Investment house Allan Gray is reducing the barriers to entry for South African investors who want to invest offshore by significantly reducing the minimum amount required to invest via its offshore investment platform.

“It’s important for investors to maintain a well-diversified portfolio, which includes offshore exposure above what local South African funds are generally able to achieve. To better enable investors to do this, we have lowered the minimum lump-sum investment for our offshore platform to $1 500 (about R18 000 at current exchange rates), from $10 000,” says Earl van Zyl, head of product development at Allan Gray.

Investment platforms offer unit trusts from a range of different investment managers – a one-stop service through which you can access unit trusts in one investment account, while dealing with only one service provider such as Allan Gray.

A locally-administered offshore investment platform suits investors who wish to invest directly in offshore funds but prefer to use a local business instead of opening accounts with offshore managers in different jurisdictions. 

Van Zyl says: “Simplicity, choice, flexibility and cost efficiency are the key benefits of investing via a local investment platform. We offer investors ease of administration and convenient service across a selection of offshore funds to reduce the hurdle of direct international investing. Our platform removes the anxiety and mystique surrounding the offshore investment process and our aim is to make it just as easy for long-term savers to invest with us internationally as it is locally.”

Through Allan Gray’s offshore platform, you gain access to a carefully selected range of offshore-based unit trusts from well-established international investment managers, including seven funds from Orbis, Allan Gray’s offshore partner. 

Local offshore investment platforms also make it easier for investors to transfer cash or existing offshore investments to the platform without the need to repatriate them first. Withdrawals can also be made into an offshore bank account without any further SA exchange controls.