Tag Archive | "ATM"

Ecuador Savings & Opportunity


Ecuador Offers Savings & Opportunity

ecuador tickets

Ecuador airfares are reduced right now, but Ecuador savings go way beyond travel costs.

Ecuador real estate costs are rising, but prices are still low and there are enormous savings from visiting or living  in Ecuador.

ecuador-savings

This note sent by a reader shows this fact in details.   He wrote:

Gary, I hope all is well.  I thought you might get a kick out of this even know you know it is true.

This is how it started, I got a call Saturday night from my wife who lives in Ecuador. I was needed down there to sign some papers for some land we just purchased again.

I ended up getting a great deal? within minutes after my conversation with my wife the same Saturday night through Lan.com I booked a flight for the coming Monday (labor day) going there was $279 nonstop coming back on September 15th is where they got me the return trip was $644 nonstop after some discounts the round trip was 9 hundred and change not that good of a deal but I was able to leave the states under 48 hours I had not much time to organize.

My text to my friends will explain the rest read below.
———-
Monday labor day while all you guys are sleeping I am in the airport working on my laptop and waiting to depart at 10am Ecuador by 4pm I have only $64 dollars and a small plastic bottle full of change for $64 if I had too I could live the rest of week in Ecuador I already have it planned out it will cost me $3 for the taxi ride to my place me and my wife will eat out tonight for $10. Once I get to my place I have a car so don’t have to worry about taxi fees and the gas here is $1.38 a gallon I could fill up my car for less than $20 but with my finance situation at the moment I will only put $10 in gas. This leaves me with $41 dollars. Tomorrow Tuesday morning me and my wife will eat out again for breakfast $4 each we will have eggs, bacon, ham, fresh fruit, fresh fruit juice and yogurt total cost for the both of us $8 and $1 tip. From there we are going to the beach (Salinas) we will hit a .25 toll and lots of vendors we will buy some bottles of water for .35 each and some fruit for $2 we will get 2 bottles of water 1 bottle of lemonade, 2 bananas and 2 pastries this will hold us off till dinner time. Once we get to the beach we have a friend that loans us his apartment and I have $29 left with this $29 dollars this night we will eat out again $10 go to the movies for $6 and $5 for nachos, a drink and tomorrow morning Wednesday we will eat out again $8 this leaves me with $0 and that bottle of change I am sure at least another $10 with this we will eat Lunch, plenty of fluids till dinner time and plenty of ATM machines in walking distance. This will be almost 3 days on $74 dollars.
——————-
I am now 33 years old very successful in the rat race in the states for the last 5 years I have been coming down to Ecuador I have been setting myself up down here and now besides my beautiful wife and a family we are going to start. I own several lots on the coast, a car, an apartment and starting to construct my first condo on the coast, involved in some other projects as well and in 2010 I will be retiring in Ecuador at 33 years old living the good.

Gary I don’t recall if I told you this but everything I learned was from your websites garyscott.com and internationalliving.com. Today my passport has 38 stamps I filled it up the first 2 years and had to send away for more pages I have never been anywhere else other then Ecuador beside just recently 3 weeks ago I took a trip to DR with some friends and will never go back there again.  It’s all Ecuador for me.

I am putting my experience on paper DR verse Ecuador and will share with you and your readers.

Gary and International Living Thank You.  There is no way I would have a accomplished what I have without you. I am retiring at 33 because of what I learned from YOU!.

Taxes on this house below, for sale at $69,000 (furnished) are barley $30 a year.

Cotacachi-House-Rental-Floorplan

Peaceful, quiet views from the garden deck. Lots of birds singing the the morning.

Cotacachi-adobe- Property-Rental-garden

Deck chairs in the outdoor lounging place…facing the sunrise.

Cotacachi-Adobe-house-Rental-lounge

Outdoor Bar-B-Q just below.

Cotacachi-House-Rental-Bar B Q

Nice kitchen with all hardwood cabinets.

Cotacachi-House-For-rent-with-kitchen

Light and bright.

Cotacachi-Rental-real-estate-kitchen

Dining.

Cotacachi-Rental-real estate-dining-room

Open plan with unique handmade furniture from coffee wood.

Ecuadorian botanical art.

Cotacachi-Property-Rental-two-Bedroom

Really comfortable brand new king size bed and lots of hardwood closets.

Cotacachi-Property-Rental-Bedrooms

Plus a second bathroom.

Cotacachi-real estate-Rental-bathrooms

We hope to meet you in Ecuador.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $299 to attend Ecuador  International Business & Investing seminar in November.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free.

See details of the seminars below.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.


Ecuador Banking Notes


Ecuador banking notes from Ecuador subscribers are below.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm

This is the Ecuador bank and ATM we use in Cotacachi.

Before we look at these Ecuador banking  notes, you should be aware that non residents cannot open checking accounts at an Ecuador bank.  They can open a savings account.

Visa credit cards work at ATMs operated by Bank of Guayaquil, Pichincha, Produbanco and Banco Pacífico. Each ATM shows the logos of which cards can be used on that machine. We use our regular ATM cash card issued by our Florida bank at this Bank of Pichincha branch (shown above) on Cotacachi’s second smaller plaza.

Ecuador-multi-currency-plaza

The plaza is pristine because it is maintained by the bank.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-sign

The bank is next to the police station and the second smaller Cathedral.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-cathedral

Here are some Ecuador banking notes sent by subscribers.

You can add recent experience to your banking info that you can write a check on your US account and send it to an Ecuadorian bank for deposit. Normal mail takes about 5 days to Quito. BUT, you can’t make it payable to the bank with instructions to credit your account. Nope. You have to make it payable to yourself and then, get this, endorse the check. You cannot do, as you would in the US, add “Deposit Only to Acct 12345” — So, you are sending an endorsed check through the mail. This means it is just like cash. This is completely different from anything I have ever seen in the banking world.  Then it takes about a month for them to clear the check. Your alternative is to pay about $40 to wire the funds, and the Ecuadorian bank will charge to receive them. Or, you can get a cashier’s check and FedEx.

There are three Cotacachi ATMs. Two are on the main street 10th of August. Here is one of them…the newest of the three.

cotacachi-road-work

We are allowed to take $500 a day from the Pichincha ATM and $300 a day from the others.

Ecuador banking like in every country, has its peculiar glitches including with ATMs. Here is another sent by a reader.

Dear Gary,  I truly enjoy your posts! We have been lucky enough to find Cuenca to be our perfect Ecuadorian home but I did want to pass on a heads up based on your information today about banks in Ecuador…

When using ATM’s and cash cards in Ecuador, make sure you get your cash from a machine that is in, or at the front door of an open bank. As you receive your cash, check it for smooth feeling bills.

Last November we had the disappointing experience of getting 5 counterfeit $20 bills in our ATM withdrawal of $200. We were using an ATM at the “Parque Calderon” in the center of Cuenca, one of the most visited ATM by tourists in the city. Not imagining that there was any risk we pulled our $200 cash out and proceeded to Spanish class. It was there we were told five bills were fakes (all Ecuadorians who work with money are extremely aware of counterfeit bills as they have to cover the loses from their own pay) We were flabbergasted, especially when the woman at the school told us this had happened three times in the last month.

We called the card provider ( a Credit Union in Colorado) and they told us that as it was not in the US, there nothing they could do.

We went to the bank that owned and stocked the machine eight days in a row (each day we were told the person to see would be in the next day) trying to talk to someone who could/would do anything. It was not until we started using the word “Falsos” rather loudly in front of the crowd in the waiting line (usually about 50 people in Ecuador) that we were finally sent to a manager. The manager set us up with another manager who did not show up for our meeting either, and then another who blamed it all on the main office in Guayaquil. Finally we just marched in and went straight to the top, the bank director who kindly spent an hour showing us that the problem could not have ever happened and that the fakes must have been put in when the bills were packaged in Kansas City by the US Federal Reserve.

Knowing that a $100 loss would be devastating to a typical Ecuadorian family where teachers and policemen make $150 a month, we decided to bring charges against the bank, if only to catch their attention.

Needless to say the case is making its way agonizingly slowly through the Ecuadorian Justice system and we don’t ever expect to see our money back, but we can warn others.

-Avoid cash machines not attached to banks.

-Pull your cash out in a very visible place, preferably with the bank guard watching.

-Rub the bills between your thumb and fingers to feel for a different texture (fake bills are smooth like copy paper).

-If you think you feel any difference, immediately take it to the guard or teller and demand new bills.

Ecuador is an amazing place but even and especially the locals trust the banks and bankers about as far as they can throw them. As you say once bitten twice shy.

Here is Cotacachi’s third ATM.

cotacachi-road-work

Jyske ATM Banking in Ecuador

One nifty way to combine global investment management bank and your cash needs in Ecuador is through Copenhagan with Jyske Bank’s VISA debit cards.

This card makes it easy to access cash from your Danish bank account.

Why a Danish bank?  As mentioned earlier I do not trust Ecuador banks. On the other hand Danish banks are among the safest in the world.

First let’s examine safety.  How safe?

In recent years Denmark has been rated by Standard & Poor’s as one of the safest country in the world in which to bank.

Jyske Bank is well established with a history of over 100 years. Jyske is Denmark ’s second largest bank, with 450,000 clients in Denmark and over 30,000 abroad.

Jyske Bank has over 23 billion euros in assets and also happens to be one of the leading currency traders in the world. Many other large banks use Jyske to handle their off hour currency positions. This means that Jyske is huge when it comes to multi currency activity. In fact their turnover reaches $50 billion dollars a day.

Bank Safety Point #1: A recent Yahoo Canada article shows a survey by the World Economic Forum listed five safest countries in which to bank.

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

So Denmark is a safe place to bank. Now let’s look at Jyske Bank’s safety rating.

Bank Safety Point #2: On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating. This decision came despite the deteriorated economic prospects in Denmark, particularly in respect of the property market.

Bank Safety Point #3: Also on Friday 10 October 2008, the Danish Parliament passed a bill that secured all deposits and unsecured claims against losses in Danish financial institutions. The rating of the Kingdom of Denmark is Aaa/AAA with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.

The people at Jyske are common sense bankers. They had minimal sub prime exposure when that scandal broke. Jyske had zero Madoff exposure.

That’s safe!

How about service?  First of all,  Jyske can manage your wealth. For anyone with $50,000 or more to invest Jyske can buy, sell and hold investments from all over the world, stocks, liquid assets, bonds and commodities. They provide full managed or advisory only services.  They even lend in multiple currencies to leverage investments for investors with $100,000 or more.   Almost no bank in North or Latin America can do this.

Once you have Jyske caring for your wealth, they can then provide a steady stream of cash when you need it…via a global debit card.

Jyske Ecuador & Global Service.

Even US clients who have managed accounts at Jyske Global Asset Management  (JGAM) can have a VISA debit card.

JGAM opens a specific on demand account with Jyske Bank so funds can be made available via the card.

These cards can provide access to cash anywhere in the world…including Ecuador.

Jyske offers three different cards to match different needs.   Each type of card provides considerable flexibility.

US citizens and residents can get more information from Thomas Fischer at Jyske Global Asset Management. Email: fischer@jgam.com

None US should contact Jyske Bank Rene Mathys  at mathys@jbpb.dk

This is good advice for when you are banking in Ecuador that we are happy to share.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to labor at what you love wherever you live. This brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business. This can help you create your own internet business.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course, at no added cost, as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times..

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November all three courses, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

ecuador-tours

We always conduct our autumn North Carolina course n the first weekend of October… the best time to enjoy  the leaf change.

Join us with Jyske Bank and my webmaster David Cross in West Jefferson North Carolina. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

ecuador-tours

You’ll see views like this on your way to West Jefferson.

Or head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-tours

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour ONLY THREE SPACES LEFT

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-seminars

In Cotacachi the weather is always Spring like.  Here is our group meeting at the Cotacachi museum next door to our hotel Meson de las Flores.

Join us with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management in Ecuador. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

ecuador-tours

Let our friendly staff at Meson serve you.

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

salinas-condo-for-sale

Ecuador winters are shorts weather on the beach as this photo shows.

Join us in the mountains and at the sea. Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emails courses free.

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799

Ecuador Export Tour Update


Here is an Ecuador export tour update that continues our thread on ways to earn globally with small international businesses.

Ecuador-export-tours Our Ecuador export tours visit many Ecuador markets… textiles in Cotacachi and weavings in Peguche, leather in Cotacachi… wood carving in San Antonio de Ibarra. Here is our last group arriving in Otavalo.

This update is provided by Maggie Beesley, a former Ecuador export attendee who now exports regularly from Ecuador.  She will conduct the July 4 Ecuador Export Tour:

Hi Everyone!!!

How many of you are packed?  I stay packed.  July 3rd is right around the corner.  Pack smart, bring a larger suitcase than you need, and be prepared to buy another big one ($8) to get all your treasures home.  We are already saving, aren’t we?

Yesterday, my husband and I returned from Puerto Rico and let me tell you about the prices there!  Wow!  Maybe we should all be taking our treasures to Puerto Rico to sell.  I saw so many things we are going to see in Ecuador and were they ever expensive in Puerto Rico!

Now on to our Import/Export adventures.  On one of our days together (July 8) we’ll visit the town of Otavalo and the market there.  This market is the largest indigenous market in all of South America.  The reason we are going on Wednesday is…not as many shoppers and much better prices than on a Saturday.  We like those better prices, don’t we?  While in Puerto Rico I saw a summer cape which I have bought all over Ecuador for $10.00.  In Puerto Rico, also at a market, that same type of cape was $42.00, and it was not near as pretty as the ones we are going to see in Otavalo.  Do you see the profit there?

I also just finished going through my latest Coldwater Creek Catalog, where they are having a 50% off sale and have some gorgeous earrings on sale now for $35.00 to $40.00.  Folks we are going to see much prettier ones for $5.00 and maybe up to $10.00, plus no sales tax or shipping charges.  The same is true for necklaces, scarves, and purses.  Buy that extra bag in Ecuador for $8.00, which I also saw in Puerto Rico for $40.00 to get home in and more and more of the wonderful savings.

Another day we are going to the Village of Peguche, which is the Village of the Weavers.  There are three things we will want to do in Peguche.

First, we will want to visit El Condor where people will be weaving as we watch a weaving exhibition.

ecuador-export-tour

Weaving at El Condor.

If you have never seen anyone weave on a wooden loom, it is fascinating, very complicated, and can take many days to complete a blanket, or a cape.  A lot of work!  How the people sit there and do this craft for hours on end is beyond me, but they do and the weaving is gorgeous.   Did I mention, the weaving is done with their hands for the pattern and the tightness of the weave is controlled with their feet?  No electricity here, just the rhythm ….clickity-clack,  clickity-clack…which is the sound you hear throughout the village.  We’ll also experience how the natural dyes are made including Cochineal, the rich wine color that only the emperors had in ages past.  (A little secret it is made from crushed up cactus bugs!)

Also in Peguche is an artist, Jose Cotacachi, who does wall hangings.  He exports to the United States and is shown in very high end stores at very high end prices.  You too can do this.  His work is breath taking, and the detail, well you will see what I mean. These sell to high in art galleries also.  Very easy to pack, just roll up your purchases and put them in that extra bag you bought.   Jose will ship to the U.S., but it is much cheaper to buy that $8.00 bag and do it yourself.   Jose actually has three different workshops in Peguche, and we will visit them all.

ecuador-export-tour

Jose Cotacachi at his loom.

ecuador-export-tour

He loves his work.

Depending on time, we’ll determine the next thing we do, so I am just keeping it a secret.  I don’t want to rush anyone in this town.  Every time we go to Peguche, people always want to go back.  I hear too many times, “I wish I had bought that, or I didn’t see that one”.  So on this trip, we are going to try and see it all.

We will go to San Antonio de Ibarra, the Wood Carving town. One of the stores in San Antonio does gold leaf on statues…Some of these statues go to very important places in Europe and it can take a year or more to complete one statue.  Also, one small woodcarver studio (dirt floor) hosts those direct from the Louvre in Paris…bringing pics of their treasures to be copied!

Ecuador-exports

Master Carver Marco Lopez.

Many of the towns in Ecuador are known for a particular craftsmanship. We will be in the heart of the Crafts Trail, just minutes away from the major markets.  Otavalo is the Indigenous Market town, Peguche is the Weaving town, Cotacachi the Leather town and San Antonio is the Wood Carving town. The particular talent… skill of each town is handed down generation to generation, family to family. Should a future generation of young people decide to leave the town and do something completely different the skill could be lost forever.  You know it is going to happen, that is why all the things we see are so precious.

Our first complete day in Cotacachi we are going to meet Roberto the man who grows and exports those wonderful Ecuadorian roses to so many of you in the United States. You have seen the roses in Gary’s emails.  Roberto is going to tell us how to get them, and how to have your own Export business with roses.  (Some past attendees of this course have done quite well selling roses direct from the source.  And, a big thing, Roberto’s roses are all from green plantations…your wedding clients will love this.  We will also be working the entire Leather Street (ArtePiel), which is only a three block stroll from El Meson.  So many stores, both sides of the street, and all just a little bit different.  There is also a small outdoor market we will visit in Cotacachi where I have gotten some great leather items.  This is going to be a “get outside in the sunshine day”, do some walking do some looking, and do some buying.

For all you guys coming along, one of the first stores we will visit is where you get those fabulous leather jackets and coats.  The secret word in this store is…”I know Micky”, or “Micky sent me” which could bring about that extra discount we all want.  I believe Micky will actually be in Cotacachi while we are there so we will all get to meet her and here about her businesses in Florida all from products bought in Ecuador.

To add to your packing list ….things to be sure and bring with you to Ecuador…
Comfortable walking shoes
Sunglasses
Sun protection
Sun hat
and not to be forgotten, your ATM Card!

Do not bring Travelers’ checks, or any checks like that. Do not bring $100 bills (hard to cash).   Cash works, and remember they use our dollar, so there is no converting to another currency!  (This is another great surprise and help…no need to worry about currency fluctuations!)

See you all in July.  Happy traveling!

Maggie

Ecuador-export-tours Our tours show how to earn income globally but are not all business.  Our last group took time to visit Otavalo’s main square and…

Ecuador-export-tours

the Otavalo Cathedral where we…

Ecuador-export-tours

visited and…

Ecuador-export-tours

remembered the riches… plus…

Ecuador-export-tours

met a man who reminded us that when we do business globally we do more than just make money for ourselves.

Ecuador-export-tours

International trade in native crafts helps enrich everyone.

We hope to share this opportunity with you.

Gary

We hope you’ll join us to learn more business and investing opportunities globally as well as Ecuador.

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Ecuador & Bank Privacy


Bank privacy no longer exists. Some years ago I wrote about the insidious tactics that the US and other governments have used to erode financial privacy and personal liberty and pointed out that the problem is that the government does not attack the individual but puts the pressure on the overseas financial institutions. The current additional move by the US government to collect tax is just one more small step.

The quote above might make it seem like I was years ahead of the curve writing about the loss of privacy some years ago.

Actually I was way ahead of the curve because that quote comes from one of the earlier articles posted at this site on July  13, 2000. See that July 2000 article.

However,  may I remind you that the sunshine not only always shines somewhere, it always rises everywhere… every day!

Yesterday’s message looked at Ecuador sunrises and sunsets.

The sun also rises here in the USA.  I took these shots at our farm and…

ecuador-sunrise

and near the farm on the way to the Farmer’s Market.

ecuador-sunset

Glorious.

We live in a quantum world.  Those earthly laws that Newton so accurately described really do seem to work with apples… yet science suggests that our world is not so predictable… every moment… every place contains infinite potentiality for change… something different… something new… something good… or bad.

There are wonderful aspects of living in most places. This is why Merri and I live in Florida, the Blue Ridge and Ecuador.

This is why I have been warning readers since the 1980s to never… ever… hide wealth.  Use legal means of attaining privacy.

These warnings have related mostly to Americans, British and Germans.  These have been the most determined and aggressive taxing authorities.

These warnings have been is a good thing too.  Here is one reason why.

A June 17, 2009 New York Times article entitled E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress shows even deeper concern, explains how bank privacy is really dead.   An excerpt from this article (a link to the entire article is at the end of this message) says:.

The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged, current and former officials said.

The agency’s monitoring of domestic e-mail messages, in particular, has posed longstanding legal and logistical difficulties, the officials said.

Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency’s ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans’ e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation.

In short not only is bank privacy dead… privacy is dead… morte… gone…finito.

These warnings seem to include Ecuador as well.

Two recent messages, one Ecuador & Banking about new Ecuador financial reporting regulations, and the other Ecuador & Social Security US Social Security regulations relating to those who live and work abroad.

These messages evoked a number of responses from readers asking “How would Ecuador’s tax man know what wealth I have abroad?” and  “How would the Social Security administration know  if I earn in Ecuador?”

My reply is “I do not know how they would know… but I do not do it and do not recommend this because one never knows what will happen!”

There are so many ways the future could be revealed us… but let me give you a clue of just one example where someone hiding wealth could be caught.

My last two Ecuador Living updates outlined details about Ecuador Bank ATM fraud where over 40 people had their accounts cleaned out and how the Ecuador banks immediately made the losses good.   See these updates as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

If there was a cooperation between US and Ecuador authorities investigating this fraud… details of earnings in Ecuador could end up in the US (including SS admin) and details of US wealth could end up in the hands of Ecuador authorities.

We are in a new era of privacy that I have watched unfold during 41 years of doing international investing and business.   Half a decade ago, this site sent this warning in an article The Ultimate Form of Financial Privacy

One should not hide money abroad and rely on bank privacy to protect them. Forget about government attacks. These are bad enough but I cannot begin to tell you the horror stories I have crossed in the past three decades in which bank privacy was blown by bank errors. For example, a London bank mistakenly mailed me the secret bank account of an Iranian diplomat who was hiding money in London. A Viennese banker inadvertently faxed me four pages of private information that could have put several people in serious trouble.  Even a Swiss banker once left his client list with names, addressees and account numbers laying on a table at a seminar were I was speaking with him!

In addition to the onslaught of governments to reduce privacy, there are just too many ways for your wealth to be revealed to use secrecy as a wealth protection tool.

Look for legal ways to keep your financial affairs private instead.

This is why, our friend and attorney, Joe Cox,  joined me and Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM)  at the recent International Investment Seminar in Naples  Florida.

bank-privacy

Last month Merri and I co-hosted this  seminar with JGAM. Here is Thomas Fischer opening the seminar.

This is why Ecuador’s new financial reporting law and why the overseas Social Security regulations do not bother me much. This is just one more issue to deal with in an increasingly crowded and complicated world.

So let me reiterate what I have been writing for decades.

Bank privacy is dead.  Do not try to hide money.  Use as many legal tactics as you can to preserve your wealth…always keep it legal. This is a never ending game and the opponent… taxation authorities play hardball and they play rough.

Here are three valuable contacts who can help you maintain legal bank privacy.

Joe Cox, our friend and US attorney.

Floridalva Zambrano, our friend and Ecuador attorney.

Thomas Fischer, our friend and overseas banker.

You can get more information direct:

Joe Cox: jcox@coxnici.com

Copy Joe Cox’s  assistant April Barza to arrange a free conference call. abarza@coxnici.com

Floridavla Zambrano: FLORIFLORI58@YAHOO.ES

Thomas Fischer: fischer@jgam.com

Non US residents contact Reny Mathys instead of Thomas Fischer: mathys@jbpb.dk

These contacts know of each other and can help you create a coordinated plan between US Ecuadorian and international banking laws that maintains legal privacy and asset protection.

Plus keep your perspective. The sun shines somewhere everyday. It is the sun we should seek… not to avoid the clouds.

Merri and I love our life in the Blue Ridge… the rushing streams and…

ecuador-banks

the spring flowers peeking into our kitchen.

ecuador-banks

The greatest benefits to living globally  are broadened horizons… larger families, expanded experiences… deeper awareness of the infinite ways that beauty in life can unfold… not tax or privacy benefits.

We love our life in Florida here is a view from one of the houses in our house buying trip.

ecuador-banks

Plus we love our Andean family at Meson… everyone of them.

ecuador-banks

and the majestic mountain views from our condo there.

ecuador-banks

And we love walking Ecuador’s broad beach at our Pamazul apartment

ecuador-banks

We take any tax and asset protection our lifestyle brings, but the lifestyle is driven by the seeking of joy and wonderful living. The financial aspects follow.

One gains greater economic opportunity with global investing and business… bigger markets.. more distortions to see… additional trends to emerge.

Don’t diminish all the beautiful  sunshine with clouds of financial worry.

Regards,

Gary

We hope you’ll enjoy a beautiful global lifestyle with us soon in the Blue Ridge or Ecuador.

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Read the New York Times article: E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress shows even deeper concern, at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/us/17nsa.html

Ecuador & Banking


When living in Cotacachi, Merri and I do not use Ecuador banking. See below why banking globally is better.

ecuador-banking

This Cotacachi plaza has one of the village’s two Cathedrals and…

ecuador-banking

a bank with an ATM… plus

ecuador-banking

a new credit institution with an ATM as well.

ecuador-banking

This works just fine for us.

This is an even better idea now that the Ecuador government has created a new wealth reporting regulation. See yesterdays article on Ecuador’s new financial reporting law if you missed this.

For wealth protection we bank mainly with Jyske Global Asset Management… who look after our investments in Denmark, but comply with US regulations.

I have banked abroad for 40 years and this has become increasingly difficult… though there are still ways.

In fact I co hosted Jyske Global Asset Mangement’s (JGAM) first US seminar  last month in Naples, Florida. Here I am with Thomas Fischer of  JGAM. While other banks are dumping Americans, Jyske is working harder to enhance its global service for US investors.

bank-privacy

Since I wrote my first book, Passport to International Profit in the 1970s, my mantra has been to have what I call a “Six Point Command Posture” which is to:

Live in one country
Bank in a second country
Invest in many countries
Earn in two or more countries
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country
Take a second residence

bank-privacy

The seven speaker panel answered questions at the JGAM – Gary Scott seminar.

Since Merri and I reside most of the time in the US and Ecuador, we do as little banking in these countries as possible.

There are some good reasons to have the “Six Point Command Posture”.   You can see why below.  The “Six Point Command Posture” is worthwhile even though recent events remind us that this posture is regretfully more difficult to attain than before.

The British Telegraph newspaper published a recent article entitled Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge.  Excerpts (a link to the entire article is at the end of this message) say:  Banking group drops American customers in UK ahead of costly proposals to stamp out tax evasion.

Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama.

This week American private client account-holders at Lloyds’s received letters informing them of an “important change in policy regarding clients who are resident, domiciled or linked to the United States by property or asset holdings”. They were told the bank had “no choice” but to “cease acting as your investment manager.”

One recipient, who has lived in the UK for over 25 years, said: “After all this time, I’ve suddenly been told I must take my money elsewhere and I don’t understand why. Now I’m scared that other banks won’t take me on either.”

The proposals, which were unveiled in the President’s first budget, have been designed to clamp down on American tax evaders abroad. But bank bosses say that in practice they could be asked to take on the task of collecting American taxes at a cost and legal liability that make servicing the clients inexpedient. The rules have not yet been finalised and are still subject to debate in Congress.

The letters also contained four comprehensive descriptions of the bank’s definition of clients that are affected. These included clients that hold green cards, pay American taxes, are American domiciled or even those where there is “any indication” that a client spent more time in the US than “normal holidays currently or in the past or future.”

There has been a continual erosion of the liberty that US investors  enjoy when banking abroad.

First, the Swiss Banks started limiting what US resident investors could invest in  (in the 1970s). Then the Swiss started dropping US resident investors all together.  Many Canadian financial institutions stopped accepting US resident investors  years ago.

Now the British banks have jumped in and as the article shows… it is not just US residents.  Even US citizens who have lived in England for 25 years are losing their accounts.

Fortunately, since banking abroad is not about reducing tax,  there are still great, safe and proper ways to bank and hold assets abroad.

Merri and I use Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management because they offer an excellent global investment service that conforms to all US rules.

bank-privacy

Lars Stouge President of JGAM speaking at the Naples seminar.

See more on this in a TV interview between Thomas Fischer and me here.

Why Bank Globally?

Some investors mistakenly think that banking abroad reduces tax.  This is not correct and has not been for decades. There are numerous good tax planning ideas, but they work as well with local investments as well as overseas.

The reason to bank abroad is that we live in a global economy.  We are dependent on production from many nations every day.  Even though we do not do so directly we spend many currencies every day.   The ultimate form of financial security is a multi currency existence.

We are multi national spenders so we need to be multi national investors.  We need bankers and investment managers who have international and multi currency experience and expertise.

An excerpt from a recent multi currency question and answer session sent to my multi currency course subscribers explains why and how in more detail:

There are numerous benefits gained by using Jyske. The first benefit is Jyske’s global investing experience, 24 hour trading facilities and their low fee structure.

Jyske Bank has incredible in depth knowledge of markets and have a very broad access to global markets.  Jyske Global Asset Managers (JGAM) not only tap into Jyske Bank for data, but they also use  Morgan Stanley and Bank Credit Analysis for research.  There is rarely an investment question that I cannot get answered at Jyske.

The low fees are also a huge benefit.  I used to hold accounts at 14 banks around the world. Finally I started researching the fees I was paying and bean eliminating the accounts that charged the highest fees.

In the end I was left with Jyske and my London stock broker.  For example Jyske’s fee to buy bonds was one-sixth that was charged by my Swiss banker.

Hidden fees and shaved interest rates, especially those charged when you in exchange currencies, and buy stocks and bonds often chew an investor to pieces.

Plus Jyske has been in the banking business for over 100 years. They have enormous experience and are very conservative.  They were not hit by the sub prime mess. They had no Madoff investments.  I like this type of old fashioned stability.

Jyske is in touch with the pulse of the market. They trade 50 billion dollars of currencies and commodities a day.

Another important aspect gained at Jyske is bank safety. Denmark is ranked as one of the safest countries in the world to bank.

In addition there is great privacy and asset protection. No one that you do not inform can see your account.  Should someone sue you and gain a judgment against you, that judgment is not automatically enforceable in Denmark.   The creditor would have to start a legal action to attain the funds in Denmark and to date this has never happened at Jyske.

Q: Can you explain what type of account the multi currency transactions would be conducted?

A: There are two types of JGAM accounts… managed and advisory.

JGAM can buy any type of investment for Americans in managed accounts… because it is JGAM is making the decision… not the client.  Depending on the size of your account, you can ask Jyske to hold a specific investment in your account and if it makes sense in terms of the execution, diversification and your risk profile, they will do this… but it must be JGAM’s decision.

The managed accounts are available in four risk profiles… low risk… medium…high or speculative.  You can learn more about Jyske’s asset allocation strategy at the JGAM site linked later in this message.

Q: I have residency in Mexico there although I do not claim foreign residency for US tax purposes at this time.

A: Your residence does not matter when it comes to managed accounts.

There is a residential impact for advisory accounts.

If your main residence is outside the US (JGAM will want to see a utility bill as proof of residence), then JGAM can buy any investment without qualification.

If you have an advisory account and your main residence is in the US, then JGAM is restricted to buying qualified (US traded) investments for you.

However you still gain the asset protection and privacy benefits as these US traded assets are held in Denmark.

Q: Do you use a foreign LLC to conduct your business with Jyske Bank?  If so what country is the LLC issued from?

I do not use an LLC for our Jyske accounts. It is much easier to open an account in person.  However our account ownership is part of a plan that takes tax, asset protection and estate planning into account.  Everyone should make their decision on what type of structure and where it is organized based on their own plan that suits their own circumstances.

I highly recommend using a Strategic Asset Snapshot offered by Cox & Nici that  looks at all these variables. Joe Cox the senior partner of this firm has been my tax attorney for about 20 years.

You can get information about their Strategic Asset Snapshot Joe at jcox@coxnici.com

Learn about our Multi Currency Course and how to get this entire session here.

Having a six point command posture has become increasingly important over the  past 40 years as we have increased our involvement in the global economy.  Yet this secure method of living, investing and doing business has also become more difficult to achieve.  The result is that this posture is even more important and more worthwhile.

US investors See Jyske Global Asset Mangement’s new website here.

Non US investors contact Reny Matys at mathys@jbpb.dk

Gary

Save up to $249! Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ seminar here

We offer two emailed courses, one on how to be a multi currency investor, the other on how to have your own international web business.

We enhance these courses with regular international investing and business seminars that I conduct in coordination with Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management.

If you enroll in our July 24 to 26 International investing and business seminar by July 1, 2009 you can have one of these tow emailed courses free and save p to $249.

Delegates gain a lot by talking with each oter at these courses. Here are delegates at our Naples course.

bank-privacy

Join me with Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management and my webmaster David Cross in North Carolina July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

We’ll have a New River wine tasting at Bohemia Gallery as we did last year. here are delegates at that tasting.

ecuador-wine-cheese

Our North Carolina courses in 2009 will be conducted in the new…

ecuador-wine and cheese

West Jefferson Hampton Inn.

Save $249!   Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Here is what one reader wrote about our last seminar.

Hi Gary, Just a note to express our appreciation for a great event.  The Naples Beach Hotel provided a comfortable  setting for the gathering. The hotel should be congratulated for the excellent food and service. We enjoyed all of the speakers. I particularly enjoyed John Mauldin. I have followed his writings over the years.  In  1994 we attended several of your seminars, I enrolled in the Multiple Currency Course and opened an account with Jyske Bank.  This activity has provided us with a nice retirement income over the years. With economic disruptions world wide I decided to become reacquainted  with currencies as an investment tool as a consequence of  my very dark view of the USD’s future.  Keep up the good work. My day is always brightened by your daily emails.

Save $249! Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Read the entire Telegraph article: Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge at
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5526129/Lloyds-Bank-hit-by-Obama-tax-purge.html

Ecuador Risk


Ecuador has risks.

As does everywhere.  In fact our world has more risk then ever before.

ecuador-risk

Are quiet Ecuador streets like this Cotacachi avenue at risk?

ecuador-risk

The young Ecuadorian children who go to school early, alone don’t seem to feel much risk.  Yet?

Change creates risk and we live in an era of increasingly rapid change.

Those who welcome this fact are those who have the best chance of success. ahead.

This is the era of rapid change… the era of  extra risk.  The current time period within this era is of accelerated change and risk.

This is an important message about how to manage risk in Ecuador or anywhere.

ecuador-risk

Even young children play alone in the Cotacachi Ecuador streets without much risk

Yet we must always take care.

Take for example the US travel advisory for Ecuador… read  without perspective. Ecuador risk would seem high.

Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Ecuador:

SAFETY AND SECURITY: The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to the northern border region of Ecuador, to include areas in the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana and Carchi, northern Esmeraldas, and southern Esmeraldas, south of Atacames.  U.S. government personnel are under limitations with respect to traveling alone and over-nighting in these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist organizations.

CRIME:  Crime is a serious problem in Ecuador, and visitors should be alert and cautious.  Non-violent crime is common: hundreds of Americans are robbed every year in Ecuador.   Incidents of rape have increased, even in well-traveled tourists areas and when the victims traveled in groups for safety. Shootings, kidnappings, and carjackings are still relatively rare, but American citizens have been victimized by those crimes.  The Ecuadorian government has increased police patrols in tourist areas, but travelers should remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant control of personal belongings.

Criminals sometimes use incapacitating drugs such as scopolamine on unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them.  These so-called date rape drugs are put into drinks in order to drug the unsuspecting victim.  This drug can render the victim disoriented and can cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems.  Never allow a stranger to “buy” you a drink and never leave your drink unattended.  Several American citizens have reported thefts of property following ingestion of such substances.

Does Ecuador sound risky?

Ecuador sounds risky until you read the travel advisory for Italy.  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Italy:

Some travelers are victims of rape and beatings.  There are incidents of drinks laced with drugs being used by criminals to rob, and in some cases, assault tourists.  Many of these incidents occur in the vicinity of Rome’s Termini train station and at major tourist centers such as Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona, as well as in Florence and Naples.  Criminals using this tactic “befriend” a traveler at a train station, bus stop, restaurant, café or bar in tourist areas, then eventually offer a drink laced with a sleeping drug.  When the tourist falls asleep, criminals steal the traveler’s valuables.  There are also instances where the victim is assaulted, either physically or sexually.

Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities.  Clients of Internet cafes in major cities are also targeted.  Tourists who have tried to resist petty thieves on motor scooters have suffered broken arms and collarbones.

The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian Law Enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices.

Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south.  They occasionally resort to violence to intimidate or to settle disputes.

Italy could seem risky as well until you read the travel advisory for Spain .  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Spain.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:     Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents.  Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity.  Spain’s proximity to North Africa makes it vulnerable to attack from Al Qaeda terrorists in the Maghreb region.  Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, in March 2004, Islamist extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries.  Spanish authorities tried the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators in February 2007 and convicted in October 2007.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain.  ETA has historically avoided targeting foreigners, directing their attacks against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets as well as attempts to disrupt transportation and daily life. However, foreigners have been killed or injured collaterally in ETA attacks.  Two examples of this are the Barajas Airport bombing in December 2006, in which two Ecuadorian nationals were killed and the bombing at the University of Navarre in October 2008, in which 17 students were injured including one American student.  In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. The risk of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” in event of an ETA action is a concern for foreign visitors and tourists.  U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas.  Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of pick-pocketing, mugging and occasional violent attacks, some of which require the victim to seek medical attention.  Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk.  Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATMs.

Thieves often work in teams of two or more people.  In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplices perform the robbery.   Spanish authorities warn of the availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy.  Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

We could go on… in Europe…  in Asia… or anywhere.

ecuador-risk

Parents in Cotacachi Ecuador do not feel much risk when they let their children play in the parks.

Mostly, places are not the cause of risk.  The causes of risk  are within,  our awareness, our actions, our  patterns and habits.

If one becomes aware of change and adapts accordingly… there is no risk.  There is opportunity instead.

Early adapters are called risk takers.   They are not.

Real risk takers are those who do not  adapt because…  we know…  there is change.

The real risk is living by OLD rules in a NEW world.

The real risk is believing in General Motors for example… because it is the biggest… oldest… so it must be safest.

ecuador-risk

Young lovers in Ecuador can meet safely in out of the way places.

The world is new every day and each day, some old rule no longer works.

The old rules used to say that the Western world was safe… and the emerging world riskier.   The old rules said that the Western world had low crime…  the emerging world had high crime.

Yet look at excerpts of a recent New York Times article entitled “Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid” by Solomon Moore (See a link to the entire article below) says:

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance, based on state and federal data. Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending, which quadrupled in the past two decades, according to the report Monday by the Pew Center on the States, the first breakdown of spending in confinement and supervision in the past seven years.

This suggests that the US has quite a lot of risk… both in crime and health.

ecuador-risk

Ecuador people are by nature, caring, friendly and warm.

Sometimes I get letters like the one below from readers who have been victims of crime in Ecuador.  This reader lost her computer and camera when she forgot them in the business lounge at the Radisson hotel in Quito.

Dear Gary,  Can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and had them sent by Federal Express to me.  I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen, for the items they were not able to send me  (camera and cellular phone) I was reimbursed via bank transfer. I still can’t believe it.  This was a good ending and so unexpected.  send you all love, and good thoughts. Laura

New rules about risk are being written every day and our daughter Francesca shared some thoughts on this when she recently visited us here.

Fran is quite a traveler.  Here early studies were in England… Gloucestershire and Birmingham.  Then she spent more for more than a year in Spain and Costa Rica, and moved to Naples and Delray, Florida which were bases for her to  manage real estate tours in Argentina, Belize, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay.

She worked for several years doing human rights training in Geneva, Switzerland before returning to get her Masters degree at London School of Economics.

Then  she worked in London for the Crown Agents where she was assigned
as a project manager and consultant to governments in Nigeria,  Peru, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

She has worked the last several years  as a development planning, monitoring & evaluation consultant in Swaziland and is returning there now on a contract with the United Nations.

As a young, single woman (now married) she has had to be aware of risks traveling everywhere from Florida to London to Lagos.

ecuador-risk

Here I am with Francesca on her wedding day.

Fran & Sam rode to their reception in Richmond Park on a bicycle built for tow.

ecuador-water

Riding a bike through London traffic… now that is risky!

ecuador-water

Here are some common sense thoughts that Francesca shares about living with risk.

Living with Risk by Francesca Scott

We’re living in risky times; from the economic collapse, to swine flu, to erratic weather conditions.  It sometimes surprises me when people ask me if I’m not worried about living in Swaziland (my current home), because, they say, Africa is such a dangerous place.  I figure that when I return to London, my risk of being attacked in a terrorist attack skyrockets.  And I am still dumbfounded by the fact that children are screened for guns at schools in the United States.  By the way in England for the first time screening for knives has begun in some inner-city London schools.

The issue of risk came to mind recently, when I was visiting my Grandma. One evening over dinner, the discussion turned to the security situation in Swaziland, and I mused that in certain ways I feel safer in Swaziland than I do in parts of London. My Grandma commented that gangs were increasingly becoming a problem in Portland, her home city, and that she didn’t feel that safe these days.  The next day, as we stopped at the local bank, I was surprised by the thick wall of bullet proof glass completely separating the staff from the general public. They don’t have that in banks in London, or in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital city.

I began thinking about how easily we adapt to different risks within our local environments. In many countries, one would be crazy not to have bars on lower windows. In central London, I hold my bag very close to my chest – I value my purse and cell phone too much. My mother-in-law, who lives in Australia, actually leaves her keys in her car when she stops at a store to pick up groceries (gasp!).  Sadly, I doubt that will last for much longer.   So does my Dad in NC.  They have a policy on the farm that all keys remain in all vehicles…just in case someone needs to jump in one!

Each country has a different risk profile, from pick-pockets, to pollution, to drug barons.  I am not saying that Swaziland does not have its dangers – my house has been broken into several times, and I drive much more defensively than I would in the US or the UK (mostly to avoid wayward cows that have drifted onto the road).  The important thing is to be fully informed about the risks.  This might sound obvious, but sometimes people are scared off by unfamiliar risks or misinformation.

It’s also worth remembering that there are often a variety of ways to mitigate those risks through effective prevention methods, so long as you know the rules. Most of us are guilty of exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk as a result of ignorance at one time or other, and are lucky that we’ve lived to tell the tell. I was threatened at knife point by a drug addict in a park in Spain, when I lived there as a student.  When I recounted my story to my Spanish roommate, she told me that I was a fool to be in that park in the first place, ‘…didn’t you know that it’s the favorite haunt for heroine addicts in the city?’  Well, no, obviously I didn’t know at that time, but it was a valuable lesson for me about the importance of knowing the rules.

I must admit to being a little scared before I went to Swaziland.  After all, it’s in one of the poorest parts of the world, and only three hours drive from Johannesburg, a gang-ridden, violent city. I also couldn’t shake off all those awful images of Africa I’ve seen on the evening news. I told myself that I would try it out for six months (I figured I could survive for that length of time in an underground bunker living off tinned corned beef and bottled water if it was that bad), and make a decision from there about whether or not it was for me. Two-and-a-half years later, I still thoroughly enjoy living here and am very glad that I resisted my initial anxieties.

For those considering buying property, or even moving to Ecuador, or any other country – developed, developing or downright poverty stricken for that matter – I would recommend to take the time to become fully informed about the types of risks you might face.  You can find out a lot from the internet and books, but it would be a shame to be scared off by some of what you read or by the well intentioned comments of a neighbor who hasn’t ever lived away from their home town.

Everyone comes from a different starting point, and everyone has a different risk threshold.

Also, the dramatic stories tend to be more interesting to tell.  While reading around can certainly offer you a variety of different and valuable viewpoints, it’s also important to talk to people who have lived in the country. Locals can be an invaluable source of information, while ex-pats may be more appreciative of the kinds of risks unanticipated by a foreigner, risks that may seem glaringly obvious to a local. Also, find out what you can do to mitigate those risks. Often you can reduce your exposure significantly using the appropriate precautions. If you think that the benefits outweigh those risks, then go down and check out the country for yourself.  That’s the only way you can really know if the level of risk is one that you could tolerate.

It might be that the risks are in some countries and in some places, in fact, just too high, pushing you beyond your comfort zone, or that the restrictions necessary to reduce your risks would make you feel stressed and claustrophobic. It’s no fun lying restless at night at night because you’re worried over a break-in, even though you have an alarm, or resent the lack of privacy from having a guard permanently outside your house. If you’re looking for the exact replica of your own community, with the same level of risk, and a Starbucks around the corner thank you very much, then somewhere like an emerging country really may not be for you. There will inevitably be new and different risks in poorer countries, some to which you, as a foreigner, could be at much higher risk than a local.

But take a moment to reflect on the risks that you face in your daily environment back home, and you might find that such risks are relative. While some risks will be new when you move abroad, you will also leave some behind. Therefore, before making any decision of moving to a country other than your own, I recommend making sure that you are informed by the reality on the ground, not some misconception fed by the media or well-intentioned homebodies. Only with that information can you gauge whether you’ll be comfortable with the type and level of risk you might face. For an adventurous soul, you may well find that the benefits of living in a new culture, the fun of exploring a foreign terrain, make everything worthwhile.

Risk assessment is a vital part of survival and success in today’s world.

This has always been true so always consider risk… but when you evaluate danger… don’t  just look at the places where you will be.   Review your thinking, your habits and patterns to see how you can turn risk into opportunity.

Gary

Join us here at our hotel Meson de las Flores.  Learn more turning risk into opportunity at our courses and tours.

ecuador-risk

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

See the entire article Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html

Ecuador IRA Tax Break


Here is an great Ecuador IRA tax break. If  you buy an Ecuador house or condo with your non pension money and invest your IRA funds in a second condo… each trip to Ecuador can become tax deductible.

Here is a second Ecuador tax break. If  you live in Ecuador… all income coming from abroad is tax free.

There is a third Ecuador tax break as well. There are no capital gains on occasional real estate sales.

So if you have a pension…  and buy fixer uppers or make good buys in real estate to resell and  make a profit… there is no tax… here.

Plus if you play it right all your travel to Ecuador may be tax deductible.  Be sure to consult with your tax adviser to make sure you do this in the right way.

One IRA administrator that will buy overseas property for IRA’s also  offers a debit card.

Entrust’s IRA debit card provides convenience & flexibility.

The card gives you access to to IRA funds for investment purchases and makes it easy to pay for goods and services or take distributions at ATMs

The Entrust Group  are administrators of self-directed retirement plans and offer this IRA Debit Card together with an IRA Card Checking Account.

The card and checking system provide an innovative, easy, convenient way for self-directed IRA account holders to purchase new, or improve existing, IRA assets, or take required minimum distributions from the available funds in their retirement accounts.  Self-directed IRA account holders can the card whixh is marketed under the Visa® brand, to pay for goods or services wherever Visa is accepted.  It can also be used at ATMs around the world for cash withdrawals.

Unlike other retirement plan-linked cards, Entrust’s IRA Debit Card and Checking service does not have, or allow for, loans of any kind.  Those are prohibited transactions. All available funds must be un-invested in the IRA (minimum $1,000 opening balance).  Any transaction that is not an expense or asset purchase, for the IRA, is viewed as a distribution and will be administered as such.

IRA Card Checking transactions are considered distributions unless proven otherwise.  Account holders have 30 calendar days, following a transaction, to submit the proper documentation to show that the expenditure was for an IRA asset.  If the documentation does not reflect this, Entrust is legally required, and will file, reports to the IRS that indicate the amount of the payment taken from the IRA in question (IRS Form 1099-R).

It is impossible to overdraw on an Entrust IRA Card Checking account because, whether using the IRA Debit CardT or The IRA Checking, an individual is limited to only the funds that have been transferred to their IRA Card Checking account from the un-invested funds within their IRA.  Any transaction that would exceed the account’s limit would be declined.

For people who are of the age that they must begin to take required minimum distributions – starting at 70 ½ years of age – distributions can be taken seamlessly at any ATM, making this the most convenient way for people to access their money.

The Entrust Group has been a provider of account administration services for self-directed retirement plans for over 25 years,

Entrust will speak at Jyske global Asset Managements Naples Seminar. Learn how to gain free attendance at this multi currency seminar and save $499 or $750.

Until next message good global investing and living.

Gary

Join us in 2009.

Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  Here is a special offer on this new course.

You can enroll in this special course for $299. However if you sign up for three courses in any one month.

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Ecuador Banking & Currency Excerpts


Ecuador banking for gringos can be made easy.

You can use banks like this without even opening a bank account.  We’ll see why in a moment.  First…

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm

First this is day three in Ecuador health week.

Ecuador Health Tip #3  is to simply eat more simply and eat less.

Good nutrition is a vital part of good health. But what nutritionally is right?

Having lived around the globe, I have learned so many schools of thought on nutrition (starting with McDonald’s my primary food provider when in high school and I’m still paying for that bad habit) to shamanic Andean nutritional routines., that my head spins when I think about it. Plus Merri and I nrolled in a doctorate degree program (not for the degree but the knowledge) on holistic nutrition.

Program for Health

The problem is, the more one reads, the more the experts seem to contradict themselves! Some say eat raw, others only cooked. Some say something is good others bad and the list of conflicts goes on and on.

Many of them are right, but the crunch is they are only right part of the time, or in some instances or only if an entire program is followed. And of course, most of them don’t take into account body types, which for us is of utmost importance.

Merri’s and my program for health falls into three categories-nutrition, exercise, consciousness and purification. The three parts are so intertwined that one cannot look at any one of them totally alone.

These categories wrap around themselves in every material and consciousness aspect of health. For example, what we watch on TV is a consciousness aspect of nutrition. Our entire being has to digest what we watch, see and hear. So what we see is a type of nutrition. What we see, hear, smell, feel and taste as we eat (and even before a meal) also impacts the digestion of food. Digestion works with every sense and affects the nutrition we receive.

So the rule of KEEP IT SIMPLE seems to be one that almost all the systems I have blundered across agree on.

Certainly a secret of slowing the aging process is do not eat too much!

This sounds so simple but the fact is almost every diet book in the world tiptoes around this simple fact. Many claim you can eat as much as you want on a diet. Rubbish. The only way that scientific research has ever shown to live a longer life is by cutting back calories.

Biologist Siegfried Hekimi learned how to lengthen the average lifespan of tiny transparent worms from 15 to 20 days (the equivalent of increasing a human lifespan from 75 to 100) and confirmed what many scientific studies have found. There is a link between metabolism and lifespan. Eating less can slow the metabolism down.

Our Andean shaman stressed this fact in many ways.  As mentioned in tip #2, I once asked him his most important rule for nutrition. “Eat only on an empty stomach,” was his reply.

This is hard to do if you eat too much. Your blood sugar rockets (from all the food). This causes your adrenalin to kick in to keep the blood sugar in balance. This causes the blood sugar to plummet. This makes you hungry way before the body has had a chance to digest its meal.

There are more reasons. The body is very adept at confirming to our circumstances by creating habits. We eat a lot and the stomach is stretched. The body worries about this and grows the stomach. The bigger stomach instills the habit for more food to fill it. Habits are hard to break except because we are subject to the law of diminishing returns, we want to eat more and more and more.

That’s a universal rule. Let’s look at some specifics. The Andean nutritional system keeps a good fat, protein carbohydrate balance. The Andean shamanic health diet  does not mix sweet with salt. They avoid fermented foods and divide foods into three group: sweet, savory and neutral. You can mix sweet and neutral or salt and neutral but not sweet and savory.

Melon and pineapple are only eaten alone. The Shamanic way is to have light sweet meals morning and evening and full savory meal at noon.

Keeping life simple makes sense when it comes to Ecuador living and banking.   This excerpt of a full report on Ecuador banking, just sent to our Ecuador Living subscribers shows why. Here is the excerpt.

Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar so no currency exchange is required coming or going.  This makes banking easy to begin…but how can one operate money wise on a day to day basis.

There are several ways to bank in Ecuador without having an Ecuador bank account.

Let me add to begin.  I do not trust Ecuador banks. I  lost a fair amount of money in Ecuador banks when they crashed in 1999.  Once bitten twice shy.  plus it is hard for anyone without a resident visa (which Merri and I do not have nor desire) to open an Ecuador bank account.   There are better ways.

One way is  to use ATMs.  Merri and I never had an ATM card in the US but found that this is a good way to access cash here. We also have a safe in all our rooms in Meson de las Flores. Most  hotels  offer free safety deposit boxes so when we arrive, we just put all our cash, wallet with credit cards and passports in our safe box. Then we just have a bit of cash like $20 or so in our pockets.

Ecuador ATM’s

Merri and I live off of ATMs in Ecuador for our day to day cash needs..

ATM’s are in almost every village in Ecuador and are compatible with international credit cards.

Visa credit cards work at ATMs operated by Bank of Guayaquil, Pichincha, Produbanco and Banco Pacífico. Each ATM shows the logos of which cards can be used on that machine. We use our regular ATM cash card issued by our Florida bank at this Bank of Pichincha branch (shown above) on Cotacachi’s second smaller plaza.

Ecuador-multi-currency-plaza

The plaza is pristine because it is maintained by the bank.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-sign

The bank is next to the police station and the second smaller Cathedral.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-cathedral

Bes ure to see further on what they are doing behind the bank.  There are two Cathedrals in Cotacachi and one bank…a nice ratio.

However there are three Cotacachi ATMs. The other two are on the main street 10th of August. Here is one of them…the newest of the three.

cotacachi-road-work

We are allowed to take $500 a day from the Pichincha ATM and $300 a day from the others.

Jyske ATM Banking in Ecuador

One nifty way to combine global investment management bank and your cash needs in Ecuador is through Copenhagan with Jyske Bank’s VISA debit cards.

This card makes it easy to access cash from your Danish bank account.

Why a Danish bank?  As mentioned earlier I do not trust Ecuador banks. On the other hand Danish banks are among the safest in the world.

First let’s examine safety.  How safe?

In recent years Denmark has been rated by Standard & Poor’s as one of the safest country in the world in which to bank.

Jyske Bank is well established with a history of over 100 years. Jyske is Denmark ’s second largest bank, with 450,000 clients in Denmark and over 30,000 abroad.

Jyske Bank has over 23 billion euros in assets and also happens to be one of the leading currency traders in the world. Many other large banks use Jyske to handle their off hour currency positions. This means that Jyske is huge when it comes to multi currency activity. In fact their turnover reaches $50 billion dollars a day.

Bank Safety Point #1: A recent Yahoo Canada article shows a survey by the World Economic Forum listed five safest countries in which to bank.

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

So Denmark is a safe place to bank. Now let’s look at Jyske Bank’s safety rating.

Bank Safety Point #2: On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating. This decision came despite the deteriorated economic prospects in Denmark, particularly in respect of the property market.

Bank Safety Point #3: Also on Friday 10 October 2008, the Danish Parliament passed a bill that secured all deposits and unsecured claims against losses in Danish financial institutions. The rating of the Kingdom of Denmark is Aaa/AAA with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.

The people at Jyske are common sense bankers. They had minimal sub prime exposure when that scandal broke. Jyske had zero Madoff exposure.

That’s safe!

How about service?  First of all,  Jyske can manage your wealth. For anyone with $50,000 or more to invest Jyske can buy, sell and hold investments from all over the world, stocks, liquid assets, bonds and commodities. They provide full managed or advisory only services.  They even lend in multiple currencies to leverage investments for investors with $100,000 or more.   Almost no bank in North or Latin America can do this.

Once you have Jyske caring for your wealth, they can then provide a steady stream of cash when you need it…via a global debit card.

Jyske Ecuador & Global Service.

Even US clients who have managed accounts at Jyske Global Asset Management  (JGAM) can have a VISA debit card.

JGAM opens a specific on demand account with Jyske Bank so funds can be made available via the card.

These cards can provide access to cash anywhere in the world…including Ecuador.

Here is Cotacachi’s third ATM.

cotacachi-road-work

Jyske offers three different cards to match different needs.   Each type of card provides considerable flexibility.

You can choose to have the card denominated in a number of currencies based on your choice.  An account is created at Jyske bank in the same currency. No matter the account currency,  the cards can be nominated in euro, US dollar,  British pound, Swiss franc, Swedish or Danish kroner.

If you have have dollars invested and are drawing dollars in Ecuador, you can eliminate forex costs by nominating your card in US dollars.

For more information US investors contact Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management at fischer@jgam.com

Non US investors contact Rene Mathys of Jyske Bank at mathys@jbpb.dk

You can read the entire report on how to protect against Ecuador banks, Ecuador bank fees and access money in Ecuador …to pay bills, live and invest  etc. as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

Keeping your investing simple in these complex and difficult times can also be easy as the excerpt below form our multi currency course explains.  Here is the excerpt.

Inflation…to be or not to de… Deflate that is. That is the question…we must answer to invest correctly in the days ahead.

I lean further towards inflation over deflation each day.  We can see it coming…governments (led by the USA) spending so much money they do not have, that currencies lose purchasing power.

Here is another inflationary note from the New York Times in an article yesterday that said:

President-elect Barack Obama plans to include about $300 billion in tax cuts for workers and businesses in his economic recovery program, advisers said Sunday, as his team seeks to win over Congressional skeptics worried that he was too focused on government spending.

The legislation Mr. Obama is developing with Congressional Democrats will devote about 40 percent of the cost to tax cuts, including his centerpiece campaign promise to provide credits up to $500 for most workers, costing roughly $150 billion. The package will also include more than $100 billion in tax incentives for businesses to create jobs and invest in equipment or factories.

This may seem like really good news for business, but bad news for the US dollar and hence inflation.   Spending that is not matched by production is inflationary.

For most people, this is bad.

Yet inflation creates fortunes for those of us who know what to do.

There are three ways to profit and stay ahead of inflation. Multi currency investments in distorted shares….distorted commodities and distorted real estate.

TO KEEP MY GLOBAL INVESTING SIMPLE, I BREAK DOWN MY INVESTMENTS INTO THREE PORTIONS, personal…pension…and property.

Yesterday’s lesson looked at my current personal investments to see how I am reacting to this scenario.  We saw that our current asset  breakdown in our personal liquid portfolio is:
Cash Accounts 36%
Bonds 64%

This cash and bonds have a currency breakdown of

Canadian dollar       9%
Euro                         18%
British pound          3%
Hungarian florin   19%
Norway Kroner        9%
NZ dollar                   9%
Sweden kroner       26%
US dollar                   8%

We asked …why all cash and bonds if I believe in inflation?

You may even wonder more when you see  my pension portfolio breakdown.
The asset breakdown of my pension liquid investments are:

This portfolio is more aggressive than my personal liquid portfolio, with shares, emerging shares and emerging currencies.

You can see my pension portfolio breakdown and why I  keep the investments with the lowest potential profit in my personal account since profits and the high risk investments in my pension as a Multi Currency Portfolio Course

Until next message, may all your money be easy to access in a simple way!

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Cotacachi speeds ahead! Yesterday we saw how a new road was transformed in a day.

MERRI AND I WALKED BACK AT 6:40 AM THIS MORNING AND THEY HAD MADE ENORMOUS PROGRESS AND WERE ALREADY ON THE JOB.

cotacachi-road-work

They already have sidewalks complete and…

cotacachi-road-work

are laying the brick pavers. I expect they’ll have made a huge impact by tomorrow and will report then. he workers were tickled when I showed them their picture.

cotacachi-road-work

Jyske Gobal Asset Management will join us Feb. 13-15 for our course International Business & Investing Made EZ

Join us at a course in Cotacachi to learn more about multi currency investing or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Feb. 9-11  Beyond Logic Simple Ways to More Wealth and Better Health

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one$1,349 for two

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Multi Currency Bank Safety


Multi currency bank safety has become a big concern in these troubled times. Trust has been eradicated from the system which leaves investors wondering more about risk.

Today is my 62nd birthday and I would like to thank you for sharing the day with me.

I will do almost anything to learn ways to help you. Here’s proof of the pudding.

Ecuador-Healing-Springs

This may look like I slipped and fell in the mud.

Actually I was trying out a little known volcanic pool near our home on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. The clay is said to purify and heal. Here I am in that pool with the natives!

Ecuador-healing-mud

Imagine this. I can now collect Social Security. I will, but this decision has nothing to do with retirement. See why and how my decision can help your wealth at Multi Currency Diversification.

Merri’s and my health, energy and vitality are good. We love what we do. Why not keep on going especially in these fun filled, challenging times of incredible opportunity?  But to take advantage of the opportunity we have to be sure we are not wiped out in the current volatility.

So let’s look at bank safety and since we share so much about Ecuador at this site, let’s look at Ecuador’s banks first.

Then we let’s look at the five safest banking countries in the world.

No bank can have a better credit rating than the country it is in!  Instead of looking at banks, Ecuador as a nation has a B3 Moody’s rating, CCC Fitch rating and B- from Standard & Poor’s. These ratings are somewhere between “highly speculative” and “substantial risk.” No matter how you cut it…the credit agencies are all saying “do not leave a lot of money laying around in Ecuador”. We just finished a lesson on what all the credit ratings mean in our multi currency course.

This is probably not an issue for most multi currency investors because they cannot even have an Ecuador bank account. We continually research to get answers to questions from our Ecuador Living subscribers.

One subscriber recently asked if non residents can open Ecuadorian bank accounts. Here is a reply from our attorney.

“We’ve spoken to quite a few banks about the subject lately and they all
require that the foreigners be residents for them to open a bank account
(checking account). Some banks, however, will allow non residents in the
process of obtaining residency to open a savings account. I will check with
some other banks but this does seem to be a general policy among them.”

If you have questions about Ecuador subscribe to Ecuador Living. We do our best to answer them.

Merri and I do not have a bank account in Ecuador. This has nothing to do with residency or bank safety. Our basic asset protection banking philosophy, which I originally published in the 1970s in my first book “Passport to International Profit,” is even more valid today than it was over 30 years ago. This is:

Live in one country
Bank in a second country
Invest in many countries
Earn in two or more countries
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country
Take a second residence

Since Merri and I live the most in Ecuador and the US, we do most of our banking elsewhere.

We use our ATM card to live on when in Ecuador. Our bank in Cotacachi is here.

ecuador-bank

In this Cotacachi square.

ecuador-square

So where should a multi currency investor do the majority of his or her banking? Multi currency investors do not want to hold a good multi currency basket of investments in a bad bank…or even worse in a country where banks are unsafe.

A recent message Economic Safety in Troubled Times showed one way to gain US dollar bank safety in North Dakota.

There is even more safety a bit further north. Canada it appears may be one of the safest places to bank. Canada has many wonderful sites and scenes such as this British Columbia shot taken by our friend Dennis Goff.

High Energy Sunrise

Dennis by the way has a great web site about Ecuador at www.e-quator.net

I am really glad to see this and explain why in a moment. First, let’s review Canada and bank safety.

Canada has great bank safety according to a Yahoo Canada article entitled “Canada rated world’s soundest bank system” by Rob Taylor says: Canada has the world’s soundest banking system, closely followed by Sweden, Luxembourg and Australia, a survey by the World Economic Forum has found as financial crisis and bank failures shake world markets.

But Britain, which once ranked in the top five, has slipped to 44th place behind El Salvador and Peru, after a 50 billion pound ($86.5 billion) pledge this week by the government to bolster bank balance sheets.

The United States, where some of Wall Street’s biggest financial names have collapsed in recent weeks, rated only 40, just behind Germany at 39, and smaller states such as Barbados, Estonia and even Namibia, in southern Africa.

The article listed the top five safest countries as:

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

Singapore was 13th and Switzerland 16th.

The current economic correction has reduced bank safety but there is another reason to be a multi currency investor. The current bailout will create inflation and currency corrections…including further weakening of the US dollar.

This leaves investors with three options:

Multi Currency Option #1: Earn more.

Multi Currency Option #2: Hold assets in other currencies.

Multi Currency Option#3: Live where life is good but costs are low.

This is why the focus of our three sites have these focuses, #1: to help develop small international businesses; #2: invest in many currencies and #3: live in Ecuador.

Our fourth focus is on natural health.

We enjoy Ecuador because life is good there. Prices are low and there are many natural health benefits.

However there are some risk…not in banking, not from Ecuador’s government and not from crime or civial unrest. The most realistic risk is from lack of experience in a new found place.

Earlier in this message I mentioned Dennis Goff’s new blog at www.e-quator.net. The blog features the Wall & Madison business run by Bob Lofgren and Deborah Nance. Dennis, Bob and Deborah are all long term readers who have become friends with Merri and me over the years.

Bob & Deborah were among the first readers to move to the San Miguel gated community. Here is a group of our real estate tour delegates visiting San Miguel.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-visit

There are some very wonderful homes here. I helped one of my readers sell his recently for $85,000.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-house

Here is a typical San Miguel Home.

Let me say right here, that I have nothing financially to do with San Miguel in any way. I live nearby and most of the houses and lots in San Miguel are owned by readers. Otherwise I am not involved.

Bob & Debroah have started a business to help San Miguel owners because of a problem Deborah described in this note to me.

Gary, As you know, who you trust down here makes all the difference in the world. What should be one of the best experiences of your life can turn out to be a nightmare if you work with the wrong people. There are westerners here who came to Ecuador late in life with no money to make their fortunes before it is too late, and will tell a buyer anything to make the sale. Our attorney has examined contracts from two developers and says they won’t hold up in court. One contract was taken before a judge and pronounced completely useless. Being foreigners, buyers have very little legal recourse if they get hooked by one of these people.

Robert and I are not wealthy people, but we have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of our lives. Given the spectacular scenery, clean air and water, abundance of healthy food and sweet people, we certainly feel rich living here. Many people will attest that after talking with Robert and being very excited to buy and build, Robert will tell them there is no land rush, and to go home and think about it and be sure buying in San Miguel is what they really want to do. We care a lot more about our souls than our pocketbooks. We started Wall and Madison, not to make our fortunes, but to be of service and to do things right. Just yesterday two women from New Zealand were here. They told Robert that they had traveled all over the country, and the construction here at San Miguel is the best they had seen in Ecuador. Unfortunately, even the Ecuadorian builders who are honest often have no idea of Western standards.

Robert and I have spent a great deal of time and gone to a great effort, along with our attorney, to see that Wall and Madison is entirely legal and above board. Ecuador doesn’t exactly make it easy to comply with the law. Perhaps that is why most developers don’t. It really is a buyer beware situation down here. So I am glad that you are willing to feature Wall and Madison with your readers. I can promise you that we won’t let you down.”

You can learn more at www.e-quator.net

Safety appears to be more important in troubled times…but really finding safety with the banks, the people and currencies you deal with is ALWAYS important.

This is why multi currency safety is as important as bank safety. Investors who do not have multi currency diversification can end up holding assets in a safe bank but with a worthless currency. Do not miss tomorrow’s message as it reviews my multi currency diversification now.

Gary

Join Merri, me and Jyske Global Asset Management at one of our courses. We review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and natural awakenings to health and wealth with investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

We’ll look at potential of real estate for sale on this lake.

Ecuador-lake-sites

and the value of Ecuador homes at San Miguel and Prima Vera II.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel

Primavera II $46,500 condos.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condos

We’ll review review potential on Ecuador’s coast.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Salt or fresh water

Ecuador real estate for sale

Join me with the staff of Jyske Global Asset Mangement in Naples Florida to learn more about where in the world to invest now.  Learn how to attend this course free and save $499 to $750.

Until next message good global investing!

Gary

One of the best ways to prosper in this downturn is with your own internet business. You can enroll in our email internet course here for $299. However if you sign up for all three courses in June or later in 2009, I’ll send it free. You save $299. Learn more here

Get our web based course FREE if you join us in Ecuador. Learn more here.

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Florida Investment Course

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Ecuador Currency Tip


This Ecuador currency tip can save you big bucks in Ecuador or any time you need a foreign currency.

I recently spoke at a seminar in Mexico and realized that I have become lazy about carrying multi currencies. Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar so no currency exchange is required coming or going.

I maintain British pound and Danish kroner investments so when I travel to Denmark or England, our two most frequently visited places after Ecuador, I already have the correct currency available in cash.

So when Merri and I arrived at Cancun airport, I realized Mexican pesos would be needed! Ouch. Avoid converting currencies at airports. The forex exchange rates are usually bad.

If you are frequently exchanging currencies the costs can be high, so here is a multi currency, conversion tip sent to me by a trusted friend.

“Gary, It costs me about $1500 a year just to send money to the UK and Sweden in bank and FOREX charges! A friend in Australia recommended www.ozforex.com – you select a buy and sell currency and beneficiaries (destination bank accounts). So far it looks like I’m going to more than halve the annual costs of sending money and their rates seem much better. For example $1500 with current method gives £794.74 but with OZForex, £842.25 – 6% better rates and only A$15 transfer fee.

Ecuador Cash Tips

The US dollar is Ecuador’s currency. Paper money is identical but both US and Ecuador coins are used. Ecuadorian coins minted in Ecuador are the same in size, weight, workmanship and color as US coins but have different reliefs and are only legal currency in Ecuador.

You can bring dollars with you. They work well except $100 dollar bills. These are accepted only with caution. Outside major cities sometimes it is impossible to cash $100 dollar bills. There is a lot of counterfeiting of $100 bills in Colombia, so the Ecuador Central Bank issues a list of valid $100 bill serial numbers. If the serial number of your $100 bill (even though it is real) is not on the validated list, you may not be able to use it in many places.

Bills that circulate in Ecuador are the $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The coins are the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, fifty cent piece. Plus the one dollar coin is very popular in Ecuador. I always wondered where all the Susan B. Anthonys went!

Ecuador prices are low and vendors are poor. They do not have a lot of change. When Merri and I go to Ecuador, we take rolls of quarters and a lot of $1, $5, $10, $20 bills.

Ecuador Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks are not accepted at this time. You usually need to go to the forex houses or banks to cash them. The commission charged varies between 1% and 4%. And often banks will no longer accept these checks as South America is inundated with forgeries. In Cotacachi, no one will accept a traveler’s check

We never even had an ATM card in the US but found that this is a good way to access cash. We also have a safe in all our rooms in Meson de las Flores and Hotel Quito offers free safety deposit boxes so when we arrive, we just put all our cash, wallet with credit cards and passports in our safe box. Then we just have a bit of cash like $20 or so in our pockets.

Ecuador ATM’s

Merri and I live off of ATMs in Ecuador.

ATM’s are in almost every village in Ecuador and are compatible with international credit cards.

Visa credit cards work at ATMs operated by Bank of Guayaquil, Pichincha, Produbanco and Banco Pacífico. Each ATM shows the logos of which cards can be used on that machine. We use our regular ATM cash card issued by our Florida bank at this Bank of Pichincha branch in Cotacachi.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm

This bank is on Cotacachi’s second smaller plaza.

Ecuador-multi-currency-plaza

The plaza is pristine because it is maintained by the bank.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-sign

The bank is next to the police station and the second smaller Cathedral.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-cathedral

There are two Cathedrals in Cotacachi and one bank…a nice ratio.

However there are two Cotacachi ATMs. The second is on the main street 10th of August.

Here is a map of Cotacachi.

cotacachi-atm-map

Our hotel, El Meson de las Flores, is by the Cathedral insignia. The bank and ATM are marked by the red box.

We are allowed to take $500 a day from the Pichincha ATM and $300 a day from the other.

When using an ATM take the same precautions you would anywhere. Merri and I do not withdraw cash alone at night. We keep our password hidden. We observe the people around and make sure the machine is working correctly. If we were to note anything odd in the surroundings or the machine, we would not use our card.

This has never happened. We have never had a problem but still always take precautions. The safest ATM’s are those that are found inside banks and shopping centers.

Ecuador Credit Cards

Credit cards can be used at most hotels, restaurants and in most shops, but not in the markets. Places that are recommended for the use of credit cards are first class restaurants, hotels, gift shops, shopping centers and travel agencies. Not all places accept credit cards. Ask before buying if you do not see a Visa or MasterCard sign. Amex is not seen much outside the major cities.

Vendors are gouged by the credit card companies. Some businesses charges extra, up to 12% to cover the cost of this fee they have to pay…so you can often bargain by offering cash.

Money transfers

Bank transfers take at least three working days. The bank sending the money charges a commission for the transfer, usually $30 to $60. Western Union offers quick and efficient money transfers but is much more expensive. For example a Western union wire of $1000 to Quito, may cost $85.

Merri and I do not have a bank account in Ecuador even though we live there half the year. There is one excellent bank that has a US subsidiary and the subsidiary has offices in Ecuador so you can bank in the US but access cash in Ecuador. We are compiling a complete report on “How to Bank in Ecuador” for our Ecuador Living subscribers now.

You will receive this report free when you subscribe to Ecuador Living.

Until next message, may all your money be easy to access and good!

Gary

Our September 17-20 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour is sold out.

Our September 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour is sold out
http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

Our September Spanish Class is sold out.

Oct 14-18 Ecuador Import Export Course has a few places left.
http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-import-and-export-tour

We still have space in November.

Nov 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour
http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour