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US financial planner in Thailand?

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US citizen here with a decent portfolio all in US stock index funds. Obviously done well in the past few years but now thinking to move some moneys to income-generation. Not that selling stocks won't generate income. But that's precisely the point. I want to talk to someone re the best way forward.

 

Last year I called a couple of financial planners in the US but they have issues with the territory they are licensed for. So it would be great if there's someone in Thailand, maybe a retired US financial planner, someone with credentials, who can help me bounce ideas around. Of course, I will pay.

 

PM me if you don't want to respond in the thread.

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Good luck,  but my opinion on financial planners is really quite succinct;  if they knew so much they would be making money off of their investments, not making money advising you on yours 

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I recommend running away from any and all financial planners.  If they were so good with money, they would not be working.  In general few are ve.  ry good and all that happens is you pay fee or percentages for what is really routine advice.

 

  I offer my advice.  I currently have over 1 million in my portfolio mostly with Etrade as my broker and bank.  I made all my money really in the last 15 years as an engineer contractor finishing my last three years as a direct employee with Northrop Grumman.  I have done a fair amount of investing and got some decent advice and real world things from some fellow contractors, both who were millionaires, owned and retired to canada with a hotel, etc.  I have bought and sold municipal bonds, municipal bond funds (tax exempt) so I hold them in my traditional brokerage account.  I have bought and sold a few call options, and covered calls, always in my IRAs so that there is no extra paperwork on Schedule D and its associated forms.  I have rolled over several company 401ks into my own ROTH and Traditional IRAs.  I have held many stocks over the years, ETFs, Mutual Funds, etc. I have never bought a home, but I did walk away from a closing when the other parties had not fulfilled their part of contractually agreed to pre work.  I have always done my own taxes, which have been relatively standard and simple.  I report dividends, interest, deduct itemizations very rarely as I didn't have deductible items.  I have worked in 16 US states so have more than the average person's knowledge of tax reporting. 

 

Starting in 2004 right after my first visit to Thailand, my goal was INCOME, so I could meet the Thai income requirements for a retirement visa extension reason.  I am familiar with REITs, dividend paying stocks or funds.  I offer my portfolio for discussion.  No claims it is great or good, or optimal or any such thing.  But it does generate over 65,000 USD a year in income.  And at 62 1/2 I have not even started social security yet, which if I did, would start today at 25,000 USD a year more.

 

NEA and PRTAX are tax free dividend payers.  ROTH of course all is tax free. Traditional withdrawals will be taxable as ordinary income when I take any out.

 

  I keep things simple and own less than 10 equities.  I have a combination of bond funds, preferred stock/bond funds, and dividend paying stocks.  My T holdings are all qualified dividend paying dividends so they max outat 15 % as a tax rate.

 

  I read about people buying index funds and hoping they continue over the long haul to average return 7%. yeah well, I like my > 5-6 % income every year that goes into my portfolio.

 

My current simple portfolio is:

 

Traditional Brokerage: (500K)

T, NEA, PRTAX

 

Traditional IRA:  (420)

BP, NLY, PFXF, PRHYX

 

ROTH IRA: (210kk)

AGNC, NLY, PRHYX, PGX

 

image.png.1ef62b14e729d6aaf4b2227e190b9046.png
Edited by gk10002000
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2 hours ago, gk10002000 said:

I recommend running away from any and all financial planners.  If they were so good with money, they would not be working.  In general few are ve.  ry good and all that happens is you pay fee or percentages for what is really routine advice.

 

  I offer my advice.  I currently have over 1 million in my portfolio mostly with Etrade as my broker and bank.  I made all my money really in the last 15 years as an engineer contractor finishing my last three years as a direct employee with Northrop Grumman.  I have done a fair amount of investing and got some decent advice and real world things from some fellow contractors, both who were millionaires, owned and retired to canada with a hotel, etc.  I have bought and sold municipal bonds, municipal bond funds (tax exempt) so I hold them in my traditional brokerage account.  I have bought and sold a few call options, and covered calls, always in my IRAs so that there is no extra paperwork on Schedule D and its associated forms.  I have rolled over several company 401ks into my own ROTH and Traditional IRAs.  I have held many stocks over the years, ETFs, Mutual Funds, etc. I have never bought a home, but I did walk away from a closing when the other parties had not fulfilled their part of contractually agreed to pre work.  I have always done my own taxes, which have been relatively standard and simple.  I report dividends, interest, deduct itemizations very rarely as I didn't have deductible items.  I have worked in 16 US states so have more than the average person's knowledge of tax reporting. 

 

Starting in 2004 right after my first visit to Thailand, my goal was INCOME, so I could meet the Thai income requirements for a retirement visa extension reason.  I am familiar with REITs, dividend paying stocks or funds.  I offer my portfolio for discussion.  No claims it is great or good, or optimal or any such thing.  But it does generate over 65,000 USD a year in income.  And at 62 1/2 I have not even started social security yet, which if I did, would start today at 25,000 USD a year more.

 

NEA and PRTAX are tax free dividend payers.  ROTH of course all is tax free. Traditional withdrawals will be taxable as ordinary income when I take any out.

 

  I keep things simple and own less than 10 equities.  I have a combination of bond funds, preferred stock/bond funds, and dividend paying stocks.  My T holdings are all qualified dividend paying dividends so they max outat 15 % as a tax rate.

 

  I read about people buying index funds and hoping they continue over the long haul to average return 7%. yeah well, I like my > 5-6 % income every year that goes into my portfolio.

 

My current simple portfolio is:

 

Traditional Brokerage: (500K)

T, NEA, PRTAX

 

Traditional IRA:  (420)

BP, NLY, PFXF, PRHYX

 

ROTH IRA: (210kk)

AGNC, NLY, PRHYX, PGX

 

image.png.1ef62b14e729d6aaf4b2227e190b9046.png

Thanks a lot for sharing. You are obviously a more sophisticated investor than I am but I've been very very lucky.

 

After being burnt on Red Hat way back when and realizing I was a lousy stock picker I invested only in mutual funds, usually a mix of Morningstar/ValueLine highly rated ones, until a Jack Bogle article convinced me to put everything Into one total market index fund, currently FSKAX. 10 years on a $300k is now 1.5mil.

 

That total 1.5mil includes IRA + Roth + individual equity, all in FSKAX. Yep, totally simple-minded but I have no regrets given the performance.

 

I have written a program myself based on historical S&P 500 data to simulate withdrawal rates from 2% to 4% (yes, I know of the 4% rule but I wanted to see for myself). At 2% which is the minimum I need because of additional SS and pension income there seems to be zero risk and a high chance of the investment itself growing significantly.

 

But here is where I come to the point of asking advice. Apparently, I am in the fortunate position of having enough saved. In fact, if hypothetically a bank today offered 3% annual interest on a CD not too long term, I would be all in right away. I don't need to ride the market to make more money. A good return is all I care for.

 

True my simulation does show that staying in a total market index is fine for a 2% withdrawal rate. But there's volatility to contend with - 2008 was no fun at all. 

 

So if I want a modest return circa 3% is there an investment that's low volatility and pretty much secure?

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1 hour ago, Why Me said:

Thanks a lot for sharing. You are obviously a more sophisticated investor than I am but I've been very very lucky.

 

After being burnt on Red Hat way back when and realizing I was a lousy stock picker I invested only in mutual funds, usually a mix of Morningstar/ValueLine highly rated ones, until a Jack Bogle article convinced me to put everything Into one total market index fund, currently FSKAX. 10 years on a $300k is now 1.5mil.

 

That total 1.5mil includes IRA + Roth + individual equity, all in FSKAX. Yep, totally simple-minded but I have no regrets given the performance.

 

I have written a program myself based on historical S&P 500 data to simulate withdrawal rates from 2% to 4% (yes, I know of the 4% rule but I wanted to see for myself). At 2% which is the minimum I need because of additional SS and pension income there seems to be zero risk and a high chance of the investment itself growing significantly.

 

But here is where I come to the point of asking advice. Apparently, I am in the fortunate position of having enough saved. In fact, if hypothetically a bank today offered 3% annual interest on a CD not too long term, I would be all in right away. I don't need to ride the market to make more money. A good return is all I care for.

 

True my simulation does show that staying in a total market index is fine for a 2% withdrawal rate. But there's volatility to contend with - 2008 was no fun at all. 

 

So if I want a modest return circa 3% is there an investment that's low volatility and pretty much secure?

Yes index funds took off and have had a great run.  Of course they did terrible during the 2008 fall back.  I definitely missed out on some gains, but along the way I steadily got paid dividends and interest and I was working and have gotten to where I need to be so I am content with that.  Along the way I did trade in and out of few things and made a lot, Alcoa, Intel for example.  Then I stepped back and just took the crude  brute force approach.  Put more in, earn more dividends, let dividends keep compounding.

 

If you are talking about a regular brokerage account, outside of an IRA, then I assume you should consider tax issues.  I would go with PRTAX.  Tax exempt fund.  3.5% interest there abouts.  Many similar tax exempt and AMT exempt muni funds out there. Don't ignore the tax benefits of tax free and do make sure you buy only AMT free funds or bonds.

 

I am kind of partial to  ETF "funds" versus overly managed mutual funds .  To me, the cheaper expenses/fees outweigh the supposed benefit of a fund manager that just buys and sells, often induced to over trade and earn commissions.

 

any of the utility ETFs, XLU for example ~ 3 %.  Holds a large number of utility stocks.  All of them are not going to go under.  Steady income forever most likely

 

Many income etfs out there, SDY for example.  I used to hold it.  Right now the price per share is so high it makes the dividend payout percentage smaller.  I think it is better to hold a few of the higher dividend paying stocks instead of just putting all money into a dividend paying ETF.  Putting all in one fund meas the low payers are lumped in with the high payers.  Why buy low paying stuff?  Look at the fund, or search on stocks with any of the screeners out there, Yahoo, or whatever and pick a few big companies that pay dividends.

 

 

4 % with a few decent stocks that pay dividends is easy to do.  Sure the value of the stock will go up and down, but the stock will stay solvent and still pay dividends, and if qualified dividends (you hold the stock for over 60 days) the divvies are only taxed at 15% max.  I hold T and BP.  VZ is out there, 3M, most of the oil stocks.

 

 

  As for withdrawal calculators, there are several on line that I look at now and then.  You can put in your earn rate, your withdrawal rate, inflation rate, any yearly increase in withdrawal, your tax rate, etc. 

 

https://www.mycalculators.com/ca/ret1_pop.html is OK

 

https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/how-long-will-my-money-last  ok too

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3 hours ago, Why Me said:

After being burnt on Red Hat way back when and realizing I was a lousy stock picker I invested only in mutual funds, usually a mix of Morningstar/ValueLine highly rated ones, until a Jack Bogle article convinced me to put everything Into one total market index fund, currently FSKAX. 10 years on a $300k is now 1.5mil.

 

That total 1.5mil includes IRA + Roth + individual equity, all in FSKAX. Yep, totally simple-minded but I have no regrets given the performance.

Smart people keep things simple. Idiots are tedious.

When it comes to investing, nobody will find someone's portfolio perfect. Each has to build his own.

You don't need a finacial planner to mess up your portfolio. From your posts I see that you are experienced enough to avoid mistakes.

 

30+ years ago I started with Fidelity Magellan and Fidelity Growth and Income. FMAGX did very well untill  Jeff Vinik, who lagged the broad market.  That was when I realized a manage fund could fall behind S&P 500. Since then my money has been mostly in index funds , with a few years expenses   in Money Market Fund. Simple.

 

In 2019 for the first time my Vanguard account returned over $1M in a year.

 

I am making 4% withdrawal yearly, mostly to give away. I believe US inheritance tax will one day revert to 5.4M from the current 11M.

 

 

 

Annotation 2020-01-03 134101.jpg

Edited by Thailand J
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18 minutes ago, Thailand J said:

Smart people keep things simple. Idiots are tedious.

When it comes to investing, nobody will find someone's portfolio perfect. Each has to build his own.

You don't need a finacial planner to mess up your portfolio. From your posts I see that you are experienced enough to avoid mistakes.

 

30+ years ago I started with Fidelity Magellan and Fidelity Growth and Income. FMAGX did very well untill  Jeff Vinik, who lagged the broad market.  That was when I realized a manage fund could fall behind S&P 500. Since then my money has been mostly in index funds , with a few years expenses   in Money Market Fund. Simple.

 

In 2019 for the first time my Vanguard account return over $1M in a year.

 

 

 

Annotation 2020-01-03 134101.jpg

yes 2019 was a great year for index funds since the market pretty much went up.  But I would not use the word "returned".  You  gained paper value.  No doubt you earned plenty of dividends also. 

 

But congrats on having such an amount.

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Sometimes you are better off doing nothing. I'd be very wary of "financial planners" based in Thailand, or anywhere else for that matter. You appear to be doing just fine.

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Another good suggestion, set it and forget it

 

Like trying to game the Foreign Currency exchange rate, it never works 

 

3 hours ago, gk10002000 said:

I started with Fidelity Magellan

So did I.  For the only 3 years that IRA's were fully tax deductible, 3 X $2,000 = $ 6,000;  Today:

      

Magellan.png.601d12680e20666ee3ffa8879f8a552d.png

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13 hours ago, Thailand J said:

That was when I realized a manage fund could fall behind S&P 500. Since then my money has been mostly in index funds , with a few years expenses   in Money Market Fund. Simple.

Exactly the conclusion I came to after reading Jack Bogle and making 5/10 year comparisons with my managed funds vs. S&P500, causing me to move everything to the low cost Fidelity total market index fund FSKAX .

 

13 hours ago, Thailand J said:

I am making 4% withdrawal yearly, mostly to give away.

So, if you don't mind my asking are you entirely in index stock funds (no bonds, etc.) and selling from them for the annual 4%?

 

Reason I ask is that I am 100% in a total market stock fund and have yet to see a compelling reason to diversify to bonds, etc., given that I can ride out a recession (average length 2 years) from my cash assets. Which seems to be your strategy, no?

 

Long-term stocks do better so again I don't need see the need diversify away from stocks provided I am diversified in them.

 

13 hours ago, Thailand J said:

In 2019 for the first time my Vanguard account returned over $1M in a year.

Nice going, buddy!! Enjoy your wealth.

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the problem with pure index fund investing is, when you start withdrawing and using the money you are taking shares off the shelf.  Whereas if you have more income related investments, bond funds, stock divideds, et al. you take the 4% dividend/interest and never touch the principal.  You have the same number of shares still earning for you.

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