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Global Eye / PIC / DeVere / Acuma et al - Zurich Vista UAE

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Old 21st Nov 2017, 09:39
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dubai
Posts: 47
I got suckered in by one of these DeVere scams when I first joined five years ago. It lost money pretty heavily for the first three years then rebounded well when the markets were buoyant to around a 14% gain. Thing is with the fees as high as they are I'll get stung again if the markets turn.

I've been working with Aly Ramzi at Mondial to transfer my money away from the unscrupulous and uncaring DeVere and into Mondials portfolio. Aly doesn't have any vested interests in screwing anybody over and is in a good place to advise on wether to stay in and reduce your fund charges to the minimum or bail out and take the upfront penalty and attempt to rebuild with your remaining money using the C fund or other low-charge platforms that do not require regular defined contributions that penalise you for not paying!

I won't put his direct email on here due to the obvious spambot implications but those of you with Mondial advisors can probably work it out or alternatively PM me, same if you have any further questions.

I can assure you I have no vested interest here but to recommend an avenue of help for anybody who finds themselves bitten by these cretinous companies and their toxic products.

Flex
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Old 21st Nov 2017, 14:33
  #102 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by FLEX/MCT View Post
I got suckered in by one of these DeVere scams when I first joined five years ago. It lost money pretty heavily for the first three years then rebounded well when the markets were buoyant to around a 14% gain. Thing is with the fees as high as they are I'll get stung again if the markets turn.

I've been working with Aly Ramzi at Mondial to transfer my money away from the unscrupulous and uncaring DeVere and into Mondials portfolio. Aly doesn't have any vested interests in screwing anybody over and is in a good place to advise on wether to stay in and reduce your fund charges to the minimum or bail out and take the upfront penalty and attempt to rebuild with your remaining money using the C fund or other low-charge platforms that do not require regular defined contributions that penalise you for not paying!

I won't put his direct email on here due to the obvious spambot implications but those of you with Mondial advisors can probably work it out or alternatively PM me, same if you have any further questions.

I can assure you I have no vested interest here but to recommend an avenue of help for anybody who finds themselves bitten by these cretinous companies and their toxic products.

Flex


Hi Flex


I have to tell you to be extremely cautions - and I'm going to be brutally blunt - you know as much about financial services as I do about flying airplanes - nothing. While I don't dispute your assessment of DeVere, there is a very big danger that you will jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.


Let's do a little forensic due diligence on Mondial.


Firstly, their website seems to be out of operation:
https://www.mondialdubai.com/


Secondly, I can find no trace of Aly Ramzi - his LinkedIn page seems to have been taken down.


Ask him for a copy of his terms of business, and a copy of the prospectus of the C plan - let's take a look under the hood.


BTW, the value of your existing plan is the money that you would get if you sold it. Ignore the fake values that you get on your statements. Email the insurance company and ask for the current encashment value.


Regards
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Old 21st Nov 2017, 17:18
  #103 (permalink)  

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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: The bar of Mumbles rugby club
Age: 37
Posts: 366
JJ, just for background info if you’re unaware, Mondial are retained by Emirates for consulting on the company’s provident fund. Each pilot is eligible for a twice-yearly consultation meeting.
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 04:26
  #104 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by SmilingKnifed View Post
JJ, just for background info if you’re unaware, Mondial are retained by Emirates for consulting on the company’s provident fund. Each pilot is eligible for a twice-yearly consultation meeting.


Well, that is good, but employers do not have a fantastic track record in looking out for their employees best interests.


I am not referring to Mondial here, but I have come across situations where the basis of awarding investment advisory/consulting contracts in relation to employee benefits was not the quality of the adviser but the quantity of the kick-back to whoever had the decision power.


Mondial is a regulated entity (the UAE SEC - and that is welcome) but that factor, and the consulting role Mondial has in relation to the company’s provident fund, does not give it a free pass when it comes to scrutinizing the fees and charges that come with its services.


In the long run the single most decisive factor in determining the value of your investments is not the skills of the advisor (most can't beat the market, and it is impossible to know which ones will), nor even market movements (because in the long run these tend to smooth out) but it is the amount of money that is taken out of your investment in fees, charges, commissions etc.
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 06:44
  #105 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: earth
Age: 53
Posts: 59
"(most can't beat the market, and it is impossible to know which ones will)"
And for sure. These scams will never.
Let see. You will pay 1.5% quarterly as a fee on your first 18 monthly payments until the end of your plan.
So that means you will pay 6% as fees per year plus 1.2% of all your investment per year.
Of course, it's not only that. The fund you have chosen or your "financial adviser" has fees. On average 1.8% per year. And last but not least, more US$ 6 monthly.
Let's assume that you or your "financial adviser" have chosen 3 funds
You will pay roughly 9% in fees even if the market is plunging.
The S&P 500 return is approximately 10% year since its inception back in 1928. Adjusted for inflation the real return is more like 7%.
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 07:19
  #106 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by Captain Partzee View Post
"(most can't beat the market, and it is impossible to know which ones will)"
And for sure. These scams will never.
Let see. You will pay 1.5% quarterly as a fee on your first 18 monthly payments until the end of your plan.
So that means you will pay 6% as fees per year plus 1.2% of all your investment per year.
Of course, it's not only that. The fund you have chosen or your "financial adviser" has fees. On average 1.8% per year. And last but not least, more US$ 6 monthly.
Let's assume that you or your "financial adviser" have chosen 3 funds
You will pay roughly 9% in fees even if the market is plunging.
The S&P 500 return is approximately 10% year since its inception back in 1928. Adjusted for inflation the real return is more like 7%.


All correct - but I think it understates the costs!


The disclosed fees of the underlying funds are often much higher than 1.8%, more like 2.5%. Advisers tend to promote higher cost funds, presumably because they get a kick-back from the fund manager.


On top of that the funds are allowed to pay some costs (e.g. audit fees) that are not disclosed. The general consensus is that these add a further 0.5%.


Also, if you have a regular savings plan you are often encouraged to pay from your credit card account. The plan provider will normally charge an additional 1% for this.


Finally, just be clear about the first 18 months, the advisers and the prompters go out of their way to obscure and complicate what is happening, but it is really quite simple. The whole of your contributions for the first 18 months is paid to the adviser, upfront, as commission.


So if you buy a plan saving $1,000 a month for 25 years the value of that plan after 19 months is $1,000. You will get a statement telling you that it is $19,000, but the encashment value, which is the real value, will be just $1,000.


You get the $18,000 added back into your investment pot if you hold the plan to maturity. Approximately 5% of 25 year plans are held to maturity.
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Old 25th Nov 2017, 23:07
  #107 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Qatar
Posts: 5
Dear all,

Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences with these firms, they are all incredibly informative. I've been here in the ME for several years now and have been constantly plagued by these clowns, my simple answer now is " I manage my own portfolio", believe me...it kills the conversation. Actually it also happens to be true, I do manage my own investments, i'm totally responsible for my own investment decisions and that is truly the best way forward. Bricks and mortar ladies and gentlemen, that is where it is at, do your own research. Sure it takes time but it's worth every penny, think about how much time you've spent chatting to these "salesmen" or having them over to your house feeding you the bs for a couple of hours. You could have easily of done some due diligence during that time. Get creative, challenge yourself!

Brgrds
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 09:42
  #108 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: EU
Posts: 10
Hey guys,

Friend of mine has the Vista policy, he's in it 3 years (25yr term) with around €43,000 invested (of which €7500 is the bonus)

Here is his plan.
Suspend account (max 3 years)
Take a partial surrender (approx €14k) (remaining balance 43-14k = €29k)
Every 3 years, reactive account with min instalment €50, then suspend again for 3 years.
Continue to do this until Term ends.

Effectively when term is reached, you can get the remaining €29k.

So far the account is suspended 9 months, and lost no money, as the funds is making enough to pay off the fees, in some cases it makes over €1k in one month, so as long as this continues,...it could work, right???

Thoughts guys, anyone have other ideas?

Or just do a Full Surrender?

Thanks.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 13:19
  #109 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by shamonwillye View Post
Hey guys,

Friend of mine has the Vista policy, he's in it 3 years (25yr term) with around €43,000 invested (of which €7500 is the bonus)

Here is his plan.
Suspend account (max 3 years)
Take a partial surrender (approx €14k) (remaining balance 43-14k = €29k)
Every 3 years, reactive account with min instalment €50, then suspend again for 3 years.
Continue to do this until Term ends.

Effectively when term is reached, you can get the remaining €29k.

So far the account is suspended 9 months, and lost no money, as the funds is making enough to pay off the fees, in some cases it makes over €1k in one month, so as long as this continues,...it could work, right???

Thoughts guys, anyone have other ideas?

Or just do a Full Surrender?

Thanks.


Your friend's plan is a really bad plan, based either on poor advice, or poor product knowledge.


Cash in the plan and walk away - chalk it up to experience, unless your friend is in a jurisdiction that is properly regulated, in which case complain!
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 00:13
  #110 (permalink)  

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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dubai
Posts: 46
The major flaw in the plan is the assumption that it continues to make €1000 per month. The fund is doing well because global stock markets are doing well. As soon as the market starts to fall (ignore what the commentators say, stock market bull runs always end eventually) the fund will start to lose money and your friend will still be paying the fees. I suggest that you take the full surrender and move on viewing it as an expensive education in money management.
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 06:29
  #111 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by Lance Murdoch View Post
The major flaw in the plan is the assumption that it continues to make €1000 per month. The fund is doing well because global stock markets are doing well. As soon as the market starts to fall (ignore what the commentators say, stock market bull runs always end eventually) the fund will start to lose money and your friend will still be paying the fees. I suggest that you take the full surrender and move on viewing it as an expensive education in money management.
Sorry to disagree with you, but you couldn't be more wrong.

The major flaw with these plans is not the BS returns that you are promised. The major flaw is what you are not told, which is the level of commissions and charges, and the impact that this will have.

The level of these charges are so high that there is no possibility that your plan can keep up with markets.

If you save $1000 per month into a passive investing fund for 25 years you can expect 7% per annum over the long-term, giving a maturity value of $820,500.

But if you buy one of these policies, with annual fees of 6.5%, the value of a similarly invested portfolio will be $320,500.

In other words, the true cost of the advice to buy this policy was $500,000!

Now the adviser doesn't get $500,000, but that is the true cost of their advice to you.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 09:28
  #112 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Anz
Posts: 8
Hi guys,

I'm another one of those who fell into their hands due to poor knowledge of the system and the dogma that when You are in the ME You "must have a pension scheme".
After 3.5 years of UAE and PIC treatment I have relocated back to the good old Continent. I have suspended my payments since then, that is for 1.5 years now on a 25 years plan. I have an advisor in my country who is pushing me to restart the payments (obviously) but my idea is to get out of it being aware of the huge penalty that I will have to face. I feel sick thinking about the penalty of the full surrender value but I think that if I keep going with that plan for all the reasons mentioned by all the knowledgeable posters above it will be even worst. Any thoughts ? Treat it like an expensive finance education course as wisely stated above ?

Thanks !
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 18:46
  #113 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: departures lounge - Dubai
Age: 98
Posts: 166
You will get some of the funds back at 3.5 years, but obviously your pot will have shrunk with all the fees and charges still being applied whilst you froze payments.

I was told you need to make 10 full years of payments just to break even on the fees and charges and for the fund to grow thereafter.

If you had been making large contributions in the UAE which you can no longer afford to make back home and you reduce your monthly payments, all fees are still charged at the higher contribution rate. Your fund cannot grow and you are just servicing more losses. This might be the deal breaker for you to consider?
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 13:20
  #114 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dubai
Posts: 2
Hi guys
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Anyone had a surprise with AES International in dubai?
Thanks.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 08:22
  #115 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: earth
Age: 53
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by Bird36 View Post
Hi guys
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Anyone had a surprise with AES International in dubai?
Thanks.
Check if they have fiduciary responsibility. Financial advisers or brokers must to be fiduciaries. This means they have to invest for you not for them.

Good luck.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 15:45
  #116 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dubai
Posts: 2
Yes, they employ high qualified fiduciaries.
I am looking for some feedback about them.
Thank you.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 11:14
  #117 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by Bird36 View Post
Yes, they employ high qualified fiduciaries.
I am looking for some feedback about them.
Thank you.


That post makes no sense. Financial firms do not employ fiduciaries, rather the firm itself may, or may not, have a fiduciary duty to its clients.


Are you a shill?


Regarding AES, their website says that "AES Middle East Insurance Broker LLC is regulated by the UAE Insurance Authority, licence no. 189":
https://www.aesinternational.com/leg...nd-regulations


So they appear to sell the same insurance-based, unit-linked, toxic savings plans that everyone else is selling to the gullible.
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 10:46
  #118 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: abroad
Posts: 52
Probably worth a visit or a read of his book before you commit to anything with one of these advisors.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/...althy-1.695214
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Old 21st Jan 2018, 11:56
  #119 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by FREQUENTFLYER1234 View Post
Probably worth a visit or a read of his book before you commit to anything with one of these advisors.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/...althy-1.695214


Yes, I highly recommend Hallam.
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Old 21st Jan 2018, 15:33
  #120 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Blandings
Posts: 656
The book is absolutely top notch and has an appendix which adds advice specific to your home country's tax regime to help you avail of all your advantages whilst you are an expat.

Follow his very simple advice and you will return home at least $250,000 richer than your EK colleague who lets his money be incrementally robbed from him in the C fund.

Before you type your nay-sayer's response be aware that Hallam only offers his very astute advice and is trying to sell you nothing but his book.
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