Search found 1755 matches

by bpp
Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Funds that exclude one country
Replies: 23
Views: 929

Re: Funds that exclude one country

One possibility might to buy a global fund, then short a single-country fund for that country. Though this is probably not a good psychological equivalent to simply avoiding the country altogether. If the country is Japan, a combination of TOK (developed ex-Japan) plus an emerging markets fund would...
by bpp
Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 438
Views: 51464

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Gattamelata wrote:Please do not read any livesoft post without first reading every other livesoft post.


Logically, of course, the only way to satisfy this request is to never read a livesoft post.
by bpp
Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Taxes + Foreign (NZ) Investing / Is Kiwisaver a PFIC?
Replies: 11
Views: 726

Re: US Taxes + Foreign (NZ) Investing / Is Kiwisaver a PFIC?

Is KiwiSaver taxable by the US? It looks like there is an exemption from the "savings clause" (the rule that says the US can ignore the treaty when it comes to taxing its citizens abroad) for: Pensions and other payments made under the social security legislation of a Contracting State to ...
by bpp
Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?
Replies: 31
Views: 2824

Re: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?

hicabob and Grt2bOutdoors, thank you for the information. bpp, Actually we have only had our gas system for about 6 months! You may realise this, but I believe the EcoCute system is actually a form of heating the water cheaply using CO2 from the surrounding air. The program to buy power cheaply at ...
by bpp
Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?
Replies: 31
Views: 2824

Re: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?

Ah, you're converting to EcoCute? Then, have you had your gas system for at least 10 years? If not, you are cutting yourself short. To be honest, EcoCute only made sense to me in a nuclear-power-dominated grid. (For those outside Japan who aren't familiar, it is a program wherein you buy power cheap...
by bpp
Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?
Replies: 31
Views: 2824

Re: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?

twoyen, Out of curiosity, which company are you talking to? I'm in a somewhat similar situation, have looked at similar offers, and have decided they are not worth it. But I'm all ears if there is something out there I don't know about. (Anything to deny TouDen my two yen would be worth it to me.) A...
by bpp
Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)
Replies: 52
Views: 3457

Re: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)

Thanks, that works: 4.2.2 Dumb question part deux: How do I trigger an upgrade to Lollipop? I seem to have automatic updates set, but is something more active needed to upgrade to a new major version number? It should automatically happen, but updates are not made available at the same time across ...
by bpp
Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)
Replies: 52
Views: 3457

Re: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)

Dumb question. How does one find out what version of Android one is running? I noticed my icons changed last week. Does that mean it upgraded? Go to Settings->About Phone->Android Version. Thanks, that works: 4.2.2 Dumb question part deux: How do I trigger an upgrade to Lollipop? I seem to have aut...
by bpp
Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2624

Re: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

On the very specific issue of Japanese taxation, I hadn't thought of it but that's definitely worth consideration! Even though the underlying fund assets might be bonds purchased and held to maturity, I imagine that the tax agency wouldn't allow us to treat fund shares in the same way as a basket o...
by bpp
Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)
Replies: 52
Views: 3457

Re: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)

Dumb question. How does one find out what version of Android one is running? I noticed my icons changed last week. Does that mean it upgraded?
by bpp
Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2624

Re: 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 bpp
Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homemaker denied credit card despite high household income
Replies: 40
Views: 4568

Re: Homemaker denied credit card despite high household income

Just out of curiosity, but why does she want a JCB card in particular, and not, say, Visa or AmEx?
Last time I was in the market for a new card (but maybe things have changed since?), I got the impression that JCB is almost useless outside of Japan, and no better than Visa even inside Japan.
by bpp
Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did 2008 change your investing strategy?
Replies: 58
Views: 4762

Re: Did 2008 change your investing strategy?

ajacobs6 wrote:QUESTION: Have you all changed your asset allocation since experiencing this crash?


No.
by bpp
Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reducing BND before rate increases
Replies: 34
Views: 3136

Re: Reducing BND before rate increases

David Jay wrote:Do you really believe that zero percent interest rates can continue indefinitely?

"Things that can't continue indefinitely, won't"


I live in Japan. I have learned that while rates may seemingly have nowhere to go but up, that tells one exactly nothing about the timing of any rise.
by bpp
Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 218
Views: 20427

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

There seems to be a paucity of people who rebalanced into equities to get back to their stated asset allocation during this time. Recalling the chart I posted earlier in this thread, equities were down 20% in 2008 before the drop in October and they were down more than that in October and again fro...
by bpp
Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic accounts open to expats (June 2015)
Replies: 3
Views: 400

Re: Domestic accounts open to expats (June 2015)

I think it partly depends on where you live. Schwab Global has reportedly stopped opening accounts for residents of Japan.
I think Interactive Brokers has been mooted as a possibility, but not sure I've seen any actual reports of success.
by bpp
Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Japan. The rotten apple that spoils the whole index?
Replies: 13
Views: 2592

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

I guess the high allocation to Japan has to do with it's market cap. Yes. You'd pick a different weighting if you think you know something the rest of the market doesn't. Do you? A world fund without Japan doesn't exist Yes it does: TOK, which tracks the MSCI Kokusai index (developed world ex-Japan...
by bpp
Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Other Side (proposed series)
Replies: 35
Views: 4481

Re: The Other Side (proposed series)

Wow, I should have loaded up on gold 15 years ago. Oh well, note-to-self to toss into the time machine.
by bpp
Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Other Side (proposed series)
Replies: 35
Views: 4481

Re: The Other Side (proposed series)

I was looking at other possible asset classes available to Japanese investors during that time and for which I have data. The only one I could find is gold. What would be an appropriate "expense ratio" to use for some gold coins? I know Japan has a lower homicide rate than the United Stat...
by bpp
Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Other Side (proposed series)
Replies: 35
Views: 4481

Re: The Other Side (proposed series)

There's an MSCI ACWI ex-Japan ETF (code 1554 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange) that seems to have started trading in March of 2011. That seems to be the oldest ETF or fund that tracks that index. There is another fund tracking the same index that started about a year later, and almost all of the other f...
by bpp
Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Other Side (proposed series)
Replies: 35
Views: 4481

Re: The Other Side (proposed series)

There's an MSCI ACWI ex-Japan ETF (code 1554 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange) that seems to have started trading in March of 2011. That seems to be the oldest ETF or fund that tracks that index. There is another fund tracking the same index that started about a year later, and almost all of the other fo...
by bpp
Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing with Vanguard, not in US?
Replies: 11
Views: 1311

Re: Investing with Vanguard, not in US?

In your Berlin Wall metaphor, is the US represented by West Germany, or by the old East Germany? Well, the Berlin Wall was designed primarily to prevent people from leaving East Germany, with the side-effect of discouraging people from entering, so I suppose the US would be East Germany here. Thoug...
by bpp
Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Other Side (proposed series)
Replies: 35
Views: 4481

Re: The Other Side (proposed series)

I look forward to seeing your results. (I assume you have seen this thread? http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=23036&start=100#p2379273 ) Of course, I wouldn't title the thread series "The Other Side." Perhaps "Over On This Side"? ;) As far as expense ra...
by bpp
Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing with Vanguard, not in US?
Replies: 11
Views: 1311

Re: Investing with Vanguard, not in US?

I basically said that US persons should only invest in US-domiciled funds & ETFs (because of PFIC paperwork & tax treatment). And I said that NON-US persons should only invest in NON-US based accounts, and only invest in NON-US-domiciled funds & ETFs (because of the NRA estate tax issue...
by bpp
Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: "Can I obtain global exposure through U.S. multinationals?"
Replies: 22
Views: 2951

Re: Vanguard: "Can I obtain global exposure through U.S. multinationals?"

Seems to me this notion that multinational companies headquartered in one's home country can substitute for international diversification has been debunked at least once a month for the past 15 years (that I have been paying attention). It gets discussed a lot but I am not aware that it has been pr...
by bpp
Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: "Can I obtain global exposure through U.S. multinationals?"
Replies: 22
Views: 2951

Re: Vanguard: "Can I obtain global exposure through U.S. multinationals?"

Seems to me this notion that multinational companies headquartered in one's home country can substitute for international diversification has been debunked at least once a month for the past 15 years (that I have been paying attention). One might hope that this latest report from Vanguard will final...
by bpp
Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to introduce legos to my almost 5 year old boy?
Replies: 15
Views: 1152

Re: How to introduce legos to my almost 5 year old boy?

Just give him a bag of Legos. No theme. That is how most of us learned to love them at that age.
by bpp
Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Indexing don't work outside of USA? [India]
Replies: 7
Views: 1302

Re: Indexing don't work outside of USA? [India]

Are you a US taxpayer? If so, be aware that Indian mutual funds (whether managed or indexed) will be considered PFICs, with unpleasant consequences.

Might also want to have a look here: Taxation as a US person living abroad.
by bpp
Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1142

Re: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds

Hi BPP, thank you for the reply. Would you mind letting me know your portfolio? The 50/50 split between dollar and yen investments sounds like something I may have to do, but I have no idea where to start for investing in Japan. I will not be buying a house anytime soon. I am also ok to invest mone...
by bpp
Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1142

Re: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds

I live in Japan, and keep half my assets in yen, both stocks and bonds. That is, my stocks are 50/50 JP/non-JP, and my bonds are also 50/50 JP/non-JP (unhedged). Being 50/50 helps me feel neutral towards either strengthening or weakening of the yen -- to first order I'll come out the same either way...
by bpp
Tue May 26, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents getting US green card - Tax planning
Replies: 8
Views: 966

Re: Parents getting US green card - Tax planning

Are they already US taxpayers? If not, I would hold off on making them such until after they have sold their houses. Otherwise, they will owe capital gains taxes on the sales of the houses, even though those gains were largely incurred before they became liable for US taxes.
by bpp
Sun May 24, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?
Replies: 73
Views: 4713

Re: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?

I would join the chorus saying that $100k/year for doing work one enjoys sounds pretty good to me -- especially in one's early 30s. I don't think I would give that up for a mere doubling of salary. I have a PhD in physics, which took 8 years and most of my soul. I'm 35 and saved up a lot in the last...
by bpp
Tue May 19, 2015 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: buying foreign based company stock that trade in the US
Replies: 5
Views: 321

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

There will be a big difference if the company is a PFIC. For example, Orix is a Japanese company that trades on the NYSE as an ADR, and it is a PFIC. Most regular companies won't be PFICs (BHP and Toyota aren't), but some will be, so watch for that.
by bpp
Sun May 17, 2015 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help trying to decide which trigger to pull [US ex-pat in Japan]
Replies: 13
Views: 1276

Re: Help trying to decide which trigger to pull [US ex-pat in Japan]

Glad to hear you managed to get Vanguard to let you open an account. Out of curiousity, how did you pull that off as a non-resident of the US? They don't usually allow that. Has their policy changed? That would be very interesting news! I just opened the account and transferred my IRA to them. I ha...
by bpp
Sun May 17, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help trying to decide which trigger to pull [US ex-pat in Japan]
Replies: 13
Views: 1276

Re: Help trying to decide which trigger to pull [US ex-pat in Japan]

Glad to hear you managed to get Vanguard to let you open an account. Out of curiousity, how did you pull that off as a non-resident of the US? They don't usually allow that. Has their policy changed? That would be very interesting news!
by bpp
Sat May 16, 2015 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help trying to decide which trigger to pull [US ex-pat in Japan]
Replies: 13
Views: 1276

Re: Help trying to decide which trigger to pull [US ex-pat in Japan]

Check out Schwab - they are happy to do business with US expats. :happy Not if those expats live in Japan. Schwab has stopped opening accounts for residents of Japan: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=142687 As suggested above, I think the easiest thing may be to try to stay ...
by bpp
Fri May 01, 2015 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Powerwall: The Arrival of Home Battery Backup System
Replies: 53
Views: 5478

Re: Powerwall: The Arrival of Home Battery Backup System

That's a pretty interesting price point. A day's worth of electricity storage for $3500? Only question would be how many charge/discharge cycles it is good for. But getting very interesting!
by bpp
Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 935
Views: 148986

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Actually enjoyed Birdman, despite the previews which made it look like some pseudo-deep superhero movie. The continuous-take device was interesting, though a bit distracting in that it led to looking for the hidden cuts. But I enjoyed Michael Keaton's and Edward Norton's performances in this movie m...
by bpp
Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 935
Views: 148986

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Also saw Interstellar, and sorry, but that was just garbage. I understand they took care to realistically represent what an accretion disk around a black hole would look like from an oblique angle, due to gravitational light path bending, but that was the only good part of the film. The rest of it w...
by bpp
Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 935
Views: 148986

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I may be being unfair, but I am skeptical about the scene in which they break the Enigma code and discover that the Germans are about to attack a ship that a team member's brother is stationed on. ...I thought the scene you mentioned would have been totally fine in that sort of movie; it was a conc...
by bpp
Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MIT Billion Prices: Down? Broken? Discontinued?
Replies: 2
Views: 698

Re: MIT Billion Prices: Down? Broken? Discontinued?

Unfortunate. And they had such a fabulous acronym.
by bpp
Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nikkei with reinvested dividends
Replies: 8
Views: 1275

Re: Nikkei with reinvested dividends

bpp says the blue line is the TOPIX with reinvested dividends, but after performing a highly precise eyeing of charts I looked up on google images, the blue line looks awfully similar to the TOPIX without reinvested dividends. It is with dividends reinvested, and inflation corrected. Here are the r...
by bpp
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate - Japan
Replies: 5
Views: 835

Re: Real Estate - Japan

The process of buying real estate itself is pretty straightforward, and not particularly more difficult for foreigners as far as I know. At least for outright purchases -- I don't think long-term leases are common for individual residential properties. (Maybe that is more of a commercial property ap...
by bpp
Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate - Japan
Replies: 5
Views: 835

Re: Real Estate - Japan

Banks generally don't like to make loans unless you have permanent residence, though you may be able to find an exception. I don't know anybody who has a place here just for seasonal use, though have heard that quite a few Australians have bought such places near ski areas. You might try googling ar...
by bpp
Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping overseas retiree, VTINX ETF equivalent? [Japan]
Replies: 6
Views: 623

Re: Helping overseas retiree, VTINX ETF equivalent? [Japan]

Ok, doing a search on Morningstar Japan for balanced funds with low stock allocations (select ---バランス・安定 from the menu at http://www.morningstar.co.jp/FundData/DetailSearch.do), and throwing out any fund with less than 10 oku-yen (~8 million dollars) in assets and more than 0.8% expense ratio, leave...
by bpp
Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping overseas retiree, VTINX ETF equivalent? [Japan]
Replies: 6
Views: 623

Re: Helping overseas retiree, VTINX ETF equivalent? [Japan]

The retiree is a Japanese national and is not a US citizen, green card holder etc. She doesn't necessarily want heavy US bias, she just wants a safe place to put her money and I reckon the demographics of Japan and recent QE actions make it kind of risky to keep her money in cash or bet on the long...
by bpp
Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping overseas retiree, VTINX ETF equivalent? [Japan]
Replies: 6
Views: 623

Re: Helping overseas retiree, VTINX ETF equivalent? [Japan]

There are some similar types of funds in Japan, though the expense ratios are not as low as Vanguard. But first, some basic questions: --This person is not a US taxpayer in any way (citizen, green card holder), is she? --Does this person want the heavy US bias represented by VTINX, or would she pref...
by bpp
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combining Social Security Systems for Japanese Spouse
Replies: 7
Views: 715

Re: Combining Social Security Systems for Japanese Spouse

As in_reality says, the only benefit of the totalization agreement is that if your wife had been paying into US SS, that time would have counted towards her kokumin nenkin qualifying time (and vice versa), though the payments themselves would not. For example, if she had paid into SS for 8 years, an...
by bpp
Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Updated, see new post] Looking for general portfolio advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1354

Re: [Updated, see new post] Looking for general portfolio ad

Basically, you will be asked to attach a note to Form 2555 explaining how you calculated the income earned while on business in the US. (Form 2555 doesn't ask for other supporting documentation -- that comes later, during the audit. :wink: ) Anything reasonable-sounding is likely to be accepted -- ...

Go to advanced search