Americans: How do you manage/invest your savings here?

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zzm9980
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Americans: How do you manage/invest your savings here?

Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 22 Sep 2011 5:02 pm

I'm looking for some advice on where to start with money management here. I just moved here and can't really find anything better than a savings account that is an option to me. I'm rather young and don't exactly have bucket-loads of cash lying around (yet!) to justify some type of private financial manager, but am now in a position to put away at least $5-6k per month.

It seems anything offered by local banks or online places like DollarDex explicitly do not accept Americans for any of their investment options. I don't really want to move the money back to the US to use an American firm like eTrade or Vanguard, since I hope to be here for the long term.

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Post by Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 22 Sep 2011 5:38 pm

US Government has strict regulations for americans investing overseas. Due to the strict regulations (not to mention complicated), most foreign banks decline to take on american clients. Your best shot is to go to an American bank for investment options.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 22 Sep 2011 9:49 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:US Government has strict regulations for americans investing overseas. Due to the strict regulations (not to mention complicated), most foreign banks decline to take on american clients. Your best shot is to go to an American bank for investment options.
What is this about?? Americans can make all sorts of foreign investments. You just have to declare your investments come tax time. You need to look at real estate, stocks traded on the Singapore exchange, or look at foreign ETF's.

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Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 9:37 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
Girl_Next_Door wrote:US Government has strict regulations for americans investing overseas. Due to the strict regulations (not to mention complicated), most foreign banks decline to take on american clients. Your best shot is to go to an American bank for investment options.
What is this about?? Americans can make all sorts of foreign investments. You just have to declare your investments come tax time. You need to look at real estate, stocks traded on the Singapore exchange, or look at foreign ETF's.
That's what I thought, regarding declaring at tax time. The problem I'm having is I don't have enough to invest in Singapore realestate, and I can't find any firm that will let me open an account because I'm American. Actually, Citibank will, but I have issues with them :)

I just want an option for my "investing" (peanuts to most) that will let me open locally.

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Post by carteki » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:01 am

As long as you're NOT RESIDENT in the US, you can invest in a number of products. There is a disclaimer etc that you will need to sign regarding this. Most banks will allow. I've sent you a pm.
Cheers
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Post by CJO » Tue, 04 Oct 2011 11:37 pm

carteki wrote:As long as you're NOT RESIDENT in the US, you can invest in a number of products.
Kim, do you know if residency is defined by actual time per year within the US or by owning property there?

Thanks,
CJ

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Post by dman8827 » Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:42 am

If you're an American its pretty difficult. However if you have a non-American spouse or duel-citizenship you're best bet is going to an independent brokerage. A lot of friends use them, it's free, and target people with small/medium sized incomes! The banks won't point a stick at you unless you're rolling in it! Haha
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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 2:57 pm

CJO wrote:
carteki wrote:As long as you're NOT RESIDENT in the US, you can invest in a number of products.
Kim, do you know if residency is defined by actual time per year within the US or by owning property there?

Thanks,
CJ
From the banks I talked to, having a US Passport. So even being a PR is no good. The IRS (US tax service) says that any US Citizen who resides outside the US less than 330 days(!) in a calendar year must pay full US taxes on their income. You can get credits for foreign taxs paid, but I've heard that gets messy and isn't always too beneficial. If you're outside the US more than 330 days, the first $92k USD (or there abouts) you earn is exempt from US taxes.

From a few smaller firms I emailed, they defined residency as living here and my primary address being here. Nothing more strict than that. They also won't let me touch any products that involve anything in the US.

dman, any examples of an independent brokerage I could check out? My wife is not a US citizen, so that may work.

Carteki, I haven't forgotten and will call eventually hehe. Work has been hell lately.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 3:34 pm

zzm9980 wrote: If you're outside the US more than 330 days, the first $92k USD (or there abouts) you earn is exempt from US taxes.
A small point of clarification on the above. Only Earned Income of up to $92KUSD are excludable from your gross income under the "Income Earned Abroad Exclusion" (The key word here is "Earned" e.g., Salaries or Wages).
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by CJO » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 8:55 pm

zzm9980 wrote:From the banks I talked to, having a US Passport. So even being a PR is no good. The IRS (US tax service) says that any US Citizen who resides outside the US less than 330 days(!) in a calendar year must pay full US taxes on their income. You can get credits for foreign taxs paid, but I've heard that gets messy and isn't always too beneficial. If you're outside the US more than 330 days, the first $92k USD (or there abouts) you earn is exempt from US taxes.
Wow, thanks for that. That makes a huge difference in my calculations. I'm a supporter of taxes, but that seems like a steep burden if you are not in the US using the infrastructure and other benefits that the taxes help provide.

CJ

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Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 9:42 pm

CJO wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:From the banks I talked to, having a US Passport. So even being a PR is no good. The IRS (US tax service) says that any US Citizen who resides outside the US less than 330 days(!) in a calendar year must pay full US taxes on their income. You can get credits for foreign taxs paid, but I've heard that gets messy and isn't always too beneficial. If you're outside the US more than 330 days, the first $92k USD (or there abouts) you earn is exempt from US taxes.
Wow, thanks for that. That makes a huge difference in my calculations. I'm a supporter of taxes, but that seems like a steep burden if you are not in the US using the infrastructure and other benefits that the taxes help provide.

CJ
Really? I feel like I get more for my tax dollars here in Singapore than in the US. US spends trillions making war and playing world police to secure cheap oil and shore up international trade. Meanwhile, other countries enjoy profit and can instead spend their taxes on infrastructure.

Plus, we have the Pacific fleet to keep peace in the South China Sea. ASEAN defense spending would be through the roof and the economies fragile as hell without the US sailing around.

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Post by CJO » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 10:22 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
CJO wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:From the banks I talked to, having a US Passport. So even being a PR is no good. The IRS (US tax service) says that any US Citizen who resides outside the US less than 330 days(!) in a calendar year must pay full US taxes on their income. You can get credits for foreign taxs paid, but I've heard that gets messy and isn't always too beneficial. If you're outside the US more than 330 days, the first $92k USD (or there abouts) you earn is exempt from US taxes.
Wow, thanks for that. That makes a huge difference in my calculations. I'm a supporter of taxes, but that seems like a steep burden if you are not in the US using the infrastructure and other benefits that the taxes help provide.

CJ
Really? I feel like I get more for my tax dollars here in Singapore than in the US. US spends trillions making war and playing world police to secure cheap oil and shore up international trade. Meanwhile, other countries enjoy profit and can instead spend their taxes on infrastructure.

Plus, we have the Pacific fleet to keep peace in the South China Sea. ASEAN defense spending would be through the roof and the economies fragile as hell without the US sailing around.
LOL. So you don't mind paying both US and Singapore taxes?

CJ

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Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 08 Oct 2011 3:11 pm

Oh I mind. But I still pay significantly less now than I did when in the US full time.

Barring any major changes in opinions on my side or MOM's side, I hope to convert to PR then citizen in as few years as possible. I know foreigners aren't popular, but I suspect I tick more boxes than most PR applicants. No masters though :)

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Post by dman8827 » Wed, 12 Oct 2011 2:38 pm

Do you have an email I can reply to you at? ExpatForums isn't letting me reply on PM?! Haha
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 12 Oct 2011 2:50 pm

Probably because you are soliciting on the forum....... It's a good way to get your account totally locked......

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