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Investment options

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Turkey.

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Investment options

Post Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:01 am

Hi there,
I've been in Turkey for a heck of a long time now and have even retired here although I'm still working on a part-time basis for my previous employer (private sector). Next month, my private pension fund (from here) matures. It's not a huge amount of money but more than I've seen in one lump sum ever before. What shall I do with it? Where should I invest it?
I'm not sure if 'liquid funds' is the best place. I've had a lot of suggestions ranging from 'buy an olive orchard' or 'buy a small plot of land' or 'buy a few head of free-ranging cattle now and sell them off in 2 years or so'

I'm not real keen on any of them. I have my own house, in a tiny village that I purchased 9 years ago (I even have the deed in my own name). I'm not a Turkish citizen and I'm not even sure I need to become one at this point.

My daughter lives in Turkey now (for the past 5+ years) and if something happens to me, I'd want her to be able to get her hands on the money easily.

Any one have any experience with this?

Thanks in advance.


Re: Investment options

Post Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:05 pm

Congratulations on your retirement and gule gule kulan your lump sum! Smile

You may want to get professional advice on how to invest the cash. The best place to start is at your usual bank and see what they have to say.

How you invest or save it depends on many factors, for example you may want to change it into foreign currency or transfer part of it back home. You might wish to gift some in advance to your daughter. If you love the countryside and fancy a new hobby, buying a plot of land and growing organic veg sounds fun and hard work!
Although the TL is quite stable at the moment, one can't forget the awful times of high inflation and the untrustworthy financial market here!

For stocks and shares there are some great companies out there but IMHO it's rather risky!

What do you think you'd like to do? That's always a good place to start. And b4 doing anything- get advice- that's my advice!

Good luck!


Forum Leader - Turkey
Forum Leader - Turkey
Re: Investment options

Post Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Interesting isn’t, having retired after a lifetime’s work during which we accumulate expertise and a wealth of knowledge and wisdom, that when it comes dealing with a windfall lump of money most don’t know how to use it other than to spend it. Investment, rather than saving, is typically alien territory for most folk. I’m sure that most would agree that saving these days means that the money is just about standing still because interest rates are having trouble keeping pace with inflation; a situation likely to worsen during the coming years. This has its attractions because of the global financial gloom and in particular the government guarantee of bank deposits up to a certain amount. This means that there is a lot of cash out there doing little for its owners while profiting the banks and institutions. This can be a high price to pay for a feeling of comfort and safety.

So what to do? First off the bat there are hoards of ‘men in suits’ that proffer advice with a mind boggling range of options and products that will secure their commissions. My advice here is that one shouldn’t invest in any product that one doesn’t fully research and understand. My second piece of advice is a reminder that the stock market is a longer term investment plan for those who do not ‘play’ the market or have proven experience. In other words it’s a young person’s game. In any event the stock market is currently in an uneasy position and one unlikely to show real gains until growth returns to the global economy; of course, and inevitably, there will be exceptions to the rule when some individual stocks will soar. So while growth is slow, unemployment high, consumption low and the housing market in disarray I wouldn’t recommend the stock market while corporate earnings are low; reflecting price and or while dividends are small or non-existent.

My person focus, and one which was part of the deciding factors in my becoming an ex-pat, was national debt. The writing was on the wall for those who chose to see; unsustainable deficits in the EU, a mongrel group of nations ruled by dubious politics and swamped in debt. At this point I examined the options and concluded that while Europe was set to decline relative to the global scale; other nations were emerging and so I sailed with the wind; as opposed to attempting to push excrement uphill or waiting for jam tomorrow – sorry about the mixed metaphors.

As I mentioned, I focused on debt and decided to use debt as my investment; the bond market. Happily I can report a substantial increase in the investment market value while getting an excellent annual return on capital. Of course I have to thank the exchange rate for part of these gains and the fulfilment of my prophesy about Europe’s woes

The bottom line with all of this is appetite for risk. All investments carry the warning that values can go down as well as up; your money is at risk – do you feel lucky? It’s common knowledge that countless billions of investor’s money has been lost in recent times; lost into the ether forever. This confirms that investment is a philosophical issue related to altitude. The blind man falling is heard to say, “So far, so good.” Sometimes we are miles above the stratosphere while at other times just a few meters above ground before impact at terminal velocity - ouch!




Forum Pro
Forum Pro
Re: Investment options

Post Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:25 pm

Hi there and thanks for your replies. Gee, these messages sound a lot like
the annual reports I edit!! And after 16 years at this job, I still don't know
what it's all about!! Laughing

First let me say that I'm from the US not the EU...and I'm HERE to stay.
No desire to return 'home'...home is here.

I'm too far from the city (Istanbul) to find someone professional to help. It
would have to be done 'long distance' and I don't think I feel comfortable with

The suggestion to talk to my bank here is a good one. I will have to do that
as soon as the funds are released.

Something came up just today and I'm glad I'm thinking about this now and not
after the money reaches me. I may just have to invest it in liquid funds for a while
or even gold. No one has mentioned gold as an investment (long term,
I know, but it may be a good way to go).

I also want to mention that retirement here certainly has its benefits.
I'm probably getting better medical care and coverage here than I'd have
gotten in the US. The quality of the doctors at the State Hospital (out side
of Istanbul) is excellent. And many of the speak English. I had surgery in
March and aside from the very 'basic' conditions on the ward, the personnel
were really kind and caring individuals.

Who knew, 20 years ago, that things would have deteriorated in the US to the point they have. I just feel very lucky to have landed where I have.

Hope the rest of you can say the same.


Re: Investment options

Post Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:46 pm

A similar situation exists in the USA in terms of a lack lustre economy that shows little prospects of growth and even heavier debt burdens and unfunded liabilities. The only perceived truth is that the once almighty dollar is still considered a safe haven; falsely I believe. Under no circumstances would I recommend buying US government bonds [treasuries]; something that the government is currently doing i.e. printing its own money [yet to be collected from the taxpayer] and then buying it back [quantitative easing] and in the process creating an almighty bubble. Municipal bonds, although enjoying a tax-free status are a bit dicey considering that most of the US States are in a technical state of bankruptcy.

Gold is quite popular at the moment and valued at near record highs because many have little confidence in money. The problem with gold is that its only earnings are the possibility of its price going higher when it can be sold and profit taken. The sting is that such profit is taxed in a different way as it is regarded as a collectible. The alternative type of gold investment, rather than bullion, is investment in companies that mine or process gold. Such companies are strong at present because of the cost margin between gold extraction; somewhere in the region of $500 an ounce and the market price around $1200. If or when gold prices fall off as they do when an economy turns for the good, such investment falls in value, so timing is acute. In any event an investment in gold doesn’t provide income. By all means talk to a bank when you’ll be welcomed like an old friend; “Come into the parlour, said the spider to the fly.” Despite all this it’s a nice problem to have.




Forum Pro
Forum Pro
Re: Investment options

Post Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:36 pm

Gold is a good way to go, many people I know in TR - local and foreign- buy a gold coin or two whenever they can! There is a lot of choice in the jewelers and something to suit all tastes. Your daughter might appreciate a bangle or three as a gift! Wink Get a good recommendation as to which jewelery shop to go to tho'.
Gold has always gone up- ever since I've been in TR. Never known it to go down! Has it I wonder?
If you have a lot of gold etc then you can rent a safety deposit box from your local bank. Don't keep it all at home even if you have bars on your windows and a guard! Heaven forbid!
Even with all the probs all over the world I bet there's a fave company of yours that you would consider investing a little bit of your wind fall in? Course if you never ever visit that USA or wherever, then it's not worth bothering to invest back home.
All the best! Smile


I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. Oscar Wilde


Forum Leader - Turkey
Forum Leader - Turkey
Re: Investment options

Post Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:14 pm

actually, i'm opposed to purchasing 'gold you can hold'. I have, from time to time,
purchased gold online as an investment. it's all on paper although i suppose i could go to the bank and demand it in my hand (Cumhurriyet coins?). I never
tried and never considered it.
the problem with buying gold and keeping it 'in the bank' is that everytime you
want to cash it in, the bank takes a commission fee...same with buying it.

I definitely will go to my local branch and ask them what my options are for
investing the money somewhere but yet keeping it 'liquid' for emergencies.

thanks for all the suggestions ... food for thought.


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