Search found 1870 matches

by bpp
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3055
Views: 902136

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

A Hologram for the King . Disappointing, in the same way Lost in Translation was, with an entire culture being reduced to a 2-D background. Nostalghia (Tarkovsky). A much better take on the "mid-life crisis abroad" theme than the above. Recommended. Voyage of Time: Life's Journey . Watch it with th...
by bpp
Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spine healthy recliner or lounge chairs, Euro etc
Replies: 8
Views: 1105

Re: Spine healthy recliner or lounge chairs, Euro etc

I got a Stressless, and I'm loving it. It cost nowhere near $4,000, so may be a lower grade model than what you're looking at, but lumbar support is still great. Note that if you tilt it back, the headrest automatically tilts forward a bit, though you can then flatten it back down if you prefer. Ver...
by bpp
Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxability of Contributions to Japanese Pension for US Expats
Replies: 4
Views: 406

Re: Taxability of Contributions to Japanese Pension for US Expats

I am also living in Japan and saw the same post in "US Expat Tax Questions" group. Like you I have been excluding my income using the FEIE, but have not been reporting employer contributions to my Japanese pension. I believe that since the pension is not a personal "account" like a 401(k), it is no...
by bpp
Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poaching chicken
Replies: 51
Views: 5036

Re: Poaching chicken

dm200 wrote:When I first read the title, I thought of another meaning of "poach"
Indeed. There is no need for poaching, when one can just wait for chicken-hunting season and bag 'em legally.
by bpp
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BlackRock Japan Equity Tracker Fund D Acc
Replies: 4
Views: 386

Re: BlackRock Japan Equity Tracker Fund D Acc

The expense ratio seems pretty low, so that is good.

On the other hand, as a UK investor, why are you interested in overweighting Japan particularly?
I'm a Japanese investor, so I overweight Japan for currency reasons, but I don't try to overweight the UK.
by bpp
Wed May 31, 2017 10:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Fund Selection For US Expat
Replies: 4
Views: 540

Re: Bond Fund Selection For US Expat

My advisor says I should just invest in Vanguard's Total Bond Fund (BND), but I've seen people on the forums recommend otherwise because of tax issues. I've searched around but I'm quite confused. I don't know how Hong Kong would tax BND, but for a US citizen, it is a very good choice in terms of U...
by bpp
Thu May 18, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing a foreign broker. 1099-DIV issue.
Replies: 3
Views: 395

Re: Choosing a foreign broker. 1099-DIV issue.

The 1099-DIV is somewhat convenient, but I wouldn't pay those greater expenses just for that. (The service might be worth paying for, but I'm just talking about the 1099 itself here.) If you're going the individual stock route, you will need to keep good records by yourself anyway, so the 1099 doesn...
by bpp
Thu May 18, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs in Japan?
Replies: 1
Views: 570

Re: Healthcare costs in Japan?

The calculations for the national health insurance scheme (国民健康保険) are rather complicated and location-dependent , but very roughly seem to come to about 8-9% of gross income. There is an absolute cap on the premiums, so for sufficiently high income levels the rate starts going down. When you use th...
by bpp
Sun May 07, 2017 1:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k (Japan), nenkin, investments etc.
Replies: 1
Views: 234

Re: Help with 401k (Japan), nenkin, investments etc.

Hi :) I'm an Aussie that has been living in Japan for the past three years, self employed. I have NISA account which I have been using to start off my savings here. I have super from my time working in Australia and also some money in managed funds over there (currently attracting 30% taxation due ...
by bpp
Sun May 07, 2017 12:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What happens to NISA investments (Japan) after 5 years?
Replies: 1
Views: 204

Re: What happens to NISA investments (Japan) after 5 years?

No NISA accounts have reached the 5-year mark yet, but my understanding is that whatever was in them just gets converted to taxable status, and dividends start getting taxed. Also, the basis for whenever you eventually sell the asset is set to be whatever the market value was when it converted from ...
by bpp
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner advice for a Brit in Japan
Replies: 15
Views: 1178

Re: Beginner advice for a Brit in Japan

For Japanese bonds, there is not much point in paying any kind of expense ratio for a fund of them, given how low yields are now.
Might as well just buy 個人向け国債. The 10-year floating-rate ones at least offer some protection if rates rise in the future.
by bpp
Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner advice for a Brit in Japan
Replies: 15
Views: 1178

Re: Beginner advice for a Brit in Japan

As for theo, it does indeed charge 1% per year but the first 3 months are 0.5% (not that it makes a huge difference). I'm not sure if I trust myself to make correct investment decisions elsewhere that would outweigh that 1% fee (yet), especially in Japan. They take care of all the withholding tax i...
by bpp
Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes in Japan
Replies: 2
Views: 390

Re: Paying Taxes in Japan

1. Of the two types of dividends, do we therefore only need to pay tax in Japan on Total Ordinary Dividends (since Qualified Dividends are included in Total Ordinary Dividends)? Correct. 2. Which column of your kakutei shinkoku did you list dividends, capital gains, etc., from foreign investments? ...
by bpp
Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: behavior and bogleheads wiki page on passively owning individual stocks
Replies: 10
Views: 1146

Re: behavior and bogleheads wiki page on passively owning individual stocks

The https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Passively_managing_individual_stocks wiki page says: empirical studies have shown that individual investors exhibit multiple behavioral errors that result in poor performance. and Owning individual stocks instead of an index fund is kind of like seeing how the pr...
by bpp
Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American in Japan need advice
Replies: 13
Views: 2258

Re: American in Japan need advice

Thank-you, I don't have a preference to a particular style right now, 2 Fund, 3 fund, couch potato, permanent etc. I've got the SMBC Nikko NISA set up now so I would like to do the best I can with that, and get active with investing. Looking at the 'Investing in Japan' page it seems I have the opti...
by bpp
Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Replicating Index with Individual Stocks vs Index Fund
Replies: 28
Views: 3010

Re: Replicating Index with Individual Stocks vs Index Fund

Nobody has mentioned the main reason one would consider buying the stocks directly: A legal restriction or tax structure that disadvantaged using funds. PFIC is but one example. Yes, the PFIC issue is why I use individual stocks myself. Tax-loss harvesting is another big reason people do it. In gen...
by bpp
Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Replicating Index with Individual Stocks vs Index Fund
Replies: 28
Views: 3010

Re: Replicating Index with Individual Stocks vs Index Fund

Statman(2002) comes to this conclusion using 1926 - 2001 data: The expected annual benefit of increasing diversification from 20 stocks to the 3,444 stocks of the Total Market fund is 2.22% while the expected annual benefit when diversification increases from 50 stocks to 3,444 stocks is 0.94%. Eve...
by bpp
Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American in Japan need advice
Replies: 13
Views: 2258

Re: American in Japan need advice

Is Vanguard Total Bond Market Index not available in Japan or becomes a PFIC ? It seems Mitsubishi-UFJ Domestic Bond Index Fund would be the best choice in the 1) plan mentioned above ? Thanks ! It is the reverse. Vanguard Total Bond Market Index ETF (BND) is available in Japan, though not through ...
by bpp
Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage recast strategy - Feedback needed
Replies: 54
Views: 5938

Re: Mortgage recast strategy - Feedback needed

3. Can any of you please share your personal experience with recasting (good or bad)? I have done much the same as you are planning, doing yearly pre-payments and recasts to gradually bring the monthly payment down. Here in Japan (at least at my bank), when one wants to make a principal pre-payment...
by bpp
Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 2128

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

My Inherited Traditional IRA: JP takes 20% of dividends and 20% of capital gains, then US smacks me around and taxes me again like it was normal income when I take it out. This is again the clear loser. Can you cash out the Trad. IRA in the same year that you take the capital gains, and claim the J...
by bpp
Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed income asset placement and selection - US citizen in Japan
Replies: 4
Views: 782

Re: Fixed income asset placement and selection - US citizen in Japan

My tax accountant takes the position that dividends and distributions in Roth IRA / 401k accounts are not taxable in Japan because they are not accessible to me without restriction, contra the wiki. Let's assume for the moment that their position is right and would be upheld if ever challenged. Thi...
by bpp
Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 2128

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

Problems: 3. I want to put some money in Vanguard Total US Bond Market, and I have the following options for placement: My US Taxable: US takes a 10% bite of dividends, and JP takes another 10% after foreign tax credit. US doesn't take any capital gains, but JP takes 20%. Strictly speaking, the US ...
by bpp
Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax software for U.S. expat in Japan?
Replies: 3
Views: 584

Re: Tax software for U.S. expat in Japan?

I use the NTA site for Japanese taxes, and either TurboTax or TaxAct for US taxes.
I don't have self-employment income, but all other categories you list are handled ok.
by bpp
Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forever stocks (and building your own index fund)
Replies: 62
Views: 6406

Re: Forever stocks (and building your own index fund)

An added advantage of this approach is that one has nearly complete control over the taxes, unlike a mutual fund or an ETF where you can get hit with capital gains because someone else sold out of the fund. I am interested in knowing if anyone uses this, or a similar, approach, rather than buying a...
by bpp
Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in a Decade after Graduation
Replies: 131
Views: 17246

Re: Retiring in a Decade after Graduation

My dream is to retire in a decade or less and then move to Japan and teach english since I have my bachelors degree. Why not find an engineering job in Japan now? That's what I'm thinking. Is your dream specifically to teach English in Japan, or is it really just to live in Japan, with English teac...
by bpp
Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday - is this overdone?
Replies: 77
Views: 9442

Re: Black Friday - is this overdone?

Now on the news, this 'new' custom of Black Friday was featured. I smell paid placement. A proposal was even presented to declare the last Friday of every month Premium Friday... Well, thinking more about it, nothing wrong with sales per se. Just don't import the associated death tolls, please. Thin...
by bpp
Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?
Replies: 61
Views: 7821

Re: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?

Wow, learned something really cool today about Victorian fashion accessories.
by bpp
Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday - is this overdone?
Replies: 77
Views: 9442

Re: Black Friday - is this overdone?

Black Friday has become a "thing" here-- more examples of the internet allowing rapid transmission of social phenomena, in the manner of a cold virus. Great Britain, when it goes big for American culture, tends to grab the worst aspects of same (this may or may not be an example of that p...
by bpp
Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?
Replies: 61
Views: 7821

Re: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?

Maybe a curtain ring clamp, something like the following, but with the wooden ring part missing?

Image
by bpp
Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?
Replies: 61
Views: 7821

Re: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?

Mrs.Feeley wrote:I considered drapery hardware too, but I had a hard time coming up with what purpose the hardware would serve.


Tapestry or quilt wall hanging clamp?
by bpp
Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?
Replies: 104
Views: 8403

Re: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?

If you like a pen that writes a bit like a fountain pen but without the problems of a FP, you might try the Pilot Precise V5 Stick Rolling Ball Pens, Extra Fine Point. I like it in blue ink. $9.13 for a box of 12 pens on Amazon m I have used a lot of those, and they are pretty good when new, but th...
by bpp
Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?
Replies: 104
Views: 8403

Re: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?

My first and favorite fountain pen was a Parker 25 . Lost it somewhere along the way, and it seems they don't make them any more. Pity. I have one. Matte black, fine nib. Nice. I had the plain steel version. Solid, minimalist, no-nonsense design, while seeming kind of futuristic in terms of late-'7...
by bpp
Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?
Replies: 104
Views: 8403

Re: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?

My first and favorite fountain pen was a Parker 25.
Lost it somewhere along the way, and it seems they don't make them any more. Pity.
by bpp
Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Dumb Roof"
Replies: 78
Views: 10382

Re: "Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Dumb Roof"

Solar shingles are already a quite commonly used, commercial product.
(Example: http://www.kaneka-solar.jp/products/visola.html)

If Musk can make them cheaper than existing products, though, that would be very nice.
by bpp
Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Japan] Investing in NISA
Replies: 8
Views: 1321

Re: [Japan] Investing in NISA

Agree with in_reality that rebalancing with new contributions should work. The balanced funds, though convenient, tend to have higher expense ratios than could be had using ETFs. The eMAXIS series seem to be some of the better ones out there, cost-wise, if one of them happens to match your desired a...
by bpp
Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport renewal - old passport
Replies: 22
Views: 3262

Re: Passport renewal - old passport

It has been almost ten years so this may have changed but my old passport came back with "Cancelled" all over it, your Argentine visa is likely a goner. Countries deal with transferring visas from old, cancelled passports to new ones all the time. Argentina might be an exception, but I wo...
by bpp
Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Japan] Investing in NISA
Replies: 8
Views: 1321

Re: [Japan] Investing in NISA

Do you think a combination of Blackrock high-dividend ETFs would be a good choice for NISA, or should I just stick with total world equity funds? If you are investing both inside and outside of a NISA, then I was suggesting putting the higher dividend payers of the funds you were planning to hold a...
by bpp
Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Japan] Investing in NISA
Replies: 8
Views: 1321

Re: [Japan] Investing in NISA

Hi ragnabear, The general consensus seems to be to put funds or ETFs with the highest earning potential in the NISA, but I would be using it to save for retirement (not ideal, but it seems to be the best option in Japan at the moment) and will not be able to rebalance. The tax-free period in the NIS...
by bpp
Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aussie in Japan - How to start? Where to start?
Replies: 2
Views: 337

Re: Aussie in Japan - How to start? Where to start?

If you are planning to retire in Japan, then invest through Japanese brokers. This will give you the best tax treatment, and will also minimize the paperwork you have to file.

Also might find some useful information at the following links:
Investing_in_Japan
Filing Japanese tax returns (確定申告)
by bpp
Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit
Replies: 56
Views: 6442

Re: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit

I have the Mitsubishi mini-split system in our new addition. I cannot believe how cool in makes the new 12X20 room. In just 5 minutes if I turn on the AC it works great. This unit is not noisy at all, very quiet. It does blow air like a breeze so don't put it in direct flow of where you are sitting...
by bpp
Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Job Hopping as an income increasing strategy?
Replies: 13
Views: 1643

Re: Thoughts on Job Hopping as an income increasing strategy?

I'm happy with my job, but everywhere I read it seems like the best strategy to increase income is job hopping. People my age seem to be job hopping constantly. Especially for those in computer science, it seems like 1 year tenures and then a huge increase in income by going to a competitor is extr...
by bpp
Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit
Replies: 56
Views: 6442

Re: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit

What you are buying with Mitsubishi is the nature of the Japanese home market (extremes in temperatures, demand for quality and efficiency; although apparently they don't insulate their homes ). That used to be true, though not so much any longer. Insulation has been a sales point for some time now...
by bpp
Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit
Replies: 56
Views: 6442

Re: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit

I have the Mitsubishi mini-split system in our new addition. I cannot believe how cool in makes the new 12X20 room. In just 5 minutes if I turn on the AC it works great. This unit is not noisy at all, very quiet. It does blow air like a breeze so don't put it in direct flow of where you are sitting...
by bpp
Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit
Replies: 56
Views: 6442

Re: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit

opus360 wrote:Can a single unit be use to cool/heat these two side by side rooms?


Probably want separate units in each room. Otherwise, likely to overcool/heat one room, and undercool/heat the other one.
by bpp
Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit
Replies: 56
Views: 6442

Re: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit

A lot of talk about Mitsubishi, but I might suggest looking at Fujitsu as well. Our recent purchases of split ductless aircons have been from Fujitsu (older ones from Hitachi and Daikin), mainly based on price and efficiency. Especially recommend getting the ones with sensors that can tell whether t...
by bpp
Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?
Replies: 97
Views: 7897

Re: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?

I use the free air pump at the gas station once every few months.
by bpp
Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to remotely open a US bank account as a Non Resident Alien. Which banks can facilitate this?
Replies: 10
Views: 1672

Re: I want to remotely open a US bank account as a Non Resident Alien. Which banks can facilitate this?

Even if you can get a US bank to open an account for you from abroad, good luck in the future getting them to give your own money back to you. Unless you plan to move to the US in the future, keep your money far away from there. If you only need a US dollar account, there may be better options where...
by bpp
Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Okinawa: No Word for Retirement!
Replies: 6
Views: 1929

Re: Okinawa: No Word for Retirement!

I learned that the Okinawans have no word for retirement. This is the video wherein I heard this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwSGeoQnPVI Okinawans speak Japanese, which certainly does have a word for retirement. I suspect hyperbole, like saying that someone "doesn't know the meaning of fe...
by bpp
Tue May 31, 2016 5:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching to Bogling [European living in Japan]
Replies: 15
Views: 1325

Re: Switching to Bogling [European living in Japan]

If you hold a US-based ETF that holds only US stocks, then yes, that is better than an Ireland-based ETF that holds US stocks, at least in Japan, where the treaty rate on dividends is 10%. You should be able to take a foreign tax credit for that 10% against your Japanese taxes, since it is paid on d...