Expert for ExPats
We are the “Experts for Expats in Germany”.
At C R & Cie., you will find the largest team of independent financial advisers in Germany entirely specialized on catering to Expats, offering fully comprehensive services for all your insurance- and investment-related needs.
There are a few other excellent advisers on the market who, like ourselves, are focussed and dedicated entirely to offering independent advice to Expats in Germany. You can find our list of recommended „competitors“ in Germany HERE. While this may look strange at first glance, a business recommending some direct competitors, the reason is actually simple. We would rather see you get specialized and custom-tailored advice from another adviser that we trust, than fall into the hands of the sharks which dominate the German financial advice market. The danger of falling into the wrong hands in financial advice is due to the poor industry regulation standards in Germany, and you can read more about that HERE.
Those like us who are offering advice exclusively to Expats are not really competitors in the end. It often feels more like a „band of brothers“. We are united in protecting Expats from the bad advice and unpleasant experiences that lay in wait for them. Many before have gone through a bad experience because they trusted the financial advice system in Germany. They thought it would be as well regulated as most other industries in Germany. Unfortunately, when looking at financial advice, consumer protection is very poor in Germany compared to many other countries.
The market for advice to Expats in Germany is large and steadily growing because the industry demand for IT- and engineering-experts from abroad is large and the financial advisers catering to this market are few. Hence, there is no competitive pressure amongst those sharing this market; solidarity and cooperation is more common in this industry than elsewhere in the world.
Although we are able to attend to clients all across Germany, thanks to advice furnished through phone and email, we mostly operate on a face-to-face basis in Munich, Stuttgart, and Berlin only. We are expecting to grow more with our adviser network, however, and our advisers often travel to meet clients across Germany, particularly in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dresden. That said, if you would like to have an adviser present in your neighbourhood, you might want to look at our list of recommended independent advisers, some of whom might be nearer to you than we are.
Expats need specialised advisers in order to get the best possible advice. You can read some good examples of why this is the case HERE. The usual German adviser from a bank, insurance company or financial distribution company (most often pyramid-structured) may speak decent enough English – but that is not enough in order to advise Expats properly. A good adviser needs to know the many traps, loopholes and backdoors in insurance contracts. A good adviser needs to understand the process, in particular when an Expat may be planning on living in Germany for only a few years. This plays a huge role when selecting pension or investment plans, as the reduction of initial costs is crucial for Expats to profit from tax breaks and other subsidies.
A good adviser also has to understand where their client comes from and what the insurance and pensions systems are like there. Try and ask an average German adviser about how to deal with your 401k (if you are from the US) or a QROPS transfer (UK) and you will be met with nothing but blank stares.
Since the German health insurance system is unique in the world, and often highly confusing, it is also important to know, as an adviser, how the NHS in the UK functions, for instance, in order to explain the differences in the German system properly and help the client make the right choice. For instance, if you sign up with a private German health insurance you need to know that by doing so you opt out of the German public health insurance system entirely and, most likely, indefinitely. People coming out of national health systems, which cover every resident, usually fail to understand (or are not properly informed) that private insurance in Germany acts as a substitute for public insurance and not as a supplement on top of the state system as in most other countries with a public health system. Without the right information, you could wake up one day from this misconception with a nasty surprise. If your circumstances change and you decide you would rather have public health insurance in Germany, you might find out that, due to poor advice, you can’t.
Expats in Germany need advice from experts – and we are the experts for expats in Germany, for insurance, investment and pension planning.