Month: November 2016

Three things to know to buy a house abroad in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


Buying a house in Rio de Janeiro has always be my dream. Nothing could have prevented me to do it. Though when I went through the process, I send through unexpected adventures and discoveries. Legally, physically and on a financial point of view. A quick example, my bank tried to make me pay $12,000 additional fees hidden in the exchange rate when I was transfering the money from abroad. Must read before you buy.

Bureaucracy nightmare

Ever heard about the bureaucracy nightmare in Brazil ?

You will have to provide a ludicrous number of documents to buy an apartment. Even your police folder will be screened. If you come from another country, you will have to translate every document with an official translator (i.e. not cheap).

They went to a point, so far, that they created a new concept which is the “Despachante”, someone who will go through collecting all the needed documentation with the government agencies and respective institutions

If you are sending the money overseas and making a large amount of transfer you will also have to register with the local bank.

After reading this, if you are still willing to go through the bureaucracy to buy it you should be aware of two things:


Not all the cariocas are scammers, most of the one I know are perfectly fine, and the majority is honest. But some can be dishonest when when it’s related to one of these 3 branches : Scamming foreigners, Politics, and Drugs. So please, research the seller ang go through the details.


Always verify what are the risk areas around. Not every favela is dangerous but some people sleep better when there is no risk to receive a bullet by mistake in the middle of the night directly in your apartment. Don’t take me wrong, I’m not saying you should live at a distance from the poors, or any elitist thing but the risk of gunfire is actually pretty high in some places. If you really care about security, you can also check Monte Carlo, but that won’t be the same life.



The 3 firsts points where the most important, I’ll just give an extra advice about the orientation of the sun. When buying a house in a country as wet as Brazil, the morning sun means mold and the afternoon sun means being toasted. It’s up to you after that. It is true for other cities where it’s humid like Rio De Janeiro, but worth mentioning if you come from a dry country.

Transferring the money abroad to buy the house

Now, if you are not living or paid in Brazil, you will have to pay the apartment from a foreign account. Be aware of the high fees your bank will take to buy your house. You MUST go through a broker to understand what you are in for if you want to save $10,000 to $20,000. Though it’s a burden and you will hate it, the best you could do is to compare in a minute the best brokers you can find depending on which apartment you will buy. I don’t know most of the broker.

Cheers and see you in Brazil!

How to send money abroad: a guide for beginners

how to send money abroad

Today, in our globalized world, it is more and more common to send money abroad and for many different reasons: as an expat you send money on a saving account back home, as a student your parents send you money each month or you might be retiring away from home and need to receive your pension.

There are basically 2 ways to send money abroad: the traditional way and the new one. Let’s see the differences.

how to send money abroad

How to send money abroad traditionally?

I’m using here the word traditionally in the sense of old fashioned and I am referring to banks or money transfer operators like Western Union or Moneygram. Why is that? Well, it is simple, these actors have been dominating the market for decades and nothing has changed in the way they send money for you. In 2016, it still costs a way too much to make an international transfer.

Take the banks for example: you need to send £1000 from the UK to France. You’ll be paying around 10% in fees, i.e. £100. There are fixed fees, variable ones and last but not least hidden ones. The hidden fees are traditionally hidden in the exchange rate. An easy way for bank to make even more money out of your transfer is to use a poorer exchange rate than the real one at the time of the transfer. Easy money isn’t it?

These fees are also applied by Western Union and Moneygram, which makes them the most expensive solutions to send money abroad. However, they are the most famous and probably the most used worldwide, which is a totally nonsense to me. This comes from the fact that they have agencies in many countries around the world.

How to send money abroad in 2016?

A couple of years ago, new actors arrived on the market such as Transferwise, World Remit, Azimo offering very competitive rates. How is that possible? They simply do not apply outrageous fees and they use opposite routes to send money. To make it short and simple:  someone is sending money from Poland to the UK, they’ll be waiting for someone to send money the opposite way so they do not have to buy foreign currencies. Clever isn’t it?

This is the main reason why they manager to lower their costs. Such actors are called P2P: peer-to-peer.

The emergence of all these new actors made it complicated for people willing to send money abroad to compare them and to make sure they’ve found the best one according to their needs. This is the reason why Moneytis has been created. Moneytis is a comparison platform that allows you to compare all money transfer providers operating in 2 given countries. With 3 clicks you have access to a clear and transparent comparison that will help you find the best way to send money abroad. For each operator you’ll know exactly how long it will take for the transfer to be made, how much money you will receive and how easy their platform is to use.

I hope you learned how to send money abroad. It has never been so easy!

5 tips to send money abroad


Do you plan to move abroad in the coming days and you have many things to do before leaving? Did you already find a place in your country destination?  What about your money when you send money abroad? Did you already think about how you will transfer your money abroad? Don’t worry you’re in the right place to know what to do. Although we know the world of bank and money transfers is boring and complicated it can be simple if you know what to do. And moreover you will be proud and happy for once to have the feeling that you’re doing the right thing by optimizing your money transfer.


Choose the right time to send money abroad

The first thing to think when you send money abroad is WHEN to do it according on the exchange rate between two currencies. Indeed if the rate if high one day it can make a big difference in the amount of money received.


Avoid your bank

I personally don’t really care about how to send money abroad because I would use my bank to do so. I didn’t even ask myself the question as the bank is here to take care of my money and all my needs about money transfers, loans, etc. But now after several years as an expatriate abroad I finally understood that it was really a mistake to use my bank to send money abroad because I’ve lost a lot of money. A bank take an average rate of 7% of commission of a money transfer! This means when I send every since years 1’000 CHF into my account in euros, I’ve lost 70 CHF of each transfer!


Look at money transfer companies specialized in money transfers

Do you know that some operators are specialized in money transfer and can offer a better rate than your bank. They take fees too but it is between 1% and 4% which is definitely cheaper than a bank. A lot exist. You probably know Western Union or Moneygram. A lot more exist and allow to move money between countries easily and fast.



Compare your options when sending money abroad

The thing is compare the money transfer companies before your transfer. One operator can offer a good rate in a specific currency but can be not cheap on another currency. For example Western Union can be the cheapest option on a transfer between Switzerland and France but can be the most expensive between France and the United Kingdom. It depends also on the amount you need to send and how fast you need the money to be there. So always compare!


Use a comparison service

But how to compare? It’s like booking a hotel abroad. How would you do It? Would you click on every hotels’ website to see if there is a room available and check the prices, the location, the commodities? I don’t think so! We are so used to use a comparison platform such as or in order not to care about nothing but simply see all the hotels available and book a stay in one click. It is exactly the same for money transfers.

Some platforms exist to see all the money transfer operators available in the country you need to send money in. These platforms show you the prices, the speed of transfer but also the payment and delivery options and all the information needed for a transfer!

The good and bad ideas when you need to send a large amount of money abroad


I’ve been there, I wanted to make an investment and buy a house in Europe. I was asked to transfer from a trusted source within 10 days the whole amount of money. In my case, the hardest part was not the loan but the fact that it was an international money transfer.


And I never had to send money abroad before, this was new to me, so what did I do?

TL;DR : Everything is clear when you compare, I suggest Moneytis

Send money abroad with Western Union, Moneygram or Ria

This came to mind quickly, but it was wiped off immediately, too expensive and they do not allow large transfer. The maximum you can send is usually around $7000.

Transfer the large amount with a bank : Bank of America, JP Morgan & co,

I went to see my bank manager and went through the whole process. The loan they suggested was good, but the international transfer rate was horrible. They were not taking the real mid market exchange rate, they were fixing once a day their own rate and adding an extra margin.

Transfer using a money transfer operator

My colleagues suggested to have a look at several online money transfer operator such as WorldRemit, Transferwise and XendPay, but either they didn’t accept large amount or the rate was not interesting.

Exchange the currencies with the Brokers

Here we are, brokers are the companies specialized in exchanging large amount of money for you. This seems like the logical choice, though, I had a terrible time trying to find out what were the brokers who could be trusted, to compare their prices and to know which broker was available in which country.

I would recommend a different broker for every specific use, depending on the amount you send, the countries and to always verify if the broker is regulated by the FCA, the Fincen or another state institution. The best for you would be to find which one is the most interesting for your own needs. I recommend to use Moneytis which is a transparent, exact and independent comparator.

By the way, I’m writing this by the fire in a Swiss chalet. I’m just happy.