Search found 1212 matches

by Karamatsu
Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Are Real Interest Rates So Low Worldwide?
Replies: 76
Views: 6211

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: 511

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: 1325

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: 2078

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: 76
Views: 6211

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: 76
Views: 6211

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: 824

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: 855

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: 1325

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: 753

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: 1325

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: 1428

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: 414

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: 1158

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: 441

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: 676

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: 993

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: 993

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: 993

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: 993

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...
by Karamatsu
Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Under-estimated my risk tolerance
Replies: 25
Views: 3392

Re: Under-estimated my risk tolerance

On the one hand, I can't help thinking that the urge to put more into stocks after a prolonged recover/bull market is just the flip side of selling stocks after a prolonged decline/bear market. The main difference is that people have a built-in reluctance to realize losses, so we're less likely to s...
by Karamatsu
Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living abroad. Retirement savings options?
Replies: 3
Views: 723

Re: Living abroad. Retirement savings options?

I can confirm that (1) is correct: earned income that is covered by the FEIE won't be eligible for an IRA contribution. The only alternative while using the FEIE is to get some US-earned income (for example, salary earned while on a business trip to the US), or if your host country income exceeds th...
by Karamatsu
Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan reduces interest rates below 0
Replies: 16
Views: 2877

Re: Japan reduces interest rates below 0

I think it's a sign of desperation.
by Karamatsu
Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign ETF Trading - Best Practice
Replies: 41
Views: 1914

Re: Foreign ETF Trading - Best Practice

And then there is often some percentage of "weird stuff" in a fund's holdings: derivative positions, short-term bonds, currency swaps... the footnotes in the annual reports that managers hope nobody will read. I imagine Vanguard is pretty conservative about that sort of thing, though.
by Karamatsu
Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign ETF Trading - Best Practice
Replies: 41
Views: 1914

Re: Foreign ETF Trading - Best Practice

Note that the indicative value "flat-lines" around 11:30 Eastern when the European markets are closing. Market values of the ETF itself after that time are trading on stale data. Depending on the investor they might also be trading on the basis of news, anticipating an up or down move whe...
by Karamatsu
Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Curreency risk and retiring overseas
Replies: 4
Views: 531

Re: Curreency risk and retiring overseas

Well, exchange rates can affect things quite a bit, so I think if I were you, I'd consider diversifying my portfolio to include a US-based European equity index fund (like Vanguard's VGK or the mutual fund equivalent). That way some percentage (of the underlying assets) will be in denominated in Eur...
by Karamatsu
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tips on Buy/Selling ETFs
Replies: 30
Views: 2119

Re: Tips on Buy/Selling ETFs

For what it's worth, I usually trade during the first half hour. It's often the most volatile time, because people are reacting to news and events that occurred after the previous day's close, and of course, international stocks will be repriced based both on their values at home and currency exchan...
by Karamatsu
Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tips on Buy/Selling ETFs
Replies: 30
Views: 2119

Re: Tips on Buy/Selling ETFs

So for those with some experience in buying/selling could you offer some suggestions on how it should be done? You really didn't do anything wrong. It's just that (unless you were selling right at the close) the market probably moved against you, the price fell, and nobody was willing to take the s...
by Karamatsu
Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: eyeing micro-cap stocks
Replies: 39
Views: 2819

Re: eyeing micro-cap stocks

The trouble with such ideas is that they always work great IF you pick the right stocks. And there's the rub. With micro-caps in particular, the kinds of ratios, etc, that you get from a regular screener can easily conceal all sorts of evil stuff going on under the hood. You'd really want to take a ...
by Karamatsu
Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie Investor - Japan
Replies: 3
Views: 451

Re: Newbie Investor - Japan

Taxes make everything tricky and cross-border taxation can be a nightmare, so generally I always think it's best to go for simplicity, say, by doing all your investment via a Japanese broker. But in your case even simplicity is hard, and you should probably consult with a tax advisor, particularly o...
by Karamatsu
Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Stock Help
Replies: 3
Views: 389

Re: Individual Stock Help

I suppose this is why we like index funds. Who really knows? The central question is why you bought each of them, and if those original reasons still hold. If they do, and you still feel confident about your reasoning, then unless you see something out there that looks better, chances are you should...
by Karamatsu
Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [New Member] Picking a stock
Replies: 28
Views: 1618

Re: [New Member] Picking a stock

My goal is to eventually have similar portfolios to many of you I'm also unable to use mutual funds (because I'm not a US resident), so just duplicate the fund portfolio that I would otherwise want using ETFs. It's quite easy, but I second (third? fourth?) the recommendation that you use a broker t...
by Karamatsu
Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Proper protocol for purchasing ETFs?
Replies: 17
Views: 1218

Re: Proper protocol for purchasing ETFs?

I agree, at least within the uncertainties of whether the market will take you up or down in the next five minutes. There's always a bottom, but of course we only know when it was in hindsight. All I was saying was that, in the absence of those tax law quirks, you really don't gain anything with lon...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Proper protocol for purchasing ETFs?
Replies: 17
Views: 1218

Re: Proper protocol for purchasing ETFs?

Interesting. End-of-year TLH is the only kind I've ever done. Otherwise it seems like you're just paying paying round-trip commissions+spread to own (more or less) the same thing. For example, say you had VWO and a $50K loss. You sell those shares and buy SCHE. You've booked the $50K realized loss, ...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you organize your finances? Do you use Mint.com?
Replies: 77
Views: 7762

Re: How do you organize your finances? Do you use Mint.com?

How does everyone here organize their finances? Just by hand. It's not that complicated. Or... if my personal finances were that complicated it would probably mean I'm doing something wrong. I don't trust services like mint.com (not that they're bad people -- I just don't trust the service model) s...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VCIT or VCSH
Replies: 4
Views: 473

Re: VCIT or VCSH

For what it's worth, I'm using VCIT. The yield on VCSH isn't that much better than a CD, so with all the usual caveats about rising interest rates, there doesn't seem to be much point if you're looking at a longterm investment. As for the mutual funds, you're right. US brokers typically won't allow ...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US-Japan Tax Treaty and W-8BEN
Replies: 5
Views: 1594

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

It's always good to verify this sort of thing by writing or talking to the IRS or a tax accountant, but my impression is that there is no requirement for someone surrendering a green card to liquidate his IRA or other retirement accounts. He'll simply become a nonresident alien for tax purposes and ...
by Karamatsu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Proper protocol for purchasing ETFs?
Replies: 17
Views: 1218

Re: Proper protocol for purchasing ETFs?

Well, for $1.5M you'd be looking at about 82,000 shares of SCHE, which is a good 10% of average daily volume (yesterday was unusual, of course, because of the China thing). Given that the ETF normally trades in blocks of 500 or less you would definitely not want to place a market order! My first cho...
by Karamatsu
Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hedging against the future of healthcare costs by buying healthcare equities index?
Replies: 24
Views: 1493

Re: Hedging against the future of healthcare costs by buying healthcare equities index?

There's no push to detail your portfolio. That's only really a recommendation when people are asking for portfolio advice, and it is best to be wary on the net. Once your information is out there, there's no getting it back. I will say it's inspiring, though, to see that someone can reach eight figu...
by Karamatsu
Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Big Data technologies could aid active investing in the future?
Replies: 31
Views: 1671

Re: Do you think Big Data technologies could aid active investing in the future?

I think my main concern with the increased use of real-time analytics in the financial markets is that share prices will become increasingly unhinged and irrational. The markets are already at a point where no human being knows why they do what they do (no matter what the financial press may try to ...
by Karamatsu
Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll Call for Tax-Loss Harvesting Class of 2015
Replies: 62
Views: 2650

Re: Roll Call for Tax-Loss Harvesting Class of 2015

So yeah... some TLH. It's particularly important here because capital gains are taxed at over 20%, and at the same time, there is no capital loss carry-forward for investments at foreign (non-Japanese) brokers, so I try to exactly offset the JPY value of gains during the year with equivalent JPY los...
by Karamatsu
Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hedging against the future of healthcare costs by buying healthcare equities index?
Replies: 24
Views: 1493

Re: Hedging against the future of healthcare costs by buying healthcare equities index?

I suspect that the only way to really protect against rises in health care costs is having adequate insurance. Investing in the health care index as a hedge against rising health care costs assumes that share prices will pace the cost of health care, but I'm not sure if that's actually seen in pract...
by Karamatsu
Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do we call it "investing"?
Replies: 35
Views: 3312

Re: Why do we call it "investing"?

So shouldn't the term "investing" be applied only to the funds in the primary market and funds in the secondary and other markets be called something else? I agree with you in principle, but it's not so clear-cut, and much seems to depend on intention. For example, if you buy shares in th...
by Karamatsu
Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why same tickers for different products?
Replies: 2
Views: 345

Re: Why same tickers for different products?

I suppose there must be some underlying common standard to prevent problems like this but it seems like brokers and data aggregators use different schemes, and they're not always consistent even within the same company. But you could easily imagine a unification scheme similar to Internet domain nam...
by Karamatsu
Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years
Replies: 22
Views: 1354

Re: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years

The devil in the details, of course, is that a capital loss and/or exchange rate losses from the foreign investment could wipe out the benefit of soaking up the outstanding foreign tax credit.
by Karamatsu
Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convertible notes: are they stocks or bonds? (Aussie Boglehead)
Replies: 6
Views: 458

Re: Convertible notes: are they stocks or bonds? (Aussie Boglehead)

How I look at it would depend on my intentions and the terms... you mention that it's convertible in 2017 but not whether the conversion is mandatory or optional, whether the choice of cash or common is yours or theirs, whether the cash is face value or something else, whether you bought above/below...
by Karamatsu
Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: preferred stocks
Replies: 5
Views: 564

Re: preferred stocks

Well, preferred stocks don't have a very good reputation around here because of their behavior and complexity: nearly all of the risks of equity but almost none of the upside, nearly all of the risks of bonds but almost none of that upside, either. The only things they have going for them is that th...
by Karamatsu
Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years
Replies: 22
Views: 1354

Re: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years

If there were a clean way to soak up the credits it might be worthwhile but in general, to me, it seems like a bit of a fool's game. Trying to be clever with the IRS never seems to work out well. Of course, neither does being honest with the IRS, or following their own instructions! They seem to mak...
by Karamatsu
Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statistics "R" [Programming language for portfolio analysis]
Replies: 25
Views: 2394

Re: Statistics "R" [Programming language for portfolio analysis]

For first steps in R I highly recommend Jared Lander's "R for Everyone" and RStudio. You'll need more books (or just documentation), especially once you start adding packages, but this combination is a good place to start.
by Karamatsu
Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Sin stocks"
Replies: 42
Views: 5323

Re: "Sin stocks"

Although back when I was buying individual stocks I would avoid those that I felt made their money by doing evil (primarily because their annual reports were disgusting), once I began index investing I just let it go. The questions of share ownership, influence, and responsibility are too diffused. ...

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