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Generating a passive income stream

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Generating a passive income stream | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The whole point of retirement planning is to get to a point where you no longer need to actively work to provide you with the things you need or want. This can be accomplished by saving enough money that you can draw it down slowly until you die, but the downside of this approach is that you obviously never know in advance exactly how long you will live. Mess up on that forecast and you may end up 90-years-old and broke, which is not the best time in life to have to try and re-enter the workforce. Generating a passive income stream which could take care of you in perpetuity is a much better approach, although one that has seemed very elusive for many retirees in today’s low interest rate environment.

How exactly then, can you go about building a steady passive income in the current environment? There are actually quite a few ways to do it, but since each one carries with it a unique set of risks, the best approach is to try and create several separate streams. This way, if something unexpectedly goes wrong with one, your entire income hasn’t been wiped out because of it.

The first and most obvious form of passive income, which is most likely as old as the so-called world’s oldest profession, is to buy or develop rental properties. These can be commercial or residential, and the great thing about real estate is that it is generally inflation proof. I won’t spend too much time on real estate here since you have experts on the subject, such as Bill Barnett, writing columns dedicated to it every week. There are risks involved with real estate, however, and as it is also one of the least liquid asset classes out there, you need to diversify across more liquid asset classes in case unforeseen events cause you to need cash in a hurry.

Dividend paying blue chip stocks are another way to generate a passive income, and while their yields aren’t great at the moment, careful selection can allow you to create a portfolio of solid companies which give a much better yield than bank deposits or money market funds. Of course, there is market risk, and I believe that within the next few years you will be able to buy most of the universe of stocks at much lower prices than today and with correspondingly much higher yields. However, if you don’t have the luxury of waiting, you just need to be much more careful to avoid relatively overpriced companies based on their price to earnings ratio.

Bonds are another way to generate passive income, and while they do not offer great yields either at the moment, if you can make sure you hold a specific issue to maturity, then you eliminate the interest rate risk involved. Of course, this exposes you to inflation risk, but a diversified stream of incomes would address this, as stocks and real estate tend to do well in inflationary environments. It’s only in hindsight that it is ever evident which of these asset classes was the better pick, but diversifying across all three will help protect your income stream in the event you live into your hundreds.

David Mayes MBA lives in Phuket and provides wealth management services to expatriates around the globe, focusing on UK pension transfers. Faramond UK is regulated by the FCA and provides advice on taxation and pensions. He can be reached at david.m@faramond.com or 085-335 8573.

— 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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