• 3 ways to save money on your fixed cost in Dubai

    A penny saved is a penny earned.  Saving money is the most straightforward way to accumulate wealth and you can start today. There are proven ways to save money, but you first need to be aware of the main costs of Dubai residents in order to determine how you can maximize your savings.   Read More...

  • Almost 5 out of 10 people in the UAE have a debt

    Almost daily we see temptations to buy a car, a new villa or apartment, nice furniture and to have dinner in a nice restaurant. Who am I to the advertisers? I can’t afford to buy all those things with my earnings, but still it stays in my thoughts.   Read More...

  • How do you know if you can trust a financial advisor?

    Many expats in the UAE receive phone calls from various companies offering financial advice. By email, advertisement, in the malls and various other ways Dubai Residents are asked to part with their money. This is not only applicable to financial advisory firms.   Read More...

  • What’s the point of having a tax-free country when UAE residents are not saving money?

    UAE has been very kind towards it’s residents. There are almost no developed countries in the world with a higher standard of living where you have 0% income tax, 0% capital gain tax and 0% inheritance tax. What is going on in the UAE?   Read More...

  • Life insurance: why is it important and what should Dubai expats select?

    WHY LIFE INSURANCE?Finding the right life insurance is not easy. That’s why it is very important that you tailor your life insurance so that it will fit your needs for the rest of your life. This topic does not generally appeal to most people, as they would rather not think about the situations which would warrant an insurance.   Read More...

  • What is getting more expensive or cheaper in Dubai?

    Many people in Dubai complain about the growing cost of living in Dubai. To understand how this is affecting us, we need to understand which kind of costs are increasing and which are decreasing. By using information from the Dubai statistics center, I will analyze and explain the impact of these costs on Dubai residents.Below are the sectors which are increasing the fastest in price:Miscellaneous goods and servicesTransportEducationClothing and footwearIn Jan’2017 alone the miscellaneous ...  Read More...

  • How to save money in Dubai?

    Many of my clients ask me how they can save money while living in a city like Dubai. They feel that the cost of living is high and expenses stack up easily. Before they notice, they have spent a lot of money and often can’t precisely put their finger on what they are spending their money on.   Read More...

  • Do expats in the UAE really need a financial advisor?

    Often I hear from expats in Dubai and the UAE that “their financial situation is taken care of”. Another comment which I hear frequently is that “I already have a financial advisor”, “I already invested in to something” and other similar replies. What does a financial advisor really do?   Read More...

  • What is essential for parents education planning?

    All parents want the best for their children. Giving children the right education and access to opportunities is one of the most essential roles that parents try to fulfill. Education is a significant factor affecting career path and income, and is becoming increasingly more important.   Read More...

  • What are the economic consequences of Donald Trump becoming President?

    Donald Trump is running for president of the United States. What started out as an unlikely scenario is becoming reality. He will become the republican nominee to run for president, meaning that he has a fair shot at becoming the US president.   Read More...

  • What happened with the Chinese stock market in 2015?

    China is being hit in the summer of 2015 with a market correction, recovered slightly and now it’s going down again. Many investors made money in the Chinese stock market, but it seems that investors are losing their appetite for China. I’m going to look deeper in to the reasons behind the market correction.   Read More...

  • Will the EURO weaken or strengthening the coming year against the dollar?

    A lot of European expats in the UAE still think in EURO’s and send money back to their home country. For them the EURO rate is something they like to follow or must follow. For others the EURO rate might affect them as well.   Read More...

  • Expat females in Dubai responsible for 80% of consumer spending

    In one of my earlier posts I have mentioned that expats should watch what they are spending in Dubai. There is a culture of spending which has been carefully built up in Dubai. In the US consumer spending is responsible for 70% of the GDP.   Read More...

  • Expats in the UAE need to take personal responsibility for their future

    Expats that arrive in the UAE have left their company and/or home country, where most of them were automatically contributing in to a pension scheme. Their contribution was deducted from their salary before they received it. In the UAE this is not the case.   Read More...

  • What is the point of living in Dubai if you are not saving?

    UAE is a tax free country and many expats are very grateful for that. The country cannot afford for that reason to pay expats a pension if they haven’t saved enough. The same accounts for most countries in the world if you are a citizen, but if you are not a resident and therefore not paying tax, the benefits will also disappear.   Read More...

  • CEO`s still getting bonuses based on the stock performance...

    A recent study from Cornell shows that paying CEO’s bonuses based on the company stock performance does not necessarily lead to a better performance for the company. Decades of consistent evidence is pointing towards the direction that we should look at different options to reward CEO’s. Why is the number of CEO’s that are getting bonuses based on the stock performance still growing?   Read More...

  • Reliable data is necessary for making the right investment decision...

    Data is one of your most valuable assets when you invest. Especially when you limit yourself to select the 5 best mutual funds for yourself, for example. If you are working with information that is not relevant or incorrect, making the right decision becomes more like a gamble.   Read More...

  • Do investors and expats that save money in the UAE really know their risk tolerance?

    Are investors or expats that are saving in the UAE ready to lose money?Warren Buffet once said, “If you don’t have the stomach to see 50% of your stocks going down, than you should not invest in the stock market”. I believe that many investors/expats that are saving their money in the UAE are not aware of their own risk tolerance, maybe because advisers have not asked them properly about it or they have been given a nicer picture of reality. In my profession I come across many expats in the UAE ...  Read More...

  • How does an expat in the UAE know if he can trust a financial advisor?

    Many expats in the UAE receive phone calls from various companies offering financial advice. We will discuss in another blog further about who the companies behind these phone calls are, but nowadays also most banks are having a wealth manager or a relationship manager who offers financial advice. Together with the already established financial advisors more expats are being called to sit down for a meeting with a financial advisor who can help them to plan their future.   Read More...

  • What is the value of my will in the UAE and Dubai?

    A lot of expats in the UAE are wrongly informed about setting up their will. People that I know have sought advice from lawyers, who have provided the wrong information. This is mainly because there is no immediately consequence until the will is executed.   Read More...

  • Why do people think they don`t need life insurance?

    The misconception with life insurance is that YOU don’t need it in most cases. Most of my clients that choose to insure themselves don’t need it. The reason they are taking a life insurance is that their family needs the money when they pass away.   Read More...

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  • Why do people spend money they don't have?

    UAE residents are famous for spending money they don't have. Buying on credit is as normal as going to the grocery stores everyday. 

    What is driven this need to do this? Feeling good is the first reason why UAE residents do this. It's called retail therapy and it's a psychological effect. When people buy things it makes them feel happier. 

    The second reason is to keep up. This social factor is driven by the need to fit in with others. Let's be honest, most people are followers not leaders. People that are insecure are more likely to feel the need to fit in.

    The third reason is that in the UAE it's very easy to get credit. By making it easy for people to borrow, you increase the likely hood that people will do this. 

    The last reason is ignorance. UAE residents don't always know what they are spending and don't keep track on this. What you don't know, might not hurt you. 

    Do you spend money that you don't have?

  • Dubai school fees are not justified

    School fees have increased by 40% on average in recent years. In 2012/13, fees were AED24,541 ($6,600 £4,900 €5,640), on average, and now they are AED34,552 (Dubai KHDA).

    UAE school fees are the second highest in the world (HSBC). What great education do we get out of this? UAE ranks 48 out of 76 countries globally for school education (OECD). Just above Uruguay (nr. 49), where parents pay no school fees and below Romania (nr. 47), which also has a free-tuition system. 

    It's no coincidence that Dubai ordered a freeze on private school fees for 2018/2019. Private schools, which are almost all schools in Dubai need to start putting education as priority nr. 1, instead of maximizing their profits.

    When UAE parents pay the second highest school fees in the world, schools should deliver them the nr. 1 or nr. 2 spot in the world for education.

    "Education is the most powerful weapon in the world which you can use to change the world" Nelson Mandela.

  • 10 reasons why people come to Dubai and leave Dubai

    More than 90% of the people living in Dubai are not born in the country. What are the reasons that people choose to come to Dubai and what are the reasons that people decide to leave the country?

    10 reasons to come:

    - Lifestyle and leisure, Dubai is a top tourist destination.
    - Weather, 342 days of sunshine.
    - Strong economy, compared to other gulf cities.  
    - Tax free living, only 5% VAT.
    - Infrastructure, roads and public transportation.
    - Affordable luxury, also for not rich people.
    - International cuisine with many different restaurants.
    - Well connected, Dubai is between Africa, Europe and Asia.
    - Melting pot, 200+ nationalities living in Dubai.
    - Safety, Dubai police is fantastic.

    10 reasons people might leave

    - Citizenship, not possible for residents.
    - People don't end up making loads of money.
    - Fake friendships and relationships, superficial contact with others.
    - Job security, it's easy to be fired.
    - Nationality matters, different wages for different nationalities.
    - Wasting money, there a lot of temptations.
    - Reality check doesn't happen often.
    - Cost of living: mainly tuition, healthcare and housing.
    - Debt is easy to get difficult to solve.
    - Job market is competitive.

  • China vs India

    China has currently the largest working age population, however India will overtake them within years. 

    My question is simple, how many women are working in both countries? According to Worldbank 24.5% of the women work in India vs China 43.7%. Which is almost double the amount. 

    When India overtakes China and has 1B working age population and China 989M, the amount of women working in India will be 120M and in China 216M. 

    This means that although India will have in the future the largest working age population, China will still have the largest working population in the world.

  • 64% of the UAE population doesn't have any form of pension at all

    64% of the UAE population doesn't have any form of pension at all.

    This is according to gulfnews.com and this is not normal. 

    According to HSBC Expat Explorer survey average salary for expats in Dubai is $138,177 (Dh507,110) per annum. 

    Not all UAE residents will earn that salary, but we are in a tax-free country. This makes the disposable income that people have one of the highest in the world. 

    No pension will be given by the UAE government. If you are thinking of depending on your family at retirement that is not noble and you will be a financial burden on them. The later you start with your retirement the bigger the pension gap will be. 

    This dream will end bad for the dreamers that are not taking care of their future. 

    The UAE residents that are having a pension in place are ignoring the crowd, because this is not the trend. I hope that they will continue doing this, because they will have the lifestyle that they want at retirement and be financially independent.  

    What is your experience with pension planning? 

  • A great story from a couple that retired successfully by saving

    Christopher Lynch says he and his wife have “always been the saving type,” The Lynches started investing their savings in to their pension plan at the start of their career. 

    Today, they have a net worth of more than $1.5 million. “We achieved this through aggressive investing in our retirement accounts, keeping our debt low and not living extravagantly. By aggressive investing, I don’t mean risky, most of our investments were in indexed mutual funds, but by allocating more than 25 percent of our salaries to our retirement accounts.”

    When Lynch’s wife retired in 2001 at 50, they were each earning about $60,000. Though Lynch’s income had reached $100,000 when he retired in 2014, he was accustomed to living on much less. 

    While the Lynches, who have two children, didn’t drive fancy cars, splurge on clothes and jewelry or purchase the latest electronic gadgets, they lived comfortably. “We never felt that we were underprivileged; we just didn’t feel a need to keep up with the Joneses,” 

    What is your experience with saving for your retirement? 

    (Source: www.moneypeach.com

  • Buying a Porsche vs investing the money instead

    Yesterday I saw two football team mates of mine driving away with a Porsche. 

    As a financial planner, I could not stop thinking about the money that was wasted by buying an exotic car.

    I started to make some calculations about the real cost of owning a Porsche vs investing that money instead. 

    According to www.edmunds.com the minimum you spend over a period of 5 years on a Porsche is $78,992. This includes depreciation. 

    If $78,993 would have been invested with 7% growth the value in 5 years will be $110,790 in 10 years $155,389 and 20 years $305,674.

    Would you buy a Porsche or invest that money instead?

  • How deep are UAE residents in Debt?

    430,000,000,000 Dirham is the total amount of credit card loans, car loans and other forms of personal borrowings incurred by UAE residents.

    The more you are in debt, the harder it will be to save money. Making it more likely that you need to borrow more the next time you have a large expense.

    It is therefore no coincidence that the growth rate of personal loans is 7.5% with UAE residents.  Build up an emergency fund first. 

    This will be used for periods when you are short of cash and have large expenses. This will avoid the need to take a loan. After withdrawing out of your emergency fund make sure that you bring it back to the same level, so that you also have a buffer for the future. 

    How deep are you in debt?

  • Has the UAE really become more expensive to live in?

    VAT has been introduced in 2018 and the effects of it are becoming clear now. It is time to see if the UAE has become more expensive and if so, how much more? 

    According to the National Bureau of Statistics in the UAE inflation has gone up January with 4.8%, February with 4.5% and March with 3.4%. At the same time in Dubai according to the Dubai Statistics center the inflation has gone up in January with 2.04%, but in February it went down with -0.14% and March -0.34%.

    The UAE is getting more expensive, however Dubai has a negative inflation rate in February and March. Which means that prices are going down in Dubai. The largest contributors to the negative inflation rate in Dubai is the housing rental market, food and beverages and transport. 

    Looking at the data, it is a good time to start living in Dubai. Prices elsewhere in the UAE are going up quite drastically, but not in Dubai. 

    What do you think about the inflation in the UAE? 

  • Why is almost half of the UAE population in debt?

    According to Payfort not only is almost half of the UAE population in debt also around 30% of the population is not able to save anything at all.

    This is not normal.

    According to Dr. John Gathergood who studied the emotional effects of debt, those who struggle to pay off their debts and loans are more than twice as likely to experience a host of mental health problems, including depression and severe anxiety.The same study also found a correlation between high amounts of debt and higher rates of stress and depression. 

    According to Sonya Britt, assistant professor of family studies at Kansas State University it is arguments about money that are the top predictor of divorce. The Royal College of Psychiatrists also concluded that large amounts of debt have severe effects on a household’s psychological well-being. 

    Most people don't want their family and friends to know they're struggling with debt. Debt is often a taboo topic. 85% of respondents to a survey on creditcard.com were hesitant to talk about their credit card debt. 

    What is your experience with debt?

  • What are the 10 best things to do during retirement?

    According to MarketWatch and Forbes we can enjoy our retirement by doing the following 10 things. 

    1)  Get a job - you might need the money and you can do something totally different. Maybe something you always wanted to be? 

    2)  Volunteer - do something back for the community and you might end up enjoying it more than you think.  

    3) Take up a sport - always wanted to try golf or swimming? Now is your chance to try it out. 

    4) Get a hobby - become a dedicated photographer or car collector. Hidden passions and interest can be explored. 

    6) Start a business - did you ever want to own your own business? This is your chance to be your own boss. 

    7) Travel - the regret of not being able to have seen a place can end now. You can travel to any destination you want. 

    8) Skip winters - stay in the ideal climate, where the sun keeps shining.

    9) Grand children - if you have them, spend all the time you want with them. 

    10) Try new things out every week - challenge yourself to do new things. 

    How are you planning to spend your retirement? 

  • Why do I advice investors not to buy properties in Dubai?

    If we look at below graph we see that the Dubai property value was growing from 2011 till 2014.  

    Since 2015 it has been negative and this trend is not stopping. With more supply of units coming in the real estate market every year and a decreasing interest of buyers. The Dubai property market has become a place where supply is high and the demand is low. In the past 2 years Dubai rents continue to fall, decreasing the rental yield of investors. Interest rates and EIBOR are rising, making it more expensive to borrow money. Maintenance charges are increasing. 

    This is why I can't advice investors to invest in the Dubai real estate market right now. 

    What is your experience with investing in the Dubai real estate market? 

  • Sustainable way of saving money on children clothes

    How can parents save money on their children clothes?

    This brand allows children clothes to be transformed. As a result the children can keep using it while growing up. Not only does it help parents to #save money it is also #sustainable!

    This will help to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal nr. 12 Responsible Consumption and Production.  

    See here the video


  • Life insurance seminar

    Life insurance seminar 

    Tuesday 27 February There are 4,500 cancer cases diagnosed every year in the UAE. That's 12 per day. The average age for a life cover claim in the UAE is 50 years. 

    The average age for a critical illness claim in the UAE is 45 years. 83% of the life cover claims in the UAE are from males. 

    58% of the critical illness claims in the UAE are from females. The main reason for a life or critical illness claim with males is vascular (heart attack + stroke). 

    With females the main reason for a life or critical illness claim is cancer. Interested to know more and how to protect yourself? 

    Attendance is free with complimentary snacks and drinks.

    Register now: simon.snelder@capstoneinsurance.ae or 0528790630

  • Bitcoin

    The Bitcoin continues to go down in 2018. 

    In my post 8 January 2018, I mentioned that the Bitcoin was starting to show signs of a (strong) correction. In below graph we see that the correction has continued. Many investors thought to make quick money with Bitcoin, but who really made money? 

    There must have been a large amount of people that bought Bitcoins at a high price compared to the price now. The sky was the limit, right?

    The best investment strategy can turn into the worst if you don't have the stomach to see it through. The Bitcoin has high volatility and trust me you must have strong nerves to look at a large investment going double digits up and down (now mostly down) in a short period of time. 

    What are your thoughts about Bitcoin?

  • Inflation Dubai 2017

    Which prices increased or decreased in Dubai 2017?

    There has been some big movements the past year in what consumers are paying for goods and services. Overall things have become more expensive. 

    Tobacco prices went up 58.81% in October not the right month to start smoking. Transport prices accelerated to an increase of 7.14% in June and 5.59% in December, but the brakes were on in July when it went down with 8.32%.Education increased in September with 2.19%. Which is the start of the new school year. Restaurants and hotels increased their prices with 2.45% in September after the hot summer. 

    There was also good news in 2017. Recreation and culture prices went down with 14.43% in May and Tobacco prices were decreased with 5.6% in January at the start of the year.   

    What is your experiences with inflation in 2017?

  • Real life example Western expat saving money

    I spoke today with a western expat about saving money!

    His salary is AED 25,000 and on average he is saving AED 15,000. That is 60% of his salary!

    About his lifestyle; he travels for pleasure once a month, goes out for dinner weekly and lives in a good location in Dubai with his wife.  

    Why is he saving money? He wants to retire one day and to be financially independent.  

    If a western expat can save money, so can we!

    What is your experience with saving money? 

  • Real life example of working mom saving money

    I spoke today with a working mom about saving money.

    Her salary is AED 20,000 and she is saving AED 9,700. That is 49% of her salary!

    She has 2 children and is married. Both of her children go to school and she pays for the school fees and housing. She works full-time and lives in Dubai.  

    Her salary has not increased for the past years, but still manages to save money. Her motivation to save money is to make sure that her children can go to University and that her family can have a good standard of living when she stops working.

    If a working mom can save money, so can we! 

    What are your experiences with saving money?

  • Real life example office boy saving money

    I spoke yesterday with our office boy about saving money. 

    His salary is AED 1,500 per month and he is saving AED 1,200. That is 80% of his salary!

    The company pays for his bed space, transportation to the office and food. We calculated that this will cost around AED 1,000 per month. 

    What is he doing with his savings? He is sending it back home to India, so that he can support his mother and sister. 

    If the office boy can save money, so can we! 

    What is your experience with saving money?

  • Saving money real life example Uber driver

    "I met a hero Uber driver this morning.

    He arrived 14 years ago from Pakistan as a construction worker making AED 700 per month. Now he owns his own car, is an Uber driver and is sending AED 7,500 a month to his home country.

    By doing that he is providing a good life to his family and quality education to his children.

    If a construction worker can save money, so can we!"

    This story was shared with me today through a friend who wishes to stay anonymous.

    What are your experiences with saving money in the UAE?

  • Bitcion

    Is Bitcoin a bubble yes or no?

    I think exceptional growth comes with significant corrections. Bitcoin has seen exceptional growth in 2017, all assets have a correction after the price inflates too fast. We see below the Bitcoin performance from the past month and it looks like the correction in price has started. 

  • VAT

    VAT was introduced 01-01-2018 in the UAE.

    My experience so far? I have received calls from clients that need more help with the implementation, which I understand. I refer them to David Daly a VAT expert. 

    There were 2 incidents where I saw that shops increased their prices with 13% instead of the 5% (VAT is 5%). After pointing this out to the owners, they came up with some excuses. It is not correct to make an extra 8% profit on me. Hopefully they will adjust this soon. Many other companies are doing a great job and trying their best to be fair and correct in implementing VAT, without causing any harm.

  • UAE Wills seminar 19th December

    Yesterday night was the UAE Wills seminar, which I organized together with Nirav Rajthala & Rosil Barrantes. The speaker Aysha Bari from Almaazi Advocates & Legal consultancy did a great job by educating and informing Dubai residents about UAE Wills.

    There is so much important information about this, which we can not ignore. 

    - 58% of Dubai expats have assets in the UAE and less than 10% of them have set up a UAE Will. This means that more than 90% of the Dubai expats with assets will fall under Sharia law even if they are non-Muslim.  
    - As a parent you want to make sure that the guardianship of your children is take care of.  In case there is a death of the parent(s) and there is no UAE Will in place then your children might end up (temporally) with child care until the guardianship is decided by court. 

    We received good feedback from the audience and hopefully we managed to add value to them. 

  • Recruiting for financial planners/advisors

    We are recruiting for financial planners/advisors!  Do you think you can financially advice clients? Are you ready to become an expert on investments, retirement planning, savings and life insurances?

    Join our team now! - We are looking for experienced and new financial planners/advisors - We train and mentor you so that you can make a difference to others- Unbiased financial advice (we have dozens of partners) Send your CV to: simon.snelder@capstoneinsurance.aeOr call me: +971528790630

  • VAT Seminar

    The VAT seminar 7 November was (again) a great success! I want to thank David Daly & Peter Whatley from Argent Gulf consulting for the informative and well presented seminar! I highly recommend working with them, they are experts on VAT and care about adding value. I organized and hosted this event in our office, so that I could add value to my clients & network by educating them about VAT.

  • Free financial health check

    Free financial health check! When was your last financial health check? 

    - Do you have enough funds in place for your retirement?
    - Are their enough funds in place for your children's university?
    - Are you protected in case of loss of income?
    - Do you have enough savings in place in case of an emergency?
    - If something happens to you tomorrow will your family be financially distressed?
    - Are your assets growing (fast enough)?
    - Which investment suits you and are you investing in the right one?

    This and many more questions can be answered. Reach out to me for a complimentary financial health check. Mobile: +971528790630 E: simon.snelder@capstoneinsurance.ae

  • VAT Seminar 25th September

    VAT Seminar 25th September was very informative! It was hosted in our office and we had many interested people turning up. I want to thank our fantastic speakers; David Daly, Bill Anderson and Peter Whatley partners from Argent Gulf Consulting.

    The audience was contentiously interacting through Q&A sessions with them. Many tough and complex questions were answered from various businesses. Giving the right advice is what we do at Capstone, that's why we were very proud to partner up with Argent Gulf Consulting. We hope that we can host more VAT seminars the coming period. Companies in the UAE need people like David, Bill and Peter to consult them on what is going to happen (very soon) with VAT.  

  • Europe has more than 2 trillion pension savings gap

    Europe's pension savings gap is €2,010,000,000,000 more than €2 Trillion (source Mind the gap, Aviva 2016). 

    Germany has the largest pension savings gap followed by UK and France. These are also the countries with the highest numbers of European citizens. There is a difference within Europe pension savings gap when we look at the separate countries. Germany have 1/3 more citizens with 82+M  than Italy which has 60+M citizens. However, Germany pension savings gap is 3.5 times larger than Italy. 

    In 2010 the same report showed that Europe's pension savings gap was 1,903 billion and six years later in 2016 it was 2,010 billion. Which is an increase of 5.62%. European citizens should wake up and start reducing their pension savings gap before it's too late. 

  • Life cover claims by condition and gender

    Below statistics from Zurich shows us a rear insight in the life cover claims by condition. What are the conditions that people in the UAE pass away from? 

    The main reasons are vascular (heart attack + stroke) 41%, cancer 31% and road traffic accidents 10%. The main reasons men pass away is vascular 48%, cancer 26%, accidents 12%, renal 2% and others 12%. The main reasons woman pass away is cancer 50%, vascular 19%, accident 9% and others 22%. 

    We see a clear difference between the main conditions of death between the genders. Men are 2.5 times more likely to pass away from vascular conditions than woman, but woman are almost 2 times more likely to pass away from cancer than men. 

    Knowing what is statistically the most likely reason you might pass away allows you to take preventive actions to decrease the possibility that it will happen to you. It also allows you to cover yourself on the conditions that will most likely effect you. 

  • UAE statistics on the average age of claims

    Nobody likes to talk about it, but it could happen to anyone. I'm going to discuss briefly the UAE statistics from Zurich (One of the largest life insurance companies in the world). 

    50 years is the average age for life cover claimants and 27 was the youngest life cover claimant in 2016. This is the oldest average age of claimants when it comes to their covers. 49 years is the average age for family income claimants and 48 for critical illness. 45 years for accidental death and 43 for hospitalization. Finally, permanent and total disability has an average age of 41 years for claimants. 

    How many people do you know are in their 40's or 50? I know quite a lot of them. Getting a life cover is not something you do for yourself. You take it, because you want your beneficiaries (family and people close to you) to not be financially disturbed if something happens to you. When you take critical illness cover, hospitalization and permanent and total disability cover you take it to protect yourself. When your health changes, you will be financially effected. A combination of being out of work or lower income, high medical bills and other bills will gradually take a large toll on your financial situation. It might even withhold you from getting all the medical treatment that you need. Zurich statistics allow us to be educated about the risks in life, but we decide to act on it or to ignore it. 

  • The gap between the number of years retirees and pre-retirees expect to save for retirement

    Pre-retirees expect to save 12 years less than current retirees in the UAE.

    Current retirees who have successfully managed to retire based on what they have saved in the past their example is not being followed by the current generation. The pre-retirees think that it will take them less time to reach the same level. Where is this confidence coming from? 

    Is it because the current generation will earn more than their previous one? Approx since 1980 western countries have seen a trend difference in the middles class wealth distribution. The wealth distribution stopped going in favor towards the majority of the people (middle class and lower class) and started to go more towards the wealthiest 5% and 1% of the people. In the USA right now more than 50% of all earnings go to the richest 1%. 

    Perhaps pre-retirees are correct to assume that with less time, they can make more money. Is this true? Let's see what happens if you save 18 years instead of 30 years. 

    Example 1) You save $15,000 for 30 years with a compounded growth of 5%. This will be after 30 years $1,046,411.85.

    Example 2) You save $15,000 for 18 years (12 years less) with a compounded growth of 5%. This will be after 18 years $443,085.06.

    The difference is that the retiree in example 1 who saved for 30 years has more than double the amount than the pre-retiree in example 2. With prices going up (inflation), wealth going towards the richest 5% and 1% and salaries not increasing double digit, do you really think it's a good idea to save 12 years less for your retirement? 

    ‘Reproduced with permission from The Future of Retirement Generations and journeys, published in 2016 by HSBC Holdings plc.’

  • What type are you when it comes to approaching your retirement planning?

    There are 5 different types of approaches towards retirement planning according to a HSBC research.

    The first one is the strategic planner. This type starts early and strategically with saving for his retirement and most of the time this is, because they earn well (27%). The second type is the comfortably affluent (21%). They have financial plans in place while they reach their retirement age. The committed savers are the third type (20%) and they focus on saving instead of spending, however they still have obstacles on their path to retirement. The fourth type is the assured optimists. The people that don't think and plan the future, because they are optimistic about their future (16%). The last type is the concerned realists (17%). It's the more pragmatic and cautious person that doesn't like to take risk. They plan carefully and not impulsive. 

    In my professional experience I believe that the assured optimists type is much larger in Dubai than the average 16% coming out of the research. It's dangerous for your future to not plan ahead when you are not the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. I have been surprised by the strategic planners tactics to make money and the amount of money committed savers manage to put aside.  

    Source picture: ‘Reproduced with permission from The Future of RetirementGenerations and journeys, published in 2016 by HSBCHoldings plc.’

  • Where do people get their advice and/or information from for their retirement?

    Getting retirement advice is essential. How do people get their retirement advice or information? 

    52% of pre-retirees gets it from their friends or family and 48% of retirees as well. 21% of pre-retirees and 18% of retirees from friends or family only. I see this happening quite often. One client of mine told me that his colleagues/friends all try to convince him to invest in the same thing they invested. One colleague is telling him to invest in real estate, the other one in the saving plan that he took from his bank and the other one in some scheme back home. 

    36% of retirees and 42% of retirees get advice from professionals and 8% of pre-retirees and 11% of retirees only from professionals. This means that more people get advice from their friends/family and/or information than from professionals. Just let this sink in for a second. If you go to a doctor or if you go to a lawyer more people will not go to a doctor or to a lawyer for the same problem, but instead ask their friends/family for advice and/or information. Does that make sense? 

    27% of pre-retirees and 25% of retirees get advice and/or information from media, books or online. 4% of pre-retirees and 2% of retirees only from the same source. 

    Almost double the amount of people gets their information from friends/family instead of literature when it comes to retirement advice and/or information. When you went to university and needed to submit a project and disclose your sources, do you think you will get away with only filling in friends or family? If your company asks you for a justification for a business idea or project and you make a powerpoint and/or a nice report. Will you mention in your report/powerpoint that your source for information and advice was (only) friends or family?

    It is shocking to see that people refuse to consult professionals and/or literature and instead get their advice and/or information from their friends or family. When you have a problem you normally consult a professional, look more information up on it online or in books and you speak about it with friends/family. You don't exclude professionals and literature in your search for answer and advice. 

    ‘Reproduced with permission from The Future of Retirement Generations and journeys, published in 2016 by HSBC Holdings plc.’

  • Almost half of UAE people are not saving for their pension

    43% of surveyed people in the UAE said that they have not started saving for retirement or have stopped/faced difficulties. 

    The inflation in 2015 in Dubai was 5% (source: euromonitor). 

    When almost half of the people in a country are not saving for their future or frequent enough and simultaneously inflation rates can reach levels of 5% meaning that the prices will double in approx 14 years with inflation levels of 5%. Priorities need to be set for example a new car or a better future? A new apartment with a better view or a place to stay in the future? Postponing saving for your pension is the worst thing people can do. Prices will continue to go up and the amount put aside for their pension is not growing. Which will increase the gap for their pension. 

    ‘Reproduced with permission from The Future of Retirement Generations and journeys, published in 2016 by HSBC Holdings plc.’

  • Who has the largest percent of Global GDP?

    In 1820 the countries/continents with the largest percent of global GDP were 1) China  33% 2) Europe 27% 3) India 16% 4) USA 2%

    In 2012 the countries/continents with the largest percent of global GDP were 1) USA 19% 2) Europe 16% 3) China 15% 4) Latin America 8% 5) India 6%

    India use to have the largest percent of Global GDP from 0 to 1500. China was the largest economy in the world after that till around 1830. After that Europe and USA became the largest economies in the world. 

    Looking at the trend China will over take first Europe and soon after that USA and become the largest economy in the world. India has stopped the declining trend in 1980 and have since increased their percent of Global GDP and it looks like they will become over time the second largest economy in the world. 

  • Testimonial

  • World GDP

  • When your business runs on one person

  • Wishful thinking

  • President Obama accomplishments since he took office 1/20/2009 till 4/5/2016

  • The World's Population

  • France elects new President

    France has elected Emmanuel Macron as their new President Sunday 7th May. Almost 2/3 of the French voters decided that the new President should be Emmanuel Macron. 

    What will this mean for the Euro and the European Union? The newly elected president is pro Europe and we can expect the Euro to stabilize and recover further this year. 

    What will this mean for the Gold market? Since 24th April when Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election gold has been dropping. 

    To read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/emmanuel-macron-wins-french-presidential-election-in-landslide-marine-le-pen-2017-5

  • Retirement

    This couple retired in their 30's.How did they achieve this? 

    1) Saving 70% of their income 2) Investing 3) Being disciplined in doing nr. 1 & 2 for 10 years.

    Article link: http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-much-one-couple-saved-to-retire-early-2015-9 

  • Best stocks 2016

    The best stocks of 2016? 

    Nr. 1 Nvidia 207% return in 1 year. Which stocks will be the best performers in 2017? 

    See here the whole article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurengensler/2016/12/19/best-stocks-2016/#649e281262de 

  • Japan stock market

    Japan the cheapest stock market in the developed world. With a supportive monetary policy and government. Inflation going up. An improving corporate sector. I will not be surprised if the Japanese stock market in 2017 will be one of the strongest performers worldwide.

    See here the whole article: http://www.businessinsider.com/3-telltale-signs-the-japan-rally-may-not-be-over-2017-1 

  • UAE Population

    UAE population After a strong growth during 2007-2011 we see a stabilization since 2012. How is this going to effect the housing market, job market and UAE economy?

  • Key indicator bank's in the UAE

    The main indicator for UAE bank's is the loan loss reserves to problem loans. When this happens a loan which is given to a borrower (individual or business), doesn't get paid off in full or partly. This leads to a write off on a bank asset balance sheet. Analyst and investors consider this as valuable information, because this indicates a bank's sense of how stable its lending base is.

  • Gold rebound?

    Gold is making a steady recovery in the past month. Are we going to see it go further up in 2017? My view is that with Donald Trump, Brexit, European elections in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy coming up this year. Gold will most likely continue to recover the coming period.

  • Change of millionaires

    UK has lost 406,000 millionaires in 2016 with $1 million or more.
    Japan has gained 738,000 new millionaires in 2016 with $1 million or more.

    The main reason UK has lost so many millionaires is, because of Brexit. The pound has weakened significantly since the Brexit vote. The Yen has strengthened against the dollar in 2016 creating more millionaires in Japan.

    The dollar is stregnthening in general in the world. The Dirham (AED) is pact against the dollar. This means that many expats in the UAE are becoming wealthier when the dollar is strenghtening. 

  • UAE Female vs Male population

    There are much more males living in the UAE than females. Especially in the 20-55 age groups. In certain age groups there are 3 times more males than females (30-34). How will this effect the workplace and society?

    Being an advisor that helps clients with education planning, pension planning, life insurance, saving plans and investment planning. It is of interest that there is such a lack of proportion between the family structure in the UAE. 

    Male expats can have families back home. I know multiple clients of mine who families are not living in the UAE. This effects their cost of living, because they also need to pay for their family back home. 

  • Euro vs Dollar before and after the election

    Before the election the Euro was gaining momentum against the Dollar and increasing in value. When Donald Trump got elected for president the euro started to loose value against the dollar. The Euro is now 1,077 against 1 Dollar. It might go further down, because the trend is downwards

  • UAE inflation 2016

    Inflation makes the difference between your money getting worth more or less. With negative inflation your money increases in value and with positive inflation your money is getting worth less. In UAE we have positive inflation.

  • Market volatility

    Following Donald Trump’s election victory, global markets experienced heightened volatility. It is important to remember that volatility is an inherent part of investing and in the long term, stock prices are far more likely to be driven by corporate earnings rather than single political or economic events. Time in the markets is a better strategy than trying to time the markets – for example, missing just the 5 best days of the S&P 500 since 1992 would have resulted in under-performance of 284% against the index" Source: Fidelity

  • Financial planner Dubai is Featured in Article

    Just wanted to let you know I got mentioned in the new post from :
    Digital Nomad Nest Egg: How to Save When You Work Globally

    It was recently published here:

     Feel free to share the article on your website or on social media

  • World life expectancy map

    Life expectancy is the only average with its confidence interval applied to the entire population. Now, behavior obviously impact on longevity (Cigarette, Alcohol, junk food, sport, etc ...). Life insurance companies are using these behavioral criteria and life expectancy to assess the risk for life insurance products (Death Borrower). It is also the differentiation between age calculated from the date of birth and biological age (obtained following medical tests).

    The average life expectancy world wide is higher in developed countries than other countries. The premiums for a life insurance is therefore also more expensive in non-developed countries. 

    Having a healthy life style will increase life expectancy with 7 years. Smoking will reduce life expectancy on average with 7 years. 

  • World population in age groups

    The world population broken down in age groups in the world based on 2015.

    From the 30 year age group onward we see a decline in both female and male population in the world. Why would this happen? Perhaps war and other natural or unnatural deaths are effecting the age groups above 30 more than below 30. 

    Females in the world are in larger numbers than males in the oldest age groups. Life expectancy for females is higher than for males. 

  • UAE Economic Freedom compared to the world and region

    How is the UAE Economic Freedom compared to the world and region? 

    UAE is scoring 72.6 in 2016. The world average is 60.7 and the region average is 62.6. Compared to the world and the region the UAE has a higher economic freedom. 

    What is economic freedom? Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every person to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state.

  • UAE population growth since 1960

    UAE has been growing drastically since 1960. Dubai which is not the capital, but is the main city in terms of presence in the world within the UAE has expats living there from over 200 nationalities. 

    The expat growth in the UAE is the main contributor to the growth of population. The focus maintains in the UAE to keep attracting expats to settle down and work in the country. 

    Financial planning is essential for expats. A lot of new expats that settle down need education plans, saving plans, pension plans, protection plans and investment plans. This is one of the main reasons why the amount of financial advisory firms in the UAE has also grown exponential in the past decades. 

  • Adjusted Net National Income UAE

    What is United Arab Emirates adjusted net national income compared to the countries in the region?

    We have in the image illustrated the comparison of the adjusted net national income between the countries in the Middle East. No data from Saudi, Iran, Syria and Yemen was available. 

    Adjusted net national income is gross national income (GNI) minus consumption of fixed capital and total natural resources depletion. 

  • The Tesla effect

    The Tesla effect is so big that the company has to spend $0 on advertising since inception. Tesla has the "exorbitant privilege," which means that what all other car companies must do, Tesla doesn't have to do.
    For example; the new car models, every tweet from Elon Musk and new developments are followed with immense media and social media attention and their costumers are extremely loyal.

    Another factor why Tesla is so successful which is not mentioned in the article is that they attracted top performers to work for them. Companies like Apple lost many talented people working in different levels in their company. The employees that left gave as main reason that Elon Musk reminds them of Steve Jobs. This is the kind of incentive you can not buy.



  • Warren Buffet view on 2% GDP growth in the US

    Warren Buffest nails it when he points out how 2% GDP growth in the US will effect the country:

    "2% of overall growth produces about 1.2% of per capita growth. That may not sound impressive. But in a single generation of, say, 25 years, that rate of growth leads to a gain of 34.4% in real GDP per capita."

    "For 240 years it’s been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start. America’s golden goose of commerce and innovation will continue to lay more and larger eggs. America’s social security promises will be honored and perhaps made more generous"


  • US Stocks recovery continues for weeks

    Below article shows that US  Equity market is almost at the same level before the market correction.
    Many of my clients that I have put in the US market with dollar cost averaging strategy have made money the past months, because of the market volatility. Stocks always go up and down, but never consistently in a straight line.



  • Weekly newsletter 28 December 2015

    2015 is almost over and for investors it was a wild year with ups and downs. The market showed strong movements, especially in emerging markets. 20215 is almost over and we must start looking ahead to 2016 to see where the opportunities are. The market doesn’t always unanimously agree about opportunities and the Japan stock market is one of them. I have spoken with multiple fund managers and they seem to be divided about it. Personally, I think it’s an opportunity for investors and I will try to make my case below.

    Goldman Sachs has provided their outlook for 2016 and below we can see which market they believe will perform stronger than others.



    TOPIX (Tokyo index) is going to make according to them a double digit growth. The European equity market (STOXX 600) is also going to grow strong (in one of my earlier newsletter I have made my case for it).

    Below are the reasons why I think that the Japan stock market is going to outperform other markets in 2016:
    - The economy is going the right direction; low unemployment and growth in real wages
    - The government is making progressive policies; Trade Pacific Partnership signed (TPP) and cutting the corporate tax
    - Improving corporate earnings and governance; better board structure, more efficient allocation of capital, Japanese companies are cash rich and Japan prime minister (Shinzō Abe) is stimulating Japanese companies to provide shareholders higher dividends and to increase their share buybacks and this is already leading to positive results.

    Goldman Sachs is not the only company positive about Japan, this what Blackrock has to say “We prefer stocks over bonds, particularly European and Japanese equities.”

    Overall we can conclude that the Japan stock market has attractive features. A weakening Japanese yen, further monetary easing, and a cyclical recovery of the Japanese economy supports my positive outlook. In addition, Japan remains supported by attractive valuations and further upside in earnings.

  • Weekly newsletter 7 December 2015

    Where can investors look for growth in the stock market?

    In one of my previous newsletters, I have provided more information about the European equity market and the growth potential there. India was one of the best performing stock market in 2014 with a growth of 29%. In 2015 there have been ups and downs in the Indian stock market, but I think that the coming years the Indian stock market has a positive outlook for investors.


    New reforms, strong foreign fund inflows, revival of manufacturing, improvement in the macro-economic situation and rise in corporate earnings growth are believed to be drivers for the coming years in the Indian stock market.
    “Indian companies have done massive restructuring over the last five years. Almost every business has become leaner and focused on efficiency. Because we don't expect further deterioration, we see operating and financial leveraging show its maximum impact in 2017-18” says Ravi Gopalakrishnan, head of equities, Canara Robeco Mutual Fund. (source http://www.businesstoday.in/moneytoday/cover-story/creating-wealth-in-2015-stock-markets-dream-run/story/214102.html)

    See below chart from the Indian stock market history

    The Indian GDP has been growing faster since the change of government in India. Narendra Modi (Prime minister of India) is driving for strong economic growth and the slogan “made in India” is becoming more and more reality in India. With more countries and companies investing in India it is becoming more likely that India has strong potential to outperform China in terms of GDP growth the coming years.


    Investors that have an investment horizon of three to five years, are advised to take a better look at India.
    The indicators are positive and the stock market is still relatively undervalued.

  • Weekly newsletter 25 November 2015 - Will the EURO weaken or strengthening the coming year against the dollar?

    A lot of European expats in the UAE still think in EURO and send money back to their home country. For them the EURO rate is something they like to follow or must follow. For others the EURO rate might affect them as well. For example if company X wants to order goods in EURO from company Y, then if the EURO gets stronger they need to pay more for the same goods. On the other hand the same goods will become cheaper when the EURO goes down against the dollar.

    Historically the Euro rate against the Dollar has been changing since inception, see chart below:

    The euro has been as low as 0.84 since inception. Its peak has been 1.58. The difference between the lowest and highest rate is around 85%. During the financial crisis the euro strengthened significantly against the dollar and afterwards it has been gradually going down with ups and down.
    The FED has been keeping interest low in the US for almost a decade and has been increasing the money supply of Dollars with their stimulation program in the past. This has weakened the dollar against the EURO. The ECB announced in January 2015 the massive quantitative easing program, which increases the EURO money supply. This normally weakens the EURO and we have seen the EURO going down quite significantly this year. Last month Mario Draghi prepared the market by hinting at an extension and increase of the quantitative easing program.

    Friday 20/11/2015 Mario Draghi president of the ECB said the following:

    “If we conclude that the balance of risks to our medium-term price stability objective is skewed to the downside, we will act by using all the instruments available within our mandate. In particular, we consider the APP to be a powerful and flexible instrument, as it can be adjusted in terms of size, composition or duration to achieve a more expansionary policy stance.”
    That may not sound like much, but in central bank speak it's as close to a promise as it gets.
    In recent weeks, Fed officials, including Chairwoman Janet Yellen, have talked up their intention to hike key interest rates -- currently at record lows -- in December. Last week, during testimony before a congressional committee, Yellen said a December rate hike was a “live possibility,” and, most recently, on Tuesday 16-11-2015, San Francisco Fed chief John Williams also said there was “a very strong case” for doing so. (http://www.ibtimes.com/expectations-december-rate-hike-grow-analysts-look-us-fed-policymakers-direction-2180831)

    If the FED is going to increase the interest rate, it will be most likely that investors will turn towards the dollar. On the other hand if the ECB is going to increase the money supply for the EURO with their quantitative easing program the EURO will weaken. It is likely that both of these things will happen the coming months, therefore my expectation is that the EURO will weaken the coming 12 months against the dollar and that it will be likely between 1.02 -1.05 and perhaps even below 1.

  • Weekly newsletter 17 November 2015- In the current uncertainty, what are good markets to invest in?

    ECB hinted last month that they are prepared to extend their quantitative-easing program in December. Equity markets historically react positively to this news. US equity market has risen significantly the past years based on the FED stimulation program.

    The euro is forecasted to weaken against the dollar the coming 12 months, because of ECB decision (more money supply) and because the FED is most likely going to increase the interest for the first time in a decade. When the euro gets weaker, it will strengthening the export in Europe. Europe is exporting more products than importing and therefore it will be overall a positive sign for more growth.

    Why European equity markets deserve a second look

    A number of current factors are positive for European growth, but the investment consensus would seem to be ignoring them, leading to significant undervaluation of Eurozone equities. Paradoxically, this puts the Eurozone in the position of being most unlikely to disappoint the market. Indeed, most of the likely growth outcomes would recast the market view of Europe and effect a positive transformation on the valuation of equities.

    • ·lower commodity prices,
    • a lift to exports and earnings from the weaker euro,
    • a wave of corporate restructuring and reform that ought to deliver better margins and,
    • Finally, a policy stance from European institutions and governments that is generally positive for investors. Read more:http://www.pionline.com/article/20150402/ONLINE/150409971/why-european-equity-markets-deserve-a-second-look

    European stocks rise sharply, Greek shares surge after deal

    17 European shares rose sharply on Tuesday 17 November, helped by encouraging updates from companies such as Germany's United Internet and Dutch-based Randstad , the world's second-biggest staffing company.

    Sentiment was also improved by the latest comments from an executive board member of the European Central Bank, and by Greece's preliminary deal with its international lenders on home foreclosures, analysts said.

    Read more:http://www.reuters.com/finance/markets/europe

  • Best Place To Be An Expat

    The article below is about which place in the world is the best place to be as an expat.
    UAE is rated as nr. 9 with an average expat income of $124,266. 65% of the expats were capable to increase their disposable income by relocating to the UAE.

    Source: BBC.com

  • An interesting articles about India

    Below is an interesting articles about India.

    The president of India is trying to improve the economy from India by bringing in foreign direct investments. This is partly through multinationals that will invest in India to set up a manufacturing factory. India is going to play a more significant role in the future especially in Asia, the country is appealing more and more to investors and I believe that this will expand in the future.

    Source: Asia.Nikkei.com

  • Investment

    In the UK 49% of the CFO from FTSE 350 companies believe that this is not the right time to invest. The main reason is because of the situation in China. The uncertainty of USA interest rate is also affecting their forecast, but tighter monetary policies are being rated as the main reason for their negative outlook.

    Source: Independent.co.uk

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