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Expat investing - advice for US citizens living in the UK

Having relocated to the UK from America, you may find it’s not just the accents, conversations about the weather and grocery stores that you need to get used to. Due to complex tax and reporting rules in both the US and here in the UK, it’s likely you’ll also need to adjust to a new way of managing your investments.

There are many potential pitfalls for a US expat investing in the UK. The rules and regulations can seem so overwhelming that many US expats end up avoiding it altogether. However, this is the worst thing you can do – it’s vital you stay on track with your investments to meet your long-term financial goals.

US expat investing in the UK– it’s time to find the right expertise

All you need is the right help and, thankfully, there are specialist investment managers here in the UK who can look after you and your wealth. As a US expat investing in the UK you can speak to someone in the same timezone about all your investment needs and feel reassured that you are being looked after.

When looking for the right investment manager, you need to make sure they offer a designated service for US expats – not simply an off-the-shelf solution but one that is specifically tailored to your dual UK/US needs.

A good US expat investment manager will consider all of your:

  • US interests and assets, including pension arrangements
  • Currency requirements and whether you want to hold investments in sterling, dollars, euros, other currencies, or even a mix of several
  • Requirements for direct exposure to US markets, via municipal bonds or US equities
  • Pension arrangements and whether or not you need to keep them in a US IRA
  • Accounting needs and whether you want your accounting done in dollars using the US tax year
  • Tax reporting needs and whether you require documents such as the 1099, the 1042 and other FATCA reporting documents required by the IRS.

Investment firms that are able to cater for US expats will also need to work closely with your other tax, accountancy or legal professionals to ensure your investments are compliant across jurisdictions and structured to enable the best possible outcomes. Subject to their advice, you may need to avoid certain investments including PFICs and most collective investment vehicles. You may also need to be mindful of the implications of using UK wrappers such as ISAs or SIPPs.

US expat investing in the UK – don’t leave it to chance

Now you know it’s possible to have the convenience and expertise of a locally based investment manager, don’t leave it to chance. By not getting the right advice, you could be forfeiting your long-term financial goals.

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Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

The investments described in this blog may not be suitable for all investors. Investors should make their own investment decisions based upon their own financial objectives and financial resources and, if in any doubt, should seek advice from an investment adviser.

Any tax benefits mentioned in this blog depend upon the investor’s individual circumstances and clients should discuss their financial arrangements with their own tax adviser before investing. The levels and bases of taxation may be subject to change in the future.

Photo of Roy Clouse

Roy Clouse

Investment Director

Roy is responsible for managing discretionary portfolios for high net worth private clients. Over his career spanning 28 years, he has advised on investing in equities, fixed income, foreign exchange and funds on a global basis and in a variety of currencies for onshore and offshore clients. He sits on Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management’s Fixed Interest Committee and ETF Committee and is a Chartered Fellow of the CISI.

+44 207 523 4728

IMPORTANT: Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.