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 […]

When comparing travel insurance in Hong Kong, especially HSBC vs Aimviva, I have found Aimviva to be a better deal

Comparing Travel Insurance: HSBC vs Aimviva Travel Club

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Travel

Those who know me know I enjoy shopping for insurance far more than most people, so it should be no surprise I have often spent some time comparing travel insurance options before each of my many trips over the past several years.  Over the years, I have bought travel insurance from American Express, HSBC, Manulife, […]

MPF vs ORSO

MPF vs ORSO: How to Decide, How Much to Put In

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance

When starting a new job in Hong Kong, some employers offer new employees the choice of MPF vs ORSO for retirement savings.  Many employers only offer MPF, and while I earlier posted some data on some of the best MPF plans in Hong Kong in lowering fees below 1% (still many times higher than many […]

How to invest a bonus

How to invest a bonus

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investing, Personal finance

In January and February many firms, especially banks, give out annual bonuses to employees, which in some cases make up a large percentage of the employee’s annual earnings.  After years like 2017, when the economy and global stock markets have done exceptionally well, I am naturally asked, more than in most years, about how to […]

IRA Contribution Limits 2018

IRA Contribution Limits 2018 – SEP raised to $55,000

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal finance

IRA contribution limits have remained mostly the same from 2017 to 2018, with traditional and Roth IRA contributions limited to US$5,500/year for US taxpayers under 50, and US$6,500/year for those 50 and older.  To make a Roth IRA contribution, your adjusted gross income (AGI) needs to be below US$120,000 for single taxpayers with an AGI […]

G for got it - what I hope a 10 year old child will say after buying their 10 first stocks

10 first stocks to buy a 10-year old to start investing early

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Education, Investing, Personal finance

My latest article describes how to choose the 10 first stocks to buy a 10-year old, and why I think it’s important to start kids investing in individual companies rather than mutual funds from an early age. As I disclose: I bought Coca-cola for my older child and PepsiCo for my younger child because they […]

The Best 529 Plans for Expats can fund four or more years at America's finest universities, including UC Berkeley

Best 529 Plans for Expats in Hong Kong

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Education, Personal finance

529 plans are one of the most tax-efficient ways for US taxpayers to save and invest for college and other higher education fees.  The best 529 plans for expats (which here refers to any US citizen or green card holder living outside the United States, regardless of where you were born) overlap with the best […]

Vintage ad for a convertible car: more romantic than considering Roth conversions as an expat?

Roth conversions as an expat: if, when and how much?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal finance

Considering Roth conversions as an expat is similar to considering if, when, and how much to do one when living in the US. What is a Roth conversion? A Roth conversion turns a traditional IRA (on which you may have already gotten a tax deduction, but will need to pay tax when you withdraw at […]