The end of, as it was since April 1997.

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The end of, as its been full time since 1997.   For some 2-3 years I have taken the more bearish view here...mostly due to lack of SEC/SET & Broker industry reforms -a long stalemate.

April 30th 2024 marks the 27th Anniversary of this longest Thai running web site, marks my 70th Bday --and not least, the SET's 49th Bday: “April 30, 1975, the Securities Exchange of Thailand officially started trading. On January 1, 1991, the name was formally changed to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).”

It will also mark the end running/publishing at as is and so then now, as was.  

While sun-setting Thai stocks, I am not retiring, -more like moving on.  My new focus will be around general investing themes and knowledge, Chinese ETF's "bottom fishing" as here posted on Feb. 7th.  AI especially in language interpreting, Quantum-computing, gold/silver for some time already, some Bitcoin? etc.. but not least, be investor cautious on not to getting caught-up in yet another likely US induced bubble/crisis.  Nor willing to short US stocks as being too difficult regarding timing.

The end now here as was, for many reasons which have little to do me -as I remain in excellent health, fit and likely investor & otherwise wiser than ever -which age and experience brings on -post 45 years of full time "investor par excellence” many would say.  But on that last one, I let others opinionate. :)  As I do remain first and foremost a rational high integrity investor at heart.  

As here expressed for some 3 years: the SET and its broker practices have increasingly frustrated me and many others to the point of now (me) giving-up.  Difficulty in getting unbiased research/investor-information/transparency/lack of violator prosecutions along with fines of convicted violators are some of the reasons make me drop out.  The only reason I hung in there until now was due to my strong investor conviction on a very few selection notably TOG/AUCT, which was/is my “last investor huray” here, and remains so.

Of late I have expressed some of this with published letters in the Bangkok Post, “Postbag”.  Thailand’s leading/prominent English language newspaper.  But to be clear, as expressed, this does not mean there not remain some interesting companies to invest here, as I have lately chosen with tame valuations paying twice the dividend yield of the SET averages while earnings are growing faster.

Again worth repeating:  over the past 3 years or so, at this longest running web site in Thailand, I often expressed and wrote about SET/Broker industry dire frustrations which instead of evolving and progressing to a betterment, went the other way.  This is my view -as is many others.  

No need to make a long list here again, but I will say this:  the recent SET OK’d affirmation that listed companies can issue new free warrants, while excluding certain NVDR foreign shareholders, was “one last nail in the coffin”.   Excludes expats on this,  even to those which live here in permanence.  Lately, published again in the BKK Postbag my letter clearly stating this poor/inept new trend.  It just makes no sense to claim that expats living in Thailand in permanence should follow some stock/security-laws from their foreign country -where they don’t reside/live.

Rational & responsible investors, the SET should cherish, favor companies growing and with good fundamentals/reputation, as these are the very ones which at some point may issue such “shareholder sweeteners”, i.e. free warrants.  Yet as here noted how a few SET/MAI listed companies are starting to just exclude select expats, only by nationality.  Not good… as we never know what company may be doing this next?   Then, the SET answering my 3 e-mails on this stating  again: “it’s their right…and up to the company”.   No monsieur I answer.  So count me/us out, was my take/answer back to the SET.

Since I am on this, here is some more: As we know, too much of SET volume activity, alas for long, centered around speculating and day-trading with the direct and/or indirect sanctioning by most brokers.  This is not responsible investing to most.  IPO’s here for years are often issued at higher than fair market price -as I gauge- only to then most all be speculated-on only the first few days.  Which as one broker CEO told me: “post this, then nobody cares anymore”.   No real focus on long term wealth creation or excellence in dealings, or being a responsible underwriter to the companies brought public.  This along with broker research reports which can be biased…which reminds me of the old saying “half a truth can be a whole lie”.

Then there are these infamous strict Thai defamation laws in force, where even if telling the truth on something gone amiss or worse, one can get in trouble -for just pointing out-on line.  Years ago when I visited companies (over 160 in person during the past 25 years), I always started out by stating to the CEO being interviewed: “I operate on the international standard/level and if you misled me or tell me something obviously wrong in retrospect, I have no choice but to point this out at my web site”.  Those days are clearly over -as I can’t say/act on that anymore without fear of getting in trouble, or worse.  The question begs: how can anybody do serious business here -when if something goes crooked one then can’t express this publicly?  

Then of course there is the ever-lame Thai economy on-going for years now, even post Covit-19, with no real caveat how it may change?  Stuck in the middle-income trap along now with a massive consumer debt hangover -while little real reforms in the making?  BTW, one of my letters which the BKK post never published, was on the rampant consumer predatory lending practices gone astray here and only more so & totally unaddressed.  Of course I recognize over-indebtedness by governments and/or consumers is not just a Thai problem. The problem here is that many small business operators, individual entrepreneurs are forced to take out expensive consumer-loans at horrific high interest rates, due to lack of other means.

Ever more giant Thai oligopolies eager to and then have taken over various core big biz’s, which is a classic & proven drag on future economic growth.  Last, but not least, the ongoing juvenile politics which however, one never knows this could suddenly change for the better (?). But for me at my stage, I am not holding my breath on that.

I end my long journey being very selective investor upbeat but in recent times only on just a very few key/core investor choices as I view. In recent times (since 2021) having written positively more than any other on/around TOG (11.90), secondarily so AUCT and just recently (since Feb.7th 2024) on China ETF’s…as I perceive the then oversold China/Hong Kong stock markets.  First time taken a China investor stand there with my “dollar cost averaging” view on select ETF’s; as I outlined in the recent article devoted to that.  Time will tell.   USA mostly misses the point that China seems to be a semi-“democracy, which however delivers”.  I dare to think the bottom has been reached.

TOG/AUCT core choices here have combined in recent 3 years hugely outperformed the SET/MAI index.  Well lets say since the end of the Covit horror, where back then I did call the SET index bottom in April 2021.  (Remember, sorry for beeping my own horn).      ***

I also take this opportunity to remind all members/followers that I always took the view since the very outset in 1997, to nail down profits whenever a selection -over the past quarter century- moved-up +50%!   Then, with that, do other things like buy a condo, take a world trip, get a new car, have your prostate cancer treatment (as one prominent member wrote me once Thai stock profits with me, “saved his life”, as he told me). For a long time here stated to keep accumulating gold/silver.

With very few exceptions like TICON 20 years ago and now is TOG (11.80)/AUCT (10) where despite their combined more than +50% price upward move, I view just sticking with these, especially so TOG.  Both combined pay a 6% yearly cash dividend.

Surely there are select others but I fear it remains too SET investor difficult with many traps along the way along with lack of reforms and other setbacks.  Until major changes are brought forth, I am walking away. Yes in the sunset.  Some believe the SET has yet to bottom- out? I tend to think it may already be near a major bottoming....but dragging on, with little upside potential. The next bad news may be some brokers massively down scaling, down sizing or evern closing doors.

Over the past 27 years I surely favored many then laggards as well, but most often walked away in time viewing cutting losses as well as taking profits, are all part of the important/integral investor success principle!  “If you never have any losers you’re not trying hard enough”, as a seasoned money manager told me long ago.  Here is a previous article where I advocated accumulating gold some time back:     And a year ago stated the same with silver where I identified the best in my view Silver ETF fund. (PSLV $8.20, traded in US NYSE, Arca).

Overall, I think its fair to acclaim I do exit somewhat on the upbeat, even while the SET has been on the utter downbeat -for some years.  Like I said and wrote to various brokers and posted for some time  “beware, bad money will chase out good”.   I dare to add my final here view: Thailand is good at many things but running a stock exchange & brokerage with strict regulations and fines to violators which is what is needed may not be one of them, at least for now.

And that is mostly what has happened in good part, due to their own doing & lack of changes/reforms. So  “it is what it is”.  While wishing the SET its gnomes and brokers only the very best with one word: Broadly Reform or be stuck in mediocracy!  This web site will still keep beaming likely until end of year 2024 and I may still post here for members and registered free users, off topic and more.  Any ideas on taking-over or acquiring this site, re-inventing it etc.. write me directly at:

Best Regards & so long.

Paul A. Renaud.  -as was.

PS. Here you can see one of my very first upbeat articles on TOG, clearly naming it a “top favorite” back then. See there also their very high dividend payout history over long time as this is significant during continue record low Bank interest rates here paid on Thai savings bank accounts: