Monday, May 31, 2010

Edmonton, Alberta: How Do You Heat Your Igloo?

Brian was one of my first international partners. He'd been based in Japan for four years working for a large software company from the U.S. We met on the 42nd floor of the Tokyo Park Hyatt , where the view was so stunning you'd think the city never ended, during a small international investment seminar where I was one of the guest speakers. The event was real estate specific and the primary content was targeted at international property purchases. I hadn't yet presented and was taking in the other speakers, many of whom were selling sunsets, seascapes and glitzy downtown London high rises.

Between delicate bites of bluefin tuna—which arrived fresh from Tsukiji market that morning—and sips of Shizuoka iced matcha, Brian asked me what I thought about the event. He commented that the Thailand land offer looked good and asked me my opinion on whether it was a "good deal" or not. I wasn't surprised by Brian's direct question. But what does shock me is how arbitrarily some folks can make their investment decisions.

I replied in a lighthearted way that spending my money on sunsets and sandy beaches is what I do when I'm on holiday, not when I plan and weigh out an investment option. Sunsets sizzle, and when we imagine the lifestyle associated with them, emotion takes hold and reason leaves the room.

Now, that's not to say there aren't great places to invest that are also visually appealing paradises; there are. However, they require the same kind of homework that I do on my property investments, target towns and provinces.

Read more - why sunsets don't equal big cheques

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