5 Steps To Opening An Offshore Bank Account header graphic

5 Steps To Opening An Offshore Bank Account

If you`re investing for the first time in an offshore account, it can be confusing. You must choose a reputable bank and handle the ins and outs of offshore accounting procedures. There are no first time investing procedures to follow. However, the following five simple steps will give you the information you need.

First, figure out how much you want to invest. If you can only invest $1,000, focus on the institutions that allow that minimum.

Next, which jurisdictions do you have access to? Keep in mind that the bank or institution must be authorized to deal with your particular country of residence. If jurisdictional issues prevent fund access, you may be required to use an appropriate structure; you can always use a mail redirection service as well to access to offshore investments without much problem.

Next, which specific fund do you want to invest in? To choose, search the Internet, read offshore investment guides and publications, or use an investment information provider.

Your research should focus on the fund's previous performance, its management and assets. Watch it for three to six months before you invest, and don't rush into anything.

Next, before you can invest, decide whether you want a broker or will do this yourself. If you choose a broker, you`ll next need to call the broker and have him or her make the needed arrangements. If you decide to do it yourself, request a current copy of the fund's prospectus and then begin the proper investment proceedings from there. To obtain a prospectus from the fund, fax a request for it. The following is a sample of how you might word it:

Dear XXXXXXXXX,

I am the investment administrator of a company domiciled in (insert tax haven here).

I would appreciate a current copy of your prospectus so that I may invest in your fund.

My mailing address is XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX

Kind regards, XXXXXXXX

I have used this type of letter often. Even when I used an Australian postal address, the fund still sent the prospectus, even though they also sent a letter stating that they were not authorized to deal with Australian residents, and therefore could not take my investment. They did give their account details, though, for my information.

Finally, if you`ve met all criteria and want to go ahead with the investment, a bank draft is the easiest payment method. Just attach the check to the completed prospectus and send it to the fund.

When you set up the bank draft, if you use a bank with an international essence, you`ll likely raise fewer questions. You also cannot post the prospectus from a country that the fund is not authorized to deal with.

The above five steps should make your first offshore investment experience relatively easy and even fun. You should know that the fund may still deal with you even if all their criteria are not met, but following the steps above should be your easiest route to opening an offshore account.