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  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 2w ago
    Hey there! I was also curious on this matter, for me personally, I’ve always done the global ETF investing via Robo-Advisors but recently have been looking into investing in the S&P500 and the US stock market as whole. Here’s my own research so far. TL;DR: For Singaporeans, if you are keen to invest in the US (global) market, it’s potentially a good long term investment: - The MGC & VTI which tracks the S&P500 and Total stock market respectively are the two most common attractive ETFs under Vanguard - You can do so via your online brokerage To break it down, there are a few parts which we’ll explain. What is the S&P500: - The S&P500 is an index which tracks 505 of the largest listed companies on the US stock exchanges - By largest, we mean it is based on market capitalisation - And stock exchanges include the NYSE, NASDAQ and others - Some companies include, Apple, Google (Alphabet), Facebook, Coca Cola, etc. (pretty well diversified) - Usually people tend to look to the US market because these companies you see above are global in their business operations What is an ETF: - An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund which is traded on a stock market - It basically tracks an index where a pool of investors pool money together to buy into a portfolio of stocks - Usually have lower expense ratios compared to traditional mutual fund managers What is the Vanguard ETF - This is one such fund manager company which has a ton of ETFs which track US companies in the stock market - They are an index fund pioneer, with it’s founder (John Bogle) being a legend in this space Source: VANGUARD. Yields from Ameritrade and Motley Fool. The two most popular Vanguard flagship funds are: - Vanguard S&P500 ETF (NYSEMKT: MGC) - Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (NYSEMKT: VTI) It’s expense ratios are merely at 0.04% and it’s dividend yield sitting between 1.69% to 1.88% If you look at the returns for the MGC (S&P500 tracker) since the start, this is what it looks like: - Average 10 year returns at 15.76% p.a - Current fund total net assets sit at $1.9 billion - Some companies include Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, Exxon Mobil, JPMorgan Chase etc. Similarly if you look at the VTI (Total stock market tracker) since the start, this is what it looks like: - Average 10 year returns at 16.06% p.a - Current fund total net assets sit at $772.7 billion - Some companies include the ones above but also over 4000 mega, large, small and micro stocks BOTH look pretty amazing when it comes to capital gains. (Rise in price of the ETF) Therefore if you are looking for a long term (more than 10 year timeframe) investment, this is actually a pretty solid investment that appreciates over time. Some downsides include: - 30% withholding tax (another fancy word for dividend tax for foreigners) - Under US domestic tax laws, a foreign person generally is subject to 30% US tax on its US-source income. - When markets are down, you similarly bear the brunt of your investments as well (so you may be unlikely able to withdraw your investments in recessionary markets) - It’s not that straightforward to invest in US ETFs from Singapore Where can you buy the Vanguard ETF? - Your online brokerage (eg FSM, POEMS, DBS Vickers etc) - You buy these as stocks using their tickers (VTI or MGC) - However, you can also choose to buy other trackers like the SPY (S&P500 tracker) which is by another company called SPDR I'm personally using FSM and Vickers. In this next portion, I will go deeper into the tax portion and how to overcome the additional tax deductions. If you are not interested, it's more of a further reading for more advanced investors! What is the Withholding tax for Singapore Investors? Withholding tax is a tax on interest or dividends paid to foreign persons. To illustrate, imagine that you buy US$1 million worth of US stock, which pays a 4% dividend yearly. The US$40,000 annual dividend is subject to a 30% withholding tax, so US$12,000 is deducted from your dividend to be paid to the US government. How to get around this Withholding tax for Singapore Investors? US and Ireland actually have tax treaties which retail investors like you and I will be able to benefit from. It’s a form of tax avoidance and perfectly legal as well, which most big companies with Tax advisers from PwC, KPMG actually do on a daily basis. In particular, there is a US-Ireland tax treaty that reduces withholding tax from the standard 30% to 15%. If you buy an Ireland domiciled ETF listed on a European stock exchange, you pay a 15% withholding tax. (Instead of the normal 30% if you were to directly buy from the US stock exchange) These include the Ireland-domiciled Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETF (VUSA) or the iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD (IWDA). Both of which you can actually buy via your normal online brokerages. Some problems with buying such ETFs: - Typically the expense ratios are slightly higher (more than 0.04 - Less liquidity as it’s not the main US stock trackers (bid ask spreads are not as good as the US ETFs which have superior liquidity) Here’s a good summary of Ireland domiciled funds here if you are keen to get the full list Are there capital gains tax? As a non-US tax resident, you are exempt from capital gains tax.
  • Asked by Gabriel Tham

  • Asked by Anonymous

  • Asked by Anonymous

    Tan Wei Ming
    Tan Wei Ming
    Level 2. Rookie
    Answered 3w ago
    Interactive Brokers minimum commission is $1 USD but there will be a $10USD monthly fee if the total asset under your account is less than $100K USD. On the other hand, Saxo Capital minimum commission is $3.99 USD and the monthly fee is 0.12% of total asset under your account. I would therefore prefer to trade using Saxo Capital until I have $100k USD then I will switch to Interactive Brokers.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Jonathan Chia Guangrong
    Jonathan Chia Guangrong, Fund Manager at JCG Fund
    Level 6. Master
    Answered 3w ago
    Personally I'm using TD, more for options than stock though. It's a great platform, with a robust charting system built in. Yet simple to use. Fees are decent, more so if you are part of a community which negotiated with TD for cheaper comms (I'm getting min USD 5 per trade for stock). They also do not charge inactivity or custodian or live data feed fees, which is the case with other brokers. Do note that TD only allows access to US market, so if you want to get involved in other markets and only want to use one single platform, Interactive Brokers may be a better idea. They do have higher funding requirements, and some of the fees I mentioned above will be applicable.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Luke Ho
    Luke Ho, Money Maverick at Money Maverick
    Level 6. Master
    Answered 3w ago
    Tricky. You may want to invested in a REIT or Fixed Income fund instead which you can manage through an international account and have your money sent to you with the strength of the Singapore Dollar in a multi-currency account. I have clients from India who are doing this, even though they have the best mutual funds in the world due to considerably lower history of forex risk and international portability. You can always drop me a message if you'd like. https://www.facebook.com/luke.ho.54
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Lok Yang Teng
    Lok Yang Teng
    Level 6. Master
    Answered 3w ago
    Yes! $25 per quarter if you do not trade in the previous quarter.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Jonathan Chia Guangrong
    Jonathan Chia Guangrong, Fund Manager at JCG Fund
    Level 6. Master
    Answered 3w ago
    Best to use separate brokers for both markets. The ones that allow you to trade SGX stocks are kinda expensive commission wise for US market. For local, there's not much difference between the brokers so you may wanna see how your broker service you. I'm using Maybank KE for local as my broker is responsive, and I'm also on their monthly investment programme to help build my income floor portfolio. US wise, I'm using TD Ameritrade, mainly for options. Great and robust platform, with none of the misc fees you see on other platforms ahem Interactive Brokers. Charting tool is great, straightforward interface. They have an office here as well, so easy to get hold of them if needed to. Hope this helps.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Nicholes Wong
    Nicholes Wong, Diploma in Business Management at Nanyang Polytechnic
    Level 6. Master
    Answered on 22 Apr 2019
    They have custodian fees of 0.18%. You can also take a look at TD ameritrade and Charles Schwab. Quite a lot of people who invest in US stocks uses them. Compare both 3 in terms of commission based on the amount you going to invest. You can also try out demo accounts if they offer to see which is more suitable.
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