A reader recently sent the following comments: Ecuador’s Kichwa people have asked for our help to stop the government turning their forest home into an oil field. A massive scandal in the global media challenging President Correa to act on his environmental principles could persuade him to pull back and stop the Amazon oil rush. Sign the petition now:
He asked for my comments on this and I replied: “We look for small positive things we can do and then do not spend much time on politics that we cannot do much about. We have found that there are usually two sides to every story. Plus one rule for being a good guest anywhere is to avoid becoming embroiled in the politics of one’s host.
“In the case of the Amazon oil problem our positive approach was to donate funds to an indigenous tribe that did not want to sell their oil rights so they could build a small tourist camp deep in the Amazon jungle in Sucumbios Province. This gave them an alternate way to earn.
Here is the story we wrote about this 2002 adventure from the archives of this website.
Here is our Amazon story in the Cuyabeno.
Photo of Cuyabeno River at Flickr
Our trip into the Amazon rain forest was Amazing. We began with a 25 minute flight from Quito to Agrio Lago (sour lake), an oil town deep in the jungle about 35 miles from the Colombian border. This is a rough wild-west type of town and the airport is just an asphalt strip cut in the middle of deep jungle.
We knew things were a bit different on arrival when we saw two sinister blackhawk helicopters, side doors open, machine guns mounted, displayed and ready to use. This is not for visual effect. The crews sit at ready in the shade of a squat faded, cement terminal building. They are not all Ecuadorian pilots either. A curly red headed, tall, freckle faced officer reminded us that the U.S. have their Plan Colombia in operation here.
A squad of soldiers broke from the jungle at the end of the runway, crossed the tarmac and entered the green foliage at the other end of the strip.
This security is all about oil. This is a main oil area and gunships protect the pipelines. Ecuador is a rich country, number one exporter in bananas, huge in shrimp, big flowers, cocoa and coffee, gold and silver, but its economic future depends on the oil.
Ecuador is the second largest oil exporter in South America and its economic plan for the next five years is based on doubling its production of the black gold.
Oil has been the nation’s short term economic salvation, but this is the reason we are here as well because this same oil also creates huge ecological problems, destroys rain forests, pollutes streams, etc.
One way of combating this problem has been the creation of numerous huge eco-reserves and we headed for one of the largest, the Cuyabeno (good man) Reserve, 2,700 square miles of deep jungle rainforest that is highly protected.
This area has been created to conserve the fauna and flora and meet requirements so the native inhabitants in joint administration with the government can continue to live, as they always have, here.
The preserve is set into two areas, the first is open to tours through just six tour operators and three lodges of which our lodge is one. (Merri and I are have such a belief in this project that we have financed it and are joint owners of one of these three camps). No one except the indigenous are allowed into this area unless with one of the tour guides.
The second area is a zone of maximum protection where no one (except the indigenous) is allowed. This offers the wildlife population an exclusive area to live undisturbed.
At the airport we climbed into a dusty blue 17 seater bus and headed down the only asphalt road (paved for just a while-it quickly turned to gravel)for a two and a half hour ride to the Cuyabeno River, one of several tributaries that flow through the reserve into the Amazon.
The road was good, well kept to serve the pipeline, a huge dull, black snake, that ran beside us the entire drive. Ominous in the damage it presents, yet this is power, civilization and the portent of doom all at one time. I try to make it feel evil, but we are riding in a diesel bus and did get here in a gas guzzling Boeing 727, having reached the airport in our gasoline powered car.
This ominous tone is quickly cast off by the green wonder of the trip, magnificent folds, cuts and hills, rich green, splashed by silver leaves of the castor plant and an occasional blotch of brown representing Brahmin cows that thrive in this area.
The image is verdant, rich, huge kudzu like vines cling on flamboyans and great stands of bamboo. Stalks of Hawaiian Ginger and Heliconia (Birds of Paradise) spring from large clumps of Verbe de Monte (wire grass) that cover the roadside. Local buses roll by, open air affairs, gaudily pinstriped and colorful, reminiscing of old coca-cola trucks, painted and stuffed with riders instead of bottles of Coke.
Houses are built on stilts to remind us that this is a rain forest subject to an intense rainy season. They are clapboard, unpainted or in faded splashes of chipped pastel corals and turquoise. Rusty tin roofed or thatched palmed, held languid children who stood by the roadside and waved with puzzled looks, (like we are the first to pass, or perhaps they were asking, if you are so rich, why are you here). Rural schools noted each separate community, concrete buildings with open gaps between the walls and fibreglass roofs, so air can flow in from the joint soccer field-basketball court that lays in a concrete sheet or weedy, open field.
Jungle trees, fighting thick palmettos for sun, sport thin trunks and rise hundreds of feet before branching into the air. A line of these trees announced the Aqua Rico river, a wide, slow meandering tributary that runs from Peru to the Amazon.
We sped through Dureno, an oil town of faded shacks, clapboard, cement and cement block where a broomstick factory stood at the end of town announcing that not everything depends on oil.
The atmosphere turned rich and ripe, huge breadfruits and palms jutted from the jungle and we passed another town Paca Yacu, where further on in the midst of the jungle was a long tin roofed shack with the words “Night Club” written to attract the oil workers who toil 21 days in the jungle before having eight days off.Imagine a night at this club!
The next village Chiretza was surrounded by huge elephant ears and long banks of ancient looking ferns. Low plastic greenhouses spread out here so coffee beans can be dried more quickly. Village after village flashed by, Aqua Negro, being the last, each a slice of time, an adventure of untold stories waiting to be spun around a camp fire. Yet we sped on.
At last we reached an entry station to the park where the Cuyabeno River slips slowly by. A faded concrete building sat by an old bridge built on huge hardwood logs.
This is the dry season so we had to slip down a muddy slope to reach our long canoe, carved from one huge log. Fitted for twelve the outboard motor could have sped us along, were it not for a multitude of vines, deadfalls and huge logs that lay strewn along the muddy bank at the many bends twists and turns in the stream.
Photo of Cuyabeno River at Flickr
The river flowed slowly, between 30 and 50 feet wide, a swirling brown lane in a canyon of green. Vines dripped from trees, sipping water and life for the canopy hundreds of feet above.
There are 500 species of birds, 100 mammals, 374 types of fish, manatee, pink dolphin and unimaginable numbers of amphibians, turtles, insects and such forms of life, so we were never alone.
We were immediately overjoyed that these life forms did not include a host mosquitoes or other eating bugs. The ecological platform here is in balance and natural predators, mosquito hawks, birds, bats etc. keep the bad bugs in check.
A Blue Morpho, flashed from the jungle in a wonderful iridescent azure, blinking, erratic pattern against the green. They become our constant companions as we floated past tangles of forest, vines, birds of paradise, huge sago palms, tiny queens, slim trunked and rising hundreds of feet to their lacy crowns. Clumps of fern bracketed wild orchids, that were splashes of red, yellow and orange. Everything here is bigger and on a grander scale.
A sign snapped from the foliage, “Land of the Siona-Secoya”. This is what the lodge is about, its revenues are used in part to help support this tribe, building schools, providing basic needs and trying to stop the encroachment of western civilization so his community can live as they have for so many generations before.
A Kingfisher (a sign that the environment is clean- as they cannot stand pollution) landed on a red plant that the native guide tells is a contraceptive used by the locals. They boil it for two days and drink a cup a day to prevent unwanted childbirth. Yet the community here needs kids, only 43 remain in the community.
Perfumes floated through the areas, exotic, heady sweet smells, wild garlic, farnagapani and huge banks of honey suckle.
Huge fish roiled in the water. Ara Paima (tarpon) are one of the major food sources for the natives here. They are caught by trolling with a small fish until the tarpon is attracted. Then one fisherman uses a small canoe and detachable harpoon that hooks a strong line into the fish, leading to a long, exciting ride and finally dinner for many. Pirannahs and catfish also frequent the river and will add to our daily fare while we are here.
After about two and a half hours of this jungle canyon, the first of three lodges appeared. Our lodge is deepest in the jungle so we journeyed further before we arrived.
The stilt lodge is hidden in the jungle and approached by steps up from the river and a boardwalk through vine-covered jungle that leads to a thatched covered tee shaped building surrounded by jungle green.
Built of rough cut lumber, bamboo and thatch, the top of the tee contains the sleeping rooms, each with two, very comfortable queen size beds and private bathroom with shower. The base of the tee is a large, open air lounge filled with deck chairs and hammocks. Then there is a dining room with thirty foot hardwood table. In the kitchen beyond Rodrigo the chef, somehow cooks up incredible jungle feasts on his meager gas stove.
Wonderful smells wafted from the kitchen as candles blinked in the sunset offering a warm row of direction along the hand rails to our comfortable rooms.
The rainy season was just beginning, but mostly in the jungle it rains at night, so after a delicious meal of manioc bread, jungle stew, tropical fruits and herbal tea, we all gazed at the camp fire in the court yard for a bit before we walked bare footed along the thick hewn plank floors to our beds.
The jungle noises of the day faded into night sounds which serenaded us until the downpour began. Cozy in our tents of netting, the deluge pounded dreamily on the thatch. The pour wakened us just enough to appreciate the total silence that followed the rain, pure, utter quiet, deep, deep, nourishment and rest.
We took our standard four day, three night tour and part of this was bird watching. We saw such a huge variety I will not list them all here, but a few of the more notable were the colorful Hoatzin, something I cannot compare. I know of nothing like it that exists up north. The white throated toucan, yellow rumped cacique, mealy parrot, red capped cardinal, anhinga, hawk, vulture and heron, plus the blue crowned motmot and great tiamou were a few we saw.
There were also monkeys aplenty, tiny lion monkeys, baby faced squirrel monkeys and howler monkeys who sounded like jets rumbling in the distance.
The next morning after a breakfast of tropical delights, we boated to an obscure path, climbed out and hiked to the village of the Siona-Secoya that we protect. Our partnership with this community began after the village Shaman Aldemar saw our tour partner in a dream as the man who would help his people.
Gary Scott and Aldemar
On the trip into the tribe’s home, we ate on the hoof. Food in the jungle is never far. Manioc a root, was a tasty (something like a light, sweet, juicy, raw potato) start. Then we moved onto Piton (looks like a Kiwi fruit which they also boil to get oil for shampooing hair). We ate sour cane (similar to rhubarb), sugar cane, cocoa (when fresh the fleshy fruit is quite delicious and totally unlike its dried, brown powdery state), coffee (similar to fresh cocoa), banana and a fruit they called grape, but which is more like lychee fruit, a white syrupy pulp that is extraordinarily sweet! What surprised us most was the sweet smell of coffee flower. This is more like jasmine or honeysuckle than the aroma we know when it has been dried, roasted and brewed.At the village we shared in a celebration with the locals having a sip of banana and manioc chi cha (beer). This was powerful stuff which the natives enjoyed more than we. Perhaps this was why they challenged us to some volleyball. The village has a net and we had brought a volleyball as a gift. Perhaps the bigger gift was their whipping us civilized people as we flopped around trying to keep up with them. In our defense we did manage to score twice before we were defeated 21 to 2.
Nights were absorbed cruising the river, spotlighting Cayman (alligators) and wrestling a smaller one. During the others days, aside from loafing in hammocks and enjoying the gentle always perfect temperature, we watched birds, fished for piranha, (delicious, flaky meat) and hiked in the jungle.
We fished and swam in the is lake.
Photo from Trip Advisor site.
Rare Pink Dolphin are also seen here… though we missed this treat.
Pink Dolphin Photo at Flickr
The final evening Aldemar sat round the camp fire and talked to us of his tribe’s history and his healing approach. He is 40, has studied since he was 10 and will study his entire life. The jungle is the world’s pharmacopoeia and these natives know herbs better than most anyone. He cleansed us with leaves from the Chunga bush and told us of Huasi (a thin red root of a special palm) and a yellow Bromeliad flower that are cures for digestive problems and ulcers. He explained how Dragon’s blood from tree bark dissolves liver problems and infections and Albaca leaves grown in muddy surroundings are cooked and mixed with a half gallon of pure water to lower blood pressure.
Not that blood pressure was a problem on this trip. This was a totally relaxing trip and I snuck the guest book to see what those who accompanied us wrote.
“Wonderful escape from the stressful world.: ES Houston “Incredible wildlife, so close to nature,” RI Germany
“A thorough, relaxing trip, what a wonderful way to wind down.” “I enjoyed the all natural food.” JH Seattle
“I enjoyed hammocks and not having electricity. Never had a candle light shower before!” MF New Mexico
The return trip was as remarkable and we all arrived back in Quito more rested and perhaps more in touch with life than perhaps in a very long time.
Regretfully we stopped taking readers to that lodge because the FARC came across the border from Colombia and kidnapped some Americans. The US State Dept. issued a travel advisory that said then (and remains today): Northern Border Region: Due to the spread of organized crime, drug and small-arms trafficking, and incursions by terrorist organizations near Ecuador’s border with Colombia, the U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to northern Ecuador, including the provinces of Sucumbios, northern Orellana, Carchi, and northern Esmeraldas. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling alone or staying overnight in these areas. At least 11 U.S. citizens are known to have been victims of kidnapping in this region in the past 11 years.
See a link to the full advisory below. Fortunately Ecuadorians still promote tours there that help support this tribe.
Why Positive? Though we lost 100% of our investment in that project (you win a few and you lose a few financially) when you are taking positive steps towards your passion you never lose.
Fulfilling one’s purpose is the biggest contract any of us have.
One challenge in life is to discover the path we are meant to travel and to follow it! Our heart, which knows the big picture, leads us. Since the journey is filled with twists and turns we use our logic to fine tune the course. This is why small steps are good… yet so potent. Our heart shows us the right big path. Our logic adjusts our progress in each small step.
Learn how to be big in little ways at our Super Thinking + Investing and Business course this weekend Feb 1-2-3, 2013. Due to a strong response, we moved the seminar venue to a larger meeting place and have three spaces left.
This course shows how to write and sell your adventure at Amazon.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
• Hong Kong
• United Kingdom
• South Korea
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.
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.