Dec 23 2014


How Non-Americans Might Have To Pay U.S. Estate Taxes


Are you a non-American expat who owns shares in Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson or a U.S. index?

If the answer is yes, your heirs might have to pay U.S. Estate Taxes when you die. 

You’ve never stepped foot on U.S. soil? That doesn’t matter.   It’s important

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Dec 18 2014


Are Index Fund Investors Simply Smarter?


We hear a lot about the low costs of index funds. 

Sure, they outperform most actively managed funds.  As a result, many people assume that those who buy index funds are simply smarter.  But investors’ intelligence can be measured in other ways.  Those that buy high and sell low are fools.  And it appears that more investors in actively managed funds conduct such silly behaviour, compared to their counterparts in index funds.

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Read more at my AssetBuilder article

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Dec 18 2014


Top Ten Tips For International School Teachers To Build A Solid Retirement


Many international school teachers don’t think enough about retirement. 

And that’s understandable.  The whole concept can seem confusing. But it isn’t.  And those who fail to plan are planning to fail. That could mean eating dog food instead of gourmet, during your golden years.

So, what are the top 10 tips for international school teachers to build a solid retirement?

I share them at the following site:

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Dec 17 2014


Andrew Hallam on The Art Of Charm


No, I’m not sharing how to find a romantic partner.

Instead, I was interviewed by Jordan Harbinger at The Art of Charm, “Where Ordinary Guys Become Extraordinary Men.”

So what’s my contribution to the “extraordinary” part?

Harbinger and I discussed how to manage money.


You can listen to the podcast here

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Dec 16 2014


In Defence of Advisors Who Sell Variable Annuities


“How could my financial advisor have done this to me?” 

Many ask this question after they buy a variable annuity. 

You’ve heard that most of these products are nasty. Some say high fees burden them. Others complain that they’re inflexible. They penalize investors who try to sell before a predetermined date.

Wall Street Journal writer Matthias Rieker says that many people file complaints about variable annuity sales. 

Ken Fisher, writing for Forbes, recently called them “scumbag products.” 

But I’m going to defend the advisors selling them.  Somebody has to.

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Dec 03 2014


Why Vanguard’s Balanced Index Fund Could Be An Investor’s Panacea


You’re sitting at a fancy new restaurant.

The ambience is perfect.  “Your taste buds will tango,” says the celebrated chef. 

The back of the menu oozes with promise.

We have award-winning chefs.  We grow our own organic herbs.  

We butcher your meat and catch your fish the second you place an order.

At some point, you’ve eaten where they promise the world–and the meal fell flat. “If only I had a burrito at a roadside stand,” you later grumble. Such disappointments are probably rare.  But in the investment world, rice and beans put most gourmet offers to shame.

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Read about one of the best and most underrated funds

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Dec 02 2014


An Expat’s Guide To Growing Wealth



An out-of-town visitor was being shown the wonders of the New York financial district.  When the party arrived at the Battery, one of his guides indicated some handsome ships riding at anchor.  He said, “Look, those are the bankers’ and brokers’ yachts.”

“Where are the customers’ yachts?” asked the naïve visitor.

Fred Schwed, Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?


If you’ve never read an investment book before, chances are you’ve never heard of index funds.  No, your financial advisor won’t likely discuss them.  Index funds are flies in caviar dishes for most financial advisors.  From their perspective, selling them to clients makes little sense.  If they sell index funds, they make less money for themselves.  If they sell actively managed mutual funds, advisors make more.  It really is that simple.

Most expats, however, should be interested in funding their own retirement, not somebody else’s.

The term index refers to a collection of something.  Think of a collection of key words at the back of a book, representing the book’s content.

An index fund is much the same: a collection of stocks representing the content in a given market.

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Dec 01 2014


Expats In Norway: Build A Stronger Portfolio With Norwegian Stocks


Investors in Norwegian stocks keep getting dumped from a chair lift.

Over the past three years, they have risen, fallen, risen and fallen again. Since January, Norwegian stocks have fallen nearly 10 percent. Since November 2010, when GlobalXFunds created an ETF to track the Norwegian market, Norwegian stocks have gained just 2.03 percent.

In contrast, the average global stock is up more than 23 percent.

Should you give up on Norwegian stocks?  Certainly not.  

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