What should I do with my money?

At first glance this may look like a poll, but I promise it’s not.

I’m an ex-pat who has accumulated a small bit of extra cash. I don’t plan on going back to my home country for a long while and need a better option than the sock drawer.

If someone could explain to me (in small words) how offshore banking works (or even if it’s a viable option for me), I would greatly appreciate it. I have done web searches but seem to get easily confused as most places say “Contact us for more details.”

Possibly important information.
I’m Canadian and sometimes Australian.
This is not a huge amount of money so large fees will hurt.

Any help at least pointing me in the right direction is appreciated. Alternate ideas also encouraged.

Thanks in advance,


If you had said American in your list, I’d tell you to be very careful, if not consider other options. Apparently Dubya is pursuing to close offshore banking loopholes with great gusto as part of the war on terrorism. (Don’t ask for a cite - I’m doing this from memory as it’s been on the news lately. A reasonable search at CNN.com should find the link.)

From my experience between the USA and Oz, I can provide half an answer. What the Oz government knows the least, the better. :slight_smile:

I used to see official Oz government ads in The Australian and other large daily newspapers purporting to assist new Australian immigrants with securing their overseas pensions now that they live in Australia. I made a number of quiet queries with friends in almost high places and got a totally different perspective. I was told the Oz government will indeed assist new Aussie immigrants with securing their overseas pensions – but at a price. It’s a sleight of hand so the Oz government can lay claim to the foreign income and tax it, regardless if it was taxed in the originating country and despite any tax reciprocity laws with that country.

In short, if you have Canadian investments and you live in Oz, by all means IMHO it’s none of the kangaroo’s business. As for Oz investments and you are now in Canada I offer no suggestions.

Of course, IANA (accountant) so my advice is merely a personal observation, with a bit of first-hand experience.