Tag Archives: personalfinance

TransferWise vs Charles Schwab Exchange Rate at a Philippine ATM

TransferWise is an online money transfer fintech company. What’s great about them is they try to be transparent with their fees for transferring money internationally. They promise the best exchange rate possible, but they do charge fees for ACH bank transfers that are otherwise free for regular banks. In most cases they are cheaper than using wire transfer through your bank or services like Western Union or MoneyGram. They also offer a product called the Borderless account which allows you to have multiple currencies in your account. It also comes with an ATM/debit card you can use internationally. This service seems to be popular with so-called digital nomads. I guess this is also a good account for getting cash when you are travelling internationally.

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Tax-loss harvesting in the Philippine stock market?

In the US, losses incurred from selling stocks from losing investments can be used to lower capital gains from winning trades.Short-term capital gains are taxed as though they are ordinary income which is taxed based on a progressive tax table. Near the end of the year, if you already have realized some gains (that you’ll have to pay taxes on) and are still holding on to some losing positions, you may decide to cut your losses and sell your losing stock positions. This will allow you to harvest losses to offset some of your gains, thereby reducing taxes that you’ll have to pay. If you don’t have any gains to offset, you can also reduce your ordinary income (wages, etc.) by up to $3,000 of your losses. In a way, this may encourage you to stop holding to that losing stock and cut your losses, and also reduce your tax bill. On the other hand, the stock might recover and you’ll miss out on it. You’re not allowed to buy the stock again within 30 days of selling it, and still be able to harvest the loss, because of wash sale rules.

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Opening a Charles Schwab Brokerage Account from the Philippines

In the process of moving from the US back home to the Philippines, I had to make certain arrangements with regard to my financial assets in the US. I maintained taxable equity accounts with Wealthfront and Robinhood, both of which do not cater to non-resident aliens. While I was a “resident alien for tax purposes” while I was living in the US, I am now properly classified as a non-resident alien after returning to the Philippines.

Many such brokerages in the US do not cater to non-resident aliens and even US citizens living abroad because there are a lot of regulations to comply with (FATCA, among others). Fortunately, the bigger online brokers like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Interactive Brokers do make their services available to non-resident aliens.

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