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Re: PFIC and ETNs

My thinking is, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that because ETNs don't hold the underlying assets, like a mutual fund or ETF, they're not subject to PFIC rules. Am I wrong? Interesting idea. Never thought much about ETNs before, but searching around, I see reference to that idea in an Israeli blog...
by bpp
Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PFIC and ETNs
Replies: 3
Views: 367

Re: Investing In Currency?

If you do buy a foreign bond fund, like the Vanguard one, it hedges the currency exposure/ risk. The Vanguard one is somewhat unusual in doing so, note. Many (most?) don't hedge. I had been given to understand that most did hedge? I don't know about regular mutual funds (being irrelevant to me), bu...
by bpp
Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing In Currency?
Replies: 33
Views: 2121

Re: Investing In Currency?

Valuethinker wrote:If you do buy a foreign bond fund, like the Vanguard one, it hedges the currency exposure/ risk.


The Vanguard one is somewhat unusual in doing so, note. Many (most?) don't hedge.
by bpp
Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing In Currency?
Replies: 33
Views: 2121

Re: Investing In Currency?

After reading and evaluation all of these posts, I've come to conclusion that just investing into International Stocks is the safest and best way to invest into Foreign Currency? I assume you are American. American's do not have to "invest" in currencies as everything we do is in dollars ...
by bpp
Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing In Currency?
Replies: 33
Views: 2121

Re: Why own International at all?

Because Japan:
Image
by bpp
Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why own International at all?
Replies: 45
Views: 3978

Re: What individual stock?

I guess I'd just pick the largest-cap domestic stock: Toyota

Or else the largest-cap global stock: Apple
by bpp
Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What individual stock?
Replies: 20
Views: 1336

Re: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)

You are absolutely right - hard to find authoritative advice - save for yours (50% domestic/50% international). My advice is hardly authoritative! By the way, I was influenced in my thinking early on by Norbert Schlenker, a Canadian financial advisor who posts at (what is now called) Financial Wisd...
by bpp
Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)
Replies: 10
Views: 1043

Re: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)

3. outright dividend withholding tax (but this may be negated as you mentioned) Hmm, now it click that they have not paid any dividends yet. Which must mean they are reinvesting them internally. So you save on Japanese withholding tax (20%), which is greater than the lost US withholding tax (10%). ...
by bpp
Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)
Replies: 10
Views: 1043

Re: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)

thanks bpp for your comments. I believe the funds do include the ERs of the underlying ETFs as part of the TER of the fund. (to be exact, all of them charge 0.2484% on top of the ETF ERs). Ok, if that is the case, it is not quite as bad as I thought... In my mind, what benefits to these are things ...
by bpp
Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)
Replies: 10
Views: 1043

Re: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)

Not quite sure I see what the appeal of these is. You can buy most of the underlying ETFs or equivalents directly yourself, without paying the extra expense ratio on top. (I assume the published ER does not include the the underlying ETFs' ERs?) I also believe that the funds would pay 10% withholdin...
by bpp
Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Japan] SBI Exe-I Funds: Funds that invest in ETFs (?)
Replies: 10
Views: 1043

Re: Individual investors behaving badly

bpp If Japanese large stocks sure that is okay. But what about small stocks and value stocks and perhaps REITs. I have a Japanese large-cap bucket, and a small-cap one. The small-cap one has larger short-term deviations from its index than the large-cap one has from its index, but so far both bucke...
by bpp
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors behaving badly
Replies: 18
Views: 2777

Re: Individual investors behaving badly

bpp Yes the motivation matters. The reason is selling from fear is behavioral error. Selling for tax loss harvesting is RATIONAL, the right thing, not a mistake. And with TLH you intend to buy in 30 days regardless of what market does (or swap immediately if a fund) and no such plan exists if selli...
by bpp
Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors behaving badly
Replies: 18
Views: 2777

Re: Individual investors behaving badly

bpp Re selling, no TLH is not because it isn't motivated by the sell because you think the stock is going down or fear driving it. And the intent is to buy back in 30 days. Now that's another reason to not buy individual stocks anyway (there are many reasons one shouldn't)--unlike with a fund where...
by bpp
Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors behaving badly
Replies: 18
Views: 2777

Re: Individual investors behaving badly

Thank you very much for your reply, Larry. In the context of US taxes, those are some good points. A couple more questions if I may: bpp You should harvest losses when they are significant and ST, as they can be more valuable than long term losses. Right, but then does this not incur the same return...
by bpp
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors behaving badly
Replies: 18
Views: 2777

Re: Individual investors behaving badly

Is there something usable here for investors who use individual stocks for tax reasons? For example, consider someone who picks stocks more or less at random (but keeping an eye on distribution in cap sizes and industry classifications), and holds forever except to sell just enough of the biggest lo...
by bpp
Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors behaving badly
Replies: 18
Views: 2777

Re: 5 year warranty? [on existing appliances]

Think about it: if they are offering this deal, they expect to make money on it. So on average, you should expect it to be a bad deal for you. I would think of it as like insurance -- only makes sense if it protects one from potential bankruptcy in the event the worst happens. Otherwise, better to s...
by bpp
Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5 year warranty? [on existing appliances]
Replies: 16
Views: 1112

Re: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks

In engineering field as a manager and in my heart I believe that everything can be explained with an equation to a reasonable degree OK Humor mode on :happy :D I give my Eng students the following problem you are a customer at a Casino. By careful observation you note that Player A wins regularly a...
by bpp
Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks?
Replies: 135
Views: 10638

Re: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan

I recall that KPMG or PwC told me that the tax advantage for using a Japanese brokerage is gone now, and the following seems to back that up http://www.jsda.or.jp/sonaeru/oshirase/files/10percentleaflet.pdf Get your own international tax advice, of course, but I do not believe there is any advantag...
by bpp
Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: What tax software do you use and why

I'm sure we remember the confusion from last year when online and download versions of TT did not all handle the same tax forms. It's evidently getting worse. Here's a link to the pre-order version of TT downloads for TY 2014. https://turbotax.intuit.com/lp/ty14/desktop/lp1.jsp#irs-forms It appears...
by bpp
Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What tax software do you use and why
Replies: 54
Views: 2640

Re: Japan - domestic and cross-border loss harvesting

Greetings, In another recent thread the upcoming 2016 changes to prevent cross-border tax loss harvesting under Japanese law was mentioned. I am interested in learning about the possibilities of tax loss harvesting that still may be allowed, to look at the situation in a glass half-full kind of way...
by bpp
Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Japan - domestic and cross-border loss harvesting
Replies: 1
Views: 199

Re: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan

I was looking at 1308 vs. 1348 - and apart from the volume difference, another factor differentiating them is that the 1308 shares are sold in batches of 100. You are thinking of using SBI, right? They have an S-Kabu program that allows you to buy single shares, regardless of lot size. 1308 appears...
by bpp
Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?

Just to inject a different opinion, I will say that the reason I would not buy the Vanguard international bond fund is because it is hedged. Hedging costs money and gives a false sense of security (the hedged duration is not actually matched to that of the bonds purchased, as I understand it). It al...
by bpp
Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?
Replies: 15
Views: 1965

Re: What tax software do you use and why

For US taxes, I currently use TurboTax, because TaxAct stopped working with the Japanese operating system on my computer.

For Japanese taxes, I use the free online program provided by the National Tax Agency.
by bpp
Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What tax software do you use and why
Replies: 54
Views: 2640

Re: Add info to the wiki?

HurdyGurdy wrote:Very good thread, very knowledgeable people!

Would you consider adding some of this info to the wiki page?

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investing_in_Japan


For now, I've taken the lazy initial step of adding a link to this thread as a footnote on the wiki page.
by bpp
Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: Investing in Japan with Yen Hedged to USD or EUR

Japan is an export-dominated economy, so I would argue that from non-yen-based investor's perspective, it would be better to hold Japanese equities unhedged. The Japanese stock market tends to inversely follow, at least in the short term, yen strength. Long term, one would expect to get whatever the...
by bpp
Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in Japan with Yen Hedged to USD or EUR
Replies: 5
Views: 314

Re: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan

Looks pretty good!
by bpp
Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: Retired, my viewpoint has changed again.

Someone (Suzy O?) referred to money as freedom. That is what I have to remember. I have the freedom to relax and not be encumbered by day to day worries. I should not look inward and "small", but outward and explore all that is possible. It should be fun. Maybe time to change your usernam...
by bpp
Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired, my viewpoint has changed again.
Replies: 22
Views: 3240

Re: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan

Doing the ETF way twoyen had in another thread seems like a more economical way to go ER-wise. Not counting the tax benefits, which I agree are important - what gets me is that I think I am approaching the ER calculation for ETFs wrong. This is how I somehow do it - I would appreciate frank feedbac...
by bpp
Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan

I tried asking some of the Finance companies for foreigners here in Tokyo - but they seem more focused on selling wrapper products . Yuck. For the shareholder discounts, while I had not looked into how many (or how much) is needed to get benefits, I was under the impression I could but a handful, b...
by bpp
Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan

While there is no headline difference in tax rates between domestic and foreign brokerage accounts, two tax advantages to using a domestic broker over a foreign one that I can think of would be: 1) Losses incurred in a domestic brokerage account can be carried forward up to 3 years, while those inc...
by bpp
Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan

I recall that KPMG or PwC told me that the tax advantage for using a Japanese brokerage is gone now, and the following seems to back that up http://www.jsda.or.jp/sonaeru/oshirase/files/10percentleaflet.pdf Get your own international tax advice, of course, but I do not believe there is any advantag...
by bpp
Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF / Mutual Fund in Japan
Replies: 31
Views: 2283

Re: When people put all their eggs in the wrong basket

That thread is horrifying. It makes Jim Cramer's 5-stock diversification plan look prudent.

I agree that it is best to give them time to lick their wounds first, before suggesting better diversification. Otherwise, it will be taken as rubbing salt in the wound.
by bpp
Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When people put all their eggs in the wrong basket
Replies: 233
Views: 28791

Re: Schwab or Vanguard for account when living abroad?

It is a fluid situation, and what looks workable now may not be in the future when, and if, you ever decide to move back. So I'd not worry about it too much yet.
But FWIW, option 1) looks reasonable to me for now.
by bpp
Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab or Vanguard for account when living abroad?
Replies: 7
Views: 675

Re: Portfolio advice: US citizen expat in France

How about buying individual France Tresors, or other Euro sovereign bonds, directly? Is that possible through a local account in Paris? Because I am a US citizen and so due to IRS and other tax reporting implications, I'm very reluctant to earn any interest or dividends in France, so I'd like to in...
by bpp
Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice: US citizen expat in France
Replies: 11
Views: 703

Re: Are you a "maximizer" or a "satisficer"?

I find the term "satisficer" remarkably irritating. Is there no way to express the same concept using real, adult-sounding words? Hmm, let's explore another alternative. Satisfizer ? That sounds like the newest erectile dysfunction pill from Pfizer. It's adult-sounding. It would be a much...
by bpp
Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a "maximizer" or a "satisficer"?
Replies: 52
Views: 3349

Re: Are you a "maximizer" or a "satisficer"?

Then I guess I will have to classify myself as a maximizer, due to not being willing to settle for the linguistically unpalatable alternative.
by bpp
Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a "maximizer" or a "satisficer"?
Replies: 52
Views: 3349

Re: Are you a "maximizer" or a "satisficer"?

I find the term "satisficer" remarkably irritating.

Is there no way to express the same concept using real, adult-sounding words?
by bpp
Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a "maximizer" or a "satisficer"?
Replies: 52
Views: 3349

Re: Portfolio advice: US citizen expat in France

Questions 1. For my mixed investment time horizons (saving for apartment down payment and for retirement) and age, what do you think of my 60/40 stock/bond split? Looks reasonable. 2. Is my exposure to Euros adequate? Your bonds are 2/1 Euro/other, and your stocks are what, about 1/3 or 1/4 Euro/ot...
by bpp
Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice: US citizen expat in France
Replies: 11
Views: 703

Re: Mutual Funds vs. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

There are no mutual funds available to me that are not PFICs, so I use ETFs.
by bpp
Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mutual Funds vs. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
Replies: 37
Views: 2623

Re: What was your initial AA and how has that worked out?

Avoid PFICs. Can you elaborate? Tax headaches? The taxation on PFICs can be pretty nasty, and even worse is trying to figure out how to do the paperwork involved. Even the IRS does not understand PFICs -- they have not bothered to write human-readable instructions, and they refuse point-blank to an...
by bpp
Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your initial AA and how has that worked out?
Replies: 32
Views: 2558

Re: What was your initial AA and how has that worked out?

Hi all, Thought I ask the community how things have been working out since they started their Bogleheads plan. If you don't minding sharing 1. When you started. E.g. How many years ago? 14 2. How old you were? Mumble mumble. 3. Stock/bond ratio Age-10 in bonds. 4. Annual % return since the start. I...
by bpp
Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your initial AA and how has that worked out?
Replies: 32
Views: 2558

Re: Being older/younger in class -- benefits, issues?

Being one of the first kids in the class to start puberty can be difficult for some kids to handle. Probably more an issue for girls, for whom it is more noticeable than for boys.
by bpp
Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being older/younger in class -- benefits, issues?
Replies: 114
Views: 9549

Re: PFIC - How can I handle this simply?

I have kinda resigned myself that in the worst case, I can pay ordinary taxes on the $3K in ordinary income, pay at the lower rate on the $11K QDI, and in effect pay taxes on the full $14K. This feels wrong - it feels like paying the taxes on the $3K should at LEAST reduce my tax obligation on the ...
by bpp
Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PFIC - How can I handle this simply?
Replies: 7
Views: 324

Re: PFIC - How can I handle this simply?

No experience with QEF, but your next best option after that is probably to take the mark-to-market election.
Doing raw 1291 is simply horrible.
by bpp
Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PFIC - How can I handle this simply?
Replies: 7
Views: 324

Re: Maybe going back to cash isn't such a bad idea

I like cash. In addition to identity theft issues, the lack of spam alone makes it worth it.

Information has value. Don't give yours away unless you are getting something worthwhile for it.
by bpp
Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maybe going back to cash isn't such a bad idea
Replies: 18
Views: 2060

Re: Help Selecting Insurance [Japan]

My thought is that it pays out for a fixed duration, so you can always calculate what the total payout would be if you were to die tomorrow. (As they calculate for you on that page: 59,400,000 yen total paid out over time for a 4,445 yen/month premium if you died immediately after signing up.) Can y...
by bpp
Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Selecting Insurance [Japan]
Replies: 8
Views: 864

Re: Using Turbotax to file for a Foreign Income Exclusion?

TurboTax handles the FEIE just fine. There are other issues for overseas filers it does not handle well, or at all (PFIC, e.g.), but FEIE is not a problem. Add: actually, there are some subtleties involved in how to enter non-W-2 income, so do be aware of that. I wouldn't pay a CPA just for that, th...
by bpp
Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Turbotax to file for a Foreign Income Exclusion?
Replies: 3
Views: 247

Re: What to do with an older car?

livesoft wrote:In the old days, one would pay 100 DM per month remaining until the next inspection if the car was expected to fail inspection.


In Germany?
by bpp
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with an older car?
Replies: 22
Views: 1362

Re: What did you always wish for but never got?

An Altair 8800.

A real live actual computer! With toggle switches and blinkenlights and everything!

Still don't have one.
by bpp
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you always wish for but never got?
Replies: 87
Views: 5442

Re: Help Selecting Insurance [Japan]

Do you have a pointer to the actual policy details in Japanese?

(The Guardian write-up looks potentially reasonable, but is very general and of uncertain applicability.)
by bpp
Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Selecting Insurance [Japan]
Replies: 8
Views: 864
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