While Asia is a very attractive market for investors, there are several lucrative offshore investment opportunities that remain untapped. Countries such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the US, the UK, Luxembourg, and Ireland have much to offer to investors who are seeking investment opportunities outside of the Asian locality. These offshore locations are attractive for different reasons including investment transparency, tax haven status, and the possibility of higher investment returns.

Working with an experienced Financial Planner should help to simplify the offshore investment process since Financial Planners specialize in asset management as well as investment management. A good Financial Planner should be able to point you to opportunities that match your personal investment profile and help you identify possible investments that are effectively aligned with your investment goals.

Some offshore investment options include investing in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) markets, offshore stock market investment, as well as investment in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). IPOs are particularly popular in the Cayman Islands and investors who are seeking above-average returns may want to explore this option in detail. However, bear in mind that higher returns mean higher levels of risk also.

The global real estate market is also becoming a more popular option among Asian investors. As bond rates fall, real estate offshore investment becomes more attractive, providing an alternative to fixed-income markets. The US and UK real estate markets are popular choices among investors. These locations offer stable investment returns in the form of rental income, as well as some protection from the effects of inflation. Some other advantages of offshore investment in real estate include asset protection, tax efficiencies, diversification, and access to expert financial planning services. Economic concerns, as well as concerns over political risks, are factors driving offshore investment.

Karen Cheng, Research Analyst: Asia Associates