Hello dear community. My husband and I are looking for ways to invest in his home country (Palestine), but we cannot find any info relating to FIRE or even how to buy ETFs from there. We just spoke with a local financial advisor and we don’t think he understood what ETFs are, and said that we can only buy individual shares from their platform (which is somehow linked with US platforms). Any pointers on where to continue with our search would be very much appreciated. For example a middle east based FIRE blogger or something like that!
Unfortunately, there are too few liquid, publicly-traded companies based in Palestine for it to be worth it for a fund provider to create an ETF. For example, I dont think there is even one for neighbouring Jordan whose economy is much bigger and is not subjected to as many Israel-related problems as Palestine. The only ETFs for the Middle East appear to be country-specific ones focusing on the Gulf states or Israel. I think the best way to invest in Palestine would be through direct investments in businesses there, but this requires much more work (and carries a ton of risk).
thanks @chca yes we are finding this as well now. But it also seems impossible to invest in traditional etfs like VWRL from Palestine or even from Jordan. Do you have any info on that?
to rephrase my question. If we lived in Palestine, how would we access the ETFs that are desirable from a FIRE point of view?
Ahhh, well that is a different question. It will depend on the laws in place there and also any embargos that the US potentially has. Certainly not my expertise, unfortunately. Perhaps googling in Arabic you might find more info.
You need to understand what is the goal to invest there.
Is it to help the country? Maybe donations are better
Is it to help small entrepreneurs? Maybe small loans are better (some platforms exists, not sure about Palestine)
From a portfolio management side, it doesn’t make any sense to invest there. Small market, lot of volatility, no/few funds.
Yes, it would depend on US sanction. You’ll need to ask local bank what type of fund they offer
I believe there was some initial misunderstanding, and that @svichy is asking how to invest (or, FIRE) from (i.e. while living in) Palestine, not in (as into their markets) Palestine?
Please be aware that in the EU, US, CH, and most other developed countries, investment rules are fairly liberal. In most developing countries, local laws prohibits or make hurdles to investments of their residents in outside countries, so that the capital stays inside the country, as well as fighting tax avoidance… For instance India has just liberalised it a bit, but still limits for private persons are pretty tight. We became so used to the free flow of capital and currency we cannot imagine it otherwise…
Please be aware that in these countries, these kind of laws can change rapidly, and become problematic for private people.
The reason is probably not U.S. sanctions, but domestic laws.
These are all very valid points. I am also worried about how the money would be protected if invested through a broker.
Thank you for the responses everyone, it’s so great to be able to tap into this community.