An accountant calculator taxes 370.
(photo credit: Ivan Alvarado / Reuters)
Here come the new olim! Another summer of North American aliya kicked off this
week, as the first Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight of the summer touched down. I
want to personally wish all of you freshly- minted olim, immigrants, a big
“Mazal Tov,” and wish you success in your new lives in the holy land. I am sure
that with all the support you will get from NBN, the Jewish Agency, the JNF and
the Absorption Ministry, your acclimation process will be as smooth as
When it comes to making the big move to Israel – a common dilemma
is should your assets accompany you as well? Whether you have been managing your
own investment portfolio or using a financial advisor, you should consider the
best approach to managing your money.
Israel has developed
a very sophisticated banking system, and while there are only a few banks that
control the lions share of the market, they are all very competitive and offer a
full range of banking products, focusing on the Israeli financial markets. Using
a local bank or private brokerage in your specific case may not be the most
efficient way to invest. The local firms are very experienced investing in the
Israeli market and while they have made great strides, most local investment
advisors have no real experience investing globally. It’s important to note that
due to regulations like Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, many local banks
will refuse to deal with American citizens vis-àvis investments.
choose a financial professional in Israel?
First and foremost it’s very
important to use an advisor who is licensed both in Israel and in the US. This
will help ensure that you receive the appropriate advice that you should be
given, as well it gives the client a legal outlet for any complaints a client
may have. It’s important to use someone who speaks your language and understands
your situation.Plan ahead
The most common question I receive from olim,
centers on what should be done with the excess money leftover from selling their
house. For many olim, they put all their savings into a home and watched as,
even with the housing crisis of a few years ago, their property values
They have already bought a home or apartment in Israel, and
suddenly find themselves with a substantial amount of money liquid, and no idea
what to do with it.
Before you meet with a financial professional, map
out your financial goals. Going to the experts will help you decide how to
invest your savings, but you should first have a firm grasp of your short and
long-term goals and needs.
How much income will you need to meet fixed
expenses apart from any pension, national insurance or social security income?
Do you have children or grandchildren to educate? Are your elderly parents in
need of care? How is your own health? You need to determine your own budget
needs and your ability to tolerate risk first, and then ask your advisor what
kinds of investments would best fulfill those goals.Understand your
Determine whether an investment is worth taking with you, or leaving
it in the US. Chances are that you goals have changed now that you have made
aliya. You will need to focus on the whole range of the investment’s
characteristics in your decision-making, not simply on promises of a high
return. What may once have seemed to make sense living in Brooklyn may not be
appropriate for your new life in Modi’in! Stay in touch
with your financial advisor will ensure that your investments remain consistent
with your new goals and new life in Israel. Be sure to evaluate your portfolio
with him periodically, and make sure that it is still consistent with your
needs. On the same note, make sure that your investment strategy remains
current. With smart planning and continued monitoring of your investments’
progress, you and your financial advisor whether in Israel or back in the US,
should have a valuable, long-lasting
firstname.lastname@example.org Aaron Katsman is a licensed
financial professional both in the United States and Israel.