The different financial challenges of expats in China

“International expats who work and live in China should consider putting their money to work”, says Peter Worth, of St. James’s Place Wealth Management in Shanghai.

St. James’s Place Wealth Management, established in 1991, is one of the largest wealth management companies now serving the expatriate community in Asia. A FTSE 100 company with £52 billion of client funds under management, the foundations for success are based on a commitment to providing quality face-to-face advice and the very best on going client service.

With offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, Peter Worth explains “We offer a personal approach to expats from most nationalities. They may face straightforward issues such as mortgages and insurance, as well as having more complex questions, including investment for growth, inheritance tax or retirement planning.”


Depending on their age, their position and the career phase they are in, expats in China face different challenges. “Most expats come to us to help them build and preserve their capital, manage their cash and borrowings or protect them against financial risk. They are thinking of the future including their children and pensions. Our focus is to understand their personal circumstances and financial objectives in order to provide advice that is tailored to their individual needs and circumstance.

Enjoy the ride

Not every expat has the same approach. Peter Worth: “Many young expats tremendously enjoy their life in China – and they should. They work hard and earn a good income while their employer covers a great deal of the cost of living. You can hardly blame these young expats for spending most of their money and fundamentally ‘enjoying the ride.’ However, at the end of this ride, when their career takes them to new places after a few years, there is not much left of all this money for the future. We come across many such expats and our focus is just as much on educating as it is on giving advice.”

Getting the right advice

Expats looking for advice on how to make the most of their disposable income in China today and in the future, have different options. This group is targeted both by advisors of varying quality as well as large banks. “When asked for the best way to save money for later, some may sell products driven by what will pay them the highest commissions and the larger banks will only start treating you like a king when you are worth at least one million dollars. At St. James’s Place we are proud to offer a face-to-face personal service that focusses on client outcomes and value for money.”

A client’s financial future is clearly a key component in this business, Peter Worth states. “We are not just assisting expats to look after their financial interests in today’s world; it is the future and the sustainability of their assets that is at stake.”

To receive a complimentary copy of The Investor Magazine produced by St. James’s Place Wealth Management, please contact Peter Worth on or call +86 21 6045 2688.

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