How to read a mutual fund fact sheet - 5 key points

How to read a fund factsheet – 5 key points to avoiding a $5,000 mistake

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Education, Investing

A fund factsheet is the “nutritional information” of the investment fund, summing up the objectives, holdings, fees, risks, and performance of a mutual fund you might choose to invest in.  I rarely meet an investor that reads the entire offering document or prospectus of most stocks or funds they buy, and even the “executive summary” […]

Building portfolios using ETFs instead of mutual funds

3 main reasons I invest in ETFs instead of mutual funds

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing

I first started using ETFs in the early 2000s, when iShares was aggressively launching several new ETFs, and marketing the line of single-country ETFs they had launched back in 1996.   The Spyder ETF “SPY” has already been around for almost a decade at that point, and sector SPDRs had already been around since 1998, but […]

Earning less than 2.5% on cash? Higher rates from bank deposits and bond ETFs

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Personal finance

The US Federal reserve has been raising interest rates slowly but steadily over the past 18 months so far, but many banks have been far slower to start paying these higher rates on to customer deposits. HSBC Hong Kong, as shown in the recent screenshot below, still pays 0.25% on savings accounts and 0.5% or […]

how much 529

How much should I put in a 529 college savings plan each year?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Education, Investing, Personal finance

529 college savings plans have no hard and fixed annual contribution limits, unlike IRA, HSA, 401(k), or many other US tax-deferred accounts.  Rather, 529 plans are often subject to state-set overall contribution limit that you should not put in more than 4 years’ worth of expenses at the most expensive university you could spend the […]

Interactive Brokers vs Saxo Trader Pro

Interactive Brokers vs Saxo: Best Online Broker for International Accounts

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Client Service, Investing

As two of the world’s leading international low-cost online brokers, we have been very glad to be able to offer a choice to clients on whether they want to hold their GFM-managed accounts at Interactive Brokers (IBKR for short) or Saxo, so naturally we are often asked to compare the relative strengths, advantages, and costs of […]

Passports: Invest your IRA in foreign stocks and bonds

Why now is the time to invest over 50% of your IRA in foreign stocks and US bonds

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Investing, Retirement

After several years of rising US stock prices, I am often asked when the next crash, or at least next big correction, is coming.  I believe it is foolish to try and time the market, but I do believe it makes sense to sell out of expensive assets and buy into better value assets (buy […]

Yes, you can own real estate in an IRA, but should you?

Yes, you can own real estate in an IRA, but should you?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing, Retirement

How to buy real estate in an IRA It is actually relatively easy to buy real estate in an IRA.  The main step required is to rollover your IRA balance from your old 401k plan or IRA custodian to a “self-directed IRA” with a custodian that focuses on the administration and compliance of self-directed IRAs.  […]