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The Financial Planning Process in The Bahamas
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  • 1. The Financial Planning Process in The Bahamas By Bridgette Francis Americas Geographic Focus Group of the Financial Planning Association
  • 2. The Bahamas
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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
  • 5. Major Industries
    • Tourism
    • Banking
    • Fishing
    • Construction
  • 6. 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.
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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.
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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.
  • 11. 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.
  • 12. 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.
  • 13. 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.