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Financial Advisor Clued-up on Australia?

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  • Financial Advisor Clued-up on Australia?

    1) Does anyone have a recommendation for a financial adviser in Tokyo who deals specifically with Australians?

    2) Does anyone know a savings / life insurance plan for which the base currency is in Australian dollars?

    I'm currently wading through the Gaijinpot search results, but any sensible tips in the meantime would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by randomcow View Post
    1) Does anyone have a recommendation for a financial adviser in Tokyo who deals specifically with Australians?

    2) Does anyone know a savings / life insurance plan for which the base currency is in Australian dollars?

    I'm currently wading through the Gaijinpot search results, but any sensible tips in the meantime would be greatly appreciated.

    1) Does anyone have a recommendation for a financial adviser in Tokyo who deals specifically with Australians?

    Sorry, I can't resist......I don't know anyone that patient.

    No, I do not.

    Comment


    • #3
      OP, I assume you work pretty hard for your money. You probably don't want to be taxed to death and you want to have a safe retirement nest egg that'd see you through when you are older. Right?

      Even in Australia, where Financial Planners are now required to be licensed and to go through a formal system of financial education, one cannot usually trust the decisions they make and the highly questionable "advice" they dispense. The last few years have been particularly bad.... olive farms, emu eggs, timber plantations - these are just a few examples where commission-hungry financial planners put their interests ahead of those of their clients.

      I suspect that Japanese FPs are probably every bit as shonky as their Aussie counterparts. Why on earth would you want to entrust your hard earned money to someone in Japan where, in all probability, making 5% a year is considered a huge return. You'd be better off putting it under the bed, I say.

      I think you are better off investing your money yourself! If you are on a high income, you may consider getting tax advice. But that's a whole separate issue.

      Goodluck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rainbowtokyo View Post
        OP, I assume you work pretty hard for your money. You probably don't want to be taxed to death and you want to have a safe retirement nest egg that'd see you through when you are older. Right?

        Even in Australia, where Financial Planners are now required to be licensed and to go through a formal system of financial education, one cannot usually trust the decisions they make and the highly questionable "advice" they dispense. The last few years have been particularly bad.... olive farms, emu eggs, timber plantations - these are just a few examples where commission-hungry financial planners put their interests ahead of those of their clients.

        I suspect that Japanese FPs are probably every bit as shonky as their Aussie counterparts. Why on earth would you want to entrust your hard earned money to someone in Japan where, in all probability, making 5% a year is considered a huge return. You'd be better off putting it under the bed, I say.

        I think you are better off investing your money yourself! If you are on a high income, you may consider getting tax advice. But that's a whole separate issue.

        Goodluck.
        i agree with this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies guys.

          I think I must not have been clear in my original post (being Australian, English is not my strong point). I'm not looking for an IFA from Australia per se, although I imagine those who are most comfortable with Australian taxation and law are most likely to be Australian themselves.

          I'm looking for a recommendation for an IFA (probably in Japan but not necessarily) who is clued-up on Australian tax issues, options available to Australians looking to shelter their investments from tax, etc. There are a whole different set of options in terms of investment vehicles depending on which country you are from. I want to speak to someone who can talk to me intelligently about the benefits/issues involved with investing offshore, onshore, in superannuation, etc.

          When it comes to the actual content of the vehicle I've got a decent idea of what kind of mix I want. I'm not looking to speculate so much as I am looking to hedge. I think many people get dollar signs in their eyes when the IFA starts talking about returns in excess of 10% etc. Unfortunately my approach is a lot more conservative, especially considering my age and earning capacity. I'm basically looking for a way to protect my modest earnings against currency fluctuation and crisis while not committing to a future spent either in Japan or Australia.

          Some may call me contrarian but I think I'm just a little conservative, as well as realistic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by randomcow View Post

            I'm looking for a recommendation for an IFA (probably in Japan but not necessarily) who is clued-up on Australian tax issues, options available to Australians looking to shelter their investments from tax, etc. There are a whole different set of options in terms of investment vehicles depending on which country you are from. I want to speak to someone who can talk to me intelligently about the benefits/issues involved with investing offshore, onshore, in superannuation, etc.
            Why do you care about Australian taxes ?

            Comment


            • #7
              Issues involved in paying tax when repatriating back to Australia, etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                As an investor, I share many of your concerns.

                About tax: Could be wrong here but the ATO only taxes you on domestic income that you earn in Australia, not on any capital gain you make overseas. This is in stark contrast to the IRS in the USA.

                About your other query: Hedging against currency fluctuations is hard, damn hard. Anyone who tells you that he can figure out the direction of currencies on a regular basis is a damn liar.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just another thought. To reduce your tax in Australia, have you considered negative gearing? ie. borrowing to buy property. If you hunt around for bargains, its hard to go wrong. Some of Melbourne's much maligned bayside suburbs are still very cheap - in such places, its hard not to make a capital gain over say 5-10 years; all the sweeter when done with the bank's money.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by randomcow View Post
                    Thanks for the replies guys.

                    I think I must not have been clear in my original post (being Australian, English is not my strong point). I'm not looking for an IFA from Australia per se, although I imagine those who are most comfortable with Australian taxation and law are most likely to be Australian themselves.

                    I'm looking for a recommendation for an IFA (probably in Japan but not necessarily) who is clued-up on Australian tax issues, options available to Australians looking to shelter their investments from tax, etc. There are a whole different set of options in terms of investment vehicles depending on which country you are from. I want to speak to someone who can talk to me intelligently about the benefits/issues involved with investing offshore, onshore, in superannuation, etc.

                    When it comes to the actual content of the vehicle I've got a decent idea of what kind of mix I want. I'm not looking to speculate so much as I am looking to hedge. I think many people get dollar signs in their eyes when the IFA starts talking about returns in excess of 10% etc. Unfortunately my approach is a lot more conservative, especially considering my age and earning capacity. I'm basically looking for a way to protect my modest earnings against currency fluctuation and crisis while not committing to a future spent either in Japan or Australia.

                    Some may call me contrarian but I think I'm just a little conservative, as well as realistic.
                    From this message it seems to me that you are qualified to be your own IFA.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rainbowtokyo View Post
                      Hedging against currency fluctuations is hard, damn hard. Anyone who tells you that he can figure out the direction of currencies on a regular basis is a damn liar. Just another thought. To reduce your tax in Australia, have you considered negative gearing? ie. borrowing to buy property. If you hunt around for bargains, its hard to go wrong. Some of Melbourne's much maligned bayside suburbs are still very cheap - in such places, its hard not to make a capital gain over say 5-10 years; all the sweeter when done with the bank's money.
                      So you are a person that believes that nobody can predict FX but think that somebody that is looking for a safe investment should borrow money and invest in Austalian real estate as although we have a free market the prices were cheap at the moment and nothing could go wrong.

                      Sure you are not American ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by randomcow View Post
                        Issues involved in paying tax when repatriating back to Australia, etc.
                        Yeah right. lol.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Plats View Post
                          From this message it seems to me that you are qualified to be your own IFA.
                          Ironically I can't find anyone who can sell me what I want. It's very frustrating.


                          rainbowtokyo -

                          Thanks for your reply. Those details are the exact reason I want to speak to a professional who is comfortable with the intricacies of Australian tax law.

                          Regarding hedging against currency fluctuations, my strategy is simple. I just want money in both JPY and AUD so that the situation would never arise where I could not afford to go back to Australia. Which is why I trying to find an investment vehicle in AUD - at this stage the content of the vehicle itself is less important than the fact that I want minimal exposure to USD/Euro/HKD/GBP/etc. None of these currencies have anything to do with my overall strategy (ie "hedge against the earning a salary in yen," not "make oodles of money").

                          The best solution I have thought up so far is to send money back to Australia and put it in a term deposit. Even this is not ideal as I don't get benefits from dollar cost averaging, lest I dish out $40 each month for the transfer (so on $1000 a month I'm already down 4% before I've even started).

                          Regarding negative gearing, correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't I only get the benefit if I were earning a salary in Australia?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Itfs too bad more Australians havenft joined this thread and told you how they are handling their finances. Certainly sending money once a month is a poor choice. I wouldnft worry about dollar-cost averaging. You do know you can get AUD accounts in Japan, donft you? But I would be more concerned about gthe content of the vehicleh than the currency itfs held in. Whether to buy stock, bonds, gold, or keeping it in cash should be your bigger concern.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Plats View Post
                              Whether to buy stock, bonds, gold, or keeping it in cash should be your bigger concern.
                              Wise words. It is quite interesting how people tend to agonize over how to pay less taxes or the currency. It almost seems as this were more important as their portfolio or return. Low-cost investments with a decent return are less popular than complicated, inflexible and costly "non-assessable-products". And I get the feeling that those who complain the most about the taxes on their investments don't even have the income or assets to make a big move.

                              All those poor bastards that couldn't change their portfolio in 2007 or even had to cash out in 2008 because their products told them so.
                              But at least they pay less taxes now.

                              Comment

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