What goes where
Where should you put your savings and investments? Let's look at some options.
This is our sixth portfolio post. You can see the previous ones here: geography, risk, asset allocation, taxes, and time.
Hopefully everyone is down with the basics of personal finance: spend less than you earn, save and invest the difference, do this for as long as possible.
I will also assume that everyone is okay with using banks and other financial tools of modernity. If you are happy to keep your money in your wallet or under the bed you can probably skip this post :)
You need a current account to receive your salary, etc. and pay bills. I've been using Shinsei Bank for a long time and am very happy with them. You get a couple of free furikomi a month (which I use to send money to my THEO account), current accounts in other currencies, no ATM fees, and they refund ATM fees incurred abroad.
You should also have a separate account for your emergency fund. This should be liquid and have minimal volatility, so probably in cash. I use Shinsei's savings account (it's called Power Yokin). I presume most banks will have something like this. Hopefully you have at least a couple of months' worth of cash in here.
Anyone planning to stay in Japan should consider maxing out their iDeCo account. The tax savings alone make this the best long-term investing option (except for US citizens, sorry*). There are links to comparison sites of providers and fees on the iDeCo page.
Next, or alternatively, invest in NISA accounts. The best place for this will depend on what you are looking for in terms of service, fees, and investment options, but the big online brokers tend to provide the most value. You can open a NISA account for each family member, and buy stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds*. Best of all, you can sell the investments at any time and get access to the money, so these are good for people planning to leave Japan as well.
A robo-advisor account (I strongly recommend THEO out of all of the ones I have tried) is a really easy way to invest small amounts regularly. As you only pay an annual fee and not commissions on each payment, it can be better to invest small amounts here rather than through a broker. They also take care of everything for you, so it's a good option for people who don't want to learn about investing.
Any other accounts? It may be a good idea to have a couple of the above, with different companies, in order to reduce the (fairly small) bankruptcy or hacking risk. You might choose to open accounts in different countries to reduce political risk or because you don't know where you are going to end up living.
(*US citizens should avoid foreign-domiciled mutual funds as they are treated extremely unfavorably by the IRS)
What do you do with your savings and investments? Any good tips? Let us know in the comments :)