Briffault’s Law Financial Considerations
In this article I would like to talk about Briffault’s Law and the importance of good financial planning for western men when it comes to a Thai woman associating with you for a long-term relationship or marriage in Thailand.
Old, Fat and Bald penned an excellent submission on Briffault’s Law which is required background reading for this submission and for those of you who have no knowledge on this important subject:
The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.
1. Past benefit provided by the male does not provide for continued or future association.
2. Any agreement where the male provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the male has provided the benefit (see corollary 1).
3. A promise of future benefit has limited influence on current/future association, with the influence inversely proportionate to the length of time until the benefit will be given and directly proportionate to the degree to which the female trusts the male (which is not bloody likely).
Money is a very important subject of interest for us westerners in Thailand especially given the way we are seen by the Thais. As the saying goes “no money, no honey”. Thailand however is a very challenging country for us westerners when it comes to our money and assets due to the fact that we:
A. Cannot own land in our own name in Thailand.
B. The various Thai business laws which have been deliberately constructed in such a manner that there are numerous advantages which are slanted heavily in the Thais' favour.
C. Our Thai woman will in all almost all cases (bar very exceptional ones) be less financially well off than ourselves given that all women everywhere ‘marry up’ and she is bringing no commensurate level of financial security or collateral to the table.
Thinking about Briffault’s Law and the corollaries added by Old, Fat and Bald I would like to ask a very important question and explore answers to it in this submission:
How can us western men setup a financial situation whereby we are able to provide an ongoing financial benefit to our Thai woman in such a way that we abide by Briffault’s Law yet still ensure that we protect ourselves in the event that if things go wrong with our Thai woman (which is probable) – that we don’t end up losing most of we own?
In general – I see the entire country of Thailand and our involvement in it as westerners as akin to a casino. The odds are rigged in the house's favour. We are the punters. Do not ever lose sight of this important fact. We are playing what is known as a ‘losers game’. Please do not be offended by the term loser for this is not meant as an insult to any of you personally on an individual level. A loser’s game is any game that players participate in which the odds are stacked against the players and in favour of the house or the houses associates. The stock market is an example of a loser’s game. The stock markets associates are the stockbrokers and other ‘helpers’ who make money off the transactions of the players. Regardless of whether the players make money or lose money – the brokers always get their commissions – like the Duke brothers from the movie Trading Places:
There was an excellent book written back in 2007 about investing in the stock market titled “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by one of the most honest men on Wall Street – John C Bogle, which I highly recommend that all of you read:
In it Bogle talks about how to win the losers game of investing in the stock market by avoiding trying to pick winners and simply buying an index fund and holding it forever. Buying an index fund simply means you’re buying a small piece of every single business in the stock market. Essentially this is the only winning strategy in investing in the stock market (a losers game – where the odds are stacked against you) over the long term.
Marriage and long-term relationships are another example of a loser’s game. The divorce statistics prove this. In the US – 50% of first marriages, 67% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. There is an article about the high failure rate of second and third marriages here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201202/the-high-failure-rate-second-and-third-marriages
“The growing independence between genders is thought to be one of the reasons for the significant increase in the incidence of divorce in first marriages during recent decades. Women have become more financially independent”.
Many of us westerners in Thailand have been divorced and many of us are on our third attempt at marriage or a long-term relationship. Given the fact that we are on our third attempt at marriage and we have significant emotional baggage and in Thailand we also face additional obstacles such as the language barrier, cross cultural relationship issues and other cultural issues integrating into a new and very different society – I estimate that our odds of divorce are around 90%. With only a 10% chance of success – we need to ensure that we are very careful playing these dual losers games and that we play them in such a way that we minimise our loses should we end up losing (which is probable).
My view of how to win the Thailand game after much study on the topic and much thinking and reflection on investing in general and very careful observation of female nature together with acknowledgement of Briffault’s Law is:
1. Do not under any circumstances sell everything you own back home and bring all your assets to Thailand in the form of money, gold or other precious metals. The laws in your own country will almost certainly provide you with more protection for your assets than those in Thailand.
2. Keep control of your money at all costs and do not ever turn control of your money or your assets over to your Thai woman.
3. Avoid putting too much of your money into assets in Thailand – whether that be in condos, land in Isaan, businesses or any other assets.
4. Keep the bulk of your assets (90%+ or more for you richer upper class men) in your own country.
5. Live in Thailand off the income that is generated by your assets that are located in your home country.
6. Prior to departing your home country to live in Thailand – sell off and do not invest in anything in Farangland that ‘eats or needs maintenance’ – no houses, no offices, no businesses, no horses etc that you need to actively manage. Instead – invest in what I term ‘mobile capital’. Assets in particular like index funds and pensions which you have accounts set up for in the West but which you do not need to actively manage nor have to travel to manage them or provide maintenance on the ground like houses, offices, businesses etc.
Given that you as a foreigner cannot own land in Thailand – condos in Thailand are likely to be a very poor investment from a financial viewpoint but a condo may be an essential purchase given the nature of the female and given that your younger Thai woman is benefiting from associating with you due in no small part to what you own or are seen to own. Purchasing a condo and setting up life together will in many cases be important. In the view of many older western men looking to retire in Thailand – condos are cheap in comparison to the cost of a house or apartment back home. The purchase of a condo in Thailand will in most cases represent but a small fraction of the assets a successful middle to upper middle class western man owns. Of course you should buy a condo in Thailand in your own name if possible but always consider any money and assets that you have in Thailand to be seen by your Thai woman essentially as hers at the end of the day. That gentlemen goes regardless of the class of Thai woman. The risk of losing your condo in a separation or a divorce may very well be the price you pay to abide by Briffault’s Law and corollaries as stipulated by Old, Fat and Bald.
I would also avoid telling your woman how much income you are receiving from any pension or index funds you have setup back in Farangland. Divulging such financial information can only lead to trouble both in the present (what have you done for me lately? We can afford it etc) and in the future if separation or divorce occurs (which is probable remember). Your income from Farangland is important of course to your standard of living in Thailand but it is also important to your ability to abide by Briffault’s Law and provide an ongoing benefit to your Thai woman – the absence of which will lead you to transgressing Briffault’s Law which will almost certainly mean the end to your lovely Thai teerak’s association with you.
Remember our friend Ted in Thailand from the documentary ‘My Thai Bride’ which I recommended you all watch? Ted paid the price of failing to heed Briffault’s Law in relation to his personal financial planning. His Thai wife got the farm, the house and everything else and he was left with nothing as he sold up everything he owned back in Farangland to come to Thailand. As he himself said “you lose everything without money”. He ended up having to go back home to the UK a broken man both emotionally and financially. If you study the film My Thai Bride carefully you will see that Tips love for Ted turned into indifference over time. Her emotions of love wore off but the house, farm and other assets remained and remained in her ownership. Some choice quotes from Ted, Tip and others from the documentary – reflect on Briffault’s Law as you read them:
Tip: “Everyone hates bar work – it was a good way to meet a foreigner – I had to do it to support my child”.
Foreigner in remote farming community referring to his younger wife: “I believe she does love me – even though she tells me she don’t”.
Tip: “He say he loves me– I love you Tip blah blah blah – I cannot eat your love”.
Tip: “We began staying together – he said he would look after me”.
Tip: “When Edward came to Thailand he spent a lot of money. He spent money very extravagantly. I didn’t want him to run out”.
Ted: “She’s saving me money, she’s sensible with my money and suddenly she’s in control of my money. The more confidence I got in her of doing the right thing with my money, the more money I put in her control”.
Tip: “Edward would send money to take care of my child”.
I could go on but I wont – please do watch the documentary gentlemen as there are many more relevant quotes in it in relation to Briffault’s Law and as you watch it – reflect on Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions below which I have also translated into Thai (you would be amazed at how many emotional misunderstandings with bar girls and ladyboys I have resolved in Thailand by referring them to Plutchik’s Wheel on my iPhone): http://showreal.com.au/my-thai-bride/
What struck me most about Ted’s experience with Tip in Thailand was how over time her emotions of love gave way to indifference as her need (love) in Ted dissipated (hate is not the opposite of love – indifference is). One can only observe from Ted and other western men who have lost everything to both good and bad women in Thailand that it is in the nature of the female that if a man makes himself redundant for whatever reason then she has no further need (love) for him and he is at very high risk of being discarded as per corollary two of Briffault’s Law “Any agreement where the male provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the male has provided the benefit”. Buying a woman a house on land in Thailand in her name – buying her freedom – or in other words – buying her a perpetual benefit in land – gives her every reason to lose her love (need) for you and kick your arse to the curb which means back on the plane for you Sir. When you buy a house for your Thai woman in Thailand in her name you are losing an important bargaining chip (you are removing the important influence of the promise of a future benefit) in your relationship by transgressing corollary three of Briffault’s Law. You are essentially providing her with her future benefit – which she cares very much about and is a large reason why she is associating with you – (a paid off house on land in Thailand) today.
May I now refer you all to our esteemed colleague Caveman’s very astute observation and law from his brilliant submission “What Women Want”:
“Whenever a woman says she loves you, substitute the word “need” for “love” and 100% of the time it will be a true statement”.
As most of you who have read my past Stickman submissions are aware – I’m a 35-year-old bisexual man (bisexual only in Thailand) and I like both Thai women and Thai ladyboys. The jury is still out on whether a ladyboy (partly male in heart and mind if not in spirit) would behave in the same manner as a female given the fact that we hold values such as honour, integrity and trustworthiness to be so important in our lives and dealings with others. I will you keep you posted on my future findings – I am planning on living in self-imposed exile from the Western world for three months in Thailand in Pattaya, Bangkok and Isaan in May, June and July of 2015. Meet ups are possible – please contact me to arrange a place, date and time.
Just as a quick side note – there was this guy on the Internet I was reading about who was going through a divorce. He of course wanted to keep all the money he had built up before his marriage so you know what the guy did? When the relationship starting going badly with his wife he joined gamblers anonymous and then he joined alcoholics anonymous. His thought process was centred on a concept known as 'plausible deniability'. He cleaned out all his bank accounts and when he was called into divorce court by his wife’s lawyers he told the judge that he had fallen back into booze and this lead him to also fall back into his gambling habit and he had lost all his money gambling and drinking. Since he did this before his wife filed for divorce there was nothing she or her lawyer could do to get any past asset money out of him. He apparently hid the money in a shoebox in his brothers safe. You know it occurs to me that the Thais see many of us westerners as overweight, drunken, womanising morons considering the behaviour they witness some of our best and brightest engaging in especially in places like Pattaya. Perhaps joining sex addiction anonymous would be plausibly appropriate prior to divorce in Thailand?
In conclusion – I believe that it is possible to play the double jeopardy losers games in Thailand (Thailand itself is loser’s game number one. Marriage and long-term relationship with a woman in Thailand is losers game number two) but only by recognition that both games are rigged against you so you must plan accordingly. It’s all an exercise in risk management and strict adherence to Briffault’s Law. Recognition of female nature is necessary for success at game two. If say 90% of your assets are back home in the West in the form of mobile capital, pensions etc and you live in Thailand off your income – if anything goes bad for you (the emotions of your woman turn from positive to negative over time which cause her attitude, feelings and actions towards you to become negative) – you wont find yourself in Ted’s position of having to scuttle off back to Farangland with nothing to your name. Not a great position to be in Sir after a lifetime of work. You may lose your condo in Thailand and any other ‘couple assets’ you build together and your love life but you will return home to Farangland and be back on your feet financially – or more likely – you will stay in Thailand and reinvent your love life with a new teerak – because you will be able to afford to do so. As the saying goes – those who fail to plan – plan to fail!
Anyway – be careful out there my friends. Do not fight Briffault’s Law – you might fight the law but Briffault will win. It’s female bloody nature:
All the best Gentlemen!