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21: Summer Money

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Tired of being cooped up? Finally ready to travel this summer? Before you hop on a plane, let’s organize your money. If you’re exploring internationally, the Euro is currently at the same rate as the dollar for the first time in 20 years, so plan accordingly. Or are you more comfortable spending your vacation staying at home and earning from your couch? No problem. Learn ways to take advantage of global Investing. Galia turns us on to International Mutual Funds for your retirement plan and helps determine how much you should allocate. She also shares tips to save money overseas including how best to choose a credit card and get the best exchange rates. Susan discusses her upcoming trip to France with her son, how he’s a “comedy brat” and croons a duet of The Fiscal Firecrackers' latest hit "Summer Money" with a surprise guest star.

International Investing

  1. International Investing. Ensure you have an International stock mutual fund - specifically in your 401k or IRA. This should be anywhere from 10-30% of your total asset allocation. Less if you are conservative and more if aggressive.

  2. Which one to pick? The most common and first one you should have is Large Cap Blend International. If you pick Global, it’ll include US stocks. You can pick Global-ex US for just international. Other kinds are: Small Cap. Emerging Markets (mutual fund made up of stocks from developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil). Many great funds with international stocks in them. Favorite is Vanguard STAR Inv VGSTX about 20% and Vanguard International Growth Inv VWIGX 85%.

Tips When Traveling Abroad

  1. Call your bank to make sure foreign ATMs accept their debit card. Given the current conversion rate- cash might be an easier and better rate for this trip.

  2. Make sure you pay for goods and services in the local currency whenever possible.

  3. Know the exchange rate before you travel so if they offer one lower- you can negotiate and let them know.

  4. Use a credit card without a foreign transaction fee whenever possible. Chase Sapphire. Capital One Venture.

  5. If you are planning on booking hotels or tours in advance (and have the option to be charged now or later) may wish to pay now to make sure they’re taking advantage of the low exchange rate.

  6. Spend time in vibrant “second cities: Birmingham, England, Valencia, Spain, Bordeaux, France, Dresden, Germany, Sagres, Portugal, Turin, Italy.

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