Author Topic: Where do I start  (Read 2159 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 3
Where do I start
« on: January 20, 2015, 02:56:53 AM »
A very good day to all of you!

First and foremost I apologise for asking for help on my second post.
I've been an avid reader of MMM and follower in the forums but haven't felt that I have had much to contribute.

I'm based in Monaco as a British expat living the frugal lifestyle in one of the most expensive places on earth. Basement 300 sqft apartment? check!, Car usage? Zero!, Savings? around 70% of net income! Investments? 4 rental properties in the UK!

I desperately though, need your help on understanding index funds, how they work, what to look out for, and probably even which to buy. Our investment theory has always been to go with what one understands. We understand real estate (in the UK) and as such have invested accordingly.

Due to being an expat and mortgage lending being almost impossible to come by I have opened a Barclays wealth account which requires that I maintain a minimum positive balance of 25k GBP. I believe to any of us on this forum 25k of dead money is just plain dumb. I have gone through the fine print though and it seems that this minimum balance can be as cash OR investments within the Barclays group. Hence I need to learn about index funds and also whether a Barclays Stockbrokers account will be competitive. I have noticed that Vanguard has many Barclays funds on their website?

Once again many apologies for the long winded post. I'm an absolute novice at all things index funds. If anyone could point me in the right direction whether that be books to read, post on this or other forums to read or anything else you can think of, I'd be very grateful.

Best regards,



  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 589
    • Inner Scorecard - Where financial independence, value investing and life meet
Re: Where do I start
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 04:36:02 AM »
I will let someone else handle the UK/Monaco expats and residency issues.

Index funds are a way to get ownership of a small piece of many companies, in a somewhat representative sample of whatever index is used. If you used a broad index, then you are owning a small chunk of the whole economy. This is seen as a good thing to do because by definition you will get the average market return, which is better than what most people get. And you don't have to spend much time or do much analysis. Most importantly, they let you simply get started investing in equities of publicly traded companies.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 35
  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Re: Where do I start
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 05:11:32 AM »
I feel your pain mate. I'm in Hong Kong and must say it's hard to live the lifestyle when all around you show such conspicuous consumption! What helps me is the fact that I know I'm better of than most of them as I don't waste money - sounds like you can walk past the big yachts and giggle to yourself as well. Good job!

Innerscorecard's covers the basics and the wide world of the interweb will give you better info than I but if your a Brit then have a look at this site:
Lots of info there with suggestions of index funds that can be bought on the UK exchange.

You could also look at another fan of MMM Andrew Hallam
He's an expat like us and has a lot of information (albeit Canadian-focussed) about structuring expatriate investment portfolios.

Hope this helps.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 3
Re: Where do I start
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 06:39:44 AM »
Many thanks to both off you for the replies.

Todge I'll definitely have a look at the sites you sent over.

Yep I'm thinking HK and MC must be fairly similar in many ways. Private bankers, Yachts and ridiculous amounts of wealth. I swear seeing a Ferrari is no different to seeing a Renault Clio nowadays. And the normal working people are always in a race to spend as much as possible so that they can compete with the UHNWI's.
The Hermitage hotel had a bottle of champagne on their menu for 250,000.00 EUR during the past Yacht show. Yes 250,000.00 EUR!!! not a typo!!!