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The Financial Planning Process in The Bahamas. By Bridgette Francis Americas Geographic Focus Group of the Financial Planning Association. The Bahamas. Introduction.

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The Financial Planning Process in The Bahamas

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The financial planning process in the bahamas l.jpg

The Financial Planning Process in The Bahamas

By

Bridgette Francis

Americas Geographic Focus Group of the Financial Planning Association


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The Bahamas


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Introduction

  • There is no Financial Planning Association in the Bahamas. While there are accounting and banking associations, there is no history of a financial planning association.

  • Unofficially, the Financial Planning Process has been conducted by Bahamians for generations.

  • The profession of Financial planning is new to the Bahamas, which is a country that has its exchange rate equivalent to the United States Dollar.

  • The Bahamas, which is a chain of islands with its closest tip 50 miles southeast of Florida, can benefit from a Financial Planning Association.


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Demographics

  • Population (est. 2008): 309,156

  • Median age (males): 27.9 years of age

  • Median age (females): 29.5 years of age

  • Life expectancy at birth: 65.78 years

  • Literacy rate: 95.6%

  • GDP Purchasing Power Parity: $8.779 billion

  • GDP Per Capita Income: $28,600

    Source :CIA World Factbook


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Major Industries

  • Tourism

  • Banking

  • Fishing

  • Construction


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The Traditional Financial Planning Process

  • Buying and Investing in Real Estate

  • Saving Accounts is held by most working Bahamians.

  • However, according to annual reports, few Bahamians have a savings account of more than $1,000( One Thousand Dollars).

  • Borrowing for College.

  • Health and Life Insurance.

  • Participating in Asue, which is a savings plan where a group of People agree to pay a certain amount of money each week or month to the savings plan. Then, each week or month, a lump sum of money is paid to one individual until each individual receives a lump sum payment.


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Channels for Financial Planning

  • As more Bahamians received an international college education in major developed countries, more innovative products started to be introduced to Bahamian families.

  • Most financial planning in the Bahamas takes place at banks and insurance companies in the Bahamas.

  • Most individuals who provide financial advice in the Bahamas receive a regular salary.

  • Financial Advisors Providing advice to companies and international investors may request commission in their contracts.

  • There is great need for an official Financial Planning Awareness in the Bhamaas


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Financial Services Provided

  • Annuities

  • Trusts

  • Mutual Funds

  • 401 K Plans

  • Defined Benefit Plan(Mostly Retirees who worked for the Bahamas Government Service Retirees

  • Mortgages

  • Insurance

  • National Insurance Monthly Payments( Similar to Social Security) for Retired Citizens over 65 years of age.


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Advantages of Financial Planning

  • Highly Skilled Workforce

  • Modern Telecommunications and Infrastructure

  • Different Regulatory Bodies (a)Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Bank of The Bahamas, b) Office of the Registrar of Insurance Companies, and c) the Securities Commission of the Bahamas).

  • Tax Free Environment

  • International Airlines


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Challenges to Financial Planning

  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which is an international organization of some of the most powerful industrialized countries, maintains a “ Black List” of countries that are uncooperative to the sharing of tax information on international investors.

  • The Bahamas Business Guide, B2B LTD. stated that the Bahamas was blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force in 2000 for being a non-cooperative and harmful Tax Haven.

  • The Bahamas International Stock Exchange, which was started in 1999, has few investors

  • According to Bahamas Financial Services Web site, the Bahamas has now appeared on the “Grey Listing” of countries by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2009.

  • The Bahamas Financial Services Website describes Grey Listing as meaning that a country has agreed to implement tax sharing agreements but has not met the OECD standards of implementation.


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Personal Contribution

Wish to make more Bahamians aware of

the Financial Planning Association.

  • Utilize knowledge gained in education planning from the Certified Financial Planning Program to help make the dream of a college education a reality for more Bahamians.

  • Share with fellow Bahamians how estate planning, income tax planning, risk management, and education planning are done in other countries.


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Conclusion

  • As the Bahamas faces numerous international financial regulatory challenges, the need for a financial planning association has emerged so that the Bahamas keeps its competitive edge in the financial services industries.

  • More Bahamians need to understand the concept of financial planning.

  • Being the first Bahamian selected to serve on the Americas Geographic Focus Group, I hope to help my country’s citizens learn more about the financial planning association and the way the economic health of Bahamians can be improved with proper financial planning.


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References

  • Bahamas on OECD BlackList(2009,April 3).Retrieved April 3, 2009 from Bahamas Financial Services.Com:http://ww.bahamasfinancialservices.com.

  • “Bahamas.” CIA The world Factbook,4 Dec. 2008.

  • Exuma, Bahamas-Beach(Online Image)n.d. Retrieved May 29,2007, from http://www.caribbeanmag.com-images-articles-Bahamas.

  • Common Data Bahamas Map, Retrieved May 30,2009 from Lippert International:http:// www.lippertint.com.


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