Search found 1242 matches

by Karamatsu
Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shorting a stock: is there an interest cost?
Replies: 3
Views: 393

Re: Shorting a stock: is there an interest cost?

Yet I regularly see references to particular stocks being more expensive to short. Like everything in the market, it's just a matter of supply and demand. When the demand for borrowed shares exceeds the available supply, those who have shares are able to demand higher interest rates. It's probably ...
by Karamatsu
Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds taxed more than stocks?
Replies: 29
Views: 3407

Re: Why are bonds taxed more than stocks?

It's purely a political decision, which strictly speaking means it is not a valid topic of conversation here, but you can see that quite clearly by looking at changes in the tax code over time, or by comparing the tax regimes in different countries. There are always rationales but it seems to come d...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the deal with Japan?
Replies: 62
Views: 6712

Re: What's the deal with Japan?

The reason it could be troubling to investors is if more people were to come to a realization that stock prices are not really directly connected to the growth of the economy, that stock prices are an arbitrary "pull a random number out of the air" exercise in the valuing of companies, ou...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the deal with Japan?
Replies: 62
Views: 6712

Re: What's the deal with Japan?

The vast majority of Japanese government bonds are held by BOJ, Japanese institutions and Japanese pension funds. The latter two, institutions and pension funds, are in turn are owned by Japanese individuals. So ultimately it is the individuals who own these bonds and the BOJ which is an instrument...
by Karamatsu
Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the deal with Japan?
Replies: 62
Views: 6712

Re: What's the deal with Japan?

What sort of structural labor reforms? Also it's worth noting that very few Japanese individuals buy JGBs. The bonds are mostly held by institutions, all of which are now net sellers. The only net buyers of JGBs these days are the Bank of Japan (obviously) and foreigners.
by Karamatsu
Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the deal with Japan?
Replies: 62
Views: 6712

Re: What's the deal with Japan?

If Japan is furthest out with the money printing and ZIRP experiments, why is the Yen considered a safe haven currency That's something I've always had difficulty understanding myself. The yen is quite volatile versus other currencies and hardly a reliable place for most investors to store purchasi...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing as an American living in Japan
Replies: 16
Views: 1814

Re: Investing as an American living in Japan

What would you do with your money if you were in my shoes with aims to live in Japan (foreseeably for the next 20-25 years)? Well, what I do is combine all of the accounts, allocate money to the various investments in my AA, and then put the least tax-efficient in what little IRA space I have avail...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing as an American living in Japan
Replies: 16
Views: 1814

Re: Investing as an American living in Japan

Upon maturity I would pay the local taxes, and replenish that reservoir for say the next 7-years for a similar investment. I am not crazy about prepaying local taxes for a shorter maturity but it does help mitigate the double taxation. Does this (imperfect solution) make sense to you? That's an int...
by Karamatsu
Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing as an American living in Japan
Replies: 16
Views: 1814

Re: Investing as an American living in Japan

Differences in tax treatment are a tremendous headache. Each government claims the absolute right (unless modified by treaty) to require us to comply with its own laws. So if I held Japanese inflation-indexed bonds, and they worked the same way as TIPS, I think the IRS would want me to report the ph...
by Karamatsu
Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing as an American living in Japan
Replies: 16
Views: 1814

Re: Investing as an American living in Japan

Good to hear that things are working well. I have to agree about the bonds... Apparently next year they will start offering individual inflation-indexed bonds, which would interest me, but there seems to be no real benefit to holding the normal bonds right now.
by Karamatsu
Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pacific ETF investment or not
Replies: 12
Views: 578

Re: Pacific ETF investment or not

Early on I considered separate investments in VGK and VPL so I could rebalance between them (and the US, too, of course), but in the end I decided I didn't need more complications so just went with VEA,
by Karamatsu
Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UK domiciled investments to retire in Japan *TwoYen, Karamatsu, BPP
Replies: 7
Views: 625

Re: UK domiciled investments to retire in Japan *TwoYen, Karamatsu, BPP

I believe there is no capital gains tax levied between the UK and Singapore which as I understand it means that I won't have to pay tax on any earnings but I am not sure whether we will be taxed in the future if we transfer funds in yearly allotments from Singapore to Japan. I assume that we will h...
by Karamatsu
Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: (Japan) Domestic bonds: individual bonds or bond funds? And which?
Replies: 12
Views: 1019

Re: (Japan) Domestic bonds: individual bonds or bond funds? And which?

Not too conservative at all, at least in my opinion. If I'd followed the advice of the Schwab guy when I first set up my account (he recommended allocating age-in-bonds) I'd be in a much better position than I am now. But it took me a long time to settle on passive investing. Lessons learned... The ...
by Karamatsu
Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US Bonds are not highest rated in the world?
Replies: 57
Views: 4508

Re: US Bonds are not highest rated in the world?

From my perspective, credit rating on bonds issued by a country in its own currency is a meaningless question. We went through this discussion with the ratings agencies every time they downgraded Japanese government bonds. Their answer was that the ratings measure not just the risk of default but t...
by Karamatsu
Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: (Japan) Domestic bonds: individual bonds or bond funds? And which?
Replies: 12
Views: 1019

Re: (Japan) Domestic bonds: individual bonds or bond funds? And which?

I think the "return" figure on the Bloomberg page is total return. The closing price on the first trading day of January was 10,009 yen, so of that 5.37% YTD return shown, 5.32% is due to share price appreciation, and only 0.05% is from bond interest. So that would make more sense given th...
by Karamatsu
Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [JAPAN] Inflation linked bonds / JGBi
Replies: 7
Views: 574

Re: [JAPAN] Inflation linked bonds / JGBi

Apparently there is a plan to allow retail purchases of inflation-indexed bonds, but the finance market is heavily politicized at the moment (pre-election and all that), so those plans could be changed. As a proxy for an inflation-indexed instrument some of us use the 10Y floating-rate 個人向け国債 saving...
by Karamatsu
Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: (Japan) Domestic bonds: individual bonds or bond funds? And which?
Replies: 12
Views: 1019

Re: (Japan) Domestic bonds: individual bonds or bond funds? And which?

If you buy the floating-rate 個人向け国債 then you have no significant credit risk (even in the worst case they would probably monetize the debt rather than default), no term risk, in the event of catastrophic deflation you'll get the face value at maturity. Also you can redeem the bonds after one year fo...
by Karamatsu
Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Zeros for College?
Replies: 10
Views: 2260

Re: Zeros for College?

I'm not sure about Fidelity, but at Schwab they quote a price and that's the price, so there doesn't seem to be a bid/ask spread, and the discount is just the face value minus the quoted price. Rebalancing with zero-coupon bonds is an interesting question because the market price of the bond will in...
by Karamatsu
Tue May 31, 2016 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a ratio of Foreign to US P/E Ratio?
Replies: 9
Views: 466

Re: Is there a ratio of Foreign to US P/E Ratio?

Ah, sorry about that. Must read more carefully!
by Karamatsu
Tue May 31, 2016 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a ratio of Foreign to US P/E Ratio?
Replies: 9
Views: 466

Re: Is there a ratio of Foreign to US P/E Ratio?

If you go to the Vanguard site you can compare, for example, the current P/E of VTI (total US market) with VEU (world ex-us). Right now the numbers for the indexes (a bit different from the funds) are 22.0 and 18.4, respectively. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that P/E doesn't necessarily mea...
by Karamatsu
Mon May 30, 2016 4:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: (JAPAN) Good idea to sell local index shares to get Vanguard Intl exposure?
Replies: 8
Views: 701

Re: (JAPAN) Good idea to sell local index shares to get Vanguard Intl exposure?

You might want to take a look at this article in the Wiki about tax-efficient placement of funds. I should say I'm not up on all the details of NISA accounts, so am applying what I know from tax-advantaged accounts in the US. You might want to investigate more to make sure those ideas really transla...
by Karamatsu
Mon May 30, 2016 2:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: (JAPAN) Good idea to sell local index shares to get Vanguard Intl exposure?
Replies: 8
Views: 701

Re: (JAPAN) Good idea to sell local index shares to get Vanguard Intl exposure?

Given the broker fees for Vanguard shares I think what I would do is select good Japan-domiciled funds to fill out your asset allocation that way. As it is, paying $30 on a $2000 investment is like adding 1.5% to the fund ER, which is a lot. So it seems better to use the freely-traded funds you have...
by Karamatsu
Sun May 29, 2016 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching to Bogling [European living in Japan]
Replies: 15
Views: 1047

Re: Switching to Bogling [European living in Japan]

Karamatsu, you say that the tax code heavily favors investing through a Japanese broker, may I know more about that? I suppose I misunderstood one key point, which is that although you plan to retire here, you probably won't be living here between the end of your current assignment and retirement, ...
by Karamatsu
Thu May 26, 2016 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching to Bogling [European living in Japan]
Replies: 15
Views: 1047

Re: Switching to Bogling [European living in Japan]

Since you're looking at long-term residency, you should probably plan what you want your portfolio to look like after you become a resident for Japanese tax purposes, and make sure there's a good transition path to that from your current non-resident portfolio, one that doesn't involve too many extr...
by Karamatsu
Mon May 23, 2016 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do we believe in the market?
Replies: 59
Views: 5789

Re: Why do we believe in the market?

In the end, aren't we all just gambling since we don't know for certain what the market will be like? Yes. People come up with all sorts of rationalizations (as you've seen), but if you scratch the surface it's just hope, often built on self-deception, which in turn may be built on layers of decept...
by Karamatsu
Thu May 19, 2016 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat American investing in Singapore
Replies: 12
Views: 1029

Re: Expat American investing in Singapore

My impression of the Vanguard office here in Japan is that all they do is add a local-language wrapper around US-based Vanguard funds, then jack up the ER so they can profit as middlemen. As a result, if you don't need local language support, then there probably isn't much of an advantage. But of co...
by Karamatsu
Tue May 17, 2016 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat American investing in Singapore
Replies: 12
Views: 1029

Re: Expat American investing in Singapore

I think my default answer would be to continue investing via your Vanguard US account as long as you can. For every dollar you invest in funds, the expense ratio is charged annually, but the currency conversion is a one-time event, so chances are you'd come out ahead in the end, or you could look up...
by Karamatsu
Sun May 15, 2016 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how do you track and view your asset allocation?
Replies: 27
Views: 2274

Re: how do you track and view your asset allocation?

I think I have trust issues In the online world (or really, with computers in general), trust issues are a form of wisdom, if not outright self- preservation. I'd never trust any service or any software with my financial account passwords. Personally I just use Excel, updating the account balances ...
by Karamatsu
Mon May 09, 2016 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What should I do w/ 150k lump sum while averaging into VTI - bond funds?
Replies: 11
Views: 890

Re: What should I do w/ 150k lump sum while averaging into VTI - bond funds?

If you want to DCA, then I think the best strategy is to decide on your investment schedule ahead of time. It could be anything but for example you could decide to invest the money in four chunks, every six months. So you'd invest 1/4 now, and then with the other three chunks buy 6-month, 12-month, ...
by Karamatsu
Sun May 08, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help a US Expat new to investing pls!
Replies: 7
Views: 806

Re: Help a US Expat new to investing pls!

Just to emphasize that point, if you made the 2015 contribution to the Fidelity IRA with income that was excluded by the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, you should withdraw that contribution and any earnings that may be attributable to it as soon as possible, Otherwise the you will have to pay pena...
by Karamatsu
Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Are Real Interest Rates So Low Worldwide?
Replies: 87
Views: 9512

Re: Why Are Real Interest Rates So Low Worldwide?

Japan: inflation came in very low, well below the Bank of Japan (Japan's central bank) target and below market expectations. The BOJ did nothing at today's meeting. That's because there is underlying inflation. Right now it's just masked, in aggregate, by low oil prices, but anyone who has lived he...
by Karamatsu
Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Citizen Abroad: Switching Brokerage Houses
Replies: 7
Views: 613

Re: US Citizen Abroad: Switching Brokerage Houses

That sounds like a good first step. Expatriate investing is getting more and more difficult. I think if I were going to switch brokers, I'd go so far as to keep my existing account even so, with just enough in assets to avoid fees, because being "grandfathered in" has value, especially if ...
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat and overseas funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1591

Re: Expat and overseas funds

I've got a Schwab account so I'll check that one out. Thanks!! The accounts that can be used for transfers inbound to your Schwab account can be found on the Schwab site here , but for your own protection I recommend accessing it by logging into your account then clicking from Accounts > Transfers ...
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is changing career paths to make less money ever a smart move?
Replies: 26
Views: 2449

Re: Is changing career paths to make less money ever a smart move?

I suppose I take the opposite approach from what many have suggested. If you were close to retirement, I might suggest staying on for a few more years and saving aggressively, but the whole value of being young is that you're able to take chances (that's why everybody recommends equities, right?). I...
by Karamatsu
Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Are Real Interest Rates So Low Worldwide?
Replies: 87
Views: 9512

Re: Why Are Real Interest Rates So Low Worldwide?

Ah, I see. I've never seen an explanation about how these giveaways are financed, but my guess is that you are right and the direct costs of the gifts are ultimately recorded as government debt. Actually your post was the first time I'd ever heard the term "helicopter drop," so I'll have t...
by Karamatsu
Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Are Real Interest Rates So Low Worldwide?
Replies: 87
Views: 9512

Re: Why Are Real Interest Rates So Low Worldwide?

Courage for Central Bankers right now is the helicopter drop... For what it's worth, Japan has tried this several times already, and is in the midst of the latest round, simply giving various groups (this time it's senior citizens, but in the past it's been families with children or, those with low...
by Karamatsu
Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EM vs. Asia ex Japan
Replies: 12
Views: 981

Re: EM vs. Asia ex Japan

I don't think there's a reliable quantitative way to make this decision. It really comes down to what asset class you want to have represented in your portfolio. Except in hindsight, there's no right or wrong answer, but if you want to have 20% in EM on philosophical grounds, then I suppose I'd sugg...
by Karamatsu
Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preferred stock ideas
Replies: 10
Views: 1029

Re: Preferred stock ideas

I'm not actively investing in preferred stocks any more, but late in that period I compared my return, over the course of 5-6 years, to that of the preferred stock ETFs and found that I'd achieved the same return with a lot more risk, so I think if I were to go the preferred route again, I'd follow ...
by Karamatsu
Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat and overseas funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1591

Re: Expat and overseas funds

If you invest at Schwab, they have accounts at banks in a lot of different countries. All you do is make a local transfer (in local currency) to one of those accounts (FBO your Schwab account, of course) and the money pops up in your US Schwab account as USD. The exchange rate seems OK, and no bank ...
by Karamatsu
Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should i hedge against currency exchange rate risk for foreign tuition?
Replies: 19
Views: 929

Re: Should i hedge against currency exchange rate risk for foreign tuition?

This does seem like one of those rare situations where hedging is both a good idea and practical. I would definitely look into the option of paying tuition in advance, though. When I was at university during the term of a certain president, tuition doubled between my freshman year and graduation, so...
by Karamatsu
Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat and overseas funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1591

Re: Expat and overseas funds

Your options for investing abroad will be limited by the tax consequences. Essentially any fund domiciled outside the US will be considered a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) by the IRS, and require special (and highly discriminatory) treatment. Except in the rare case of foreign-domiciled ...
by Karamatsu
Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's
Replies: 16
Views: 1557

Re: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's

That's odd. I have SCHC and SCHF at Schwab and haven't received any notifications. Not clear if the ROC was figured into the 1099 or not, which is disappointing since I've already filed.
by Karamatsu
Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab 1099 Problems for Maturing TIPS
Replies: 3
Views: 483

Re: Schwab 1099 Problems for Maturing TIPS in 2014

Thanks for posting this. I'd just blindly assumed that the cost basis calculation would include OID, since that seemed to make the most sense. Must go back and check...
by Karamatsu
Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can this firm not IPO? [Should I purchase stock options]
Replies: 12
Views: 1525

Re: Can this firm not IPO? [Should I purchase stock options]

After four high-tech IPOs (plus two buy-outs that didn't lead to IPOs), and having seen the incredible abuses that can take place, my best advice is to form an employee union right now, ideally one affiliated with a larger organization that could help you in negotiations, and make the first order of...
by Karamatsu
Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond exposure in brokerage account [US ex-pat in SE Asia]
Replies: 5
Views: 495

Re: Bond exposure in brokerage account [US ex-pat in SE Asia]

Another possibility is a municipal bond fund that would not incur federal tax. The mitigating factor is whether you pay taxes on US-earned interest in your host country. If not, then a muni bond fund essentially becomes tax-free. Of course the yields on munis are lower. You have to use your own marg...
by Karamatsu
Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit Help
Replies: 9
Views: 747

Re: Form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit Help

Hmmm... Unless there is a compelling reason to do something else, I've always just used the IRS average exchange rate for the year to convert all of the amounts on my return, and put 12/31/YYYY for the date paid/accrued on Form 1116 Part II. Then I just attach a note to the return telling them that ...
by Karamatsu
Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)
Replies: 12
Views: 1172

Re: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)

If you want to increase your Japan-domiciled equity allocation above market weight (what you'd get from VT), then a Japan-domiciled fund sounds like a good idea as long as the fund itself meets your criteria for low cost, etc. US citizens face all sorts of tax-related pain if we invest in foreign-do...
by Karamatsu
Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)
Replies: 12
Views: 1172

Re: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)

It certainly sounds like a contender, at least on the cost comparison. I'm in a little different situation since I'm a US citizen, so investing in Japan-domiciled funds creates all kinds of problems. You're lucky to have the choice! Just looking at the PDF, though, there are some odd things. For exa...
by Karamatsu
Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)
Replies: 12
Views: 1172

Re: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)

Regarding the taxes, I'm not certain, but you may be able to file some paperwork to get the tax withheld refunded to you. Or if not, once the funds are out of your NISA account you should be able to take a Japan foreign tax credit on the doubly-taxed portion. That is, in principle Japan would allow ...
by Karamatsu
Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)
Replies: 12
Views: 1172

Re: Investing in Japan (NISA, mid/long term european resident)

1. I have trouble getting my head wrapped around the domestic/international ex-us/us bond ratio. Does it make sense for non-american to buy into BND? Bonds are tricky for expatriates because, especially in the low interest rate environment we have now, exchange rate effects easily swamp bond yields...

Go to advanced search