Monday, February 06, 2006
Last week I had an article published on RealMoney.com about investing in Iceland and my odyssey to get my account opened and funded. I have been working on this for three months and finally two weeks ago it worked out.
The article had part of the fundamental story I have been writing about Iceland since last spring along with some current economic data. I also gave details about the steps I went through. I had to go to Kaupthing Bank's website and follow the process out lined which was to print out the application and mail it to the address given along with a photocopy of my passport and then wait to hear from them. I did this in November.
A month later I had still hadn't heard anything. Some of you may recall I went to NYC in December, so I made it a point to go visit Kaupthing's office in midtown Manhattan. Unfortunately the office there is part of the Capital Markets division and does not handle retail services. I knew this going in but I thought I would be able to get them to interoffice mail it for me. They don't really do that with their HQ but I was lucky enough to schmooze one the people that worked there and she offered to mail it for me because I am a shareholder, the bank has a listing in Stockholm that is accessible to Americans.
Two weeks later I got an email telling me that they had my paperwork but that my passport was not notarized and that I would need to resend it. Another month later and I was all set to fund my account.
Funding has to be done via wire, since this is very new to me I only sent a small amount of money. If something happened to the money, I would not be damaged, just annoyed.
The money made it there just fine. I split my deposit in half between shares in the ICEX-15 ETF and a money market that pays 8%.
In addition to stocks, the ETF (I believe there is only one) and a money market, there are also mutual funds that Kaupthing manages. One fund that caught my eye was the Kaupthing Fund Nordic Growth. The fund invests in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. What I thought was interesting was that it captures norther Europe in Icelandic kronas, meaning foreign investing captured in another currency. This is something that institutions do all the time but is not so available to retail investors.
I will probably send more money up there over time. I intend to keep about 50% in the money market because I view just capturing the currency as a big part of this.
I think I will have more on this in future posts.
Posted by Roger Nusbaum at 6:28 AM