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Old 17-09-2018, 07:31 PM   #676
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If 0.50% TER were acceptable, a bunch of robo-advisors might also qualify for consideration. In particular, uob utraderobo uses the popular Ireland-domiciled funds as well, although some of the above concerns above apply as well. How would utraderobo compare?
I share your concerns, but here's where I think LionGlobal competes reasonably well:

3. Itís best suited for savers/investors who are just starting out and who donít have a lot of dollars to invest ó but who will still save regularly (monthly, preferably). This fund allows a $100 minimum, which is great.
At S$100/month, the popular brokers (Standard Chartered and Interactive Brokers) with IWDA or VWRD are tough. IB would levy a ~13.7% upfront sales charge due to how minimum commissions work, and Standard Chartered would be north of ~14.7%. That's harsh! If you batch up $100/month into quarterly installments then that's still a ~4.9% upfront sales charge (at Standard Chartered), plus Standard Chartered's currency conversion cost, plus the investment loss associated with sitting out of the market to accumulate enough for the batch. With those sort of figures a 0.5%/year TER starts to look relatively decent!

UOB Kay Hian's UTRADE ROBO doesn't get down to a 0.50% advisor fee until one's assets grow to S$100,000 or more. The minimum initial investment is S$5,000, and the minimum increment is S$500, both much higher than what LionGlobal is offering. And I think the advisor fee is a pure add, whereas at least some portion of LionGlobal's TER is for the funds it manages. (That's a little unclear, but that's a fair reading.)
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Old 17-09-2018, 07:47 PM   #677
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Just bear in mind, UOB's robo allocation is very skewed towards emerging markets, so the expense ratio may not be the biggest issue. It may be bad allocation in the 1st place. Here is their allocation:

Name Value

Emerging Market Equities 53,128
Japan Equities 6,599
Australia Equities 1,813
Europe Equities17,442
U.S. Equities 43,040
Canada Equities 2,446
Emerging Market Local Bonds 13,085
Emerging Market US$ Bonds 13,548
€ High Yield Bonds 12,970
U.S. Bonds 3,267
U.S. High Yield Bonds 10,000
US$ Corporate Bonds12,319
Precious Metals 9,993
Cash 350

Total 200,000

Sent from Dont Take Any Of My Statment As Investment Advice. Do Your Own Due Diligence. using GAGT
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Old 17-09-2018, 08:44 PM   #678
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Shall I update my status by filing a new W8-BEN rightaway? (https://www.fidelity.com/customer-se...foreign-status)
Yes, absolutely, with all your financial institutions.

I notice that the dividends paid out and reinvested are small amounts. Capital gains accrued are clearly higher. I am not averse to the dividend withholding tax, in principle. And that means I should then file 1040-NR starting the year (I am guessing it will be 2018?) that tax starts getting withheld?
You'll need to file 1040NR for 2016, 2017, and 2018 -- the "missing" years when your dividends were not properly taxed. (I'm assuming you've already received some dividend distributions this year, although maybe not.) Beyond that, assuming the financial institutions withhold correctly from here on out, and assuming you're not able to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, there's no need for a 1040NR filing.

There is no place in https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf to indicate that I became a non-US persons starting when or since when.
That's correct. The financial institution adjusts its tax withholding treatment for you from the time of filing forward.

My related question is: how do I in fact get Fidelity and Vanguard to now retroactively deduct the correct withholding tax for 2016 and 2017, and get them to report it directly to IRS?
You don't. You have to settle the past with the IRS now, highly preferably before they contact you.

By the way, I've done some quick checking and it appears that a "529" account does shield assets from the U.S. estate tax, except if you were to both make a very large contribution and die within 5 years of making that contribution. Thus, I would total up your U.S. estate taxable assets to determine whether those assets exceed the US$60,000 exemption. If they do, then I would consider moving the excess (at least) into a 529 plan. For U.S. estate tax purposes those 529 assets would then be treated as the assets of the beneficiary, i.e. of your child. (You would still maintain control over them. I'm only characterizing how the U.S. estate tax regime evidently views those assets.) A U.S. citizen has an estate tax exemption of >US$11 million, and that's not going to be a problem any time soon.

I've also checked Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, and I cannot find any restriction in the code that would prevent a non-resident alien (you) from opening a 529 account for a U.S. citizen beneficiary (your child). Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but I haven't found anything yet. California's 529 Plan looks like a very good one, and as long as you've got a SSN, U.S. address, and U.S. bank or U.S. credit union account, that all looks fine for online account opening. I've seen various statements among certain state plans that only U.S. residents can open accounts, but as far as I can tell that's simply a "business decision," not a legal one. (And it's a rather dumb one since there are millions of U.S. citizens living outside the United States, but that's pretty typical financial institution behavior. With a few notable exceptions, they're just not very good at serving the needs of U.S. expatriates. These 529s are all administered by financial firms on a contract basis.)

You can only contribute cash to a 529, which you then invest -- in one of the automatic age-based index fund offerings that's low cost, I would advise. Unfortunately you'd not allowed to transfer in your mutual funds, as-is.

Anyway, it's something to research more carefully and then to consider. In the meantime, please get that dividend tax withholding problem cleaned up, I recommend.
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Old 18-09-2018, 11:32 AM   #679
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Hi BBCW,

Do you think if a life insurance company in Singapore will ever fail (unable to fulfill their obligation to policyholders) with the following reasons,

- Wrongful prediction on the mortality rates resulting in high loss ratios as what had happened to some insurance company over the last two quarters resulting in withdrawal of certain products
- Declining population resulting in lesser premiums to fund a larger customer base
- Misjudgement on investment decisions resulting a lower than expected profits or even possibly a net loss

Of course, there could be a chance of the insurer reinsure their risk to other syndicates of the fraternity.

There are also regulatory authorities to mandate they maintain a certain level of liquidity issue and other controls these insurance companies have to uphold. Still, there is a possibility right?
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Old 18-09-2018, 11:50 AM   #680
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Still, there is a possibility right?
Sure. No insurance company is utterly infallible.

There are some defenses available, though. One defense in Singapore is via the SDIC, i.e. government backstop insurance. If you're buying policies that fit within SDIC limits, great. Another is to avoid over reliance on one insurance company, or even one country's insurers.
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Old 19-09-2018, 05:44 PM   #681
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Any idea why is MBH on a gradual downward trend?
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Old 19-09-2018, 08:14 PM   #682
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Any idea why is MBH on a gradual downward trend?
MBH is not designed to be a short-term holding, please note.

That said, over the past several days Singapore dollar interest rates have been rising, and that tends to reduce the market value of outstanding (previously issued) bonds. Bond prices and interest rates move in opposite directions. A bond fund holds bonds, of course, so the share price of MBH should be falling right along with bond prices.
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Old 19-09-2018, 10:49 PM   #683
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Is it worth it to go long on robo advisor e.g. utrade robo as Sing dollar can be chosen as the currency?
so that we can avoid e hassle of converting it into foreign currencies and div will also be paid in sing$
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Old 20-09-2018, 09:27 AM   #684
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Is it worth it to go long on robo advisor e.g. utrade robo as Sing dollar can be chosen as the currency?
so that we can avoid e hassle of converting it into foreign currencies and div will also be paid in sing$
With an accumulating fund such as IWDA there are no cash dividends, and you'd be reinvesting dividends during accumulation phase. So that part doesn't matter.

UTRADE ROBO charges an annual management fee ranging from 0.88% to 0.50% depending on the amount of assets you have with them. That's quite expensive if the only benefit you're getting is the currency conversion. And that's assuming the currency conversion is free, i.e. no markup from the hypothetical mid-point rate. Probably that's not what they do.

So no, I don't think those are strong arguments in favor of UTRADE ROBO. Lately LionGlobal has introduced a couple low cost (by Singapore standards) unit trusts that are available through zero charge platforms, and with lower minimums. I think those LionGlobal unit trusts would be better for starting investors than UTRADE ROBO.
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:03 AM   #685
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Oh thanks a lot for the advice..
For going long IWDA, what do investor normally do once they hit retirement age and need passive income. They got to sell some shares every few months?
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Old 20-09-2018, 11:39 AM   #686
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Oh thanks a lot for the advice..
For going long IWDA, what do investor normally do once they hit retirement age and need passive income. They got to sell some shares every few months?
Right, and ideally, you should have started your re-allocation of your portfolio 7-10 years before your retirement, increasing bond vs stock and increasing SGD (assuming you retire in sg) vs USD or other foreign currency. These accumulating funds like IWDA would be on top of your list to sell for re-allocation
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Old 21-09-2018, 02:00 PM   #687
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Right, and ideally, you should have started your re-allocation of your portfolio 7-10 years before your retirement, increasing bond vs stock and increasing SGD (assuming you retire in sg) vs USD or other foreign currency. These accumulating funds like IWDA would be on top of your list to sell for re-allocation
Hi ETTS, for a Singaporean using their CPF savings as their bond portfolio, how does portfolio reallocation work? Does this mean 7-10 years of bond ETF purchases (with none prior to these 7-10 years)? And how does portfolio reallocation look when CPF Life payouts begin? Because it seems that once CPF funds form the retirement sum, the lump sum is swapped for an annuity?

Last edited by wannabelazy; 21-09-2018 at 02:06 PM..
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Old 24-09-2018, 10:22 AM   #688
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Shall I update my status by filing a new W8-BEN rightaway? (https://www.fidelity.com/customer-se...foreign-status)
Yes, absolutely, with all your financial institutions.
Okay, this bit is done. Now on to the 2016 and 2017 1040NRs.

But while here, how in the world do I choose which state's 529 to even look at? At this time, I can imagine (very broadly; CA / MA / MD / PA / NY) where my kid will go to University in 15 years, but there is absolutely no way of knowing. I no longer have a home or family (not counting extended relatives) which I can say with any degree of confidence is an "anchor" in the US.
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Old 24-09-2018, 01:39 PM   #689
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But while here, how in the world do I choose which state's 529 to even look at? At this time, I can imagine (very broadly; CA / MA / MD / PA / NY) where my kid will go to University in 15 years, but there is absolutely no way of knowing.
The various states sponsor 529 plans, but the funds from any 529 plan can be used for any qualified educational expenses, not just expenses incurred within the state that sponsors the plan.

You compare 529 plans based on costs, fundamentally. California is the biggest state, so it has an inherent cost advantage that seems to be reflected in its 529 plan.
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Old 24-09-2018, 11:08 PM   #690
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Hi BBCWatcher, what do you think about VHDYX? The Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index?
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