Search found 1144 matches

by Karamatsu
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone noticed the Japanese stock market lately?
Replies: 15
Views: 2088

Re: Has anyone noticed the Japanese stock market lately?

The real story with Japan is president Abe committing to 'whatever it takes' to get the economy going again FWIW I think the real story is more that Japanese investors don't believe a word of it. For many years now, the driver of volatility in Japan's equity market has been foreign speculation, whi...
by Karamatsu
Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2506

Re: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

Thank you for both of those posts. They do help, and perhaps you are right that I'm intuitively applying a stock market mentality. There seem to be two aspects to that. One is the way in which selling equities at a loss to buy some other apparently better thing often becomes a race to see how quickl...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2506

Re: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

It's not an advantage to hold an old bond to maturity, otherwise buyers would be willing to pay more. This isn't only how bond pricing works, but how it has to work. I guess this is what I have some sort of mental block with. It seems paradoxical. I think what I need to do is work this out with rea...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2506

Re: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

I'll have to delve into the Japanese tax rules again. I thought all that was changing was that we were losing the weird special exception that let you ignore capital gains when selling before maturity? If the changes extend to the way the JPY purchase and sale prices are computed, that would be anot...
by Karamatsu
Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2506

Re: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

Thanks to everyone for these perspectives. It's true, of course, that there are many different kinds of "ordinary" bond funds, and that the differences matter. What I've had in mind were passive bond index funds where the fund actually holds the vast majority of its assets as a basket of b...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2506

Re: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

Yes, similar, but the workings of a regular bond fund are rather opaque when you get into the details (at least to me), while these fixed-maturity funds appear, at least on the surface, far more understandable due to the analogy with individual bonds. Still, thanks for the link to the other thread. ...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Patents and investors
Replies: 19
Views: 1621

Re: Patents and investors

I'd definitely get professional advice when going into negotiations with potential investors. They certainly will, so you should, too. Since you're a recent graduate I suggest talking with professors or the department head at your university. They've probably had to engage similar help regarding pat...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2506

Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

With the usual uncertainty over interest rates and difficulty comprehending what traditional open-ended bond funds will do if rates rise, I've been looking at bond funds with fixed maturity, such as the rather unfortunately named iBonds funds from iShares. These funds hold bonds that will mature on/...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risks of ETN
Replies: 8
Views: 776

Re: Risks of ETN

Personally I avoid ETNs because of the concentrated risk, but I wonder... did the IRS ever issue a final decision on whether holders of an ETN would have to pay OID (or whatever the equivalent would be)?
by Karamatsu
Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Japan. The rotten apple that spoils the whole index?
Replies: 13
Views: 2569

Re: Japan. The rotten apple that spoils the whole index?

Well, as has been said, Japan's fraction of the indexes is just an artefact of how the indexes are calculated. They don't make exceptions for countries that have had economic difficulties, and I don't think we'd want them to, or the opportunity to buy low would be lost. That said, on Monday I saw a ...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic accounts open to expats (June 2015)
Replies: 3
Views: 392

Re: Domestic accounts open to expats (June 2015)

I've heard that Schwab is not opening new accounts for expatriates in Japan but thus far, at least, there has been no freezing of accounts, no requirements to provide a US address, and contributions to previously set up IRA (trad/Roth) both seem to be fine. I don't recall any mention of FATCA, but t...
by Karamatsu
Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bank of America Corporation InterNotes??
Replies: 9
Views: 785

Re: Bank of America Corporation InterNotes??

A very good question for all of us, really!
by Karamatsu
Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1119

Re: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds

However my impression is Japan now actually has inflation (some expressed as falling portion sizes, for example, rather than higher prices) and that it exceeds current interest rates paid? From an ordinary consumer's point of view that is certainly true true. The "experienced" inflation r...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1119

Re: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds

I am also ok to invest money under my wife's name as I read there are tax issues for investing in funds overseas for US citizens. The issue there is the IRS treatment of passive foreign investment companies (PFIC), but you'd want to be very careful about this idea, and consult someone knowledgeable...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: backdoor roth ira in schwab?
Replies: 7
Views: 737

Re: backdoor roth ira in schwab?

I don't think it's possible to do this sort of transaction online because they'll need a signature, so what you should do is just send a note to customer support telling them what you want to do, and they'll send you a form. I've never done the "backdoor" move (after battling the IRS for y...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Income to offset cut in hours
Replies: 5
Views: 831

Re: Income to offset cut in hours

I think that to really figure this out it would be good to first estimate how many months/years you think you'd be working part time while seeking a new direction, and how much gap income you'd really need each month. That wil tell you how much gap income you need in total, and given that it would b...
by Karamatsu
Sun May 31, 2015 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to keep backup (secondary) emergency fund?
Replies: 19
Views: 2691

Re: Where to keep backup (secondary) emergency fund?

I think the most important characteristics for an emergency fund are safety and liquidity. That is, you need the funds to be there , and to be available today . So what I use is government savings bonds. Around here, once you hold them for a year they're redeemable at any time, and I can do it at th...
by Karamatsu
Thu May 28, 2015 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are US Gov Bonds "Better" than other Developed Countries' Bonds?
Replies: 26
Views: 2982

Re: Are US Gov Bonds "Better" than other Developed Countries' Bonds?

By better, I mean do they have higher risk adjusted return/lower probability of default? In addition to CDS you can look at the sovereign debt ratings issued by companies like S&P , however note that for developed nations (at least those in control of their own fiat currency), ratings are not s...
by Karamatsu
Wed May 27, 2015 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Dollar ETF
Replies: 6
Views: 378

Re: Investing in Dollar ETF

We do not invest because we think something will keep going up. Well, that's probably putting it a bit too strongly even though I agree that there is no way of knowing. But there's still plenty of "stocks for the long run" sentiment around, otherwise I doubt that any sane person (except t...
by Karamatsu
Wed May 20, 2015 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: buying foreign based company stock that trade in the US
Replies: 5
Views: 319

Re: buying foreign based company stock that trade in the US

Wow... It never occurred to me that a PFIC would trade on a US exchange and not somehow be exempt from the horrors of PFIC treatment. Good to know!
by Karamatsu
Tue May 19, 2015 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: buying foreign based company stock that trade in the US
Replies: 5
Views: 319

Re: buying foreign based company stock that trade in the US

when we buy a foreign based company stock, (the ones that trades in usa), is there a special paperwork before or during tax time? It depends on the company/country. For example, if, in a taxable account, you hold shares of a Canadian corporation that pays dividends, 15% tax will be withheld at the ...
by Karamatsu
Mon May 11, 2015 5:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Extrapolating Future Trends From Past: Never or Just Sometimes?
Replies: 12
Views: 663

Re: Extrapolating Future Trends From Past: Never or Just Sometimes?

Does this mean that it is ok to rely on past performance for some things, but not others?


No, but in the investment world there is always a degree of "the emperor's new clothes" at work, in part because many of us have so little choice.
by Karamatsu
Thu May 07, 2015 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gains on individual stock?
Replies: 13
Views: 1489

Re: Capital Gains on individual stock?

I think they're not adjusting for splits. CSCO closed at 28.81 yesterday. The market price of one share of CSCO on 7 May 1999 was 108.50 but the stock split twice (both 2:1) between then and now, so absent any other kind of weirdness, the split-adjusted cost basis should be 27.125/share, right? Buye...
by Karamatsu
Thu May 07, 2015 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Round Numbers in Portfolio Allocations
Replies: 49
Views: 3047

Re: Round Numbers in Portfolio Allocations

For a spouse who is an accountant I doubt that it would make any difference at all, especially if you have Excel doing the computations. I mean, once you plug in the target percentage, it doesn't matter whether your allocation is 10% or (3*Pi)%, the spreadsheet will do the work. That said, I round m...
by Karamatsu
Mon May 04, 2015 10:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gains on individual stock?
Replies: 13
Views: 1489

Re: Capital Gains on individual stock?

Yep. Much depends on the timing.
by Karamatsu
Mon May 04, 2015 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: taxes on REIT ETF
Replies: 6
Views: 587

Re: taxes on REIT ETF

If I have a REIT ETF, do I pay takes like regular income on dividends or only capital gains tax? As with any similar fund you'll pay tax on the dividends as well capital gains tax if you sell shares at a gain (or if the fund does so and distributes the gains). SCHH seems fine, but since the whole p...
by Karamatsu
Mon May 04, 2015 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gains on individual stock?
Replies: 13
Views: 1489

Re: Capital Gains on individual stock?

Ah, 1999... that was a good year. I guess you're looking at account statements to determine the current market value, right? It's just that the shares you mention (CSCO, MSFT, ORCL) seem to be up compared to their 1999 prices, so you may need to take into account the stock splits that occurred betwe...
by Karamatsu
Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand preferred stock we own...
Replies: 9
Views: 1109

Re: Help me understand preferred stock we own...

Oh, OK. Much better, in fact. But in any case, the core question still stands. Is this something you'd buy for the trust with new money? If not, then unless there are side-effects like tax consequences, that's an excellent reason to sell. The issue itself, well... essentially in exchange for your $1...
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand preferred stock we own...
Replies: 9
Views: 1109

Re: Help me understand preferred stock we own...

Well, I had this nice long note all written but then my session timed out and it vanished. The short answer is that you should read the prospectus, keeping in mind that it's a sales document, not an unbiased evaluation, and answer just this one question: If you had $2M in new cash to invest, would y...
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P 500 foreign revenue at 50% - advice on impact of port.
Replies: 28
Views: 2564

Re: S&P 500 foreign revenue at 50% - advice on impact of por

Would you consider the S&P 500 partly international exposure similar to a total international market index fund? Of course I know not exactly, but in some form or shape? No, not really. What's being missed is that, when investing in equities, the driver of returns is share prices. Share prices ...
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to get rid of practically worthless stock
Replies: 33
Views: 3672

Re: Best way to get rid of practically worthless stock

Lots of ups and downs, but things are good. I hope all is well for you, too. If you don't have a broker then you might check to see if Schwab has an office near you. You could take in certificates and they'd be able to figure it out. I only recommend them because I know them (ironically I opened my ...
by Karamatsu
Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to get rid of practically worthless stock
Replies: 33
Views: 3672

Re: Best way to get rid of practically worthless stock

Wow, Evans and Sutherland! That brings back memories. Sorry to hear things didn't go better for them. I'm surprised that you have stock certificates, though. When I was there in the late 80's, the shares we received were deposited with a broker. I don't remember ever getting certificates. In any cas...
by Karamatsu
Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Coming to terms with low risk tolerance
Replies: 46
Views: 3664

Re: Coming to terms with low risk tolerance

According to Bernstein, my current allocation is okay. That obviously makes me feel better. Do you agree with his advice?


Yes, very much so. I think your allocation is wise.
by Karamatsu
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I hold my Preferred Stocks?
Replies: 7
Views: 747

Re: Should I hold my Preferred Stocks?

Well, don't be too, too hard on the broker. After all you apparently just gave him carte blanche to manage your portfolio, and you did benefit from the yield (versus bonds) while it lasted. That said, depending on the details (where the devil lives), it may still be advisable to sell them.
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Keep Cash in Yuan?
Replies: 11
Views: 1442

Re: Keep Cash in Yuan?

Something you'd want to look at before doing something like this is the tax treatment of foreign currency gains and losses. Depending on the rules in your country, it can be a bit of a headache.
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any tax software that handles Form 1116?(Foreign Tax Credit)
Replies: 19
Views: 2529

Re: Any tax software that handles Form 1116?(Foreign Tax Cre

The more complicated provisions are more likely to matter if you worked in a foreign country and were taxed there Yes, I imagine that, for a US citizen living in the US, and whose foreign investments are made via US-based funds, it's not nearly as big a problem. It's probably only when you step out...
by Karamatsu
Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Barron's article...Closed End Funds Advantage....
Replies: 13
Views: 1531

Re: Barron's article...Closed End Funds Advantage....

Although I used to invest in some closed-end funds, I don't currently hold any. They're tricky beasts. Expensive and with lots of risks and caveats, most notably leverage and inflation of yield numbers through return-of-capital. Like some preferred stocks, you have to read the prospectus and associa...
by Karamatsu
Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is tax loss harvesting applicable to foreign-listed ETFs?
Replies: 4
Views: 437

Re: Is tax loss harvesting applicable to foreign-listed ETFs

You can deduct capital losses on your US taxes no matter what investment you sold at a loss, so you should be able to harvest a loss anywhere. It is worth noting, at least, that there are special considerations for foreign-domiciled funds, most of which are classified as Passive Foreign Investment ...
by Karamatsu
Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

There is also that lingering question, as was pointed out, about why we need to give Intuit our password in order to encrypt our return data. Among other things it means that we can't access our own data if we're not connected to the net, and if Intuit ever lost that data, or went bankrupt, we might...
by Karamatsu
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use both Turbotax and TaxACT?
Replies: 8
Views: 1128

Re: Should I use both Turbotax and TaxACT?

One thing to be aware of with TT being discussed in another thread , but it's only an issue if you use the Macintosh and purchase the CD version of the software. As for cross-checking, it depends on how familiar you are with what to expect. Regardless of which software you use, or even if you use an...
by Karamatsu
Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

So I had to go away for a week and was off line. It's good to see that people have continued to investigate, and especially that someone at Intuit responded, if only through a back channel. For what it's worth, as the OP I was never suggesting that Intuit was doing this in order to obtain our tax in...
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

Thanks for moving the thread. I really wasn't sure where it belonged, but since everybody here is, or soon will be, knee-deep in tax preparation, it seemed worthwhile to let people know.
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

Also by the way thanks for the tip about the password-protected disk. Of course it's true that I can encrypt the TT data file separately, using a different product. It just creates another layer of inconvenience and concern. It would be great if they eliminate the flaw in the printing/saving functio...
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

There are thousands of applications made for the Mac. How many of them are forced to do this sort of weird print work-around? Yes, I agree with you. I actually worked for a while as a cross-language software developer for the Macintosh, and I've never heard of anything like this with any application.
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

As far as I know, it was never a problem in the past, but it's possible that my Mac was always connected to the net when I printed or saved files, and I just didn't notice. This year I've been working in a slightly different environment so wasn't connected when I worked through my return, then got t...
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

Actually even if Apple wouldn't let Intuit use the print library they'd intended to use, any reasonable company would simply have switched to an acceptable print library. I have no doubt that Apple offers one. But reading between the lines (which isn't always accurate), I'm guessing that Intuit want...
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

There are a whole bunch of Mac programs that will print to pdfs and I think you can print to .pdf within the Mac print dialog boxes so even if Intuit has that feature disabled within TurboTax you should still be able to generate a PDF by going through the print dialogs. The PDF feature will show up...
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

Reading some of the links above... it's nonsensical but not beyond the realm of possibility that Apple may have required them to stop using a third-party printing library if that library is known to be insecure . On the other hand, no other software application I use has such a requirement, so somet...
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

Encryption does require login in, but printing does not. I can print fine with no login. This is with the Premier version on a Mac. Would you mind doing an experiment? Disconnect your computer from the network (easy to do if it's a wired connection but less easy if it's wireless) and then try to pr...
by Karamatsu
Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 74
Views: 8987

Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

In addition to forcing people to upgrade to their Premier version in order to manage investments, it's important to know that you will not be able to save your data in encrypted form without Intuit credentials, essentially sharing your password with Intuit. Worse, you will not be able to save your r...

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