Micro Business Success One Sip and Word at a Time

Micro business success comes one enjoyable step at a time when you do what you love.

This mantra of this site since it began… and well before in our former print newsletters has been “Turn Your Passion into Profit”.

Merri and I have always lived that way… following our hearts and figuring our how to serve and earn in this process.

Here are two great examples of how others are following this process and doing really well.   You can gain by reading this article from the Archdale & Trinity Magazine entitled “The Water of Life” by Sherry Johnson.

This article may be your “Doorway to Passion and Profit”.

difiant distillery

Photo from the Archdale & Trinity Magazine

Here is an example of enjoying and earning from a passion one sip at a time.

We recently attended the Big Sip Beverage expo in Greensboro, Which Was one of the best festivals we’ve ever been to.   They had all manner of Beverages represented, from beer & wine, tea & coffee, to locally made rum, vodka, moonshine and whisky.

These local companies are the ones we gravitated to because as you know, we love to support local, North Carolina products.

We discovered the Blue Ridge distilling company from golden valley, NC serving single-malt whisky. You actually can’t call it Scotch unless it is distilled and aged in Scotland, although it’s essentially the same thing.

I am not sure if it was their laid-back attitudes, their warm and inviting smiles or their generosity when it came to pouring samples of their single-malt whisky, or maybe it was all of the above, but we liked them immediately.

In chatting with two of the guys at the booth, Bob and Dan, we mentioned that we would like to do an article on the company. They generously invited us up to tour the distillery, have dinner and spend the night. They got busy serving their samples, and we wandered off to try other beverages at the event, weaving back and forth between the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety, to keep our heads.

I sent an email right after Christmas, figuring it would take a while to coordinate schedules and get our weekend trip planned. Tim Ferris, the Founder of Blue Ridge Distilling Co. got back to me immediately and said to come on up any time. I confirmed that the offer of dinner and overnight accommodations were still a go, and we made plans to drive up on a Friday afternoon.

Golden Valley is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just outside of Rutherfordton. It’s a beautiful area, full of rich history and 328 hearty souls call it home. There are some who believe that Abraham Lincoln was actually born there, not in Kentucky as is commonly accepted.

Tim has been diving for 12 years, and has worked all over  the world. In 2010, he started Defiant Marine, a deep sea diving, consulting and salvage company. He has assembled a team of top notch individuals who go above and beyond to get the job done.

They have been called in to help with many recent disasters, including refloating the Vega Sagittarius in the cold seas west of Nuuk, Greenland, and remediating the environmental threat when a chemical and oil tanker ran aground on the rocks of Santa Panagia, Italy due to bad weather.

They spend anywhere from a few days to several months on a job, because they don’t leave until it is completed to their satisfaction, and that of the company or country that hires them.

With such an exciting and oftentimes dangerous job, what would you do with yourself while you are waiting for the next adrenalin rush? Tim says that the minute they get back to shore and settle in at home, they are itching for something to do.

He has always had a fascination with distilling alcohol, and North Carolina has a long and exciting history of distilling, both legally and illegally.  The idea for distilling his own brand of alcohol was born.

Tim is not one to go off half-cocked. He always has a plan. Before he put the time and money into building the distillery, he wanted to make sure this was the right thing for him. He put out feelers and purchased his first small still locally, which sits proudly in the corner of the distillery today. After that first batch of whisky, the rest as they say, is history. Notice the spelling – he has taken the original spelling of whisky from the Scotch, dropping the Americanized “e”. The word whisky is from the Gaelic “uisce beatha” meaning “water of life.”

difiant distillery

Defiant Whisky

We arrived at the distillery at 6:00 pm and Tim was waiting to greet us and show us around. We toured the operation, making notes for the article, and learning about the process of turning water, malted barley and yeast into this amazing thing called whisky. Then came the best part – tasting the finished product. First, Tim poured me a glass of Macallan, which is considered one of the best single malt scotches in the world. I sipped gingerly. The bite in the back of my throat and the burn all the way down are the reasons I don’t like drinking whisky to begin with. Then, he poured a glass of his whisky, and as I sipped, I was surprised at the texture, and subtle flavors that teased my tongue as it slid smoothly down my throat. It was an eye opener, because I really did not think that I liked whisky, but I was clearly mistaken – I just haven’t had one this good before!

Tim named his whisky Defiant, not because it is the name of his company, Defiant Marine, but because, as he says, “The spirit of who we are is in every bottle.”

difiant distillery

We finished up our tour, and Tim invited us to the house for dinner. Not knowing what to expect, we followed his four wheeler in our car, winding through the narrow dirt country roads farther up the hill, and almost lost sight of his lights a couple of times as he sped through the woods at breakneck speeds (clearly knowing where he was going!) One of his favorite things about his job is being able to drive a four-wheeler to work every day.

We were greeted by the most amazing aromas coming from the kitchen. Bob Weihe, one of the divers at Defiant Marine and obviously an amazing cook, placed plates of bread with three different cheeses on the table to whet our appetites, while he finished the prep for dinner. He had put together a chicken and sausage puttanesca over pasta, topped with fresh grated parmesan – it was a meal fit for kings.

Over dinner, the guys regaled us with stories of their exploits all over the world, from Egypt to Greenland, to their recent job in New York City pumping out the subway tubes, and the interesting adventures they’ve shared. Back at the distillery, there is an original subway sign hanging on the wall that was presented to them in thanks at the end of that successful job.

Tim’s sister, Missy, showed up at the end of dinner, to say hi. She lives in South Africa with her husband and two children, and is an investor in the Distillery from afar, until it grows big enough to be able to support her family here in the States.

She is busy training to run a back to back 1/2 marathon and full marathon at Disneyworld in Florida this month. If she completes both, she will not only receive the Donald medal for the 1⁄2 marathon and the Mickey medal for the full marathon, but the Goofy medal (her favorite character) for completing both.

It’s been a long day, and it’s time to head to bed. We assumed we’d be bunking at the house, but Tim had arranged through a neighbor to rent a cabin from Golden Valley Getaways for us to use while we were in town. He and Missy led the way to The Hawks Nest, about five miles from the distillery. As we drove up we got the sense of a lot of space, but since it was “country dark” it was hard to see anything at that hour. Suffice it to say there were no streetlights, and nothing but dark for miles around. After they let us in, showed us around and headed home, we poured two glasses of wine and sat down in front of the fireplace to relax and enjoy the rest of our evening. With the cheerfully crackling fire and wine mellowing us out, it wasn’t long before we were yawning and ready to call it a night.

difiant distillery

When I woke up the next morning the sun was streaming through the blinds. As I stepped into the living room, floor to ceiling windows greeted me, overlooking a panoramic view of the mountains in the distance. It was breathtaking! It was a little chilly, so I lit the fireplace, and enjoyed a quiet hour to myself reading a book and basking by the warmth of the fire. We were in no hurry and somewhat reluctant to head back home, we were enjoying our visit with Tim, Bob, and the rest so much.

Eventually, we got ready, packed our bag, and headed back down the hill.

When we got back to the distillery, Tim and Bob were already hard at work on the beams up in the office. There is always work to be done, so their hands are never idle. Whisky distilling is a lot of “hurry up and wait”, so in their downtime they are working on the building, as well as other projects, including repairing their dive equipment to be ready for the next job.

We sat around the workbench drinking freshly ground coffee, fine tuning the article, and discussing philosophy. For Dave and I it was great to spend time with like-minded people who believe passionately in what they do. Something Tim said stands out above all. When I asked him what his goal was for the distillery, he said

“To make the best single-malt whisky in the world.” It’s just that simple.

To learn more about Blue Ridge Distilling Company you can visit their website www.blueridgedistilling.com, like them on Facebook or call Tim at 828.245.2041

Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 pm to schedule your own visit and tour of the distillery. Defiant Whisky is now available in ABC stores throughout North Carolina, but you might have to ask them to order it – it just became available on December 12th and hasn’t made it onto all of the shelves yet.

You can read the entire article at the Archdale & Trinity Magazine here


The Second Example of Success “One Word at a Time”

archdale & trinity magazine

Archdale & Trinity Magazine

This second example of success is in micro publishing and can be seen in the second magazine launched by Dave & Sherry Johnson.

 There are many micro publishing benefits beyond the wealth it generates.  The income from small Positive Community Magazines is wonderful… as much as $17,000 gross a month (with profits over $11,000)  but the other benefits are often more important.

A recent message at this site looked at 11 benefits of micro magazine publishing .

#1:  Freedom of setting your own hours.

#2:  Freedom of expression.

#3: You have complete control over your earnings.

#4: The tax benefits are tremendous.

#5:  When you work hard, you are working hard for your benefit and wealth not someone else’s.

#6:  You get PRESS credentials.

#7:  Prestige (Celebrity Status).

#8: Service You Provide to the Community.

#9:  You  can give a voice to positive organizations that normally wouldn’t have one.

#10: Philanthropy.

#11:  They even save lives.

This example shows the benefits of PRESS credentials and tax benefits.   The Johnson’s PRESS credentials allowed them to meet interesting people.  learn new ideas and concepts…. share them with their community and enjoy a wonderful weekend that was a tax deductoble expense.

Life is short. Grab it. Go do things with a micro business one enjoyable step at a time.


Get a FREE Report on Micro Magazine Publishing.

Join Merri and me in Mt. Dora February 1-2-3 to learn about how to create a micro business in Smalltown USA, Canada, Ecuador or wherever you are.

Multi Currency Value Investing Seminar

Old Accord Creates New Profits – Multi Currency Investments.

Learn about multi currency stock market breakouts at our Online Value Investing Seminar and save $502 or more.

The Value Investing Seminar is our premier course that we have been conducting every October and February for over 30 years.  Now you can join the seminar online.

Multi Currency Seminar

Improve Safety – Increase Profits

Learn how to improve the safety of your savings and investments by selecting good value and diversified investments in a multi-currency portfolio.

Few decisions are as important to your wealth as the value of the markets and currencies you invest in.  This has been our area of expertise since the 1970s and we have worked with and advised some of the largest currency traders in the world.

Gain Protection First – Against the Dollar’s Purchasing Power Loss.  In 1913 the The Federal Reserve Act created the Federal Reserve Bank to protect the purchasing power of the US dollar, which has since lost about 94% of its purchasing power.  Here is its price compared with gold since 1900.

priced in gold

Dollar chart from pricedingold.com (1)

The Fed has let the dollar lose most of its strength plus has allowed interest rates to fall so low, that safe investments cannot keep pace with the drop in purchasing power.


Chart from Grandfather Economic Report (2)

Many investors have forgotten about the risk of a falling dollar because the greenback has been strong for the past five years.  This temporary dollar strength came after the great recession of 2009 just as there was temporary dollar strength after the great recession of the 1980s.  Then about six years after the recession, an agreement was made by major governments to weaken the dollar.

There was a severe global economic recession affecting much of the developed world in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The United States and Japan exited the recession relatively early, but high unemployment would continue to affect Europe and the UK through to at least 1985.  As a consequence between 1980 and 1985, the US dollar had appreciated by about 50% against the Japanese yen, Deutsche mark, French franc and British pound, the currencies of the next four biggest economies at the time. Then the governments reached an agreement and exchange rate values of the dollar versus the yen declined by 51% from 1985 to 1987.

Now the world is again in the same place.  The recession is over.  Europe is a bit behind in recovery and the dollar is 50% higher than before the recession and there is no reason for the greenback to be  strong.

The agreement in 1985 was called the Plaza Accord.   Over just two years the greenback dropped nearly 50% versus other major currencies.  The next accord will generate great profits for those who know what to do while it ruins the purchasing power of dollar back investments.

The strong US dollar and low interest rates have created one of the biggest stock and multi currency breakout opportunities in history.  Learn how to create a plan to profit from multi currency shifts ahead.

One reason for the potential gains is that stock markets and currency values are cyclical.  Due to low interest rates created by the 2009 economic downturn, the US and a few other equity markets have risen to some of their highest prices, ever.  These markets offer very poor value now.  The steep valuation creates incredible profit potential but also hides some enormous risks.  Learn how to develop an investing strategy based of earnings, cash flows, dividends and book values to increase potential for profit and reduce the risks.

Next Extra Profit Created by Value Breakouts

Over the history of US equity markets, the  price of overall markets have risen about 9.1 percent, respectively, compounded annually.  Yet over more than a hundred years of stock market activity,  a majority of the profits have come from just a very few dramatic breakouts.

Equity markets are ruled in the short term by emotions that create unpredictable ups and downs.  Numerous fears of defaults, worries of double dip recessions, high unemployment, concerns about fiscal cliffs, hold investors back.  Yet global population growth and advances in production and prosperity are relentless economic fundamentals that increase value.

When fear holds back a a fundamentally rising value, rising profit potential grows.  Values increase as prices stagnate.  Then markets break free and rocket upwards creating wealth, prosperity and growth.

Learn how to use value as a guide for spotting these breakouts that create fortunes.

Sign up for our current Value Investing Seminar and learn the latest breakout possibilities in global equities, currencies, real estate and commodities.

For example the seminar shows the potential for a breakout of the Singapore dollar.

singapore dollar chart

US dollar rising against Singapore www.finance.yahoo.com chart

The US dollar has been rising without valid economic reasons versus the Singapore dollar since the middle of 2011.  The rise has been especially strong since mid 2014.  This currency distortion creates extra value opportunity because the fundamentals for the Singapore dollar are strong and fundamentals for the US dollar weak.  This is exactly the type of breakout position we look for and share in this seminar.

Here are the currency fundamentals:

US GDP Growth last year: 2.2%

Singapore GDP Growth last year: 2.9%

US current account balance for last year:  -$758 billion or -2.5% of GDP

Singapore current account balance for last year: +$49 billion or +21.2% of GDP

US Budget Balance as % of GDP for last year:  -2.6%

Singapore Budget Balance as % of GDP for last year was a low: -0.7%

US Unemployment: 5%

Singapore Unemployment: 2.0%

US$ Interest Rate 10 year bonds:  2.19%

Singapore $ Interest Rate 10 year bonds: 2.57%

These are economic signs of a currency’s strength.  They show a classic indicator that it is a good time to borrow US dollars and invest in Singapore dollars.

Where to Invest

The seminar reviews many ways to diversify currencies for investors large and small.

For example almost anyone can invest in the Currency Shares Singapore Dollar Trust (FXSG)  managed by Guggenheim Partners.

Guggenheim manages a stable of currency ETFs under the Currency Shares brand.

These ETFs are traded on the New York Stock Exchange so even small investors can diversify in other currencies.

One of the ETFs is the CurrencyShares Singapore Dollar Trust (FXSG).  The investment seeks to reflect the price of the Singapore Dollar.  This provides a low cost, simple, cost-effective means of gaining investment benefits similar to those of holding Singapore Dollars.

Find out which breakouts are likely to take place next.

Merri and I have been able to help readers have better lives, less stress and to make fortunes during up and down markets for over 30 years.  The simple reason for this is that we aim for the really big profits earned at the start of a breakout.

In 2016 I want to kick off the year with you and share why I have confidence and enthusiasm about the breakouts that are near.

Here is a partial syllabus of this online seminar:

International & Value Investing Outside the Box.  This session shows how to take advantage of unusual currency breakouts.

Here is an example.  At our October 2012 seminar we told delegates that the Japanese yen was too strong and was likely to weaken early in the next year. In the next six months, the US dollar rose 13% against the yen.  On December 12, 2012 one USA dollar would buy 82 yen.

finance.yahoo  chart

Delegates who acted and sold the yen short picked up an extra 13% forex profit in nine months.

There is a second way they could have earned.  They could have borrowed Japanese yen at a low interest rate (2.5%) and invested the borrowed yen into a Dow Jones Industrial ETF for this six month period.

In this example $100,000 was invested and used as collateral to borrow $100,000 worth of Japanese yen at 2.50%.   The rate was 82 yen per dollar so to get $100,000, 8,200,000 yen was borrowed.

The $200,000 was invested in a Dow Jones Industrial ETF… a mutual fund traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The ETF rose, along with the Dow, 12.85%.

The Dow as shown in this chart rose over 12% from January to July 2013.

yahoo finance chart

The loan cost per year is $2,500 (2.5% on $100,000).    The $200,000 portfolio rose $25,700 (12.85% of $200,000).  In other words, the $100,000 originally invested grew $23,200 in six months.

That is the positive carry without the forex profit.  Plus there is a forex gain as well.

By July a dollar would buy 100 yen!

To pay off the 8,200,000 loan would have cost $82,000 at the rate of 100 yen per dollar adding another $18,000 of profit.

The portfolio is worth $223,200 less $82,000 loan payoff or $141,200. That translates into a total six month profit of 41.2%.

How to spot value from cycles.  Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics. Cycles create recurring profits. Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 years as shown in this graph.


The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.

Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.  Economic downturns create war.

Here is the war stock cycle.  Military struggles (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.  The military technology shifts to domestic use.  A boom is created that leads to excess.  Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.

Learn how the Cyber War (WWIV) may change the way we live and act and how this will affect currencies and investments.

Details in the seminar include:

* How to easily buy global currencies, shares and bonds.

* Trading down and the benefits of investing in real estate in Small Town USA.  We will share why this breakout value is special and why we have been recommending good value real estate in this area since 2009.

* What’s up with gold and silver?  One session looks at my current position on gold and silver and asset protection.  We review the state of the precious metal markets and potential problems ahead for US dollars.  Learn how low interest rates eliminate  opportunity costs of diversification in precious metals and foreign currencies.

* How to improve safety and increase profit with leverage and staying power.  The seminar reveals Warren Buffett’s value investing strategy from research published at Yale University’s website.  This research shows that the stocks Buffet 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), but his big, extra profits come from leverage and staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio, as all value portfolios, has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.

keppler asset management chart

This chart based on a 45 year portfolio study shows that holding a diversified good value portfolio (based on a  good value strategy) for 13 month’s time, increases the probability of outperformance to 70%.  However those who can hold the portfolio for five years gain a 88% probability of beating the bellwether in the market and after ten years the probability increases to 97.5%.

Time is your friend when you use a good value strategy.  The longer you can hold onto a well balanced good value portfolio, the better the odds of outstanding success.

Learn how much leverage to use.  Leverage is like medicine, the key is dose.  Buffett leverages his portfolio at a ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1.  This rate of expansion by the way is called the “Golden Ratio”.  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.

We’ll sum the strategy, how to leverage cheap, safe, quality stocks and for what period of time based on your circumstances.

Learn to plan in a way so you never run out of money.  The seminar also has a session on the importance of having and sticking to a plan.  See how success is dependent on conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk.  Learn a three point strategy 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.

Enjoy investing more with 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.

Learn how to put meaning into your investing by creating profitable strategies that combine good value investments with unique, personal goals.

Learn how to span 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 of our good value model portfolio.

Share ideas about my good value portfolio.  My personal investment portfolio comes from a continual analysis of international stock markets and a comparison of 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.

Markets included in this portfolio are:

• Norway
• Australia
• Hong Kong
• Japan
• Singapore
• United Kingdom
• Taiwan
• South Korea
• China

These markets have been chosen based on four pillars of valuation.

• Absolute Valuation
• Relative Valuation
• Current versus Historic Valuation
• Current Relative versus Relative Historic Valuation   xxxxxx

The seminar also reveals how to use Country ETFs to easily construct a diversified, risk-controlled, equally weighted representative country portfolios in all of these good value countries.

To achieve this goal my portfolio consists of Country Index ETFs that track an index of shares in a specific country.  These country ETFs provide diversification into a basket of equities in the good value countries.  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.

The seminar also discloses the results of a $80,000 share purchase cost test that found the least expensive way to invest in good value.  The keys to this portfolio are good value, low cost, minimal fuss and bother.  Plus a great savings of time.  Trading is minimal, usually not more than one or two shares are bought or sold in a year.  I wanted to find the very least expensive way to create and hold this portfolio so I performed a test.

The Test for Low Cost Trading

Research put every part of this portfolio in place, except knowing the best, easiest and least expensive way to buy.  A search for an optimal way to buy and hold boiled down to two methods.  One tactic to test was to use a unique online broker that appeared to offer the lowest cost deal.  The other approach was to use a community bank in Smalltown USA.  The small town bank that I use looks after my 401K trust account and their service is first class.  The benefit of small banks is that they still treat us as a human beings (instead of a number) and when we need, it’s easy to go right to the top to answer a question or get a problem resolved.  There are no call centers and the bank and the person looking after my account is just around the corner.

I created a test to see which offered the least expensive service.

Working with my banker in Smalltown USA,  I created two accounts, one at the online broker and the other at the bank. I placed $40,000 in each.

I set up the order for the country ETFs online, while my trust manager set up orders for the identical amounts of the same shares in his system.  Then we got on the phone, coordinated our timing and on a count of three each pushed the button “BUY”.

I share the results of this test in the seminar.  The savings you can gain on any purchase of country ETFs has the potential to be more than the cost of the seminar.

I have good news about the cost of the seminar as well.   For almost three decades the seminar fee has been $799.   Now because we have conducted the Value Investing Seminar online, you can save  thousands.  With the webinar, you save the cost of travel and accommodations, plus due to the fact that we don’t have to hire an expensive seminar room, we have dropped the fee from $799 to $297.  You save $502 on the fee alone plus eliminate the cost of travel and accommodations.

Enroll in the current Online Value Investing Seminar for only $297.

You can sign up for all three of the seminars that we’ll conduct this year and save even more.  As markets change we update the Value Investing Seminar, every four months, October, February, May.  Then we conduct the seminar in person in July or August.   The seminar available now has just been updated from our October 2015 seminar.

We have a special program for those who would like to join two, or all three of the seminars.

Two online Value Investing Seminars seminars: $397.  You receive the updated October 2015 seminar now and the February 2016 seminar online.

All online Value Investing Seminars in 2016 $447.  You receive the updated October 2015 seminar now and the February and May 2016 seminar online.


(1) Dollar chart from pricedingold.com

(2) Grandfather Economic Report

(3)  www.finance.yahoo.com currency charts


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