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Low Risk 2-3% Savings/Investment Options?

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  • Low Risk 2-3% Savings/Investment Options?

    Hi Everyone,

    Looking to start saving, mainly for nest egg/rainy day purposes, with an initial deposit of about 100 with additional 5 contribution each month for the long run. Does anyone have any recommended type of accounts within Japan for someone looking to be here for at least the next 10 years, perhaps will buy property in the future, low-risk account that will gain 2-3% in interest per year? Most Savings accounts here average around .1%, so trying to figure out if I'm looking in the wrong places....

    Thanks!

  • #2
    If you find anything please share it. There isn't any such thing as far as I know. Unless you accept risk then you can't get any interest anywhere in Japan. As inflation starts to rise as planned, leaving money in the bank will actually start to lose you money. This is also the case in many other countries.

    Sucks.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Brown Cow,

      Thanks for the reply.

      Yeah, it seems hard to balance whether to throw into a savings account and accept inflation (the absolute highest I've found is here http://www.tokyostarbank.co.jp/staro...n/soaring.html) or to invest in a low risk mutual fund such as Vanguard Wesley Income Fund which yields on average between 2-3%. Monex Japan actually handles this fund and you can invest if you're an American citizen (https://www.vanguardjapan.co.jp/reta...tm#mutual-fund).

      Comment


      • Old Style
        Old Style commented
        Editing a comment
        Serious question and sorry if I don't have all my facts straight (some things never change, eh??!!):

        Didn't Ishihara have a hand in starting up Tokyo Star and didn't they go bankrupt?
        I recall something on the news about them, but I have the attention span of a.............................BALL!!!

    • #4
      And thanks for that. You have done well finding those two. The Vanguard Fund has done well considering what the stock market has been up to over the last 5 years or so. It might well be a good idea, especially if you can tolerate a small amount of risk - and you can if you are fairly young.

      Comment


      • #5
        Just giving this thread a bump to say that I am interested in this as well.

        Comment


        • #6
          Good advice.
          Any agents/brokers in Japan offering commondites/forex traders services in english.?

          Comment


          • #7
            Given the volatility of the Aussie dollar i wouldnt recommend it, but my savings account there is earning 4.75% without having to worry about share prices etc.

            Is anything under 5% even worth bothering with?

            Comment


            • #8
              The thing with interest is you may get a nominal increase in your bank balance but in real terms you might be losing if inflation is higher or the value of your currency is heading down.

              Although a bank balance might be "safe" in nominal terms, I do believe there is a risk in every type of investment of store of money in real terms. How this risk is defined depends on the point of reference one is looking from. Kyle Bass pout it nicely when he noted recently that Zimbabwe stocks were going bangbusters recently, although you'd only be able to buy about 3 eggs with your money.

              Any agents/brokers in Japan offering commondites/forex traders services in english.?
              Commodities - I'm just in the process of opening an account with Dot Commodity.(http://www.commodity.co.jp/english/).

              Forex - you might be able to find English support if you look at Oanda, FXCM or other foreign names?

              Comment


              • #9
                Fair enough well lucky for me i have assets on both sides of the fence.


                As for forex, a standard Shinsei account has multiple currencies and as long as your balance is over 1mil you get around 0.4% forex fees for the major currencies. Every so often they have zero fee specials too. All that with the English online banking facilities.

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                • #10
                  Same here (mostly JPY and USD, no Euros!). I've also got some antipodean currency on 6M term deposit, but eventually I'll probably be spending that rather than converting back to JPY. (Looks like the Aussie, Kiwi may have done their dash to the upside for this year though, we'll see.)

                  The horrible thing with the yen is that it's usually the strongest currency, or the weakest. These days I have this graph of my assets in both JPY and USD terms, which helps keep me calm and collected no matter what happens!

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Did anyone find any good options?

                    Most of my savings are in the UK, and given low interest rates, I'd also come to the conclusion that something like Vanguard ETFs would be the best option.

                    The question is how. Residency requirements mean I can't open UK accounts. I'm not sure my japanese will cope with a fully japanese system (and I'd be using mainly savings from the UK anyway).
                    I'd searched around and I thought I'd found a good solution with tdinternational, but half way through the application process it told me that Japan is a 'non-sanctioned country' and wouldn't let me sign up.
                    Has anyone had any luck with signing up to any other international online brokers from Japan?
                    - Either deicated online brokers like tdinternational, fidelity, etrade, etc?
                    - Or online international banking that offers investing like citi international or hsbc expat.

                    Has anyone tried the Comodity.co,jp site that fxgai mentioned? Is it reliable? Does anyone know if it's possible to transfer funds in from a UK account?

                    PS/ Am i right in thinking that I can invest in Vanguard ETFs through Shinsei (in Japanese)? Has anyone done it? Any catches to be aware of?



                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by MonkeyBrain View Post
                      Did anyone find any good options?
                      Has anyone had any luck with signing up to any other international online brokers from Japan?
                      - Either deicated online brokers like tdinternational, fidelity, etrade, etc?
                      - Or online international banking that offers investing like citi international or hsbc expat.
                      I have hsbc expat since way back. (Not sure if they have changed rules concerning Japan).

                      I plan to open an overseas brokerage account with www.schwab.com
                      (which is American, but they seem to be one of the few or only big US brokerages that cater for non-americans). US brokerages seem to be lowest in charges and have biggest range of stuff available. However, they automatically deduct some US tax on gains (and there may be some Jp tax to be paid on top of that).

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I have a US account such as the one mentioned just above. Their service, trade execution, online service/tools etc. is superb. So good that I would never opt for one of those places here that offer "offshore investing/savings".

                        I am a US person and file those tax returns, so there is no auto-withholding. I do declare and pay J-taxes on dividends, along with gains (balanced by losses).

                        This account offers me excellent online trading, and other tools and research. Basically, it seems the sky's the limit. Any ETF imaginable (or mutual fund if you want), any stock or ADR, and you can even trade on non-US exchanges (higher cost). You can do it all without having to deal thru a supposed tokyo-based "service" person, who is only there about 9-5 M-F, tokyo time. In contrast, besides being online any time, the above account also gives me 24/7 phone help/access/contact.

                        Tho there are some taxes, the huge advantage is that, taxes having been paid, it's all legal. You could decide to bring that money to Japan to buy a house or land, or some such, and it would be okay, instead of having to justify to the local tax authorities where the money came from. And you can use the money in the US without consequences, too. (property investment, etc)

                        Actually, the taxes aren't really much more (if any) than the fees charged by those outfits offering offshore accounts. Especially considering how hard you'll be hammered when you try to repatriate the money to Japan, or, heaven forbid, the US!

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by minamon View Post

                          I have hsbc expat since way back. (Not sure if they have changed rules concerning Japan).

                          I plan to open an overseas brokerage account with www.schwab.com
                          (which is American, but they seem to be one of the few or only big US brokerages that cater for non-americans). US brokerages seem to be lowest in charges and have biggest range of stuff available. However, they automatically deduct some US tax on gains (and there may be some Jp tax to be paid on top of that).
                          I was considering Schwab. I was just a bit worried about currency exchange charges. Eg: GBP->USD and then USD->GBP.
                          Do you know if the US tax can be claimed back, or is it gone for good? Or if the Japanese tax is ofset against any US tax?

                          As for HSBC Expat? Do you think they are worth having as a bank account? Right now I have a UK account and a Shinsei account, but in general I don't need to do much transfering between them... though it might be needed in future.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by johnnyG View Post
                            I have a US account such as the one mentioned just above. Their service, trade execution, online service/tools etc. is superb. So good that I would never opt for one of those places here that offer "offshore investing/savings".

                            I am a US person and file those tax returns, so there is no auto-withholding. I do declare and pay J-taxes on dividends, along with gains (balanced by losses).

                            This account offers me excellent online trading, and other tools and research. Basically, it seems the sky's the limit. Any ETF imaginable (or mutual fund if you want), any stock or ADR, and you can even trade on non-US exchanges (higher cost). You can do it all without having to deal thru a supposed tokyo-based "service" person, who is only there about 9-5 M-F, tokyo time. In contrast, besides being online any time, the above account also gives me 24/7 phone help/access/contact.

                            Tho there are some taxes, the huge advantage is that, taxes having been paid, it's all legal. You could decide to bring that money to Japan to buy a house or land, or some such, and it would be okay, instead of having to justify to the local tax authorities where the money came from. And you can use the money in the US without consequences, too. (property investment, etc)

                            Actually, the taxes aren't really much more (if any) than the fees charged by those outfits offering offshore accounts. Especially considering how hard you'll be hammered when you try to repatriate the money to Japan, or, heaven forbid, the US!
                            Is that Schwab, or another US one that can't be opened from overseas.
                            I'm not looking to avoid taxes, i'd prefer to keep it legal. But it seems like the fees and fee structures for these kind of accounts can vary a huge amount and I don't want to get stuck with an account that costs me too much in fees.

                            (on that note, as I'd be using UK funds, I assume using a US account would cost me currency exchange costs on every transaction? Anyone know?)

                            PS/ I found some useful information on this site: http://the-international-investor.co...ck-broker-list (there's also a US list)
                            it's aimed more at people investing in international markets, rather than expats - but it does have some info on which brokers accept non-residents.

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