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Do any of you buy index funds or ETFs in Taiwan? I'd like to find some S&P 500 low-cost ETF or index funds like the Vanguard type but I only seem to be able to find the actively-managed types from my bank (HSBC). Any other options?
This I disagree with. If you do the research and learn learn learn, you should be able to latch onto a few individual stocks that, through dividend reinvestment will do very well whatever the market does.
I always brag on my early and weighty investment in Phillip Morris, as it has crushed the market in the past 16 years, due in large part to the dividends and the fact that people smoke in good times and bad. It's not a cyclical stock.
I will give you half a like for the "leave it alone" and "don't time the market" comments though. I recently bought Lockheed Martin and AT&T for my Roth IRA, both good dividends, and very very low BETAs. I'm confident that world will still require cellular phone towers and war planes when I reach the age of 59.
I guess I would change your comment to "The LAZY investor..." and being lazy is fine. VTSMX is a good index that covers the entire market. It's a bit piece of each and every publicly traded company.
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You won't find an ETF for Taiwan stocks. WHat you will find is the Taiwan Fund:
If you're married to a loco though, he or she can set up an account in his or her name and you can buy Taiwanese stocks. I tried that for a while, but Taiwan companies are not that transparent, so I took a hit in flat screen stocks and learned to keep away. When people in Taiwan say they "play stocks" I think they mean it. There's a lot of social predictability, like stocks go up at the end of the year, and the driving forces behind that, to me, are spurious.
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I guess I don't like my eggs in too few baskets. I did well out of AAPL (bought after Steve Jobs died) but even though I had a theory about why Apple was good value, I could have been wrong. The company could have gone completely off the rails, all the talented execs could have left, Samsung or HTC could have invented an "iPhone killer" etc. etc. Nowadays I'm strictly index not because I'm lazy, but because I think it's the optimal way for me (and most people) to make money in the market. My Vanguard fund is low-risk, diversified, and has returned an average 12% per annum since 2012. Good enough for me. I don't believe I have "edge" over the people who do this for a living and all it would take is a couple of stinkers in a portfolio of a dozen companies to crater your returns.
I'm with you on investing in Taiwan stocks. Opaque market, narrow spread of big hitters too reliant on huge uncontrollable external factors.
I agree with diversifying, and at the time, I was not able to open an index fund. I did accomplish something similar by buy into a dozen stocks that gave me diversification. I'm certainly not knocking the Vanguard indexes though. They are good for all the reasons you state.
I just like a little more involvement on my part, doing my homework, reading books. I hit on a couple of gems because of that, NFLX and Marvel for example. I feel, for me, it's better to know more, because when the market heads toward the toilet, and it will sooner or later, I feel good with the plays I've made that withstand such volatility, like MO or KRFT, JNJ, PFE. I have never sold stock because of the market's downward moves. I know that next payday, billions will automatically flow back into 401k accounts. That's why I do suggest solid dividend paying stocks, in addition to a good V index.
Edit: I just read this on the Sunday Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/your- ... .html?_r=1
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