Search found 3114 matches

by TedSwippet
Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 60 Minutes story on 401k industry
Replies: 88
Views: 18722

Probably came down to some producer saying that this story "is a go" since it'll pull those heartstrings... I'm with Random Musings and a couple of others. This was a flimsy, sentimental, and trite piece of "investigative" journalism. There are significant problems with the 401k scheme, in fact wit...
by TedSwippet
Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:34 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: ETF Investment Portfolio
Replies: 4
Views: 1673

I live in the UK but carry both UK and USA Citizenship. Most of my funds are currently outside the UK in USD... This may create a few additional headaches for you. If a fund or ETF does not qualify for "distributor status" in the UK, you may have to pay income tax of up to 40% rather than CGT of 18...
by TedSwippet
Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:12 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Moving to another country
Replies: 45
Views: 7951

Don't you have to pay a large one-only tax on your assets to renounce your US citizenship? You may, depending on how much you own at the time you drop citizenship: http://www.withersworldwide.com/news-publications/324/exit-tax-u-s-expatriates-to-become-law.aspx Tax based on citizenship already crea...
by TedSwippet
Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:08 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Moving to another country
Replies: 45
Views: 7951

The relative is a dual citizen. She has citizenship with the country she is moving to which apparently have universal healthcare. If her spouse is not a US citizen and she already has dual citizenship, she should at least consider renouncing US citizenship. Points to weigh against the convenience o...
by TedSwippet
Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in the US from outside the US
Replies: 13
Views: 2182

Interesting. Where can I read up on this? And what happens if there is no tax treaty between US and country of residence? Probably best to start here for estate taxes: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=156329,00.html The usual effect of a treaty is to reduce US tax lia...
by TedSwippet
Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in the US from outside the US
Replies: 13
Views: 2182

I was wondering how to invest in Vanguard funds from outside the US. Before making direct investments in the US, consider carefully the way that the US taxes investments held in the US by 'non-resident aliens'. In addition to any US withholding on dividends, estate tax ranging from 18% to 45% can k...
by TedSwippet
Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Haven - What does it mean?
Replies: 19
Views: 3056

...by the time the taxes feel too oppressive, they'll have laws in place to take 30-50% of your assets if you try to leave.
Already there for some. HR-6081, enacted June 2008.
by TedSwippet
Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Haven - What does it mean?
Replies: 19
Views: 3056

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17758693/

Non-US citizens can gain advantages from relocating to tax havens. US citizens will however find few if any advantages from havens without first renouncing citizenship.
by TedSwippet
Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Volcker will head up Tax-Code Overhaul
Replies: 56
Views: 7888

The problem: lobbying done by CPAs and tax lawyers who like the complexities of the current system.
Lobbying is a symptom. The problem is that Congress are apparently easily bought by lobbyists.
by TedSwippet
Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invalid Collection Notice - Need Advice
Replies: 2
Views: 1046

I'd consider mounting a preemptive offense.

Here's a nice form letter for disputing debt collection, containing what looks like an appropriate amount of saber rattling:

http://www.oskie.com/free-letter/attemp ... ection.pdf
by TedSwippet
Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Volcker will head up Tax-Code Overhaul
Replies: 56
Views: 7888

Paul Volcker is 81. I imagine he'll be dead before he even finishes reading the thing.
by TedSwippet
Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:28 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Taxes on dividends using ETFs from European perpective
Replies: 7
Views: 2494

With iShares, Lyxor, and DB-Xtrackers all so widely available in Europe, it's hard to find a reason to hold any Vanguard US ETFs or funds at all . European fund charges are often discouragingly high, but iShares and comparable ETF charges are on par with Vanguard offerings. You should be able to rep...
by TedSwippet
Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Taxes: Do you have to pay in equal installments?
Replies: 45
Views: 12404

...the IRS will figure out what you screwed up, and bill you accordingly. Worth noting that the IRS's calculations here will assume a set of circumstances that are generally not in your favour. So perhaps the IRS's 'strong encouragement' may be better ignored. Completing schedule AI for yourself of...
by TedSwippet
Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Taxes: Do you have to pay in equal installments?
Replies: 45
Views: 12404

Am I obligated to pay those equal installments even if I find out my income won't be what I thought it was going to be (much less for example)? Or can I pay my estimated taxes based upon the real knowledge of my income as I go throughout the year? http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i2210.pdf Yo...
by TedSwippet
Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Vanguard bought iShares . . . . . . .
Replies: 22
Views: 5997

A foothold in non-US markets?

iShares trade on many European exchanges. In contrast, Vanguard's ETFs are pretty much hard-to-impossible for European investors.
by TedSwippet
Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard withholding 28% tax on return of principal
Replies: 1
Views: 959

Vanguard withholding 28% tax on return of principal

I've run into what appears to be a ridiculous situation with Vanguard's policy on tax withholding. My wife is attempting to sell a mutual fund (at a loss), exchange this into a Vanguard money market fund, and then to wire the proceeds out of Vanguard. Vanguard's current view on tax withholding here ...
by TedSwippet
Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:08 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Taxes on dividends using ETFs from European perpective
Replies: 7
Views: 2494

Your tax free status is a bit, um, unique, and so I'm not sure quite how best you can make use of that. A couple of general thoughts, however on other topics you touch on... Current European ETF offerings seem to cover the major asset classes fairly well. You should be able to find either Europe or ...
by TedSwippet
Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does this new tax affect investing strategy?
Replies: 3
Views: 876

Interesting. The UK's version of this is 'stamp duty', levied at 0.5% on most share purchases (there are a few exemptions, including, happily, ETFs such as iShares). Studies are published regularly, usually accompanied by calls for its removal. I wouldn't say that the FTSE 100 seems any less volatil...
by TedSwippet
Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Quite honestly we deserve a strong recession/Depression.
Replies: 78
Views: 10881

On a relative basis we're still the best country in the world.
Number 22 out of 235, according to a March 2008 survey:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 613926.ece

Things may have changed since then.
by TedSwippet
Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing an extension on your taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 2236

It's routine -- many thousands of people do this every year. K1's are delayed, 1099's or W2's need correcting, and so on. Basically, less than three and a half months to complete a US tax return is, well, a ridiculously short deadline for many filers. No reason needs to be given, and the IRS cannot ...
by TedSwippet
Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:31 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Change of Citizenship after Retirement Affect Pension, etc.
Replies: 14
Views: 2742

You might still be liable for taxes for ten years after renouncing US citizenship... No longer the full story. http://www.withersworldwide.com/news-publications/324/exit-tax-u-s-expatriates-to-become-law.aspx http://www.taxmanagement.bna.com/tm/insights_tobin18.htm Even apart from the taxation issu...
by TedSwippet
Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone used TurboTax with foreign currency income?
Replies: 5
Views: 2468

I don't think it does. I used TurboTax for years to generate tax returns encompassing income in UK pounds, and always had to convert every amount into US dollars before entering data. I've never found anything in it to suggest support for foreign currencies. If Quicken does properly support multiple...
by TedSwippet
Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attorneys and Traffic Tickets
Replies: 40
Views: 5959

In some areas, if you get a lawyer, the prosecutor will almost automatically (assuming a minor offense) plea the ticket down to a non-moving violation... Even the suggestion of a lawyer may be enough. A couple of years ago I got a speeding ticket while on vacation on the opposite coast from the one...
by TedSwippet
Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:30 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Updated UK Investing wiki page - feedback sought
Replies: 24
Views: 5552

Well, I did receive a response from Vanguard, but it contained nothing remotely useful. Just a pointer to the generic non-US site at http://global.vanguard.com/. So I pushed a little harder, and received a very pleasant and professional email back from Vanguard UK's Head of Retail. Unfortunately, V...
by TedSwippet
Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:08 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Updated UK Investing wiki page - feedback sought
Replies: 24
Views: 5552

Alright, here's a stab, predicated on both the A-day rules and the changes to capital gains tax made mid last year (removal of taper relief, and reduction of rate to 18%). I'd guess at: corporate bonds and vanilla gilts should probably go into ISAs or pensions; index linked gilts aren't disastrous o...
by TedSwippet
Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:06 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Updated UK Investing wiki page - feedback sought
Replies: 24
Views: 5552

I contacted Vanguard directly yesterday to see if I could get any more info and dates from them. If I receive anything useful in reply I'll post it. Well, I did receive a response from Vanguard, but it contained nothing remotely useful. Just a pointer to the generic non-US site at http://global.van...
by TedSwippet
Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:59 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Updated UK Investing wiki page - feedback sought
Replies: 24
Views: 5552

Thanks for the resource. A quick note... The UK tax structure on investments is similar to that in the US. As such... Well, sort of. But with some significant differences also. And a blanket statement like the above might lead a UK investor into reading US-centric resources and then making moves the...
by TedSwippet
Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:36 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Updated UK Investing wiki page - feedback sought
Replies: 24
Views: 5552

I did, but I didn't see any concrete dates around it...
I contacted Vanguard directly yesterday to see if I could get any more info and dates from them.

If I receive anything useful in reply I'll post it.
by TedSwippet
Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vangaurd 2008 1099 form
Replies: 21
Views: 4650

Well, the paper copies and the online copies agree. It's just that both are wrong. My wife's 1099-R for last year is also wrong, though not to the tune of thousands of dollars like mine is. This appears to be shaping up to be yet another year requiring a blizzard of corrected tax forms. These contin...
by TedSwippet
Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vangaurd 2008 1099 form
Replies: 21
Views: 4650

Here is a BIG problem. The 1099's contain incorrect/incomplete data for my accounts. Mine too. I rolled over a Vanguard IRA into a Vanguard 401(k) last year. This was direct Vanguard-to-Vanguard, same day by letter of instruction, all Vanguard internal, no cash or check came my way, so you'd think ...
by TedSwippet
Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: tax on investments for US citizen living in the UK
Replies: 14
Views: 3133

IRS considers people who relinquish US citizenship as citizens for tax purposes for the next 10 years. This applied until the middle of last year, when Congress repealed the 10 year shadow period for people who abandon US citizenship and replaced it with something worse. http://www.eubankers.net/eu...
by TedSwippet
Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:20 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: tax on investments for US citizen living in the UK
Replies: 14
Views: 3133

I am a US citizen resident in the UK and married to a British subject. You probably have plenty enough to investigate at the moment, but when you get through the current pile, I'd suggest you also take a close look at US estate taxes for your situation. The US disadvantages non-citizen spouses and ...
by TedSwippet
Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:31 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: tax on investments for US citizen living in the UK
Replies: 14
Views: 3133

Generally I think you'd end up with the higher of the two rates, but no worse. That is, either a) 18% to the UK and nothing to the US (or more accurately, 15% to the US less a 15% foreign tax credit for tax paid to the UK), or b) 15% to the US, and 3% additional to the UK (18% less a 15% credit). Wh...
by TedSwippet
Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California is delaying tax refunds
Replies: 46
Views: 7345

The highest marginal income tax for individuals is 9.3%!!!
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/itax/edit/s ... ax_Cal.asp

California's highest marginal rate for income over $1m is actually 10.3%.
by TedSwippet
Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Employee Stock Purchase Shenanigans
Replies: 10
Views: 2253

Should you decide to sell, I'd suggest a quick read of this first: http://stockoptionadvisors.com/optionalert/2001-09-21.shtml Depending on the amounts involved, it is possible, when a stock price falls heavily, to end up owing tax on the gain you missed out on. You then reclaim the overpayment in s...
by TedSwippet
Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hedging against Huge Tax Increases
Replies: 22
Views: 3559

One viewpoint reported to be from The Sovereign Individual , by investment advisors Davidson and Rees-Mogg: Of all the nationalities on the globe, U.S. citizenship conveys the greatest liabilities and places the most hindrances in the way of becoming a Sovereign Individual. The American seeking fina...
by TedSwippet
Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:07 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: DFA funds UK - anyone ?!
Replies: 30
Views: 6463

Why not ? [I mean, why have you not felt the need to have them] ? Simplicity, mostly. Before being forced to go to all cash earlier this year I had a full-on slice and dice portfolio, or at least as full-on as you can go with Vanguard. It didn't seem to perform any differently to a much broader mar...
by TedSwippet
Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:50 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: DFA funds UK - anyone ?!
Replies: 30
Views: 6463

I guess wearethefall has explained my predicament quite well. wearethefall and Ted : 1.5 maybe a lot to pay, but look at it this way : You are saying there are no UK ETFs or mutual funds for size and value. So in theory the DFA portfolio should outperform a fundamental index ETF portfolio. By how m...
by TedSwippet
Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:47 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: DFA funds UK - anyone ?!
Replies: 30
Views: 6463

I am able to buy some Vanguard ETFs with my online broker. However, there is a 30% withholding tax on dividends which significantly bumps up the expense ratio after the increase in yields with this bear market. And if you do own any of these, be certain to dispose of them before you die. The US's e...
by TedSwippet
Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:47 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: DFA funds UK - anyone ?!
Replies: 30
Views: 6463

... There is also "stamp duty" to pay for the ETF share...
Minor correction -- I believe not. From

http://uk.ishares.com/about/benefits_ishares.do
In addition, UK investors pay no stamp duty on ETF investments.
by TedSwippet
Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:30 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Let's hear it for Bogleheads: EUROPE
Replies: 24
Views: 8726

I'm interested in the idea, though have limited free time at the moment. Should we start with a forum or forum area for either EU-specific or just all non-US-specific postings? I try to watch for UK/EU postings in the main areas, but they're easily missed if the title doesn't hint at geography. I us...
by TedSwippet
Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TLH and ESPP - when you should not TLH
Replies: 5
Views: 1896

This is just a warning that you should not TLH ESPP shares that are considered a disqualifying disposition (held < 2 years). Quite so. Disqualifying ESPP share sales can be a tax trap. http://www.stockoptionadvisors.com/optionalert/2001-09-21.shtml From the example given in this article: ... even t...
by TedSwippet
Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roll Rollover IRA into 401(k)?
Replies: 3
Views: 1468

I called Vanguard's 401(k) services customer service number and was told that Vanguard would need to mail me a check and I would then need to mail it back to them. That sounded crazy to me... Try calling them again to see if they'll accept a letter of instruction. I transferred a rollover IRA held ...
by TedSwippet
Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Larry and Rick: Why is the US today not like Japan?
Replies: 21
Views: 5081

Demographics: Japan's aging population and anti-immigrant stance means there were fewer and fewer people in their prime spending years. Hard to grow your business/stock price at 10%/year in that situation. The US is hardly pro-immigrant at the moment. http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/26/security-visas...
by TedSwippet
Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxation when base salary and bonuses
Replies: 14
Views: 2695

This is probably their "default" method. If you ask them to withhold more they can do that. Not necessarily. http://www.unclefed.com/Tax-Help/HTML/p15/ar02.html#d0e1448 From section 7: If you withheld income tax from an employee's regular wages, you can use one of the following methods for the supp...
by TedSwippet
Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:07 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Core stockfunds for an investor living in the Eurozone
Replies: 6
Views: 1901

Another option might be to buy American etfs, but that depends on your local tax laws. And on US tax laws. Perhaps even more so. The US's estate tax on investments held in the US by non-residents should be enough to put you off by itself, even if you consider the currency exchange and risk worthwhi...
by TedSwippet
Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:17 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Core stockfunds for an investor living in the Eurozone
Replies: 6
Views: 1901

Before fine-tuning it too much, check that your portfolio is practical. The minimum investment in any fund run by Vanguard Europe seems to be $100k, which is disappointing. ETFs look okay for EU investors. And with TERs for broad indexes around 0.2-0.4%, they can be cheaper than comparable Vanguard ...
by TedSwippet
Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone run to cash?
Replies: 9
Views: 2450

Moved to just over 90% cash in mid-March. Not prescience on my part, but forced by circumstances that required me to liquidate my entire taxable portfolio as part of an international relocation. With hindsight, it seems that this was relatively lucky timing. I now have to confront when and how to ge...
by TedSwippet
Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:22 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: UK resident, US funds. Vanguard funds - tax consequences ?
Replies: 20
Views: 9012

I have a problem with this "home country bias" ... So do I, but it seems an element of it may be inescapable. Each foreign investment adds currency risk to normal equity risk. And unlike equity risk, there's no built-in expectation of a long term return for currency risk. Bias is completely subject...
by TedSwippet
Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Likely Tax Changes and What (if anything) to Do About Them
Replies: 109
Views: 18371

It might matter if the high income people are entrepreneurs who are no longer willing to continue entrepreneuring, and choose instead to lay off staff, close up shop, and retire early. This will either give someone new an opportunity to step in and do some entrepeneuring, or other businesses will f...