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Phuket Business: Bad investments – a fiscal toy story

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Business: Bad investments – a fiscal toy story | The Thaiger

PHUKET: I often write about things which I think may or may not be worth considering as an investment. Today I would like to try and get my readers to understand some things which generally are considered as bad investments.

Professionals in my industry usually will vary greatly on their opinions of what is a good investment at any one point in time, but one area in where there is a lot of agreement is in things which generally should not be considered as an investment.

I am not saying you should not buy any of these following things, but just understand the difference between a toy and investment and what percentage your wealth is appropriate for each. One mistake I commonly see is people putting way too much of their net worth into a toy and justifying it to themselves as an “investment”.

This is especially true for cars, and even more so in a country such as Thailand, where they are taxed to the moon and a rip off in my opinion. I am not saying you should not have a safe and reliable vehicle to get you, say from Chalong to Phuket Town, but simply that your budget should not be stretched because back in America you drove a BMW and feel like you would be taking a step backwards in life by driving anything less.

Unless your income has tripled in line with the increase in stock prices in this country compared with back home, keep your car budget in line with your finances and not your preferred brand.

Don’t kid yourself that you are making an investment by buying a high end vehicle, even though they depreciate slower here than back home, an investment is something which should appreciate.

A Honda Jazz will get you around just fine, anything above this is a luxury which is cutting into your investment budget unless your wealth is such that the difference in sticker price for upgrading to a Benz doesn’t make you blink.

Generally speaking I think most people overspend on cars and trade in for new vehicles far too often to try and keep up with the infamous Jones family.

Boats are second on my list of wastes of money. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, and in fact plan to move my whole family onto a sailboat at some point in the future as long as I can figure out how to get over my wife’s fear of suntans.

Unless you are a serious water lover and plan to spend day after day on your boat, it is much cheaper to rent them. If you have money to burn go ahead and buy one, but there is a reason they call a boat a “hole in the ocean that you pour money into”.

These are just two common toys which often soak up a disproportionate share of people’s wealth, but the list can include planes, toy figurines and other collectibles, and even sometimes properties (if they are a second property that is not appreciating and is a drain on resources due to maintenance costs).

The main distinction between a toy and an investment is pretty simple. Does it appreciate or depreciate? Does it generate income or require costly continuous maintenance?

If you plow the bulk of your free cash into investments and are sparing in your purchase of toys, you can make sure your wealth is around to take care of you in the event you should live to be 102.

David Mayes MBA lives in Phuket and provides wealth managements services to expatriates around the globe, specializing in UK pension transfers. He can be reached at 085-335-8573 or by email at 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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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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