstrating that now more than ever it is important they have the opportunity to seek out opportunities in international equity markets.”

The survey also showed 39% of international investors favoured real estate, commodities and precious metals ahead of equities, compared to 26% of those in the UK. Around a fifth of expats would invest in gold and precious metals, compared to 12% of UK investors.

Expats opt for offshore

When asked where they kept their assets, over half (58%) of expat investors confirmed they held some or all of their assets offshore, while 48% said opted for the services of an execution-only broker.

Jung said: “It is clear from our research that expats’ desire for financial stability and a balanced portfolio is leading them to choose a broad mix of asset classes, including international equities and hard assets such as property, commodities and precious metals.

“It is also clear that in terms of managing their wealth and accessing international markets, investors are more than happy to take control themselves with almost half of the expat respondents to our survey confirming they use the services of an execution-only broker.”