HWZ Forums

Login Register FAQ Mark Forums Read

*Official* BBCWatcher club

Like Tree127Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-09-2018, 03:00 PM   #616
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11,844
I had a 15 years endowment policy paid annually by CPF OA.

The BI showed a compounded return of 5.77% based on projected maturity sum. In the end, it fell far short of projection. Fortunately, the final return was 3.72% which is much better than CPF return of 2.5%
henrylbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2018, 11:40 AM   #617
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 157
Yes, that is a broad question.

Humans aren't too dissimilar around our planet, but there are a few differences between those two particular countries. The United States is the third largest country in land area and the largest national economy in the world. It's almost incomprehensibly bigger than Singapore. Chances are, no matter what you're into, it's available in the United States, usually with lots of fellow travelers. The sheer diversity of experiences is incredible, perhaps even overwhelming.

Along with that bigness comes some insularity, although that's changing. For example, in 1994 about 10% of Americans had passports. Now the percentage is over 40%.

There's more violent crime in the United States than in Singapore, but Singapore's violent crime rate is particularly globally low. However, crime rates have fallen a lot in the U.S. Yes, there are some well publicized mass shootings in the U.S., and the gun manufacturers (and their lobby) deserve much of the blame. But it's still a pretty safe place that's generally still getting safer.

The so-called "Obamacare" reforms represented a major improvement in the U.S. healthcare system, including for immigrants. Unfortunately, one major party wants to go backwards. It'll take another election or two to get back to sanity. If you have (and hang onto, which isn't always easy) employer-provided medical insurance, or qualify for Medicare (at age 65 and after at least 10 years of payroll contributions), you're in pretty good shape. So far Obamacare is remarkably robust, but it won't be truly nailed down and improved without a party change.

Imagine if the ethnic Chinese community in Singapore were to become 50% of the population (and falling) rather than >70%, and you have a rough idea of the roots of the social angst in the United States right now. The United States will very soon become a majority-minority country, and that's exciting and wonderful. The diversity is a major national strength. However, there are some people who don't like these demographic changes, much like some of their ancestors didn't like slavery. So it's one of the few countries that has ever elected a member of a racial minority as its national leader, twice, and then the same country elected (with millions fewer votes -- that's another oddity) Donald Trump. Now that's a special country!

Attitudes are changing quickly. For example, the LGBT community has made and continues to make enormous strides in civil rights and acceptance, and same sex marriage is officially recognized everywhere in the United States. Most people have absolutely no problem with this, and those that still do are dying off. As another example, marijuana legalization is quite popular, and I think it's only a matter of time before the United States follows in Canada's national footsteps. Marijuana is already legal at the state level in many places, with more states to follow in this 2018 election cycle. Federal legalization is really necessary to make it work, though.

The U.S. economy is rather strong at the moment, so it's a pretty good time to be in the labor market there. The late 1990s were better in that respect, but it's pretty good right now.

I'll stop there for now.
Hi BBC, you have a BIG HEART!

I am more thinking of how the changes will impact me, like way of life, retirement planning, taxes etc, rather than at a level this high as you demonstrated here. It is great to see you compile all these stuff together and reach a conclusion that it is an interesting country and time to enter is considered good now.

Really appreciated! Thank you!
EagleToThesSky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2018, 11:49 AM   #618
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 157
Understood!! Thank you!

When chasing the new BHS, it's best to top up your MA before the January payroll contribution hits. Other top-ups can wait until late in the month.


That's right, and also because MA can be useful at any/every age.


Yes, it increases on January 1, or at least that'll be true for the next few years.


If MA is pegged at the BHS, and assuming the Retirement Account is funded, then an "all three" top-up can all be withdrawn at age 55+. In other words, CPF turns into an interesting little piggybank at that point, where you can deposit up to $37,740 per year, earn a lovely interest rate (>2.5% blended rate), and withdraw funds whenever you wish. If your MA is not pegged to the BHS it's still a pretty nice deal, but some portion of your "all three" top-up will flow into your MA.

As an aside, the Medisave Account can be a pretty decent bequest vehicle, if that's your goal.
EagleToThesSky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2018, 11:54 AM   #619
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 157
The image's a bit too low-res; could you post a better/higher quality one, please?
Here you go. Hope this one is better.


Sent from Samsung SM-G955F using GAGT
salmonella and viventa like this.
EagleToThesSky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 11:15 AM   #620
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,882
Possible Simple U.S. Bank Accounts for Non-Residents

I know there are some non-U.S. persons who are interested in opening a U.S. bank or U.S. credit union account. Why would you need a U.S. dollar bank account in the United States? There are some reasonable justifications, such as:

1. You need to receive legal payments in U.S. dollars for services, such as online marketing.

2. The bank account would help support your global investing, through Interactive Brokers and/or possible other U.S. brokers.

3. You want a low cost ATM card to support your international travel.

If you have ever received a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN), then it's yours for life. And it's rather easy to open a U.S. bank or U.S. credit union account if you have a U.S. Social Security Number and if you physically visit the United States for a little while. My favorite example is the American Express/Walmart Bluebird card and its associated simple consumer bank account. The Bluebird card is basically fee free in every dimension. But you must have a SSN to make Bluebird work even reasonably well.

If you have a U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), then it's somewhat difficult to open a U.S. bank or U.S. credit union account, but it should still be possible. For example, you can draw inspiration from the large undocumented immigrant community in the United States and visit a credit union that likely can help you establish an account. However, ITINs are now tough to get, and they are revoked within a couple years if you no longer need one. (The latter might not be a problem if your account is already open.)

What if you don't have either a SSN or ITIN? I've been researching alternatives, and here are a couple candidates:

A. TransferWise offers a so-called borderless account that may suit your needs.

B. Motiv, an online/mobile FDIC insured bank, claims it is willing to open accounts for non-citizens if you can provide a passport or other acceptable form of ID. You'll still need a U.S. postal address (for a little while) to receive their physical ATM/debit card. Motiv is broadly similar to Bluebird, i.e. it's a non-interest bearing account with zero fees for practically everything. But you can deposit U.S. checks made payable to you, pay bills in the U.S. (via free mailed paper checks if necessary), and transfer funds via ACH, at least for "first party" purposes. I would welcome reports from those who've tried to open a Motiv account.

C. N26.com, the now famous German online bank that European "digital nomads" like, is planning to open a U.S. affiliate. That might be a good candidate if it comes to pass.

OK, what if you don't have a physical mailing address in the United States? You may be able to sign up for an account with a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) authorized mail forwarder. Authorized mail forwarders require U.S. Postal Service Form 1583, and a lot of them are based in South Dakota. I have no particular recommendations here, except that if you live outside the United States you might want a mail (and package) forwarder that offers an address in one of the "lower 48" states that has no sales tax: Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon. Of these I'd avoid Montana simply because domestic U.S. shipping to/from Montana is likely going to slow down total transit times to some extent. I'd probably start with Oregon and, if unable to find a good deal there, look at offers in Delaware and New Hampshire. Of course there's a fee to have U.S. mail forwarding service, typically around US$100/year (or more) plus international postage, although a few of them might be monthly fee free if you have particularly low mail volumes.
BBCWatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 02:12 PM   #621
Master Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,793
Here you go. Hope this one is better.


Sent from Samsung SM-G955F using GAGT
the image not very clear. is it possible to upload the excel to mega or google doc
zuppeur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 01:52 PM   #622
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
Hi BBCWatcher,

My mum has 3000 AusNet Services shares which was de-listed from SGX in July this year. She missed the deadline to participate in the Share Sale Facility and the shares were being transferred to Australian register thereafter.

We have since received the holding statement from Computershare and the securityholder reference number to use in relation to future activity on ASX.

My mum would like to sell to liquidate all her AusNet Services shares. And I am at a loss on how to help her.

How do I go about assisting her to sell in most cost efficient (brokerage commissions, taxes etc) and hassle-free way?

Many thanks in advance!
REDWOODS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 06:00 PM   #623
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,882
My mum has 3000 AusNet Services shares which was de-listed from SGX in July this year. She missed the deadline to participate in the Share Sale Facility and the shares were being transferred to Australian register thereafter.

We have since received the holding statement from Computershare and the securityholder reference number to use in relation to future activity on ASX.

My mum would like to sell to liquidate all her AusNet Services shares. And I am at a loss on how to help her.

How do I go about assisting her to sell in most cost efficient (brokerage commissions, taxes etc) and hassle-free way?
One choice she has is to direct Computershare Australia to sell the shares. Details are available here.

But it's expensive! Computershare would charge AUD110 as a commission, plus there'd be some sort of currency conversion and fund transfer charge assuming the funds are landed back in Singapore as Singapore dollars. (That could be slightly reduced using a Singapore dollar bank account in Singapore that does not charge for incoming telegraphic transfers. CIMB, BOC, ICBC, and Citibank are among the banks in Singapore that do not charge for incoming telegraphic transfers.) I have to imagine all that would add up to about AUD200 -- yuck!

Another possibility is to allow a brokerage, such as Interactive Brokers, to manage these shares. So sales responsibility for these shares would be transferred from Computershare Australia to IB. Then use IB to sell the shares, convert Australian dollars to Singapore dollars, and remit the Singapore dollars back into Singapore. That should cost a lot less, but it's more complicated. Assuming fixed (not tiered) pricing, it looks like IB would charge AUD6 to execute the trade and then just a couple dollars for the currency conversion. I'd estimate something like AUD10 total, assuming there's no charge for the transfer -- something to check. (I know Computershare U.S. doesn't charge for outbound share transfers to a broker, but I'm not sure about Computershare Australia.) There's no minimum monthly activity fee at IB for the first 3 months, but the account would have to be closed if otherwise not used, in order to avoid minimum fees thereafter.

Is it worth enlisting IB to save about AUD190? I think so, and I think it's worth trying, but YMMV.

In the above discussion I'm assuming 3,000 shares at a price of approximately AUD1.60 per share, i.e. approximately AUD4,800 worth of shares in AusNet Services.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 12-09-2018 at 06:27 PM..
BBCWatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 10:51 PM   #624
High Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 25,935
Hi BBCW

Can you help me? I bought some shares on LSE decades ago when I was a student in the UK. The company was taken over by investec plc and I received a share certificate. Since it's a scrip shares and I'm now currently back in Singapore, do you know any way I can sell those shares?

It isn't a lot (around 600 Gbp) but can buy me a nice bottle of whisky
highsulphur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 11:20 PM   #625
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 144
Hi BBCW,

I recently sold some US stocks and have about USD70K sitting in TD Ameritrade. I also have a trading account with SCB. Would it be better if I top up my OA/SA instead? I am in my early 50s and have very low balance in my OA/SA. Or do you recommend US or SG etf?

Thanks.
matcha18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 11:24 PM   #626
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,882
Highsulphur, if you have a U.K. based sterling bank account, then you should be able to open an account at SVS XO since they evidently accept non-U.K. resident customers who can pass basic verification. They can accept your paper share certificate for deposit, and after a few days (to clear it) it'll be available for electronic sale for a flat commission of 7.95. There's no charge to process the certificate deposit, except for ordinary postage to get it to them.

The proceeds from the share sale can then be transferred free to your U.K. bank account via BACS (analogous to GIRO in Singapore). You can keep your SVS XO account open if you wish since there's no minimum fee.

Enjoy the whiskey.
BBCWatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 11:31 PM   #627
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,882
I recently sold some US stocks and have about USD70K sitting in TD Ameritrade. I also have a trading account with SCB. Would it be better if I top up my OA/SA instead? I am in my early 50s and have very low balance in my OA/SA.
Yes, I would give your CPF Special Account some love and attention, and your spouse's/partner's too, if applicable and also low. You can do that in at least two ways:

(a) A cash top-up, with tax relief if you qualify. If you're going to do that this month, then try to do it on or before September 24, to allow enough time for proper crediting into your CPF Special Account before the end of the month and thus to start earning interest on that top-up from October 1.

(b) Transferring OA funds to SA.

If that US$70K is your only or primary source of funds for a CPF top-up, sure, that seems like a good idea to me. Do you have a low cost way to get those funds converted to Singapore dollars and transferred to Singapore?
BBCWatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 11:37 PM   #628
High Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 25,935
Highsulphur, if you have a U.K. based sterling bank account, then you should be able to open an account atSVS XO

The proceeds from the share sale can then be transferred free to your U.K. bank account via BACS (analogous to GIRO in Singapore). You can keep your SVS XO account open if you wish since there's no minimum fee.

Enjoy the whiskey.
Funny thing is that I just chatted with them and they said they don't accept scrip shares from their clients. Perhaps they misunderstood me
highsulphur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2018, 10:53 AM   #629
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,882
Not sure what to do with the FDs, pls advise.
Presumably you'd let them mature, then figure out what to do with the proceeds. When does the first one mature, and how big is it?

I am not sure if TD has a local bank account? Do you have any advice pls?
If I understand correctly, you have US$70K of cash sitting at TD Ameritrade in the United States. Do you have any other U.S. financial accounts, such as a U.S. bank or U.S. credit union account?

Conventionally, you could direct TD Ameritrade to wire your U.S. dollars to your Singapore dollar bank account in Singapore. The costs would include:

TD Ameritrade's wire transfer fee: US$25
The awful exchange rate your bank will charge: 1%?
Incoming telegraphic transfer charge: S$10

Obviously that's expensive and best avoided. But the availability of other choices could depend on what financial "footprint" you have in the United States.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 13-09-2018 at 10:57 AM..
BBCWatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2018, 11:14 AM   #630
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,882
For those of you non-U.S. persons buying (or interested in buying) the popular Blackrock iShares global developed markets stock index fund IWDA, domiciled in Ireland and traded in London, have you looked at Lyxor's equivalent fund LCWD, also quoted/listed in U.S. dollars? LCWD (and its British pound currency sibling LCWL) debuted in February, 2018. LCWD/LCWL is domiciled in Luxembourg which appears to offer the same tax characteristics as Ireland. It's also traded in London, also tracks the same MSCI index, also accumulating, but its major appeal is that it has a much lower 0.12% total expense ratio versus IWDA's 0.20%.

How's the bid-ask spread and trading volume looking? Could LCWD or LCWL offer some better value than IWDA?
bin8lee likes this.
BBCWatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Important Forum Advisory Note
This forum is moderated by volunteer moderators who will react only to members' feedback on posts. Moderators are not employees or representatives of HWZ. Forum members and moderators are responsible for their own posts.

Please refer to our Terms of Service for more information.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On