Search found 1814 matches

by bpp
Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 150
Views: 14197

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

To those who were amazed by the cut from the spinning bone to the spinning spaceship: me, too. Even though at the same time it seems a little obvious, and at the time it bothered me--the cinematic thing again--that I couldn't really see much of a logical connection between the two. One is a weapon ...
by bpp
Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resident Alien Expatriates (Unofficially)
Replies: 8
Views: 1035

Re: Resident Alien Expatriates (Unofficially)

One question with regard to accessing social security, pension, and IRA: would there be any benefit to maintaining his current status rather than filing I-407 and IRS 8854? Note: he does plan to file back tax returns and FBARs with the high probability of no tax due. If he would be a "covered ...
by bpp
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resident Alien Expatriates (Unofficially)
Replies: 8
Views: 1035

Re: Resident Alien Expatriates (Unofficially)

Thanks for the responses. Turns out he hasn't filed form I-407 to formally abandon the green card. In fact no forms have been filed. So... does he count as an expat then? Just needs to catch up on past tax returns and then consider whether to officially "leave" the US? If he wants to do t...
by bpp
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me pick a tax software [Form 8938 - Specified Foreign Financial Assets]
Replies: 12
Views: 1370

Re: Help me pick a tax software [Form 8938 - Specified Foreign Financial Assets]

Both TaxAct and TurboTax allow e-filing with multiple accounts on Form 8938.
by bpp
Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!
Replies: 69
Views: 4193

Re: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!

I took the pledge.
by bpp
Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with Japanese wife's yen while living in the U.S.
Replies: 5
Views: 830

Re: What to do with Japanese wife's yen while living in the U.S.

It depends on laws by country, but if she is still a citizen there while holding residency in the US, she should be able to invest. Unfortunately, that is not true for Japan; she would have to be residing there to open an investment account there. (Which is generally the case for the US, too, thoug...
by bpp
Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEIE using Turbo Tax
Replies: 3
Views: 191

Re: FEIE using Turbo Tax

You may be getting hit by the stacking rule. Income excluded by the FEIE is not taxed itself, but is used to calculate the overall tax bracket. So it may be pushing unexcluded income into a higher bracket. So let's say my income from US-based businesses is $10,000 and my foreign income is $50,000, ...
by bpp
Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEIE using Turbo Tax
Replies: 3
Views: 191

Re: FEIE using Turbo Tax

You may be getting hit by the stacking rule. Income excluded by the FEIE is not taxed itself, but is used to calculate the overall tax bracket. So it may be pushing unexcluded income into a higher bracket.
by bpp
Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overwhelmed on what to do/invest - Dual citizen (US & EU)
Replies: 11
Views: 983

Re: Overwhelmed on what to do/invest - Dual citizen (US & EU)

If you really have no attachment to the US other than the passport, and are absolutely certain you will never want to make use of the guaranteed right to live there that citizenship provides, then yes, renouncing may make sense. ($2350 is steep, but is almost certainly cheaper than a lifetime of fil...
by bpp
Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with UK / investments in ISAs? [US / UK taxation]
Replies: 8
Views: 491

Re: Experience with UK / investments in ISAs? [US / UK taxation]

I wouldn't worry about which stocks to hold, as much as how many. For example, just buying equal sized lots of each of the biggest 30 to 50 companies in the FTSE100 is likely to give pretty good tracking with the index. Random selection would work just fine as well, if you don't mind some small-cap ...
by bpp
Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with UK / investments in ISAs? [US / UK taxation]
Replies: 8
Views: 491

Re: Experience with UK / investments in ISAs? [US / UK taxation]

Some of us here use individual stocks for similar reasons. Try having a look at the wiki page on Passively managing individual stocks for some considerations on taking this approach.
by bpp
Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to know if an individual stock is a passive foreign investment company (PFIC)
Replies: 3
Views: 474

Re: How to know if an individual stock is a passive foreign investment company (PFIC)

ADRs can be PFICs, so US listing in that form would be no guarantee against it. For companies which are uncertain, I would first try doing a web search on the company name plus "PFIC," and see if they have anything to say about it. Sometimes they will clearly state that they are, or that t...
by bpp
Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good news? Press release: "TurboTax Restores Forms to Desktop Software"
Replies: 4
Views: 1275

Re: Good news? Press release: "TurboTax Restores Forms to Desktop Software"

So TaxAct Deluxe got renamed TaxAct Plus and the price increased by 50%. And that, if I can trust my preview copy is the only change, apart from some different fonts and new pictures of people looking ecstatic about tax time. Other than that exactly the same software as last year. The big differenc...
by bpp
Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Stock Market vs. Basket of Stocks
Replies: 13
Views: 1660

Re: Total Stock Market vs. Basket of Stocks

If you are doing something like this, do you manage it yourself, or with an advisor? A few folks here do variations on that. There is even a Wiki page on it: Passively managing individual stocks I do it to avoid PFIC issues, with loss-harvesting a nice side benefit. I manage it myself. I believe We...
by bpp
Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is unused (cell plan) data worth to you?
Replies: 56
Views: 4471

Re: What is unused data worth to you?

tbradnc wrote:Would you pay $16 extra to have 7 GB of data in reserve?


No, but I am not you. What happens if you go over? For me, no extra charge but the transfer rate goes down, which I am fine with, since I have never gone over limit anyway. Is it similar for you?
by bpp
Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good news? Press release: "TurboTax Restores Forms to Desktop Software"
Replies: 4
Views: 1275

Re: Good news? Press release: "TurboTax Restores Forms to Desktop Software"

Meanwhile, TaxAct has started going in the direction of limiting the forms available with lower-priced bundles.
Of particular concern to overseas filers, Forms 2555 (FEIE) and 8938 (FATCA) are now not available below the Plus version.
by bpp
Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: science fair project ideas requested
Replies: 36
Views: 2236

Re: science fair project ideas requested

livesoft wrote:Economics is not a science: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... s-disaster


And it doesn't have a Nobel prize.
by bpp
Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 plan for Japanese college
Replies: 2
Views: 399

Re: 529 plan for Japanese college

I think you're right, there are no Japanese universities that currently qualify for 529 or Coverdell purposes. I seem to recall that some of the private universities used to (Waseda and/or Keio), but even they don't seem to bother registering anymore. If you use a Coverdell, there is the option to u...
by bpp
Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expat concern: Common Reporting Standard
Replies: 7
Views: 840

Re: Expat concern: Common Reporting Standard

The US has so far refused to sign onto the Common Reporting Standard. Reportedly, the US has just started giving very limited reciprocity to some countries in exchange for their signing FATCA IGAs, but the only information they are giving out is what they already have, 1099s. There is no enabling le...
by bpp
Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No raises and 10% pay cut at Megacorp
Replies: 36
Views: 5466

Re: No raises and 10% pay cut at Megacorp

Across-the-board pay cuts are much less demoralizing than lay-offs. Be glad your employer chose this path.
by bpp
Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could this Retirement Plan work (match div's to exp's)?
Replies: 9
Views: 870

Re: Could this Retirement Plan work (match div's to exp's)?

I think the idea of paying the bills for a certain company from the dividends from that same company is fundamentally flawed, in that what that company charges and the dividends it pays are likely to be inversely related. For example, paying your electric bill with dividends from your local electric...
by bpp
Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Live abroad, don't pay US taxes but have US investments, should I tax harvest?
Replies: 3
Views: 516

Re: Live abroad, don't pay US taxes but have US investments, should I tax harvest?

If you do not owe taxes in the US, then tax-loss harvesting in a US-based account will not accomplish anything useful for your US taxes -- but will likely make a big mess on your Japanese taxes, since the US-based tax-harvesting algorithm will not be taking Japanese taxes into account. It is probabl...
by bpp
Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 7662

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

I must say, there's a greater peace of mind knowing that as a naturalized citizen, you can be deported for way fewer things. I think the number of things for which a naturalized citizen can be deported is equal to zero, no? Wasn't there some ex-Nazi who had his naturalization annulled and got depor...
by bpp
Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 7662

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

I must say, there's a greater peace of mind knowing that as a naturalized citizen, you can be deported for way fewer things. I think the number of things for which a naturalized citizen can be deported is equal to zero, no? Wasn't there some ex-Nazi who had his naturalization annulled and got depor...
by bpp
Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 7662

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

sawhorse wrote:As I've been reading up on this, I'll share some information that may be useful.


Good, clear summary of the practical issues surrounding what can be a very emotional decision, sawhorse.
by bpp
Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who Believes in International Bonds and Why
Replies: 44
Views: 3107

Re: Who Believes in International Bonds and Why

I believe unhedged foreign bonds are a high-volatility, low (but positive) expected return asset class that has different risk factors from domestic bonds, domestic stocks and foreign stocks. So I include them. Though I don't think they will make much difference one way or the other. For a US-based ...
by bpp
Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American in Japan need advice
Replies: 8
Views: 1073

Re: American in Japan need advice

I'm interested in using Nomura, but my "financial Japanese" is nonexistent and my wife is not interested. Do they have English support? No, and neither does any other broker in Japan, as far as I know. The reason for doing individual stocks (foreign) was the potential for a higher return ...
by bpp
Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American in Japan need advice
Replies: 8
Views: 1073

Re: American in Japan need advice

Lady Geek, thank you for the links. I'm still reading through the valuable information. ANC and bpp, thank you for your advice. I saw a formula (120/110 - your age) to find out the % of stocks you should own. To be honest I really don't know what kind of asset allocation I need. Figuring out what a...
by bpp
Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American in Japan need advice
Replies: 8
Views: 1073

Re: American in Japan need advice

I second what LadyGeek and ANC wrote. If you're thinking of individual stocks, another wiki page that may be of interest is Passively managing individual stocks . I am in similar shoes to yours, and I use Nomura for their selection of US-based ETFs, including Vanguard. An advantage of Nomura is that...
by bpp
Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Investing From Japan (Saison vs. Other Broker)
Replies: 9
Views: 874

Re: Vanguard Investing From Japan (Saison vs. Other Broker)

That's probably a reasonable choice for her. As mentioned, for someone who just doesn't want to bothered, that fund is one of the better options out there.

Pat yourselves both on the back.
by bpp
Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What bed did you get your toddler and how long did you use it?
Replies: 31
Views: 2767

Re: What bed did you get your toddler and how long did you use it?

Our toddler slept on the same futon with us until about halfway through elementary school.

Now sleeps on own bed, in own bedroom. Forget what it cost, but way less than $800. Probably $200 or $300 at most.
by bpp
Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For those who tilt with domestic equities....
Replies: 7
Views: 670

Re: For those who tilt with domestic equities....

50/50 large cap/small cap on the domestic side.
Or at least, the part which is not included in VT.

Market weight on the foreign side, plus the portion of domestic included in VT.
by bpp
Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It looks like the S&P 500 is going to fall another 26% - Business Insider
Replies: 18
Views: 4342

Re: It looks like the S&P 500 is going to fall another 26% - Business Insider

baw703916 wrote:
hicabob wrote:The mention of Fibonacci should set off your "investment porn" alarm.


26 isn't a Fibonacci number :?:


Though, it is the product of two Fibonacci numbers.
by bpp
Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VT and BND
Replies: 16
Views: 2051

Re: VT and BND

The unclemick portfolio. There are many other portfolios which are just a good, but probably not many that are significantly better, at least for a US-based investor.

Which is to say no, I personally don't think you need any other funds than those two.
by bpp
Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will the refugee crisis drag European economies down long term?
Replies: 16
Views: 1577

Re: Will the refugee crisis drag European economies down long term?

What do you know that the rest of the market doesn't?
by bpp
Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Investing From Japan (Saison vs. Other Broker)
Replies: 9
Views: 874

Re: Vanguard Investing From Japan (Saison vs. Other Broker)

1. For the Saison fund, it looks like that 0.74% is the all-in cost, with 0.4935% being the added management fee: So if I understand you correctly, the total cost of going with the Saison fund is roughly 1.23% (0.074% + 0.4935%)? And then plus the additional 0.1% back-load fee. No, the total cost i...
by bpp
Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Features for a new toilet
Replies: 33
Views: 3143

Re: Features for a new toilet

Washlet.
by bpp
Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Investing From Japan (Saison vs. Other Broker)
Replies: 9
Views: 874

Re: Vanguard Investing From Japan (Saison vs. Other Broker)

For the Saison fund, it looks like that 0.74% is the all-in cost, with 0.4935% being the added management fee: https://www.vanguardjapan.co.jp/retail/investment-products/fund-of-funds.htm#saison (near the bottom) Also, there seems to be a back-end load of 0.1% For someone who does not want to learn ...
by bpp
Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat: Vanguard declines to give advice. Move to Schwab?
Replies: 16
Views: 2394

Re: Expat: Vanguard declines to give advice. Move to Schwab?

Are you living in Canada? Is there any way to transfer all your investments there to somebody reasonable, who can deal with cross-border issues (TD and/or Norbert Schlenker, perhaps)? If your wife has no intention of living in the US, I would be hesitant to leave her dependent on US-based brokerage ...
by bpp
Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can the market go up forever?
Replies: 80
Views: 6464

Re: Can the market go up forever?

Warren Buffett interview wrote:The smartest people in Guam are as smart as the smartest people in Iceland are as smart as the smartest people in the U.S.


Curiously round-about way of saying that some of the smartest people in the US are in Guam.
by bpp
Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks Does it Ever Make Sense?
Replies: 81
Views: 8252

Re: Individual Stocks Does it Ever Make Sense?

I have a basket of individual stocks, for the reasons baw703916 mentioned up-thread, but I manage it passively, along the lines discussed in the wiki: Passively managing individual stocks . On the other hand, doing it in the manner and for the reasons given in the original post in this thread would ...
by bpp
Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks Does it Ever Make Sense?
Replies: 81
Views: 8252

Re: Individual Stocks Does it Ever Make Sense?

Additionally, is the performance tracking error worth the savings in fees? Where do they get 1.5% in annual costs for index funds when the amount Vanguard charges investors is 0.05%? The answer, according to the article: Bogle says even the worst case scenario of losing a fraction of a point of ret...
by bpp
Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)
Replies: 31
Views: 4574

Re: Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)

LadyGeek wrote:Does the wiki need to be updated? Investing in Japan


Yes, it does. Will work on it.
by bpp
Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)
Replies: 31
Views: 4574

Re: Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)

Got a message from SMBC Nikko that the withholding tax treatment of certain JDRs will be changing from September. (JDRs are foreign securities that trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Think ADRs on the US exchanges by way of analogy.) The JDRs in question are US-based ETFs. Until now, apparently 30% ...
by bpp
Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: British Citizen living in Japan for unknown term
Replies: 7
Views: 755

Re: British Citizen living in Japan for unknown term

While it is true that you will probably have to close any accounts if you leave Japan, the main reason that would ordinarily be bad is that it might force you to recognize capital gains at an inopportune time. On the other hand, if you are investing through a NISA, then it would be tax-free for the ...
by bpp
Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What should we do in South Korea?
Replies: 16
Views: 2057

Re: What should we do in South Korea?

If you don't know or plan to learn any Korean, at least learn the "alphabet," Hangul. It is really easy to learn (you can learn it on the plane ride over), and it will make getting around much more easy and enjoyable. And yes, even if you don't know any Korean besides the names of some foo...
by bpp
Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat purchasing Rental Car Insurance / Umbrella Policy (?)
Replies: 4
Views: 496

Re: Expat purchasing Rental Car Insurance / Umbrella Policy (?)

I would think that a non-US license plus IDP should be sufficient in any state. Some states will not require an IDP for licenses from certain countries (California allows Japanese licenses without IDP, for example), but with an IDP you should be fine anywhere. Be careful of credit card limitations o...
by bpp
Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here collect currency?
Replies: 38
Views: 3085

Re: Does anyone here collect currency?

I have a small stack of $1 silver certificates. I also have a 100 Japanese Peso bill. I had more when I was a kid, but I thought it was play money and lost it. The Japanese Peso was issued during WWII, and my uncle brought some back. I feel bad that I lost several of them. Japanese peso? You mean y...
by bpp
Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?
Replies: 72
Views: 9455

Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Some natural disasters involve mandatory evacuations. Sheltering in place is not always wise or even possible. [...] I would be interested in knowing whether some of the more dismissive posts in this thread come from people who have actually survived a natural disaster. Those with hands-on experien...
by bpp
Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?
Replies: 72
Views: 9455

Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

My house is my bug-out bag. This is the place we run to when things gets hairy, not from.

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