IRA Contribution Limits 2018

8 Questions Most American Expats Should Ask Every Year About IRAs and Retirement Savings

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Saving

In the US, many employees have 401(k) plans that automatically deduct a significant portion of their salaries into a tax-advantaged retirement account.  Many 401(k) plans only allow these savings to be invested in a limited selection of mutual funds, and some 401(k) plans only offer expensive, poorly performing funds rather than low-cost index funds or […]

How Much Financial Advisors Charge – Pricing by Account Size and Other Factors

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Client Service, Education, Investing, Personal finance, Saving

More than almost anything else, I believe the financial services industry needs greater price literacy and price transparency.  In almost any other business, customers are used to looking at and comparing the prices of the goods they buy from a store or website and the services they buy from a tax preparer or hairdresser, but […]

How GFM makes investing simple

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What is the big difference between investing with GFM vs investing with any of the other financial advisors and brokers in the large financial services industry?  This was the question I aimed to answer in a single picture. In short, I aim to make investing as direct and simple as possible.  In the below picture, […]

How to best convert and transfer large amounts of money across currencies at low cost

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Saving

One situation I’m glad to be able to frequently help with, which can often save thousands of dollars, is how to covert relatively large amounts of money from Hong Kong or Singapore back home.  If the money doesn’t need to be moved over as quickly as a relatively expensive wire transfer or remittance service might […]

The 15-40/7-4 rule: The numbers behind saving 15% of your income

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A widely said rule of thumb is that you should save 15% of your income towards retirement.  According to the IMF, 15% is right around the average rate of total savings in the US and UK, and well within the averages of many Asian countries and other high savers like the Netherlands (Chart below from […]

The 2%/50% rule: How fees and under-diversification can cost half a pension

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Saving

In my previous post, I mentioned that one of the top 10 lessons I learned in my first 10 years of investing my salary savings, bonuses, and 401(k) contributions is to beware of high-fee, low-service mutual funds and financial products.  As a professional myself, I of course understand the need for professionals who manage and […]

Hong Kong's Best Savings Plan – How it Works

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A good savings plan, at a minimum, has the following features: Secure, automated handling of regular monthly contributions Allocation of those contributions to an appropriate balance of stocks and bonds to grow those savings at a rate of 4 – 12% per year, on average Flexibility to withdraw funds or increase contributions at any time […]

The simplest retirement calculation in the world (that actually works)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Saving

Financial websites contain scores of “retirement calculators” which allow you to input a variety of assumptions and calculate when you may be able to live off your savings without working again, depending on how much you save, how much income you need in retirement, and of course what the rate of return on your investments is. […]

How Your Financial Advisor Gets Paid: One of the Most Important Questions to Ask

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Saving

Early in my Wall Street career (but not in business school nor my pre B-school career, somehow) I learned one of the most important lessons I ever learned in business: if you want to understand why different professionals do what they do and don’t bother doing other things you might want them to do, look […]

The importance of saving early and regularly

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Saving

“Save early, save often” can sound so much like a cliche that it fails to motivate us, but it us hard to underestimate how powerful it can be to set up an automated savings plan early and ensure that it is invested appropriately. Many numbers and calculations get thrown around, but given it’s April and […]