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Asia has always attracted the more adventurous travellers and has also provided many opportunities for entrepreneurs from around the world.
Asia’s expat entrepreneurs stretch back to the time of silk and spices; to an era when international trade in exotic goods offered the bold the opportunity to gain huge wealth. Today, audacious business people still gravitate to Asia to find their fortune and they are arriving in numbers that far surpass anything seen in the past and from more richly diversified destinations.
Some of Asia’s entrepreneurs have attained legendary status on a global scale. Jim Thompson’s story echoes through the post war history of Thailand. He was credited by Time magazine with singlehandedly rescuing and revitalising the Thai silk trade and no doubt blazed a trail for other expat entrepreneurs to follow.
Today, American entrepreneur Bill Heinecke is celebrated for working his way through Asia in a multitude of industries. His journey has taken him through media, advertising, office cleaning (yes, office cleaning), hotels and hospitality all the way to a position of trusted adviser to the Thai Prime Minister and a hospitality and leisure empire that spreads across the region.
These success stories have no doubt inspired many to seek their fortune in Asia. Today, international expat entrepreneurs work in businesses large and small. However as hard working as they may be, the risks that Asia’s expat entrepreneurs take in their journeys to success may well leave them financially exposed in old age.
Personal financial planning and retirement plans are often not given much priority by business people trying to turn their commercial dreams into reality. However, they are often so focused on their enterprises that their own personal financial planning falls by the wayside. This is a mistake of potentially catastrophic proportions.
State supported pensions, medical care and insurance provided for their fellow countrymen are often not extended to those that seek their fortune abroad. The act of moving to Asia for an extended period often means cutting themselves off from receiving any state support from their government back home. Expat entrepreneurs can find themselves in serious trouble if a business fails or simply does not bring in as much money as expected.
It is essential for expat business people to separate personal financial plans from their business goals. Whatever happens in their entrepreneurial ventures, setting up a flexible savings plan can provide peace of mind later in life.
At Infinity, we know the difficulties faced when putting money aside. We deal with business people across Asia and we are experienced at matching client needs to the right product. Our independent advisers can help expat entrepreneurs look at their finances and create flexible solutions to suit their specific circumstances.
If you are one of Asia’s expat entrepreneurs we salute your ambition and bravery, but don’t make your life as a businessmen an all or nothing gamble. Let us help you put some provision aside so you have a secure future – whatever the outcome of your business endeavours.
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