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hearnia_2k t1_j6mb08e wrote

>I think we are just talking past each other. I feel like I’m reading your points, they all agree with everything both of us are saying, and yet somehow they are presented as responses to my comment as if we are not in agreement.

Peraps, to some degree, yes. However, you seem to be very focussed on US examples, which are not relavant. When the point about the 3-5% savings accounts was made the commenter we did not know (at least I didn't, and I guess they didn't) that OP was in the US. So, for all intents and purposes, the US is no more relevant than any other country as the benchmark.

>ETA: 259 comes from 5.89% (589 bps) - 3.3% (330 bps) = 2.59% (259 bps). Likewise, 89 bps came from just the difference between 5.89% and the top end estimate of 5.00%.

Where does 3.3% come from?

>No assumptions have been made about whether the higher yield vehicle is a savings account, only that it is not a US savings account at a bank (I.e. FDIC insured).


>Savings account that we normally think of with banks are pretty low risk (and in the US, which is not what commenter in invested in, don’t yield 5.89%). It is specifically the safety of savings accounts that lead them not to yield 5.89% (in the us, for usd investments) currently. If you could get a true equivalent investment across currencies with all the safety of a US savings account that DID yield 5.89%, that would attract a lot of investment, which likely would drive down the rate due to the high demand. Alternatively, it might not attract investment because it isn’t equivalent (currency conversion costs, access issues, risk differences, etc).

I think I pointed out already that other countries also have similar insurance schemes (I don't know much about FDIC, but in the UK the FCA insures up to something like £85k per individual, which should be more than a years rent. I would bet this is common in most developed nations.) In the UK I am pretty sure you could get roughly 5.89% in a savings account if you took advantage of introducory offers and things.

However, if the interest rate is only marginally better than the US then it would not make sense for a US investor to trade currencies to invest in foreign savings accounts, and have the hassle of management etc, plus the cost of the currency exchange - doing this twice could easily take away a significant portion of any gains. The effort and currency conversions are big enough that if the risk is equal it would not be worth the effort, and for a lot of people that would even be true if they were to make a small amount of extra money, and guaranteed to do so... it's simpy a lot of effort.

>While percentages are independent of currency, one reason a vehicle could provide more return is because of the currency. USD is a highly fungible and useful currency with a strong history of stability and operates as the global reserve currency. Russian rubles are extremely difficult to spend, so an investment opportunity in Russian rubles would need to provide a much higher rate of return than an equivalent opportunity in USD. Getting 100% returns restricted to rubles is, for most people, probably not as attractive as getting 3.3% in a US savings account. As a result, we wouldn’t just say that the 100% yield is better - currency matters. To relate it to your example, if the value of bottle caps was highly volatile relative to USD, such that 100 bottle caps is 100 USD last week, 50 USD this week, and maybe 150 USD next week, you would need additional return on your bottle cap investment that would cover the cost of hedging against USD / bottle cap fluctuations to have the return be comparable to a USD denominated vehicle. A more real world example might be if you had a crypto denominated savings account.

Yep, some good points. USD is widely used, of course, including for most foreign transactions, as I'm sure you know. There are of course other currencies in reasonably stable positions, for example GBP, EUR, CHF.

Of course, some currencies are more volatile, and that is important, but this is part of why people would typically not open foreign savings accounts, which is why the initial suggestion seemed odd. It would make sense if your home currency was volatile, or facing issues like high inflation, but most developed nations are not in that position - of course, there are plenty of places where it does make sense. Though, arguably in those places are people are less likely to have th emeans to take advantage of foreign investment opportunities.

Also, unless exchange rate volatility is particularly high then keeping to your own currency hasn't got a great risk - For example GBP to USD has changed quite a lot over he last 5-10 years, but on a day-to-day it's not had a vast impact.

I like the comparison of crypto to bottle caps I mentioned.

>Finally, the comment that started this specifically referenced getting 3-5% returns in a savings account for someone living in NYC (and paying rent in USD). Hence all the context about USD and US savings accounts.

Already mentioned, we did not know at the time, at least I did not, and maybe the person who made he 3-5% comment also did not.

> Skepticism is being expressed that a cash equivalent investment that can be converted to USD to pay rent with the safety of a US savings account would really return 5.89%

I fully agree that there is a risk to that conversion. The skepticism is that investment in a foreign savings account could be repatriated to your home country effectively to take advantage of likely minimal or equal interest rate benefits. However, I see no reason to link this to USD and I think doing so is making things muddy.

The 3-5% comment was made by someone not in the US, not using US savings accounts, and as far as I know unaware OP was in the US, and 'not in a developing country'.

I think that for someone to invest in a savings account in another country there would need to be quite a significant benefit, and 1-2% would not be enough at all, assuming they have a stable home currency, especially when only talking about the value of a years rent.

The benefit of a foreign savings account is greater to people with an unstable, or highly inflating currency - this is not the case for the person making the 3-5% comment. If someone did want a foreign savings account I'm not sure they'd want to pick a US savings account, due to complex US tax laws, particularly if there was any risk of the person gaining tax nexus in the US by having such an account (not sure if they would, but gaining US tax nexus sucks).