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My FBI profiler friend

by Dave Thrifty

This is the time of year when most people in the West start thinking about how much they have spent over the holidays and how much liquid cash they will have to face the coming winter. One of the great things about living in Thailand is that you can celebrate life every week and not need to depend on too much money for a good time with your friends or family.

It is generally not a time when people think about saving and investing but Thailand contains such a diverse mix of people that I am sure right now someone is considering how best to invest the capital from a property sale in their home country, how best to live here and leave their money secure in a first world currency or simply how to get a better return on their investments.If you are that no risk investor and leave everything in an offshore bank rather than a balanced portfolio then over the past few years you would have lost out with deposit paltry returns.

I would love to have had the training of an F.B.I. profiler. I would really like to know the profile of a person who leaves his savings to some bank (let’s face it, not many people I know have had a great relationship with their banks during their working lives) But now they are happy to let their bank feast on their lifetime earnings while they live on the interest pittance the bank gives them annually.

If you fit this profile has it taken you a year or longer to finally purchase a house in Thailand at one tenth the price of a house in your home country? Have you studied the brochures on every car on the Thai market for a year and then bought a Honda Wish motorcycle ?.

Please don’t get me wrong. I admire thrift in people but when they let the investment tail wave the lifestyle dog then I sometimes think that these people would be happier with a simple monthly pension and their life mapped out for them. I have stated here before that this investor type should look at products which suit their risk profile but which have the potential for upside growth.

Then there is the person who takes advise puts some money in speculative funds the majority in balanced funds and a little in guaranteed funds.They usually understand the concept that a well balanced portfolio over time looks after itself. It will return a lifestyle appropriate to the individual needs of its owner. If he wants to go to the USA, Europe or Japan for a vacation or an emergency then there is no problem. I think my FBI profiler would say this individual looked for a few weeks at different houses then bought the best he could afford (interesting that a year later while his bank friend is still thinking the property bought a year ago has increased in price.Then he decided to rent a car for 6 months before deciding that it was possible to drive in Thailand every day without damage to life and limb.

It has often been said that fear is a dominant emotion in many peoples life. My profiler tells me that people who let the banks control their lifestyle have a huge fear of loss.

If the banks fulfilled and put them in emotional balance then hey go and do it. The problem is that they also have a fear of loosing the gains their portfolio friends make. Then the hideous four horsemen-Terror Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair come and haunt their lives with fear again.

Perhaps after all under the mattress is the best place for this guy’s wealth.

To be serious though tailor your investments and savings to what best suits your mental makeup. If you are content to let the banks profit from your wealth then let them.

If on the other hand you want to take advantage of recovering equity markets then contact your adviser. He may not be an FBI profiler but make sure he is a good Financial Profiler