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. 

Live Long & Prosper More

One of the most frequent questions readers ask is “How can I make my savings safer but also sufficient for life?”

“What is the time horizon of a lifetime?” I ask.  Time horizons are one of the most important elements in investing and most of us will live longer than we expect.

For example in a moment, you’ll see how this exercise is actually connected to my investing portfolio because it alters my investing timeline.

llama walk

(Gary Scott doing Andean yoga.)

Overall US life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years in 2013.  Women live longer, 76.4 years for men, 81.2 years for women.  You’ll be happy to know that those statistics don’t apply to you and me.

How most of us think about life expectancy is wrong.  That overall rate is the average of all people, young and old.  The older we are, the longer our life expectancy grows.  Right now those who are 50 years old, life expectancy is 85.6 for women and 81.6 for men.  The expectancy of a 50 year old is 5 or 6 years longer than the overall expectancy.

As we age, the expectancy gets better.  At 65 the expect age is 87.9 for women and 85.3 for guys.  At 75  there is another boost to 88.6 and 90.5 years.

This is good news and even better is the fact that a succession of six technical panels established by the Social Security Advisory Board, in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 2013 all stated that Social Security was assuming unrealistic mortality rate improvements.  In other words, life expectancy continues to grow.

There is a lot we can do to improve the odds of a long, active life even more.  In fact we can improve them much more.  A University of Washington publication “12 Reasons Yoga Helps Extend Lifespan” (1) shows 12 wasy that yoga extends life.

A UC San Francisco study “Lifestyle changes may lengthen telomeres that measure cell aging” (2) show that exercise, nutrition, meditation, diet, exercise, social support  and yoga can extend life even further, as much as 12 years.

This is why I practice yoga and meditate almost every day and adjust my investing to support a long, busy, lifeline.

How can we have a strategy so our savings, investments & income are sufficient for a full lifetime?

Our life expectancy can be much longer than statistics suggest. That’s really good to know but longer life expectancy is expected to worsen the shortfall in Social Security by 11 percent over the next 75 years.  What will a longer, active life due to our savings and budgets?

During nearly five decades of global investing I have noticed that some people, such as Warren Buffett, have a good value strategy that makes sure they do not lose, but increase their wealth again and again.

What is this strategy?  It is a good value strategy based on three tactics.

The first tactic is to seek safety before profit.

A research paper that studied Warren Buffett’s investing strategy was published at Yale University’s website. This research shows that the stocks he chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price – to – book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios).

The second tactic is to maintain staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.

keppler asset management chart

This chart based on a 45 year portfolio study shows that holding a diversified good value portfolio (based on a  good value strategy) for 13 month’s time, increases the probability of outperformance to 70%.  However those who can hold the portfolio for five years gain a 88% probability of beating the bellwether in the market and after ten years the probability increases to 97.5%.  Time is your friend when you use a good value strategy.  The longer you can hold onto a well balanced good value portfolio the better the odds of outstanding success.

The Buffett strategy integrates time and value for safety and profit.

A third, limited leveraging, tactic in the strategy boosts profit.  Buffett leverages his portfolio at a ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1.   The Yale published research paper shows the leveraging methods used by Warren Buffett to amass his $50 billion fortune.  The researchers found that the returns from Buffett’s investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, far outweighed those achieved by any rival that has operated for 30 years or more.  The research shows that neither luck nor magic are involved.  Instead, the paper shows that Buffet’s success hinges on using leverage at the rate of 1.6.

This rate of expansion by the way is called the “Golden Ratio” and it is a mathematical formula that controls the growth of most natural things; trees, the shape of leaves, the spiral of shells, as well as the way economies and societies grow.

To sum up the strategy, Buffet uses Golden Ratio to make large purchases of “cheap, safe, quality stocks”.  He uses limits leverage so he can hold on for very long periods of time, surviving rough periods where others might have been forced into a fire sale or a career shift.

The study found that Buffett applies a leverage of about 1.6 to 1, boosting both his risk and excess return in that proportion.  He uses the Golden Mean in his borrowing, not too little, not too much.

Thus his many accomplishments include having the conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk over many decades.

Learn how to use this type of three point strategy with the Purposeful investing Course (Pi).  This course is based on my 50 (almost) years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

Pi reveals investing secrets and the sciences that make investing easy, safer, less time consuming and increases the chances of profit.

One secret is to invest with a purpose beyond the cash.  When we invest with purpose, doing what we love, we do better and we joyfully put in more energy, time and care.  This is nature’s irony.  If we chase just the money, human nature tends to make it run away.   If we pursue our passion and work with more than concern for the cash, the wealth can’t resist us.   This is the purpose behind, “Purposeful investing”.

Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing

Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  These are major foundations of the Behavior Gap, a trait exhibited by most investors, that causes them to underperform any market they choose.  The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.  The losses created by this gap grow when investors trade short term under stress.  More about the gap in a moment.

Learn how to create profitable strategies that combine good value investments with unique, personal goals.

Spanning the Behavior Gap

Behavior gaps are among the biggest reasons why so many investors fail.  Human evolution makes fear the second most powerful motivator.  (Greed is the third.)  Fear creates investment losses due to behavior gaps.  Fear motivates us more strongly than desire. By nature investors are risk adverse, when they should embrace risk.  Purpose is the most powerful motivator,  stronger than fear and greed.  One powerful way to overcome the behavior gap is to invest with a purpose.

Combine your needs and capabilities with the secrets and the math through the Pifolio – The Pi Model Portfolio

Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of a Primary Pi Model Portfolio, called the Pifolio.  There are no secrets about this portfolio except that it is based entirely on good math.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets using my (almost) 50 years of global experience and my study of the analysis of four mathematical investing geniuses (and friends): Michael Keppler, Eric Roseman, Thomas Fischer (for currency positions) and Richard Smith, PhD (for trailing stop alerts).

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler who 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 major stock market’s history.

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.   To invest according to the Country Selection Strategy, it is necessary to construct diversified, risk-controlled, representative country portfolios in every BUY rated country, weighting each country approximately equally in the overall portfolio.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pifolio consists of Country Index ETFs that are similar to index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country. ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent. The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.

A country ETF provides diversification into a basket of equities in the country covered.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.  A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any stock in that country is an attractive investment, so you do not have to pick and choose shares.  You can invest in the index which is like investing in all the shares in the index.  All you have to do is invest in an ETF that in turn invests passively in all the shares of the index.

Pi adds my fifty years of experience and brings insights to numerous long term cycles that are part of the universal math that affects all investments.

For example in the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett 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!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.

The two conditions are in place again!  There are currently ten good value non US developed markets,  plus 10 good value emerging markets.

Pi shows how to easily create a diversified, worry free portfolio that includes each or all of these countries with Country Index ETFs.

The current strength of the US dollar is a second remarkable similarity to 30 years ago.  The dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  There is so much more to write and the trends are so clear that I have created 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 investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of Keppler Asset Stock Market and Asset Allocation Analysis so you can keep this as simple or as complex as you desire.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that allows you to accumulate these bargains now in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

Research shows that most people worry about having enough money if they live long enough.  This powerful profit wave can eliminate that concern.  My experience of the 17 years in the 1980s and 90s combined with the science shared by my four friends (Keppler, Roseman, Fischer and Smith) can make the next 17 years so rich, you’ll always be rich.

You’ll receive the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” free when you subscribe to Pi.


The 50 years of experience the Pi course shares also explains when leverage provides extra potential.   For example in 1986 I issued a report called The Silver Dip that showed how to borrow 12,000 British pounds (at almost 1.6 to 1 dollars per pound the loan created US$18,600) and use the loan to buy 3835 ounces of silver at around US$4.85 an ounce.

silver chart

Imagine investing in a spike like this… with leverage!

Silver had crashed, 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 $18,600 loan was now 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 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 an extra $5,314 profit.  The profit grew to $47,499 in just a year.

Conditions for the silver dip have returned.  The availability of low cost loans and silver are at an all time low.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events.

The price of silver has crashed all the way from nearly $50 an ounce to below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).  (Click on chart from  (1) to enlarge.)

At the same time the silver gold ratio hit 80, a strong sign to invest in precious metals.

I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a leveraged silver speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The purpose of the report is to share long term lessons gained through 30 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  While working on the report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80 and the price of silver dropped below $14 an ounce, I knew I needed to share this immediately.

I released a new report “Silver Dip 2015” so readers can take advantage of these conditions and leverage 1.6 times as a speculation.

The speculation is so time sensitive with such fast profit (but also loss) potential that I will only offer it shortly.

You receive the Silver Dip 2015 FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Save $158.95

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi). The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.  Plus you receive the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and the $27 report “The Silver Dip 2015” free for a total savings of $158.95.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.   Get the first monthly issue of Pi, the first five “Golden Rules of Investing” and the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and “The Silver Dip 2015” right away.

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free purposeful investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee to cancel your subscription and refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  I guarantee you can keep the golden rules of investing and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and “The Silver Dip 2105” report as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.  You have the ultimate form of financial security to gain.

Save $158.95.   Subscribe to the Pi for $197.


(1) University of Washington “12 reason yoga helps extend lifespan”

(2) UC San Francisco “Lifestyle changes may lengthen telomeres measure cell aging”




See the Hobby Space website here.

See the VirginGalactic website here.

Read  American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation

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