Q&A: Global investing for your family


Experience teaches us it’s unwise to put all your eggs in one basket – and spreading the risk is exactly what offshore exposure does for your investment portfolio. But with so many products and assets available to investors looking abroad, the process can seem daunting. Craig Sher, Head of Research and Development at Discovery Invest, breaks down what to consider, and how a global endowment can help.

Offshore investing is on the minds of many South Africans seeking security, stability and more opportunities abroad, so the recent launch of Discovery Invest’s enhanced global offering comes at a relevant time. We sat down with Craig Sher, Head of Research and Development at Discovery Invest, for his take.

Q: Should ordinary investors consider investing globally?

Yes. Having an adequate portion of international exposure is a smart move for any investor because diversification is key to building and protecting your wealth.

Investing globally spreads your portfolio’s risk across different geographical regions, global currencies, and sectors of industry. It also offers access to great investment opportunities that aren’t as readily available locally, like technology, healthcare, utilities, energy, and motor manufacturing.

Q: What are your options to gain more international exposure?

There are many. You can invest locally and rely on a South African unit trust to get international exposure. In this case, your money is still in South Africa. An alternative is to physically take your money abroad, in which case you have even more options – all of which come with very different implications when it comes to tax and estate planning. That’s where a product like a global endowment can come in handy.

Q: How does a global endowment make investing globally easier?

An endowment can help address a lot of potential pitfalls, before they happen. For starters, the admin involved can be dramatically simplified.

With the Discovery Global Endowment, for example, you can start an investment digitally – which in most cases means no paperwork at all. You have access to a wide range of investment options and currencies all within the same global endowment vehicle. You can also switch between different investment options whenever needed.

The second plus is tax. Discovery’s Global Endowment is structured so that all the tedious tax work is taken care of on your behalf, making it a neat and clean solution for investors.

Lastly, a global endowment provides very efficient estate planning. With the Discovery Global Endowment, you can nominate a beneficiary for proceeds on an endowment, so inter-generational transfer happens quickly and smoothly. This can save a great deal of pain and stress in the event of a death.

We offer a wide range of flexible global solutions to suit investors with different objectives, risk profiles and needs. These were all designed to help ensure that your efforts to provide for your family aren’t undermined by undue taxation or complications, but rather that they work towards building your and your family’s wealth.

Q: What makes Discovery Invest’s new global solution so special?

Our biggest perk is really our unique exchange-rate enhancer, which allows you to buy investments in US dollars, British pounds and euros below the prevailing exchange rate. This means that whatever the exchange rate is on the day, investors in the Discovery Global Endowment can buy at significantly better rates than anywhere else.

This innovation, along with our associations with some of the world’s leading investment managers – BlackRock and Goldman Sachs Asset Management – makes the Discovery Global Endowment a highly competitive medium- to long-term global investment solution for South Africans looking to invest offshore.

This article first appeared on Parent24.

Disclaimer: Discovery Life International, the Guernsey branch of Discovery Life Limited (South Africa), licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission under the Insurance Business (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2002, to carry on long-term insurance business. Discovery Life Limited is a registered long term insurer and authorised financial services provider. Registration number 1966/003901/06. Discovery Life Investment Services Pty (Ltd): Registration number 2007/005969/07, is an authorised financial services provider. The views and opinions expressed in this article are for information purposes only and should not be seen as advice as defined in the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. Discovery shall not be liable for any actions taken by any person based on the correctness of this information. For full details on the products, benefits and any conditions, please refer to the relevant fact file. For tailored financial advice, please contact your financial adviser.


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