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Re: US Ex-Pat: Help needed with retirement savings

Was wondering if I could get help with another question... I'm playing around with the Morningstar X-Ray tool to help me get the right balance of stocks (domestic and international) and bonds. And I couldn't help noticing the style box next to the asset allocation section. Currently it says my port...
by bpp
Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Ex-Pat: Help needed with retirement savings
Replies: 14
Views: 1229

Re: Need signature guarantee in Japan

How long is your list of possible firms as destinations? Not very long. There's Schwab and then a couple of Japanese brokerages. Realistically, I think that means Schwab. I doubt you could do an in-kind transfer to a Japanese brokerage, and even if you could, it is probably not worth the hassle if ...
by bpp
Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need signature guarantee in Japan
Replies: 23
Views: 742

Re: Need signature guarantee in Japan

So Medallion Guarantees only apply to transfers of securities (in the SEC sense)? If the OP sold everything and went to cash, there would be no problem (other than the capital gains hit) transferring the cash somewhere else? On another tack, where are you transferring the securities to, d0gerz? Migh...
by bpp
Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need signature guarantee in Japan
Replies: 23
Views: 742

Re: Need signature guarantee in Japan

I would call them up and ask them what to do. This requirement sounds ridiculous. Are they even allowed to refuse to give you back your own money?
by bpp
Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need signature guarantee in Japan
Replies: 23
Views: 742

Re: Foreign Bona-fide residency

I was thinking the same thing as you about the driver's license and yes I can use my foreign license when I am in the USA although it may not be as widely applicable (I am OK on a rental but not sure if still insured while driving a relative's car). Ideally, I could keep my Texas driver's license -...
by bpp
Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Bona-fide residency
Replies: 11
Views: 675

Re: Foreign Bona-fide residency

I wouldn't even know in which state to apply for health insurance because I am not a resident of any state except that I still have a driver's license and address in Texas. I have even been worried about renewing my driver's license online when it comes up for renewal later this year. I would be in...
by bpp
Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Bona-fide residency
Replies: 11
Views: 675

Re: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan

Follow-up thought: If you do open a NISA, then to avoid excess US withholding taxes on your dividends, you might want to use Japan-domiciled ETFs instead of Vanguard ones. For example, some combination of MSCI ACWI ex-Japan (1554), plus a TOPIX fund to cover Japanese equities. http://www.tse.or.jp/e...
by bpp
Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan
Replies: 8
Views: 945

Re: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan

Thanks for the wiki link. I had a look and I see that not much has changed with regarding to Vanguard offerings here in the 18 months since I last checked. Will have a revised look at those NISAs - had forgotten about those too. Although one question, I haven't been able to find the specifics of wh...
by bpp
Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan
Replies: 8
Views: 945

Re: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan

Hi bpp - Where do you plan to retire? Probably Japan or Australia. Ok, then I would consider "domestic" for you to be Japan or Australia. (That is where you will spend the money some day.) What is your tax situation in Japan? Are you subject to worldwide taxation, or likely to become so? ...
by bpp
Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan
Replies: 8
Views: 945

Re: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan

Some questions: Where do you plan to retire? What is your tax situation in Japan? Are you subject to worldwide taxation here, or likely to become so? Why Singapore/Hong Kong for brokerage? What does this mean? Desired International Allocation: 100% including Australia/Japan (I would have guessed tha...
by bpp
Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Again - 35yo Australian in Japan
Replies: 8
Views: 945

Re: VTI vs. VTSAX [Vanguard Total Stk Mkt: ETF vs. Mutual Fu

devotee wrote:For the long term Vanguard investor who periodically invests, does the etf have any advantage over the total stock market mutual fund?


Yes, it can be purchased by people who live outside the US (the majority of investors worldwide), unlike the mutual fund.
by bpp
Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTI vs. VTSAX [Vanguard Total Stk Mkt: ETF vs. Mutual Fund]
Replies: 7
Views: 1019

Re: Japan Does not Show That Stocks are Dangerous

berntson wrote:I agree that the stock chart would be more informative if adjusted for inflation. I've tried to find a deflation adjusted version, with no success.


Image

From a different thread:
Japan, 1989

Some notes on sources in there, too.
by bpp
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan Does not Show That Stocks are Dangerous
Replies: 79
Views: 4098

Re: Random individual stocks as supplement to indexing

The way to reduce skewness risk is to hold as many stocks as possible. You'll never eliminate it completely in theory (unless you own every stock in the index), but you can make it small enough that it does not matter for all practical purposes, especially after factoring in cost and tax savings. W...
by bpp
Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Random individual stocks as supplement to indexing
Replies: 13
Views: 967

Re: Random individual stocks as supplement to indexing

Thank you for the reply. I had reviewed that wiki, and found it helpful, but wanted to make sure whether I had understood its implications correctly. I was particularly concerned with the "skew" portions there, and think they are addressed by incorporating the entire S&P plus other in...
by bpp
Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Random individual stocks as supplement to indexing
Replies: 13
Views: 967

Re: Random individual stocks as supplement to indexing

Situation: I have approximately $500,000 invested primarily in Vanguard S&P 500 index fund admiral shares and a bit in other similar investments (100% stock, low-cost Vanguard index funds), but now live in a foreign country with tax advantaged account options that allow for individual stocks, w...
by bpp
Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Random individual stocks as supplement to indexing
Replies: 13
Views: 967

Re: US Ex-Pat: Help needed with retirement savings

Hi bpp, nice to meet another Japan resident here. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and answer it. There are a few of us posters here in the same situation. Since your US taxes are zero at the moment, then at the margin, tax efficiency is not really an issue for you, until you start hav...
by bpp
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Ex-Pat: Help needed with retirement savings
Replies: 14
Views: 1229

Re: PFIC detection

I'm posting something on a very old thread, but I want to express gratitude that you guys discussed PFIC's and ETF's here. The information "out there" is very scarce. I have no credentials and offer no advice, but I've done my best. I naively purchased two precious metals Canada-based fun...
by bpp
Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PFIC detection [Passive Foreign Investment Company]
Replies: 8
Views: 2642

Re: US Ex-Pat: Help needed with retirement savings

Hi d0gerz, Welcome to the forum, from another Japan resident. (But not any kind of expert, hasten to add.) Questions 1. Given my target allocation I need to move away from cash and increase my bond holdings. I could buy more BND in my taxable, and in fact that's what I had started doing, but I now r...
by bpp
Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Ex-Pat: Help needed with retirement savings
Replies: 14
Views: 1229

Re: Blog: Total World Index and the two fund portfolio

The 2008 inception of the Vanguard Total World Stock Index fund makes it easy for investors to invest in a simple two-fund portfolio, using a combination of the total world stock index fund with a total US bond index fund. ( Rick Ferri suggested this portfolio in Three Simple Index Fund Portfolios)...
by bpp
Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog: Total World Index and the two fund portfolio
Replies: 3
Views: 726

Re: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas

Is there a low-cost retirement place with abundant snow skiing? That's been my problem all along. My skin can't handle the beach- or rain forest-type weather and I'm a snow person. Taos, Ogden , Portillo Definitelly not Portillo. That is a jet-set ski resort in the Chilean Andes. No town there, jus...
by bpp
Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas
Replies: 109
Views: 9036

Re: US-Japan Tax Treaty and W-8BEN

Hmm, according to the Technical Explanation of the US-Japan treaty(http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/japante04.pdf‎): In the case of the United States, the term “pension fund” includes the following plans under existing U.S. law: qualified plans under section 401(a), individual retirement plans (inclu...
by bpp
Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US-Japan Tax Treaty and W-8BEN
Replies: 3
Views: 281

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

Sorry to hear about SBI. Actually, they wouldn't have let you buy US-based ETFs anyway, so it is perhaps not as big a loss as you might have been thinking. Cold comfort, perhaps. As for the IRS side of things, you do know that you have an automatic two-month filing extension available as an overseas...
by bpp
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas

Is my understanding correct that Vanguard won't allow overseas investors? What does one do if they have accounts with Vanguard and decide to move overseas? Seems easy enough to move an IRA, but what about taxable accounts? I think the general advice is to hide the fact from them. They have been kno...
by bpp
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas
Replies: 109
Views: 9036

Re: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas

Yes, a puff piece with little information. I live abroad, and the vast majority of my expat friends did not move abroad for financial reasons. I agree with kramer. I would even venture to guess that people who move abroad (or, for that matter, domestically) for financial reasons would be least like...
by bpp
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas
Replies: 109
Views: 9036

Re: Thought experiment: a "diversification" joke

So then, the question. Sort of a joke, but. Investor A invests in a total market index fund. Investor B invests in 80% S&P 500 index, 20% Extended Market index, and constantly rebalances to those percentages. Since the two indexes have imperfect correlation, does investor B get a "rebalanc...
by bpp
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thought experiment: a "diversification" joke
Replies: 8
Views: 1026

Re: Investing from France

You made look up what is an PFIC and what is Form 8621... Well, Turbotax apparently did the right thing, I have less than $50K (filing jointly cap) on this Amundi fund, so I don't need to report Form 8621 (at least Part I). Thanks for the warning, I'll look at it more closely this week-end while fi...
by bpp
Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing from France
Replies: 41
Views: 4890

Re: Investing from France

You made look up what is an PFIC and what is Form 8621... Well, Turbotax apparently did the right thing, I have less than $50K (filing jointly cap) on this Amundi fund, so I don't need to report Form 8621 (at least Part I). Thanks for the warning, I'll look at it more closely this week-end while fi...
by bpp
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing from France
Replies: 41
Views: 4890

Re: Investing from France

I have a checking account at LCL (Credit Lyonnais) bank and keep a bit of cash out there, this helps when my mother insists to give us a bit of money at Christmas for our kids (I'm French, moved to the US 15 years ago). This checking account is associated with an investment account ("portefeui...
by bpp
Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing from France
Replies: 41
Views: 4890

Re: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?

Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?


No.
by bpp
Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?
Replies: 57
Views: 3120

Re: Individual Stocks vs Vanguard ETF's/Mutual Funds

Someone dug up an old thread. Since then, the following Wiki page has been created of possible relevance (and open to comment):Passively managing individual stocks
by bpp
Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Stocks vs Vanguard ETF's/Mutual Funds
Replies: 29
Views: 2919

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

One positive note, as I understand it, the clock on amended returns starts ticking when you file your tax return, so for 2011 that would have been sometime in 2012 (April 16th or later if you had extensions), so the 3-year window would start on that date and extend to the same date in 2015. Good po...
by bpp
Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

Sigh.. Ok, I'll log on to the pension site when I get home tonight and take a look. I never received any paper statements whatsoever in the past 3 years, but at least I can figure out how much I put in every year (for 2012 and 2013 is easy, just 25,000 x 12). I'm not sure if I'll be able to determi...
by bpp
Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

Hi Znarr, Basically, if you know how much you put in fund each month, and what the end value was for each fund at the end of the year, that is all you really need. You don't need to know what stocks each fund holds. You just need to be able to put numbers on Lines 10a) and 10b): 10a) Enter the fair ...
by bpp
Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

Actually, I almost hate to suggest this, but I think the PFIC issue is one that should be dealt with relatively promptly. At least, filing an amended return for 2011 should be done while the window to do so is still open. (Normally 3 years, isn't it? Not sure if the amendment gets the same extension...
by bpp
Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

How you guys wrap your heads around this? Just reading up books? I'm seriously starting to think that I need to hire someone to do my taxes for me if I venture into trying a NISA.. :( The sad thing is, there are no books that cover this stuff properly, as far as I have been able to discern. Heck, e...
by bpp
Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

In part because I've seen too much to believe that the market is a good judge of future value, I should clarify that I don't believe the market is necessarily a good judge, just that I don't believe I can do better. I'm at the wrong end of the information asymmetry. I just thought I would at least ...
by bpp
Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

First, we'll look for a "Tokutei Kouza (特定口座)" as you mentioned. Then will compare fees among the resulting list of brokers. Tokutei Kouza is pretty much the default these days, so that should be no problem. Just don't accidentally opt OUT of it. You mentioned that you chose SMBC because ...
by bpp
Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

@bpp - you are certainly a wealth of information when it comes to tax questions for US folks in Japan! You're not a tax advisor that I can hire by any chance are you? ;) Ha! I'm not qualified for that line of work whatsoever, just a poor slob who has had to learn a few things the hard way. Your pos...
by bpp
Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

@bpp, I hadn't realized you were also in Japan :) I realize that my next question may fall out of your area of knowledge, but what are your thoughts regarding the implications for a dual-citizen? I'm a Japanese-American, and (according to a lawyer I consulted when I first came to Tokyo about 10+ ye...
by bpp
Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

I've opened a NISA. The problem you will find is that if you want to put index funds in it without PFIC issues, you need to find a broker who gives access to US-based ETFs and who will let a US citizen buy them. Most brokers will not allow US citizens to buy them. Nomura does, but they don't allow f...
by bpp
Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth try

HI Znarr,

You may already know all about this stuff, but just in case, here are some links to some possibly relevant pages in the Wiki and Forums:

Wiki: Taxation as a US person living abroad

Wiki: Investing in Japan

Forums: Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)
by bpp
Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas, already in VTIVX: "3 Fund Portfolio" worth trying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3234

Re: Life insurance much more expensive for expats

Do you need to buy "expat insurance"?
Can you just buy insurance where you live, as a resident?
Might be worth looking into if it is cheaper.
by bpp
Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance much more expensive for expats
Replies: 6
Views: 290

Re: How Much Do Individual Investors Underperform the Market

bpp, An individual investor might make behavioral errors, buying high and selling low. An institutional investor might gain from this, but those gains will likely all go to expenses, transaction costs, and managers so the instutional fund doesn't outperform. But I find it hard to believe someone ca...
by bpp
Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Much Do Individual Investors Underperform the Market?
Replies: 30
Views: 2177

Re: How Much Do Individual Investors Underperform the Market

Pure timing (switching from one stock fund to another) should not be a factor. Yes? Why not? You couldn't picture people selling their fund "that hasn't done well the last couple of years" for more of the one that's been a great performer? I can. It's easy to say but low, sell high, but i...
by bpp
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Much Do Individual Investors Underperform the Market?
Replies: 30
Views: 2177

Re: How Much Do Individual Investors Underperform the Market

What is the mechanism by which individual investors are presumed to underperform the market? I can think of two reasons: expenses (taxes, commissions, bid-ask spreads) and time spent out of the market.

Pure timing (switching from one stock fund to another) should not be a factor. Yes?
by bpp
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Much Do Individual Investors Underperform the Market?
Replies: 30
Views: 2177

Re: Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)

I'm using my "Dividends and Distributions" statement from a US brokerage to help fill out my Japan taxes. I didn't sell anything in 2013, but this statement includes various transaction types: "qualified dividend", "nonqualified dividend", "long-term capital gain&...
by bpp
Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)
Replies: 28
Views: 2897

Re: Japan, 1989

bpp, Do you have data going back before 1989? What is your data source? I would be interested to add this data into the VPW spreadsheet for back-testing. Thanks My sources are listed here: Sources: Japanese 1-year JGBs (use Jan 4 rates): http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/data.exe/bjap/day-intrate01 ...
by bpp
Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan, 1989
Replies: 106
Views: 22356

Re: any objective studies on how long CFL bulbs last?

I changed all (about 30) bulbs in the house to CFL 8 years ago, and have had one of those fail, in the past year. Replaced it with LED. So no complaints, but will replace with LED going forward. Brand matters. The Philips CFLs and LEDs seem to be very good-- both in quality of life and durability. ...
by bpp
Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any objective studies on how long CFL bulbs last?
Replies: 26
Views: 937

Re: any objective studies on how long CFL bulbs last?

I changed all (about 30) bulbs in the house to CFL 8 years ago, and have had one of those fail, in the past year. Replaced it with LED.

So no complaints, but will replace with LED going forward.
by bpp
Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any objective studies on how long CFL bulbs last?
Replies: 26
Views: 937

Re: Has anyone seen the Japanese Stock Market?

When I see graphs like this it really puts global diversification into perspective for me. We are presently 60% US and 40% International and plan to stay the course. I would expect however that the graph does not include dividends or the compounding of dividends. The return to the average Japanese ...
by bpp
Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone seen the Japanese Stock Market?
Replies: 73
Views: 6267
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