Dale Dale, Thailand, United States discussed on My Worst Investment Ever Podcast
And basically the news was that the Thai government could no longer defend the baht and the bought the currency of the Thai government was going to collapse and we all could see the collapse happening in the market and bought at that time was twenty five baht to US dollar and by the end of nineteen ninety seven it was at sixty baht to the US dollar hello fellow risk-takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of lost. Keep you winning in our community. We know that the winning investing you must take risk but the wind big. You've gone to reduce it. My name is Andrew Stocks for May Stotts investment research and. I'm here with featured guests me. I wanted to take this time to talk to you about this. Current coverted crisis. It is a time. That is very scary. I have lived through many different economic crises over the years and I wanted to share my story of loss. It wasn't my worst investment but it was my worst personal moment. It was about nineteen ninety-five. I was riding high as a stock market analyst in Thailand. In fact I have been promoted to be the head of research of company name. W I carr which was the number one foreign broker all was going well then. A friend of mine came nineteen ninety-five Dale and he said. Hey we should set up a coffee business in Thailand and we had the idea of setting up a coffee business originally. It wasn't going to be a factory we're going to buy coffee from other companies. Other roasting company package it and then sell that coffee on but when we found that we couldn't find companies that would be able to produce the coffee to our standard. We decided we'd have to build a coffee factory. Well no problem. I was making good money and had already made a lot of good money and between myself. Dale Dale moved to Thailand and we set up. Coffee Works and set up the factory. We started our sales in nineteen ninety six and then in nineteen ninety seven. The financial crisis happened. I remember walking into work on the first day. The first working day of July in nine hundred ninety seven and basically the news was that the government could no longer defend the baht and the bought the currency of the Thai government was going to collapse and we all could see the collapse happening in the market and they bought at that. Time was twenty five baht to us. Dollar and by the end of Nineteen Ninety Seven. It was at sixty baht to the. Us dollar later stabilized to about fifty and and eventually come back to where it is now which is about thirty or so what that meant was that companies that had US dollar debt. Were in serious trouble. Because they didn't have enough money to pay it back. The economy started to collapse and when that happened. Everything got bad. Eventually we could see that our plans for business disappeared and those plans had been to sell too many companies as the economy was expanding in Thailand. It was a very exciting time but instead are sales dried up to almost nothing yet. We still had a factory in people working in that factory and we still had a sales team trying to sell and we were trying to sell but nothing was coming in and to make matters worse in April of Nineteen Ninety Eight. I lost my job working in investment bank. All of a sudden we had a business and a factory and a lot of costs no revenue and no employment for me to feed the cash needs of the company. We made a decision dalen. I had lived together in a house in Bangkok and we made a decision. Have to move out to cut the costs and we have to move into the coffee factory. We move the sales team out of one of the rooms that had air conditioning in it. 'cause factories not tiling because it's burning hot we move the staff out of the Accounting Office into another office and we put two beds in that office and we went back to school. It was like going back to college days. Two beds one room a bathroom outside of that room and that's where we lived every day. We saw no new customers come in and existing customers disappear and of course no income and there was very little hope that I would get a job again in the financial industry because everything seemed to be decimated by the collapse not only in the collapse in Thailand then we saw Indonesia collapse and Malaysia and many of the other countries in Asia got hit this crisis in one thousand nine hundred seven the Asian crisis never really hit the US later in nineteen ninety eight there was a Russian crisis but that crisis barely hit the US market so here. We were in our factory with no hope. It was a very depressing time to make matters worse on one August Day in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight. Dale and I had woken up. Factory was empty. No workers there. Nothing going on kind of depressing Sunday because when we looked out the window it was pouring a tropical rain outside of Bangkok and it was just a depressing day. If you could imagine the smell of rain in a tropical forest basically where we were with this factory because we were out in the boondocks in this factoring we were sitting there. It was already a depressing environment and I got a call from my sister. Kelly and Kelly said that her cancer had come back and the doctor said she only had one month to live. Could I please come home to see her? When I hung up the phone Dalen I looked at each other and just cried. It was the absolute bottom that August Sunday of nineteen ninety eight. A professional bottom an a personal bottom all seemed loss very soon. I had to get an airplane and get back to see my sister. Within one week of arriving in America she had passed away. I had one week to spend with her. We had the burial the funeral and her three daughters and her husband. They're mourning the loss. I stayed for a couple more weeks with her family and then I had to come back to Thailand. I came back to Thailand completely depressed and defeated by this time. Dale had decided that we better not live in the factory. We should move into a apartment nearby. That's as low cost as possible because the factory the environment of the factory would eventually break us down so when I arrived back in Thailand in August after having lived in the factory from April to August. We had a little apartment a tiny little apartment. The apartment cost one hundred fifty dollars per month for the two of us to live there and basically I was quite depressed coming back and I wasn't coming back to anything exciting. The key thing is that Dale is an iron man and Dale decided that he would just keep doing the next best thing that he could do the next right thing to do to continue the business. Many many times we talked about the business and we agreed that this is an equity investment of myself and some other investors in Dale and we all knew it was a high risk investment and we can walk away from it and lose everything. But we don't need to feel ashamed about that because failing and business is not illegal fraud. Lying cheating is definitely illegal. Dale was a very honest and sincere man and he continued on and slowly by nineteen ninety. Nine I got a call where I got a job offer to work for. Bank things. Were starting to come back and slowly very slowly. Coffee Work started to recover and Dale kept making the next right steps. We made mistakes along the way but today we're a company with more than one hundred staff and a robust business that is celebrating twenty five years in existence. That's something to be proud of now. I'm going to ramp up my story by saying what lessons did I learn. The first lesson I learned is that when economic crisis comes this not a lot that you can do to change it. You've got to buckle down. Keep your costs low. Maybe move in with friends. Come up with ways to cope with the situation because it isn't gonNA turn around quickly got the first thing. The second thing is don't cheat lie steal or do other things that some people do in times of desperation. The third thing I learned from it is that sometimes small businesses at trapped. You can't go back. Because we didn't have anything our assets nobody would buy the assets of our company and we couldn't go forward because what we found. Is that no matter how much work we put into cells? We still couldn't increase the sales of the company at that time. Sometimes you just have to walk four and I think that my main lesson that I would say if I thought about what one action would. I recommend listeners to take to avoid suffering the same fate I would say that the lesson that I learned is take it easy when a crisis comes..