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  1. #11
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    Rules to investing? I look for only 2:

    1) Tax efficiency and effectiveness: ie. seeking companies on the basis that they pay a dividend is foolish and forgoes any rise in capital gains (the book value vs share value)

    2) Follow great investors: and not your financial adviser. So you pretty much can't go wrong reading about Warren Buffet or John Bogle, especially for the small investor point of view. The 2 open admit going in a low cost index ETF for long term growth is a for sure winner. If you are trying to pick individual stocks, you begin to play the SAME game as manage funds like Kiwi Saver (as those managers are trying to pick individual stocks).

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBQ View Post
    1) Tax efficiency and effectiveness: ie. seeking companies on the basis that they pay a dividend is foolish and forgoes any rise in capital gains (the book value vs share value)
    A company that is earning money has three options when declaring a profit.

    a/ Pay out all the earnings as a dividend to shareholders.
    b/ Keep all the earnings and reinvest those in the business, and in doing so provide extra capital that will enable the business to grow
    c/ Choose a combination of paying out a dividend with some of the profit and retaining the rest to help the business grow.

    Which strategy is used depends on what kind of market the company is in and whether that market is static shrinking or growing. A company should only retain capital if they can reinvest those retained earnings and be sure that any resulting incremental investment earns more than its cost of capital. If they can't do this, then the company should pay out to share holders all of their earnings as dividends, and let shareholders decide where to reinvest that money for themselves. In this situation, it is absolutely the right thing to do to pay out all the company's earnings as dividends. It would actually be foolish not to do so!

    Getting a dividend from a New Zealand company is generally very tax effective. That is because if the company has paid tax on their earnings, you as a shareholder should not as a rule have to pay tax again on that same money.

    It is true that capital gains for long term investors carry no tax liability. But it is also true that capital losses for long term investors carry no tax deductibility. So I would challenge the statement that capital gains are more tax effective than dividends for NZ investors in NZ companies.

    One particular problem I have noticed with the NZ market is that good growth companies need about five years of operations under the belt to really prove themselves. But so often, five years is enough to gain near market saturation in New Zealand. This means it is very possible to buy an NZ company with a 'proven growth record' only to have the growth story fall apart in year six.

    Buyer beware!

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 13-05-2019 at 09:39 PM.
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  3. #13
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    A company that is earning money has three options when declaring a profit.

    Which strategy is used depends on what kind of market the company is in and whether that market is static shrinking or growing. A company should only retain capital if they can reinvest those retained earnings and be sure that any resulting incremental investment earns more than its cost of capital. If they can't do this, then the company should pay out to share holders all of their earnings as dividends, and let shareholders decide where to reinvest that money for themselves. In this situation, it is absolutely the right thing to do to pay out all the company's earnings as dividends. It would actually be foolish not to do so!

    Getting a dividend from a New Zealand company is generally very tax effective. That is because if the company has paid tax on their earnings, you as a shareholder should not as a rule have to pay tax again on that same money.

    It is true that capital gains for long term investors carry no tax liability. But it is also true that capital losses for long term investors carry no tax deductibility. So I would challenge the statement that capital gains are more tax effective than dividends for NZ investors in NZ companies.

    One particular problem I have noticed with the NZ market is that good growth companies need about five years of operations under the belt to really prove themselves. But so often, five years is enough to gain near market saturation in New Zealand. This means it is very possible to buy an NZ company with a 'proven growth record' only to have the growth story fall apart in year six.

    Buyer beware!

    SNOOPY
    Lead by example. ie The Warehouse group, which in the past countless years has had a horrible track record for fulfilling a dividend paying policy while at the SAME TIME borrowing more debt and issuing tons and tons and tons of shares. They particularly done so throughout the 2000 during their expansion period.

    Your view on dividends as being tax efficient misses my point. I'm speaking from a book value per share vs market value per share. Drain the profits in the company and so shall you drain the market share price (there's no way around that). If you seek companies that pay consistent dividends, then seek those that are mature companies with NO market growth (ie utilities). But that's not the story we see in NZ because it's well advertised with brokerage firms like Macquarie where investing in NZ equities is "all about the dividends". No one ever questions the shareholder who does NOT want a dividend because that triggers a tax consequence. No one has thought to say if the capital gain of the share keeps growing, then why not sell a portion of the shares when ever they WANT to elect a return on the investment. But what am I to know? NZ financial advisers know nothing about taxation because from ALL of the ones i've spoke to on the phone in NZ, they tell me, "well you'll need to speak to a tax adviser" which is something very wrong. All qualified CFA CPA advisers in N. America must have a full understanding of tax minimsation for their clients because taxation is such an integral part of investing and retirement planning. No fool in NZ should have to be stuck paying 2 sets of fees for financial advice.

    Also it's not about how quick NZ companies can mature in NZ because likewise, they can fade away as quick and why should investors take that kind of risk. You know a small market (that the NZX is), also means small liquidity = the greater risk for the multi-millionaire that can't move in or out quick enough to change their position. It's more like get all the small investors in, and let them watch 95% of the mix of small companies fail.

    Best to stick with buying houses - at least there's a for sure way path of keeping all those gains tax free.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBQ View Post
    Lead by example. ie The Warehouse group, which in the past countless years has had a horrible track record for fulfilling a dividend paying policy while at the SAME TIME borrowing more debt and issuing tons and tons and tons of shares. They particularly done so throughout the 2000 during their expansion period.
    'The Warehouse' had a long and very successful expansion period that really only came unstuck after they became number one in the discount department score sector in NZ, then tried to take that model to Australia. The 'attack of the yellow sheds' in Oz was a failure. Growth then was refocused on NZ as 'The Warehouse' tried to become a full scale third force in the grocery sector (largely a failure) within the 'Red Shed' brand. After that 'The Warehouse' bought into other retail channels like 'Noel Leeming' and 'Torpedo 7'. Noel Leeming I think has been a largely successful acquisition. But Torpedo 7 has suffered a large write down in goodwill in recent years.

    Your argument about 'The Warehouse' retaining more earnings and paying out a smaller or no dividend presupposes that 'The Warehouse' would have been able to use that retained capital wisely. With the possible exception of 'Noel Leeming', the historical hindsight tale is that 'The Warehouse' have been poor users of their own capital. Far from proving your point, I would suggest that the Warehouse is a very good example of a company that should not retain their own earnings. Paying those big dividends out of their earnings looks like the right thing to have done.

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 19-05-2019 at 07:59 AM.
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBQ View Post
    I'm speaking from a book value per share vs market value per share. Drain the profits in the company and so shall you drain the market share price (there's no way around that).
    I agree that in the medium term what you say above is correct, in a general sense.

    If you seek companies that pay consistent dividends, then seek those that are mature companies with NO market growth (ie utilities). But that's not the story we see in NZ because it's well advertised with brokerage firms like Macquarie where investing in NZ equities is "all about the dividends".
    The NZX has plenty of utility companies that you can invest in that are 'all about dividends'. Not sure of the point you are trying to make with those two sentences.

    No one ever questions the shareholder who does NOT want a dividend because that triggers a tax consequence. No one has thought to say if the capital gain of the share keeps growing, then why not sell a portion of the shares when ever they WANT to elect a return on the investment. But what am I to know?
    Making a profit will generate a tax consequence for a company, whether or not that profit is paid out as a dividend. So what you are suggesting is that a company that is making a profit should buy a company that is making a loss to extinguish that profit and the consequent tax liability?

    I get you idea of taking a capital profit in small annual chunks rather than receiving that same money via a regular annual dividend. But the imputation credit system we have in NZ means that such a choice is 'tax neutral' for NZ shareholders. In NZ, there is no tax advantage in behaving as you suggest. In the US, with US investors investing in US companies, I accept your strategy may have merit.

    NZ financial advisers know nothing about taxation because from ALL of the ones i've spoke to on the phone in NZ, they tell me, "well you'll need to speak to a tax adviser" which is something very wrong. All qualified CFA CPA advisers in N. America must have a full understanding of tax minimsation for their clients because taxation is such an integral part of investing and retirement planning. No fool in NZ should have to be stuck paying 2 sets of fees for financial advice.
    I don't class myself as a cheerleader for NZ's financial advisors. But I don't think your criticism here is fair or accurate. You must have asked a very convoluted question to elicit the phone responses you have received. I am sure that if you had gone in to see these advisors in person, then you would have found a much more informed response forthcoming. Having said this, while I would expect NZ Financial Advisors to have a good grasp of NZ tax laws and their consequences, I wouldn't expect them to be able to advise on specific overseas tax issues.

    If you have questions on NZ tax laws, the IRD website technical section for tax practitioners has all the information there is to know. Sometimes you have to go to the also on line 'Tax Information Bulletins' for a specific ruling. There is no charge for accessing these resources.

    Also it's not about how quick NZ companies can mature in NZ because likewise, they can fade away as quick and why should investors take that kind of risk. You know a small market (that the NZX is), also means small liquidity = the greater risk for the multi-millionaire that can't move in or out quick enough to change their position. It's more like get all the small investors in, and let them watch 95% of the mix of small companies fail.
    Investing in small high growth start ups is a high risk return game all over the world. Often an 'angel investor' selling down to let in a lot more smaller investors in is the only way small investors can participate in these business ventures. These ventures still remain high risk return though. You can't blame the ownership structure and 'big boys in the know selling out' for every NZ start up company failure.

    Best to stick with buying houses - at least there's a for sure way path of keeping all those gains tax free.
    No it isn't. Contrary to popular belief, you can lose capital by investing in property.

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 19-05-2019 at 08:39 AM.
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBQ View Post
    Best to stick with buying houses - at least there's a for sure way path of keeping all those gains tax free.
    As long as it is longer term any residential property that is not your own home sold within 5 years of buying it for a profit will be taxable. Bright Line Test.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    I agree that in the medium term what you say above is correct, in a general sense.

    The NZX has plenty of utility companies that you can invest in that are 'all about dividends'. Not sure of the point you are trying to make with those two sentences.
    My point is the over emphasis of dividend payments without consideration of appreciation in share price across pretty much all listed NZX companies. I'm not talking exceptions here but a company like The Warehouse should not have a dividend policy during their expansion stage (once they've built enough red sheds all over NZ, then ok i can see the argument). It's prevalent talk in NZ where when people discuss investments in equities (in any share holding), they put dividend payment as the priority. It's riddled in NZ talk so much that NZ brokerage firms use the same emphasis to their clients.

    Making a profit will generate a tax consequence for a company, whether or not that profit is paid out as a dividend. So what you are suggesting is that a company that is making a profit should buy a company that is making a loss to extinguish that profit and the consequent tax liability?
    ???? Let me clarify to the elementary learner. If a company looks to do expansion, they require capital ($$) to deploy. What are the ways a company can raise $ ? Actually I can't believe i'm questioning this as every finance major (and thus every Financial Adviser) should know the main ways for raising capital. i) Borrowing direct from the bank or from external entities ii) Issuing Junk Bonds iii) Issuing more shares ; common or preferred, and iv) Retained Earnings or Shareholder's Equity. Which one poses the least impact on the state of the company's finances? Ding Ding! it would be the latter, using after tax profits it's retained in equity. But The Warehouse group didn't do that. No no, for decades they dished out a stupid 5 or 6% dividend policy while doing the worse, issuing more common shares. No where did I imply profits to be maintained in a company to buy out a losing company - where did that idea come from?

    I get you idea of taking a capital profit in small annual chunks rather than receiving that same money via a regular annual dividend. But the imputation credit system we have in NZ means that such a choice is 'tax neutral' for NZ shareholders. In NZ, there is no tax advantage in behaving as you suggest. In the US, with US investors investing in US companies, I accept your strategy may have merit.
    'Dividend Tax Credit' is standard treatment everywhere ; because it's not fair to apply corporate tax rates on the profits of a company, then issues dividends where the shareholders again get taxed at the full marginal tax bracket. I know this... What it seems is, somehow, they've forgot that a capital gain is tax free. Warren Buffet has been very critical about this and will never ever pay a dividend from Berkshire.

    I don't class myself as a cheerleader for NZ's financial advisors. But I don't think your criticism here is fair or accurate. You must have asked a very convoluted question to elicit the phone responses you have received. I am sure that if you had gone in to see these advisors in person, then you would have found a much more informed response forthcoming. Having said this, while I would expect NZ Financial Advisors to have a good grasp of NZ tax laws and their consequences, I wouldn't expect them to be able to advise on specific overseas tax issues.
    No they don't. The questions I asked regarded around FIF / FDR rules and more specifically, if a wealthy person living in NZ was to inherit $10M from a family member living in N. America, for which the $ is wholly invested in US equities, what would the NZ resident best do with that $ ? It's not even questions like this. Most simply tell me straight out that from a tax point of view, you're better to invest in NZ real estate; after all, the key reason why the NZ gov't has been trying to attack rising house prices with CGT is to address the gross differences between investing in managed style funds or in real estate. BWT, none of the financial advisers informed about using IRD's website but instead, say they know a great 'tax consultant' I can be referred to.

    Investing in small high growth start ups is a high risk return game all over the world. Often an 'angel investor' selling down to let in a lot more smaller investors in is the only way small investors can participate in these business ventures. These ventures still remain high risk return though. You can't blame the ownership structure and 'big boys in the know selling out' for every NZ start up company failure.

    No it isn't. Contrary to popular belief, you can lose capital by investing in property.
    NZ shouldn't even be in this game of speculating small start ups in NZ. Take a look at the investment make up in Scandinavian countries; they're smart enough to figure out that they have no barriers for their citizens to speculate. Notably, investors there (and gov't pensions there) invest directly in US equities - even in small risky startups in the US. Instead in NZ, we have a TAXED coerced decision by Michael Cullen (who brought in FIF) to address this discrepancy by making NZ residents to favor NZ assets.

    Let me put it this way. If we were go shopping in a massive supermarket complex and all the shelves are full of choices you can choose to invest in. What % does NZ sit in all those shelves? Maybe 1% at best? So why should people in NZ be limited to choosing their retirement in that 1% of the global market share of assets to choose to invest in?

    @Aaron: As long as it is longer term any residential property that is not your own home sold within 5 years of buying it for a profit will be taxable. Bright Line Test.


    The Bright Line Test was a joke to begin with when they changed it to 2 years. No one is going to think 5 years is would make any difference. It won't. IRD already has rules in place where if you flip a house, the gains are taxed at income rates. Do it many times over 1 year after another.. expect to be taxed on the capital gain. Planning for retirement doesn't come in 2 or 5 years... the time frame should be over decades, for which this 5 year holding period on a house is of moot interest.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBQ View Post
    The Bright Line Test was a joke to begin with when they changed it to 2 years. No one is going to think 5 years is would make any difference. It won't. IRD already has rules in place where if you flip a house, the gains are taxed at income rates. Do it many times over 1 year after another.. expect to be taxed on the capital gain. Planning for retirement doesn't come in 2 or 5 years... the time frame should be over decades, for which this 5 year holding period on a house is of moot interest. [/FONT][/COLOR]
    It was never changed to 2 years it came in at 2 years and has changed to 5 years. The reason it came into being was probably vote grabbing as people became jealous of house flippers making heaps of untaxed dollars because existing rules were pretty weak.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBQ View Post
    'Dividend Tax Credit' is standard treatment everywhere; because it's not fair to apply corporate tax rates on the profits of a company, then issues dividends where the shareholders again get taxed at the full marginal tax bracket. I know this... What it seems is, somehow, they've forgot that a capital gain is tax free. Warren Buffet has been very critical about this and will never ever pay a dividend from Berkshire.
    There is a substantial difference in the treatment of dividends paid to NZ citizens from NZ companies, and US citizens receiving dividends from US companies.

    I believe that US companies pay tax on their profits. Then shareholders pay tax again on any dividends received from those tax paid profits. Contrast this to the NZ case where NZ companies pay tax and build up 'imputation credits' with the IRD. Dividends can then be paid out to the company's shareholders with no further tax liability, as long as the company's imputation credit balance is positive.

    Your assertion that NZ shareholders of NZ companies are paying tax twice on the same profits when they receive dividends is not correct.

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 20-05-2019 at 07:39 PM.
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

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