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Why You Should Work in London

June 18, 2009

In many cases the hardest thing about leveraging a geoarbitrage a strategy is finding the actual opportunities. Arbitrage requires that you locate discrepancies between two separate locations or geographies. So naturally your first question should be ‘where do I start looking?’ The answer is look for the extremes or the outliers. If I want to earn the highest amount per job possible I should seek the locations where those jobs are at a premium. A premium may exist if there is a lack of qualified candidates for that role or it could be because there is an overall higher COLA in the location or geography where the job is available. One search indicated that in the US the highest COLAs are in New York and Los Angeles, not surprisingly. If we expand the scope globally we find that Moscow, Tokyo and London rank in the top three most expensive cities to live in. What this tells me is that I should find work in London, get paid in pounds (GBPs) and live in North Carolina where my COLA is 1/3 of London’s.  Why not look for jobs in Moscow or Tokyo? For me, the only real barrier is language but that makes learning a foreign langauge even more valuable and tempting as a way to further leverage geoarbitrage.

So how do you work in London but live in the US?  The two relatively obvious answers are either temporarily relocate for contract basis work or find remote positions. As an accountant I am already familiar with the amount of bookkeeping and tax work being sourced overseas. By positioning myself as a financial accounting expert in both GAAP and IFRS (US and international accounting) I can win business from those London firms who need that specific niche filled. And, if I really want to take this to the extreme then I outsource the work I win to India or other bookkeeping outsource hotspots so that now I get paid in GBPs,  pay my workforce in Rupees and live on US$s.

Arbitrage Flowchart

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