Author Topic: Expat Advice  (Read 1306 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Expat Advice
« on: August 31, 2016, 12:09:51 AM »
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum as well as new to investing. I have about 30k I'd like to invest and wanted to know what advice people have to offer. I make all of my money overseas and therefore don't qualify for a Roth or traditional IRA. My first major investment was securing a house back in the US with the mortgage fully paid off. So the property is secured.
I have about 30k I'd like to invest and have done some of my own research into ETFs, but am concerned with volatility. Also, I'm not always able to monitor them, which makes me uncomfortable. I'm 33 now, but looking at starting a portfolio with 30k for now, and I have enough set aside in liquidity for what I want to do next, so this would be 30k I wouldn't need to touch until potential retirement.
I know the market is running at all-time highs, but I question if it's almost too late to "jump in" the stocks game. Index funds also look appealing and provide a greater safety net for long term investing.
What advice do you have for someone in my situation?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Expat Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 01:04:36 AM »
Depends where you are now, where you're from, and where you want to end up later on. I take it you're a US citizen? Are you looking to return there eventually? It can be a challenge to invest in US ETFs if you live outside the country. Where I live (Hong Kong) the ETF situation isn't too bad. The currency is tied to the US$ but that will change eventually to the RMB.

Interested to hear what other US expats are doing.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Expat Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 04:37:45 AM »
You should be able to contribute to an IRA.  Or is your gross income total below the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

I do a traditional IRA contribution annually and take the deduction.   Make the contribution to a Vanguard account via money xfer back to the US.  Beyond that i xfer to a taxable brokerage account setup with Vanguard and invest in stocks as the price is right which is not much lately.  So the cash is sitting there earning next to nothing.   Continue to look to invest in RE there but is difficult to do from other side of world.  Maybe if had a "team" setup to do the leg work and mgt and all but presently I have no team. 

My advice is if you have a hookup for RE investing and the numbers work that is the preferable option at the moment.  In general stock prices are not penciling out but there are always exceptions.   If you prefer to invest via stock funds/ETF's and of course are in it for the long term then go ahead.