There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… one is its miles of sunny empty beaches.
When I took my first flight to Hong Kong 41 years ago, I was 21 years old and flew on a cheap ticket that was called a student fare.
While in Hong Kong I met a travel agent. Charlie Kwok was his name and he had an office in the Miramar Hotel, Kowloon, not far from the Star Ferry. Charlie was the master of the low cost air fare and over the next half decade he amazed me with some of his great deals…. Especially for people under age 27.
Next decade in London, John Dragonas, a Greek travel agent continued showing the way to get deals. Back then they had VUSA (Visit USA) where prices were really low.
By then Merri and I had met and she became the maven of amazing air fare deals.
In short I have always enjoy incredibly low costs air fares. However Merri added another dimension because not all low cost air fares are great.
I recall one flight Honk Kong to Portland, Oregon that Charlie Kwok arranged… really cheap, because it was a charter with two empty seats and otherwise full of doctors returning from Thailand. What Charlie forgot to mention was that the actual fare went Hong Kong, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco and then I had a connection back to Portland… adding about 24 hours to the flight!
There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… such as the high Andean lakes.
John in London ignored the human part of travel to get the cost down once as well… a special VUSA fare. Merri and I wanted to fly London, Miami, Chicago, Portland, London.
To get the lowest fare, the actual flight turned out to be London -Denver, Miami- Denver, Chicago-Denver, Portland-Denver, London…or something like that… low fare but not a great deal.
There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… including wonderful colonial architecture.
It was about then that Merri took over finding our fares and she is good… Let me be humble and say she may be the best. Recently our son visited us from London-Charlotte-London for $17. That is correct, seventeen dollars.
There are many reasons to buy a ticket to Ecuador… big cities and…
quaint villages like… Cotacachi shown here.
Many readers asked for help on how to get this fare that I asked Merri to prepare an article on how she does it.
Here it is:
Buying Air Tickets: Merri Scott
Gary often asks me to write about how I buy airline tickets and especially those to Ecuador…so this is the first in a series of hints including safety, price, ease…
Well, first of all…it’s a tricky business for sure. And to top it all off, it rarely is quick and easy. I start out with that in mind and sometimes days later I’m still at it! But there is a pattern that I always use that helps me sort from the beginning the good, bad and the ugly.
Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book, “The Outliers, The Story of Success” clearly states that most people are really good at something, really successful after about 10,000 hours. Well, for sure I have my 10,000 hours in on travel and tickets. For over 4 years, Gary and I crossed the Atlantic commuting from our home in London to our home in Naples, Fl every three weeks. It was always different, always a surprise and very often extremely challenging to buy tickets for Gary’s mom, our 5 children to all our destinations all over the world ON A REGULAR BASIS. We had homes in London, Gloustershire, Naples, North Carolina, the north coast of the Dominican Republic and…oh, it makes my head spin just thinking about it!
Needless to say, just by the sheer act of plotting, planning and finally buying, I’ve learned a lot…earned my 10,000 hours over the last 25 + years of international traveling.
However, all the rules have now changed…it’s often hard to know which way to jump…some people book for instance a conference and tell me to confirm quickly so they can buy “that cheap ticket” that is 6 months out! Whoa, I reply…that’s pretty risky…sometimes you can now buy a ticket at a week out for the same price or better than a month out.
Airlines are constantly shifting and changing and hedging their bets…so let’s look at a few things that we can count on.
#1. The internet makes it a lot easier than we’ve had it before. There is plenty of data and solid information that we can gather from 100s of sources instantly.
#2. The internet also makes it a lot harder than we’ve ever had it before BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES! We have more information so it is essential that we use this information wisely.
Here are a few ground rules that I am currently using that are working now.
1. Don’t buy months out.
2. Sit down with those who are traveling and have a general chat on days/possibilities/flexibilities that might be possible. Right now, for instance, I am buying for Ecuador. Gary and I will get a month’s calendar, list our IDEAL flight days and then see which ways we COULD be flexible.
3. For the past year, it is cheaper (yes, cheaper) in most cases to fly from an outlying airport than direct. I know a lot of people for instance who drive from let’s say Birmingham, Ala to Atlanta and then fly direct from Atlanta to everywhere. Don’t do this. CHECK YOUR POSSIBILITIES.
For example, Gary and I fly mainly from NC to Portland, NC to Quito, NC to London and NC to Copenhagen. Well, we can fly from Charlotte, Greensboro (Triad) or from a nearby TRI Cities TN tiny airport. I check out each of these easily and quickly to get a handle on the whole picture. I don’t just assume that one is cheaper or more expensive, etc.
For instance for years, Charlotte has been very expensive to fly into our area than all the others, and suddenly last fall, it all shifted…now it’s the cheapest. Well, it could be the aggressiveness of USAir after its near collapse that has caused them to price the lowest since it is their hub and therefore Delta, etc. have followed suit.
When flying from Florida, I look at Tampa (our favorite), Orlando, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, etc. Takes only a second and sometimes you can really find an el cheapo winner!
4. Decide whether you are a frequent flyer who needs to accumulate miles or if you are just an occasional flyer. We for instance are frequent flyers and use Atlanta as our hub to go to our common destinations…Portland, London, Quito, Copenhagen are our patterns. Sometimes we fly from NC and sometimes from FL (according to the season)…but ALL of these flights are non-stop from Atlanta via Delta. So, instead of looking at all airlines/all flights, I really just watch Delta. We accumulate a lot of miles, use them for free tickets for our children and/or for upgrades. My advice for frequent flyers is pick an airline and stick with it! This gets the most bang for your buck…although sometimes I pay more for this, in the long run it works out well and suits us and lets us fly first class.
If you are lucky enough to be an infrequent flyer, then just look for the best deal!
5. Frequent flyers can gain a lot from loyalty…although not everything as recently we found out on an emergency trip to Portland! But usually, we can get what WE determine is important. (not that this might be your choice in the line of fire.)
What is important to us is not just the price but the Duration of the Flight…very, very important you might say! I’ll pay a bit more to fly a total of 7 hours instead of a lot less to fly the same route with a totally of 11 hours or maybe 23 hours!
Another thing that is important to us is that we can upgrade. We have logged so many miles and usually have to get off an airplane and go straight to work that over the years we have decided that if we can go first or business class (more or that later) we should. We feel better if we are not cramped in and let’s face it (although we don’t drink alcohol and don’t eat on planes) there are some good perks. Very important to us is that there is simply more oxygen up front than there is in the back…so we arrive in better shape than if we were tucked in on the last row.
Other things important to us is that we have a place where we can be quiet and not listen to a dozen cell phone conversations and 7 different TV stations. We aren’t used to this type of confusion and noise and so we want to have the use of special rooms that airlines provide (Delta’s Crown Rooms) that allow quiet areas. Often we traveled with our service dog, and she too is allowed in these rooms. We just rest and wait there. IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Merri even makes sure that we have seats so we see the sunset at night and sunrise in the morning.
But on the other hand, we don’t want to pay for this privilege which can cost big change.
How do we achieve this? Well, each airline has its own gimmicks, but Delta allows a cardholder of AMEX Sky Miles Reserve (which can cost anywhere from $295 up) to have free access with his/her companions to all Sky Mile Crown rooms at no cost. You can now have a simple Gold AMEX Sky Miles card (sometimes without a fee) that allows more or less the same privileges. We find excellent light food (that is fresh) and peace and quiet there. We also find their quiet desk of agents that will do just about anything to make life pleasant (changing flights/redoing tickets/finding lost luggage, etc.). They will even wake you if you fall asleep in your comfy chair. That same card allows us to have a free Concierge booking service (that means they will REALLY try everything to help you) as well as double miles for most of our travel…and (and this is a big one) the right to Pay with Miles.
And what is Pay with Miles? Well, let’s discuss that under Award Ticketing later in this series.
1. OK, now that we know whether we are a loyal frequent flyer or if we are a just looking for a great deal…then let’s look at an easy system.
I’ve used a lot of systems over the years and am hooked on www.kayak.com. It is simple, easy and fast. It gives you the whole picture of flights for an entire month (in case you are flexible) AND all the patterns that there are to choose WITH (and this is all important to us) the Duration of the Flight. This is instant and easy to read. Often it lists flights that the airline itself isn’t listing and also it gives you the total WITH TAXES INCLUDED.
Gosh, do I hate it when I have a great flight, great schedule and then find out that whoa…here comes the taxes. Kayak is consistent!
So, I pull up their website and I use it in the following ways. First, of all I advise you to sign in…(even though you’re probably like me and don’t want to take this step because of what it might lead to…)
Signing in allows you to look at a calendar of the month and see how much that ticket is each day…that is instantly. You can get a lot of information to compare fast and easy.
They show deals from 100+ airlines in seconds.
There are a lot of other systems but kayak for me does it all…it shows me prices from the airline from Hotwire, Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, etc.
I sign in and then fill out the form…airports are easy…if you don’t know the call signs of your airport, just type in part of the name & the list pops up. Check “Include other airports” just to see what might happen. Click on “Flexible Departure” if this is the case…sometimes a fare can vary hundreds of dollars from just a day’s difference!
In this case, the fare varied $90 per person from day to day. Well, then I hit in the top left hand corner “Modify or Start Search Over” and clicked on Charlotte to Quito…wow, a savings of $295 per person! Same schedule, same #of hours…but this was with AA…which we don’t accumulate miles, etc.
Then I clicked on “Modify or Start Search Over” and clicked on “Include Nearby Airports”…and guess what? I found a price of $302 less per person on DELTA! And this was from Raleigh Durham…now just ask yourself, how can a flight be $300 cheaper from a further distance on the SAME airline…well, of course it is a mini airfare war…RDU (Raleigh Durham, NC is AA’s hub!).
Now, if I were to say to Gary…”hey, how’d you like to save an extra $600 to go to Ecuador next month?”….he’d reply “is it on Delta?”…I’d say yes, then he’d say “is it from Tri Cities?” And I’d say “No”…and he’d say, “buy the higher priced ticket from Tri Cities”.
Why? Well, we are sort of tired out road warriors. We can go (except in the winter when the pass is closed) over the top of Mt. Rogers and drop down to tiny tiny Tri Cities and find ourselves able to double park (yep!) and walk our bags and weary bodies in. (Last month, the lone policemen there even helped us!) Everyone there knows us. They jump to help us…and we can sanely walk through security even with our dog with everyone helping us…and then walk down to the one of only 4 gates and sit in the sun. We can board, take a 25 minute flight to Atlanta and walk (we always walk through all the airports not ride when possible) to the Crown Room…or go directly to Gate E for the International flight.
Well, this is where you have to choose…what do you want? We want peace and quiet and a very easy entrance to the world and also a very very cheap daily rate at the airport for our car. We like quiet, non events as opposed to people shouting at us to hurry and clear security, etc.
We’ve left our car, checked in at a gate with 4 people manning the desks and maybe two other passengers there, cleared security and are at the gate in less than 15 minutes or maybe 10…with no stress.
All top importance to us, but maybe not to you…this is why I mention to pick the airport where you begin for its appeal to you…that’s why we are loyal to Tri Cities and Tampa (in the winter).
OK…so all it takes is a few minutes to click on Kayak figure out ALL your possibilities and all your data.
My advice is to once again choose what is important to you…and that is whether you value money or time. I scroll down a number of times and watch these rates for a few days or weeks (if I have the time) and pick THE BEST RATE FOR US WITH THE LOWEST DURATION OF HOURS. These are equally important to us. Kayak lets you click on “Details” for the stops in between and other information and then once you decide which flight pattern (sometimes they offer 5 or 6 pages of these all in price order) then click on that. Kayak then sends you directly to the listing agent. You don’t have to figure out a single thing but the flight you like.
If you are trying to stick with just one airline, then click on the list at your left and it will eliminate the others.
We don’t usually like to fly to one country through stops in other countries and that prevents us from using Taca, Lacsa and Copa…who stop and change flights in Panama and Costa Rica. We find this heightens the chance of lost luggage and further wears us out.
We do like LAN Ecuador, which we have flown from Miami many, many times. A great airline (parent is LAN Chile with a very good safety record) with courteous, gentle service (Ecuadorian!) and a non hassle check in! That’s a winning combination for sure! This helps.
We now have a choice of Aero Galapagos, which is a regional Ecuadorian Airline that is flying from Miami to Ecuador. We respect its young female CEO and our only complaint for this is that it is non stop to Guayaquil with an overnight then go up to Quito. However, she has applied for rights to fly non stop Miami/Manta! That should be a winner for sure. So, let’s watch out for this application to be approved…but of course immigration and customs must be added to the excellent Manta Airport first.
Right now, there are 19 pages of 15 schedules each (that’s 285 flights!) from Miami to Quito. This could be bewildering. Let Kayak (or your favorite search site) do your work by sorting them out and presenting them in just seconds to you!
One other Kayak feature is that you get to choose the currency of your country for the prices. This is absolutely a fantastic feature of this website, truly international and very cognizant of the global marketplace that the web represents.
The tips above can be used to get great airplane ticket deals anywhere.
Some suggestions for Ecuador. I find a lot of people need help on this somewhat exotic country…because there isn’t a lot of information out there. Gary and I have lived/worked in Ecuador for 15 years, so we’ve learned a lot the hard way…that is so you won’t have to!
Here are my list of dos and don’ts:
1.Fly into Quito not Guayaquil (even if the flight is cheaper). Guayaquil is a big, bustling, expensive city full of a lot of things you don’t need to put up with and not much of interest to tourists as well as those who want to look for a place to live. Quito is orderly and functional and the airport really organized. We have good friends in Guayaquil and over the years have spent a lot of time there, but that doesn’t mean that we like it. It also costs a lot of time and money to get up to Quito (over $100 round trip, so that usually wipes out any savings) and since most flights arrive in the evening…you’ll have to overnight in expensive Guayaquil.
The surf at San Clemente is safe enough for kids to play in.
2.Don’t fly on a Colombian Airline (Avianca and others), even if it is great deal cheaper.
For instance, right now Avianca is flying from Miami to Quito for a cheaper fare than Delta is listing. (round trip). I’ve been waiting for all of you to arrive in Quito for over 14 years and those which fly from Bogota, Colombia often don’t land in Quito, they go onto Guayaquil and overnight there…or more usual, they just stop in Bogota (unscheduled of course) and then continue in the next day to Quito.
Why do people fly with them? Often they are the cheapest…but cheap is nothing compared to an American passport holder overnighting in Bogota and not really understanding when the next plane goes out, plus missing your ride in Quito, etc. I always say to people this is the prime example of false economy….the decision comes in Bogota whether the plane continues on are not…it is simply a load situation…and we don’t want to get caught out another night in a strange hotel…when it clearly said…arrival in Quito!
Weather can be misty with a socked in airport and Quito can be a tricky airport to land into. (This will be remedied when the new airport is finished. It is built on top of a plateau instead of in the valley of Quito.) All Delta pilots who fly in there are licensed to land in any weather (but sometimes choose not to land and go to Guayaquil…but rarely.) Colombian pilots are rarely licensed to land on instruments, so the plane just stays in Colombia and comes the next day…not ever a good thing for a traveler! I’ve waited hours in the Quito Airport with our greeting crew for years looking for those people who don’t arrive until the next day!
3. Bring your own favorite non heavy snacks and just drink lots of water, skip the airline fare and the drinks…you’ll feel better and the next day not have any recovery time.
4. We never book “Multiple Airlines” tickets. This can be a combination of all sorts of airlines and can be a reason if anything goes wrong (like lost luggage) that no one claims responsibility. We don’t like to mix airlines.
5. If you think that Quito might be too high in altitude for you, then just hire a driver to meet your plane, bring you water and fruit and a pillow and blanket and bring you on out to your destination! That’s what we do!
Ecuador is a charming, beautiful country…buy your tickets with care and enjoy the ride!
Now let’s discuss Award Tickets vs Pay with Miles and other variations that we use tomorrow.
Award Tickets vs. Pay with Miles
I used to think that the highest thing out there in the “ticket” world was a free ticket! But look at the cost is of a “free” ticket with Delta!
Our daughter was here for 3 weeks from London before she returned for a year in Africa, and this was a more or less “instant” decision for her. Many fares from London were high…and I thought “Oh, let’s go for an award ticket”…
But just to show you how all the rules have now changed, I thought well, let’s make some comparisons…
Here’s what I found…Award Ticket round trip from London to Charlotte:
Mileage required 50,000 and up to 70,000.
Award available on most days, plenty of seats, etc.
Sounds good…right? A free ticket! Great for kids as there is no tax advantage and it’s there and red hot!
However, let’s look closer, the requirement for taxes was $316.23!! Other flights, taxes were $375.10. Wow!
Well, that’s not really a free ticket is it?
So…then let’s look at Pay with Miles (explanation later in this article):
Same flights, same days…ticket would be $94.43 and 50,000 miles…a big big difference…this includes all taxes and fees. I could have made it even lower to $40.43 if Gary had an extra 5,000 miles in his account.
Well, what would you rather have? A “free” awards ticket for 50,000 miles + $316-$375 in taxes or a Pay with Miles for 50,000 miles for $94.43 or even as low as $40.43?
Ecuador tickets will brings you rustic restaurants open air restaurants like this three table authentic pizza parlor complete with dog, cat and dirt floor.
But great pizza
Pay with Miles
How does Pay for Miles Tickets work? Well, there is a small catch that I discovered after recommending this to a client…she called me back and said “Pay with Miles does not appear on my computer”…
Here is that catch. It says very clearly that this is for Platinum and Gold Medallion Members. And of course, only people crazy enough to travel as much as we do qualify…but and this is a big BUT it is available to anyone with a Delta Skymiles number if that person holds an American Express Sky Miles GOLD Card, Platinum or Reserve Credit Card. I have provided links to learn more about how to get these cards at the end of this message.
The first year, the fee is waived and then can be as low as $55 annually…you’ll save that on your first purchase of “Pay with Miles”.
All of this is a bit lopsided…but as I said before “All the Rules have Changed”…and that means ALL the rules. When you order this credit card you’ll get a bonus 25,000 miles to start.
Gary and I (as you probably know) abhor debt, so we pay off our credit cards each month but we do love credit cards…because we can easily track our purchases for tax purposes and also because of the Pay with Miles feature. It is possible to have free (that is really free) Delta Crown Room use at all airports by showing your American Express Delta Reserve Card. This Amex card is a bit pricier but has more benefits because your miles are at times doubled and you have access to a Concierge desk when you really get into trouble (which I often do) and also don’t forget all those quiet times in the private rooms.
You don’t really need to be a road warrior who has hundreds of thousands of miles, you just need that little American Express Gold or Platinum card! Suddenly those magic words, “Pay with Miles” automatically appear on your screen, giving you a free ticket with no blackout dates, the use of any amount of miles you might have (award tickets have a premium minimum), as well as flexibility, AND no fees. This can be purchased for a group of people (if on the same itinerary) and can be used as often as you have miles in your account.
Pay with Miles is a great way to use those accumulated miles that is fast, easy, Internet friendly and instant. I just love bringing our kids from all over the world as we did Jake (on the itinerary and dates he chose) last year for $17!
Ecuador tickets can lead you to fancy restaurants in Bahia like at the Bahia yacht…
simple affairs like this Bahia Cafe on the
or at La Piedra Hotel in Bahia…
where standards are high and…
outstanding and food is very reasonable.
Good flights and happy endings….Merri
Join an upcoming Ecuador or Super Spanish course or tour.
2015 ScheduleSchedule 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 MoreOne 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.
(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.
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.
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.
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 Google.com (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.
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.
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.
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