How To Fill Up W-8BEN Form For US Manulife REIT

Previously, I was hesitant to add US Manulife REIT into my stock portfolio given its average dividend yield. Taking opportunity of the stock market crash in March, I have added US Manulife REIT to my stock portfolio as the stock price has fallen to attractive levels.

US Manulife REIT is a pure-play United States (“U.S.”) office REIT. Since the REIT derives its income in the U.S., the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) requires certain documentation from the ultimate beneficial owner to ensure the appropriate level of withholding tax is deducted. The beneficial owner in this case refers to us, the unit holders of Manulife US REIT. Unit holders of Manulife REIT are subject to a maximum withholding tax rate of 30% on income they derive from U.S. investments. To be exempted from the certain withholding tax, we must submit certain documentation which is the W-8BEN Form.

For those who are not familiar with the W-8BEN form, it seem daunting to fill up the form. I must applaud US Manulife REIT for coming up with a comprehensive guide and sample on how to fill up the W-8BEN form and I am sharing the sample with you below.

Investment Lessons Learnt From This COVID-19 Crisis

As the COVID-19 outbreak gets more serious, this had caused a significant impact to the worldwide economy. Last week, we just saw the stock prices of REITs falling as much as 50 to 60 percent. My stock portfolio was not spared either. I have sold off The Hour Glass and Kingsmen Creatives earlier this month. I have bought Singtel and OCBC Bank at prices that I deemed attractive. The stock price of Singtel and OCBC Bank continue to fall and I believe no one knows how far the knife will drop.

Below are the lessons that I have learnt from this COVID-19 crisis.

  1. Have a war chest ready for such crisis.
  2. Deploy your cash in Tranches instead of throwing all your monies into the stock market all at once when the stock market crashes. Pace your purchases as well over a few weeks. We have seen the Straits Times Index crash multiple times within 2 weeks. It is very hard to predict or catch the bottom.
  3. Allocate your cash into a few stocks instead of a single stock. Certain companies recover faster than others. By allocating your cash into multiple stocks, this spreads out the risk should 1 out of the stocks you chosen fails to recover from the impact of such crisis. Example, if I have 10K, I will buy into 2 stocks, 5K each.
  4. Train your mind psychologically to follow your investment plan. Most of the time when market is good, we keep buying. When market crashes, we stopped investing out of fear. I believe that a good company will recover faster than the rest when the current crisis is over.
  5. Lastly, do not invest everything. Allocate cash for daily living in case the crisis turns out to be longer than expected.

5 years ago, I read this book titled “The Warren Buffett Stock Portfolio“. There is this quote inside the book that was from the letter that Berkshire Hathaway send to shareholders in 1990 which I felt is meaningful during this crisis.

Even though we had bought some shares at the prices prevailing before the fall, we welcomed the decline because it allowed us to pick up many more shares at the new panic prices.

Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters, 1990

Keep calm and continue investing!

Screening For Dividend Stocks In March 2020

The stock market crashed this week on further news of the spread of the COVID-19 virus and also the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Due to the continued bad news, the Straits Times Index (STI) fell as much as 6.03% on Monday, 9th March 2020. As you can see from the chart below, the Straits Times Index (STI) crashed further on Friday, 13th Mar 2020 before rebounding slightly at the end of the day.

During such crisis, there is an opportunity to start picking up quality stocks that can climb back and continue its growth when the stock market normalize in 1 or 2 years time (I guess).

If you had followed my blog, you know that I always have my stock screener ready to identify stocks that gives me a good dividend yield. When stock price goes down, the current dividend yield goes up.

The stock screener offered by Stocks Café allows me to save the conditions that I can pre-set. You can check out my review here on the Stocks Café Dividend Stocks Screener (Read more: Screening For Dividend Stocks Using Stocks Cafe Stock Screener).

Below are the top dividend yielding stocks as of 14th March 2020.

Name Current Yield % P/E P/B Market Cap
Cromwell REIT SGD 9.494 9.32 0.848 1.7B
Mapletree NAC Trust 8.651 5.11 0.703 3.2B
OUE Commercial REIT 8.487 13.73 0.633 2.1B
Ascendas-iTrust 8.361 5.47 1.121 1.4B
CapitaRetail China Trust 8.25 7.75 0.774 1.5B
CDL Hospitality Trust 8.054 12.04 0.735 1.4B
Starhill Global REIT 7.757 19.36 0.651 1.3B
Far East Hospitality Trust 7.189 16.77 0.613 1B
Frasers Commercial Trust 6.809 8.58 0.861 1.3B
Yanlord Land 6.733 2.97 0.358 2B
Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust 6.667 10.27 1.106 2.4B
Ascendas REIT 6.524 19.1 1.392 10.9B
UOB 6.455 7.73 0.848 33.4B
SPH 6.383 15.02 0.88 3B
DBS 6.357 7.74 1.009 49.2B
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding SGD 6.289 5.1 0.519 3.1B
Suntec REIT 6.255 10.85 0.712 4.3B
Hong Leong Finance 6.25 10.4 0.561 1.1B
SPH REIT 6.164 14.57 0.97 2.5B
TCIL HK$ 6.117 10.78 0.34 3.8B
OCBC Bank 5.843 8.02 0.874 39.9B
ComfortDelgro 5.725 13.97 1.427 3.7B
SIA Engineering 5.556 11.61 1.435 2.2B
CapitaMall Trust 5.491 11.53 1.035 8B
Jardine Cycle & Carriage 5.409 7.45 0.971 9B
Bukit Sembawang 5.379 13.45 0.791 1.1B
Olam International 5.298 9.45 0.893 4.8B
SATS 5.278 17.89 2.487 4B
Genting Singapore 5.147 11.91 1.018 8.2B

Last, I just want to mention again that the above list is for reference only and we should do our homework before buying into the stock simply for the dividend yield.