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Old 30-06-2020, 01:47 PM   #2446
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I see what you are saying on 1040 Line 17, but it says attach the 1042. So two possibilities, file W-9 and hope they donít withhold... and if they do withhold, hope to get a 1042. At the same time we are hoping that this thing wonít be considered a PFIC and hope to find a U.S. friendly broker. Fun at every corner! Good learning though.
There's really nothing you can do about it since your employer is insisting on this particular form of compensation, so I'd just give it a try and see what happens. If it doesn't work, you move on to the second best available choice.

I will go ahead and attempt to open an account with UOB KH. Do you see any reason I should not choose their in-house custodian (sub-account) over CDP?
First of all it looks like Maybank Kim Eng is slightly more affordable and open to U.S. persons. They charge S$25 minimum commission (slightly better than UOB's US$19), and they're at zero in terms of dividend handling, custody fees, etc.

Second, with SRS account funds you don't have a choice of custodial arrangement.

Hi man, do you agree that going forward the expected returns for both stocks and bonds will not be as good as the past?
The late John Bogle felt that way. He expected yields to be broadly lower than in the past, and he recommended incorporating lower yield expectations into retirement financial planning. He pointed out that if he's wrong then you end up with the happy problem of being "too wealthy." I agree with that thinking. The past ~100 years are unusual in historical terms, and they could also be unusual in financial terms.

A lower yield expectation mostly means you should be more cautious about spending and should boost your savings rate insofar as reasonably possible.
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Old 30-06-2020, 02:47 PM   #2447
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No adjustment on stock/bond allocation?
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Old 30-06-2020, 04:52 PM   #2448
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I’ve had bad luck with Maybank in the past - they have always appeared to be open to foreigners... but in my experience, only if you are from this part of the world.

I’ve successfully submitted my application to UOBKH, they did require a W-9. They said it might take up to 10 days to process. Once that is done, I will attempt to buy 30 shares. Looks like volume is pretty thin, is that going to be the next issue?

Second, with SRS account funds you don't have a choice of custodial arrangement.
I noticed that... does that mean the SRS account itself is the custodial account?
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Old 30-06-2020, 05:54 PM   #2449
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No adjustment on stock/bond allocation?
Probably not. Lower yields mean lower yields, so the primary adjustment is to raise savings rates insofar as possible.

Iíve successfully submitted my application to UOBKH, they did require a W-9. They said it might take up to 10 days to process. Once that is done, I will attempt to buy 30 shares. Looks like volume is pretty thin, is that going to be the next issue?
There's always a challenge.

I noticed that... does that mean the SRS account itself is the custodial account?
No, it'll presumably be UOB Kay Hian as the custodian.

Good luck with the experiment!
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Old 30-06-2020, 08:23 PM   #2450
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Probably not. Lower yields mean lower yields, so the primary adjustment is to raise savings rates insofar as possible.


There's always a challenge.


No, it'll presumably be UOB Kay Hian as the custodian.

Good luck with the experiment!
Ok, thx! 10char..
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:13 AM   #2451
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I’m looking at S27 this morning and I can see a live bid and ask of 200 shares that is roughly 2/3 percent above and below the current after-hours price of SPY. I’m assuming that this bid/ask is put out there by the designated market maker who profits on the spread. I’ve also added up the cost of commission, SGX fee, trading fee, SRS transaction fee, plus GST and that all adds up to about 1/3 of a percent. So in total I’m looking at around 1% total sales charge. That doesn’t include the currency exchange, which optimistically would use bank board rates which are usually around 2/3 percent over spot for USD. So that means 1+2/3% total transaction cost, or 3+1/3% round trip.

Here are some things I am thinking about to reduce that. One is to see if UOB promotional offers of 0.18% commission are still available. Beyond that, I guess just be patient and use limit orders? I did notice that yesterday (last day of the month) there seemed to be higher volume, maybe that is a better time to attempt purchases? I don’t believe there is any way to control exchange rate conversion on SRS investments in USD.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:48 AM   #2452
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Here are some things I am thinking about to reduce that. One is to see if UOB promotional offers of 0.18% commission are still available. Beyond that, I guess just be patient and use limit orders?
Yes, you could do that. In these circumstances when you'll likely be placing a buy order for S27 once per quarter (for example), that seems like a reasonable idea as long as you're not too greedy.

I donít believe there is any way to control exchange rate conversion on SRS investments in USD.
Probably not.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:24 PM   #2453
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Hi BBCWatcher,

would you recommend putting in spare cash with Endowus cash Smart? I have $40k in cash which would be utilised in a yearís time to shave a few dollars off my $350 k housing loan.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:37 PM   #2454
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would you recommend putting in spare cash with Endowus cash Smart?
No.

I have $40k in cash which would be utilised in a yearís time to shave a few dollars off my $350 k housing loan.
First of all, why would you want/need to shave dollars off a housing loan except at standard pace? The only reason I can think of is if interest rates rise, and thus accelerating repayment on a mortgage starts to make some financial sense. But that's not the world we live in. Could you help me better understand what you have in mind?

Etiqa is currently offering 1.8% p.a. interest with their ELASTIQ plan. Minimum placement is S$5,000, and maximum is S$200,000. There's a 90 day lock on your funds, but thereafter you can withdraw. The 1.8% interest rate is guaranteed for 3 years. This plan is SDIC protected up to SDIC limits. All of this is much better than Endowus's advertising, never mind what Endowus would likely actually deliver in the current market interest rate environment.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:59 PM   #2455
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No, it'll presumably be UOB Kay Hian as the custodian.
Not easy to find any information on this, but DBS Vickers had this interesting snippet in their FAQ’s:

If you have chosen CPF/SRS as the settlement mode...

For buy transactions

When the contract has been accepted by the CPF/SRS agent bank, funds will be debited from you CPFIS/SRS account and the shares will be deposited into your CPFIS/SRS account on settlement date.

For sell transactions

When the contract has been accepted by the CPF/SRS agent bank, the sales proceeds will be credited into your CPFIS/SRS account and the shares will be debited from your CPFIS/SRS account on settlement date.


I just want to be sure there aren’t any other foreign account disclosures, foreign trust transactions, etc.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:03 PM   #2456
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No, it'll presumably be UOB Kay Hian as the custodian.

Good luck with the experiment!
Don't think so. You can choose any CDP broker for SRS. So my guess is CDP is still the custodian, just that it's kept in a separate SRS account.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:41 PM   #2457
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U.S. Internal Revenue Service Needs Funding

I'd like to editorialize a bit and express my frustration that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service is so chronically underfunded. The blame lies squarely with one political party in Washington, and here's a hint: it's not the Democratic Party.

One immediate, direct problem U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents living overseas have right now is that it's all but impossible to obtain a tax transcript. A tax transcript contains important information on current and past tax filings, and it's an important part of personal financial record keeping. Tax transcripts are sometimes required in legal proceedings and other important life situations. In ordinary circumstances there are three ways to obtain U.S. tax transcripts:

1. Online, at IRS.gov.
2. By telephone, at 1-800-908-9946.
3. By postal mail, using IRS Form 4506-T (or its siblings).

However, most people living outside the United States cannot use option #1. The IRS's Web site doesn't support most non-U.S. mailing addresses, so it's not possible to register for an account. Partially due to COVID-19 but also due to chronic underfunding, the IRS has had to shut down both options #2 and #3 indefinitely. I'm flat out of ideas how to overcome these barriers. Does anyone have any suggestions?

There are two core reasons why the IRS is being starved of funding. The first and more impactful reason is that some extremely wealthy people and corporations don't like having a strong, effective, fair IRS simply because they don't want to pay taxes. So one way to get an unofficial tax cut, even a big one, is to neuter the tax agency. The second reason is that tax software companies such as Intuit have successfully lobbied Congress to prevent the IRS from offering universally easier electronic tax filing services. These two forms of "regulatory capture" have persistently hobbled the IRS, to practically everyone's detriment. Investments in the IRS, including in auditing and compliance but also in preventing mistakes, yield big returns for the U.S. Treasury.

Where I will assign about 10% of the blame to Congressional Democrats is that some of them have actively participated in making the U.S. tax code and tax filing procedures ever more complex. That's because they've advocated for, and in some cases successfully passed, various tax credits, tax deductions, and other tax expenditures. Fortunately many of them have belatedly figured out it's a losing game. The few Democrats who are still advocating for tax expenditures are getting roundly ridiculed, because more people than ever realize how preposterous they are. It's far better to raise tax revenues progressively and simply plus have simple, universal government services. Complexity undermines public trust in government even on its own. Most people feel like they're cheated, that the whole system is rigged against them -- and unfortunately they're probably correct.

Anyway, we'll see, but I'm cautiously optimistic the IRS will get more funding relatively soon. It cannot happen soon enough.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 02-07-2020 at 01:44 PM..
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:42 PM   #2458
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No.

Etiqa is currently offering 1.8% p.a. interest with their ELASTIQ plan. Minimum placement is S$5,000, and maximum is S$200,000. There's a 90 day lock on your funds, but thereafter you can withdraw. The 1.8% interest rate is guaranteed for 3 years. This plan is SDIC protected up to SDIC limits. All of this is much better than Endowus's advertising, never mind what Endowus would likely actually deliver in the current market interest rate environment.
Iíve been looking around since DBS lowered their multiplier rates as well, so I went to look at the ELASTIQ product. Fine print for both partial withdrawal and full surrender states that the company reserves the right to delay payment up to 6 months from point application. That sounds like a horrible deal for emergency funds.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:51 PM   #2459
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Iíve been looking around since DBS lowered their multiplier rates as well, so I went to look at the ELASTIQ product. Fine print for both partial withdrawal and full surrender states that the company reserves the right to delay payment up to 6 months from point application. That sounds like a horrible deal for emergency funds.
Fair point. ELASTIQ is what I'd call "semi-liquid." Also SDIC protected.

The bottom line is that excessive cash hoarding is getting increasingly expensive. So don't hoard too much cash.

I should also mention that Singlife is offering 2.5% interest on up to S$10,000, also SDIC protected. Singlife could change that interest rate at any time, but for now it's a very good offer. There's a free Visa debit card linked to that particular account.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:16 PM   #2460
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BBC,

I’ve been requesting my transcripts every year for at least the last decade. This is because I haven’t owed any tax and just wanted to be sure they received my mail-in tax return.

In my experience, the 6 digit Singapore postal code works just fine with their online request form. However, one year it did not work and I had to send my request via snail mail... but get this, they rejected my paper request - but on the rejection notice they sent back to me, I noticed they had my postal code wrong by 1 digit, so I went back online and used this wrong postal code... worked like a charm!

The other thing that could be tripping you up is the address line, if there are special characters like ‘#’ that could possibly throw it off. You might try just the first line of the address only, such as “00 Whatever Road”.

Another idea is to take a close look at any snail mail you might have received from them in the past to try and figure out what might work from there.

One other thing to take note of, even during normal times, a successful online request will take like 4-8 weeks before you get your transcripts in the mail, usually sent from somewhere in Europe strangely enough.

Good luck!
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