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 email@example.com.
The Latest Haps
Spring is expected to be shorter and warmer this year according to the local three month forecast.
Prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant for former President Park Geun-hye on Monday in Seoul
The construction of a 22.8 kilometer underground highway from Gimhae Airport to Haeundae will be promoted to coincide with the opening of Gimhae New Airport in 2026.
The monthly Ha Ha Hole returns this Friday night and it’s looking for female comics to take center stage.
Psychedelic shoegaze from New Zealand, Moses, will be performing in Busan Friday, March 10, on the Busan leg of their Whareama album release tour.
Around 2,000 people are expected to be involved in Marvel Comics “Black Panther” shooting in Busan.
The BFIC is pleased to announce that Booth and Performance Registration has now commenced for Global Gathering 2017.
Nearly half of Korean men begin losing their hair in their 20s according to a recent survey.
Maison de Mare is a sun-drenched paradise, and even on a rainy day, the view is beautiful and romantic. Their homemade style food, brunch, salad, pizza and tongasu will add to your happy memories.
The Nongshim Hotel is offering a special lunch menu set at its signature Korean restaurant, Naedong.
The 55th annual Jinhae Geunhangjae Festival will be held from the 1st to the 10th of next month in the areas of Jinhae-gu in Changwon City and Joongwon Rotary.
A recent survey by Expedia Korea has shown that Guam is the preferred choice for Korean family vacations.
The voyages are designed to offer opportunities to explore the wonders of UNESCO World Heritage sites and to participate in some of Japan’s largest and most celebrated cultural festivals and special events.
Drivers will have to pay for their parking at the attached parking area of Sajik Stadium starting from the next month.
The Lotte Giants, will have a special “Lee Dae Ho Cheering Zone” at the opening home game on April 4th and the first weekend home game on April 8th.