This year’s Expat Explorer survey reveals that expats have responded to global economic woes by changing their saving and investment patterns. Broadly speaking, several trends have emerged. First and foremost there has been a shift from cash investments. For some European countries, for example Spain and the UK, the drop in proportion of cash savings has been as much as 8% during time spent living in the country. The largest drop in the proportion of cash investments can be seen amongst expats living in Australia. These have dropped from 42% when they first moved to 29% nowadays. Similarly, in New Zealand 34% of expats held their wealth in cash investments compared to just 18% now.
It’s worth noting here that both Australia and New Zealand are host to a large number of retirees and expat lifers - expats who have lived in their current country for at least three years. These groups of expats are more likely to make long term commitments to their host countries – and what better way to do this than buying a house!
The findings of the survey also revealed that the tendency to hold longer term investments increases with age. Expats aged over 55 are more inclined to hold the majority of their investments in equities and bonds (17%) and real estate (30%) but less likely to invest in cash (22%) than expats on average (28%).
On the other hand, younger expats tend to opt for cash investments and are unlikely to have built up as much of an investment profile. A third of those aged between 18 and 34 hold their investments in cash rather than equities (7%), real estate (12%) and fixed income (5%).
For more results from our Expat Explorer survey, visit our interactive tool.