Buying overseas stocks
With the publication of your first offshore recommendation by Clay Carter (Whiting Petroleum), might this be a good time to write an article on the practicalities of buying shares on an overseas exchange? As an ordinary punter using an online broker on the ASX I haven’t a clue about how to buy shares on the London or New York exchanges.
Editor’s response: Thanks for your letter. Eureka Report will publish an article early next month on how to invest in individual stocks overseas. It will also look at issues investors need to be aware about when doing so, such as taxation and currency risk.
Online brokers like CommSec provide access to international share markets via international trading platforms. Brokerage is more expensive than for domestic shares.
Annuities and the asset test
If we sell the home and downsize or even rent, there is a substantial cash asset available. As we currently receive a part age pension, what can we do with the cash so it is exempt from the assets test? I am 69 and my wife is 70. Is there an annuity we can purchase that is exempt from the assets test, just as the family home would be?
Rosemary Steinfort’s response: If any of the capital from the sale of your house can go into superannuation (if you can meet the work test) and buy an annuity this may not be asset tested (see Annuities: Worth exploring). But in order to assess your situation it would be necessary to speak to a financial adviser or you could speak to Centrelink by calling 13 23 00.
Avoiding a super death tax
I refer to the article by Bruce Brammall How to avoid a super death tax and in particular the section headed “Pull it out before you die”. I was under the impression that if you had a binding death benefit nomination and a will, and the beneficiaries were immediate family and straight forward, the executors of the will had a “reasonable” time to distribute the assets including super according to the will?
Bruce Brammall’s response: Thanks for your question. This is not what I was talking about. The column was in regards to tax. The tax paid on super depends on who is receiving the payment. I think you might be mixing who gets it, with how it’s taxed. A BDN will ensure it goes to the right person, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be taxed.