Search found 1279 matches

by Karamatsu
Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Bonds
Replies: 11
Views: 1512

Re: Help with Bonds

I considered using something like BND or BIV but then the percentage allocated to the different types of bonds would fluctuate over time as the index composition changed. By slicing-and-dicing more "pure" funds I'm able to keep the allocations clear. But it's just a personal preference, yo...
by Karamatsu
Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ethically Grading Your Portfolio
Replies: 21
Views: 1300

Re: Ethically Grading Your Portfolio

What resources are available to look at grading a portfolio based on ethical standards? Morningstar's ESG ratings seem like a good option because they're quasi-independent and they presumably apply the same standards across the board. Otherwise most brokers seem to rely on the fund vendor to tell t...
by Karamatsu
Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Bonds
Replies: 11
Views: 1512

Re: Help with Bonds

I'm in the same boat... expatriate, so there's no advantage to US municipal bond funds. My current bond allocation is 40% SCHP (TIPS ETF) 40% SCHR (Intermediate-Term Nominal Treasuries ETF) 20% VCIT (Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Corporate ETF) The actual portfolio is a bit more complex because...
by Karamatsu
Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: U.S. brokerages and retiring abroad
Replies: 24
Views: 1973

Re: U.S. brokerages and retiring abroad

For what it's worth I've been using Schwab overseas since 1990 or so. No problems though there are restrictions: no mutual funds, and recently I heard that they'd stopped offering brokered CD products to overseas residents. I'm pretty sure that if you set up the account in the US and then move overs...
by Karamatsu
Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: U.S. citizen in Japan
Replies: 19
Views: 1884

Re: U.S. citizen in Japan

The tax laws keep changing, but if I remember right, one advantage is that you can carry losses forward for three years if they're at a Japanese broker (although this may only apply to Japanese assets... I'd need to check), whereas you can't do that at all with a foreign broker. It's a move to convi...
by Karamatsu
Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: U.S. citizen in Japan
Replies: 19
Views: 1884

Re: U.S. citizen in Japan

Regarding the PFICs you can indeed use the mark-to-market regime and invest in non-US-domiciled funds. The paperwork involved is not all that difficult, but you do have to pay attention to detail. If you add to the position over time, it seems like one option would be to combine the cost basis of ne...
by Karamatsu
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expat Wanting to Invest in US Mutual Funds
Replies: 11
Views: 830

Re: Expat Wanting to Invest in US Mutual Funds

Saying that you live in the US when you don't in order to induce Vanguard to enter into a contract for services? It's hard to see how that would not be fraud, so personally, I'd avoid doing that, but I share the frustration. Still, if you want to invest in Vanguard funds, bbetter to find a broker th...
by Karamatsu
Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 1846

Re: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation

You may be able to offset the double-taxation using FTC on one or both sides of the Pacific, but the devil is very much in the details (timing, etc), so I think that, if the amounts are significant, you should shop around at the big tax accounting firms and see how much some advice would cost you. I...
by Karamatsu
Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 1846

Re: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation

Only after five years as an alien resident. They don't want immigrants. I countered it by being outside Japan for two years before I went back in with another company. Currently that's five years out of the last ten, These days, if someone lives in Japan for four years, leaves for two, and then com...
by Karamatsu
Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retail FX "Investing" [Foreign Exchange]
Replies: 16
Views: 1388

Re: Retail FX "Investing" [Foreign Exchange]

What were the customers doing that they were able to lose their whole initial investment in just six months? I mean, it's rare for a currency value to go completely to zero, so it seems like whatever happened must have been less about the fact that it's FX than the way they were trading. If I just b...
by Karamatsu
Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it worth venturing into active bond funds?
Replies: 10
Views: 1237

Re: Is it worth venturing into active bond funds?

I wonder though. There's a convincing amount of research on the folly of active management with respect to equities but is there similar research on bonds? Personally I only use passive index funds for bonds, but that's only because of costs and the suspicion that Wall Street doesn't add value for i...
by Karamatsu
Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bought my first individual stock!
Replies: 33
Views: 3768

Re: Bought my first individual stock!

I suppose the one core thing I see missing (and maybe you've already done it but it's just not listed) is research into the company itself. The six point list could be applied randomly to any company in the industry so the question (which may be what you addressed by checking out Morningstar, but wo...
by Karamatsu
Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Higher expected returns = Lower expected losses?
Replies: 25
Views: 2004

Re: Higher expected returns = Lower expected losses?

Just curious, but what assets do the bar graphs show the average and maximum drawdowns for? Are they individual stocks? Some basket? How many? And are the graphs derived from real (with or without survivor bias?) or simulated data? I'm guessing there must be a paper somewhere because they're nicely ...
by Karamatsu
Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab web site confusing
Replies: 11
Views: 1627

Re: Schwab web site confusing

I guess you mean having Schwab essentially "pull" funds from your bank account? I always do it the other way ("push") from the bank to Schwab. It's very easy because the bank has already authenticated me. Maybe worth a try if the Schwab process is too convoluted?
by Karamatsu
Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why can't stocks be deterministically/objectively/mechanically priced?
Replies: 75
Views: 4404

Re: Why can't stocks be deterministically/objectively/mechanically priced?

it all seems like a huge and really long collective illusion That's because it is. Or... not entirely. It depends on how you are using the equity markets. When a firm does an IPO in order to get operating cash, that's not illusory. When a person or a firm purchases equity shares in order to gain a ...
by Karamatsu
Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Regrets using ETFs
Replies: 65
Views: 5769

Re: Regrets using ETFs

Or a person might not qualify for Admiral. Everybody qualifies for ETFs! The big advantage I see for mutual funds is the ability to do regular investments, say, every month, without fees or accumulating spread costs. But if you only trade a few times a year, the occasional rebalance, then maybe it's...
by Karamatsu
Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

Glad we didn't confuse you! On this: What I worry about is something like an audit notice or any sort of important notice from the IRS is snail-mailed to me, I would not receive until months later or maybe even never receive it. Yes, that's a real concern. In order to save costs the IRS appears to u...
by Karamatsu
Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Regrets using ETFs
Replies: 65
Views: 5769

Re: Regrets using ETFs

At the moment I have no choice but to use ETFs, but if I were in the US I would at least do the math and compare whether the one-time "cost" associated with the spread was offset by higher annual expense ratios for mutual funds versus ETF versions of substantially (or in the case of Vangua...
by Karamatsu
Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

Ah, yes. In cases like that I understand the advantage. All in all, in such a situation it would probably be good to e-File if that's an option.
by Karamatsu
Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

Not to keep spinning around on all the detail stuff, but why would you want to put a US address on your 1040? I always put my foreign address and haven't run into any difficulties, and I suppose one advantage is that it's clear that I have no US tax home. But really it's just practical: if the IRS n...
by Karamatsu
Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

Well, I've already stated my thoughts in general, but the Indonesian tax authority is clearly very interested in getting a handle on overseas assets/accounts. The most likely way they'll enforce that after the current tax amnesty period ends (March, 2017) is to require taxpayers to report overseas a...
by Karamatsu
Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One Penny In IRA--Back Door Roth Possible?
Replies: 6
Views: 1049

Re: One Penny In IRA--Back Door Roth Possible?

Yes, I had a weird thing like that once, too, because when the paperwork finally went through it happened to be during the period between a dividend ex-date and the payment date. If I remember right, my broker just liquidated the account and deposited the balance to my taxable account in cash. Perha...
by Karamatsu
Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Exchange Process Fee" at Schwab - what is this?
Replies: 5
Views: 1266

Re: "Exchange Process Fee" at Schwab - what is this?

The SEC fee is quite old, and Schwab has broken it out as a line item for years, but since it only applies to sales, you may not have noticed it before. It makes sense for Schwab to pass these fees on since they are proportional to the trade, and imposed by outside authorities. Note that this is far...
by Karamatsu
Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

I've never created a 1099 and sent it to anyone. Around January/February, Betterment should send you 1099s for interest, dividends, and capital gains/losses, and they will also provide some of that information to the IRS. That's about it. All you'll have to do is transfer some of that data from the ...
by Karamatsu
Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If i want to invest in gold (metal), what is the best way?
Replies: 128
Views: 9284

Re: If i want to invest in gold (metal), what is the best way?

Although I wouldn't invest in physical gold myself (why is this such a popular topic now?), from what I've heard it seems like coins, preferably those of your own government, are probably the best way. With bullion, I was told, in order to value it they have to take a sample, which means it will be ...
by Karamatsu
Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

I might be over reacting with this, but lying about something with regards to a financial arrangement strikes me as fraudulent and seems like it has the potential to get me in hot water pretty easily I agree. From what I recall of my contract law course (a long time ago) it's fraud in the inducement...
by Karamatsu
Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safety in gold ?
Replies: 37
Views: 2743

Re: Safety in gold ?

I think what makes shiny metal seem safe is just that it is physical and so does not depend on the honestly or good will of those on Wall Street or in Washington. It's not like the infamous Monty Python house of cards that only remains standing because people believe in it. So in that sense it does ...
by Karamatsu
Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

Personally I'd avoid dishonesty in financial arrangements. It just complicates things and the one thing we don't need as expatriates is more complications. That said, according to their web site , Vanguard does have subsidiaries in Singapore, Hong Kong, etc, and you might check to see if you can ope...
by Karamatsu
Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

Ah, ok, this makes sense. It is nice to know that, at least, the issue is not one of legality. Well, please preface everything I write as "As far as this random person on the Internet knows..." What I wrote before seems to be what's left when you boil it all down. In reality governments d...
by Karamatsu
Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

AFAIK, there is nothing in US law stating you can't open when outside the US. That's true. The problem is just compliance with an ever exploding number of regulations that pretend to be about money laundering and tax avoidance, but sometimes are merely ways to restrict capital flow and protect dome...
by Karamatsu
Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Presidential Election Insurance, Use T-Bills?
Replies: 65
Views: 4537

Re: Presidential Election Insurance, Use T-Bills?

Have you ever tried to sell T-bills quickly at your broker? I ask because I'm not sure how fast it can be done where I am, or if they would charge a commission on the sale in the secondary market. Given 0.09% yield (in actual, not annualized terms), if the idea is to take advantage of event-induced ...
by Karamatsu
Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Tell if Your Retirement Nest Egg Is Big Enough"
Replies: 61
Views: 14277

Re: "How to Tell if Your Retirement Nest Egg Is Big Enough"

I thought the article was a good reminder to take a look now and then and see if, in fact, you have enough, or if it might be wise to dial back the risk. But the actual examples were kind of weird, really. What saves "Greg" isn't so much his stock/bond allocation but the simple fact that h...
by Karamatsu
Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?
Replies: 7
Views: 582

Re: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?

I think they should be able to do it. The question is just how much overhead is involved (paperwork, etc) for what will be, in the end, a one-time transaction. That's why talking to someone, especially if there's an office nearby, might be ideal. You'd probably still have to sign up for an account o...
by Karamatsu
Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?
Replies: 7
Views: 582

Re: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?

I suppose I would find out the trading symbols for the shares, then call or visit several brokers and ask. Most large brokers can probably do this but fees will vary and you'd want to get the best deal. At a minimum, ask about the account setup fees, share transfer fees, and fees or commissions for ...
by Karamatsu
Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Quality - Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF
Replies: 5
Views: 585

Re: Credit Quality - Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

Perhaps Morningstar's average credit quality formula equates NR with D, and that's skewing the computation? Otherwise I don't see how a fund that's 66% AAA and all the rest investment grade, with only 14% BBB, could possibly have an "average" credit rating of BBB. Default rates are low (as...
by Karamatsu
Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to open Vanguard, Stationed Overseas
Replies: 11
Views: 1020

Re: Trying to open Vanguard, Stationed Overseas

Hmmmm... I don't have a Vanguard account, so I'm not certain, but in such a situation you might try sending a postal letter to Vanguard outlining the situation and see if they give you a more useful response. Sometimes the people who handle E-mail and phone calls work from scripts and don't have the...
by Karamatsu
Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Preferred bonds?
Replies: 5
Views: 674

Re: Preferred bonds?

Based on a quick search, I think "preferred bond" is just an attempt to re-brand preferred stocks, stealing the word "bond" in order to create the impression (advertising-speak for "lie") that the shares are safer than they are. But that said, there are exchange-traded ...
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: 474

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: 3803

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: 7393

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: 7393

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: 7393

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: 7393

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: 2070

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: 2070

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: 2070

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: 2070

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: 689

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: 11
Views: 1138

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: 1190

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 ...

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