21st May 2024
Banking & Finance Books Opinion Spotlight

Spotlight: American shares insights about financial planning in Spain

We all enjoy learning secrets, especially when we can make good use of them. That’s the reason first-time author Peter Dougherty wrote ‘The Dougherty Code:  Secrets of Financial Planning in Spain Revealed’.  

Peter is a Financial Planner at BISSAN Wealth Management in Spain, where he helps American and other English-speakers with financial planning. In his new book, he explains clearly and simply how the wealth management industry in Spain functions.

It’s a useful topic to everyone in Spain. Books about ‘finances’, though, are seldom page-turners. Fortunately, this book is different. Thanks to Mr. Dougherty’s empathy for his readers, he combines a mix of stories, cartoons, charts, and jokes along the way. The result is an agreeable mix of useful information and welcome entertainment.

As American reporter Kerry Fehr-Snyder writes in her review of the book:

The Dougherty Code: Secrets of Financial Planning in Spain

I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys filing their taxes. And I mean anyone. Turns out Peter Dougherty’s father dreaded the annual chore too. The younger Dougherty recalls how his father’s cheerful demeanour changed as he tackled the painstaking task leading up to 15 April.

That’s why Peter Dougherty made it his goal to make ‘The Dougherty Code: Secrets of Financial Planning in Spain Revealed’ simple and easy to understand. The 122-page book is a breezy guide for the 40,000 Americans living in Spain. And it includes witty cartoons and great graphs too. My favourite depicts a man at the closed office of a Tax Auditor with a sign hanging on the handle: ‘Out to get you; Back in 1 hr.’

As an American living in Spain, Dougherty knows firsthand the oddities of paying taxes in another country. He uses an analogy of owning shoes. ‘Sadly, one shoe was manufactured in one factory and its mate was manufactured in a different factory. And the two factories don’t measure or manufacture shoes in the same way.’ Suffice to say Americans may as well go barefoot. But alas, the US government and the IRS doesn’t allow that.

Turns out, the US is the only country that mandates ‘citizen-based taxation’. Americans are subject to income tax on their worldwide income regardless of where they live. The rule dates back to the Civil War in 1861 when the US slapped a 3% personal income tax on income greater than $800. Congress argued that US citizens living abroad were avoiding their duties in a time of need. 

For Americans in Spain, this book has arrived precisely in their time of need.

Click here to purchase ‘The Dougherty Code’ on Amazon, as a Kindle eBook or in paperback.

Peter Dougherty (pictured below) is a Financial Planner at BISSAN Wealth Management in Spain. He is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® in the United States and a European Financial Planner (EFP) in Spain. Mr. Dougherty spent 20 years at Wall Street investment banks First Boston, Lehman Brothers and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He holds a Certificate in Financial Planning from Northwestern University in Chicago and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York. ‘The Dougherty Code’ is his first book.

This is a Spain in English Spotlight Feature.


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