Compared to prices in the past few years, US real estate is cheap.
Compared to real estate prices in most other Western countries (and Japan), US real estate is really, really good value.
There are numerous reasons why there may be growing international investments in the USA.
#1: The ever falling US dollar. A falling dollar helps US business.
The US dollar is almost certain to continue its long term fall. US debt is too high. It probably cannot be repaid. The question is how does one eliminate the debt?
The two most likely losers are America’s lenders and those on fixed incomes.
Debt only makes sense when it can be repaid. When it cannot be repaid, the problem is usually greater for the lender than the borrower.
The first way the US will default on its debt is via a shriveling US dollar.
China has about 3 trillion dollars of reserves about 65% of this ($2 trillion) is in US dollars.
The US dollar this decade has fallen from 8.30 yuan to about 6.6 yuan or 20% as shown in the chart above. The US wants the dollar to fall much more.
In other words, the Chinese already lost about 400 billion dollars on their dollar reserves. They’ll lose more.
Viewed another way, the US eliminated 400 billion dollars of debt and will eliminate more debt.
This means that a lot of foreign investors will be wanting to buy some asset in the US that will rise against the loss of the US dollar… such as a US business or US real estate.
A reader sent this note last week. Gary, A question for you. I have a friend..who is basically a doom sayer about the USA is saying the dollar is going to go completely under etc… to buy gold and bury. How would you respond?? My 88 year old father a World War II vet… tells me not to worry. We will be ok… that from the time he was a kid there are always people telling you the sky is falling. I would like your wisdom and opinion…Thanks… Be Well.
This question requires such a lengthy reply that I answered this as one message. Here is my reply: This question can be answered with an excerpt from my newest email international investing report entitled Running Risk.
This report shows why my portfolio rose 12.9% last month alone and looks at my portfolio and seven places where I am investing which are:
Since I am investing in US real estate, I am positive about the USA. Back in 2000 everything in Ecuador looked really bleak. The country ran out of gas. All the banks shut down. There were demonstrations in the street. A huge part of the population fled the country.
What an opportunity!
Then during the 1980s US recession, I jumped in again buying Naples, Florida real estate that over the next 20 years skyrocketed… until it was so high… we exited. Proudly (lucky really) we sold our last condos in Naples in April 2007… just before the market began to crash. The profits on these went immediately into more Ecuador property.
“Life goes on” is also a financial message.
If you have been in despair about our economy, you might be wondering if things can ever revive. Yes, they can and will! Life and business will be a little different, but mankind carries on. Living in the United States we’ll have to be a little more cautious but the western world will survive. Economies will continue to grow in an up and down way as they have for hundreds of years.
Once you believe this… you see troubled places with delight.
So when everything headed south and the economy tanked, I could not wait to get started in Ecuador. Merri and I created an active Ecuador business, plus began buying property. We bought a 962 acre hacienda, condos in the mountains, a house, a hotel, a four story office building plus condos and apartments on the beach.
As I read the recent New York Times article by Michael F. McElroy “After Century of Growth, Tide Turns in Florida” I was reminded why. Here is an excerpt: HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The smiling couple barreling ahead on the cover of Liberty magazine in 1926 knew exactly where to go. “Florida or Bust,” said the white paint on the car doors. “Four wheels, no brakes. So it has been for a century, as Florida welcomed thousands of newcomers every week, year after year, becoming the nation’s fourth-most-populous state with about 16 million people in 2000. Imagine the shock, then, to discover that traffic is now heading the other way. That’s right, the Sunshine State is shrinking. Choked by a record level of foreclosures and unemployment, along with a helping of disillusionment, the state’s population declined by 58,000 people from April 2008 to April 2009, according to the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Except for the years around World Wars I and II, it was the state’s first population loss since at least 1900.
“It’s dramatic,” said Stanley K. Smith, an economics professor at the University of Florida who compiled the report. “You have a state that was booming and has been a leader in population growth for the last 100 years that suddenly has seen a substantial shift.”
The loss is more than a data point. Growth gave Florida its notorious flip-flop and flower-print swagger. Life could be carefree under the sun because, as a famous state tourism advertisement put it in 1986, “The rules are different here.”
But what if they are not? Or if those Florida rules — an approach that made growth paramount in the state’s sales pitch, self-image and revenue structure — no longer apply?
“It’s got to be a real psychological blow,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who predicted that census data in December would confirm the findings. “I don’t know if you can take a whole state to a psychiatrist, but the whole Florida economy was based on migration flows.”
Recall what once passed for normal. Florida grew from 2.8 million people in 1950 to 6.9 million in 1970, and by about three million people each decade after that. Even during stagflation in the ’70s, Florida added about 200,000 people a year. More recently, from 2004 to 2006, Florida added about 1,100 people a day, as housing construction’s proportion of the state economy grew to twice the national average.
Now consider Broward County in 2009. The county, between Miami and Palm Beach, was one of the first areas to shrink — losing 21,117 people from April 2007 to April 2009, according to University of Florida data — and its experience offers a glimpse of what could be on the way elsewhere.
Now, we are selling several Ecuador properties to plow back into the “Sunshine State.”
I believe in Florida for one of the same reasons I believe in Ecuador… sunshine… warm weather in the winter. This is the Florida-Ecuador connection.
I also believe in Ecuador as one of the closest to Florida, practical, low cost places to live with something even better…year round really great weather!
Jyske seminars are really informative. I especially enjoy them… getting to speak, getting to hear the other speakers and then getting to spend extra time with many of these speakers.
This year’s Jyske seminar in Copenhagen had an added benefit (for me) because two speakers had quite differing views on America and the importance of innovation.
Here I am speaking with David Darst.
The first speaker was David Darst. David David Darst is managing director and chief investment strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney with responsibility for asset allocation and investment strategy. He was the founding president of the Morgan Stanley Investment Group after he joined Morgan Stanley 14 years ago from Goldman Sachs where he held senior management posts within the Equities Division and earlier, for six years as resident manager of their private bank in Zurich. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and was awarded a BA degree in Economics from Yale University. He has lectured extensively at Wharton, Columbia, INSEAD and New York University business schools. For nine years he served as a visiting faculty member at Yale College, Yale School of Management and Harvard Business School.
Wow… what a resume.
David is an incredibly powerful speaker and a key point in his speech was that the power of American innovation could create a huge positive economic recovery and offered excellent investing opportunity.
The other speaker, Jeff Rubin, (a Canadian) had a differing view. Jeff stated that the US was in a secular decline (the definition is Declining consumer prices – Declining real estate prices – Declining stock market values) and that American innovation will not create a recovery.
Jeff Rubin and speakers at Jyske Copenhagen Global Wealth seminar.
Jeff Rubin has credentials as well. He has been has been one of North America’s top-ranked Canadian economists in oil markets for more than a decade. He is best known for his work on global energy markets and is recognized for good calls on oil prices and their economic impacts. He was chief economist at the large Canadian CIBC World Markets and authored the book “Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller.”
See other Jyske speakers, Gary Scott… Steve Forbes and Ken Rogoff on… Jyske TV.
The Small Stuff can be huge!
Everyone else… as a banker or economic analyst had to be dressed in dark or black. We writers get certain liberties and my message was as upbeat as can be… “There are few times as ripe with opportunity now”.
#2: A double dip will only increase opportunity in the USA!
This site has continually reviewed the 15 to 17 year economic cycle as outline by Austrian economist Joseph Shumpeter. The global economy (and US stock market) enjoys a 15 year bull…. then a 15 year bear (a period of no growth) and the moves back to start a 15 year bull. These stock market bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.
These cycles are intricately connected with the new waves of productivity that grow from the great human platform of combat. The cycle goes like this.
An economic downturn enhances a war or threat of war. Struggles for survival in the war (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War (WWIII), super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.
Each new invention helped win a war. Shifting the technology to domestic use… after the war… created a boom.
Each boom leads to excess.
Each excess led to a correction. The correction creates an economic downturn.
The economic downturn enhances a war or threat of war.
Here we are… in the correction again… at the correct time when we should expect that another war (or threat of war such as the Cold War) should begin to build! This latest downturn started almost exactly (1998), 16 years after the last boom began (1982)…which began after the last great human struggle called the Cold War.
If the cycle repeats, the struggle should build now due to the poor economy. If the cycles repeat then the bottom is around 2012. Everything will seem bleakest… darkest…blackest and this will be the best time of all to invest… hence my light suit!
One of David Darst’s graphs showed these cycles.
The key for spotting the greatest investment opportunities is to spot the next big invention… the technology that will spin out of WWIV.
The key is that a problem must have such severe consequences (such as losing the war and being destroyed) that all stops… all logics of return on investment are ignored. Technology and research are pushed full steam ahead regardless of cost.
The key to great success now is spotting the war. It could be against global warming. The battle could be against a plague…. new bacteria that resists antibiotics. A bad year of crops could create famine and the war would be on hunger.
The solutions could be the small stuff… like removing ties… or even smaller… really tiny…even itty bitty. Yet the opportunities they create will be huge.
I have to agree with David Darst in this case. The USA has a huge innovative streak. This is the one nation where failure can be viewed with respect.
Which war… or combinations of wars will change the world? I do not know… yet. Which small solutions will be huge? I do not know that either. Which companies will be the winning suppliers of the solutions? That is also still beyond me.
We live in the richest, most incredible era that mankind has ever known. Our poorest have more than the richest of just centuries ago. Yet this can be hard to remember when caught in the day-to-day rush of the material rat race. Inspired investing is doing what we love and figuring out how to make money from it. We increase our odds of success and enjoy what we are doing more. When times are tough and the economy slows, this perspective can give us time to sit back for at least a few moments and ask, “What do I really want to do with the rest of my life?”
The answer is the most important asset you will ever receive.
#3: Gloomy Markets Always Oversell.
I recall a New York Times best selling book written in 1992 written by Harry E. Figge Jr. and one of the country’s esteemed economics professors, Gerald J. Swanson entitled “Bankruptcy 1995: The Coming Collapse of America and How To Stop It.” This book told how US Federal debt would create a huge economic crash in 1995. The book sold millions of copies and many of us (including yours truly) shook in our boots. The lesson learn was that the sky was not falling. 1995 was the beginning of the biggest stock market boom in recorded history.
Then I remember Y2K. A reader sent me a note yesterday telling me how much he had lost because he had invested everything based on his expectations of a huge crash in 2001.
So when everyone is saying something is getting really bad, I usually begin to think that its good. If I am wrong betting this way at least I have bought my bad investments at low prices!
I expect innovation to change the world again and America usually does well with innovation.
Plus I agree the US dollar is most likely to fall. This reduces US debt and makes US assets even more attractive.
Here are some really important reasons we cannot discount another American rejuvenation.
Americans are getting younger. Unlike most of the western industrialized world.
In 1950 Europe had Twice US Population. Then in 1980 US fertility rates rose and the US began growing much faster than elsewhere. At current growth rates by 2040 there will be more Americans than Europeans.
Yet there is plenty of space. This is another reason I am positive about the USA.
#5: Lots of Real Estate
The US is the world’s third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India).
Yet it has plenty of space. By 2040 America might have 400 million people. Compared to China’s 2 billion and India’s 1 billion.
The US is only about half the size of Russia; but it is 30% of all of Africa; about half the size of all of South America (larger than Brazil); larger than China; almost two and a half times the size of the entire European Union.
Most of that land is temperate or tropical (Hawaii and Florida). The only arctic area is Alaska.
The population density of 28 people per square mile is 168th of 256 nations compared to China’s 133 per square mile.
The country is rich in coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber.
The US has the world’s largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world’s total.
Plus the US has 18% arable land. That’s the 68th best of 256 nations and because the USA is so large this means it has almost the largest amount of arable land.
China with 15% arable land is 79th among 256 nations.
This leads to another great American fundamental benefit… it is the breadbasket of the world.
#6: The US Produces a Lot of Food
A recent article at a food website said: The world is facing the monumental challenge of doubling its food production by 2050 with fewer resources, scientists say.
More than 1800 scientists are in Brisbane for the 19th World Congress of Soil Science, with food security a key focus.
With the global population expected to top 9.2 billion by 2050, experts say the world will need to repeat the Green Revolution that saw food production double between 1960 and 1985.
But with less land, water and fertiliser available, the focus will have to be on working smarter.
According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report the USA is
#1 producer of:
Here are some graphs from this UN report.
The USA is also among the top five (often #2) producer of:
pumpkins and squash
Debt for Food
I often worry about American debt and deficits. Sometimes it is hard to remember that just over a decade ago the US government had a surplus and was reducing debt. The next 15 year economic bull could do a lot to overcome debt. So to could the price of corn.
The price of corn shown in this chart has almost doubled from $2.30 a bushell to $4.30
At an extra $2 per bushell… the USA has earned an extra $25 billion dollars… per year!
Just corn alone.
Corn production in 2009 was 13.2 billion bushels, 1 percent above the previous record of 13 billion bushels set in 2007, and 9 percent higher than 2008.
There is a reduced projection for 2010 corn production. The projected harvest of 12.7 billion bushels, is still the third-largest crop in history and will still provide a surplus, or ending stocks, of nearly 1 billion bushels.
#7: The US Innovates and Embraces Risk
Farming benefits from innovation and this is where the USA excels.
The US is famous for Yankee ingenuity, investing venture capital and accepting failure.
Times of great change (like now) require new solutions that create previously unimagined opportunities.
Yet we must face the burdens (and delights) of the future armed with educations created by the old ways.
Imagine putting old solutions to new problems. What if Bill Gates had tried to develop a more efficient paper filing system? Picture Jeff Bezos trying to develop a better land based supermarket instead of Amazon? Would Larry Page and Sergey Brin had the same success if they had developed a more efficient paper telephone book instead of Google or Sabeer Bhatia a more efficient AOL instead of Hotmail?
They may have failed. At best… they might have modest success. By finding new solutions to circumstances created by change, each built a fortune.
#8: This leads us to see another American strength… being so multinational.
The USA is a nation of immigrants… so as the global economy unfolds… it is better able to adapt to a multi cultural approach.
Look at the names of the American great innovators above again… Bill Gates… Jeff Bezos… Larry Page… Sergey Bringreat… Sabeer Bhatia.
As Newsweek put it in an article: Americans like to think there is something about their culture that’s especially conducive to innovation–the open geography and frontier spirit; a flexible economy with limited interference by government; the Protestant work ethic; an immigrant workforce, constantly renewed by the next generation of talent from around the world. Other countries can perhaps emulate some of these traits, but none can replicate the creative cocktail that is America.
Here are a few American innovations this decade. Look at the creators names.
2001 Microwave Anisotropy Probe. A microwave anisotropy probe, or Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, measures the temperature of the Big Bang’s remnant radiant heat. Conceptualized by Professor Charles L. Bennett, the mission was a joint project between the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Princeton University.
2001 Artificial Liver. As the world’s first artificial liver which serves as a “bridge” between a damaged liver and a donated liver permanently transplanted into a human being, the artificial liver is an external device which also enables damaged liver to heal or recuperate until a donor can be found and transplanted. Dr. Kenneth Matsumura.
2002 SERF. A spin-exchange relaxation-free (SERF) magnetometer achieves very high magnetic field sensitivity by monitoring a high density vapor of alkali metal atoms precessing in a near-zero magnetic field. SERF magnetometers are among the most sensitive magnetic field sensors and in some cases exceed the performance of SQUID detectors of equivalent size. Michael V. Romalis.
2003 Fermionic condensate. A fermionic condensate is a superfluid phase formed by fermionic particles at low temperatures. The first atomic fermionic condensate was invented by Deborah S. Jin.
2007 Nanowire battery. A nanowire battery is a lithium-ion battery consisting of a stainless steel anode covered in silicon nanowires. Silicon, which stores ten times more lithium than graphite, allows a far greater energy density on a steel anode, thus reducing the mass of the battery resulting in energy conservation and cost savings. Chinese-American Dr. Yi Cui.
2008 Bionic contact lens. A bionic contact lens is a digital contact lens worn directly on the human eye which in the future, scientists believe could one day serve as a useful virtual platform for activities such as surfing the World Wide Web, superimposing images on real-world objects, playing video games for entertainment, and for monitoring patients’ medical conditions. 2008 creation of Iranian-American Babak Parviz.
2009 Composite aircraft. The Boeing 787 Tom Cogan, chief engineer and designer.
Americans and Seminars
Merri and I have enjoyed a terrific seminar business for over 30 years. We serve mostly small American business people. We could not have such a business in Europe. I know. I tried. Europeans are not as willing to pay for adult education. When we marketed in Europe we had to market to businesses to pay for their employees. Americans always have been and remain easer to learn and improve themselves.
#9: Trading Down
Industrialized countries especially the US have a lot of bad habits they can reform… energy… house size etc. For example… An October 26 Time magazine quote said: Men spent twice as much on grooming products last year as they did in pre recession 1997.
USA Can Especially Benefit From Trading Down
A special Economist report “The World turned upsdie down” explains when it says: Developing countries are becoming hotbeds of business innovation in much the same way as Japan did from the 1950s onwards. They are coming up with new products that are dramtically chepaer than their wetsren equivalents. $3,000 cars, #300 computers and $30 mobile phones that provide nationwide service for just 2 cents a minute.
Multinationals expect 70% of world’s growth over the next few years to come from emerging markets, with 40% coming from just two countries, China and India.
Both Western and emerging country companies have also relaized that they need to try harder if they are to proper in these booming markets. It is not enough to concentrate on the Gugi and Mercedes crowd; they have to learn how to appeak to the billions of people who live outside Shanghai and Bangalore form the rising middle class in second tier cities to the farmers in isolated villages.
The potential market is huge: the populations are already much bigger than in the developed world and growing fatser and in both hina and India hundreds of millions of people will enter the middle class in coming decades.
But many of the most important innovations consist of increemental improvements to prodcuts and processes amed at the middle or bottom of the income pyramid. look at Wal-Mart’s exempplary supply system or Dell’s application of just-in-time-production to personal computers.
The report shows how the Wal-Mart dell approacxh: smarter ways of designing products and organising processes to reach billions of consumers who are just entering the global market.
The key is to be willing to break all the rules. This is something that Mmericans with their democratic beliefs and aversion to hierarchies are especially good at.
Examples in the Economist report include:
How Ashish Shah developed a handheld electocardiogram that simplifies the process so it can be sold for $800 versus the current prices of $2,000 and has reduced the price of an ECG test to $1.
Another example is of Tata Consulatncy Services creating a water filter from rice husks It is strong portable and csts about $24 and $16 a year to keep up.
The idea is to take the needs of the poor and work backwards.
Another example is of Devi Shetty a heart surgeon who has applied Henry Ford production tactics to open heart surgery. He uses eocnomy of scale and specialization.
His hospital has 1,000 beds (compared to an American heart hospital average of 160). This allows Dr. Shetty and his 40 cardiologists to perfrom 600 procedures a week. This huge volume allows the surgeons to acquire world class expertiese in specialized operations and by remaining focused reduces paper work. Some of the Doctors have performed 15,0000 procedures. These factors allow them to charge $2,000 for open-heart surgery that would cost $20,0000 to $100,000 in the best American hospitals. Yet the success rate is as good.
US multi national firms are especially adept at reaching mass markets like this. America is the home of the production line and mass marketing.
We can see trading down already taking place in the airline industry.
A USA Today article by Roger Yu entitled “More airlines ditch first-class seats as fliers get stingy: says:
The number of first-class cabins is shrinking.
A small but growing list of airlines are eliminating or reducing rows in the most expensive part of their aircraft as customers increasingly look for cheaper seats.
The global slowdown has put a damper on first-class flying as fewer corporate travelers can afford $15,000 seats. Premium traffic on international flights — which includes business and first class — fell 16% in 2009, the International Air Transport Association says. While demand has improved this year, premium traffic in August was still 11% down from the pre-downturn size in early 2008, it says.
Here’s what’s going on:
* AirTran (AAI), which is being bought by Southwest Airlines, will drop first-class seating once the merger is completed next year. Southwest (LUV), which has never had first- or business-class seats on its planes, says it’ll phase out AirTran’s first-class service.
* United Airlines has been revamping its long-haul aircraft since 2007 to reduce and improve first- and business-class seating while installing more coach seats. United’s (UAL) merger with Continental Airlines has also triggered speculation that United may abandon its first class after the merger and adopt Continental’s simpler approach of flying only two cabins: business and economy.
United “is evaluating which configuration or configurations make the most sense based on customer demand,” United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson says. “Continental has fewer 13- and 14-hour flights than United does.”
* Australian carrier Qantas said earlier this year that it’s eliminating first-class service on most of its long-haul flights except for a few flagship routes to Los Angeles and London from Australia.
* British Airways received delivery on some Boeing 777s last year that didn’t have first class for the first time but says it will invest $150 million to upgrade existing premium seats.
“There’s been a clear trend for long-haul international flights to reduce or eliminate first-class cabins on all but the most lucrative and competitive routes,” says Bryan Saltzburg of TripAdvisor.
As airlines eliminate first class we can see where the trading down takes place as airlines test seats where one almost stands up!
Here is how those seats would look.
A New York Times article “Legroom Tight Now? New Seat Is Less Spacious” by Joe Sharkey tells about these seats and says: The SkyRider seat in a test. The airline seat would give less legroom to passengers, and is intended for short flights.
“LIKE riding a horse,” said Dominique Menoud, the director general of Aviointeriors, the Italian aircraft seat manufacturer, after I had slid into the company’s new “stand-up” airplane seat on display last week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas trade show. As television cameras poked around the display seats for angles, Mr. Menoud asked me, “It is very comfortable, no?”
“No,” I replied, though Mr. Menoud, beaming, seemed to take that as an assent.
I didn’t argue, but it was definitely not comfortable, although the seat, under the name SkyRider, is being promoted as resembling a horse saddle. I wasn’t buying that either. I have ridden many a horse, and the SkyRider seat is nothing like being in the saddle, whether Western or English. Sitting in one was more like being wedged, legs braced, on a stationary bicycle.
Still, I give the folks at Aviointeriors credit for finally bringing this thing out. Long rumored and joked about, the so-called stand-up airplane seat has now emerged from the imagination, the drawing board and the factory and into the bright lights. The SkyRider introduction was easily the most talked about event of the trade show.
The seat is being marketed mostly for shorter haul flights of two hours or so. But Mr. Menoud said that the seats could also be used on flights up to four hours.
Aviointeriors said the seat allowed for a new basic class of seating with a “much reduced seat pitch.” Most coach seats have 31 or 32 inches of pitch, the industry definition of the distance between one point in a seat and the same point in the seat ahead. A few discount airlines have seats with 28 inches of pitch, but the SkyRider is intended to have 23 inches or less, depending on how an airline installs it.
A Daily Mail article shows even more. The article is entitled Ryanair to sell standing room only tickets for £4… funded by charging passengers to use the toilet by Ray Massey and makes air travel look even worse!
The article says: Air passengers might soon be able to fly from just £4, with ample leg room to boot.
There’s just one small catch, it seems – they’ll have to stand.
Instead of being allocated a seat, Ryanair travellers would perch on a narrow shelf and lean against a flat padded backboard.
They would be restrained with a strap stretching over their shoulder, the budget airline said.
But the bizarre initiative ran into an immediate obstacle.
European aviation safety regulators said the perches would not meet safety rules.
Last night Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary went ahead regardless with his announcement of plans to remove the back ten rows of seats from 250 planes and replace them with 15 rows of so-called ‘vertical seating’.
Two lavatories at the back could also be removed, helping to allow up to 50 extra passengers on each flight.
Standing up and removing toilets on flights might seem crazy… but look at the facts. Less Western fliers can afford the low fares. Maybe 1 billion Indians and Chinese are getting ready to be able to afford their first trip. Standing up might seem impossible to those of us who were raised with the concept of champagne flights… but this new wave of consumers have just come off ox carts or bicycles at best. The stand up flight is a big step up for them.
That lower end is the growth sector and the middle and even upper middle may well be drawn down. Function will become more important than service.
Other Ways to Profit From Trading Down
American is becoming a leader in renting instead of buying. Zipcar allows meebers ot rent cars by the hour picking up and returning cars to scattered parking lots. Netflix allows to rent CDs instead f buy (they made $116 million last year).
Household sizes grow as children stay at home longer and parents move in.
Boarding house concepts emerge.
Americans are viewed as being big spenders. This does not add up to the facts.
For a couple of decades, US consumers have been lured into debt by financial innovations such home equity loans, credit card promotions and securitized house and car loans, rent-to-own, check-cashing-stores and chain pawn shops. This pushed the savings rate down.
Between 1950 and 1980 US personal savings averaged 9% of disposable income. Then by 2007 this rate had dropped to 2%.
This is changing. In 2009 the rate rose to 4% and continues to rise.
In 2009 the number of Visa, Master Card, Diners and American Express cards fell by 32 million an 11% drop. Personal lines of credit dropped 92 billion dollars.
Europeans and Japanese used to save more than Americans but their savings rates are coming down as their populations age and savings are drawn down in retirement.
At time the younger US population is saving more.
In addition as a people Americans were thrifty even when they are not saving.
They may ave been spending too much but they were still looking for value.
Though American culture has had a huge impact on the world (Mcdonalds… Coca Cola… Levis and much more) have been insular. This means that much of America’s might has never been focused on the global economy. As more and more Americans are now forced to do so, their exports will rise dramatically and Americans may be leaner and meaner in their ability to do so..
Outsourcing… especially in English Becomes Harder
Three huge economic forces of the last 100 years of industrial growth have been:
#1: Increased use of fossil fuels for energy. This has increased productivity and led to the second force.
#2: Globalization. From the first trip of humnity has realized that specializing and trading make everyone more abundant.
#3: Human Fuel. Once huge ingredient of the industrial revolution has been moving poor farmers from the farm to the production line. As they move from rural to urban and then suburban, they have dramatically improved productivity at minimal cost. As they earn more thy build the middle class and increase consumption.
Both India and China have far less farmers than they did 30 years ago. India also has less cheap English speaking labor for the call center service industry.
This will equalize the playing field, especially as the US dollar falls.
Plus as the US brings back outsourcing and exports more, there are added sources of energy.
As mentioned the US has almost a third of the world’s coal… a fuel ripe for innovation.
Google recently announced a plan to invest $5 billion wind transmission line off the Mid-Atlantic coast.
The “Atlantic Wind Connection” is split between Google (37.5%), an investment company called Good Energies (37.5%), and the Japan trading company Marubeni (15%).
This is just one sizable bet among a series of ongoing American real estate investments by Google.
Shale gas is natural gas produced from shale. Shale gas has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States over the past decade, and interest has spread to potential gas shales in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. One analyst expects shale gas to supply as much as half the natural gas production in North America by 2020.
Some analysts expect that shale gas will greatly expand worldwide energy supply. A study by the Baker Institute of Public Policy at Rice University concluded that increased shale gas production in the US and Canada could help prevent Russia and Persian Gulf countries from dictating higher prices for the gas it exports to European countries. The Obama administration in the US believes that increased shale gas development will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Horizontal drilling is often used with shale gas wells, with lateral lengths up to 10,000 feet within the shale, to create maximum borehole surface area in contact with the shale.
Improved extraction technologies open up huge new arenas for oil including shale oil.
There are around 600 known oil shale deposits. There are estimates that technically recoverable reserves up to three trillion barrels with the largest reserves in the United States, which is thought to have 1.5 to 2.6 trillion barrels.
Well-explored deposits, which could be classified as reserves, include the Green River deposits in the western United States, the Tertiary deposits in Queensland, Australia, deposits in Sweden and Estonia, the El-Lajjun deposit in Jordan, and deposits in France, Germany, Brazil, China, and Russia.
At 380 billion metric tons, the oil shale deposits in the United States are easily the largest in the world. There are two major deposits: the eastern US deposits, in Devonian-Mississippian shales, cover 250,000 square miles (650,000 km2); the western US deposits of the Green River Formation in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, are among the richest oil shale deposits in the world. In Canada 19 deposits have been identified. The best-examined deposits are in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
There appears to be a lot of controversy about whether this oil is worth recovering but what i do know is that friend has a lot of land on the Green River reserves (Colo. and Wyoming) and oil companies are drilling and have been getting good returns.
America may also be sitting an additional massive 200 billion barrel oil field that could potentially make America Energy Independent hanks to new technology.
The Bakken Formation in North Dakota runs into Montana and could boost America’s Oil reserves by an 10 times. With new horizontal drilling technology there is talk that from 175 to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil are held in this 200,000 square mile reserve that was initially discovered in 1951. The USGS did an initial study back in 1999 that estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels were present but with prices bottoming out at $10 a barrel back then the report was dismissed because of the higher cost of horizontal drilling techniques that would be needed, estimated at $20-$40 a barrel.
I am no geologist nor am I an oil expert but setting aside a lot of hype… America may need to import a lot less oil in the years ahead.
#10: Americans Work More and Are Industrious
As countries emerge labor habits evolve. Usually one sign of a growing middle class is reduced work time.
In the USA this has not been so much the case. Because America is a nation of immigrants there is always an emerging nation within… that keeps the population energetic and working.
In recent decades increased social benefits have hindered this energy but as impossible pension and welfare system breakdown this energy is returning.
Data from the United Nations showing the average hours worked show the USA #3 behind only Japan and Australia.
Rank Countries Amount
# 1 Australia: 1,814 hours
# 2 Japan: 1,801 hours
# 3 United States: 1,792 hours
# 4 Canada: 1,718 hours
# 5 United Kingdom: 1,673 hours
# 6 Italy: 1,591 hours
# 7 Sweden: 1,564 hours
# 8 France: 1,453 hours
# 9 Norway: 1,337 hours
Weighted average: 1,638.1 hours
The same data base showing minimal paid vacation is also right at the top.
Argentina 14 days
- Australia 28 days – Austria 35 days -
Bahamas 14 days
- Belgium 20 days
Brazil – 30 days – Bulgaria 20 days – Canada 10 days – Chile 15 - China Not required – Colombia 14 days – Costa Rica 14 days – Croatia 18 days – Czech Republic 28 days – Denmark 42 days Ecuador 14 days – Finland 35 days – France 49 days - Germany 28 days – Hong Kong 7 days – Hungary 20 days – Ireland 20 days – Israel 14 days – Italy 20 days – Japan 18 days – Korea, South 10 days – Latvia 28 days - Mexico 7 days – Netherlands 28 days – New Zealand 28 days – Norway 25 days – Paraguay 14 days – Peru 14 days Poland 20 days – Puerto Rico 15 days – Romania 20 days – Saudi Arabia 15 days – Singapore 7 days – South Africa 21 days – Spain 30 days – Sweden 25-32 days – Switzerland 28 days – Taiwan 7 days – Tunisia 30 days – Turkey 12 days – Ukraine 24 days – United Kingdom 20 days – United States 7-10 days – Uruguay 14 days – Venezuela 15 days – Vietnam 10 days.
#11: The USA Has the Potential for Numerous Paradigm Shifts
America obviously has some educational problems… however these are due much due to organization and philosophy… not facilities. The USA still has great potential for education and due to the recession… teaching has come back as a very desirable profession. Recently a friend formerly in construction applied to start teaching again. For every empty position there were over 100 applicants.
This much labor availability could cause the education system to sprint ahead!
Dis-Ease Potential From Gluttony
America has another great asset… experience in gluttony. The US is the first nation where a majority of the population has been able to have so many material possessions that stuff becomes a burden rather than an asset. The USA has been a leader in gluttony to the point where vast numbers have been able to ask…. “what’s this stuff all about”.
This realization that striving just to have more does not equate to happiness…. the learning that things do not create much joy for long, has created a vast pool of Americans who desire to shift from quantity to quality.
America’s adventure into the laws of diminishing returns has created a vast pool of Americans bent on sustainability and this is the wave of the future.
As mankind shifts from a conquering to nurturing mode, the US may have an edge in leading the way.
Potential Ease From Innocence.
America’s system for stating a business is still one of the easiest in the world and finally we reach the matter of innocence.
Watch an American and then a European or British TV program or movie some time. The US attitude is almost always optimistic the European pessimistic. Americans always get the good guys and American heroes almost always fight the establishment Dirty Harry style.
I have lived and worked in many parts of the world and the term the Ugly American was coined in the late 1950s because Americans in so many ways were so innocent.
They were (and to a degree remain) assuming and believe that things will always get better if they work hard.
A big nation… really big… with vast resources… a pretty fair democracy… labor mobility… and easy immigration… a melting pot of hard workers… backed by a strong financial system… dramatically reduced costs due to the falling dollar available right now at bargain prices and the majority still believe in the system.
I know… one of the original international citizens of the world, 40 years later…. Merri and i still feel it. That is why we have increased the weighting of our portfolio in the USA.
This is the end of the excerpt from my newest emailed financial Report “Running Risk”.
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Learn How to Write to Say or to Sell
Seven Secrets of Self PublishingHere are seven secrets that can help you earn as a writer and self publisher.
Join me as a wirter and self publisher.
These secrets are important because growing numbers of unknown writers have become famous writers and rich by self publishing over the internet.
Take for example Amanda Hocking. After self publishing her first book at Amazon.com in the spring of 2010 she became one of the the best-selling e-authors. In the next year her book sales grossed approximately $2 million.
In 2011, St. Martin’s press paid Hocking more than $2 million for the world English rights of a four book series. In 2013 she sold another series to St. Martin’s Press.
E.L. James is another such story. She sold 250,000 copies of “50 Shades” via Createspace and Amazon.com before publishers noticed her and published the erotic romance trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed which sold over 70 million copies worldwide, setting the record as the fastest selling paperback of all time.
Hugh Howey is a third example. He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks. Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon. This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.
These are great inspirations.
I know Hugh. This type of success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person. He deserves every accolade he receives and he does not take a bit of this success for granted. Hugh is pouring enormous energy into be worthy of his readership. We’ll share some of Hugh’s secrets in a moment.
Neither you or I are likely to have this type of success. That’s not bad. The good news is… we do not need this type of success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle. Self Publishing offers so many opportunities that one can have a life that most people only dream of as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.
May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.
What most success stories like those of Hugh Howey or E.L James or Amanda Hocking rarely share is the many hours of writing they devoted before their self published book sales soared. They were journeymen first… stars second.
The sevens secrets are the journeyman secrets… call them a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income and fulfillment.
Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.
Merri and I are not writing stars. We are journeymen who have for 40 years, year in a year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.
Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars. Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.
In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably for you too. First some history.
Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts” about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in. This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.
My story allowed me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following my adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.
Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world, have homes in Hong Kong, England, a farm in North Carolina, orange groves and home in Florida… hotel and condos in Ecuador and work that we love and feel has meaning and purpose.
Self Publishing has become a new business art form and the seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.
Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing. Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology. Everything seems new… except the seven secrets. Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many. We love it due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps. The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.
The First P is Passion.
Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing. This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted in life. Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all, you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets on writing to sell.
You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget. Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.
So the question is… What do you love to do?
What’s Your Passion: An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain? He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms. For example: “What Is Whip Lash?”
The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read. These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.
There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business. It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.
Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.
I’m passionate about investing, so I write and self publish ideas about investing. Merri and I love Ecuador… so we wrote about Ecuador.
What do you love? If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf. Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art? Write and sell publications in these fields.
Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues? You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.
Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place? Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.
Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.
This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers. To be immersed in our passion and get paid well for it. That usually enough.
The seven Ps are:
#4: Profitably Priced Product
#5: Prospecting Pathway
In 1974, I had a business that never got ahead. I was almost penniless, in debt and living from hand to mouth. Then I discovered these seven secrets. They helped me write and sell book after book and report after report. Since then, our self publishing business has brought in millions.
How to build a solid business.
The key to building a successful self publishing business is to use the Golden Rule of Simplicity and the 7Ps to create your publication. The premise behind the Golden Rule is that if you have a passion… you have a problem. Your problem is a desire to fill.
The Golden rule of writing uses a writer’s desire as a compass to direct the creation and sale of the publication.
Here is the Golden Rule of Simplicity: Your Desires Are in Others. Your Desires ID Markets. Your Habits Reveals Pathways. Your Emotions Create Stories. Your Demands Create Publications.
This creative pathway works whether your publication is written by hand and sold on the street corner or published for Kindle at Amazon.com. These simple but basic fundamentals guide the creation of your works whether you use the most sophisticated equipment and algorithms or are totally low tech.
The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend seminar. We offered the course for $1,500 and were surprised when 80 delegates enrolled. People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.
Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience. We created a course based on our current self publishing activity.
That was more than 20 years ago and thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades. You can see a few current success stories at the links at the bottom of this note.
This course is not theoretical. It describes step-by-step how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now. We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong six figure annual income.
Another thing that is unique is that Merri and I do this entire business by ourselves with the help of David Cross, our son-in-law and webmaster. You will not have to build an organization to self publish. Though we have over 35,000 readers who have subscribed to our ezine and though we have have made millions we still work from home. You’ll be able to do the same—if you wish—because the course includes everything we did and do—explained in vivid detail.
To this end, I have created a special offer. When you enroll in a Writer’s Camp, I’ll immediately send you an online course “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher,” which is normally $299. I’ll also send our online course on how to use the internet and a website in your business and three additional bonuses.
Bonus #1: Get the 50 minute Video Workshop worth $99 “How to Start Your Own Internet Business” presented by our webmaster David Cross,
Bonus #2: Get FREE, the $299 online course “The Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have an Internet Business”. To read more about this course click here.
Bonus #3: Our Super Thinking Workshop in an MP3 file so you can listen on your computer, burn a disk or listen on you Ipod or in your car. This recorded course sells for $199.
Bonus #4: A special report only available to those who enroll in “Self Fulfilled” entitled “Three Secrets for Creating Publishing Ideas”.
Bonus #5: Self Fulfilled 202 and 203. Self Publishing is changing so fast that the course continues to evolve. We added Self Fulfilled 202 in 2012 and 2o13. Now we are adding Self Fulfilled 303 in 2-14. You’ll get all new lessons we add for a year.
In all, you get $896 of bonuses FREE.
Whether you are an engineer, doctor, housewife, business owner, or retiree… self-publishing offers a way to turn your passion into profit.
Don’t miss this special opportunity. Order Self Fulfilled How to be a Self Publisher today.
Self Publisher and Author