Funky Micro Business Ideas Over the Moon

See Funky Micro Business Idea below:  Over the Moon.


First… yesterday’s message was a micro business idea about good health shoes. I linked that article to the shoe website but got the link wrong. This was my fault for working too late and not doing the full job!

Here is the correct link to Walk the Walk Shoes.

Next.  Before we look at the over the moon micro business idea let’s remember a problem about this era’s change… that opportunity for most in big business is dead.

An excerpt from the New York Times article “American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation” by Louis Uchitelle reminds us of this fact when it says:
GRAFTON, Mass. — After breakfast, his parents left for their jobs, and Scott Nicholson, alone in the house in this comfortable suburb west of Boston, went to his laptop in the living room. He had placed it on a small table that his mother had used for a vase of flowers until her unemployed son found himself reluctantly stuck at home.

The daily routine seldom varied. Mr. Nicholson, 24, a graduate of Colgate University, winner of a dean’s award for academic excellence, spent his mornings searching corporate Web sites for suitable job openings. When he found one, he mailed off a résumé and cover letter — four or five a week, week after week.

Over the last five months, only one job materialized. After several interviews, the Hanover Insurance Group in nearby Worcester offered to hire him as an associate claims adjuster, at $40,000 a year. But even before the formal offer, Mr. Nicholson had decided not to take the job. Rather than waste early years in dead-end work, he reasoned, he would hold out for a corporate position that would draw on his college training and put him, as he sees it, on the bottom rungs of a career ladder.

“The conversation I’m going to have with my parents now that I’ve turned down this job is more of a concern to me than turning down the job,” he said.
He was braced for the conversation with his father in particular. While Scott Nicholson viewed the Hanover job as likely to stunt his career, David Nicholson, 57, accustomed to better times and easier mobility, viewed it as an opportunity. Once in the door, the father has insisted to his son, opportunities will present themselves — as they did in the father’s rise over 35 years to general manager of a manufacturing company.

“You maneuvered and you did not worry what the maneuvering would lead to,” the father said. “You knew it would lead to something good.”

Complicating the generational divide, Scott’s grandfather, William S. Nicholson, a World War II veteran and a retired stock broker, has watched what he described as America’s once mighty economic engine losing its pre-eminence in a global economy. The grandfather has encouraged his unemployed grandson to go abroad — to “Go West,” so to speak.

“I view what is happening to Scott with dismay,” said the grandfather, who has concluded, in part from reading The Economist, that Europe has surpassed America in offering opportunity for an ambitious young man. “We hate to think that Scott will have to leave,” the grandfather said, “but he will.”
The grandfather’s injunction startled the grandson. But as the weeks pass, Scott Nicholson, handsome as a Marine officer in a recruiting poster, has gradually realized that his career will not roll out in the Greater Boston area — or anywhere in America — with the easy inevitability that his father and grandfather recall, and that Scott thought would be his lot, too, when he finished college in 2008.

In this era, cradle to grave corporate opportunity has been dramatically diminished and all types of corporate career employment severely reduced. Technology reduces the need for a lot of middle management and technology has also created a global economy that makes other nations more competitive.

Examples of this fact we see here in North Carolina include Thomasville the furniture manufacture and Cannon Mills the largest maker of towels in the USA. Faced with rising labor costs Thomasville moved most of its operation to China. Many US jobs were lost.

Cannon stuck to their cradle to the grave with the US approach and went bust.

The end result?  In both examples US jobs were lost.

When we embrace change,  the technology that has destroyed the old era can make our lives even better because this technology enhances profits in micro businesses.

Micro businesses can be better than a job! With a micro you are the boss and can choose how to have self fulfillment…  and your business can be fun and can be unusual… funky… even off the wall.

This is why we created our Hall of Funky Micro Business ideas.

Here is a new funky business idea we can add to the hall.

Create  a funky tour business.

How odd can your tours be?

Very odd indeed… such as shown by this excerpt from a June 25, 2010 article in National Geographic entitled Mooning Over Solar Eclipses.

Photo (Composed of 55 Calibrated Images): Miloslav Druckmuller, Peter Aniol, Vojtech Rusin.

As day plunges into night, the faithful gaze skyward, murmuring in awe. They wear Mylar glasses, hoist cameras, join hands. They are “eclipse chasers,” and their numbers have been growing since the 1970s. Total solar eclipses occur every 18 months or so and are visible for just a few minutes from any one spot. As knowledge about them has trumped superstition, legions of fans have been flocking to the narrow strips on Earth where the moon can best be seen obscuring the sun.

This year Melita Thorpe, owner of an astronomy-themed travel agency, saw a hundred slots fill up by spring for a $6,000 July freighter trip to the South Pacific; dozens more devotees signed up for a sunset viewing of the same eclipse in Patagonia. Her biggest crowd in the agency’s 26 years: the 700 people she ferried to view a 1991 eclipse off the coast of Mazatlán, Mexico.

I have used this as an example only to show how esoteric one’s micro business ideas can be.  We do not encourage looking at eclipses. In Ecuador’s shamanic wisdom (and in India’s as well) being in an eclipse is really bad for one’s energy.

If paying $6,000 to look at the moon is not odd enough, how about paying $200,000 to fly over the moon?

Well maybe not over the moon… but into outer space at least.
Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic created a tour business to take people into outer space.
According to the company’s website 340 customers (the company calls them Virgin Galactic astronauts) have purchased tickets that cost $200,000 and deposits start from $20,000.
The Hobby Space website (see link below) has an article entitled “Space Tourism Personal Spaceflight for you” that says:

In April of 2001, Dennis Tito became the first traveler to pay for a trip to space with money out of his own pocket. He decided to do it and then just did it. That’s what tourism is all about. Since then four other “personal spaceflight participants” have traveled to the ISS. The trips were arranged by the company Space Adventures which has also set up the trip for Richard Garriott in the fall of 2008.

In October of 2004, Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne won the X PRIZE and thereby started a new race to develop the first vehicle that will provide suboribtal space rides to paying customers. Suborbital generally refers to an up-and-down ( i.e. mostly vertical) flight that reaches an altitude of around 100km or more but does not go into orbit around the earth.

Market studies by NASA and many other organizations have shown that there are sizable markets for space tourism, both suborbital and orbital, and that the markets will grow rapidly as the cost of sending a person into space drops from current levels.

Adventure tourism, such as trips to Antarctica or Mount Everest, has long been a profitable business. This can involve packages with prices as high as $100k range and even higher. (my bold)

What can be funkier than that… $100,000 to nearly reach space on a mountain top… or $200,000 to get in a space ship and do it.

Embrace change. If you have a micro business idea… no matter how odd… you may be able to gain fun… fulfillment and financial security creating your own micro tour business.


How We Can Serve You

2015 Schedule

Schedule 2015  Seminars and Courses

We conduct our Investment seminar at Jefferson Landing in Jefferson North Carolina.

Join Merri and me for all the courses and seminars that we’ll conduct to help you gain positive solutions to your economic, financial and lifestyle concerns.

Here is the courses we currently have scheduled in 2015. 

Never Run Out of Money

Join Merri and me for our October 17-18 Quantum Wealth Seminar.

Share my 49 years of global investing experience.   learn how to fight inflation and gain profits using easy value investment portfolios and currency distortions.

For example at the 2012 October seminar  it became obvious that the Japanese yen was overvalued.

That led me to post a note at this site “Multi Currency Sandwich” suggesting shorting the Japanese yen and investing the loan in dollars and euro.

What a ride!  The dollar appreciated over 12% versus the yen in one quarter. This rise was far higher than the skyrocketing Dow Jones Industrial average (red line in chart below).

Those who learned how to borrow yen and invest in the Dow Jones industrial average… earned both the 9.5% and 12% profit or 21.5%… in three months.

yen dollar chart

US dollar versus yen and comparison to Dow Jones Industrial average chart from  Click on chart to to enlarge.

That yen loan is not safe at this time.  At the seminar we will look at the risk reward scenarios for numerous currencies to see which is likely to bring the greatest profit next.  More importantly you learn how to continually monitor currency values after the seminar.

Learn why it now makes more sense to borrow (or short) pounds.

We conduct the seminar in October because September and October are important months for investing and also pose the greatest risk to our wealth.

A study by Michael Keppler shows that most profits in most major equity markets, is achieved from the beginning of November through the end of May.

Michael wrote: “Gary, We have done extensive research on seasonality and I am proud to announce that a shortened version of a major study which I have coauthored with our Director of Research, Dr. Xing Hong Xue, will be published in the Winter Issue of the Journal of Investing.  Our research shows that basically in all major equity markets, nearly all returns are achieved from the beginning of November through the end of May.  All the best to you and Merri.  Michael

Michael showed that over 30 Years, the Dow grew 8.16% overall.

There was 8.36% growth in the months November through April.  There was 0.37 growth in the months May  to October.  $100 invested in the Dow grew to $848 overall over the 3o years.
$100 invested in the Dow grew to $1,067 if it were invested only in the months of November through April.  $100 invested in the Dow dropped to $79 if it were invested only in the months of May to October.

Historically the worst months for stock markets are September and October.   This week, the best chances for equity losses this year, have just begun.  Think risk aversion now and think ahead for profit making in November.

We’ll be joined by Michael Keppler, one of the world’s foremost equity mathematical and statistical analyst.   Between Michale and myself, we have almost 100 years of equity research experience.  He will speak about time, asset allocation and how to determine good value markets.

Learn how to protect and increase your savings and wealth with easy to start, very slow trading, safe and secure, worry and stress free portfolios that provide proven long term profit potential.  Avoid the ups and downs that stock markets will see in the months ahead.

As a run up to my 50th year of speaking and writing about savings and investments around the world I asked my mathematical and tax genius friends to share a weekend with us to cut through the fog of rapid change and show us ways to invest better than hedge fund managers.

Hedge Funds were the fashionable place to invest in the 1990s, but since then their performance has been falling.

However some hedge fund managers succeeded for one simple reason… experience.  A Telegraph article “How can we avoid the next financial crisis?  Urgently listen to those who foresaw this one” explains why  a few managers succeeded, when it was said:  It’s no coincidence that the biggest winners of the downturn – John Paulson, Paolo Pellegrini and Jeffrey Greene – were approaching 50 years of age. They retained vivid memories of past real-estate problems.  Youth was a detriment to pulling off the greatest trade ever and preparing for the downturn.  

The successful hedge fund investors succeeded where most failed because of their experience.

I’ll provide the 50 years of experience at the seminar.  I have been through the rise of gold to over 800 an ounce (in the 1970s) and silver to $48.  I experienced the stock market’s bear that began in 1968, the Black Monday crash in 1987 when the Dow had its biggest one day drop ever and the dotcom bubble as well as the collapse in 2008.  I worked my way through the first dollar devaluation in 1971, the Plaza Accord arranged dollar collapse and two major downturns in the Japanese yen, plus invested through the 1970s, 1980s and late 2000 recessions.

We’ll share how these experiences prepare us for our investments now.

Michael Keppler provides the Math.

The idea of using math to find good value equity investments led me to ask mathematical analyst, Michael Keppler, to join us in the Blue Ridge for the seminar.

Fwd: keppler

Michael is a brilliant mathematician.  We have tracked his analysis for over 20 years.   He continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each stock market’s history.  From this, he develops his Good Value Stock Market Strategy.  His analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.

Red Lining Your Investments

According to Keppler’s analyses, an equally-weighted combination of good value markets offers the highest expectation of long-term risk-adjusted performance.  His mathematical predictions have been eerily accurate as the red line below shows.

Each quarter Michael shares with me (and other professional investors) his “Total Return Predictions”.

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 7.23.02 PM

Click on chart to enlarge.

This chart shows the entire real-time forecasting history of Keppler for the KAM Equally-Weighted World Index, he started in 1993.  Keppler continually shows what his mathematical formulas predict for markets four years ahead.  These numbers are based on mathematical relationships between price and value over the previous 15 years moving forward in monthly increments.  In this way Keppler uses numbers to continually adjust to the ever-changing market norm.

Keppler’s chart includes two remarkable episodes.  The first in the period when global equity markets peaked and crashed over a five-year period from 1997  to 2001.  Keppler’s Equally-Weighted World Index predictions stayed above the upper forecast band and accurately predicted the recovery and how much global markets would rise.

The second remarkable period started in October 2008, when again Keppler’s forecasts accurately showed where markets would reach as they fell below the lower forecast band.

Imagine the extra profit professional investors have today when they invested in these depressed good value markets before they again rose.

Keppler’s projections now indicate that global markets are expected to rise from between 2.1%  and 13.0 % in the next three to five years.

Learn about Keppler’s projections and about Asset Allocation from Michael Keppler in person at our Value Investing Seminar October 17 & 18 in Jefferson, North Carolina.  

jefferson Landing

Our October seminar will be at the Jefferson Landing Country Club.

Enjoy the autumn leaf change and learn how to survive and prosper with value investments.

garyascott- leaf - change

Jefferson leaf change view.

Learn amazing tax benefits as well.  I have invited my tax expert, Conrad Oertwig, to join us.  

Seven of tax secrets that Conrad will share include:

* How Dutch-treat entertainment allows you to deduct your own meals.

* How to entertain for business and help the charity of your choice because a charity sporting event produces double the deduction of a business meal.

* How one magic word can allow you to deduct your daily transportation costs between your home and another work location.

* How to earn an extra $11,425  by using antiques as office equipment.

* How to gain $12,976 by using two vehicles for business.

* How to reduce tax by having a second office in the home.

* How to travel by cruise ship and deduct up to $680 a day.

Plucking common sense from the tax law is time consuming and difficult work.  For more than 25 years, Conrad has gained great satisfaction by helping his clients extract tax dollars from the tax law.  He has over 400 tax savings tips and will share some of  the most important lessons at the seminar.

To help you get an early start on tax savings, I will send you Conrad’s report “7 Secrets to Paying Less Tax… for the One-Owner Business” when you enroll in the seminar.  I’ll also send you “The Silver Dip 2015” as soon as it is released.

Join Michael Keppler, Conrad Oertwig, Merri, and me, plus video presentations by Leslie Share, Eric Roseman, Thomas Fischer and Richard Smith.   The “Value Investing Seminar” looks at how to protect purchasing power and pensions with value investing.  The course teaches how to add safety and create profits by spotting multi currency and global equity cycles through good value mathematics.

Get “7 Secrets to Paying Less Tax & The Silver Dip 2015”.  Join us Saturday, Sunday, October 17-18, 2015, Jefferson, North Carolina.  Enroll here $499. Couple $799.

Hear from other speakers via video.  The seminar will include online presentations including:

One way to protect our wealth and freedom is to have a good attorney who understands how to use appropriate planning so you can also be protected rather than hurt by the tax laws.

Leslie Share:  How to use and benefit from US tax law living overseas and for wealth preservation.


Leslie has been our friend and adviser of more than 30 years, and I have asked him to speak to the seminar online at the October Value Investing seminar.  Leslie is an attorney in Coral Gables, Florida who specializes in general, corporate and international taxation, estate and gift tax planning, internal revenue service matters at the agent and appeals level plus most important, he specializes in wealth preservation.

He has the highest possible Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, Florida Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America.

Leslie is the type of attorney who can help gain asset and wealth protection if you live in the US or abroad.

The best way for boomers to protect their wealth is with good value income producing shares.  Not everyone can wait for their assets to grow.  Many need investments that create income now.

Eric Roseman: How to select good value income producing shares.

erci roseman

Eric Roseman

I have worked with Eric for decades and use his ability to select good value income producing shares.  Understanding the intrinsic value of any equity is an elusive concept, but one of the best ways to assess value is by looking at the income it generates.  Eric is a master at sniffing out the shares that provide a good income now as well as potential appreciation later.  Learn from his strategic ideas for current market conditions.

Richard Smith: How to overcome the behavior gap with Trailing Stops.

Dr. Richard Smith, founder and CEO of TradeStops.  Richard earned a PhD in Math and Systems Science, and even he had to learn the hard way that it takes more than intelligence to win in the game of investing.  He has spent the last 10 years researching and developing algorithms and services that give individual investors the tools they need to remain in their personal investing comfort zone, and to succeed!  With his background in mathematical theories of uncertainty combined with his own investing and trading experience, Dr. Smith understands risk management and how to use it as a self-directed investor to master the market.

Finally at the seminar I’ll review the 50 Golden Rules of Investing.  Learn how to protect against shady investment advice, unreasonable and hidden fees.  Learn how to protect yourself from your own emotions.  Learn when it is best to buy shares and determine which type of share is best for you.  Find out how to avoid the loss fear syndrome and stop getting caught by great sounding stories that can rob your wealth.

In 1986 I wrote  a report called the Silver Dip that showed how to borrow 12,000 British pounds (US$18,600) and use the loan to buy 3835 ounces of silver at around US$4.85 an ounce.

Silver had crashed in 1986, I mean really crashed, from $48 per ounce.   As prices decreased from early 1983 into 1986, total supply had fallen to  449.7 million ounces in 1986.  Mine production was restricted by the low prices at this time, with silver reaching a low for this period of $4.85 in May 1986. Secondary recovery also was constricted by these low prices.

Then silver’s price skyrocketed to over $11 an ounce within a year. The 12,000 pound loan purchased silver that rose to be worth $42,185.

The loan was in pounds and in May 1986 the dollar pound rate was 1.55 dollars per pound.  So the 12,000 pound loan had purchased $18,600 of silver.  The pound then crashed to  1.40 dollars per silver.  The loan could be paid off  for  $13,285 immediately creating a $5,314 profit.  So the profit grew to $47,499 in just a year.

This is why the “Silver Dip 2015” will be one of the seven portfolios, the most speculative, we will study at our October 17-18 Investment Seminar in Jefferson, North Carolina..

This is also why I am releasing a new “Silver Dip 2015” report.  The same conditions are in place for gold and the Silver Dip looks at both speculations in silver and gold.

There is also another, much safer, once every 30 year opportunity that I have described in a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.”  This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small good value investments.  The mathematics behind the idea of this investment strategy are currently extraordinary.  Currency diversification has always been important for safety, but right now a multi- currency opportunity is brewing and has more profit potential than we have seen in over three decades.

Our Investing Seminars started 32 years ago when one of the best set of three currency and equity conditions ever existed.  Over these decades, our semi annual seminars have updated what’s going on in global investment markets and what to do.  Yet in all those years, few times have conditions offered as much long term opportunity as in 1982.   The Dow alone rose from 1,000 to 14,000 in that period.

Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffet explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said: Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

Now three of the great economic conditions have returned.

Conditions have come together just as we saw at our first seminars in the 1980s.  The US dollar, the US stock market and the price of oil are acting almost exactly as they did in the early 1980s.  Knowing these conditions and why they have merged and what to do about them can help you create a fortune.

Learn how to gain this potential (we’ll review three ways to accomplish this at the seminar) in the Keppler Good Value Country Strategy with ETFs  (Country Index Exchange Traded Funds).  For example there are currently ten good value developed markets, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore and the United Kingdom.  You can easily create a diversified portfolio in each or all of these ten countries with Country Index ETFs.

We review Country Index ETFs at the seminar and look at specific portfolios you can create to tap into these three economic conditions.

Share my 50 years of experience. Gain advice that is sterling as we head toward my golden anniversary of writing about saving, finance and investing.  Our value investing seminars are filled with valuable information but we have fun and take time to relax and socialize as well.

We look forward to joining us this October.


Saturday, Sunday, October 17-18, 2015, Jefferson, North Carolina.

Join Michael Keppler, Conrad Oertwig, Merri and me.  Enroll here $499. Couple $799.


See the Hobby Space website here.

See the VirginGalactic website here.

Read  American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation

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