As I am thinking about retiring here, I was hoping you could advise me on a couple of points. It has always been one of my ambitions to have my own little pub (I’ve spent a fair deal of time in little pubs and bars after work). There seems to be a few very successful bars for sale and they only want about 600,000 baht for most of them. Since I will be getting a nice tidy sum for my retirement, I thought I might invest in one by buying a half share or something. It would be nice to make money at a bar, rather than spending money at a bar, don’t you reckon, Hillary! My only worry is that I have heard that foreigners have been ripped off and I am hoping you can advise me on what to watch for.
With apologies to the Charge of the Light Brigade – “Into the valley of death rode the six hundred” (thousand baht). Jeffrey! Jeffrey! For a start, there are very few successful bar owners who learned the trade from propping up the outside of the bar. Even with half shares for sale, have you stopped to think why the owner of such a successful establishment would want to give half of it away? Things to watch for? There is always the third or fourth 50 percent share that gets sold. Unfortunately, with the economic downturn, tourist cancellations, etc., etc., etc., the bar will pay no dividend this year and the regretful owner will buy your 50 percent share back for 100,000 baht. Yes, there are quick profits to be made in the bar bizz – for the seller, not the purchaser. Mind you, if you can get a half share in Jameson’s Irish Pub for 600,000 baht, I’ll buy the other half!