Author Topic: RL360 PIMS  (Read 4062 times)

quattro

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RL360 PIMS
« on: August 29, 2015, 11:23:56 PM »
Hi all.

I recently sat down with an international investment advisor. He was recommending a (lump-sum) investment plan based on a framework ('Personal Investment Management Service') provided the Isle of Man-based Royal London 360 assurance company. While the actual investments he recommended inside this framework looked fine (index funds, mutual funds, etc. from big names) I am still concerned about "RL360".

I've already seen that they seem to have a particularly bad name online associated with their pension investment plan ("Quantum") due to it's high and often complex fees, also on these forums (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/i-dun-goofed/). I believe the fees for their 'PIMS' / lump-sum investment are more reasonable (0.265% + 21,250 quarterly) but I'm still nervous about the company.

I know VanGuard is recommended a lot, but I am, and will likely remain an expat. I'm currently in Japan but will relocate to the US soon, though likely temporarily. I have different currencies as a result, and would like to remain internationally flexible.

Any advice? Is RL360 still reasonable in my situation? Or should the company just be avoided as a general rule? Any alternative suggestions?

Thanks!

dungoofed

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 06:41:44 PM »
The advisor still takes a massive cut over the term of the plan. Those fees are massive. "Index Fund" doesn't mean much if you're not getting the benefit of low fees.

Where are you originally from? If it's the US then you'll still have to report and be taxed on global income.

How long will you remain in Japan? If it's longer than 5 years then you are supposed to report global income to Japan.

Who is the advisor?

What is stopping you from just sending money home to invest, or investing it via SBI or Rakuten in Japan (in one of their NISAs)?

quattro

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 05:56:02 AM »
Hey dungoofed, thanks for the reply.

Quote
Where are you originally from? If it's the US then you'll still have to report and be taxed on global income.

How long will you remain in Japan? If it's longer than 5 years then you are supposed to report global income to Japan.

I'm from NZ/NL, and will be leaving Japan within the year, so neither applies.

I'd rather not name names, but it's one of the big advisories.

I'm not sure where home is anymore, or will be in the future, so sending it there is tricky. I do already have some mutual funds in NL though.

I recently indeed learned that although they don't charge any ongoing fees, the advisor does get a big up front payment, and so has a big incentive to get me to sign up, but no real reason to continue to support me afterwards. This seems like a terrible system (for the consumer).

Steer clear?

dungoofed

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 07:50:07 AM »
Steer clear.

I still haven't found the perfect solution to the problem of being an expat but what I can tell you is that even taking tax into account you'll be a mile better off just repatriating the money to either NZ or NL and investing it there for the long term. Both countries' governments have their fingers in the cookie jar a bit much for my liking but at least the documentation is in English and you understand the respective systems and laws. You might prefer to have an investment account open in each, for geographic diversity.

Btw there are no "big" advisories selling Royal London wrappers. They usually run with 2-3 salespeople people that have rudimentary training on the actual investment products themselves.  Argentum, Select, Tyton. Anyone bigger than this has their own products.

StockBeard

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2015, 03:40:19 PM »
My (bad) experience with RL360 here:
http://howtoretireearly.net/the-rl360-scam-my-15000-investment-lesson/
I also provide a tool where you can compute the (generally insane) fees they charge:
http://howtoretireearly.net/ilas.php

As dungoofed suggested, stay away from it. (and from the people trying to sell it to you. I wouldn't trust anyone who has that product even if they end up suggesting something else)

I can confirm that their salesmen are in general poorly trained. One of the agencies in Japan had some trouble a few years ago, they split into two agencies due to some internal conflict. I was their client. The two parts ratted on each other like you wouldn't believe, in order to try and get me to join one side or the other. "this guy never even studied finance, he's basically an actor, don't join them" and stuff like that. A "serious" company would not say that of their previous employees. I won't name names.

dungoofed, I recently learned that a company named DeVere also sells that product in Tokyo.

StockBeard

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 03:44:25 PM »
double post.
some of my personal plans for the future:
In Japan, you can open a NISA at any bank.
You should also be able to invest in vanguard ETFs through external companies, although you'll have additional broker fees. Bogleheads have a page here with some details:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investing_in_Japan

The question then of course is, what are the consequences if you leave Japan after investing directly in NISA + some stocks. I haven't looked into that yet.

dungoofed

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2015, 07:41:44 PM »
The question then of course is, what are the consequences if you leave Japan after investing directly in NISA + some stocks. I haven't looked into that yet.

Don't quote me on this but in my own research I found the following:

Rakuten/SBI: In principle they do not allow you to hold a NISA account with them if you are not a resident.
Shinsei Bank: I found nothing in the documentation (and I *may* have even confirmed this by asking at a branch) that said they would close my NISA if I were no longer a resident. However.... my understanding is that they don't allow you hold a regular account with them if you don't have an address in Japan. This may or may not apply to *all* accounts.

Now, I don't believe anyone is actively policing, and they have no incentive to do so as it makes no difference to them whether you receive tax-free appreciation of the assets in custody. Rakuten and SBI will liquidate and close your account (presumably returning the money to you minus any tax/penalty that was due) if they catch you.

JamesAt15

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2015, 11:10:42 PM »
quattro,

If you read the other thread this probably goes without saying, but I will third the recommendation to "steer clear".

Personally I would rather keep my money in a savings account earning 0.01% interest than send any more to RL360.

James

quattro

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2015, 02:20:44 PM »
Hi James,

Yeah, I've since turned down the offer. I'm going to transfer my Yen to a Yen account at my overseas bank (with no interest, but also no fees!) while I better figure out what to do.

Thanks again for everyones advice.

LivingAbroad

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Re: RL360 PIMS
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 06:52:56 AM »
Glad to see you steered clear. While I don't think the PIMS is as bad as the Quantum Saver, I wouldn't go near RL360. There are other institutions offering the same with lower fees and better customer service, such as OMI.