• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

70 Very good

About scook17

  • Birthday May 01

Profile Information

  • Location Munich
  • Nationality British
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth
  1. Video Game groups?

    Well, that was 2 years ago. Did you find any groups?
  2. Employer forcing me to travel and do illegal act

      It's likely too late now as this thread is too old, but send such letters by registered post. It costs around 2.5 Euros extra, but you get an electronic receipt from the post office which shows the letter was delivered to the post box. If you pay more, 5 Euros I believe, the delivery person will even obtain a signature.
  3. Neighbour is threatening with video recording us

    Possibly due to his inconsiderate behaviour perhaps?
  4. Now faster way (back) into public health insurance Who are voluntarily member of a public health insurance if we talk about self employed? Seems there is some significant changes planned here.
  5. Now faster way (back) into public health insurance

      Really? Who offers this? Just curious. It's actually quite nice to see pro-active health care, rather than simply reactive. Worked with one company in Berlin who organized various onsite fitness like classes this for their employees.   I see many 'wellness', 'spa' and so on resorts, especially around the lakes and other places. Do health insurance companies pay for such things? Public or Private? You presumably need to be recovering from something etc?
  6. 3G in Restaurants?
  7. Really, why? I see under the options O2, Telekom, 1&1 and many more. However, I did opt to purchase the box rather than get a free one, when I signed up for a DSL speed bump.   With frizbox, all the user does it enter some long series of digits (modem installation code) which somehow is decoded into a user id and password (I presume). I am guessing you'd need to phone them and get the login details to use a non Fritzbox solution.   Personally I am with vodafone and have been for a long time. Never did like Fritzbox's until they finally allowed you to select the language on the dam thing. Setting one up in German when I first came here and understood zero German was a nightmare.   I had the 6490 and it was a perfectly ok device, but did not support the latest DSL standard (supervectoring), so had to upgrade to the 7530 I have now. Sold my old one on Ebay. Picked it over the 7590 as it did everything I needed and was a much lower power device. I see a second hand 6490 is 120 Euros on Amazon, where as a new 7530 is 175 Euros. So at 5 Euros a month, that's a month shy of 3 years. As I switched in 01.2020, if I had bought my own kit, would still be another year to go. But I was curious so looked at the original bill and saw I paid 95 Euros for the box as part of upgrading the DSL speed, so looks like I broke even already.   Maybe someone offers a deal on hardware when you swap providers. Even if you pay some small additional fee each month, unless you pick up a box for next to nothing, it may work out better. I see my 7530 box costs 90+ Euros on ebay used.  
  8. Now the FDP is in charge of the finance ministry, I think it's likely we will see their policies get implemented. Here is one policy document I came across about reforming self-employment.  
  9. Bacon Bacon Bacon!

    Ah, 18 pages, yet still no Tesco's where I can buy British (Danish) bacon.
  10. Interesting spam e-mails received

      Oh, that post was funny. For anyone who doesn't use the built in camera on a laptops/tablets, use a 1c sticker over the camera. Even 0c if you peel it off a banana or orange and reuse it.
  11. Savings & Investments Germany

    Funds have a certain make up, either based on the fund manager, or based on some percentage reflecting the overall index. You can see the makeup of a given fund at a given time. Just buy the same percentage of each stock. Funds usually have an annual management charge. Some of the better providers refund the commission paid on buy/sell/keep funds. It can be a lot and is often hidden in 'wonderful' financial language most people gloss over. Yes, when you start out, 1% of 1000 Euros is just a euro, but 100K euros is 1K euro in fees which is for what, buying some percentage of a stock index?   Diversification is a mechanism to mitigate risk and mitigate returns. In the end if diversification is a good or bad choice, depends on what you wish to do. For most people who pay someone else to 'take care of things', it's a good choice.   I personally like to understand things. If I decide it's not worth my effort, then I am happy to give that task to someone else, but only once I understand entirely what the task involves. This allows you to judge if the price being asked for is reasonable given what you know of the task at hand. If you know nothing, you are an uninformed buyer. If the 'salesman' tells you 'ah this xxx is the best thing ever to happen to the field of [vacuum cleaners]' then can you, realistically, independently, judge that claim?    Dyson, btw, are worth every penny/cent they charge. But others copy and their lead will wither away with time. I once did a course to learn how to do block paving, and then how to build a wall. Realistically I have no reason to do this. Was fun. Learned a lot. But most of all I learned I didn't get back more than I put in, and I appreciated the skill of the people who did this well.   So one day I may well buy an index fund/managed fund and have owned them in the past along with individual shares. Personally I like to be more involved, but that's me.
  12. Savings & Investments Germany

      Well, as I understand it there are a few reason to own shares vs funds, but anyone feel free to correct me.   Firstly funds in Germany now have a perceived taxation due each year on the fictional increase in value of the fund. Shares only suffer from this at sale. Thus before the end of each year, you can realize 800 Euros of gains and still be within the tax limit. Secondly funds actually charge a maintenance fee. With index funds this is usually quite low, but none the less adds up. Owning shares attracts no such fee. Next if you want an index fund, you are stuck with the makeup of the fund, and you could largely replicate the fund by buying the largest shareholdings of that fund. Sure index funds like the FTSE100 require 100 shares, so are not easy to replicate due to the number of holdings. When you select such a fund, it's boring, and you rely on the average to win out. For the most part it works quite well, but you learn nothing.   Yes, I have a few German shares in mind. I like to study companies before I select them. So I am happy to trust me, rather than pay someone else forever and gain zero knowledge/experience.
  13.   Panda, Yes, you are of course correct. The finantip article is also very interesting to read.   I remember looking into this a while back and coming to the conclusion first degrees are 'effectively' non deductible, but I had in mind a child studying for the first time at university. Sorry I mixed this up. Thanks for the correction.   As the finanztip article says, the expenses can be claimed, but there is often no income on which tax would be due to offset this against. Neither can it be offset against future or past tax paid. Seems very unfair to students IMHO. Whilst most study in German for almost zero, costs in the UK and especially the USA are massive. You are (hopefully!) investing in a much better future income, and will likely have to repay debt for years to come.   But if you are a freelancer and doing a part time degree with the Open University, then you have income to claim it against. I was able to claim my Masters course at the OU, but that was actually relevant to my career.
  14. WRONG: In Germany, unfortunately first degree is not a deductible.    
  15. Savings & Investments Germany

    My Scalable Capital account finally got setup today. So I looked at one company I was interested in, and it trades in the UK and USA, but not Germany. Therefore I was wondering which exchange would be the best choice? As the shares are listed in GBP and USD, you obviously have a currency risk, with either able to move against the Euro.   But I was wondering about the tax implications of UK vs USA. UK has 20% withholding tax, and USA 30%. Tax rate in Germany is 25%. Am I correct in thinking with the UK, it collects 20% and the German tax office the additional 5%? With the USA I'd have to somehow reclaim some percentage or register somehow to pay less than 30% withholding tax?   Update from SC: Is it possible to be exempted from withholding tax in advance or to have it reduced?  For US withholding tax, the custodian bank can grant a lower tax rate as a Qualified Intermediary. A reduction of the withholding tax from 30% to 15% is possible if you are liable to pay tax in Germany. According to the double taxation treaty USA - Germany, the automatic reduction of the US withholding tax takes place for non-US persons with German citizenship, German residence and tax liability in Germany. For foreigners living in Germany the legitimation has to be done by Form W-8BEN. To do so, send us the completed form via e-mail to Please make sure to provide complete information when submitting the form. If you are not taxable in Germany, the US withholding tax is regulated in the country-specific double taxation treaty between the USA and your tax country. For all other countries, an advance exemption from the respective withholding tax is not possible.   So answer seems to be, buying US stocks is easy, but still not sure what happens with UK ones.