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About lkn

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  1. And just for the records, CAIBX vs S&P 500 for the 2010-2018 period, S&P 500 was really on fire:
  2. The CAIBX fund does not seem like that bad a choice, this is performance of the fund compared to S&P 500 since 2000 (which is reasonable, as the CAIBX fund is focused on American stocks): So up until 2008, the CAIBX fund did better than the S&P 500, and kept loses to a minimum following the dotCom crash, but since 2008, it has done worse, if we look only on that period: Here S&P 500 clearly outperforms the CAIBX fund, but I don’t think it is fair to blame your financial advisor for having picked CAIBX, especially since when he invested into this fund in 2010, the historic data did make it look like CAIBX was a better choice than investing directly into an S&P 500 index (even though past performance is no guarantee for future results).
  3. Not aware of a website, but you can create a Google Sheet and use the GOOGLEFINANCE function to get stock prices for certain dates (if you want to do a lot of these calculations). Though I just did it manually based on the price from googling the stock name.
  4. Not using a company but employ a building manager directly.
  5. Wow… I assume this was in the odd years where the committee was not up for re-election. But who chaired the meeting? And who presented the annual report? Curious, since you often relay your bad experiences with condo management in Thailand, have you served on the committee? And if not, why? I assume that you have several units (as I seem to remember you do rentals) and thus it would probably be too exhaustive to have to join the committee of each of the buildings you have units in, but what about your own building? I believe it is common practice to have the JPM do it, but actually, according to section 42 of the Thai Condo Act, the JPM is responsible for summoning only the *first* general meeting where the committee gets appointed, after which it is their responsibility to arrange for the annual general meeting, and the JPM is not allowed to chair these meetings. For an extraordinary general meeting the JPM can call for this (as you write), but if it is requested by enough co-owners, their request should go to the committee, which must then arrange for the meeting.
  6. The management company is working for the building and managed by the committee. For managing rentals; to what extend? For example, we register tenants and issue water supply bills directly to the tenant rather than the co-owner (if the co-owner prefers this), and we occasionally handle keys. It’s hardly any extra work, and it means we have a good idea about which units are rented to who and for how long, the former incase of issues, and the later to ensure that co-owners abide by the rules and only do long-term rentals. As long as it’s no extra burden for the staff, there is really no problem with this. If it’s a burden, like doing TM30 registration etc. then you can always introduce a fee for these services, something to bring up at the AGM. Though in our building, we have the opinion that any extra service rendered to a co-owner should not come with additional payment, as long as our staff has free time to help with it, as we already pay management fee for having the staff available. As for having management company do what I assume are paid repairs or building improvements, that is not uncommon, but it does lead to a situation where you may question if the management company’s prices are competitive. However, expenses not in the budget should be approved by the committee, and expenses in the budget have already been approved by the AGM, so people would know what is being paid for these things. For big jobs, the manager really should get 2-3 quotations rather than rely on his own people. For small jobs, I can definitely understand why he prefers to use his own people, as he knows the quality of their work, and ideally it would also lead to some sort of loyaltee from these people, but it’s hard to really assess without more details of what goes on at your building.
  7. I think you need to do a bit more analysis before you change management company. You want to change because “some people think that the work is 200 to 300% higher than normal local rates”. What sort of work? What are the actual prices? What is your current management fee? Some foreigners have the mistaken belief that because the minimum wage in Thailand is around 300 baht/day, they should be able to get whatever job done at that price, but for example a skilled accountant to manage your building’s finances does not work for 300 baht/day, nor would a building manager that can actually manage staff properly, or an engineer who can serve your building’s installations, etc. The JPM *must* post monthly income and expenditure reports on your building’s bulletin board, start by looking at these, to see where the money goes (if these are not available, request them, and if they give you a problem, point out that this is a requirement of the Thai Condo Act which even states how much the JPM can be fined for failing to prepare these). Also look at your financial report from your last AGM, this should be stored at your office and should be made available to co-owners upon request, so if you do not have a copy from your last AGM, go to your juristic office and request a copy. If you get these reports feel free to send me a copy (by PM) and I can give you my opinion. I have been managing the finances of my own building for some time. Without first having looked thoroughly at your building’s finances, I would *not* recommend you take any drastic actions like change management company. As someone else said, you need to get to the root of the problem, as this does not sound like a fault of the management company, as they should really not be given the authority to just issue bills left and right. How it should work is that there is a general meeting where a budget is presented for the coming year, and the committee’s job is basically to oversee management and ensure the budget is being kept. If the committee shows disinterest in overseeing management or getting involved with finances, there’s a good chance it’ll be a mess. I’ve met managers who were unfamiliar with double-entry bookkeeping, accrued accounting, and the importance of following a budget, which can very easily lead to wasteful spending without any ill will from the manager per se.
  8. It’s worse than the performance of the S&P 500 index for the same period. Though maybe if you have low risk/volatility, it’s good, for example I would gladly take 6% yearly return if it was guaranteed (so basically zero risk) despite the average return on stocks being higher. But from what you have written so far, it seems a bit strange with him asking you to come up with some stocks.
  9. Just had a painter do a wall for me. He was supposed to paint the back wall, but managed to get a little paint on the adjoining wall. So he decided to paint the adjoining wall, but it’s not the same color, so he paints half of it, and doing so, he gets paint on yet another adjoining wall, but this one is too big to start to paint in full (5 meter high), so he just leaves it as shown here: Worst part is that the first adjoining wall he got paint on, will be covered by a cabinet that I will install, so there was no need to even start painting it. For the records, he did fix the paint left on the wall, but I had to actually point it out, otherwise it would just have been left like in the photo.
  10. For the S&P 500 it would be worth 360,862 and for the 4 stocks, it would be 623,266. But 1) you’re picking stocks in hindsight, 2) the last 5-8 years have been some of the best years for the stock market, helped tremendously by near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing. It is highly unlikely that the next 5-8 years will be equally good, and 3) despite the phenomenal gains of the last 5 years and retroactively picked stocks, there’s still a long way from 623,266 to 25 million. Let’s do another calculation, say you invested the 200,000 in the S&P 500 the 24th of March 2000, so almost 18 years ago. Today you would have only 357,878. You read that correctly, the guy who went in 5 years ago would have *more* than the guy who has been in the market for almost 18 years.
  11. Let’s say you have 200,000 to invest and your yearly return is 10% (which is above the S&P 500’s average return), it will take you more than 50 years to reach 25 million. My point is that the stock market is not where you get rich, it is where people who already have a lot of money increase their wealth.
  12. There are utility hatches to allow for this. Ideally you put the units in adjoining bathrooms (or similar) so that the utility hatches are not visible in your main rooms, which also has the advantage of moving any potential noise from the unit to another room, although noise has not been an issue with my units, I practically can’t hear them. Only exception was one in my bedroom, they had the drain pipe touch the metal frame of the ceiling, so when the pump started, the part of the ceiling frame would vibrate (and create noise), but this was fixed with a few cable ties, to keep the pipe away from the metal frame.
  13. Minor downside with the individual heaters is that the temperature of the discharge is relative to the temperature of the incoming water and the volume of water passing through the unit. These things depend on hot/cold season and water pressure. There is a dial to adjust how much the heater should heat, so I adjust it so that water is never scolding, but it means I have to adjust it during the year, and if I open a water faucet with minimal water pressure, it might still be scolding. But if I were to build a house from scratch, I’d have to do some calculations about estimated energy usage for maintaining a water tank at 60° degrees year round. Another upside with the central tank is that the pressure can be much higher, which is mostly useful when drawing a bath.
  14. My a/c units are hidden above the ceilings with one long grill in one side of the room and the cold air distributed by splitting the ducts above the ceiling. It does however require you to have enough space above the ceiling for this. Works very well for me, and my units are Daikin, I have no complaints, i.e. quiet and effective units, but have nothing to compare them with, as I never used a/c before Thailand.
  15. Crypto Currencies

    You seem to ignore the technical limitations of bitcoin. When you only have 7 transactions per second, there is limited capacity, and no matter how many more miners you add, this won’t change. In fact, if you add more miners, it means more people compete about clearing transactions (producing blocks). As you may know, creating a block gives you a reward (of currently 12.5 bitcoins). If the number of miners (total hash rate) doubles, it means your chance of getting 12.5 bitcoins (for producing a block with transactions) is cut in halve, and if you’re running a break-even mining operation, it means you need to double your fees to break-even.