Patelco $50 referral code US banking services

US Banking Services from Patelco – $50 Referral Code

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance

As an investment advisor focused on educational content, I rarely post direct offers on my website, but this week, I got a referral code for referring friends to open an account with Patelco credit union, for which we would each receive a US$50 referral credit. I have had my Patelco account for over 20 years, […]

Tax Home: Domicile vs Residence

Tax domicile issues for US state taxes by @MichaelKitces

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance

A recent article on @MichaelKitces‘s blog “Nerd’s Eye View” describes the important difference between tax residence and tax domicile. In this case, the article refers to tax domicile issues with regard to US state income taxes, which differs from the citizenship-based “tax net” covering US persons regardless of state domicile. Domicile-based taxation is also seen […]

financial new year's resolutions

Top 3 Financial New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal finance

I find new year’s resolutions a great place to regularly set and review “SMART goals“. I am fortunate to live in Hong Kong, where the January weeks between the western new year and Chinese lunar new year provide a relatively quiet and cleaning-oriented time to both review the resolutions I completed (or not) the previous […]

Insurance Checklist: The 5 Most Important Insurance Policies I'm Renewing

Insurance Checklist: 5 Policies I Continue To Renew

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance

As a financial planner, I am very often asked about insurance, even though my own specialty is in investments and retirement planning. That said, insurance provides important protection against risks that may be hazardous to your wealth, and years of work building a substantial investment portfolio can be quickly lost in the event of an […]

Where to invest $1,000,000

Where to Invest $1,000,000 – Depending on Who You Ask

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing, Personal finance, Web finds

Bloomberg recently published another article titled “Where to Invest $1,000,000 right now“, where six different experts provided six different opinions on where they would invest the million. Not surprisingly, the experts they asked tended to recommend investing in assets their companies sold or serviced (for example, the one who said investing in Vietnamese property was […]

Photo: DBS star ferry ad in Hong Kong captures UBS, AXA, and Pru in one shot

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Travel

When taking this quick snapshot of Singapore’s DBS bank’s “full boat” on Hong Kong’s star ferry this weekend, I noticed that by chance, the background also happened to include competitors ranging from Swiss bank UBS to French and British insurers AXA and Prudential, respectively. I wouldn’t say this photo alone is a sign that Hong […]

HKMC Annuity provides guaranteed income for life for Hong Kong

HKMC Annuity guarantees fixed income for life – is it a good deal?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Retirement

This month, HKMC Annuity Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the HKSAR Government’s own Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation, closes its first subscription round for the HKMC Annuity policy that promises a guaranteed fixed income for life for Hong Kong permanent residents aged 65 and older.  According to the HKMC Annuity plan calculator, a 65 year […]

Vanguard sets ETFs trading costs to zero

Vanguard sets 1,800 ETFs’ trading costs to zero today: Time to move all your money over?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing, Personal finance

About a month ago, Vanguard surprised clients and investment advisors (of which I am both) with the announcement that starting in August 2018 (today), Vanguard would offer free trading on almost 1,800 exchange traded funds (ETFs), all but a handful of which are those of Vanguard’s competitors.  Although I have earlier argued that even paying […]

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

Posted 4 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 […]