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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:

Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

Should I invest in real estate or the stock market with my savings from working overseas?

What investment strategy works best from overseas?

Caveat: These are only the author's opinions, he is not a financial consultant.

Invest in what you know and in what you feel comfortable with.  Stocks, due to the Internet, are now easy to manage from overseas.  Real Estate is not.

Stocks can fluctuate wildly, even from day to day.  Real estate tends to stay fairly stable over time.

Research your Investments

There is plenty of research on the Internet nowadays for just about any type of investment.  It may be more a matter of how much time you want to spend from day to day following the research.  Because of the slowness of its movement, real estate may be better for those of us who want to spend our free time paying attention to other things.

Keep your Emotions in Check

I am an emotional investor, so I tend to stay away from the stock market.  If I see the value of my investments move dramatically from one day to the next, I tend to get either excited or worried.  So, I like to invest in real estate.

Real Estate

We tend to not know the real value of property until it is actually sold.  A few years ago, I sold a condo in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) for a very nice gain.  But, really, I had no idea what it might sell for before I began the process.  I had owned it for ten years, so assumed a nice gain - and was pleasantly surprised.

Real Estate Bonus

When the stock market falls 30 or 50 per cent - as they did at the end of the "Tech Bubble" - real estate continues to produce.  My rents didn't go down - they just continued.  That's why I like real estate - I am biased.  See the section on managing real estate from overseas, if you intend to invest.  As I have done it since about 1974, I have some strong opinions on the issue. 

BTW, I own real estate for the INCOME that it provides for me.  It will be a big part of my income when I retire.  I don't own real estate to speculate whether it will go up or down.  It does - but my rents tend not to vary when it goes up or down - so I don't care either way.


Though I am a big fan real estate, I do own stocks.  I own them to balance my portfolio and to not have all my eggs in one basket.  You might consider subscribing to a service that will give you model portfolios and pick one that fits your investment style.  That's what I do and it works well for me (so far!).  I let them do the research - they are the experts. I also pick a few stocks and indexes that make since to me from an international perspective.



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