Family Money: Different ways to invest capital
Managing director of Westminster Portfolio Services (Thailand) Ltd.
The first is to invest directly into the stock or bond
or commodity markets. This is fine if you’re reasonably expert and know
what you’re doing, and are able to track your investments on an almost
You have to have all four of the ingredients necessary
to success: the time, the interest, the access to the specialised
information necessary to picking and tracking your chosen investments, and
of course, sufficient capital to diversify and spread the risk. Being
short on any one of these ingredients can be a recipe for disaster.
You also need a reliable stockbroker to do your dealing
for you in a speedy, efficient and cost-effective manner. Alternatively,
you might do it yourself through the modern wonder of internet trading.
Nonetheless, most direct traders end up with a few
stocks in their favourite (typically, home) market and which over a period
of time may or may not outperform the market index – which of course is
the object of the whole exercise. This method smacks more of speculation
than of investing, where the latter is usually for the longer and the
former for the shorter term. It can be fun if you enjoy it, but to do it
seriously it does take quite a bit of time away from other activities
which may be more fun.
Successful portfolio managers tend to suffer ‘burn
out’ at a relatively young age, due to the constant stress that
accompanies the job. But some are spectacularly successful and much sought
after by large investment houses.
Indirect investment means just what it says: investing
indirectly. But how is the important factor here. One way is to buy unit
trusts, where you have a manager (or group of managers) doing the
buying-&-selling of the underlying investments – be they stocks,
bonds, commodities, futures or options – for you, letting you just pick
and choose the “best” funds (and I’ve written whole articles about
how to define “best”) or the ones in the market sectors you fancy or
believe will do well in the coming period (however long that period may be
according to your pre-set schedule, no matter whether this is 3 months or
3 years). You then have a look at how your fund or collection of funds is
performing at reasonably regular intervals – but probably not every day
as a direct investor might do.
Again, it is prudent to spread the risks by buying
several funds – assuming you have enough available capital to do so –
even duplicating some in a sector, as last year’s winner is rarely this
year’s as well!
Diversification is always a key word in any portfolio:
spread the risk both across asset classes and geographically.
But developing a portfolio of several unit trusts
creates its own problems of tracking them, not to mention the costs
involved at entry (the infamous bid/offer spread) but also whenever you
want to ‘switch’ from one fund to another as market conditions change.
The entry cost for UK units trusts is typically 5%
(which can sometimes be discounted to 3%), and switching within the same
fund management group typically costs only 1%. But over a 10-year
medium-term investment period these 1-percents can add up to quite a lot
of erosion of profit! (One switch a year within the same fund management
house would still amount to more than 10% of your profits absorbed by
switching charges. And this is only within one fund management group. If
you want to ‘switch’ to a fund from another house, you’re back to
paying initial bid/off entry costs again)!
With some funds, lower entry costs can mean higher exit
costs: they lock you in for several years; and while the ongoing charges
look quite reasonable, the sting comes if you ever want to access your
capital (or more than just a part of it), when quite hefty early
redemption charges apply, which can wipe out your profit entirely –
especially as many of the so-called ‘guaranteed profits bonds have
actually returned quite poor performance in the past couple of years’
compared against the non-guaranteed equity and bond funds.
Personally, if I believe a market is going to rise,
I’d rather invest into a fund that had a good track record of success in
that sector or market, and hedge my bets with an appropriate cash deposit
in the bank. It’s basically the same thing, but without the high charges
associated with the ‘guaranteed’ product in the glossy brochure. If
the market does well, your fund makes you a profit; otherwise, you’ve
still got the capital guarantee intact of your cash on deposit.
Wrapping it up in a
Once you have more than a few units trusts, or tessas
or oeics, monitoring your portfolio can be irksome and time consuming. And
having different pricing dates for each of the funds can further mislead.
The simple solution – beyond a certain critical mass
– is to wrap the whole portfolio into a single administratively simple
‘umbrella’ instrument where you can see at a glance what you’re
holding, what each component is worth, what proportion of your overall
portfolio it constitutes, and whether it has been performing up to
expectations. If so, and it looks like it will continue to do well, keep
it. If not, you might want to hold on for its recovery, or you might be
better off dumping the lemon and putting the proceeds into something that
will perhaps perform better – within your overall risk-aversion profile
– over the coming period.
One of the great advantages of using one of these
‘umbrella’ instruments is that they typically permit you to hold
several – typically 10 – funds at any one time, and to switch your
funds for other funds from a wide ‘menu’ of typically around 100 funds
across all sectors and asset classes, and all over the world – and most
importantly – for free! There are no dealing charges associated with the
individual funds; only with the ‘umbrella’ instrument itself, which
you financial adviser will be happy to explain to you in detail.
So you can construct a diversified, strategically
balanced portfolio in an administratively simple manner – and very cost
effectively as well! Of course the provider has to make money, but they
spread the costs of running the vehicle out over 5 years, so it is much
less painful than paying a bid/offer spread on Day One – and as an
additional incentive they give you generous bonuses as well.
For relatively modest amount of capital - $20-150,000
– this is the route I’d choose as being the most appropriate for most
medium-net-worth clients – whether they want to run a conservative
income-orientated portfolio or an aggressive capital growth portfolio.
These Offshore Insurance Bonds (as they are generically known) are an
ideal choice for a wide range of clients, and one can be tailor made –
and switched around at a moments’ notice (for free, mind you!) as your
risk-aversion profile adjusts to changing market conditions.
Snap Shots: Don’t listen to them. Size does matter!
by Harry Flashman
After that attention grabbing headline, just what are
we looking at this week? Well size of course, because ‘size’ is a very
important part in every area of photography. Let’s start just with the
‘size’ of your camera.
Most cameras, especially those used by amateur
photographers, are called 35 mm cameras, and that refers to the width of
the negative. The next size larger is called a ‘medium format’ camera,
and again, the size of the negative (or slide) gives the name. The popular
sizes are 6x6 cms (also known as 2 1/4 square inches as used by the
Hasselblad range) or 6x7 cms as used by Pentax, Mamiya and others. Again
the size refers to the width and height of the negative. Large format
cameras are referred to as 5x4 inches, or the ‘Big Gun’ of 10x8
inches, with various brands, but the most revered is the Sinar, made in
So why do we have all these confusing sizes anyway?
Surely one negative size is sufficient? Unfortunately this is not the
case, as everything hinges on just what you are going to do with your
images. If you take photos to stick them in the drawer and bring them out
every third blue moon, then anything will do. However, if you are serious
about your photographs, then you have to start thinking big, or at least
If you want to produce what I call “wall art” where
you can hang your photographs as enlargements, then there is a limit as to
how large you can go from a 35 mm negative. Did you realize, for example,
that when you blow up your little 35 mm negative to become a 10x8 inch
enlargement, you have multiplied the area 61 times? Any slightly out of
focus areas on the negative are now 61 times more obvious. This is why
there is a finite limit on just how big you can make enlargements, and no
matter how sharp your lenses, for me a 12x10 inch enlargement is as big as
you can go from 35 mm before losing sharpness in the final print.
However, if you were to use a Pentax, with its 6x7 cm
format negatives, and make an enlargement up to 10x8 inches, you have only
enlarged the original image just over 12 times. Any blemishes are only 12
times more obvious, so your enlargements will always look sharper when
taken from a larger negative. See, size does matter.
Taking this to the extreme, if you used a 10x8 negative
from the Big Gun, then you have not enlarged the negative at all, the
ratio is one to one and it will be as pin sharp as the original. Or put
another way, you can make your enlargement from a 10x8 inch negative up to
the size of a barn door before it runs out of sharpness.
This is why, when the pros go out shooting, they will
have a camera to suit the end use of the image. If the final result is
going to be an art calendar with pages around 20x15 inches, then in most
instances they will shoot in medium format. However, if the end result is
going to be a very glossy coffee table book they may shoot in 5x4 inches
or even 10x8 inches.
My personal favourite format is the 6x6 cm square with
the Hasselblad camera. With the square negative you can crop to produce
vertical or horizontal photographs very easily. With rectangular formats
such as 6x4.5 or 6x7 it can become slightly trickier, but it really is
Finally, for a little smile, here is a limerick to
again show that size is important.
Modern Medicine: Cheap drugs ... are they
a consumer’s ‘right’?
by Dr Iain Corness, Consultant
Cheap (generic) drugs were discussed at the World Trade
Organization ministerial conference in Mexico this month. Even closer to
home, most people here know that you can buy “brand name” medications,
which tend to be expensive, or you can buy “copy” drugs that tend to
Let’s just clear up what generics is all about. What
you have to first realize is that all medications are chemicals, and
somebody ‘invented’ them - these days, drugs are not naturally
occurring substances. The ‘Trade name’ for the chemical compounds is
owned by the manufacturing company, for example ‘Valium’ is the
compound diazepam, or ‘Viagra’ which is ‘sildenafil’. Valium and
Viagra are trade names, while diazepam and sildenafil are generics.
When you buy Valium, you are getting the diazepam
chemical as invented by that manufacturer, with all the purity and quality
controls that a major manufacturer has to abide by. However, when you buy
diazepam tablets, these can come from a little factory on a back street in
Bangladesh or Pakistan, with all the hygiene standards being applied that
you may or may not like to imagine! Likewise, your cheap blue diamonds,
gentlemen, before you start laughing!
The large pharmaceutical companies legitimately say
that if they do not have protection, they cannot recoup the cost of the
development of the drug - in some cases, multi millions of dollars, and
then develop new ones. However, if after it has been invented, Pakky Pills
produce the drug cheaply after zero costs have been outlaid for its
research, this is unfair.
In some ways it is worse than ‘copy CDs’ where the
artist is not getting paid for his work from the royalties coming from the
sale of the CD. Sure you get a cheap CD, but the artist has been
Through this minefield walks the medical profession. In
the developed world, on one side are the large pharmaceutical companies
saying that they need the sales to cover and sponsor future research, but
on the other side stands the government, saying that the public purse
cannot afford these expensive medications, when cheaper, but chemically
the same, alternatives are available. These two opposing sides have
arguments that are quite understandable.
In the developing world it is a little different. The
end point consumer does not have the money to buy the expensive original
research manufacturer’s tablets, and neither do the governments (who in
most cases do not have all-encompassing health care systems).
To make it even more contentious, there are medications
that could be called ‘essential’ for life. The ones that come
immediately to mind are the AIDS treatment drugs. Can you justify
withholding treatment from the poor (people or countries) just on price
protectionism policies? Figures that have been published in Thailand
recently claim that the same medication is available at costs to the
consumers between 300,000 baht and 12,000 baht per year. For the poor, one
is affordable, one is not. For government or charity purses, ditto.
My stance on generics falls between the two extremes.
For non-essential drugs I believe the original manufacturer deserves a
patent period and generics should not be sold within that timeframe.
During that timeframe I would prescribe by trade name only and not
generic. This covers medications such as yet another BP reducing tablet,
of which there are scores, or another non-earth shattering antibiotic.
These are not essential as there are many alternatives.
However, for essential medications, generics should be
allowed and offered to developing nations, and to the poor, even though
this may be within the timeframe. In other words, let those who can afford
it pay, and those who cannot should be assisted by the manufacturer, who
can make their own generic equivalent, as well as licensing other
manufacturers to make their drug.
So where do you fit into all this? First make sure that
the ‘copy’ drug does contain what it is supposed to and that the drug
is released from the tablet/capsule in the strength indicated. Or let your
doctor prescribe - it’s much safer!
Heart to Heart with Hillary
Regarding the SPAM debate, whilst I am inclined to accept that Hormel Foods are
more than happy to benefit from shameless free advertising, I have to beg to
differ with their explanation of the derivation of the Internet term “spam”
as it does not hold water (unlike their product). I remember SPAM as being the
cheapest form of sustenance in the 1960’s. This sweaty staple to many was
only marginally above sugar or tomato ketchup sandwiches for those without the
parental means to be armed with two bob and an apple for their midday repast,
despite the low price tag at the time. Huh, the SPAM-eaters were the snobs of
my day as most of us only had it as a special treat when a War Prime Minister
died or, failing that, every other Xmas if we were good and the old man’s
cross-doubles came up at the Turf Accountants on Boxing Day. Please do not try
and tell me how hard you had it as a young-un Hillary as I have seen the Monty
Python’s sketch on the very subject. Those Cambridge University Footlight
boys had it easy, I can tell you. Please tell the source of your Hormel spin
that he/she is nothing more than a SPAMMER. For the record, the acronym SPAM
stands for Sales Promotion, Advertising & Marketing. Moreover, as they
erroneously claim that the term “spam” was actually derived from their
product, the term should therefore be in upper case, despite Hormel’s desire
to set its trademark ‘above’ the nuisance mail that it superciliously
recognizes as being coined by its own product and are benefiting therefrom.
Much as I detest people sending me e-mails in the belief that I need a 10"
penis (there is no way I am lopping off 2" for their commercial benefit),
I would sooner keep hitting the delete key than partake of an offal sandwich. I
am toying with the idea of setting up in competition with Mr Hormel to flood
the world with a new delicacy I call: Super Healthy Indigestible Tripe, but
cannot come up with a catchy name, let alone an acronym. Any help in getting me
through my mental block would be much appreciated.
Probingly yours as ever,
You certainly have been dipping your pointed lance in hemlock, haven’t you,
Petal. I say that non-critically, as it is beyond your conscious control
probably coming from repressed rage at your father spending your two bob lunch
money at the Turf Accountants, thereby consigning you to ketchup sandwiches for
the rest of your schooldays. But of course, you were lucky. In my day we
didn’t have bread to spread the ketchup on, living as I did on licking the
sandwich wrappers of rich kids like yourself. Your description of SPAM and spam
has been edifying (as opposed to edible) and I thank you for your lengthy
letter (you have probably noticed I had to remove the libellous bits). However,
I would remind you, boiling Lance, of Tolstoy’s letter to Prince Meshcheresky,
“All newspaper and journalistic activity is an intellectual brothel from
which there is no retreat.” It is, it is, and you and I are merely literary
whores. I am afraid you will have to find your own acronyms in future.
Further to the letter from Ruth (September 6) where you suggest that she should
go with her husband and her father for a trawl around the nightspots.
“However, perhaps you should go with them one night and have your eyes
opened. There’s lots of ‘fun’ out there. You don’t have to be serious
all the time.” That’s what you wrote, Hillary. Have you been out at night
recently? The thought police, as you call them have stopped all the nightlife.
The towns in Thailand are looking like Iraq with deserted night entertainment
areas looking as they have been hit by missiles. Any bars that are still left
standing have dispirited serving girls. The days of Thailand being a “fun”
place to visit have gone - or a place to have “fun” in.
A bad attack of the rampant hormones, is it? Your parents picked such an
unfortunate name for you, didn’t they? Petal, there’s more to life than
emulating a bandicoot that eats roots, shoots and leaves. On my recent trips to
Pattaya there are plenty of entertainment outlets that Ruth could take her
father to, and would enjoy herself too, like wise in Chiang Mai, though not the
noisy sprawl of the resort town, there is much to do and plenty of places to
have fun. Have a look in the Community Happenings pages each week and raise
your mind above your belt line. That’s a good boy, Randy, now run out and
play, even if it is by yourself!
A Slice of Thai History: Jim Thompson, the Man behind Thai Silk
Part Two: Businessman and Dilettante 1946-1967
by Duncan steam
Jim Thompson was initially involved in the
revitalisation of the run-down Oriental Hotel. Along with others, he
believed Bangkok and Thailand would soon be a popular stop for tourists
coming into the Asian region, and they would require the services of a
quality hotel, something seriously missing in the Thai capital at that
The Oriental Hotel, with its ideal location overlooking
the Chao Phraya River, had been built in the 1880s but by the mid-1940s
was run down, thereby offering an opportunity to put Thompson’s
architectural and artistic abilities to the test. However, after falling
out with Germaine Krull, a French journalist and one of the major
shareholders, he was compelled to look around for another business.
Nonetheless, he stayed on at the Oriental as a resident for some time
after the fallout.
With a natural flair for colour and design, Thompson
discovered the fascinating art of Thai silk. At the time, it was merely a
small cottage industry confined to a declining group of Moslem weavers,
but Thompson saw great potential in the fabric and set about promoting the
product to an overseas market.
Although the road to recognition and success was not
easy, Thompson’s personality, coupled with the undoubted quality and
unique style of Thai silk, soon saw demand for the product escalate. In
time, others also took up the manufacture and promotion of Thai silk, but
Thompson and his company always managed to remain ahead of the rest.
Thompson also became famous for his Southeast Asian art
collection, probably the most extensive in the region. Most of his early
pieces came from within Thailand, but he later expanded his interests and
added material from countries such as Burma, Cambodia, and Laos.
As the 1950s began to draw to a close, a small house
Thompson had made his home after leaving the Oriental Hotel had become
cramped and overflowing with his rapidly growing art and antiques
collection. Thai law at the time permitted foreigners to purchase up to
one rai of land for residential purposes only, as long as Thai citizens
had reciprocal rights in the purchaser’s country or state. Since the
American state of Delaware complied with this ruling, Thompson decided to
purchase a block just across the khlong from the weaving village where his
workers manufactured the popular silks, and construct a large house.
The residence, when it was completed, comprised
material from six other structures, some dating from the nineteenth
century, and coming from as far away as the outskirts of Ayutthaya. Apart
from an internal staircase and Western-style bathrooms, the house was
traditionally Thai, although architecturally Thompson. The house took
around seven months to build and was officially opened in April 1959.
That same year, the famous English author W. Somerset
Maugham was making a final visit to his old haunts in Asia and, on his
trip to Bangkok, had dinner with Jim Thompson in his recently completed
house. The residence, almost from the beginning, became a major tourist
Since Thompson’s strange disappearance in 1967, one
of the enduring theories concerning his fate revolves around his alleged
work with the CIA. The available evidence seems to show that Thompson, if
he did indeed continue to work in any way with the United States’
intelligence services, would almost certainly have discontinued by the
early 1950s, if not before. Thereafter, he might have been asked for his
opinion about matters of interest to the United States, but he was so busy
working on his business that it seems almost impossible for him to have
continued to perform clandestine spying duties.
When Field Marshal Pibulsongkram returned to power,
relations between former OSS agents Thompson and Alexander MacDonald on
the one hand, and the new Thai regime on the other, soured considerably.
Both Thompson and MacDonald had been close to Pridi Banomyong,
Pibulsongkram’s archrival, and were therefore looked upon with
suspicion. Equally, it appears as though both Thompson and MacDonald did
not altogether agree with U.S. foreign policy as it was being exercised in
the Southeast Asian region.
Personal Directions: Maintaining Balance
by Christina Dodd
Balance, balance, balance. It is the true essential
ingredient that we all need in our lives. Not just on a personal level,
but in the workplace as well. I found myself recently talking to a group
of managers who were concerned that they feel they sometimes get nowhere.
They have huge responsibilities and so much to produce in terms of
results, that they feel defeated before they begin to start. Deadlines
pile up just when they think they have got everything under control. They
feel they have to take charge of each single aspect of a task otherwise it
won’t be completed properly. Does this sound familiar to you?
Every person who has been given the responsibility to
perform goes through this at some time in their career. Waking up in the
morning and thinking, “How am I going to get everything done?” Panic
sets in, stress levels rise, tempers get hot in the office (and at home)
and so on. Balance is important to have in all aspects of what we do. But
in this particular area, I quite often find that managers have sacrificed
balance for “total control”. They don’t delegate well and some
don’t even delegate at all. Some do not really understand how
“delegation” if applied in the correct way can bring them the balance
required to meet their targets and deadlines in their respective jobs. So
let’s look at delegation and some pointers on the subject.
First up … Why do people
Lack of time: Delegating jobs does take time. In the
early stages of taking over a job you may need to invest time in training
people to take over tasks. Jobs may take longer to achieve with delegation
than they do for you to do by yourself, when coaching and checking are
taken into account. In time, with the right people, you will find that the
time taken up reduces significantly as your coaching investment pays back.
Perfectionism - fear of mistakes: Just as you have to
develop staff to do jobs quickly without your involvement, you will have to
let people make mistakes, and help them to correct them. Most people will,
with time, learn to do jobs properly.
Enjoying “getting my hands dirty”: By doing jobs
yourself you will probably get them done effectively. If, however, your
assistants are standing idle while you do this, then your department will
be seriously inefficient. Bear in mind the cost of your time and the cost
of your department’s time when you are tempted to do a job yourself.
Fear of surrendering authority: Whenever you delegate,
you surrender some element of authority (but not of responsibility!). This
is inevitable. By effective delegation, however, you get the benefits of
adequate time to do YOUR job really well.
Fear of becoming invisible: Where your department is
running smoothly with all routine work effectively delegated, it may appear
that you have nothing to do. Now you have the time to think and plan and
improve operations (and plan your next career step!).
Belief that staff “are not up to the job”: Good
people will often under-perform if they are bored. Delegation will often
bring the best out of them. People who are not so good will not be
effective unless you invest time in them. Even incompetent people can be
effective, providing they find their level. The only people who cannot be
reliably delegated to are those whose opinions of their own abilities are
so inflated that they will not cooperate.
It is common for people who are newly promoted to
managerial positions to have difficulty delegating. Often they will have
been promoted because they were good at what they were doing. This brings
the temptation to continue trying to do their previous job, rather than
developing their new subordinates to do the job well.
So then… How do you
Select capable, willing people to carry out jobs: Good
people will be able to carry out large jobs with no intervention from you.
Inexperienced or unreliable people will need close supervision to get a job
done to the correct standard.
Delegate complete jobs: It is much more satisfying to
work on a single task than on many fragments of the task. If you delegate a
complete task to a capable assistant, you are also more likely to receive a
more elegant, tightly integrated solution.
Explain why the job is done, and what results are
expected: When you delegate a job, explain how it fits into the overall
picture of what you are trying to achieve. Ensure that you communicate
effectively: the results that are needed, the importance of the job, the
constraints within which it should be carried out, the deadlines for
completion, internal reporting dates when you want information on the
progress of the project.
Then let go! Once you have decided to delegate a task,
let your assistant get on with it. Review the project on the agreed
reporting dates, but do not constantly look over their shoulders. Recognize
that your assistants may know a better way of doing something than you do.
Give help and coach when requested: It is important to
support your subordinates when they are having difficulties, but do not do
the job for them. If you do, then they will not develop the confidence to
do the job themselves.
Accept only finished work: You have delegated a task to
take a workload off you. If you accept only partially completed jobs back,
then you will have to invest time in completing them, and your assistant
will not get the experience he or she needs in completing projects.
Give credit when a job has been successfully completed:
Public recognition both reinforces the enjoyment of success with the
assistant who carried out the task and sets a standard for other employees.
For more information on our programs please contact me
at Christina.dodd@ asiatrainingassociates.com and until next time, have a
Roll over Rover:
If your dog pays no attention to you, maybe you aren’t paying enough attention to your dog
One of the strange things a foreign visitor to Thailand
never fails to comment on is the fact that stray Thai dogs lie down and
sleep in the middle of the road on busy streets, completely oblivious to
the lethal traffic all around them. Why? I can’t really give a sensible
answer. I can only make some guesses. Most of the ones we see are strays
and street dogs. This drives most of us nuts when we are trying to
navigate around them in Thailand’s mad traffic. They simply pay no
notice to the dangers of being flattened by a speeding truck or
motorcycle. Most of them get up and move just as death is approaching.
These are not the smartest dogs and you won’t find them starring on TV
featured as ‘dogs with jobs’.
Stray dogs for the most part do not get much attention
here. Perhaps that’s why they don’t pay much attention to anything but
which garbage bin they can raid when they are starving.
When I started to take a closer look, I found pedigree
dogs whose owners allow them to roam free doing the same thing. A drive
into any of our housing estates in Pattaya will find dogs sleeping in the
middle of the soi so unbothered by an approaching vehicle that we have to
slow down and maneuver around them. Dogs are pack animals and my guess is
that they pick this habit up from each other. Many owners who are out at
work all day simply let their dogs roam free.
When the family gets home, the dog will run to greet
them because he probably knows it’s time to eat. But these dogs no not
respond to commands because they have never been trained. These owners
complain that their dog pays no attention to them when they give commands.
Gee, I wonder why.
An important aspect of obedience training is getting
your dog’s attention. Your dog will not perform as readily if he isn’t
paying attention to you. There are a number of things you can do to get
his attention, and you should be sure to praise him for paying attention.
Attention works both ways. If you want to get his
attention you must pay close attention to your dog. Many dogs will throw
all their former training out the window and stop being careful if they
know you’re not paying attention. If there is one absolute about
obedience training, this is probably it.
If for some reason your dog’s response to you is
declining, you most likely will have to put him through a refresher course
on some commands. Like humans, dogs need to be reminded once in awhile
when they slide off the straight and narrow.
Back to basics training sessions will usually correct
Bring your dog into your home in order to avoid
distraction and promote better control. Put your dog on a medium-to-short
leash and tie him to your belt. Go about the house and do whatever you
want to do in an ordinary way. Do not pay attention to the dog. He will
re-learn to pay attention to you. After all, he needs to determine when
you are going to get up and walk around and where you are going. A 15
minute training session should be sufficient.
If you look up and catch your dog watching you praise
him. That reinforces the lesson that he is giving you his undivided
attention. Keep demanding that eye contact when you give voice commands.
If he looks away, patience and a soft voice will finally yield results.
Always give your dog praise when he gets it right. Don’t shout or act
angry if he makes mistakes.
When owners feel they must provide re-training
sessions, an organized schedule and uninterrupted program is vital.
Corrections should be made gently. Good corrections depend on timing.
Quick switching between correction and praise needs patience and your dog
will become confused or timid if you get upset. If you feel you and your
dog are tired, stop the training session and give both of you a break.
Woman's World: Day-to-Day tips
by Lesley Warner
I seem to be constantly on about skin and hair but I have
noticed a considerable difference in both of mine since I have returned
from England. I always felt that with constant humidity and perspiration
the skin should stay in fairly good condition, but this is not so. When I
was in England I constantly used moisturizer, 2-3 times a day, almost
without thinking about it, but when I’m in Thailand I have to admit I do
not always remember to use it. One of the reasons is because my skin is so
moist it feels unpleasant to put the moisturizer on, and it doesn’t seem
to be absorbed in the same way. I have found that the answer to this is to
use the moisturizer early in the morning when it’s cool and can be
absorbed by the skin, or last thing at night before you go to sleep when
you don’t mind being a little clammy.
I found this paragraph the other day ... did you know:
“Sweating is not only a mechanism for getting rid of excess body heat.
Our sweat contains a number of different substances, including pheromones
that can have powerful affects on the hormone systems of others who are
physically close to us. Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center
in Philadelphia have shown that pheromones in the sweat of men can cause
an increase in the amount of luteinizing hormones released from a
woman’s pituitary gland at the base of her brain. This in turn can
shorten the time until the next ovulation. Subsequently, human male
pheromones are now being considered as potential future fertility drugs.
Pheromones released by sisters and other women living together can cause a
synchronization of their menstrual cycles. It is likely that human males
also respond subconsciously to female pheromones in a way that affects
their reproductive systems.” The moral of this story is, be very careful
who m you are around when you start sweating!
You may remember that I mentioned how Asian skin heals
so much more quickly than Western skin; I decided to find out why. I turns
out that there are many differences in our skin, white skin is very
different from dark skin, white skin is far more fragile and likely to
suffer problems. Research suggests that dark skin could be better than
white at fending off fungi, bacteria and all sorts of other problems.
Which is probably why dark skin evolved in humans and animals living in
tropical environments where they are more susceptible to infections. We
have a pigment called melanin; if we have a lot of this pigment we are
very dark (even black). If we don’t have much of this pigment we are
very fair (‘white’). The permanent colour of our skin has nothing to
do with sun exposure.
My next problem is my hair - it’s a disaster in
Thailand. The sun constantly dries it out and it feels brittle and fragile
because I use products like gel and wax that seem to encourage the sun
bleach out my colour. The hairdresser suggested it is best to use mousses
or gels sparingly as they cause a build up that will dull your hair and
weigh it down. I decided ok, enough, I will go for the natural look, as it
is easy to look after and nice and cool, so I took myself off to the
hairdresser and asked for a very short urchin like cut. I have seen plenty
of movie stars do this, for example Sharon Stone, Winona Ryder, so why
couldn’t I? What a huge mistake! I looked like I had a pudding basin on
my head! So it was immediately back to the gel and wax.
Now I am just trying harder to keep my hair in good
condition. One good tip is to always rinse your hair with cool water to
seal the cuticles; it helps to make your hair shine. I have tried many
very expensive intensive conditioners, without much success. My favourite
is L’Oreal professional that I no longer seem to be able to get. But I
did try this recipe for a homemade conditioner the other day and it was
Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil with 1 egg and apply to hair.
Use more olive oil if your hair is very long. Cover your head with
aluminum foil, then with a towel that has been warmed in the dryer. Leave
on for 30 minutes to an hour, then shampoo as usual.
To help make hair shine, dieticians recommend that we
eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eaten raw they are especially