Clinton or Trump: either way, expat Yanks ‘need to review their money plans’

Whoever end up with the keys to the White House on 8 November, change is on its way, and American expatriates are advised to consider taking action now, before the polls open and the countdown begins, says deVere Group chief executive Nigel Green.

Like many other observers, Green, pictured below, believes the race for president is, for now, too close to call. “But one thing is certain,” he adds.

“This unusual election cycle has changed US politics, and this will impact how Americans create, grow, maximise and protect their finances moving forward.”

According to Green, if Donald Trump, the Republican party nominee, wins the election, “there is likely to be an immediate negative shock in the financial markets, due to increased levels of uncertainty and a shaking-up of the status quo. In response, it can be expected that the Fed will hold off implementing another interest rate hike until 2017, giving another short-term boost to equities.

“In the longer-term, Trump could preside over looser fiscal policy, including increasing the defence budget and cutting taxes. This would constitute a demand uptick for the US economy.

“That said, he has some controversial protectionist policies that could impede real, sustainable economic growth.

nigel-green-squarish

“Should [Democratic party candidate Hillary] Clinton win, on the other hand, the financial markets are likely to immediately bounce, as they breathe a collective sigh of relief – they highly value the continuity she represents.

“In response, it can be expected that the Fed [would then] raise rates [later] this year, which will be a short-term boost to Treasuries and put equities under pressure.

“However, any financial malaise that could potentially be created is likely to be tempered by the markets’ general sense of relief.”

‘Anti-globalisation bandwagon’

Green says that even though Clinton is from the same party as Barack Obama, who has been president for the past eight years, her election would still mean certain changes almost certainly would lie ahead.

“For instance, like Trump, she has also jumped on the anti-globalisation bandwagon, and this could damage longer-term economic growth.

“In addition, tax hikes [would be] likely to be on their way for wealthier American families.”

Investors who believe their portfolios might need to be reviewed in advance of such changes, Green says, may wish to  seek advice from a professional wealth manager.

Based in Dubai, with administrative offices in Malta, the deVere Group claims to be the world’s largest financial advisory organisation specialising in looking after expatriates. It has been looking after American expats since around 2011, and about a year later, opened offices in New York City and Miami, to accommodate American clients as well as expatriates of other nationalities who are resident in the US.

As reported, the expatriate arms of both the Democratic and Republican parties have been stepping up their activities aimed at getting expat Americans registered to vote in the November election, and ensuring that they vote the way the respective party organisations wish them to.

The American Citizens Abroad in August wrote to the presidential candidates in order to obtain their official stance on eight key issues of concern to expats, and an ACA spokeswoman says they are hoping to be able to report their findings soon.

Among the issues high on the list of many expat activists is a proposal to introduce a “same country exemption” amendment to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a piece of legislation which has made it difficult for American expatriates to obtain and keep non-US bank accounts since it came into force at the beginning of 2013.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

Read more from Helen Burggraf

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