Many people open an account at a local investment house because of the higher interest rates offered. They offer a variety of account types (similar to Mutual Funds) which vary from ‘conservative’ (usually government and major company short term paper) to ‘aggressive’ (bonds, stocks, and company paper). Annual returns vary but are usually higher than the banks.
The longer established Investment Houses are secure (though not guaranteed like the banks). They will also provide additional services (insurance, travel, bill paying, etc) and cash withdrawal with notice (24 hours to 7 days, depending on the type of account).
Again, the system you choose will depend on your personal preferences. Some people prefer to leave their money in their home country and use ATM machines for cash withdrawals – enough to cover their cost of living here. Others will transfer three to twelve months living expenses to a local bank to minimize service costs where others will deposit more significant amounts into the Investment House(s) to take advantage of higher returns.
The best way to decide is to first understand the Mexican banking and investment system, you’ll learn everything you need to know on a Focus on Mexico Program. In fact, at our conferences, we have Guest Experts from an investment house and bank talk to you about investing, the economy, the different types of accounts and interest you can earn and how to go about it.
Longer Term Investing
As we stated at the beginning of this section, longer term financial considerations are dependant on your individual needs and investing styles. For the conservative investor, with a well-established portfolio, likely the only changes to consider are day-to-day living costs and your real estate needs, i.e. whether to buy a home or rent.
For the active investor there are numerous opportunities to put money to work in Mexico. To encourage foreign investment, laws were changed to allow companies in Mexico to be owned 100% by foreign investors. This has opened up a myriad of investment opportunities in a wide variety of fields.
The State of Jalisco government is particularly active in attracting foreign investment. Potential investors are encouraged to contact the Secretary of Business Development to discuss business opportunities.
Incorporating a company in Mexico is a relatively simple procedure and can be processed in a few weeks by a Notario (During a Focus Program, in the legal section of the Focus Manual, there will be a detailed description). There are a few restricted businesses but by and large the field is wide open. Import/export, high-tech and real estate are popular investment avenues but, be it a small business or a Maquiladora (Assembly Plant), the opportunities are available.
Note to Canadians: ‘Canadian non-residency tax rules’ present additional opportunities. A detailed section of the Financial portion of our Focus on Mexico Program is dedicated to giving you all the information, all the rules and even the appropriate forms. You learn how to reduce your taxes on pensions down to 15% and taxes on capital gains to 0%.
The tax implications with an investment in Mexico depend on the type of investments and how the ‘business’ is structured. The amount of variations are too numerous to cover in this section, but will be discussed in more detail in our Focus Programs.
The basic rule is that taxes are due in Mexico on profits earned in Mexico. However, there are Tax Treaties between Mexico and many countries that allow "off-sets."
We have available, through our program, advisors that specialize in tax issues for foreign investors. They can help with the incorporation of a company to ensure the most favorable tax structure is incorporated.
Maintaining a Trading Account
Many people who decide to live in Mexico like to maintain a trading account. Through the internet, many discount brokers are accessible and you can do your research much the same as you are doing now. Canadians who move into the Non-Resident system will need to make some adjustments and we will show you how to do this on a Focus Program.