Internationally Born Entrepreneurs Flock to the Silicon Valley, But Beware of Personal Finance Traps

More and more cross-border professionals and their families are making their way to the U.S. to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors – some recent estimates are that as much as 50% of the founders of new start-ups are foreign born. These people are generally super stars, with the education, skills and ideas to transform industries, and the drive and conviction to make something happen.


They come to the Silicon Valley from all over the world, with the knowledge that here they will have the best chance of success. After all, the Bay Area has the ecosystem of culture, ideas, engineering talent, and money to help turn ideas into reality. The Silicon Valley has really become the epicenter for innovation and entrepreneurialism the world over – and it seems there is no end in sight. And now it seems that the rest of the world has accepted this reality and the flood of talent and ideas from abroad is unrelenting.


One side effect of this global phenomenon is that more and more international citizens are accumulating wealth here in the U.S. – often through rising income or by merging or selling their company to a larger player. As these people accumulate assets of various types, often in more than one country, their personal financial affairs become very complicated.


As our international entrepreneur finds success, and as she/he begins to earn a higher income and to accumulate significant financial assets, she/he will likely find that:


  • She/He faces unique personal financial challenges she/he wasn’t previously aware of;
  • She/He is suddenly faced with a complex and changing legal, tax, financial, and regulatory landscape; and
  • Very few competent and reliable sources of information are available to help guide her/him.


Cross-border professionals living here in the U.S. need to make better personal financial and wealth management decisions. Managing wealth efficiently and effectively is never easy and always takes careful thinking and planning, but cross-border professionals, who often are the best and brightest of the international landscape, find themselves in an especially tough spot. They must confront a myriad of complex issues, such as:


  • Immigration and relocation
  • Banking and currencies
  • International taxation
  • Entrepreneurialism and business ownership
  • Real estate, both in the U.S. and abroad
  • Investing and retirement
  • Estate planning


Let this article be a challenge to the wealth management industry; there is a huge community of international people in the U.S. who have a high likelihood of creating significant wealth, however, very few professional advisors are up to the task of helping them manage things. That has to change!