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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: 835

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: 4229

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: 282

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: 1042

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: 1042

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: 1042

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: 5030

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: 849
Views: 119268

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: 849
Views: 119268

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: 849
Views: 119268

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: 647

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: 1173

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: 705

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: 705

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: 512

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: 512

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: 512

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: 661

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: 1263

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 -- ...
by bpp
Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Updated, see new post] Looking for general portfolio advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1263

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

In my case I make less than the exclusion amount, however I did travel to (and work in) the US twice in 2014, each trip 14 days duration (still puts me over the 330-day threshold for living overseas). My regular pay during these two periods does not exceed $5500; however if my yearly bonus is inclu...
by bpp
Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan, 1989
Replies: 127
Views: 29081

Re: Japan, 1989

ginmqi wrote:More like a dark magenta to me though...


Hmm, on closer inspection... you're right!
by bpp
Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan, 1989
Replies: 127
Views: 29081

Re: Japan, 1989

This ties in nicely with the recent thread discussing John Bogle's aversion to investing in foreign stocks. So if we are to try to hedge against the US becoming the next Japan...from the nice chart posted above...it seems the prudent lesson to take away here is: Split your equity 50/50 in US and fo...
by bpp
Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan, 1989
Replies: 127
Views: 29081

Re: Japan, 1989

Update through the end of 2014. We now have 25 years of data. Yearly portfolio values for 1 million yen invested at the end of 1989, in inflation-adjusted (using Japanese CPI) yen terms. No withdrawals, yearly re-balancing. http://s16.postimg.org/p8au4iqat/portfoliovals1989_2014.gif Sources: Japanes...
by bpp
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An Individual Stock Question Or Two
Replies: 14
Views: 1041

Re: An Individual Stock Question Or Two

Have you seen the wiki page on Passively managing individual stocks?
Not sure if they answer your question, but there are some studies addressing portfolio size summarized there.
by bpp
Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Clarifications on Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
Replies: 13
Views: 831

Re: Clarifications on Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

I believe France taxes all residents of France on their worldwide income. (You should check on this.)
If so, and if your wife is a resident for tax purposes in France, then her investment income, would be taxable in both France and the US.
by bpp
Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Clarifications on Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
Replies: 13
Views: 831

Re: Clarifications on Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Where does she have her investments? In a US brokerage, or a French one? And in what kind of vehicles? If she is using French mutual funds, there may be some US tax problems. For US taxes, it may make sense to gain harvest up to the limit of the standard deduction+personal exemption. This may trigge...
by bpp
Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Funds
Replies: 56
Views: 5440

Re: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Fund

I am of the opinion that the tax tail should not wag the investment dog. Certainly taxes are a consideration but really the returns are the reason you invest in the first place. Good tax planning can save you money but for heaven's sake, don't run your life by the tax law. One can turn themselves i...
by bpp
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Funds
Replies: 56
Views: 5440

Re: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Fund

One question is why bother with sampling and trying to achieve your own passive portfolio when there are index funds you can just buy right off the shelf for very little continuing expenses? The wiki page gives some reasons, mostly tax-related. In my case, I get to avoid PFIC issues (this alone is ...
by bpp
Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Funds
Replies: 56
Views: 5440

Re: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Fund

Somehow, you still have to come up with the 70 stocks to put into your "index." Are you suggesting buying 70 darts and throwing them at a stock page? Will you not use any rational screening mechanism at all? Yes, you will use a very rational system to select your stocks...whether it is to...
by bpp
Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Funds
Replies: 56
Views: 5440

Re: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Fund

Does anyone here allocate any part of their portfolio for Individual stocks? and have you had any succes? Just curious :happy Yes. I allocate all of my domestic stock portion to individual stocks, and have had good success in tracking the indices with better tax treatment than I would have had usin...
by bpp
Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Funds
Replies: 56
Views: 5440

Re: What Experts Say about Individual Stocks vs. Mutual Fund

heartandsoul wrote:There are not many studies looking at the kind of strategy I've adopted

Have you seen the wiki page on Passively managing individual stocks? Some such studies are summarized there.
by bpp
Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hedge fund loses 99.8% of all funds, $100m down to $200k.
Replies: 59
Views: 7171

Re: Hedge fund loses 99.8% of all funds, $100m down to $200k

We'll have to see if he can duplicate this performance before we can determine whether it is luck or skill.
by bpp
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will happen to international stocks if a Euro breakup?
Replies: 23
Views: 1705

Re: What will happen to international stocks if a Euro break

Presently, international developed market index funds have about 61% in Europe, and total international has about 45%. With the warning shot fired by the Swiss, can the breakup of the Euro be far behind? What is likely to happen to European stocks if (when) this happens, and is it maybe a good idea...
by bpp
Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)
Replies: 40
Views: 6385

Re: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)

So you want all (potentially) spendable income? So any legally-mandated spending (social security or health insurance, e.g.) should be excluded? For investment income, should pre- or post-tax income be considered? Actually, in general, should it be pre- or post-tax?
by bpp
Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)
Replies: 40
Views: 6385

Re: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)

This seems a very US-centric list. Instead of basing it on specific Form 1040 entries, how about stating in general terms what kinds of income and compensation should be included?
by bpp
Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Australian superannuation help
Replies: 8
Views: 710

Re: Australian superannuation help

You can transfer to Vanguard Oz to get better expense ratios..... maybe high growth or alike. Vanguard Australia doesn't offer Superannuation accounts, but you can buy Vanguard Australia funds through Plum (and possibly others?). But those will be PFICs, right? Please read about and understand the ...
by bpp
Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Australian superannuation help
Replies: 8
Views: 710

Re: Australian superannuation help

Just to be on the overly safe side, but you guys living in the US with Australian superannuation accounts, are you aware of PFIC, FBAR and FATCA rules? The wiki page on Taxation as a US person living abroad has some info on those issues that may be applicable to your cases (even if the title might s...
by bpp
Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the international portion of your portfolio and why?
Replies: 140
Views: 13012

Re: What is the international portion of your portfolio and

The international portion of my portfolio consists of BND (Vanguard US total bond), EMLC (emerging markets local currency bond index), the non-Japanese bonds in IGOV (developed ex-US government bond index) and the non-Japanese stocks in VT (Vanguard Total World Stock Index). Stocks and bonds are bot...
by bpp
Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit?
Replies: 87
Views: 6548

Re: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit

As with Japan, if people think prices are going to be lower next year, they will not spend this year. I hate to sound too persistent on this, but, are there any studies that show a reason for believing that this is the thought process that goes through Japanese consumers' minds? This is not true fo...
by bpp
Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit?
Replies: 87
Views: 6548

Re: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit

As with Japan, if people think prices are going to be lower next year, they will not spend this year. I hate to sound too persistent on this, but, are there any studies that show a reason for believing that this is the thought process that goes through Japanese consumers' minds? This is not true fo...
by bpp
Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cat water fountain
Replies: 75
Views: 5098

Re: cat water fountain

You can also try ice ... I have a cat that loves cold water. If I put an ice cube in a tray, he will pounce on it and lick half way down. Seems to work for him! My cat's the same. Loves ice water. She's a rescue cat with health issues, including oral inflammation, so I thought the ice helped ease t...
by bpp
Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit?
Replies: 87
Views: 6548

Re: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit

There must be some behavioral economics studies published on the subject of how consumers respond to inflationary/deflationary expectations, no?
Anybody have any good links?
by bpp
Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit?
Replies: 87
Views: 6548

Re: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit

Personally, I've never bought into the argument that deflation causes people to delay purchases. I agree with you. I have been a consumer in Japan during the deflation here. We have also had inflation starting a year or two ago, by force. My personal reaction to incipient inflation has been to pull...
by bpp
Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will be the biggest investment surprises of 2015?
Replies: 82
Views: 8552

Re: What will be the biggest investment surprises of 2015?

Vanguard will create a Total World Bond Index Fund, unhedged.

(I wish.)
by bpp
Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Busting the "myth" of the small cap / size premium ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1835

Re: Busting the "myth" of the small cap / size premium ?

But I am puzzled. Why would someone favor small stocks for putative absolute but not risk adjusted returns? This seems an inefficient approach as opposed to just increasing allocation to risky assets to get the desired variance. Small-cap stocks also tend to be more "local" stocks, so off...
by bpp
Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Busting the "myth" of the small cap / size premium ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1835

Re: Busting the "myth" of the small cap / size premium ?

This article is claiming that small stocks do not hold a significant advantage in risk adjusted returns . That may be true. They do show an advantage in absolute returns, which is why I hold them. [Deleting what I wrote earlier] Looks like they are claiming that even the absolute return premium for...
by bpp
Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?
Replies: 142
Views: 16774

Re: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?

Multiple cost bases can be avoided by always directing new money to new companies, so there is only one cost basis per company. If you invest monthly, which is common, then your total number of stocks could get very high over an investing lifetime. (if you start at 22 and retire at 67, you could ha...
by bpp
Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?
Replies: 142
Views: 16774

Re: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?

that doesn't take into account the downsides of this strategy: 1) Increased administrative overhead, especially later on as you end up with multiple cost basis 2) More complicated tax returns, which either means more work for yourself or more pay for your accountant 3) Fairly complicated portfolio ...
by bpp
Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?
Replies: 142
Views: 16774

Re: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?

Do you have data or references regarding the skewness of returns of small cap stocks, by any chance? Don't have a link to skewness for really small caps off the top of my head, but Appendix B of Ikenberry, Shockley and Womack has skewness by decile within the S&P500. Average yearly skewness goe...
by bpp
Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?
Replies: 142
Views: 16774

Re: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?

Your graph does not capture the saved fees vs. index fund products, so the higher expected returns of the individual stock buy-and-hold strategy discussed in this thread are not fully represented in the graph. I assume any tax management benefits are not included in your graph either. That is true,...

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