What are you guys doing with your money? 💵

Just wanted to know how you save / invest your hard earned money…
I have quite a substantial amount in my savings account earning *$@-all interest. Looking for serious advice.
I used to send my money back home where I have a few properties, but I am looking for a fund / account where I can get compounded interest. I tried to open an internet-based brokerage account, but could not find one that accepts me as a South African residing in taiwan.

Or any other ideas?

do you have a valid ARC?
If so, you go into any local bank and you can open up an account and use their Internet banking through their APP (I have two accounts like this). This is not hard, no matter what others say. Banks will take your application if you have a valid ARC.

As for how to save / invest. Don’t go near bonds.
You can invest in stocks and buy those that pay CASH dividends that have an annual yield (cash dividend divided by current stock price) of say 4% or more. Better than the 0.1% or whatever a bank will give you in just plain interest.
Yes, with an ARC you can open up a local stock account too.

Damn good question. My money is accumulating in the bank and occasionally I’ll put some in a term deposit. I keep meaning to figure out how to invest better, but to be honest I’m not in a big hurry because for a few years now I’ve thought the stock market was peaking - oops on that, although presumably one day I’ll be right. (I accidentally timed things very well in 2008 by cashing in most of what I had to buy an apartment, and that was right before the crash - although of course stocks have long since recovered.)

What I want to do and I keep procrastinating on figuring it out: a simple index fund. (I assume that gets more complex quickly: which index?)

Funds here or online confuse me because I’m Canadian and no one has a clue what the rules seem to be for me. This goes for both Taiwan and Canada. My Taiwanese sister-in-law is in finance, yet when I asked her about indexed mutual funds she didn’t seem to understand me.

I thought we had a long discussion about this in the past year or two, but at the moment I can’t find it.

A few related threads:

(This may be the one I’m remembering:)

Actually just save lots of cash for now. In the next stock crash that will eventually come. Buy up solid companies stock for cheap. They will recover after the crash and you will make good profit. Warren B. does quite well like that. You need patience.

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Don’t overthink investing. Get started. Add regularly. And sure, if there’s a 10% or so drop, add a bit more.Invest in DRipS and you’ll automatically buy cheaper when the share price falls. But, hoarding cash waiting for the big crash is not good for mental or financial health.


And, btw, you are not Warren Buffet. Don’t even pretend you are.

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Burning it away in cryptocurrency. Half joking.
If you are risk averse do not go near this area. Even if you can roll with the shocks still advise relatively small portion of investment. But I do advise to put at least small portion in crypto cos you can win big, some will be future Googles and Amazons. Most will go nowhere.

Doing dollar cost averaging investing seems like a pretty good idea . Don’t put all eggs in one basket.

I have too much in crypto already so also looking at other places to put rest of my cash.

You know what I am thinking …Property in Vietnam.
I looked into property in Bangkok but it’s a bit of a frenzy there.
Second one might be stocks in China thru the HK course.

I missed the property run up in Taiwan but I have ‘relatively’ cheap rent so saving a good bit of cash every month. I don’t like Taiwan’s stock market full of cowboys and stale as well. The US stock market is mostly over cooked too. But I think investing in Google is a good choice because of developments around AI.

For me at least, and I think for the OP, the question isn’t so much what to do, but rather how to do it. Canadian banks aren’t sure if they can help me, because I live and work in Taiwan. Taiwanese banks may or may not be able to help me depending on a combination of my appalling language skills, what they’re technically able to do, and what the bank employee believes they’re able to do on any given day. Investing online is presumably the way to go, but it scares the heck out of me. “Sure website, take 10% of my earnings forever! I trust you with my future because you’ve got an https url!”

This isn’t something I’ve spent much time investigating yet - it’s on my long to-do list for summer - but I’d like an easy way to invest in index funds, presumably a mix of stocks and bonds (whether I transfer the money into a fund every month or two, or monthly automatic deductions from my bank). And I don’t know if those easy ways exist for people like many of us - citizens of one country residing and working in a different country.

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exactly this. let me know when you see the light. I love the idea of the acorns app, but it is only available for yankees…

Term deposits are safe, and you can set and forget. Shop around, and you may find international banks that have branches in Taiwan.

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God term deposits are just a tiny step up from cash.

Inflation is approx 3% a year(same say much higher)… a term deposit in todays sub 0.X% rates means you’ll be getting killed in just a few years.

In just the past 6 years since I’ve been in Taiwan rent has increase 20% and some food + Household items by 20%.Ill just use rent as an example using my area. I’ve been checking 591 prices all around Taiwan thousands of listing over 6 years and my finding is consistent. The other increase in food and services has soared beyond 20% do to other factors such as the raise in minimum wage( I’m not arguing for or against just giving the reason for additional hike in prices)

My neighbors house used to rent for 35,000 in 2012.
2018 it rents for 42,000K. I ran the inflation numbers and its spot on.

2012: 35,000
2013: 35,000 + 3% = 36,050
2014: 36,050 + 3% = 37,131
2015: 37,131 + 3% = 38,245
2016: 38,246 + 3% = 39,392
2017: 39,392 + 3% = 40,574
2018: 40,574 + 3% = 41, 791
It now rents for $42,000.
A lot of food and basic household items have also increase about 20% over 6 years which is 3% compounded across 6 years.

Ive also checked inflation against 8 other properties in Taipei which I followed back in 2012 and have been renting in 2017-2018 the average rental increase has been roughly 20% across these units from 6 yrs ago.


I’m using term deposits for money that I’d need in the short span, roughly a couple of years. But for money making more money, term deposits are currently not very useful.

I’m toying with the idea of paying off a big chunk of my mortgage, but I’m not sure how feasible that is.

You can get 2-3% depending on how much you have, and you don’t have to do anything. It isn’t much, but a six month term could earn you a couple of thousand while you look at other options. I have money in term deposits as it’s safe and I don’t have to worry about taxes, tenants, and all the dramas that go with renting a property and being a landlord.

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Pay the mortgage off full stop, forget about trying to make money with money until you do.

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Good point. Better than nothing short term.
I don’t have a mortgage personally.
Paying off a mortgage would take 20 years. Interest rates and tax deductions are very low here not sure if necessary to pay down quickly. Maybe . But if you don’t have a mortgage you can do a lot of other investment .

My rent hasn’t increased in 4 years. Taipei and Taiwan is very easy to control rent costs you can just move around (very different than many other cities where rent is a bitch). There was a minor surge in rents a few years but it seems to have stopped now.

The catch is interest rates and taxes change, so paying a mortgage off quickly whilst they are low is a no brainer to me.

Emm wouldn’t it be the other way around :slight_smile:

But paying off a mortgage is certainly a sensible thing to do if you can .

Are you seeing those rates in Taiwan? If I’m reading the fixed rate deposits right (a big if!), the post office bank maxes out at a fixed rate of 1.040%, for one year, and with Cathay it maxes out at 1.08% for three years.

Re: mortgage: we’re nine years in to a 20-year term. Being paid in two chunks, one currently at 1.295%, the other at 1.730%. Repeated questions to my wife about whether or not we can pay it off earlier (and if so, how) have been met with “Oh, I’ll look into that later.”

My gut sense is that if there were better things to do with our money, then it’d be best to let the mortgage run its course. But I’m not sure if there ARE better things to do with our money here in Taiwan.

Have a look at Citibank.

If I’ve got it right, Citibank, for fixed rate, not quite as good as Cathay - maxing out at 1.04% for 3 years. Floating rates seem to go up to 1.11%.