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.  […]

How to save $1,000,000 in an IRA by age 59 1/2 with Vanguard and DFA funds

How to save $1,000,000 in an IRA by age 59 1/2 on a few hundred per month

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing, Personal finance, Retirement

One of the biggest complaints I hear about US Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) is that the maximum contribution limits are too low and not worth the hassle.  As an illustration of how saving regularly in an IRA can be very much worth the hassle, I thought it would be worth showing how the low maximum […]

How to have over $1,000,000 in MPF by age 40

How to have over $1,000,000 in MPF by age 40

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Investing, Personal finance

If you have worked as a professional in Hong Kong since the first MPF scheme was launched in December 2000, and contributed the minimum each month into a low-cost Hong Kong stock index fund, you should have over $1,000,000 in MPF by now. MPF stands for Mandatory Provident Fund, and is Hong Kong’s equivalent to […]

Cambridge university, one of 415 on fafsa.ed.gov's 2018-19 list of 529 plans list of foreign universities

List of Foreign Universities on the US DoE list, for 529 Plans

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Education, Investing, Personal finance

529 plans are one of the best US tax-advantaged vehicles for college savings.  While 529 plans are sponsored by a US state, you do not need to be resident in a state to participate in that state’s 529 plans, nor will investing in a state’s 529 plan limit you to that state’s schools.    In […]

We recommend the Utah 529 plan as one of the best 529 college savings plans for US taxpayers living overseas

Why I recommend Utah as the best 529 plan for US taxpayers living overseas

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Education, Investing, Personal finance

529 plans are a US tax shelter providing 100% tax-free treatment of investment gains if used for qualifying educational expenses.  529 plans are set up by a state, but no matter where you live, you can invest in the 529 plan of any state, and use 529 funds to pay for out-of-state (and even some […]

Dow vs S&P 500 total return, 1950-2018

How to Beat the Market, Factor 3b: Avoid the Biggest Companies, Remember Dow vs S&P

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing

“Buy a low cost, passive index fund, and hold it for the long term” is probably one of the most mainstream pieces of investment advice circulating over the past 40 years.  While I agree this is a better solution for most busy investors than the high overhead, high fee, and high turnover investment products that […]

US Large Growth vs Small Cap Value, 1980-2018, by Russell Indexes

How to Beat the Market, Factor 3: Buy Small Cap Value, Not the Big “Glamour” Stocks

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing

For the third factor in this series, I wanted to highlight two of the most “classical” factors for classifying and selecting stocks: size (large vs small) and cheapness (growth vs value).  These factors were perhaps most famously identified by academics Eugene Fama and Kenneth French, and popularised in the 3×3 grid used by Morningstar to […]