Why are your investments not working for you?


Even in these difficult times the world is facing, the fundamental rules of investing are constant and are unaltered by the severe economic conditions we are seeing.  Here are five possible reasons why your money might not be growing the way it should be. Investing is about sticking to simple rules.

1 – Lack of strategy. Believe it or not most amateur investors don’t employ a strategy to their investing. Most people just simply buy investments and just hope they grow in value, with no real understanding of what they bought and why they bought it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s a big risk to take.

Find a strategy that works for you and don’t deviate from it.

2 – Selling your investments. All too often people are buying and selling investments on a regular basis. If something is worth buying, it’s worth keeping hold of. On May28, 2004, shares in Apple were valued at US$2, today they are worth just under US$500. How many people do you think have sold Apple shares during this period… I would hazard a guess at millions.

Research your investments thoroughly and have faith in your decisions.

3 – Timing the markets.  Sitting and waiting for the markets to drop and then waiting for the highs to sell out is a very risky strategy. Investments go up and down all of the time and contrary to what many people believe, this is exactly what you want them to do.

Good investments always go up over the long term and the quicker you get in the better..

4 – Holding on to bad investments. If it’s not working for you then get rid of it. Just because it’s gone down doesn’t mean it’s going to go back up. Bad investments are bad investments, period! I’m a firm believer of having faith in your  investment decisions, but we all make mistakes from time to time and it’s better to realise quicker before we waste too much time sitting on the infamous dead cat.

Dead cats do bounce, but just not very high.

5 – Working with the wrong people. If your advisor is recommending investments that aren’t growing then you need to find someone new. You need a benchmark to check your investments against and my advice is to use the S&P 500. If the S&P 500 grows by 5% then your investments need to be making you more than that. Your advisor won’t always be able to make you money as the markets go up and down, but the bare minimum they need to achieve is to beat the index.

Work with people that make you money and give you good advice.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on November 28, 2020 by William Frisby

Read More

Phuket can reap huge rewards from the world’s biggest free trade agreement


Phuket can reap huge rewards from the world’s biggest free trade agreement. So says Gulu Lalvani, founder and chairman of the award-winning Royal Phuket Marina. No stranger to pushing hard for change, in 2004 he led the successful push to abolish Thailand’s import duty on yachts, giving the country’s marine leisure industry a massive boost and making sure Phuket emerged as the center of yachting in Asia.

On Sunday, November 15, the heads of 15 Asia-Pacific nations – including China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia – signed the unique Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Representing a total population of 2.2 billion, by putting their names to the world’s biggest free trade agreement, these leaders have ushered in the emergence of the undisputed Asian era.

Bigger than either the European Union or the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the deal embraces practically one third of the global population and accounts for almost 30% of worldwide GDP. With India scheduled to join within the first year, the total population covered by the agreement will climb to 3.5 billion and the percentage of global GDP will rise to 40%.

Half the population of the world will trade under this new umbrella in the region that enjoys the fastest GDP growth in the world. The potential is staggering and estimates are that the deal could add almost USD 190bn to global national income by 2030.

And the tropical paradise island, Phuket, sits like a tiny geographic bull’s eye dead-center of the most exciting Asian advance in recent memory.

Phuket stands to reap massive gains if it recognizes, and then seizes, the opportunity presented by this historic pact. Long positioned as a potential regional IT hub, the realization of that ambition has remained frustratingly el4usive – but the time is now ripe, as member of RCEP, for Phuket and Thailand to get over the finish line.

Phuket has an abundance of international-standard accommodation, good internet connectivity, some of the cleanest air on the planet and a world-class beach lifestyle to die for. And now it has the opportunity to gain colossal increases in tourism as well as to reposition itself as a magnet for individuals and businesses eager to capitalize on its strategic location slap-bang in the center of the world’s largest trading block.

Imagine the potential of being positioned no more than 6-7 hours flying time from 50% of the world’s population in the world’s fastest-growing economies. Imagine how easy it would be to attract the cream of the world’s workforce to your business. Imagine Phuket as a commercial powerhouse in Asia.

As one of Thailand’s busiest airports in terms of both freight and passengers, Phuket Airport has a capacity of 20 million passengers per year, handling more than 18 million on 115,000 flights during 2019.

Phuket’s infrastructure is there. The island’s appeal is undisputed; witness the number of ultra-high net worth (UHNW) families who have already been attracted to relocate here – from much further away than the countries in this new economic block. The future is bright. The potential is real. All we need is the vision to drive results.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on November 19, 2020 by PR

Read More

15 Asia-Pacific countries form the world’s largest trade bloc, the great RCEP reset


After 8 gruelling years of negotiation, 15 countries have signed onto the largest free trade bloc in history. In a joint statement, the leaders of the countries, signatories of the trade deal, say RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) will form a crucial part of economic recovery once the pandemic is over.

The deal excludes the US, which withdrew from a rival Asia-Pacific trade pact 3 years ago. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017. That deal would have involve 12 countries and was supported by Mr Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama as a way to counter China’s surging power in the region.

Now, the leaders of China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN nations, have signed the free trade agreement which covers 2.2 billion people and 30% of the world’s economic output. The new free trade bloc will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union.

The deal sets the terms of trade in goods and services, cross-border investment and new rules for increasingly important areas such as electronic commerce, telecommunications and intellectual property.

The leaders’ statement said the landmark trade pact “demonstrates our strong commitment to supporting economic recovery, inclusive development, job creation and strengthening regional supply chains as well as our support for an open, inclusive, rules-based trade and investment arrangement”.

The combined GDP of the signatories was about 30% of global GDP, covering nearly 28% of global trade.

India pulled out of negotiations last year because of concerns it would not be able to protect its domestic industry as well as its agricultural sector. India’s exclusion from the bloc reduces its size by some 1.4 billion people. But the statement from the signatories says the door is still open for India to join in and it would be “welcome”.

The deal is being seen as a significant step towards removing Asia Pacific trade barriers, and brings China under the fold of a larger regional bloc as its massive economy looks elsewhere for trading partners after the bruising US-China trade war.

Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, says the deal is “a victory of multilateralism and free trade”. Australia’s PM, Scott Morrison, says the deal will “open up new doors for Australian farmers, businesses and investors”.

The trend for a more integrated trade flow around the region has suddenly accelerated amid the feuding between the US and China. The 2 economic superpowers had imposed billions of dollars of punitive trade tariffs on each other’s exports.

Analysts hail the RCEP agreement, saying that it’s flexible enough to stretch to fit the “disparate needs of member countries as diverse as Australia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam”. But the agreement doesn’t establish unified standards on labour and the environment or force countries to open services and other vulnerable areas of their economies.

Donald Trump pulled the plug on negotiations when he pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal previously which was seen as a way of curbing China’s economic influence. He later initiated the heated US-China trade war in 019 maintaining he wanted to reduce the amount of imports from China, saying the goods could be built back in the US.

15 Asia-Pacific countries form the world's largest trade bloc, the great RCEP reset | News by The Thaiger

Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on November 16, 2020

Read More

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket


Phuket officials are setting aside around 4 billion baht to transform medical tourism in the southern province of Phuket, by developing a state-of-the-art treatment hub in the north of the island. The Bangkok Post reports that the Treasury department is planning to give the Public Health Ministry permission to use 141 rai of government land in the sub-district of Mai Khao, close to Phuket International Airport. It’s not the first time the proposal has come to light.

The concept is gathering support as Phuket battles to diversify its attraction beyond a tropical holiday island.

The aim is to develop Phuket as a world-class health and wellness destination, with facilities that will attract medical tourists from all over the world, as well as providing a high standard of treatment to the local population. It’s understood the facility will provide a full range of health services, including long-term care, and hospice and rehabilitation services.

The island already has a well-developed medical tourism market, but has been based around local hospitals and clinics linking up with foreign marketing companies in the past. “The International Medical and Public Health Service” has been conceived to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit over the past 7 months.

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

The plan was first suggested in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong and confirmed by the director of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol, in July. At that stage, the estimated budget was 3-4 billion baht. The director-general of the Treasury department, Yuthana Yimkarun, says the plot is being offered to the Health Ministry for free. The land is thought be worth around 1 billion baht.

Yuthana says the ministry will manage investment, with approximately 2 billion baht required for the first stage of the project. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over 2 years.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that unused government land that is currently managed by various government agencies may be moved under the remit of central government, with a view to increasing its worth. According to the Bangkok Post report, just 4% of government land is directly managed by the Treasury. The other 96% is controlled by various government agencies. Yuthana says the plan is to increase the percentage of state-owned land under the Treasury’s management to 10% within 2 years.

Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on October 20, 2020 by Bangkok Post

Read More

Warren Buffett’s top three investment tips


Warren Buffett is widely considered as one of the greatest investors ever. He is renowned for being humble about his skills and regularly offers advice that investors can follow to achieve success. Here is our list of his top three investment tips.

ONE: Never invest in a business that you cannot understand.

Invest in what you know. If you can’t understand it then you probably shouldn’t be buying it. Focus on buying investments that you understand. There are tens of thousands of publicly traded companies, investment funds and ETFs (exchange traded funds) to choose from, do your research and pick the ones that make sense to you.

TWO: Some investors believe it is important to listen to pundits – and, worse yet, important to consider acting upon their comments.

Most news is noise. Media companies sell newspapers by creating fear and sensationalising stories. If it bleeds, it leads. Don’t let them suck you in and alter your investment choices. If you were to take the advice of news pundits every day you would be forever buying and selling investments. Have faith in your decisions. You also need to question whether the talking heads actually know what they are talking about; everyone remembers Jim Cramer declaring Bear Stearns a safe investment moments before it went bankrupt.

THREE: Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

Price and value are not the same. Whether you buy direct stocks, or you invest in a mutual fund or ETF, you are usually buying a share of a revenue-generating business. The price of a stock is much more volatile than the fundamentals of that business. This provides opportunity and risk for investors. During crashes, stock prices will often fall further than current and future earnings, which creates value and a buying opportunity. Conversely, an increase in stock price doesn’t always mean its revenue is going to grow at the same rate, which can lead to stocks being overvalued. As an investor you need to learn the difference between price and value.

There are many investment models that you can follow. Find one that makes sense to you and have the discipline to follow it. If you are unsure about investing on your own then you should consider using a professional financial advisor.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on September 26, 2020 by Wiliam Frisby 

Read More

Top 10 mistakes expats make with their money


William Frisby at Hampton Bridge investment consultants has spent 15 years advising expats in Asia on how to save and invest their money. Here is a list of the top 10 mistakes that I regularly see when I sit in front of new clients who need help. If you have experienced any of these then contact me today.

ONE – 25-year savings plans

The cardinal sin that most expats make is investing in long-term savings plans that have restrictive 18-24 month commitment periods. These investment accounts are layered with hefty charges and it’s extremely difficult to make a return on your investment.

Advice: Close your account, take the hit and move your money to something that grows.

TWO – Exotic investments

Life settlements, litigation financing, plantations, storage units, waste disposal, student property, antiques and wine is a short but not exhaustive list of examples. All of these funds look like they have a sound, ethical, successful business model beneath them, which some of them do. But when they are structured into an investment fund, it all goes wrong when investors need liquidity.

Advice: Stay well away and look to diversify if you already hold these assets.

THREE – Underperforming mutual funds

Mutual funds are where you want to be; good managers beat the market and there will never be a day your money disappears. The problem is most mutual funds do not perform very well. Heavy charges or poor management often lead to below-average returns.

Advice: Focus on buying quality managers with proven long-term track records. Heavy charges or poor management often lead to below-average returns.

FOUR – Big bad banks

Often people feel and see safety in the big banks of the world and there is truth to that, but safety is all you get. Big banks fill their client’s investment accounts full of their mutual funds. No bank has the best-in-class fund in every asset, so you are often left with underperforming funds and over-exposed to one fund family.

Advice: Being unbiased is key; work with someone who is independent and has no vested interest in choosing certain funds when they build a portfolio.

FIVE – Cheap is best, or is it?

A lot of people invest in Exchange Traded Funds because they carry such low charges and many ETFs are excellent. But remember, an ETF only tracks the market, they don’t try and beat it. So you may only pay 0.5% in charges, where a mutual fund might charge you 1.5%. But if the mutual fund beats the market by 5% and the ETF only tracks it, where would you prefer your money to be?

Advice: Diversification is a key component of any investment strategy. ETFs have an important place in a portfolio, but they shouldn’t be seen as the only solution. How do you know what will happen to the company you’re investing in?

SIX – Stock trading

Which stock to invest in and why? That is the question and one that I can’t answer. Investing in individual stocks is about as risky as going to the casino. How do you know what will happen to the company you’re investing in? How much research have you done into the company’s management, it’s industry, financial statements and business forecasts?

Advice: Leave this to the professionals and let them select the right stocks as part of a well managed fund.

SEVEN – The streets are paved with gold

Gold is like cash; it is a means of exchange and store of value. It doesn’t bear interest and has no business underneath that creates profit. Investors move to gold in times of uncertainty and this causes jumps in value. But it is very risky and over the long-term struggles to beat inflation.

Advice: Invest in a great business not a lump of metal.


This is a pension arrangement for British expats, which is an excellent way to take your pension overseas and benefit from tax relief, wider investment choice and control. The problem is that many offshore advisors invest in the type of funds that I’ve talked about above and lifelong pensions often disappear.

Advice: Again independence is key. Make sure your advisor is giving you advice based on the benefits to you, not them. 

NINE – US taxpayers using offshore accounts

There is no offshore investment plan that is good for an American taxpayer. Period. Americans should always keep their money in the US and use a regulated US-qualified advisor. Every American knows this and every advisor knows this, but far too often we see the rules not being followed.

Advice: Find yourself a US-regulated advisor with cross-border financial planning experience.

TEN – Off-plan real estate

Real estate can be an excellent investment, it can also be a terrible one. Off-plan properties are often the most popular for expatriate investors, but they also come with a lot of risks. Delays in construction, overpricing, rental guarantees that don’t work out are just a few of the common problems I see.

Advice: The safety of property is its tangibility, focus on things that are already built. Or, find developers with long successful track records.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on September 12, 2020 by Wiliam Frisby

Read More

Financial Thaimes: Watching the COVID high


Believe it or not, investment markets are at an all-time high. Sounds hard to believe doesn’t it, considering that the world is in the middle of a pandemic where we are seeing endless amounts of people dying, losing their jobs, salaries being halved or lost and businesses going bankrupt by the day. Yet, the S&P 500, an index of the 500 largest companies in America, is sitting at 3,484 (28/8/2020), higher than its all-time high of 3,394 from February this year.

As America is the world’s biggest economy, the S&P 500 is an important measure of how well the global economy is performing. So, if you were to land on earth from a different planet, you would be well within your rights to believe that the world’s economy is in a really good position.

How is this possible? Good question… 

Tech and healthcare companies make up a large part of the S&P 500 and COVID-19 has been very positive for these sectors. eBay and Amazon are making billions out of our locked-down lives. In July, Jeff Bezos added US$10 billion to his net worth in one day. Also, the hardest-hit industries like hotels, restaurants and airlines make up a slim portion of the S&P 500 index, so their misery is having little effect on its performance. But in our opinion, this isn’t the real reason why the S&P 500 is so high.

For years we have seen the markets not truly reflect the state of the world economy and what we are seeing here is no different. Financial markets work on confidence and the influx of investors money. When they crash, like they did earlier this year, it creates an opportunity for investors to buy stocks at enormous discounts. Imagine walking past your favourite shop and there is a 50% sale on, you’d run in and buy as much as you could afford right? This is precisely what happened to markets this year and we are still riding this wave of confidence. But, as we reach all-time highs again is this where we might see another watershed moment?

Why don’t we just invest in tech and healthcare companies then?

The simple rule of investing is: buy low, sell high. At present, a lot of these companies are at a high. Amazon has seen incredible success this year, which couldn’t have been predicted to this extent. But tech companies are fragile as it is one of the fastest moving spaces in the world. Look back at the 1980s when Sony and Japanese technology ruled the world. Today, Sony and the Japanese economy are now a mere shadow of their former selves. What happens if Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk are struck by lightning tomorrow? We have seen how the loss of an inspirational leader can result in years of failure with companies like Manchester United following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Picking individual stocks is so difficult and too risky for normal mums and dads.

The health sector again is also at a very fragile stage. Currently, hospitals are full, drugs are being sold by the shipload and everyone is trying to create a vaccine. If one company develops the vaccine tomorrow then that company will make billions overnight. But the pharmaceutical companies that did not create the vaccine will have massively over-invested into a failed endeavour. Do you know which company has the magic formula for the vaccine?

Is there a crash around the corner?

If we go back to the S&P 500, then we believe that there is potentially a very big crash around the corner. At some point, the markets have to realise what condition the world economy is in and a correction will happen. It is the job of big banks, investment houses and pension providers to protect their clients and shareholders money and this could result in a massive sell-off, resulting in share prices falling by the second.

What should I do?

Realign your investments. There are investment funds that make money when markets head south and there are also investment managers who are good enough and fast enough to react appropriately to market changes. But, you can only take advantage of their skills if you move your investments before the crash happens.

If you are invested, have a pension or own anything related to the financial markets, you need to speak to a professional today before it’s too late.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on August 29, 2020 by Wiliam Frisby

Read More

Phuket seeks to diversify after Covid-19


The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cripple Thailand’s vital tourism sector, with provinces that rely the most on tourism revenue, being hit the hardest. Thailand may have managed to contain the Covid-19 virus, but at the expense of its economy going into a free fall with the southern resort province of Phuket exemplifying the downturn.

Phuket businesses, which rely almost exclusively on foreign arrivals for tourism income, cannot estimate when the island’s economic crisis, the worst ever, will be over. Firmly positioned as a world-class destination, Thailand’s largest island has earned vast revenue from foreign tourists, many with deep pockets. So when an unpredictable factor such as the Covid-19 pandemic forcing border closures and halting flights, Phuket’s income has slowed to a trickle, with its local economy at risk of a total meltdown.

The situation couldn’t more stark than in the popular party town of Patong. Usually a thriving and bustling tourist Mecca, full of bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, expensive markets, massage shops and Thais hustling the foreign tourists for tours and ‘deals’. The entire town exists as a seaside city designed to efficiently extract tourist dollars from the pockets of foreign visitors. Now it’s mostly a ghost town, certainly a much humbler and quieter city of closed shops and barren streets. A few hotels re-opened when the lockdown was lifted. Many have shut again since.

Phuket’s tourism sector employed 323,219 people locally before the virus struck in January, generating 245 billion baht in its annual gross provincial product, according to the new provincial governor Narong Woonsew. He says a whopping 80% of the province’s economy relies on tourism. The damage to the province’s tourism sector from impacts of the outbreak is estimated at 160 billion baht so far. Tourists visiting Phuket this year are predicted to shrink to 5 million or probably less, down from last year’s 14.4 million. Of those, 1.5 million will be Thais. Governor Narong says the situation is prompting a rethink of the province’s economic advancement strategy.

“After the government ordered the closure of our skies, Phuket’s tourism revenue was wiped out.”

Even when tourism resumes under the “new normal” practices, there will have to be a paradigm shift in the way the province determines where it will derive its income. According to Narong, the provincial office and tourism companies are looking to diversify and promote a variety of sectors to drive new growth. 6 sectors have been earmarked; marinas, education, health and wellness, seafood exports, gastronomy as well as sports and events businesses.

(The island’s marinas mostly serve as expensive parking garages for infrequent visits of the boat owners, or as a jump-off point for some of the more exclusive island tours. The booming international school scene was merely a response to the large foreign employee contingent who wanted a quality education for their children. The ‘wellness’ scene has suffered over the past 3 years with a strong Thai baht and expensive private hospitals pricing themselves out of a competitive regional market.)

“These will be our new economic engines which will function alongside the conventional tourism businesses,” the governor said.

Phuket is home to 5 marinas, 38 seaports and a deep-sea port. About 1,500 yachts and cruise ships visit the province each year on average.

As for education, the province is looking to create internationally accredited study programs to increase enrollments of foreign students. Already the location of 12 international schools, Phuket has set a yearly revenue target of 2.1 billion baht from 3,600 students.

For tuna exports, the future looks bright. Phuket has both state-run and privately-owned wharves where more than hundreds of boats from Japan, Taiwan and the US arrive to buy top-grade tuna at high prices. The exports are worth 1.3 billion baht a year.

The gastronomy industry is a lucrative revenue stream which capitalises on the island’s unique food culture at its nearly 2,000 restaurants. Annual turnover of the sector is estimated at 91 billion baht with more room to grow in the future.

Phuket is currently preparing 3 major events to promote tourism, with the minister of commerce overseeing the campaign. The events will start with the 5-week Phuket Seafood & Gastronomy Festival in August and September, followed by a surf competition in September, and concluding with the traditional Vegetarian Festival in October.

For now, it remains unlikely that many foreign tourists will be able to visit the island end enjoy any of them.

Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on July 28, 2020 by Bangkok Post

Read More

Phuket to get 3 billion baht medical tourism hub


Plans are underway for a 3 billion baht medical hub on the island of Phuket, set over 140 rai near Mai Khao beach, just north of the airport. A report in Nation Thailand says the plan has been confirmed by the Director of Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol. He says that as a result of the downturn in tourism due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the island now needs to combine its strengths in both the tourism and medical sectors. He points out that the idea is not new, having been first mooted in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong.

It’s understood the Public Health Ministry and the Tourism and Sports Ministry have joined forces to discuss the proposal before submitting it to Cabinet. It is expected to be funded by Finance Ministry loans aimed at helping the economy, and society as a whole, to recover from the devastation of the Covid pandemic.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost around 1.29 billion baht and will involve the construction of an international health plaza, a hospice for the terminally ill, a care home for the elderly, and a rehabilitation centre. Additional services, such as accommodation and tour services, as well as consular assistance, will also be made available.

Phase 2 is expected to cost around 1.67 billion baht and is set to begin in 2022. This phase will focus on pandemic prevention, but will also boast a cancer treatment centre, which will reportedly include radiotherapy services.

For all your medical needs, you can refer to MyMediTravel and discuss your options with their Patient Support team, they’ll help you to discover the best facility and specialist at the best price available.

Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on July 23, 2020 by Nation Thailand

Read More

International medical hub proposed by outgoing Phuket governor

Local Thai media reported that Phuket has proposed a new project called “The International Medical and Public Health Service” to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit due to the effects of Covid-19pandemic.
International medical hub proposed by outgoing Phuket governor | News by The Thaiger
The project will use state owned property near the Tha Chat Chai Police Station in Mai Khao, approximately 140 rai of land, (16 kilometres away from Phuket Airport). The idea for this project came from the outgoing Phuket governor, the director of Vachira Phuket hospital, public health minister of Phuket and various private sectors.
International medical hub proposed by outgoing Phuket governor | News by The Thaiger
According to local media, the project would become a contemporary international medical hub. If the project is supported by the government, it will be the focus of health tourism in Thailand and help draw quality tourists from around the world.
International medical hub proposed by outgoing Phuket governor | News by The Thaiger
Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on June 19, 2020 by Phuket Andaman News
Read More