Revenge of the Nerd. "Never let a good crisis go to waste."

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The revenge of the Nerd.

"Never let a good crisis go to waste."  Thailand being reinvented in time.

Thailand is now changing, perhaps more then most other places.  Over the past 10 years or so mass tourism innuendoed this country. I will spare give the exploding numbers here as these are amply published elsewhere.  As the global travel bug emerged and then replicated like a virus (sorry for the punt) some places more then others, saw tourism explode. Thailand was one of those surging destinations -and for good reasons. Many tourist related business' exploded, on-line and off, on this mega trend emerged to numerous to mention here.  Hotel rooms galore of all kinds in all places, emerged... AirBNB became a new mega billion dollar company (but since its value cut in half, as the greedy founders failed to IPO in time).   Almost none, in this go-go travel euphoria saw it overstretched -just like some 12 years earlier too few saw US housing as being in an obvious (to me) bubble. Or for that matter how the AU$ was well overvalued. (Sorry, could not help put this in here as I often -years before- wrote about this here.)

Presently most in the health/travel/tourist/exotic-travels/detox-retreats etc..related biz. are hurting badly -or worse- closing down permanently.  In recent years there have been many new "gurus" out there advocating lifestyle changes in doing things, experiencing things etc...rightly so claiming "stuff" is overrated.  Spend money on experiences, travel and health, not on things was the new mantra.  Berating those which cringed on to more traditional professions, or whom did not buy-in on that in full heart, or business wise.  Today and into the near future, we now see many are gone -or will be barely clinging on with only hope.  Almost all, but the best, of the health related, detox, retreats, holistic,yoga-studios, niche travel agencies around here have closed down. I am talking in tourist destinations.  Sadly or not, many if not most all, will never to come back!  

Brief, the ever broader of now times past tourism industry failed to remember how cyclical it is  (always has been) and many fell in the trap on the current virulent downturn. Thailand more then many other destinations -and surely there are many victims which have nothing to do with poor foresight. We all feel terrible about that.

Things always change but not always for the better, but perhaps in some ways this global CV19 event did just that, at least for here in the longer run.  much misery of the many new unemployed -not withstanding.  The big(gest) new winners being those in new on-line technologies...they are the nouveau big mega wealth generators-amassers (mostly) givers to our changed new world: as they don't burn much most often help reduce burning Co2,  don't pollute the environment/nature and don't just advocate hedonism/travel/health... using, even abusing life & awesome outdoors.  They are less part of the moi-moi-me-me, et all cost., how do I look, how to I feel, what have I've seen/experienced of late -have I lost weight?  Oh well, but that is another story...

Can we see a silver lining? I think so.  The silver lining in time is that Thailand is cleaning-up both in nature and serene places, de facto. Getting beyond mass-tourism with all its mediocrity. Already evident in many ways aS amply reported.  While there will be lots of changes, set backs, BANKRUPTCIES, closures and suffering... one thing will emerge in time and that is a cleaner, leaner, less nature spoiled Thailand which is in time reinventing itself upwards.  Anyway, this is my prediction.

There will be less mass tourists, but instead higher quality ones -which spend more per capita and likely in better-gentler ways.  Upper level travelers besides new country-home seekers, are well to do/endowed and will seek out safety, quality, health and other more desirable life styles.   Medical tourism is emerging and anyway, be more of the opposite to dreadful "zero dollar" cheap Charlie tours.  I could dwell more around this theme, but its beyond  There are risks of course, not least the political climate far from settled during these changing times.
Today, I just want to re-iterate my 1 year investor objective conviction in my last model portfolio, posted a couple of weeks ago for members.  Where choices like CPF (27.50), now viewed with a stronger-buy opinion, besides STGT (75) which had a nice run since despite the SET index dropping again in late September.  Both should benefit from any Baht currency weakness which is entirely possible/probable as we enter the 4th Q. while still near 0 tourists which so bid far less for Thai Baht currency during this upcoming traditionally high season, all but absent. The more daring political climate may also affect the Baht.  For now.  The SET index at 1244 may well be approaching some low (nadir) point as in a 5 weeks the US elections are over, a CV19 vaccine is in the making and big investors which always look ahead to a likely better 2021 (?)  Its more then ever before a market of stocks, rather then a stock market -and there will be winners even during a continued SET deluge. The investor challenged I hope I can help with.  As we saw in 2020, with choices like AUCT (13) which more then doubled plus high dividends, even while the SET languished.
Best Regards,
Paul A. Renaud.