Tag Archive | "bank"

Great Pension Robbery II


The is the second message in the Great Pension Robbery series.

Dad was a zookeeper. My sister Sandra and I benefited from this because dad brought baby lions for us to raise at home. What fun!  We loved them… so cute, warm and cuddly… sort of like a pension.

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Portland news article about us raising “Boots” our first lion.

Pensions can make us feel all warm and cuddly… safe in the future… with not a care in the world.  Then like lions they can grow up.

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Oops.  Here is dad with Boots some months later… not so cute… not so cuddly and he might just bite us in the… but there is a solution.

The first chapter in this series The Great Pension Robbery reviewed three ways that the purchasing power of pensions can be stolen away.

That article examined the first way pensions can be robbed through under funding from insufficient contributions.

Two other forms of pension theft… are lowered return on assets and the destruction of the pension currency in upcoming messages.

This message looks at pension theft from lowered return on assets

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Thomas Fischer speaking at the  Writer’s Camp delegate at our summer home.

Thomas Fischer sent me this note (bolds are mine):  Hi Gary,  Yesterday the ECB lowered interest rates by 0.25% (deposit and loan rates).

As a consequence Denmark also lowered its interest rate by 0.25% (loan rate reduced from 0.45 -0.20%) and the Central Bank also lowered its CD rate (banks deposit rate at the Central bank) by 0.25% to minus 0.20%. It’s the first time in the Central bank´s  200 years history they have had negative CD rates.

They are doing this to keep the currency peg towards the EUR (it can move within a 2.25% band). The Danish kroner is a safe haven and the Central Bank has taken this step to stop the rise of the kroner.

Danish 1 year government bonds yield minus 0.268% whereas investors can get a “whopping”  1.232% on a 10 year bond!

Great if you a looking for financing but for savers it’s awkward!  Thomas

Ways how to get ideas on better returns from Jyske contact: Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Canadians and other non Americans should contact Jyske’s  René Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

There you have it… you have to pay to have a bond in a safe currency issued by a safe government.  This is not a low return. This is a negative return.

Your pension contributions may be based on the expectations of earning 8% per annum.

Here is an excerpt from a New York Times article entitled “Public Pensions Faulted for Bets on Rosy Returns” by Mary Williams Walsh and Danny Hakim:   While Americans are typically earning less than 1 percent interest on their savings accounts and watching their 401(k) balances yo-yo along with the stock market, most public pension funds are still betting they will earn annual returns of 7 to 8 percent over the long haul, a practice that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently called “indefensible.”

In New York, the city’s chief actuary, Robert North, has proposed lowering the assumed rate of return for the city’s five pension funds to 7 percent from 8 percent, which would be one of the sharpest reductions by a public pension fund in the United States. But that change would mean finding an additional $1.9 billion for the pension system every year, a huge amount for a city already depositing more than a tenth of its budget — $7.3 billion a year — into the funds.

But to many observers, even 7 percent is too high in today’s market conditions.

Projection 7% or 8%. Reality – .02%.

Most pensions are being robbed through these unrealistic projections. The high estimated return reduces the contributions that will be needed for the retirees in later years.   This is a very subtle theft but just as deadly to purchasing power as an armed bandit with his kerchief and gun.

The past wisdom of relying on pensions for retirement may not be so wise in today’s economic and demographic environment.

Gary

One adventurous way to extra earn income is with a seminar tour or events business. To see more details on how to start an events business, click here.

Another way to have a steady income is through agriculture.

Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate Tour

For current Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate information send me a note at gary@garyascott.com

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Ecuador coffee farm entrance.

The original owner spent two years searching for the perfect location to duplicate the exact terrain, altitude and growing conditions of the most successful coffee farms of Boquete, Panama and Columbia.

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Terrain and coffee plants.

After walking with an altimeter in hand and talking to reclusive indigenous farmers, this region was discovered with all the perfect conditions to cultivate exceptional Arabica coffee trees.

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Owners house with roof terrace.

This is a micro climate, blessed with abundant rainfall, in clean mountain air, bounded by a clear trout filled year around rushing river, protected from extremes of wind and large temperature fluctuations,  perfect for growing coffee.

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Open drying patio.

It has 11 hectares planted (manageable for a single owner), with approximately 50,000 Arabica, varietal Caturra (self pollinating) coffee trees which  are perfectly distributed over a hillside interspersed with a variety of fruit trees for shade.

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Oranges grown to protect coffee trees.

No problem selling this crop for top dollar due to its proven high quality.  The coffee sales last year grossed $70,000 so after $25,000 expenses, $45,000 was the net income.

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Coffee beans.

As well, an experimental 1 hectare of Geisha varietal.  Geisha is considered to be one of the finest coffees in the world and garnered the highest auction record in coffee history, fetching $170 per pound in 2010.  The first harvest of this varietal is expected in about 2 years.

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Coffee plants grown in greenhouse on farm.

This Andean  location provides an ideal environment for coffee growing without damaging the unique habitat of many species of birds.   Arabica coffee trees are a major source of oxygen production.  Each hectare produces 86 pounds of oxygen per day which is 50% of rain forest habitat.  Ecuador is a biologically diverse country with an abundance of birds, amphibians, reptiles and butterflies.  Inca Mountain Coffee Farm is ecologically in harmony with its environment.

The Arabica coffee trees are 6 years old, providing remarkable yields, allowing for continuous flowering and two annual harvests (major harvest Feb-Jun and minor harvest Oct-Nov).

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Covered drying patio.

In the yearly Golden Cup competition, coffee from this farm was a finalist in 2011.

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Seasonal worker harvesting coffee.

Owner’s house – 900 sq/ft, 2 bed, 1 bath, with lots of marble, built in cabinets in both bedrooms and upper roof porch

Caretaker’s house – divided into multiple rooms with bathroom

Land line phone installed and operational

110 and 220 volt electric lines

Equipment:  2 coffee bean pulpers with 2 water tanks, 2 weed whackers, misc. tools, scale for weighing coffee bags

1 large uncovered drying patio and 1 covered drying patio

2 full time highly experienced workers – monthly payroll is $650 (plus more during harvest for seasonal workers)

Average yearly expenses:  $25,000 (all payroll, fertilizer, harvesting expenses, utilities, taxes)

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This clean mountain river that runs year around with trout.  Also, access to mountain water for farm irrigation, though it is rarely needed.

Farm is fenced along road.

You can set the date for your own tour.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

Case Study #3:   This third case study shows an American who has created a   large Ecuador agri operation. This is the farming operation set up by Young Living Essential oils.

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After creating a marketing system for the oils and farming in the USA, Gary and his wife…

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moved to Ecuador… began a large farming operation as well as…

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there own processing and a health spa.

Ecuador is a perfect place for many types of agriculture… large and small.  Find your farm in the safe and efficient way on an Ecuador Agricultural Tour.

For efficiency and logistics this tour is strictly limited to 15 people… 4 persons per four wheel drive vehicle.

You can set the date for your own tour.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

 

 

Ecuador & Intuitive Investing


Ecuador and intuitive investing were part of our last International Investment and Business Course of 2009 which we concluded yesterday.

Delegates enjoyed an afternoon lunch at our home Sunday afternoon, along with the autumnal sun and the views below.

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We told the story of how we began investing in Ecuador real estate and how Ecuador property and international investments can produce greater profit and safety when you combine hard work with your intellect and intuition.

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We looked at how hunches are often communication with knowledge beyond logic.  Intuition can make your investing luckier as well as more profitable.

When you take a global view, you gain greater scope for opportunity. Intuition expands your ability to find wise investments.  Yet you have more details to sift through.

During the course Thomas Fischer spoke about Jyske Bank stock and I shared a story of how Merri and I made a huge profit on this stock when we used intuition to buy shares in Jyske.

The graph below shows how Jyske Bank shares performed  from 2002 when Merri and I bought these shares.

We looked at the unusual part of this story which is how Merri and I used a hunch to buy Jyske shares at DKK 96.50 on 2nd September 2002 and sold a portion in April 2006 at DKK 352.50. Our profit was 265.28% in Danish kroner terms. But at the date of purchase the USD-DKK rate was 754 and dropped to 612 meaning that we gained another 18.8% in US dollars on the currency appreciation.

Even after the crash of 2008 our position in these shares is worth more than our original investment plus we have all the profit we took.

This is a great profit but the story of how we bought these shares is even better!

Here is what happened.  Merri and I were visiting the bank with a group of readers. We had been in Copenhagen for several days and took the group out to the bank’s headquarters in the small charming village of Silkeborg. We visited the CEO (who has been a friend for many years) in his new modest offices, saw the bank’s new currency trading room and visited with the Jyske Invest fund managers. We were all standing in the atrium of the headquarters when I suddenly had this hunch…a feeling is the strongest thing you could call it, to buy Jyske shares. I looked at Merri. She looked at me and I said, “Are you thinking what I am?”   She said “We should buy Jyske shares”.

I did not say another word but asked Thomas Fischer who was standing nearby if I could borrow his cell phone, called my Jyske account manager in Copenhagen and placed the order. That call has created enough profit for Merri and me to live on for many years.

Again and again Merri and I have had this “sudden moment” that has brought us a fortune or something truly wonderful in life. This unexpected look in each other’s eyes has led without further discussions to investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We bought our hotel Meson de las Flores in Ecuador this same way, with less than 30 seconds of deliberation.

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I was upstairs looking at the hotel rooms.

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Merri was downstairs in the courtyard.

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I walked down.

Merri walked up.

We met on these stairs.

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Our eyes locked… and we knew.  “Buy this hotel.”

Then, I suggested that we not even look in the bedrooms, because we might change our mind!

We did and though we have never been involved in hotels before, we have enjoyed considerable success.

Yet the story of how we have come to rely on these spontaneous, good luck hunches is even more interesting.

I do not share this story often but am doing so now because I was reminded the importance of intuition when we discussed the Jyske shares at our course.

This story dates back to the early 80s.  Merri and I had met but did not know one another all that well. We were in Las Vegas with a mutual friend who had introduced us attending an investment conference where I was a speaker.

We were all sitting round chatting one evening when Merri suddenly said, “I think you would be good at psychometry.”

“Great”, I said. “What’s Psychometry?”

Psychometry it turned out is a form of communication using the sense of touch to get mental impressions linked to an object. She had a silver doubloon with her that had come from Mel Fisher’s Atocha treasure. I was game and said “Let’s try it”.

The idea is that psychometric impressions come in the form of emotions, sounds, scents, tastes or images. Because we live in an electromagnetic energy environment, metal objects often work best.

The term was coined in 1842 by Joseph R. Buchanan, an American physiologist, who claimed it could be used to measure the ‘soul’ of all things. Buchanan further said that the past is entombed in the present. He experimented with students at Cincinnati Medical School and found that some people who had been given unmarked bottles of medicine had the same reaction as if they had taken the medicine. He developed the theory that all things give off an emanation which contained a sort of record of the history of the object. He believed that objects recorded senses and emotions and these could be sensed in the mind.

I did not know this at the time but was game so held the coin and must say that as I went into a meditative state I did start having some visions. First I saw a brilliant blue..unusual for me as I never dream in color. The Atocha was carrying indigo I was later told but this did not really impress me much.

Then I saw a man, obviously Spanish in one of those puffy, white silk shirts with a women in a very unusual hairdo…”like peacock feathers,” I described. Then I saw a sword, very specific, a wine flask wrapped in filigree silver, a huge belt buckle on the man and ended up seeing flames, I said were “like sheaths of wheat”.

So that was that. I was not really impressed. Big deal…who was the guy, the gal? What’s all this weird stuff.

I was not impressed.

So we with a friend (who had faithfully sat through this) went to dinner, typical, Italian Las Vegas fare. After dinner our mutual friend suggested we stop by a show called Circus Circus. I had never been to a Vegas show so “Why not?” I said, “sounds like fun”.

As we entered “Circus-Circus” a new act was just beginning and the introducer came out. It was the woman I had described. Merri and our mutual friend had heard my description so they were impressed with the similarity.

I was stunned because this was not a similarity. This was the woman I had seen hours before in my dream.

She introduced the act, a juggler who came out, the Spanish guy in the silk short with the belt buckle! My knees were now wobbly.

The act included juggling the swords I had described and balancing the wine flask I had seen. In the end my friend said, “If I see the sheaths of flame I am convinced!” Sure enough the end of the finale included an assistant who was lighting huge Bunsen burners and jumping through the sheaths of flame as he juggled away.

Somehow, and I have never been able to explain this, holding that coin allowed me to see the future, not the past. I have never tried psychometry again nor do I intend to.

That evening changed my life because it showed me in terms I could not deny, nor will ever forget, that we are connected to knowledge and information that reaches way beyond our sense and logic.

That moment gave Merri and me confidence that hunches are more than wild imagination. They are a form of communication that go beyond what our brain can sort out in finite terms. That seed of belief was planted those many years ago and intuitive success upon success has caused it to grow.

As mentioned, we made a small fortune (for us at least) with the Jyske shares based on this hunch. We bought our hotel in Ecuador.

So the next time you need a miracle…don’t deny that one can happen… for good and for you… if you will allow it.

This does not mean you should stop using your logic.  Nor should you quit using due diligence.

Success increases when you learn to fuse the intellect and intuition, not abandon nor honor one over the other. They work best as a team!

Nor does it mean you should go out and risk all on a hunch. Start small….all things should start small and grow.

You possess connections to infinite knowledge. Your mind cannot grapple this because the act of defining defeats the very thing you are connected to.

However if you can let go and let your intuition lead you, you too may have some wonderful surprises and luck that after awhile will not be surprising at all!

Until next message, may all of your surprises and luck bring richness to you.

Gary

As international investors and real estate buyers, we are forced to deal with forces beyond our understanding and control. We must find simple ways to make decisions about complicated problems, knowing that many of the facts are unknown.   We have to deal with the future in terms of our past experience.

This is why I invited our friend Blaine Watson to repeat his popular course on Astrology and Beyond Logic.   Astrology presents a “what if” that pushes our thought process beyond past experience and encourages us to think in new ways to deal with future events.  This is a simple but powerful way to add an extra dimension into your process of thought.

Blaine Watson teaching his Beyond Logic course… always one of our most popular courses each year.

We have been able to organize one more Beyond Logic and Shamanic Course for December 2009. See details here.

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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Gary

Other 2009 Ecuador Tours.

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 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.

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We invite villagers to join us… family and all.

Internet Business Haro


New micro internet business opportunities arise all the time… Your own small internet business is a great way to make money… but there is something more.

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Morning on Cotacachi Ecuador’s plaza may be foggy but the economy is sunny and bright… and

I was sitting on our balcony at our hotel Inn Land of the Sun (formerly Meson de las Flores) in Cotacachi Ecuador… looking at the sunrise view.

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Mt. Cotacachi was on my left.

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Mt. Imbabura on my right.

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The time was 5:36 am and I began my first round of answering my email.

The first note opened had the subject Om Bir and the email said:  Hello sir,  Nameste. T his is lalit from Nepal. i m working from two yrs. in roses. as a farm supervisor. we are exporting roses to japan.i’ll write you more about company.looking forward your reply.  lalit  kathmandu

What a wonderful way to start the day… I am in a small mountain village getting blessings from someone in mountains half way around the world.  Namaste means “may that which is in God be within you.”

We offer a course to help our readers start their own web business. This freedom not only makes life more enjoyable but also reduces the cost of living.

Technology brings us so many blessings… the things we take for granted… air travel… electricity… computers… cars… the internet… would be considered miracles for 99% of mankind that has existed.

Yet we can with the push of a button gain blessings… and business from around the world.

This is why we are sharing a free course on how to create your own website without a webmaster written by Michelle Toole. Here is the 38th lesson in this course.

What’s HARO?  By Michelle Toole

So you’re interested in starting your own self publishing business on the internet? Or maybe you have a book that you wrote and want to make a name for yourself?    Well, I have a great tip for you…..actually, it’s a great tip for anybody wanting to establish themselves as an expert and this will help you build your own ‘brand of one.’

Editors, as Merri always reminds us, are “always looking for content” and the same goes for reporters, bloggers, radio hosts and pod cast hosts.   So, how do you connect with editors, reporters, bloggers, radio hosts and pod cast hosts that need you?  Good Question….

And I have a great answer…. HARO.  What’s HARO?

HARO stands for ‘Help a Reporter Out’, a web site (helpareporter.com) started by Peter Shankman and it is an excellent resource for those of us trying to build our own ‘brand of one.’

According to Peter, “I built this list because a lot of my friends are reporters, and they call me all the time for sources. Rather than go through my contact lists each time, I figured I could push the requests out to people who actually have something to say.  These requests only come from reporters directly to me.”

Once you sign up to Peter’s web site you will get 3 emails each day.  Each email will include a list of reporters, bloggers, radio hosts and pod cast hosts looking for sources for their stories.  Of course it’s not likely that you will find someone looking for your expertise on a daily basis, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you find something every other month.  It’s certainly worth your time and the best way to build your ‘brand of one’ is to put yourself out there.

Good Luck and happy Branding!…

You can check out Michelle’s web site at http://healthy-holistic-living.com and http://home-remedies-and-natural-cures.com.  To get more great tips, like the ones above and to see how and what tools she used to create a successful on-line business go to http://sitesell-sbi.comInternat Business Ideas

The sun always shines somewhere. Because many Americans are headed south… business is suffering in the north… but getting better n the sun!

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.

How We Can Serve You

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We’ll have Ashe county wine tasting here at the New River Vineyard during our Blue Ridge seminars.

Or head south to Ecuador!

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Let our friendly staff at our Inn Land of the Sun (formerly Meson de as Flores) serve you.

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In Cotacachi and surrounds the weather is always spring like.  Here are delegates taking a shirt sleeve, winter break at a hotel for sale on our Imbabura real estate tour.

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Winter is shorts weather on Ecuador’s coast. Here I am working in February at our Ecuador coastal penthouse… shirtsleeves and shorts!

Join us in the mountains and at the sea. Attend more than one seminar and tour and save.

Ecuador Banking Notes


Ecuador banking notes from Ecuador subscribers are below.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Power of Global Investing Diversification


There is great power in global investing diversification.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise at our North Carolina farm.  We diversify because the sun always shines somewhere.

Pure capitalistic theory says that in the long run… a global economy is good for everyone….overall.

Technology gives us the ability to buy from those who serve us best, wherever they are  in the world.  Why should we buy poorer quality goods locally at a higher price when someone from elsewhere can serve us better and for less.

Plus if we produce something better than anyone else we should be able to sell our product or service anywhere in the world as well.

Floridians and Californians buy apples from Oregon and North Carolina.

Oregonians and North Carolinians buy oranges from Florida or California because these areas each have special advantages… excellent conditions to produce and deliver those fruits clear across a continent, better and for less.

Global market advantages can be based on geography, infrastructure, skills sets, labor costs etc.

The theory of globalization is good but the process is not smooth. Globalization creates unemployment in many places and distorts many economies in the short term.  This usually pushes the process into the political arena and gets governments involved.  Governments often act based on political considerations rather than for good, long term economic reasons.

Plus business if given a chance… does not always encourage a free economy either.  Give big business a monopoly and they’ll tie up free trade even faster and much more efficiently than a government.

There is little, as businesses or investors, that we can do do to change these facts.

We are usually better off to adapt and take advantage of whatever situation exists instead.

This is what creates power in diversification.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise at our Ecuador hacienda.

The sun always shines somewhere. When our business and investments are diversified, we just have a better chance that our investments and business will be somewhere where there the business climate is sunny.

For example… a recent message Ecuador Beats Inflation looked at excerpts from a recent AOL.Money article by Jim Kuhnhenn entitled “White House Projects $9 Trillion Deficit”: In a chilling forecast, the White House is predicting a 10-year federal deficit of $9 trillion — more than the sum of all previous deficits since America’s founding. And it says by the next decade’s end the national debt will equal three-quarters of the entire U.S. economy.  But before President Barack Obama can do much about it, he’ll have to weather recession aftershocks including unemployment that his advisers said Tuesday is still heading for 10 percent.  Overall, White House and congressional budget analysts said in a brace of new estimates that the economy will shrink by 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year even as it begins to climb out of the recession. Those estimates reflect this year’s deeper-than-expected economic plunge.

Yet at the same time a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Ecuador Inflation To End ’09 Below 4%”  By Mercedes Alvaro shows that Ecuador’s economy is growing.
Here is an excerpt: QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s inflation rate will end 2009 below 4% and the economy will grow close to 2% this year, President Rafael Correa said Wednesday.

“The annualized inflation will be below 4%,” Correa said late Wednesday in a radio and TV address. “There is not recession. Ecuador will have a growth of about 2%.”  “We have faced the biggest world crisis successfully,” Correa added. Early Wednesday the central bank said the Ecuadorian economy overall is poised to expand 1% in 2009.  Ecuador’s gross domestic product grew 6.52% in 2008 while inflation reached 8.83%.  According to central bank data, Ecuador’s liquid international reserves stood at $4.0 billion as of Aug. 21.  Last week, the central bank president, Carlos Vallejo, said that the government will repatriate in the coming days some $300 million of Ecuador’s liquid reserves invested abroad.  Ecuador’s liquid international reserves include public-sector deposits with the central bank, revenues from oil exports, loans from multilateral lenders and minimum reserve requirements from private banks.  In May, the central bank established a liquidity requirement forcing private banks to keep at least 45% of their assets and investments in Ecuador to draw back cash and boost domestic liquidity.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise on…

Investment-diversification

Sunrise over Mount Imbabura.

Because I am diversified in Ecuador, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina, in 2007, I was selling Florida property at the top of the market.  I was buying Ecuador real estate with those returns. Now that Florida  is down and Ecuador real estate has risen,  I am selling Ecuador real estate and buying in Florida.

A huge portion of all profits in business and investing come from timing.  Most commodity, stock and real estate markets go through ups and downs.  If you plan your investments and liquidity so you sell only at favorable times, global investing diversification enhances your chances of always having assets someplace where there is a seller’s market.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise shot from our hotel Meson de las Flores.

So when you think Ecuador… or Mexico or Panama… or wherever…. also thing diversification.  The sun always shines somewhere and your changes of financial suntans increase when you diversify.

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 course 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.

internet-business-idea We always conduct our autumn North Carolina course on 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 for the October seminar.

Or head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-tours

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

In Cotacachi the weather is always spring like.  Here is the village plaza near 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-hotel

Let our friendly staff at Meson de las Flores serve you.

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

This shorts weather photo was taken from our beach penthouse in February.

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

Read the entire article Ecuador Inflation To End ’09 Below 4%

Ecuador & International Banking Update


Here is an important Ecuador & international banking update created by the wonderful world of mobility in which we live.

Our global mobility provides huge benefits… broadens our horizons and enriches mankind through global trade.   Yet being global also creates some problems… one of them is banking.

This site recently posted a message about Ecuador banks that began with, “I do not trust Ecuador Banks.”

This is not a slight on Ecuador.  This statement is a comment on the realities of trying to maintain control of one’s own wealth in an era where almost all governments are increasing control over money.

The banking article was followed by  another article stressing  the importance of diversification in Ecuador Diversified.

Here is a reminder of the importance of this information.  A couple of years ago I purchased a block of buildings in Ecuador planning to resell them.  I am according to plan selling them now and recently received a payment.

My attorney wrote this to me:

They deposited funds in my account last Wednesday to pay for the condo and asked me to send to you.  There is a 2% tax on money going out of Ecuador which was recently established, plus bank commissions.  I will wait for your instructions  to wire these funds to you.

There previously was a 1% tax but it has now been increased to two percent. This increase is not a big deal but a step in the wrong direction and a reminder that we should never trust any one country, currency or banking system.

I just sent our Ecuador Living subscribers an alert about one more Ecuador banking problem.  Ecuador Living subscribers click here.

Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Hence my mantra 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

Where to Bank

Knowing where to bank is a growing problem… especially for Americans.  Non Americans should read this article any as you’ll see that you are not exempt from this problem either.

Americans are being crushed between a rock and a hard spot.

The Rock. Many US banks will no longer accept Americans residing overseas because they have a foreign address. This has been caused by the US Patriot Act.  Banks have to know their clients so they refuse to accept (or keep) clients with overseas addresses, even Americans who have banked with them for decades, but change their address.  The following banks have been sited as closing accounts with just 30 days notice of long term customers just because they took on a US address: Ameriprise, Bank of America; Bank of New Hampshire; Citibank; Citizens Bank; Edward Jones, St. Louis; E- Trade; Fidelity Investments; INGDirect; JPMorganChase; Morgan Stanley; National City Bank in Riverview, Michigan; Provident Bank, Maryland; Smith Barney; T. Rowe Price; USAA Federal Saving Bank; Vanguard mutual fund; Wachovia; Washington Mutual; Washington Mutual Investment, Spokane; WellsFargo; Zions Direct.

The Hard Spot. At the same time the IRS has created a set of regulations that discourage non US banks from accepting Americans.

Many Swiss and British based banks will no longer accept Americans.

Here’s an excerpt from a 13, June 2009 Telegraph article entitled “Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge” by By Louise Armitstead:   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 letter sent to Bank of Scotland’s portfolio management division, which is now part of Lloyds, said: “The USA has a mature regulatory environment governed by its Securities and Exchange Commission. These regulations mean that we are not licensed to manage portfolios for US clients.”

The letter added: “Unfortunately we cannot offer an equivalent service from within Lloyds Banking Group.” Clients have been advised to transfer their assets.

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 Brits are no the only group shedding US account holders.

A July 12, 2009 USA Today article entitled “Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap”  by Kevin McCoy explains how other banks have booted Americans as well.  An excerpt says: The closely watched Justice Department court fight to get the names of 52,000 suspected American tax evaders from Swiss banking giant UBS has prompted some other foreign banks to drop U.S. clients they once welcomed, tax experts said Monday.

Eager to avoid a similar struggle with federal prosecutors, banks including Credit Suisse and HSBC in recent weeks have notified American clients they must close their offshore accounts or transfer them to the institutions’ U.S.-based operations, where tax reporting requirements are far stricter.

“Overall, the international banking community, and particularly the offshore banking community, has been very friendly to American account holders,” said William Sharp, a tax law specialist at the Sharp Kemm law firm in Tampa. “That changed in the past couple of months as a result of the UBS case.”

The Dutch were early in dropping American clients.

ABN AMRO, a huge, Dutch based, international bank gave all clients  with U.S. passports within 30 days notice in 2008 and then closed their accounts because of the  high costs to comply with U.S. regulations.

Expect this problem to get worse! Beginning in 2010 stronger US reporting rules will force even more overseas banks to stop accepting Americans.  They simply cannot afford to fill all the obligations.

Americans should not feel totally alone…nor should non US investors feel totally safe from being shut out of a banking center.

According to the British Times Newspaper, Barclays Bank used the US anti-terror laws to shut down the personal bank accounts of British citizens who were working for Iranian owned businesses.

The bank enforced anti-Iran sanctions under the US Patriot Act.  Accounts of Iranian owned companies that operated completely legally in Britain were shut.  But Barclays went much further. They amazingly shut down accounts of directors of these companies and even more amazing they shut the personal accounts of ordinary staff members, including clerical officers, computer engineers and bank tellers, just because they worked for an Iranian owned company.

Here is an excerpt from a June June 6, 2008 Times of London article entitled, “Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law:”  Barclays began the account closures in February, shortly after reports from industry sources that US Treasury agents had been touring the City of London putting pressure on financial institutions to withdraw from any form of business that might have Iranian links.

One source told The Times that City banks had been warned that they would lose access to the US market if they continued to deal with Iranian businesses. Barclays has extensive business interests in the United States.

Case study: Cast out in the supermarket

Chris was doing the shopping in Tesco when Barclays rang to tell him that his bank account was being closed. Later that evening his wife was told that her Barclays account, which she had held for 25 years, was also being closed.

Chris, 46, works in IT for Bank Saderat, and his wife is in the accounts department of Melli Bank. Both institutions are Iranian-owned. “They said it was because of sanctions but I knew there were no British sanctions on the banks. I asked them if they were responding to US laws and they said they didn’t have to give me a reason,” he said.

The couple opened new accounts with one of Barclays’ rivals but they had difficulty transferring standing orders, especially Chris’s child-support payments. He said: “I know that UK banks are being pressured by America to stop all dealings with Iran but what impact will it have to shut an English bloke’s account with an English bank? The Iranians won’t give a monkey’s. What upsets me is the lack of respect Barclays have for their customers.”

This last comment hit me strongly… the lack of respect many of the big banks have for their clients.

This is one reason I have enjoyed banking with Jyske Bank in Denmark for more than 20 years.  Jyske is big and well managed enough to be very safe, but small enough to provide genuine care and attention to the individual.

This is why I was not surprised that a number of years ago, Jyske made the decision to spend a lot of time, energy and money to comply with US law so they could continue to serve US as well as non US investors around the world.

This shift though has created some confusion. For example a Reader from the Netherlands sent me this note:  Hello Gary, Since beginning of this year we are subscribed to your newsletter. In your articles we read that it is possible to go to Jyske Bank and start doing multi-currency for about 30,000 dollars. We were very enthusiastic about this philosophy and asked the Jyske Bank for information. However we were very surprised when we got information back including the message that we have to start with $150,000 euro. Can you help us and maybe clarify the misunderstanding about this starting amount?  Thank you very much in advance!

The services and minimums required by Jyske Bank Private Bank (JBPB) for non US investors differs from those offered by Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) who serves US investors.

Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) offers Americans managed accounts, advisory accounts and IRA services to US clients.

JGAM’s managed accounts provide Americans with access to international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

There are two levels of managed accounts for US investors:

Mutual Fund Managed Accounts, $50,000 to $200,000.  Accounts from $50-200,000 are mainly  invested in mutual funds and ETF`s in order to get the appropriate diversification.

Individual Investment Managed Accounts from $200,000 up are mainly invested in individual securities as trading costs are not prohibitive for this size of account.

There are two forms of advisory accounts for US investors.

Advisory Accounts for US Residents.  Accounts for US residents are available and provide access to investments in currencies, commodities and US listed securities.

Advisory Accounts for Americans who are resident outside the US.   US citizens who are resident outside the US (proof of residence is required) have access to investments in currencies, commodities and all international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

The minimum required to start an advisory account is $25,000.

Because the minimum annual fee is  $1,000 JGAM recommends an initial deposit of minimum $50,000.

IRA accounts are managed accounts with more conservative investments than those in a normal  managed account.  IRA accounts require a minimum investment of $50,000.

Jyske Bank Private Bank offers the following services to non US investors.

Non US Clients can open accounts with minimum deposit of Euro 150,000 (approximately 220,000 USD), or equivalent in another currency.

JBPB works with six profiles:

Income profile. A low-risk profile, invested in currency accounts (cash) and/or traditional bonds.

Stable profile. A low-risk profile, invested in bonds (incl. high- yielding bonds), a small equity part.

Balanced profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on bonds).

Dynamic profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on equities).

Growth profile. A high-risk profile, invested mainly in equities and a lesser share in bonds.

Aggressive profile. A high-risk profile, invested almost exclusively in equities.

There are six managed strategy funds (available only in Euro) for investors who want managed services with minimum deposits of US$ 220,000. These six funds are based on the principles of asset allocation and match the investment profiles above so all investors can attain risk diversification, risk management with even a limited investment.

There is a full Discretionary Portfolio Management service for investors who want managed services with US$ 350,000 and above. This service is also based on the six strategies above. Jyske Bank will invest and manage the clients portfolio in close cooperation with the Bank´s experts and their network of international partners. These strategies are offered in EUR, USD, GBP, DKK and SEK.

Investors, who do not want managed services, and have accounts of US$ 220,000 or more, can wish to engage in an active dialogue with their advisers and be very involved in the decision-making process. based on the client’s investment profile. They can invest in currency accounts in a large number of currencies, all tradeable equities and bonds, mutual funds and commodities.

Here is one huge feature I like very much about both JBPB and JGAM…  No Jyske employees in  management, advisory services or any employee receives any kind of bonus pay. This eliminates any temptation for hidden agendas to exist.  Employees have no incentive give any advice or take any action that is not in the client’s best interest.

Technology has given great mobility to our wealth. This mobility is good for the individual and the global economy… but governments do not like this as they wish to control our finances.  The tension created by this struggle between the individual and the collective has created a never ending thrust and counter thrust of regulations and adaptions to these rules.  It is harder to maintain a diversified global portfolio than it used to be… but the effort is still worthwhile.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which 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 giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November our “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course” (offered at $299) free.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Thank you for your inspiration and information outlining foreign banking and retirement.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome for planning the steps to evaluate the early stages of living abroad.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

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

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

Read the full articles:

Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge

Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap

Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law

Ecuador Export & Southern Coastal Tour


We have added an October Ecuador southern coastal and a northern Andes real estate tour to our 2009 schedule.

This southern coastal tour will be conducted just before our final Ecuador export tour of the year conducted October 21 to 25.  The Andes real estate tour will be conducted just after the export tour so you can attend all three.

ecuador-exports

We’ll see fine gold encrusted art on the export tour.

Maggie Beesley conducts our export tours and she just sent me this note.

ecuador-exports

Leather products of all types.

Value, Value, Value.  Today’s economy has us all looking for value in everything.  In reading Gary Scott’s emails for the last two weeks, we are all learning about ways to help our dollars to go farther, as well as how and where to get wise values.

ecuador-exports

Wood carving.

October 21st thru October 24th we will be conducting another Import/Export class in Cotacachi, Ecuador.

If you are a reader of International Living, or Gary’s Ecuador Living, you know Ecuador is rated the number one country in the Retirement Index.

What does this mean?

Value is here, prices are incredible, cost of living anyone can afford and wonderful shopping.

Who should come to the class, why you should come, and what you will learn?

ecuador-exports

Botanical art.

In other words…what is this class all about?

•    Creating income
•    Finding those “one of a kind” treasures
•    Having fun doing the above two things

Of course, those are only three things.  You are going to learn to recognize true “finds”….know what your market will buy, and get all these wonderful treasures in your suitcase home safe and sound.

ecuador-exports

Ceramics.

We all know shopping is much different today than it was this time last year.  Last year we were still charging whatever we wanted.  This year we are paying cash for whatever we want.  People never spend as much if paying with cash.  So our mission in class is to find things for your market that are affordable, attractive, AND your people will happily hand over those hard earned dollars still allowing you a nice profit.

As I said this time last year, the main question I was asked “Do you take credit cards?”

I did a Bazaar yesterday and not one person charged anything.  The phrase of the day was “if I can’t pay cash for it, I won’t buy it.”  So right away I know some of the high end items that were selling left and right this time last year aren’t going to be my main sales today.

What have I learned?

Always be prepared to offer less expensive alternatives…not less quality, just more affordable for this cash market we are in.  The Credit Card Machine that was a must last year is an unneeded start up expense to you right now.

Don’t waste your money.  Plus the beauty of cash is that there are no additional charges from your bank to process those charges.  All a little more profit for you.  Yesterday at the Bazaar there were 16 vendors and I was the only one who had a credit card machine, and it sat, meaning at the end of the month, that “sitting” charge will cost me $48.00.

ecuador-exports

Jewelry

ecuador-exports

of many types.

ecuador-exports

Now for this class there is a little homework, but fun homework.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT…..I want each of you to think about what you would buy today?

I am not talking about groceries.

Ladies, is it that “to die for” pair of boots on sale, perhaps a leather purse, maybe a wrap for early fall, or decorations for the December holidays?

Guys, what would you buy today? Boots, new billfold/wallet, leather sports jacket, sweater? Just think about what you would spend your hard earned dollars on.

ecuador-exports

Top quality hand made suits at really low prices. This suit in french wool cost $135.

Your needs and wants are probably what will sell in your market, and that is what we need to look for.

Knowing your market is probably the most important knowledge you will take with you when making those purchases for resale.  Many of you already know about my red cape.  I love my red cape, however up in the Northeast my buyers are a little more conservative and red is not necessarily their first color of choice.

Gary Scott told me all about knowing my market, but I just love red.  I purchased 6 red alpaca capes plus 1 beige,  1 sage, 1 tan, 1 navy, and 2 black.

Yes you guessed it.

The red capes sat for a bit, but the neutral colors sold instantly and I could have sold more.  So I lost sales, and warehoused those 6 red capes until Christmas.  Moral to this story, please know your market.

ecuador-exports

Flowers.

Your SECOND ASSIGNMENT… Please walk around your shopping areas and notice what colors people are wearing. Go into the stores and see what is on display.  Look at every catalogue you get.  What are those colors everyone is looking at?  Purple is huge again in the catalogues and stores, but do you see your market going with the fashion trends?

Look at accessories.

Scarves, jewelry, purses, shawls and make note of the prices.  Accessories have a very high markup, and this is where we can really make our money.

You all have your assignments, so get to work.  In class I want to see pictures you have cut out of catalogues, and let’s see if we can’t find those same items in Ecuador for much better prices.  It is fun!

ecuador-exports

Textiles of…

ecuador-exports

many

ecuador-exports

types.

Look forward to seeing many of you in Ecuador.  By the way, if you haven’t made your flight reservations, there is what I call an “airplane sale” going right now for flights into South America. Grab those lower prices…and you just saved some money.  Maggie Beesley

ecuador-exports

Crafts of all sorts and much… much more.

You can enroll in the Ecuador Export Tour here.

Before Maggie’s Export tour you can join Amy Pinoargote and Mike Sager  for the Ecuador southern coastal tour.

We have been our expanding our focus in Ecuador and now are helping readers look in the southern coastal areas.

Ecuador beach property has always represented incredible value and this expansion means we can help readers see a much larger part of the Ecuador coast.

We are also adding an October northern Andes real estate tour as you will see below.

ecuador-beach-map

Those who have been reading our messages for any length of time know that we have focused our efforts on the middle portion of Ecuador’s beach from Manta to Bahia in the province of Manabi.

However there are many other great Ecuador beach areas that some of you want to visit.

I recently sent readers an article “SEE SALINAS LIKE A LOCAL” by Amy Pinoargote  that said:

Ecuador-beach-salinas

The Salinas Malecon area has long been a favorite destination.

Salinas is one of the favorite in Ecuador for good reasons.  It has beautiful beaches, with calm waters perfect for swimming, water sports, activities or just relaxing.   Along the Malecon, or beachfront promenade, you will find a variety of restaurants, hotels, bars and other attractions.  During the summer season there is even a giant sandcastle.  If you “tip” the sculptor $1, he will take your photo.  However, to really enjoy all that Salinas has to offer, you need to get to know it like a local.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Pose for a photo by the giant sandcastle

Salinas at a Glance

There are two seasons in Ecuador.  Summer runs from December to April and winter from May to November.  The summer in Salinas is usually sunny, with occasional showers.  Daytime temperatures reach the low to mid 80s and nighttime temperatures run in the low 70s.  The winter tends to be overcast to partially sunny, but not rainy.  The winter is actually the drier time of the year and temperatures run about 10 degrees cooler than during the summer.   Because Salinas is semi-arid, it doesn’t experience sticky, tropical humidity.  This makes a comfortable environment for outdoor activities all year long.

As with most beach towns, the dress code in Salinas is casual.  It is perfectly fine to go from beach to restaurant.  Along with your swimsuit, pack plenty of shorts and short sleeved shirts, plus pants and long sleeves if you are visiting in the winter months.   Have a sweater handy, as some days are cooler than others.

Where to Eat

The Salinas area is a prime spot to enjoy fresh fish and seafood, as well as other Ecuadorian specialties.

A great spot to sample those specialties is Delícias de Ecuador, located near the entrance to the Costa de Oro neighborhood on the main road that runs from Salinas to La Libertad.

Prices here are very reasonable.  The daily lunch special or “Almuerzo” includes a soup, entrée and beverage, usually priced at $2.50.

Don’t ask for changes or substitutions on the lunch special; it comes the way it is.  Other options include Seco de Pollo, which is chicken stewed in a tomato-based sauce, and Menestra, lentils or beans served with your choice of grilled chicken, beef or fish.

If a relaxing lunch at the beach, complete with a hammock for a post-meal siesta is your style, drive about 30 minutes north of Salinas to San Pablo.  In this fishing village you will find cabana style restaurants right on the sand, specializing in fresh fish and seafood.

Las Manabas restaurant is one of the best.  If you can’t decide what to order from the extensive menu, try the Chupe de Pescado (fish stew) or Corvina (a mild tasting sea bass), cooked to order.  Most meals run between $3 and $5.

Ecuadorians typically eat a big meal at lunch and a light dinner.

Roca Parilla is the spot to enjoy an Ecuadorian style dinner.  Located a block off the Malecon, it opens at about 6 p.m.  Place your order at the counter, then take your receipt to the grill.  Specialties, which are typically priced from 50 cents to $1 each, include:

Chuzos -shrimp, chicken, beef or sausage grilled on a skewer
Torta de Papa – potato pancake filled with cheese
Torta de Choclo – corn pancake (this one is usually a favorite!)
Muchín – a yucca croquet filled with cheese

No trip to Salinas is complete without a visit to the Cevicherías, casual outdoor eating areas a few blocks off the Malecon that specialize in ceviche.  Shrimp ceviche in a tangy salsa is a good choice.  Shellfish and fish ceviche are also available.  Be aware that the shellfish or fish will not be cooked in the traditional manner.  The citrus juice in the salsa is said to “cook” the fish.  If you have concerns about eating uncooked fish, go with the shrimp version, which is cooked.

Things to See

If you want to browse for souvenirs, visit Mercado de Artesanias, an outdoor flea market in the Chipipe area of Salinas, where you can buy a variety of Ecuadorian handicrafts.

To get a glimpse of days gone by, visit the Museo de Sumpa.  This small, but well thought out museum features exhibits of artifacts from the early residents of the Santa Elena peninsula, including the Las Vegas culture.  It also features a Las Vegas burial site of the “lovers of Sumpa,” mummified remains of two people that appear to have died in an embrace.  You can also tour a cane dwelling typical of those built by the early settlers.

Enjoy a relaxing evening drive a few miles across the Santa Elena peninsula to the Punta Carnero beach, where you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets in Ecuador.  On your way back to Salinas, pass by the Malecon of La Libertad and stop for an evening stroll.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Whether dining, sunsets or beach activities are your idea of a fun time, you will find it in Salinas.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Gerardo & Amy Pinoargote spend their time between their home in Florida and Salinas and together with relatives are building and managing Spondylus II, a small beachfront development in the Costa de Oro area of Salinas, about 2 miles from the Malecon.

This is an area they like due to its privacy, great beach for walking, sunbathing and water sports. Yet it is just a short ride to dining and shopping in the central area.

Spondylus II  is a family business consisting of three towers. Tower A1 is sold out, except for a ground floor ocean front 1000 square foot unit. Several one and two bedroom suites are still available in tower A2, priced from $49,500 to $50,500.

Larger 1300 square foot units are also still available, priced under $110,000. Tower B has just been release for sale and features larger units (1400 – 1500 square feet), in the $120,000 – $135,000 price range.

Spondylus II offers the following amenities… beachfront pool & social area, a workout center, 24 hour security and the Pacific Ocean as a front yard.  All units feature granite kitchen counter tops, tile floors, tile baths, inset ceiling light fixtures and wooden kitchen cabinets.

Now it is possible to see Salinas like a local with Amy and her husband acting as your hosts and guides.

Amy and Gerardo Pinoargote, along with American real estate broker, Mike Sager, will conduct a Ecuador southern coastal real estate tour October 15th through 18th.

On this tour you can get to know Salinas property and the real estate along the beaches north of Salinas.

This is an opportunity to view more than a dozen properties and get tips from experts who are living in this area right now.  You save time, risk and zero in with help from those “in the know”.

The tour makes your real estate investigation efficient and productive but also allows time for relaxing in the evenings and enjoying the beaches.  Plus as you’ll see in a moment could save you thousands should you ever decide to buy in this area.

Here are a few of the properties you’ll see:

•    New 2 bedroom condo located directly on a tranquil beach in popular Salinas… $55,000.

•    3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with ocean views in the most popular complex in Olon…. $100,000.

•    Large house on a ¼ acre lot near Montanita, complete with basketball court, ample parking and caretaker’s cottage that could be a bed & breakfast… $250,000.

The southern coastal tour package includes three nights accommodations:

Thursday, October 15 –  The tour fee includes a room at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.
Friday, October 16 – breakfast, transportation from Guayaquil to Salinas, lunch, Salinas area property viewings, happy hour and night’s stay at Coco’s or similar hotel in Salinas.

Saturday, October 17 – breakfast, Ruta de Sol property viewings (Ballenita to Montanita), lunch, night’s stay at Charo’s or similar hotel in Montanita.

Sunday, October 18 – breakfast, Olon area property viewings, lunch, tour of Salinas , return transportation to Guayaquil, night’s stay at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.

The tour will be limited in size but you can assure a space and save $100 if you reserve by September 1.

If you enroll today, the fee is $499 for one $998 for two.

Tomorrow the tour fee rises to $599 for one and $1,198 for two.

See how to save even more on multiple tours below.

The tour package does not include your flight.  You should plan to fly into Guayaquil on October 15th and depart from there on the 19th.  If you are attending the export and/or Andean tour we’ll help you join other delegates in Quito.

Save 2% on real estate purchase.

We are promoting this tour in cooperation with Gerardo, Amy and Mike and when we promote outside tours, we always ask for the tour operator to give something special to our Ecuador Living subscribers.

In this case,  Amy & Gerardo will provide Ecuador Living subscribers a 2% discount on any  Spondylus II condo purchase. This is possible because we do not accept real estate commissions and ask that the benefit of exposure to our large readership (this message will reach 16,572 readers) be pass onto our Ecuador Living subscribers.

Your tour does not have to end on the southern beach. As mentioned, you can then continue to Quito and Cotacachi for our October 21 to 24 Ecuador export tour.

Still more… Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Finally you can also join our October Imbabura real estate tour October 25-26, where we have also convinced developers and real estate sellers to pass savings along to our tour delegates in the form of  discounts.  For example the Prima Vera condos also offer a 2% discount to buyers from our tours.

Join us for one, two or all three tours.  Reduced tour fees apply for attending two or three tours.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura 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.

Gary

High Voltage International Investing


Here are some international investing ideas that could bring a shock.

We can add energy to our international investment portfolios with investments in green energy!

electric-car

Will the new Chevy Volt add energy into an investment portfolio?

But which green investments make sense?

Ecuador for example is regreening the Galapagos. We’ll see why and how in a moment.  Does investing there provide an opportunity?

Green and alternate energy is important because the world has a lot of wasted energy in modern lifestyles…. that the environment can no longer afford.

Investing in electric energy not always simple though.

One main rule of good investing is to invest in what you know.  Yet the nature of the next new era of productivity is unknown.

In the computer era, who knew anything about Windows when Microsoft began?  In the .com era who knew what impact the internet would bring?  How can we imagine the unimaginable?

Who knows what will be …”the thing” of sustainability in the future?

For example, a recent message Investing in Chaos looked at the ideas of investing in new battery technology.  The idea looked pretty good to me… but a reader just sent me this note:

Hello Gary,  Your columns are a daily joy to read for me, including yesterday’s “Investing in Chaos” and the article it referenced about Ceramatec’s ‘wonder battery’.  Being a specialist in renewable solar electric energy, I’ve read hundreds of articles over three decades written for purposes of sensationalizing hardware equivalents of software ‘vaporware’, and this one fits the bill perfectly.

Identifying truly new technologies possessing wide ranging, paradigm-busting potential, is not easy, especially for readers and investors depending upon what they read in popular sources like newspapers as being bona-fide journalism.

Having received a great deal of very high value from your writings, I thought I’d send back a few words given this topic is so near and dear to my own heart and personal passion for purity in all things energetic (physical and otherwise).

Because breakthrough technologies involving renewable energy – especially solar-electric (photovoltaic) power, including batteries of all types – is core and central to my own life career work as an electrical engineer and research scientist in this field, I believe I can offer your readers a bit of technical feedback:

First and foremost, it is valid that storage of electricity generated by photovoltaic solar power sources – in batteries of many types, sizes and costs – is nearly as vital a technology as the solar cells that charge them. The claim in this article, though, that Ceramatec’s battery ‘concept’ (NOT a product yet, by a very long shot)”… could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.”

This is a huge overstatement, to say the least.

In no way would their technology, if and when ultimately developed into a useful product, compare to any one of a long list of truly authentic alternative energy breakthroughs, such as: silicon semiconductors (solar cells), electronic devices (MOSFET transistors, integrated circuits galore), power conversion methods (inverters), optical lenses (fresnel and others), super-insulators (thermal barriers), or even plain old window glass (for passive heating and active heat collectors).

Although several errors and misstatements fill the article, one in particular really stands out.

Readers may recognize its error quickly when explained economically: …”With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery’s life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour”

Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in.

Knowing that batteries, like bank accounts, only store what’s put into them, the essential question  is: where do deposits come from, and what do they cost?

In solar energy systems, it’s solar energy in that equals energy out.  With the battery being not a SOURCE of energy but simply a ‘bank’, or RESERVOIR in which to temporarily store what’s generated by day for use at night.

Stating the daily cost of a battery (“less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour”), which, remember, supplies NO power (it only stores it) while in the same sentence making NO mention of the cost of what DOES supply the power, whether it be solar panels, wind turbines or just the normal electric-utility grid, implies at best and misleads at worst that the battery cost is all that counts, as if it were the SOURCE of the power itself.

And then comparing it so favorably to the cost of electricity from the utility (8 cents per kilowatt hour) which DOES SUPPLY ALL the power, is obviously grossly misleading; the TOTAL cost would be the sum of BOTH, or 3 + 8 or 11 cents per kilowatt hour!

Either the author has near zero understanding of what batteries do (store energy) and do not do (generate it), or as is often the case in local newspapers writing about local businesses, another agenda is being served.  To tell readers that “buckets deliver water cheap without being refilled”, can only cause misplaced interest.   Unfortunately, every bucket and battery and bank account must be refilled at some cost. The cost of the bucket should be, and usually is, nearly negligible. Cheap buckets do not mean cheap water.

Many thanks for all you do to bring so many new ideas, concepts, tools and awareness to all of us readers who tune into your thinking regularly.

The reminder from this reader provides a good lesson that we always have to use diligence in understanding the future. And aren’t we thankful when readers can come forth with information on these complicated subjects!  When we invest in new ideas and technology that we do not know… go slow!

The same questions can be raised about electric cars.

electric-car

The picture above is from a USA Today article entitled “Plug-in Fisker Karma car is stylishly environmental” by Chris Woodyard.  Here is an excerpt: Even as Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces prowled the avenue, the obscure silver sedan parked at the curb gathered its share of stares and curiosity.

The Fisker Karma, as it is called, has looks that rival a Mercedes-Benz roadster. Yet the key to what makes it different is emblazoned on the sides in chrome letters:

The maker, Fisker Automotive, is trying to carve out a niche in what is fast becoming a crowded field of next-generation electric vehicles: a high-performance eco-car loaded with style.

The company has taken more than 1,400 refundable deposits so far for the Karma, which has a starting price of $87,900 and can top $100,000. The car can be driven for 50 miles on electric power alone before its auxiliary gasoline engine fires up to generate more juice and extend the range to up to 300 miles. The engine never directly drives the wheels.

The point never mentioned is the cost of electricity to charge the Karma.

This cost may not be much… I do not know and this is the point.  Use diligence as we move into new technologies.

See Jyske TV for an interview with Henrik Fisker the head of this company

Galapagos Green

Even Galapagos is turning to solar and wind power. Every year, more than 140,000 tourists descend on Galapagos and the island’s population has tripled to nearly 30,000 in the past two decades. To support all those people, 10 million gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline are shipped to the Galápagos annually, a fifth of which is used just to generate electricity. Regular tanker traffic in one of Earth’s most fragile ecosystems is a disaster waiting to happen (just ask an Alaskan), so the Ecuadoran government is trying to go green. Naturally, the remote location involves challenges, but several projects to cut fuel use and boost protections are up and running, with more in the works. See how Galapagos is becoming more green here.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which 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 $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Merri, I am sitting here with a smile on my face.  I am always amazed at the turn around that I get from my emails to you.  I know you are busy with all of the projects that you and Gary address on a daily basis and appreciate very much you making time for mine.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

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

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

Read the entire USA Today article Plug-in Fisker Karma car is stylishly environmental

International Investment Purification


What is the difference between health and wealth? Not much, just WH.   They are very connected. Without good health, wealth may not last long…  nor is wealth very important when health fails, except to regain health.

We can apply an idea about having better health through purification, to enhance our wealth.  We can improve our wealth by removing toxic investments from our portfolio.

In a moment we’ll also look at investing in sustainable timber and see an Ecuador visa update.

sustainable-investment

Sustainable Timber.

First, let me begin with a purification health tip.

The tip is in the summer eat a watermelon.  Many ancient healing traditions (including Andean) view the body as having several elements including water, fire and air. Imbalances of these elements reduces energy, vitality, even leads to illness. The seasons too contain elements of fire, water and air. Water is predominant in spring, fire in summer and air in autumn-winter. Our bodies tend to accumulate these predominances during the season. In winter we have air imbalances (leading to dry throat called colds). In spring we pick up too much water (runny noses we identify as allergies, etc.). So at the beginning of each new season, it’s a great idea to clean the system out.

Watermelon is a cleanser of heat. During the summer the body accumulates heat.  Eat a whole, big watermelon if you can. This works in the summer when the flushing action removes excessive fire, water and air. The melon must be fresh, cut and eaten within 20 minutes. Watermelon is a sponge that absorbs and flushes free radicals from the system. If you let the melon sit after cutting, it oxidizes and loses its cleansing capacity.

Sound crazy? I thought so but tried it after watching a Shaman prescribe it for a woman suffering a severe rash (a summer fire imbalance). I felt so good, I make this a regular habit each summer. About once a month I eat only watermelon… three in a day if I can.

So how do we purify our investment & business portfolios?

One really simple tip for detoxifying your investment portfolio is to sell your losers and keep your winners.

This sounds awfully simple but forty years of working with investors has shown that most investors do exactly the opposite… except the pros. They all know… sell the losers.  Next time you invest, set a limit you will allow the investment to drop before you sell.  Stick to it!

The second trick is review your portfolio now. Are there any investments you hold that you would not buy right now?  Consider selling them. Take the loss and look for something better.

Another way to purify business and investments is to simply take a holistic long term view with expanded horizons.

Since we were looking at watermelon purification, let’s take investments in nutrition as an example.

Here is an excerpt from an article in Time magazine entitled “The Real Cost of Cheap Food” by Bryan Walsh:

Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He’s fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That’s the state of your bacon — circa 2009.

The U.S. agricultural industry can now produce unlimited quantities of meat and grains at remarkably cheap prices. But it does so at a high cost to the environment, animals and humans. Those hidden prices are the creeping erosion of our fertile farmland, cages for egg-laying chickens so packed that the birds can’t even raise their wings and the scary rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among farm animals. Add to the price tag the acceleration of global warming — our energy-intensive food system uses 19% of U.S. fossil fuels, more than any other sector of the economy.

And perhaps worst of all, our food is increasingly bad for us, even dangerous. A series of recalls involving contaminated foods this year — including an outbreak of salmonella from tainted peanuts that killed at least eight people and sickened 600 — has consumers rightly worried about the safety of their meals. A food system — from seed to 7‑Eleven — that generates cheap, filling food at the literal expense of healthier produce is also a principal cause of America’s obesity epidemic. At a time when the nation is close to a civil war over health-care reform, obesity adds $147 billion a year to our doctor bills. “The way we farm now is destructive of the soil, the environment and us,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House garden has so far yielded more than 225 lb. of organic produce — and tons of powerful symbolism. But hers is still a losing battle. Despite increasing public awareness, sustainable agriculture, while the fastest-growing sector of the food industry, remains a tiny enterprise: according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), less than 1% of American cropland is farmed organically. Sustainable food is also pricier than conventional food and harder to find. And while large companies like General Mills have opened organic divisions, purists worry that the very definition of sustainability will be co-opted as a result.

But we don’t have the luxury of philosophizing about food. With the exhaustion of the soil, the impact of global warming and the inevitably rising price of oil — which will affect everything from fertilizer to supermarket electricity bills — our industrial style of food production will end sooner or later. As the developing world grows richer, hundreds of millions of people will want to shift to the same calorie-heavy, protein-rich diet that has made Americans so unhealthy — demand for meat and poultry worldwide is set to rise 25% by 2015 — but the earth can no longer deliver. Unless Americans radically rethink the way they grow and consume food, they face a future of eroded farmland, hollowed-out countryside, scarier germs, higher health costs — and bland taste. Sustainable food has an élitist reputation, but each of us depends on the soil, animals and plants — and as every farmer knows, if you don’t take care of your land, it can’t take care of you.

Big problems create opportunity and investments in apparently obscure but sustainable food and energy ideas can help take toxicity out of your business as well as investment portfolio.

Sustainable may not seem profitable now… but neither did Microsoft when the idea of individual PCs began.

Sustainability is vital to our future. Sustainability is a huge problem and hence opportunity so though it will not arrive overnight…this is a sector we can invest in to detoxify our wealth.

Since we are connected to our investments… this process will also help us learn to eat and live better and help purify our health as well.

Sustainable Tables

Another way to purify your portfolio is to look for opportunities where you invest your own energy as well as your cash… like we are doing with our value added sustainable timber below.

Here is one little idea we are trying in our new little Blue Ridge Crafts business.

For years I have written that timber is a great investment.  Timber is the only commodity where the supply increases even when demand is down.  All you have to do during bad times… of low demand… like now is don’t sell.  Your timber continues to grow!

Now we are doing a business using dead timber and adding value!

We are turning dead wood, like this poplar log, into a business.

sustainable-investment

This poplar sitting right behind our house died a few years ago and dropped branches on the house all winter. This spring we trimmed off the branches and last week brought it down… cut it in three pieces and dragged them to one of our fields.

We set up a portable mill and…

sustainable-timber

cut over a thousand board feet of nice poplar planks.

sustainable-investment

We also…

sustainable-timber

cut one huge 13 foot long slab for a table top so if anyone is interested in a 12 foot poplar table… that you help design yourself… let us know.

This is a pretty small step towards sustainability but if we all think about ways to purify our investments, our business and body, our health and our wealth…at the big level and small will improve.

Ecuador Visa Update

A reader who travels frequently in business asked how to handle  the fact that Ecuador immigration policy does not allow a new resident to leave for more than 90 days a year for the first two years.

We checked with one of our Ecuador Living advisers, an attorney who specializes in immigration, who replied:

Please notice that in theory all resident visas come with the obligation not lo leave Ecuador for more than 90 days a year in the first two years.

Nevertheless, please be advised that authorities until now have not automatically removed a resident visa for this matter.

We have noticed that once the visa is stamped and if the passport is valid for more than two years, then you do not need to go to the Ecuadorian immigration authorities for anything else. This reduces the risk of the authorities reviewing how long you have you been outside of Ecuador during the first two years.

A good number of our clients have obtained the resident visa and have been outside of Ecuador far more than the 90 days with no complication whatsoever.

Anther option is to travel into Ecuador on a tourist visa which allows a stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days every year and this can be extended  for 90 days more.

Whether you want to live, do business or and invest in Ecuador, Smalltown USA or anywhere in the world… if you think sustainable, you are thinking… the future. This is a great place to be.

Gary

How We Can Serve You

Read the entire article “The Real Cost of Cheap Food” here.

South Ecuador Beach Property


New ideas offer great opportunity so our south Ecuador beach property tour has attracted attention.

In a moment we’ll look at another green battery thought. First here is a south Ecuador beach real estate advertisement placed by our friend and attorney, Dr. Andres Cordova.

ecuador-beach-property

I’m glad to see you are doing a coastal series.  I have a program that can provide your readers with opportunity, value, service, new horizons and community.

I am very focused on Salinas real estate, especially in the Punta Carnero area.  The trend is focusing on Punta Carnero, where good planning and zoning and great initiatives will create a major opportunity. It can be the example of what Salinas could have been. It’s very early on in the process, hence the major opportunity.

I see tremendous potential and if investors and buyers are to get at the beginning of the wave that’s coming, timing is of the essence. Those who come in early on will reap the most rewards. Elements are coming together, synergy is ensuing; this is snowballing big time. Once I explain why I believe this to be occurring you to will see it as vividly as I do.

ecuador-beach-property

South Ecuador beach photo from Dr. Andres Cordova.

My idea is to not only offer value, but also services, information and structures to help investors and expats take the plunge with the most happiness, with the least stress. It’s about quality of life and sound investing.

My plan entails 6 participations of $35.000 each. Let me explain the process:

–          Each participant invests $35,000.
–          A 0.5 beachfront property in Punta Carnero is purchased and placed under a trust.
–          A 12 story, 36 condo building is designed for the lot.
–          A preconstruction sales campaigned is launched.
–          Once 30 condos are sold the investors will get a 2 bedroom, ocean view condo each, valued at $135.000.
–          The trust guarantees pre-construction buyers and investors too.
–          If project does not take off in a limited time, trust will sell the property and reimburse investors.

An investment of $35,000 offers the chance of a $135.000 condo in 18 – 24 months. The cost of the land at the time should very well suffice to cover the investment and then some.

We want to really, really stand apart on virtues of value, good design and really understanding the wants and needs of our prospective customers. We have a major teamed lined up to pull this through. I can explain the opportunity to great depth; it makes for a very compelling case.  Andres.

Andres email address is afcordova@accessinter.net

We have not reviewed this opportunity and investors should use all due diligence.

See more about the South Ecuador Beach Real Estate Tour

New Green Investing Battery Thought.

Yesterday’s message looked at a green investing opportunity for major advances in battery technology.

Several readers sent comments like this:

Hi Gary,  Thanks for your article.  I believe that you are on to the right track in looking for ways to store renewable, energy, especially PV & wind, with batteries.  I came to this same thought sometime ago and, after some research, it lead me to Zenn Motor Co. (ZNNMF).  They now own about 10% of EESTOR, which is close to presenting a truly revolutionary energy storage device.  It is essentially a high efficiency capacitor.  I won’t go into the technical aspects because you can read more than you want on some of the blogs.  If the product works even remotely close to what they are projecting, it will cause tremendous and positive change in our world.  If it doesn’t, I will have lost a few $, but the risk still looks worth it to me.

I googled  Zenn Motor Co. (ZNNMF) and read a lot of positive data about this but also saw some negative information.  This is a very high risk venture deal and I am not a penny stock venture risk taker but those of you who are may find this of interest.

Another high risk environmental share that is far more interesting to me is a far more stable company, Vestas, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer.  Vestas was one of the big winners in our green portfolio that we created with Jyske Bank.  Jyske is currently recommending  Vestas. You can see why at Jyske TV’s latest Financial Friday.

This show also shows why the US dollar may rise in the short term, but is likely to fall long term and also looks at why no Asian currency is ready to take over as reserve currency of the world.

The greatest opportunity (and risk) always comes from new ideas.  Whether  in new technology or in new places… those who jump into the winners first make the most.   Portfolio theory shows that a well managed small diversification into higher risk deals enhances the overall return of a portfolio without creating a great deal of more volatility in the portfolio.  So until next message, may all your risks be great ones.

Gary

Combining good international risk investments with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.  For details contact Steven Stark at sstark@perfgogreen.com

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 $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the way we help: I really enjoy your Ecuador e-mail every day, especially because of the eclectic nature of the subjects. The recent postings on Loja were great, as my wife and I visited Loja for two nights and a day when were were in Ecuador last March. It is a beautiful town, and we met some very nice people there.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

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

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