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Everything posted by cmarshall

  1. Signal app has the best audio and video quality of any of the ones I've tried. It is also the most secure and private.
  2. That's a relief since as you no doubt astutely point out something that hasn't already happened cannot happen in the future despite the overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion.
  3. I understand that factories have been regarded as disposable for sometime now, but I have never encountered the concept of a disposable apartment building until now. In New York City some of the most desirable apartments will be listed as "pre-war," by which they mean pre-World War I. I lived in one for a while and it was indeed superior in many respects. In Paris I stayed in an apartment in the Fourth Arrondissement that dated from the 17th century. I don't know about the blue book in my building, but will find out.
  4. Well, what we have learned is that there are two possibilities. If he "bought" a leasehold "condo" then yes, he just rented the apartment for 30 years. However, freehold condos do exist. If he bought one of those then he got a chanote, owns it in perpetuity, can pass it to heirs, etc. That difference may or may not make the purchase profitable.
  5. Well, now that's confusing. I am certain that the building where I rent is built on leased land because all the buildings in this area are known to be built on leased land. But the building is always called a condominium and apartments are offered for rent or for "sale." So, what you're telling me is that condo does not mean condo and buy does not mean buy. Very interesting. Nevertheless, it still raises the question that if, as I have heard, the lease on the land is indeed for thirty years then the "owner" of the apartment block is going to be left holding the bag at the end o
  6. Yes, I can see that modifying an apartment to your own taste could be a reason to want to own. You're right it wouldn't be worth it to me to assume the risks of ownership especially during retirement for that reason alone. Here in BKK at least in my limited experience I have been able to negotiate substantial changes. For instance, in our current rental we required the landlord to remove all of the existing furniture, purchase new furniture that we had selected, paint the walls, make repairs, and install a new washing machine and a dryer at his expense. All on a one year lease that is less
  7. You're apparently unaware that you haven't even given any reason at all to buy a condo. As far as I know one cannot rent a watch, so that's not relevant. Don't know if boats are rentable other than short-term. The question is not whether you want to drive a nice car or not, which we might put down to irrational preference and leave it at that, but whether you should rent the nice car to drive or buy the nice car to drive, which is strictly a financial decision that will come down to comparing one cost-of-use number to another. Similarly, we are not talking about living in a nice home which
  8. Indeed, I don't even begin to get it. So, you are a Canadian citizen living abroad, probably in Thailand. In your TD brokerage account or wherever back home in Saskatchewan, they refuse to let you buy the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund? Or do they not let you maintain a brokerage account back in Hockeyland at all? If that's the case, is there some reason you cannot open an offshore brokerage account, such as at Schwab, if you really want to buy the S&P?
  9. Hard to believe that anyone would buy an apartment with an expiration date. What's worse, in my condo which as I say is probably in about year 14 of 30, the penthouse apartments were snapped up immediately and were kept empty during about the first five years or so that we lived here. So, these things have a shelf life and they keep them empty?
  10. Nope. That's the worst reason to buy a condo which amounts to what? Feeling middle-class? Buying a place to live in is a financial decision. If it isn't likely to pay off financially, then it is a bad decision, especially in BKK where the rental supply is endless.
  11. Don't be sick: Alright then, let’s jump straight to the list of Top 7 Canadian ETFs, first on the list is the “Vanguard S&P 500 ETF” or VOO https://www.personalfinancefreedom.com/top-7-canadian-etfs-you-should-own-in-2019/ Please do not construe this as a recommendation for a Canadian to buy an S&P 500 Index fund.
  12. Was the 7 million baht proceeds net of transaction costs? If so, your annualized rate of return was 5.16%. That's an okay return, but not spectacular. The S&P 500 got an annualized rr for the same period of about 10.3%. Had you put your money in a low-cost S&P Index ETF you could have paid your rent, kept your principal, and walked away with another 2.3 million baht for your effort. The real question is how much risk did the BKK condo ownership entail compared to the S&P 500. Hard to figure that.
  13. While we're on the subject, here's a local curiosity for which I have never found an adequate explanation. The apartment that I rent is in a condo built on land under a thirty-year lease. I think it must be in about year thirteen or fourteen at the moment. So, what happens when the lease expires? I assume that the lessor can then charge whatever he wishes to extend the lease which I would guess would be nearly equal to the market value of all the apartments. If that is the case then "ownership" of the apartment amounts only to long-term rental. Seems hard to understand why anyone would b
  14. Several reasons why they do that. It is typical in low wage countries that assets are held in real property, e.g. real estate, gold, rather than in securities as is the case in high-income countries. Also, there hasn't been a property tax in Thailand. One was supposed to go into effect a few years ago, but I gather that it has either been suspended or reduced to a trivial amount. Maintenance costs in condos are kept too low to maintain the building adequately. So, the out-of-pocket costs of carrying an empty apartment are low by comparison with first-world countries. Thais therefore tend
  15. Anytime someone asks a general informational question about real estate someone like this poster always pops up with a white elephant he is desperate to unload. That's not a real estate market I would ever want to buy into.
  16. Investing in real estate can payoff, but there is a high degree of risk. And when we enter retirement our ability to cope with risks and specifically to recover from losses become severely constrained, because there isn't enough time left. So, the ideal investments to fund retirement are the least risky, but you have to have a rather larger pot to be able to afford to avoid risk. If I could derive enough income to meet my cost of living entirely with low-paying US Treasury Bills I would do so in a heartbeat, but I can't, so I accept a somewhat higher level of risk than that. The key point
  17. Beats me why any foreigner would ever consider owning property in Bangkok. It's not at though rents are climbing. We now have twice the apartment for a lower rent than we paid ten years ago thanks to the depopulation of our very nice building by Covid. The fact that our permission to continue living in Thailand can be revoked at any time by the government means that I would never make any investment here from which I could be alienated. The value of apartments here is unlikely to increase much over time since there is no restriction on building. Add to that the lack of a culture of buildi
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