Yea, the difference is that we Westerners are smart enough to be able to sit down, consider all the variables and make informed decisions on what is best for us....financially, emotionally, spiritually and otherwise.
Thais just don't want to "think" that much.....the simpler the better. They just can't follow the math or the logic. If you don't believe me just ask one of them how much interest they are paying on their car or home loan. They don't have a clue. If they can make the monthly payments then they'll sign the papers and all the rest of the fine print is meaningless to them.
True Semperifuy for Thai's, you see this in the way some Thai's start up small businesses. They get an idea, usually from a family member that .......X might be a good business because a friend 5 kms away is doing it an possibly making money, so to them it must work. They don't consider the demographics, need for foot or vehicle traffic, location value etc.They don't consider how best to invest their funds (if they have them) elsewhere. They only thing about the initial Gross Money they might be able to squeeze out of a business each month and don't properly consider the costs of properly running that small business and its upkeep. I say some Thai, because some are smarter that others and some do succeed.
Have a guy 200 meters from my place, his father died 2 years back, so he obviously inherited the house and land. He went and built a small Hotel, about 8 rooms reasonable quality, 40 - 50 m2 each. I would say it has cost him around TB 4.5 Mill as a investment. It is 200 meters back from the main road, so he stuck a sing on it and obviously thought the customers would start rolling in.
Even if it was 50% full all them time his Gross Return on Investment would only be around TB 500,000 Per annum, before cost deduction for Wages & Running expenses. Not great numbers on Paper and not much chance of Capital Gain. Problem is, WRONG LOCATION for several reasons, and from what I have see he is lucky to have one customer per month.
Now there is another family doing the same thing closer to the main road?
You would think that they would talk to each other. For sure there is not enough potential in the area for two low budget Hotels
In general I have found that a lot of the South East Asians that I have come across in the past 20 plus years, those of a more working class nature, and a lot of them that currently work under me, don't consider a long term view of their financial position and or it future security. At best they just look a month or two ahead.
Filipino Expats are the worst, constantly living in a life off Debt, with no understanding of the risk associated with not paying of that Debt as quick as they can.
It might be a bit Off Track for this Post, and I suppose that there are many out there from all races/countries that never worried about organizing their Financial Security for their later years of life, when they were in their mid 40,s.
They probably thought/assumed a Government would take care of their needs later in life. WRONG assumption.