Paypal is getting expensive: But what are the alternatives?

The real beef with Paypal is that fees keep going up. The typical fees are now approaching !0% by my reckoning, and my in some cases exceed 10%. Please can someone else verify this.

If you have a sale @ $100, then you have to pay 4.4%+30cents. So that is 4.7%. Now if you convert that to NTD, you will pay 2.5% exchange rate. So that’s another $2.50 gone or you pay a $5.00 fee for withdrawal to US account.

USD>NTD: $4.70*+$2.50+$1.15* for that $100 purchase or 8.35%.
USD>USD:  $4.70*+$5.00* for that $100 or 9.7%.

If you charge the price in a non-US currency, then there will be an addition 2.5% extra (usually covered by the purchaser).

Obviously you can minimize or eliminate some of the costs so the final rate may be different… but you can see why Paypal is a cashcow. Just not sure why we need to be the ‘feed’!

Is my math correct? Are there cheaper alternatives to Paypal? I’ll be checking several alternatives, just in case.

The British Pound vs. The Dollar

What is going on now? Last year the pound traded at over NT$66, now it is at NT$47 and likely to go to $45 soon. I was in Taipei 101 for lunch, and went upstairs to see the Taipei Stock Exchange which has recently agreed with London’s Stock Exchange on the sale of ETFs. This should be a good deal for Taiwanese investors making it easier and cheaper to find good quality, diverse ETFs.

It was while I was there that I noticed how much the British Pound had fallen that day against the US Dollar. It’s currently trading at about $1.3833 today and about NT$46.4864. This down by about 1/3rd against the US, and slightly less against the NTD! While my stocks are suffering, too, it gladly boosts my relative purchasing power!

british pound

But the vagaries of recent markets really make the mind boggle! Still when things are like this, there are opportunities for tremendous riches!

First Net Worth Statement – September 1995

Yes, after all the turmoil in the markets, I reached a decision. I have decided to blog about my finances in more detail. While the exact extent is uncertain at the moment, I have decided that I need to track the performance of my investments more regularly.

A step back in time!

In truth, I’ve been keeping (initially monthly but now quarterly) updates for more than 10 years anyway. I can trace the finances all the way back to about 1995 when I had just got married. In those days, the record keeping was pretty unsophisticated, but I did use Microsoft Works 3.0 to tote up my assets.

September 1995

I think it was around the time of the 1996 Taiwan Straits missile crisis that focused my mind on how much money we didn’t have. While things were pretty tense here, it made me realize how important having some cash in the bank was. Shortly after that, I set aside nearly HK$10,000 in a bank account that earned a pitiful amount of interest for quite some time, but at least the money was there, for an emergency.

High or Low? Which figure?

Let’s take a look shall we! We had $66,000 or thereabouts actually in the bank, I also held about NT$7000 in HK$, an outstanding (but never repaid) loan of NT$25000 which I subsequently wrote off, and NT$75,000 from a hui (read more about a Taiwanese ‘hui’). Overall, I would say that this was a pretty optimistic statement because it counted approximately NT$100K of assets that weren’t in my control! This was about US$6300 (at US$:NT$ 27.43167 – an average for that month) or about US$2670 at the more conservative ‘unkind’ evaluation!

Any guesses on what the current figures are? When did you start doing your Net Worth Statements?

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