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Finance: A formula for prosperity

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PHUKET: There is a fantastic equation that can be used in almost any decision you make in life.

I learned this from the supplement company that I work with but it also applies to financial planning, life planning, and many other areas in life. The equation is simply X=Y.

In the equation we can substitute any action for X so that Y is the result of that action.

An easy example: if you wish to lose weight and get more fit, then Y is ‘losing weight’, because that’s the desired result. X is the action you have to take to achieve the weight loss, such as eating healthier and exercising more.

If you are not getting enough Y – the pounds aren’t coming off – then you simply haven’t done enough X, so you need to exercise more and control your diet better.

If we substitute ‘investment’ for X and ‘return’ for Y, we can then use this framework to decide the best option between competing alternatives when considering what to do with our money.

For example, consider investments A and B (X) both return $100,000 (Y). Investment A requires $1,000,000 and investment B only $500,000. As Y is the same, we choose from the options of X.
I know this is a simple example but it demonstrates the point that when Y is the same we choose the easier X.

However, if both investments required $500,000 but A returned twice as much as B, we would obviously choose A. So if X is the same we will choose the better Y.

Another example of this could be where X and Y are equal but one X is less risky. In that event we choose from whichever X has less risk.

Of course, when investing, we don’t always have all the information that we need, but thinking along this framework can aid the decision making process.

This is even more the case if we have a very clear Y. Knowing exactly what you are trying to achieve makes it much easier to choose the best path to get there.

If you get to the train station without knowing where you want to go, you won’t know which train is right. Choosing the fastest train may simply put you even further in the wrong direction.

When planning our life, or our retirement, it is very important to make our goals as clear as possible, and then explore as many different paths as possible to get us there.

If our Y is very clear, then we can examine and choose the best X to get us there. If we are not getting enough of the result we want, it is often a case of us simply needing to increase the X.

In finance terms, that may mean we need to save more money out of our monthly pay packet. Using this framework may also help us decide if that money is best put towards real estate or some kind of financial investment.

In any event, it is a nice framework to substitute into any area of life, even our marriage. If a happy marriage is our desired result, we can look at how we spend our Friday night as a choice between various cases of X and how they will affect the Y we have chosen.

Often our actions don’t always match up with what we really want in life, simply because we don’t take the time to think things through all the way.

David Mayes, MBA, resides in Phuket and provides wealth management and life coaching services to expatriates around the globe, specializing in UK pension transfers. He is a regional representative of the Faramond Group, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Faramond UK is regulated by the FCA to provide advice on pensions and taxation. He can be reached at 085-335 8573 or david.m@faramond.com

— David Mayes

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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