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thanks, this was very interesting.  I'll take some time later and go back and work with the articles in French--dificile pour moi, mais une bonne methode a apprendre (forgive my French).

it does look like for truely long term investing, l'assurance vie would be good, particularly if the investment was in well diversified funds, such as index funds.  Investing in individual companies would be problematic, because their fortunes may turn downward and you have to sell early.  but investors that have invested over truely long periods of time in the S&P 500, for example, have done pretty well,,,,so 10,000 EU may double every 7 years, and at the end of 21 years be worth 80,000--taxed at only 7.5% would leave one with 74,750.  or better yet, invest 10,000 this way at 30 years old, and cash in at 65--theoretically it doubles 5 times to 320,000, minus the 7.5%. that is "theoretically" of course.

I didn't realize the top french ordinary income tax rate was 40%, if I understand you right.  the US is 35%, but not much difference.  I think the french rate takes effect at a lower income, however.

thanks again, i enjoyed the comments and links.

by wchurchill on Sun Dec 24th, 2006 at 11:26:40 AM EST
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One problem with the french tax code is that it's full of holes, there are more than 600 tax holes. There are some top income people who pay zero income tax.

The legislator passed a law to cap the amount of exemption at some number, but constitutional court rejected the article as "too complex" (it was the same as a cap of taxes on income at 60% which was not censored by the same court - a real scandal).

So take the frenhc marginal tax rate with a grain of salt.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Dec 24th, 2006 at 12:34:46 PM EST
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