Top 5 Luxury Holiday Destinations in 2017

It’s hump-day, and budget day, so perhaps it’s time for a welcome bit of escapism.

With the end of the first quarter of 2017 rapidly approaching, if you haven’t started planning where to spend your major holiday for this year, here are 5 luxury destinations you might want to consider.

It’s well worth downing tools for five minutes and indulging yourself, if only for the smile it will put on the faces of your children, wife, husband, partner, and you!

Playa Paraiso, Cuba Read more

Payment Services Directive 2 Explained (& An Infographic!)

Call it bad timing, but no sooner had the European Union delivered the first Payment Service Directive (PSD), to provide a legal foundation for the introduction of SEPA, that’s the Single Euro Payments Area, which effectively created a single market for payments across the European Union, covering credit transfers, direct debits and cards, when the payments industry entered possibly its most “disruptive” period ever. Read more

25% Levy On Overseas Pension Transfers Has Tax Advisors Scrambling To Find Loopholes

When QROPS – that’s Qualified, Recognised, Overseas Pension Transfers to you and me, were first introduced in 2006, it proved to be an unexpectedly popular piece of legislation.

In the last, “last” Spring Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond acted swiftly and decisively to introduce a 25% charge on UK pensions being transferred overseas, which came into effect the very next day. Read more

Why Tech Billionaires Are Buying Up Properties In New Zealand?

There is a growing trend amongst US tech billionaires that the rest of the world is increasingly taking note of.

It all began with the news that Peter Thiel, the billionaire Paypal founder and early Facebook investor has earned New Zealand citizenship, which has allowed him to purchase a $13,5 million dollar estate near Wanaka, a resort town on New Zealand’s South Island, through his holding company Second Star Limited. Read more

Top 5 Destinations For Families Seeking The Expat Lifestyle

There is much to be said for living life as an ex-pat – the sense of freedom it can give a young person or couple seeking adventure in their early twenties, the opportunity to learn a new language and explore a new culture, and a more (or less, depending upon your point of view) forgiving climate.

But when it is time to start raising a family, many ex-pats choose to return to the UK. It makes sense for several reasons; to be closer to family, to educate children in the same system as their parents, to obtain a British passport.

That said, there are some equally compelling reasons to remain abroad. Let’s look at the pros and cons of 5 of the most tempting places to live as a family abroad. Read more

How To Compare Money Transfer Providers

If you’re reading this then you have come to the right place, because we are the experts in overseas money transfer. We have, after all, been at it for more than 10 years. Together, or co-founders Emmanuel and Huw launched the first ever money transfer comparison site all the way back in 2004.

Since then, we have seen serious change come to the industry, and that’s mainly due to the rise and rise of financial technology, which we now call Fintech.

Taking on (and outperforming) the big banks’ services

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How To Pick The Best FX Broker For Your Overseas Money Transfers

Given that foreign exchange trading tends to exceed $4 trillion in average traded value, every day, you would be right to think that choosing the right broker to make your overseas money transfer is not an easy decision to make.

Fortunately, The Money Cloud exists precisely to make the process as simple and hassle free as possible. Both of our co-founders Emmanuel and Huw spent years researching the process of sending money overseas, working alongside governments across different continents, and even setting up a site to help migrant workers send money back to their families. Read more

Paying Employees Abroad – A Guide To PAYE & Social Security Considerations

If your business is considering making an overseas hire – congratulations! In business, expanding internationally can be extremely rewarding, both financially; in terms of driving the growth of the business and discovering new markets to sell your product into; and culturally – seeing how things get done in contrasting business environments can only help give a business owner a better understanding of their enterprise.

But from an administrative and tax perspective, hiring overseas is complex and to get it right involves a little bit of extra work – we have produced the following notes to try to help all business owners understand what needs to be done before you can start to make payments to overseas staff.
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Breaking Down China’s Mass Affluent Classes into 5 categories

It’s no secret that during the past decade, China has re-emerged as a world super-power, and we have seen the emergence of a new middle class that is more affluent, and bigger spending, than almost any other demographic anywhere in the world.

But targeting this demographic has not always been easy. What are their characteristics? Where do they like to shop? And for what?

A new report from Jing Daily and Carat has done more than most to break down China’s “Mass Affluent Class” into groups that marketers can understand better, by focusing on “M.A.C” Males.

According to the report, this demographic are aged between 25-40, and they are better educated and more internationally-focused than the generations that preceded them. They like to enjoy themselves, seeking out new leisure and entertainment experiences, see themselves as more sophisticated that their forebears, and they are not as keen on status symbol based activities, such as golf.

But the report is at pains to explain that M.A.C’s are not all the same. Far from it, in fact, hence Jing Daily and Carat have broken them down into 5 very different categories:

Aficionados, Skeptics, Epicureans, Aspirants and the Bling Kings.

Whilst all 5 groups overlap in terms of tastes, behaviour and aspirations, they all have different things in common, and if you are in the business of selling to them, you had better not get them confused!

Whilst none of the five disparate groups are “in it for the money”, the Bling Kings, for example, are louder, and showier than more “sophisticated and refined” Aficionados, or realistic and focused Skeptics.

Like the Bling Kings, Aspirants are spontaneous and enjoy the limelight the most, whilst Epicureans are perhaps the most balanced, entrepreneurial and visionary.

Epicureans, the report reveals, make good entrepreneurs, although Bling Kings and Aspirants are great at seizing opportunities and grabbing opportunities with both hands.

Each of the separate groups are tight knit and hard to break into. Aspirants and Bling Kings are self-referential, and use Wechat to plan parties and social occasions, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, Aficionados and Skeptics prefer to listen before they speak and are likely to talk about business, or engage in carefully planned and executed chit-chat.

What all M.A.C males have in common is that they have high expectations, can be demanding, and don’t rely on old-fashioned means of determining social status.

Marketers are likely to have to work twice as hard as ever to keep pace with their rapidly changing tastes.

looking to send money overseas – try the Money Cloud for the best rates offered by the best, hand picked brokers and money transfer agencies.

The Big 4 Fintech Challenger Banks Changing The Way We Think About Personal Finance

The “Big 4” Challenger Banks

London may not be the world’s biggest FinTech hub, but there is an argument that says it is the most disruptive, and especially within the retail banking space.

There are no fewer than 5 recognised “Challenger banks” in operation currently, 4 based in London, and one in Durham. All have attracted significant funding, target millennials with mobile apps, instant spending reports and clever features, yet all face different challenges and issues as they battle to uproot the “big 4” high street banks; Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays and Natwest. Let’s have a look at 5 of the so-called challengers – in no particular order. Read more

Top 5 Tips When Buying Property In France

Many British people every year choose to buy a property in France because of the wonderfully relaxed lifestyle France offers. The French have a strong appreciation for the good things in life and many consider them to be among the most cultured people in the world. They have good food and good wine and a more laid back style of life than in the UK, but there are things you need to consider when buying property in France. Read more

How To Move Money Out Of Russia

As of 2013, the Russian Government introduced fines to Russian nationals on any transaction where money was sent to overseas bank accounts. The fines could range from 75% – 100% of any transfer to a foreign account if the transfer did not go through a Russian bank account. Those most affected were people renting flats in foreign cities or those that received payments for freelance work from non-Russian firms. The thought process behind these fines, was that it would help the government in their quest to stop capital flight and fight corruption. Read more

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Using Your Bank for Transferring Money Abroad

Here at The Money Cloud, we were shocked to see research carried out by the Bank of International Settlements, that 85% of retail transfers are made through banks globally. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t use you bank for transferring money abroad and in this post, we have put together what we think are the 5 top reasons you should stop using your bank for international money transfers in comparison to the services The Money Cloud promote; Read more