Most people come to Korea for a bit of adventure, but there are also a lot of people who want to pay off debt, such as students loans. Once you’ve paid off your debts, what should you do next? Here are five steps for expats who want to start investing while in Korea.
Step 1: Save $10,000
I recommend saving $10,000 for three reasons: diversification, fees and the minimum required amounts to open a brokerage account.
Step 2: Research
You need to think about your investing strategy. Three resources to start with are: The Wealthy English Teacher, my recently published book; The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing, a book by Andrew Hallam; and Investopedia, an online resource where you can view a stock basics tutorial.
The two things I invest in are dividend-paying stocks in blue-chip companies and ETFs. Blue-chip companies are big and stable, with names that you know, like McDonald’s or Chevron. These companies pay dividends, which means that they give a portion of their earnings to shareholders.
The second option is investing in ETFs, which are a basket of stocks that are bought passively according to an index, as opposed to mutual funds which are managed actively. I always recommend ETFs because the fees are really low (Vanguard). For sample ETF portfolios, check out my book or Andrew Hallam’s.
Step 3: Open a Brokerage Account and Make Some Trades
Once you’ve decided on your strategy, it’s time open an account. For non-Americans, Andrew Hallam recommends TD Direct, DBS Vickers, Saxo Capital Markets and Interactive Brokers. For Americans, he recommends Schwab or Vanguard. To actually buy your stocks or ETFs, be sure to look at the company’s ‘help’ section or refer to Investopedia.
Step 4: Collect Dividends and Keep Investing
Here is the best part: collecting money from your stocks or ETFs without doing anything. Too good to be true? It’s not. The payments get sent automatically to your brokerage account, and you can reinvest them.
Step 5: Financial Freedom
It’s possible for the average expat in Korea to use his or her time here to set up financial success. It takes discipline and frugal living to pay off debts, save up money, and employ an investment strategy, consistently over time. Just picture yourself sitting on a beach in Thailand, sipping your mojito without a care in the world – if you need some motivation.
Jackie Bolen, from the blog My Life! Teaching in a Korean University, has recently started writing about personal finance for ESL teachers, including the book, The Wealthy English Teacher, which can be found on Amazon. When not teaching or writing, she can almost always be found hiking, biking, stand-up paddleboarding or searching for the most delicious kimchi. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Latest Haps
Discontent with the current president Park Geun-hye has apparently spread to her father.
A court in Guam has sentenced a Korean Air passenger who pleaded guilty to fighting with a flight attendant after being refused a beer, to more than two years in prison.
A massive morning fire yesterday has injured two fire fighters and burnt more than 500 stores in the largest traditional market in Daegu.
Some female cast members of SNL Korea are under fire after a video of them sexually grabbing a popular K-pop boy bands genitals has sparked outrage on Korean social media.
The City of Busan has released its newest branding film entitled “Busan Brand Film” in hopes of promoting the city domestically and internationally.
As an international traveler, you are used to the idea of various countries using different measures to refer to the same thing.
The annual Busan International Women’s Association’s “Christmas Bazaar” returns once again Saturday, December 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Haeundae Grand Hotel 2nd Floor.
Mark your calendar: “Movember” has returned and HQ Gwangan is rewarding all those involved with a big bash at the beginning of December.
Convenience store 7-11 has rolled out a nutritious option to its quick food grab line with a “Red Ginseng Chicken Breast” triangle kimbap.
Burger & Pasta will open their newest location in Seomyeon in mid-December according to the company.
Busan has a ton of great attractions to meet your tourist needs. Dynamic Busan Magazine introduces a few great places to get you started.
Here’s a look at some festivals going on around the nation this December if you’re looking to get out and about.
South Korea’s Incheon Airport has successfully finished an onsite ‘Experience the Wonders of Korea’ campaign as a part of 2016 Brand communication campaign for foreign passengers.
Busan Sports Council says that it will test-operate the Busan Indoor Tennis Facility in Sajik-dong for free starting today for 16 days to celebrate its opening.
Just in time for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, the South Korean luge team is about to get a German import.