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Whereas saving is about the accumulation of money for future use, and the avoidance of waste, investment is choosing where to put that money in the meantime to achieve the best return.

Is keeping cash the best way for you?
Is keeping cash without any risk?
What are the issues you should be thinking about?


Should you be keeping your money in the currency:

  • you received or earned it
  • where you now live
  • of the country you came from originally
  • that matches your tax bills, or other liabilities
  • that earns the highest interest rate?

An all-eggs-in-one-basket strategy may not be best. The US$ fell nearly 30% against the Euro in the past four years, and the Russian Rouble crashed by 99.5% against the US$ over the 10 years to 1998!

It pays to diversify.


Wherever your money is, it is increasingly likely that someone wants to tax it:

  • where it is held (see the European Savings Directive)
  • where you are resident
  • where you are tax resident
  • where you send it for future use (perhaps your home country)

Tax avoidance by non-disclosure is clearly illegal and will soon be virtually impossible.

Holding cash directly may not be the most tax-efficient way.


Eats away at the spending power of your money (3% inflation over 10 years means your money will have lost a third of its value).

Does the interest you receive on your cash, after tax, even keep up with this?


When will you need the money back? If in two, three or more years time, perhaps it is worth looking at alternative ways to invest?

Peter Randall

Peter has 20 years of international financial experience as both 'poacher and gamekeeper', including time in London as:

  • Head of discretionary portfolio management with MIML
  • Financial services regulator with the SIB (now the FSA)

He has also worked on most continents, and understands expatriates and their need for truly international personal financial planning.

As well as qualifications in investment management and planning, he has a MA from Cambridge and a MBA from London Business School, .

Peter offers investment services

Peter is now based in Brussels with one of the top independent advisory organisations and advises private clients of many nationalities on international, tax-efficient asset planning.



To find out how you could make your money work harder, please tell him your:


Country of residence







Copyright 2004-5 Synapse Ltd. This website is intended to alert you to savings options. In no way does it offer specific investment advice or endorse any of the organisations or products listed. We try to publish accurate and timely information, but do not guarantee to do so. You must check and confirm everything to your satisfaction directly with borrowers. If you see anything missing, inaccurate or non-functioning on the website please let us know.