Are yacht crew getting the right financial advice?
We speak to the deVere Group about some of the issues facing superyacht crew in the financial sector…
It’s no secret that most yacht crew are in a very privileged financial position. Often with a large monetary surplus every month, favourable tax positions and minimal outgoings, working on a superyacht offers the potential to save significantly for the future. Yet, this is not always the case as many crew are not being given the right advice or are simply unaware of the investment possibilities available to them.
This is something that cross-border financial advisory deVere Group is trying to address. Under the brand deVere Spain, the company has just opened an office in the yachting hub of Mallorca, headed up by Senior Wealth Manager Michael Jacobs, to help provide crew with the right resources to make the most of their time on board financially.
Jacobs and his team will be offering specialist financial advice tailored to the yachting community, including offshore banking, foreign exchange and savings and investments. “Typically crew will be in a great position to start saving and investing, but the world of finance can at times be very confusing and hard navigate,” explains Jacobs. “Although most crew are aware of the importance of saving, and in many cases will have their own personal goals they wish to achieve, they might waste precious time on board due to not having the right guidance.”
"We have spoken to some crewmembers who hold existing plans, however, haven’t had the terms fully explained to them..."
As a result, Jacobs is finding that there is a real demand from crew to get decent financial advice. “The biggest issue is that crew often don’t have the time to do sufficient research,” he continues. “In the case of regular savings plans, as important as they are to ensure that specific financial goals are achieved, they need to be explained well by the advisor. Since we have been in Mallorca, we have spoken to some crewmembers who hold existing plans, however, haven’t had the terms fully explained to them. It’s important to find an advisor who will take the time to explain these investments in detail, not only in the first instance, but also in the future with ongoing support.”
As for how much crew should be looking at saving each month, Jacobs says it is completely dependent on the individual’s situation, lifestyle and what their goals are, which is why tailored financial advice is always recommended. It is also important to take advice from someone who understands the unique nature of a yacht crew's position from a fiscal point of view.
“Most yacht crew are in an amazing position compared to the majority – they are in an advantageous tax bracket, have more freedom with taxation and very little expenditure,” adds Jacobs. “So they should be getting hold of information that will make the most of their time on board and set themselves up for the future, whether their goal is to buy a property, start a business or save for retirement. What they don’t want to do is make the mistake of either spending their money or leaving it in a bank where it will eventually get eroded by inflation.”
As well as being on hand to offer advice to crew over the phone or in person, deVere Spain has also set up an informative Facebook group with the aim of answering the most common questions surrounding crew finance, such as clarifying the best offshore multi-currency cards, all the way through to the best savings and investment vehicles to save money in the most tax-efficient manner.
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