Tag Archive | "businessman"

Ecuador Demonstrations


There were some Ecuador demonstrations last week.

ecuador-demonstrations

This and the AP photos below by Dolores Ochoa show Ecuador protesters blocking the Pan Am Highway. See excerpts of the related article below.

Merri and I are used to these Ecuador protests as they are part of life in Ecuador. Though we have not seen any Ecuador demonstrations for several years,  they represent a good part of the Ecuadorian way and I am proud of how the  people exercise their democratic rights…. peacefully… but effectively.

The French use demonstrations as well and remember France is where many of the current ideals of democracy as we know them and processes that helped the industrial revolution really begin.

Yet the French leave cars flipped and shops burned. Remember what they did to some of their royalty!  In Ecuador violence is rarely the case.

ecuador-protests

Part of Ecuador’s political problems are created because the majority of the population are very poor… and poorly educated… but they are gaining.  This is Maria…  excited to be headed on her first day to university to study tourism management through a scholarship provided by our foundation, Land of the Sun.

Merri and I have been in the midst of several Ecuador demonstrations.  Our first protest party took place many years ago in the 1990s.  We had to get a friend from Latacunga, (one of the most active places for demonstrations), to Quito airport.

There is a “moving through Ecuador road blocks art” that we learned.

ecuador-protests

Ecuadorians are by nature friendly and easy going. Violence is rare… in their protests, crime or politics. These girls attend the Topo Grande school that Land of the Sun foundation is assisting.

In that first protest adventure we were with a yatchak… in his car… a four wheel drive. This meant that  a lot of the demonstration avoidance tactics came in the form of driving down railway tracks, through football fields and for quite some distance on the grassy path that formerly was the Incan trail.

Eventually however one meets a roadblock.  On that trip the yatchak did most of the work. As gringos we stayed in the car and let the yatchak do the talking.  Most road blocks are more like street parties… the blockers only half serious. There are generally two types of demonstrators… those with a real gripe and the majority who see the demonstration as a sort of fun time.

If you meet up with the party types… usually a dollar or two is a sufficient consideration to be able to move on IF one approaches the road block correctly… never with pushiness or aggression.

If one meets up with those who have a true grievance… the process is more difficult but usually  an earnest listen to their complaint… a murmur of agreement, some sympathy and an explanation of why you need to pass through, with perhaps a dollar or two will open the block.

In that first trip, the taxi drivers had the complaint… so they were the hardest nuts to crack… but the yatchak never failed.  Gentle words… appreciation for their plight and explanation of our own problems always opened the gates.

That trip to the airport took much longer than normal… one does not rush through these events… but we were able to help our friend board his plane on time.

Our second Ecuador demonstration trip took place on the day before one of our seminars in Ecuador.  Talk about terrible timing!

We always met delegates when they arrive at the airport the day before the seminar so we needed to travel from Cotacachi to Quito.  Normally we would make the two hour trip via the Pan American highway.  But Otavalo is another major, strong point for demonstrations.

We have developed a network of friends across the country so we knew that the Pan American was tightly closed.

So we headed down the back roads with an intrepid taxi driver who knew the ropes.

At each road block I would lay down in the back seat, close my eyes and groan.  Owh owh owh.

Merri, looking as pathetic as possible, rambled on “Me esposa necesita un hospital”.

The taxi driver requested clearance to the “hospital” and offered a few dollar for the favor.

This worked half way to Quito.  However there are some road blocks that just cannot be passed.  We found such a place where one group had dug a large pit through the road.

ecuador-demonstrations

Another AP photo shows how some road blocks cannot circumnavigated.

Here I experienced a major recovery from my illness, grabbed our suitcase and we walk through the burning tires… NOT LOOKING ANYONE IN THE EYE.

The only hangup came when our hound dog Ma became tangled in the wires from burned tires. On the other side of the road farmers awaited with their pickups.   For $20, they were willing to give us a lift into town. The normal two hour journey turned into six…. but we were there, smiling when our delegates arrived.

The demonstrations (as with those last week) lasted only a day and we accompanied our delegates on the bus back to Cotacachi next day on the Pan American highway.  No one really suffered.

In short Ecuador demonstrations can range from kinda fun to frustrating… but rarely dangerous… as long as one takes their time, remains passive and avoids getting involved.   These Ecuador demonstrations, are in my opinion, a good part of Ecuador’s democratic process.

I expected political tensions to tighten in January… but they seem to be winding up sooner.

Here is my thinking why there will be more political turmoil in the months ahead.

Part of Ecuador’s political problem began over 500 years ago when the Spanish began colonizing the area that is now Ecuador. The system favored a few at the expense of the majority and has remained that way.

Today the majority of the population is indigenous….but historically have had little political power and they have the smallest portion of wealth and income. Here is a resident of the village of Topo Grande.

ecuador-protests

Slowly they have become increasingly organized and must be considered as a political power that now determines elections.  Yet due to the fact that they still remain among the poorest sector of the population, they also understand the global economy the least.

Almost every Ecuador president, since Merri and I began living in Ecuador, has been elected in part by making promises to poor people, like this lady above, that could not be kept.

President Correa is included in this definition and had two added benefits… his ability to speak Quichua (the indigenous language) and high oil prices when he entered office.

Oil revenues provide the major part of the government’s income and the high prices allowed Correa to keep many of his promises in his first years in office.

Then oil prices dropped and the government began cutting back.

This put so much pressure on the government income that in July 2009 it sold a billion dollars of oil to the Chinese.

An excerpt from a Reuter’s article entitled “Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador ties” explains as it says:  QUITO (Reuters) – Oil-hungry China is moving to strengthen ties with OPEC member Ecuador, part of a global trend in which the Asian giant is providing billions of dollars in financing to producer nations to guarantee energy supplies.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the country will receive $1 billion as advance payment for future oil sales to China. Ecuador sends most of its oil to the United States, and is trying to diversify its market.

Details remained unclear on Monday. But China, the world’s second biggest petroleum consumer after the United States, is striving to cement better ties with resource-rich Ecuador.
Chinese company Sinohydro is bidding for a contract with Ecuador to build a $2 billion hydroelectric plant in the country.

In addition, the leftist Ecuadorean government says it is in talks with Chinese companies interested in investing in the Manta air base, which the U.S. Army is due to leave in September. Ecuador wants to build a commercial airport in Manta.

According to the Chinese customs office, China imported 326,000 tonnes of crude oil from Ecuador in the first four months of 2009.

Ecuador is the fifth largest producer of crude oil in South America after Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. It produced 486,000 barrels of crude oil a day in May.

Impoverished Ecuador faces a liquidity crunch due to low oil prices. The government’s recent debt default has shut the country off from the international capital markets.

Here is how one sharp Ecuador businessman explained the problem to me.

The government took payment now on 30% of its future oil, beginning next January to balance the current budget. How will it balance its budget next year with only 70% of its oil?

This leaves the Ecuador government only two options… higher gas prices… a factor beyond its control… or a cut back which means breaking more election promises.

That’s why it made sense to me that demonstrations would start next year not now.

However I was wrong. On hearing of the demonstrations I wrote to a network of friends and contacts across the country to get people’s opinions. Here are some of the replies I received.

Business person from Manta:

Dear Gary, Today Sunday the indigenas stared to make groups in different places of Guayaquil  and especially Quito. It Iooks like they want to make strikes tomorrow and to close main roads especially in highlands areas.   Until this moment everybody is quiet and nobody worries over  that situation.  The people are asking for solutions to water problems and something more.,

I think we have to see what happens tomorrow and hope that there is nothing more than a one day demonstration.

The Real Estate Tour in Manta was very good yesterday.  The people were very nice and it looks like two couples and two men are planning to stay in Manta to see more properties.

Demonstrations have been brewing and are now taking place on two fronts.

One of them regards schoolteachers that are part of a much politicized association called UNE (Union Nacional de Educadores – or National Teachers Association) who opposes the widely celebrated regime effort to bring higher quality to public schooling via teacher examination and training.

UNE appears to be divided in this and the government is gaining ground in this legitimate endeavor.

The other front regards mostly the indigenous population (also somewhat divided), who opposes the draft for the new Water Law, claiming that it will “privatize” water, something that has no grounds.

They say that they have not been taken into account in drafting it and that it has elements for the privatization of water. Please note that the indigenous peoples of Ecuador are very dependent on natural water sources for their livelihood.

The indigenous population is adept at closing-off highways in very disruptive demonstrations.

So far it seems that the demonstrations have been mostly mild but it’s hard to tell if they will flare-up big time.

The indigenous people also oppose the new mining law on environmental grounds. The general public believes this new mining law is important as it provides environmental safeguards but also allows the exploitation of our mineral riches under a better framework. There are always tradeoffs of course.

President Correa’s Government keeps a very high level of support amongst the population and has been extremely able to defuse situations like this, even though it has had a confrontational stance.

Change brings discomfort and demonstrations are part of our culture. I hope and trust they fade away amidst inclusive dialogue.

It seems that by Tuesday the demonstrations were defused. The biggest supporters have lifted their demonstrations in order to start a dialogue process.

Some fringe groups still remain protesting but for the most the demonstrations should be over now.  Best regards,

Business Person from Puerto Viejo

Hi Gary, Sorry I could not get back to you before.

As you probably know already, demonstrations have been going on this week.  There  are several groups such as teachers (UNE), indigenous people (CONAIE), high school and university students and other small groups who have gotten together protesting against different things they consider that violate or diminish their rights:  all of them have in common their opposition to the government, although the majority of them were part of the government in the past .

Each of the group is protesting against a particular law that is about to pass in the congress:  CONAIE  are against Ley del Agua or a law which regulates water and that in their opinion privatizes the water.  UNE or the teachers are against a new law of secondary and elementary education and also against some regulations that will reduce their salaries.  Students are also against  the law of university education which will not allow to have private universities in the future.  Of course political parties are also involved in these demonstrations.

CONAIE is now splitt and having talks with the government so I do not expect their strike to be as strong as in the past.  UNE  or the teachers are the ones that seem to be stronger and they are right now in their third week of protest.

Please let me know if you need more information or comments on these issues.

Kind regards,

Vilcabamba Teacher:

How are you?  I just read a little about this problem in my Country.  You know I feel sad about it because the only people who suffer the consequences are the students, right now the public schools and some universities are closed, students are in their homes.

UNE (national union of teachers) is protesting for 3 reasons:

1) The Ministerio de Education did some kind of administrative process against the teachers who did not do a test (I do not what kind of test) before, this administrative process could cause a teacher to be fired, so, UNE do not accept this process.

2) Also UNE protests about the new reforms in the law that reduce 1.5% of their salary.

3) UNE protests because a new law says that school´s authorities should get a commission of service without a salary.  Regards

Quito Businessman

Hi Gary,  There are 2 ways to read into this:

1.  Correa is trying to clean up the mess that Ecuador’s education system has grown into over the years, with UNE, the main teachers’ association becoming a by-product of the left wing political party MPD.  He has run into opposition and this has lead to the UNE’s strike which started last week.

He is also trying to put some order into the way water rights are distributed and managed in the country, thus angering CONAIE (whom he no longer needs as a political support base because through the same CONAIE and Pachakutik he has gained direct access to the indigenous people by providing them housing, infrastructure, etc.).

Now it turns out that the UNE strike will tie into the CONAIE demonstrations, and things could turn nasty next week.

2.  Correa has become obsessed with his power, and as such is trying to get control of every aspect of Ecuadorians’ life, including education, the use of land and water, the economy in general and of the production and industrial sector (taxing importers out of business in order to support local industry).  In doing so, he has alienated many of his former allies and has made worst enemies of his former foes.  This is unsustainable in the long run and the first signs that his government is heading into severe difficulties are starting to appear.  As you are aware, Correa has a very aggressive political style, criticizing his opponents and trying to make anyone who does not support him look bad and ridicule.  This has its cost and now Correa may be starting to pay the price.

Frankly speaking, I do not know how serious that is.  The main support of Correa’s “Citizens Revolution” has been the poor people.  If they start to turn against him, I do not think he will fare very well.  On the other hand, these demonstrations may just be caused by a minority of UNE and CONAIE, in which case, they will pass and it will be business as usual in Ecuador.   It is hard to tell at this time, but one thing that is for sure is that people are starting to run out of patience with respect to Correa.  We will have a clearer picture by next Monday, because it will be possible to gauge how strong and successful CONAIE’s closing of roads turns out to be.  Best,

Loja Businessman:

University and high school teachers have been protesting the elimination of a 1.5% payment and a couple of other issues. These protests began last week.

This is normal in Ecuador particularly by the union involved. They like to do this in the beginning of the school year.

The police are involved which makes this more serious, but I don’t know how serious.

Guayaquil businessman:

Gary, I do not see it so bad.

Ambato Investor:

By the way, from reading the article, it is not so against the Correa-Government.  Nonetheless, there has been some small protests in Ambato as well.

Coastal Businessman

Gary, thanks..I am in San Clemente and no demonstrations here!

The students and the teachers have always spent most of the time demonstrating..but of course the government thought they would avoid demonstrations against them with the “peoples revolution” slogan..

The indigenous people seem to want to march again against the new mining law and the governments intent to start big scale mining operations to improve finances..

I do not think any of these demonstrations will be even close in size to what they used to be during previous governments..basically because all these movements supported the government and it’s policy and many still do..They also lack the charismatic leaders they once had.

Regards,

This last comment seems to be supported by excerpts of an Associated Press article entitled “Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws”: The Associated Press  QUITO, Ecuador — Hundreds of Indians blocked Ecuador’s Pan American highway in several provinces Monday with rocks, tree trunks and burning tires to protest new water, mining and oil laws.

Their leaders suspended the protest late Monday, saying the government had promised to talk about their objections.

The Indians contend the proposed the laws threaten their lands and will privatize water resources. Leftist President Rafael Correa disputes that view, and the ruling party-controlled legislature has been expected to approve the laws.

Monday’s protests on the main national highway paled in comparison to protests that ousted Ecuadorean presidents in 2000 and 2005.

ecuador-demonstrations

Third AP photo from this article.

Things are improving. Ecuador’s indigenous are getting richer and better educated.

ecuador-protests

Enrique is one of the excellent Cotacachi indigenous builders who is developing homes in Cotacachi. He is among a growing sector of hard working, highly successful and dependable indigenous businesses that help form a strong, integrated  middle class in Ecuador.  Be sure see to see some of Enrique’s houses at this site next week.

Ecuador demonstrations are a part of Ecuador’s democratic process.  Since moving to Ecuador I have seen many presidents comes and many go… very few serving their full term… a process I like better than having a bad president last.    President Correa has enjoyed a time without Ecuador protests because of high oil prices and his willingness to default on Ecuador bonds.  That former decision is now biting him back… along with low oil prices… so more and more are saying… “throw the bum out”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this at home?

Gary

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

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

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

This is why I am willing to pay you $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.

See details of the two seminar below.

ecuador-seminars

Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

ecuador-exports

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador textiles like these I photographed in Otavalo are popular.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course:  Gary & Merri –
I know why I get a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling when I see your two names in the ‘From’ column of my emails!  I sincerely hope that others are getting that same satisfaction.  Thank you both again for the help and assistance in getting to Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

“Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador tieswww.reuters.com/article/GCA-Oil/idUSTRE56C6FF20090713

www.thestate.com/world/story/962859.html?RSS=untracked
Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws

Investing in Chaos


Many recent messages have looked at living, business and investing in chaos during times of turmoil and change.

investing-in-chaos

Ecuador at times may seem chaotic.

Chaos is caused by transition from one wave of productive technology to another.

Investors and businesses who understand this have an enormous advantage because they know to look for the next wave.

In a moment, we’ll look at the potential for chaos in Ecuador.

First, let’s look at some positive chaos that could ruin some basic utilities but also create millions (maybe billions) for some businesses and investors.

The industrial revolution has been a time of continual chaos.  There was a time of turmoil when mankind shifted from steam technology to the internal combustion engine. Investors who had been big in railroads (but were smart) shifted to investing in automobiles and trucking and bus lines.

Then chaos came again when the jet engine made the airplane a more effective form of transportation than long distance.  Bus travel and smart investors shifted from Greyhound into airline shares.

In the information era; the PC, Internet (and Microsoft) became the major carrier of mankind and investors who saw this potential once again jumped ahead of the pack.

Where do we go next?

One new wave of technology may come in a product we all take for granted…. creating what I would call the independence era. Let’s just look at the break through.

A forward looking reader sent me the Utah Daily Herald article “New battery could change world, one house at a time” by Randy Wright.

Here is an excerpt:  On a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.  — a new generation of deep-storage battery that’s small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America’s antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices.

The convergence of these two key technologies — solar power and deep-storage batteries — has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

With small-scale electrical generation taking place at millions of individual homes — as opposed to today’s large-scale power generation from a handful of giant power plants — there would be less worry about what’s called “point failure” on the grid. That’s when a single component gets knocked out and shuts off power to a whole region. California-style rolling blackouts would be history.

The threat of terrorism has heightened the worry. But wide distribution of batteries in homes would virtually eliminate it.

Inside Ceramatec’s wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions — electrically charged particles — back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It’s amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it’s both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn’t want your kids around one of these.

The essence of Ceramatec’s breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. 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. Five kilowatts over four hours — how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That’s a pretty exciting place to live.

And then you recharge. With a projected 3,650 discharge/recharge cycles — one per day for a decade — you leave the next-best battery in the dust. Deep-cycling lead/acid batteries like the ones used in RVs are only good for a few hundred cycles, so they’re kaput in a year or so.

How do you recharge? By tapping your solar panels or windmills. It’s just like plugging in your cell phone or iPod, only you plug in your house.

A small three-bedroom home in Provo might average, say, 18 kWh of electric consumption per day in the summer — that’s 1,000 watts for 18 hours. A much larger home, say five bedrooms in the Grandview area, might average 80 kWh, according to Provo Power. Either way, a supplement of 20 to 40 kWh per day is substantial. If you could produce that much power in a day — for example through solar cells on the roof — your power bills would plummet.

“Batteries and PV are about to merge,” said MIT’s Nocera, using the shorthand for “photovoltaics” or solar power. “First Solar is now saying that it takes $1 a peak watt to manufacture, and another 80 cents for installation. So they’re saying that you can get PV for under $2 a watt. That’s a reduction of cost by a factor of four. Only a few years ago, it was $8. If CoorsTek and Ceramatec come up with a good battery, the market will develop quickly.”

The long-term impact of home electric generation for a power company’s business model could be huge. After all, you can’t stay in business if nobody’s paying for power. Exactly how that will play out remains to be seen.

This technology is new to me… but seems breathtaking and loaded with opportunity.  Please send any thoughts, ideas, information or opinions you have.

Before you invest though, remember the golden rules of investing.

1. Money isn’t everything
2. Work only with people you like
3. Buy businesses, not stocks
4. Invest only in what you understand
5. Don’t over diversify
6. Keep looking for new opportunities
7. Buy businesses you plan to keep for life
8. Look for businesses that are available at a good price
9. Do what you like

Potential Ecuador Chaos

investing-in-chaos

The people of Ecuador are friendly and happy.

There is some potential for change in Ecuador that could benefit those moving and investing there.

First, let’s look at the cause of the turmoil.  A recent message entitled Investing Internationally shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to take back a number of radio and TV frequencies stations. We promised to stay tuned to what happens and share observations and opinions from trusted sources in Ecuador about this.

Since that time, the Western press has published even more bad sounding news.

A recent AP article entitled “Ecuador Wants Citizen Committees To Defend Gov’t” said:  QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador wants to create local citizen committees that would defend the government and its “revolution” — sparking criticism that the president aims to control opponents in a system reminiscent of Cuba or Venezuela.

Citizen Participation Minister Doris Soliz told Ecuador TV on Thursday that local citizen groups are needed to defend against coups like the one that recently deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, or against outside agitators, noting U.S. military plans to use Colombian bases.

Other articles covered lots of rhetoric from Venezuela’s President about winds of war in the area (Chavez’s commenting on the announcement that the US would place military in Colombia).

Since the daily press distort, dramatize and magnify the negative; here are more comments from Ecuadorian business people with this comments.

Dear Gary: Sorry for the delay in my reply.  Correa is an unpredictable president.  On one hand he tries to emulate everything Chavez has done in Venezuela.  It is clear that Chavez gave him millions to finance his political campaigns and now he is obligated to do whatever Chavez wants.

On the other hand, he knows how far he can push the people of Ecuador.  If he is not careful, he can end up like Zelaya in Honduras.  I see strong confrontations coming if he tries to close radio and TV stations like Chavez did.

As you say in your reports.  We all need to be diversified in order to avoid problems in one place and not have anywhere to go in thing go bad.  I do believe the Ecuadorians are not as passive as the Venezuelans, and if Correa pushes too far he will find out. Let’s wait and see.

I agree with this reader. Ecuadorians are an independent people, and I have watched them (peacefully) oust a number of Presidents who abused their power.

Here is another opinion from one of my many sources.

Gary,  My comments are just some personal opinions and for that reason I prefer that I not receive any credit.   There is some noise going around that Correa wants to have “block leaders” who will report back to the government of any dissent. You can imagine what this means. Stifling dissent. It is a time to be careful and hope the Ecuadorian military remains faithful to the people of Ecuador. While there are so many needs and opportunities in Ecuador to be attended to, one could ask why does the president feel it is necessary to be out speaking of “winds of war blowing” against Colombia?
Anyway, it all comes with the territory of being in the Latin governmental world I suspect.  If the leaders were just humble people looking to improve the lot of their people instead of being megalomaniacs hell bent on being Castro or Hitler, life would be easier for all.

investing-in-chaos

Here are children in a parade in Cotacachi.

Readers should note that it was not Correa, Ecuador’s president who made the comment about Winds of War but Chavez of Venezuela. A lot of press makes it sound like Correa is much more closely aligned with Chavez than I believe he is.  Good or bad, I do believe that Correa is his own man and is pretty independent.

Here is another comment by an Ecuadorian with a great political and historical background.

Thanks for asking.  Correa. He is all right.  His big problem is being too young.  There is
a proverb in Spanish “mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo”.  (
The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil). That is Correa’s problem.  He is not old enough.  Velasco Ibarra who was president five times, was very much like Correa, when he was young. When he grew older he became much more sedated.

Again I agree with this. Everything I have seen has led me to feel that Correa has many good intentions and is trying to correct many wrongs and has a big job.  In his youth he may be too ambitious and impatient.  Time, inertia and politics should correct a lot of that!

Here are more comments.

He usually talks too much.  He talks every Saturday for 3 or 4 hours continuously.  It is not highly recommendable to quote him or mention his speech. Sometimes he just changes his mind. Or does not follow what he mentioned in the previous weekend.

That could describe more than one politician!

I have met the President a couple of times. He actually stopped next to us on the street at 9pm at night and met our son and was very sincere and asked what we thought about how things were here in Ecuador.  He is very headstrong, but I think that he is a very intelligent guy and he knows how to negociate  and what it is going to take for Ecuador to become a stable economy and that is with foreign investment and tourism.

Again this is the way I see it as well.

This is from a Quito businessman:

Dear Gary:  Many thanks for sharing the concerns some of your readers have about President Correa. I get some emails on the subject too.  I should start by saying that I am no fan of President Correa,  far from it. I don’t particularly like his discourse as if from the union trenches of the 60s and 70s.

Some of his economic policies seem to go counter current and his relative closeness with Chavez is a blemish.

Nonetheless, there are merits too, amongst which is great effort in improving education and health care. Also, in attempting to fix some wrongs and distortions we’ve had on several fronts.

In spite of Correa’s antics, Ecuador continues to offer, and perhaps more so than ever, rather remarkable opportunities for real estate investors, visitors and expats.

Let me explain:

The new, fresh-out-of-the-oven, Ecuadorian Constitution states, following with the tradition of the previous one, that foreigners have exactly the same rights as Ecuadorians under the law.

Furthermore, private property is protected under the law as one of the main pillars of our economy. Confiscation is prohibited and eminent domain (expropriation) situations are extremely rare, much less so than what they would be in Miami, London or Toronto for that matter.

While some people may believe that Correa is not particularly pro foreign investment, the reality is that Ecuador, just as the next country, needs investment to prosper and, hence, the President is very welcoming of it, he just demands responsible practices.

While the pitfalls of politics-as-usual and nationalistic grandstanding in Ecuador, can and does preclude some major investments from coming in (picture hydroelectric, oil exploration, etc), for most of us, of your readers Gary, this should not be a problem.

Regarding the Government’s stance towards foreigners coming to Ecuador and investing here, something quite nice and reassuring happened to me recently, which is telling about how reality differs from perception.

Here’s the story:

While working in the concept for a coastal development with international capitals and geared mostly towards foreigners, we realized that better government planning and zoning was needed in the area if we were to spread our wings the fullest.

I decided to call the Production Ministry, which is a high level coordination entity on top of many other ministries in Ecuador to see if they could perhaps give us some light as to getting some better zoning for the area.

I was immediately transferred to the head authority in charge of foreign investments in Ecuador and in a few hours was meeting with him along with other officers from the ministry he had called in.
They were not only incredibly welcoming of our ideas and concepts but asked us to create with them a road map not only for planning and zoning, but for infrastructure, education of the local community, and much more.

They have let me know that they are ready to lend a hand as needed and that when the time comes, once we have things down on a plan we can meet with the secretary of the ministry and even President Correa for further vision.

What is the reason for this incredible support? Well, that they are really pro investments and that when you want to do the right thing, doors become open.

On the subject of visas, something that concerns many foreigners, I can say that the President has prompted a very open regime for foreigners to come to Ecuador. However, some changes in the procedures are driving some of us nuts. We just have to adapt.

In any case, you can expect to get a resident visa in Ecuador in 3 to 6 weeks in most cases. The new director of Migration is quite a gentleman and very open and understanding. It’s a pleasure to work with him.

With regards to some radios being closed, this is something the President declared as a possibility on grounds that some radio frequencies had been granted with irregularities according to an audit. While the audit may be correct, President Correa does have a bitter quarrel with the press and his fixation with it is over the top now.

Getting back to real estate; I’d like to add that foreigners have been investing and buying real estate in Ecuador for some time, and that this is a trend that is seemingly quite on the rise.

I am seeing the start of a major wave here.

Ecuador has excellent real estate opportunities and values and the current international crisis where former “safe havens” have been shattered is making this truth about Ecuadorian real estate all the more compelling.

Investors into Ecuadorian real estate ought to buy soundly into capital preservation and important appreciation potential.

As final thoughts, given the current financial problems the world is seeing, the violence in Mexico fending off tourists and investors… the bursting of the real estate bubbles throughout, the baby-boomers coming of age with individuals lusting for active living with quality of life to boot, Ecuador is starting to make some tremendous sense to many.

Our President may be a bit of a showman (to put it somehow), granted; and we as a nation have a ways to go into maturity; we are rough around the edges, but we may have among the warmest, most welcoming people on earth, and no development can buy that.

We have good infrastructure and low cost of living. Those who see beyond the perception should be able to get in early on the trend, ride this major wave and make the best out of it.

These are good points… especially this one… the government may be talking one way or the other… but look at how it is acting. In this case it appears that the government is pro tourism… pro investment and is welcoming residents from abroad.

Here is one final comment.

Gary, I don’t get involved in my host country’s internal politics.  I am however a strong believer in the Open Society and the value of ideas meeting arguments, so I guess I would prefer more media outlets to fewer.  By the by, Ecuadorians I know say this is the first time they feel they cannot express freely what they feel about their government, for fear of repression.

These are two key points also. I do not get involved in politics anywhere.  My feeling is that time is better spent adapting to whatever the politicians do rather than joining into the political fray. Reality is that if you do business fair and well, whatever the political system is you’ll be welcome.  The second point is about freedom of speech.

I recall feeling fear like this recently when talking to my son over the phone. I was about to make a joke about a certain president and decided not to thinking… I had better not joke about this.  The problem was I was in the US… not Ecuador.

The great technology that has created such great access to information has destroyed our privacy as well…everywhere.

My new real estate acquisitions are in Ecuador . Recent messages have looked at the importance of seeing reality. People write often asking if it‘s safe in Ecuador. I was thinking of the reality of this as Merri and I concluded a long Ecuador morning walk. The birds were singing, roosters crowing in the distance and we saw two very young children, a girl of maybe six or seven and her little brother maybe four or five walking alone through the village on their way to school. This is so typical in Ecuador.

I wondered how many children of that age in North America are allowed to walk alone through town as they are in Ecuador.

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More Cotacachi children in a parade.

You see young girls like this (maybe eleven or twelve) walking around night and day. This is not because Ecuadorian parents are careless. It is because there is a great deal of safety in Ecuador .

Here are a few facts I know.

#1: The Ecuador constitution protects landownership of citizens regardless of citizenship. No local government can take land by eminent domain for economic development.

#2: No Ecuador children have been shot in school.

#3: Ecuador schools do not require metal detectors.

#4: No Ecuador police force has used a “no knock” search warrant to break down a door and then shoot an innocent 80+ year old resident 50 times.

#5: We do not worry in Ecuador about being sued if someone spills hot coffee on themselves at our hotel. By the way our coffee is hot here.

#6: Ecuadorian doctors do not have to shut down their practices because of malpractice insurance costs.

#7: Parents in Ecuador are not at risk of having their child diagnosed as having ADD and being forced to give them Ritalin. Read http://www.ritalindeath.com/ if you want to have your heart rendered over the weekend.

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There is a deep culture in Ecuador.

Back in early 2007, a potential real estate buyer visited me about buying a $93,000 house in Otavalo. As we enjoyed a “cuppa tea” and visited I could see he loved the house but was really worried about loss of property due to Ecuador’s constitutional reform.

My view was that the reform was unlikely to reduce individual land rights. As we can see above, the opposite took place. the constitution strengthened property protection.  Ecuador’s base of wealth has always been individual land ownership.

Then I pointed out to this potential buyer that his  real bigger risk was buying a similar three bedroom house in England. A similar house would cost him between $400,000 and a million dollars. The risk of losing $93,000 in value when the overheated English real estate market dips seemed greater to me than the chances of losing $93,000 in Ecuador because a house would taken due to constitutional change.

Prices were way overblown in England.  This was exactly what happened.  Real estate crashed in England while real estate prices in Ecuador have remained strong.

Plus Ecuador offers the benefits of $1.40 a gallon gas, lovely weather, sweet people, no capital gains tax on real estate sales, very inexpensive but good medical and dental help, ridiculously low property tax, almost no tort liability, inexpensive cost of living, low crime and better food.

In the west, the cost of living is so high that many people can barely move!

So where is it safe to live? I think when Merri and I are really realistic, we feel that there are many aspects of safety in Ecuador.

Many of us feel many changes in our homelands that are not good. If you do, don’t despair, the sun always shines somewhere as it did here in Cotacachi, Ecuador. Here’s the sun coming up!

Merri and I always practice diversification…in asset class as well as geographically.  We are over weighted in Ecuador so we are voting with our money that the chaos here will create more opportunity than trouble.

See more about Ecuador diversification here.

Change and chaos are parts of the rhythm of life.  The never ending evolution created by time and space creates turmoil but also opportunity.

We hope the chaos in your life brings only good to you.

Gary

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

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.

See details of the two seminars below.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Amazingly helpful, amazingly timely … thank you for this !

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export 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 for two.

Read the entire article New battery could change world, one house at a time

Wild Health & Profit


Two huge problems we face whether we live in Ecuador, the US, Canada or anywhere are rising costs and a deterioration of global health and health care.

Here is a tip that can improve your health and wealth at the same time.

See how water is proven to improve health and how one person used it to enhance his wealth.

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Wild Pooling?  Good for your health?

Our last message Ecuador Dental Exercise looked at ancient health wisdom suggesting that taking a cold shower or dip in a pool can improve your health.

This thought goes beyond shamanism.

In the Eighties, NASA research confirmed that regular cold water swimming leads to a series of bodily changes called “cold adaptation”, which lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and increases fertility and libido in men and women.

See in the excerpt below from our course Tangled Web – How to Have an Internet Business how one businessman turned his passion for water and disaster into profit.

The Tangled Web course helps earn added income, as you improve your lifestyle, wherever you live because the mantra in our business courses is “Turn Your Passion into Profit.”  Do what you love and figure out how to earn from the process.

We have been stressing this idea since well before we started our internet publishing in the 1990s.

Our son Jake, just finished law school in Britain.  His break before jumping into his new profession has been to join us to work here on the farm. When he arrived he brought the idea of wild swimming… a perfect example of how to turn a passion into profit… using the internet.

Jake told me the story of Wild Swimming as he tested the idea of Wild Pooling… soaking in the creek pools here at the farm.

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The rock pool.

The story he shared was about Daniel Start, an Englishman who led a conservation expedition into New Guinea in 1995.   While in the jungle the entire scientific team were taken hostage by Irian Jaya separatists.

Start and his team were held for over four months and during the military operation that freed them, they saw two of their team hacked to death in front of them by the rebels.  While being held hostage for months they were forced to scavenge for food and live like the native people, their lives constantly at risk.

During this time, Start became a devotee of outdoor swimming as his kidnappers were a riverine tribe.

Upon returning to England he held a passion for swimming and began crossing the country looking for great places to swim.  From this passion grew a book, “Wild Swimming” a  guide arranging 150 swimming sites by region, with a helpful ‘at a glance’ section that groups the swims by themes such as child-friendliness, literary associations and proximity to a cycle route or good pub.

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The bridge pool.

The book has created quite a movement and a web site (a link is below).

A Telegraph article entitled Wild Swimming: A Splashing Time, Naturally

Spring is here and soon it will be warm enough to go to Port Meadow, a huge grassy swathe along a meandering stretch of the Thames in Oxford where we live for a picnic, a paddle and maybe a swim.

It was here, during a late summer swim last year, that I met Daniel Start. He was taking pictures for his book, Wild Swimming, to be launched at the end of the month by Punk Publishing (the imprint responsible for the popular Cool Camping guides). Start was inspired to write about England’s best swimming spots during the baking summer of 2006.

“I was working in an office in London, dreaming about the rivers of my childhood in Herefordshire,” he says. “I was desperate to go swimming on my days off but couldn’t find any information about where to go. So I decided to write about the lost swimming holes of England, where generations of children learnt to swim before public baths existed.”

internet-business-idea The lower falls pool.

There you have it.  A problem… a passion and a profit.

When you create a business in this way it often does more than just make a few dollars.   Start’s books (he has now also written “Wild Swimming on the Coast”) encourage enviromentalism, healthiness for adults and children plus togetherness of family and a return to nature which is needed all over the world.

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The upper falls pool.

Hopefully you will never need to be kidnapped to have a passion… yet know this: There is some desire within you. If you turn it into an internet business, it may do swimmingly well!

Gary

Join us July 24-26 in the cool Blue Ridge during the hot summer and save $299.

We hope you’ll share our beautiful lifestyle in the cool Blue Ridge with us this summer. July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

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

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cool, green forest.

We invite delegates to the farm for lunch and we’ll take a walk through the woods with delegates who would like to…

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enjoy nature and the views.

We’ll have a wine tasting of Blue Ridge organic wines. Here are delegates at the tasting last year.

investing-course

I have just sent our multi currency email course subscribers a report on coffee related shares that now have a strong upward trend.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

The Wild Swimming site is at http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/

Read Wild swimming: A Splashing Time, Naturally
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/3354127/Wild-swimming-a-splashing-time-naturally.html

Value Investing Diary


Value investing in Ecuador or anywhere is probably the best way that most of us can make good investments.

There are some disciplined investors who do well with short term trading… but most of us do not have the time, inclination or ability to invest this way.

In my case, I find that slower is better. Slow value oriented long term investing may not be dynamic or thrilling… but I still have all the money I had mid 2007.

That is more than a lot of speculators can say.

One problem with value investing is that it requires a lot of work, thought, determination, bravery, conviction and patience.  These qualities are not always easy to maintain long term.

Discipline is vital to multicurrency investing.

This is why I was delighted with what John Mauldin had to say when he spoke at the recent Naples seminar that Merri and I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Managers.

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Here is John.  John is a Fort Worth, Texas businessman with over 1.5 million readers to his emailed financial newsletter.

He was Chief Executive Officer of the American Bureau of Economic Research, Inc., a publisher of newsletters and books on various investment topics, from 1982 to 1987. He was one of the founders of Adopting Children Together Inc., the largest adoption support group in Texas. He currently serves on the board of directors of the International Reconciliation Coalition and the International Children’s Relief Fund. He is also a member of the Knights of Malta, and has served on the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Texas.

He is a frequent contributor to numerous publications, and guest on TV and radio shows as well as quoted widely in the press.

Thomas Fischer  had a great interview with John during the seminar which you can see here.

John’s speech was important because discipline is the glue that holds all investing theory together.

I believe that there are basically three types of investors… disciplined long term value seeking investors…  disciplined short term traders… and losers.

Non disciplined investors always lose in the long run.

You can read this entire report as a Multi Currency Subscriber.

More on Value Investing

Merri and I are going through the process now of searching for  and seeking to understand value in Florida real estate.  Merri has been keeping a value investing diary to help us get our bearings on what the real value of property in Florida might be now.

Let’s share that diary here.

On the Road
by Merri Scott

A number of you have written and asked, “What about the house you were buying Florida?   Any luck?  Any ideas?”

Well, yes, we’ve been on the search and off and on the road now since late March.

Have we bought anything?  No.

Have we found anything interesting?  Absolutely.  Lots of things out there.

Have we seen good prices/deals?  Wonderful prices, unbelievable opportunities.

Have we learned anything?  Yes, yes, yes, we have.

First of all, to recap…why are we buying a home in Florida?  Well, there are a lot of reasons…

1)  Late last October last year, up here in the High Country we experienced a real knock down day after day, week after week of heavy snow and extreme weather.  We aren’t used to that…we usually have great weather through October, very decent weather in November and a lot of sun but truly cold in December.  We can live with this.  But what we experienced last year, we certainly don’t want to repeat.

2) We sold all our holdings in Florida just before the bubble burst and we miss a place near our daughter and her family down there.  We are welcome there but we desire to be more a part of their lives and to have a home there.

3) Gary reminds me that real estate is all he feels comfortable with at this point.  “Where else should anyone invest at this time?” he ruminates.

“Why Florida?” you might ask.  We’ll give you all the reasons in other reports on this…but yes, there are a darn lot of good reasons for Florida.

We started out in late March (came home back early from Ecuador) for a reason.

We had this idea that we wanted to buy waterfront property but not beachfront.

Many reasons for this but the main one is that we love water…here in NC we have so many streams, creeks, waterfalls…we are almost surrounded with the delight of all this water and do enjoy it.

We knew that we would have to pay a premium for being on the water, but were willing.

We started out in late March which is near the end of the dry season in Florida…usually winters are dry and as summer starts there are daily rain showers which cool things off and bring a lot of water back into the system.

The only real times we would be in resident would be during the dry season and surely did not want the horror of buying “waterfront” only to find out that the waterfront was way out there somewhere into the distance.  (More or this later).

After all our years of experience in Florida, we also knew that it would be best to look in August at anything in South Florida or anywhere there would be the chance of standing water.  (We experienced this in South Florida years before.)…so we just stuck with our old philosophy, look in March-April for Central Florida and of course we were not looking in South Florida, but if we were look in the late summer.  This way, if we can live with the conditions during those months…then we would be OK.

A lot of you have written, “Haven’t heard from you.  Why haven’t you bought in South Florida?”.  Well, this is not to say, someone else shouldn’t…but we were evacuated 17 times over the years, had a lot of heat distress and high humidity over the years and we just didn’t want to go back there.

How did we choose our area?  Well, we’re still at it!

First of all, we want to be near our family in Lakeland but finally after about 2 weeks of driving around, we decided that we should be north of I-4 and not south.  Why?  Well, we can make it easily in a day’s drive north of I-4 but it gets harder and harder to make it further in one day.  (Despite what some might think about our being travelers, we are not.  We go from one home …with our beloved things in that home…to another.  We don’t do well staying in hotels, motels, resorts of whatever…this is torture to us.)

Having finally realized this parameter, we happily eliminated a lot of territory.

Back on the hunt…we love those sleepy, windy little rivers flowing along the center of the state…nice fishing, tiny docks, not much going on and so so full of nature.

Got out the maps, and started remembering those we loved and plotting!

At this point, we decided against using a realtor because we actually needed more under our belts before we started talking houses.

We have long been in love with the Peace River, the Alafia, the Suwanee, the Withlacoochee and many others, including the larger but beautiful St. Johns.  But of course, we were concerned about flooding in these areas also.
(Little did we know that wasn’t the primary problem!)

The Internet has proven to be fabulous as well as awfully scary.  We haven’t bought real estate for “just ourselves” not for investment in a long time and we had forgotten what that included.

In short order, we found that hey, we didn’t need to worry so much about flooding, as DRAWING OUT WATER.  Many municipalities now have the right to “draw” water from these little as well as large rivers…also found out that even California has bought “water rights” to draw down these rivers and ship the water all the way out there.   YIKES!

We used the Internet and began to find a number of possibilities…taking in mind the water rights.  We were down baby sitting for our kids who were taking a cruise and had some time to look around.  Found THE most delightful house tucked in its own woods on a beloved old friend of ours, the Withlacoochee River.  (No one seemed to have water rights on this one.)  Took our darling grandson there.

Gary had been having a long discussion with him re “natural” and “real”.  He was a bit turned around in his mind about the comparison for instance of Sea World (yes, they do have real animals there) and nature.  We made quite a drive for a 6 year old up to this remote area with this fabulous house. (looked at it from all angles, inside and out, and yes, we COULD live with this one!)

I was beginning to think…wow, this is a bit easy…first house, first area we’ve chosen and a greatly reduced price…we’ll just buy it right now!

Garren and Ma (our hound dog) jumped immediately out of the car with great joy.  A beautiful surrounding, old mature oaks, a real sleepy time down south look with a stunningly beautiful, well designed and built all natural house.  Everyone looking excited and happy!

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Here is Garren at our farm learning about nature and farm safety!

There was a long boardwalk as an entry with some cypress trees (whose feet must be wet) always signifying to us high water in the summers or at least standing water.  We nodded “That’s OK” to each other and proceeded.

Garren leaped up to the front door which opened in a lovely two story lodge like atmosphere…a clerestory window view out, a local mounted bear, turkey and deer…and declared, “This is real nature isn’t it, Poppa?”

We didn’t think the house was quite big enough but the land was good, the setting beautiful, the distance to Lakeland OK, and truly it was a house built in nature with nature.  And it was way way below our budget.

To cap it all, Gary glanced out and saw his dream “Look a wonderful old oak with a rope draped over the river where we can swing out and jump right in!”  Fabulous.

Then we all of us strolled out to the river…and there wasn’t one.  It was a very deep, wide ditch with about 3” of water left.

So very sad.  So very disturbing.

Since then the house has dropped from $77,000…according to the latest listing data.

We thanked our lucky stars that we were looking in early April and not summer when the banks might be full.  And we knew right then that we were going to have to do our homework, and that no, it wasn’t going to be that easy.

I’ll continue next week with amazing finds.

Merri

Because Merri has a lot of experience in real estate and we know a lot about Florida, we thought it might be easy to make this purchase.  She was a licensed Florida real estate broker and her first sale was a $1.4 million on the beach in Ft. Myers… in the late 70s… when a million dollars still meant something.  She went on to hold a NASD license which entitles her to be a stock broker, a syndicator of projects, a developer of large communities, etc.

But were we right?  No. Experience of the past today just isn’t enough.

You have to look, compare and think to find value now.

Tomorrow’s message provides an Ecuador value investing tip and why buyers must beware there.

Until then may all your values be good!

Gary

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

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

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

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

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

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

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

Brazil Multi Currency Opportunity


See how my multi currency course subscribers have been able to gain up to 50% in Brazil during 2009.

Many readers at this site know me best as Mr. Ecuador.  However recently some of our subscribers have enjoyed the biggest profits as multi currency investors in Brazil.

Though Merri and I have been investing, living and working in Ecuador for over a dozen years now, our greatest expertise is as multi currency investors as we are in our 41st year.

See below how multi currency investing brought us to Ecuador and how your interest in Ecuador can now bring you a free subscription to our multi currency course as I present a survivors guide to currency and market turmoil.

Those interested in Ecuador do not have to change currencies when they travel here because Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar.

This means they need to learn how to make your money go up as the US dollar and stock markets go up and down…

The US dollar has fallen… badly against major currencies like the yen, euro and Swiss franc for 37 years.  You can see this long term, steady decline of the US dollar in this chart from Grandfather.com.

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One reason for this fall is the growing debt in the USA.

Now this debt is even worse. Here is a picture from USA Today that shows how the US public debt  has just grown 12%.

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Even minor currencies such as the Colombian peso, and Brazilian real have risen steadily versus the US dollar… 25%, 50% since the early 2000s and more.

Until.. in 2008, the greenback suddenly zoomed up… as stock markets collapsed around the world. Now the dollar is falling again.

Sideways motion like this destroys most investors.

Yet there is a way to earn even in these worst times…by learning how to spot value…that turns turmoil and currency shifts into profit.

This is not just a problem for Americans either. The dollar’s downfall affects currencies all over the world and creates global economic turmoil. For the modern economy to operate in its current fashion some reserve currency is required.

Yet what currency would you choose…the Chinese yuan…the euro…gold, oil? Would you trust your life savings to speculate on that?

Of three things we can be sure.

First, The US dollar will fall more…much more.

Second, there will be confusion. Many…in fact most uninformed investors will lose…a lot.

Third there will be inflation…worldwide due to the excessive spending in the current global financial bailout.

Smart investors who know how to spot value in multi currency portfolios at some of the world’s safest banks have already earned 57%…120% …263% so even with the doom and gloom, they are still ahead.

More important these same investors have learned how to survive through turmoil.

My name is Gary Scott. I have been writing and publishing information about the falling greenback and how to earn from it though international investing for over forty years (since May 1968 to be exact).

Fortunately I stumbled across multi currency investing at an early stage and wrote a book about this clear back in the 1970s when the US dollar was first beginning to erode.

Since that time my books and reports have helped hundreds of thousands of investors find hot areas of value in every decade.

In the 1970s we helped our readers  find investments in gold & silver as well as investments  in the currencies of Japan, Germany, Switzerland, England, Australia and Hong Kong.

In the 1980s, the Tigers, Taiwan, Singapore Malaysia and South Korea, & Turkey were the places where our readers gained value.

The 1990s saw South America (which led me to Ecuador) as the place to invest.

The early 2000s offered great value in China, India and Eastern Europe.

We have helped readers find good value real estate throughout this time, first in Hong Kong, then London, Switzerland,  Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and now Ecuador as well as in Small Town USA.

We have also helped readers bet against the US dollar throughout these decades which as the chart above shows has worked well.

Finally in the early 200os we began helping readers find good value green investments.

I would like to offer you a valuable real time emailed course that teaches how to invest in multi currency portfolios plus how to sometimes use leverage in these portfolios to create extra profits.

Sleepy Safe Portfolios Can Earn Over 100% Per Year

Multi currency investing does not require any fast trading techniques.  Multi currency portfolios are normally slow and sleepy investments…not currency contracts or futures speculations.  Most multi currency positions are aimed with a five year horizon…pretty sleepy compared to people who trade currencies (an entirely different and far riskier technique).  For most of us, slow and sleepy means SAFE!

Yet multi currency portfolios can be really profitable as well.

How sleepy and how safe?

Let’s look first at sleepy.

In 2006 we created an Asian multi currency portfolio consisting of just five award winning mutual funds.

We did not touch the entire portfolio for an entire year. Then after one year we made just five changes…dropping two mutual funds and adding three other mutual funds. Then we did not make another single change. That’s pretty sleepy, choosing a handful of mutual funds and making only five changes in two years.

How safe?

The portfolio was chosen with the help of one of the world’s safest banks and the mutual funds were held at that bank at all times.

Okay. Here is the big question. How profitable?

In the first year (2006) this portfolio rose 114.16%. Then we made the five changes mentioned (two funds dropped and three added). In 2007 this portfolio rose 122.62%. 2008 was a disaster year which we will look at in a moment.  But when your portfolio is over 200% in two years, it takes a lot of disaster to lose.

Suppose we get more specific.

That safe bank is a Danish bank. That’s good because in recent years Denmark has been rated by Standard & Poor’s as one of the safest country in the world in which to bank

The bank is Jyske Bank…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. The Danes have always been big currency traders because as a small naval country surrounded by England, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany, Norway and other countries…they have always had to deal in many currencies.

This historically gained expertise means that unlike most banks (that trade only eight hours a day) Jyske maintains a 24 hour global currency and commodity dealer service. 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.

Let’s address this issue of safety in more detail. Normally this is a pretty moot point. Right now everyone is concerned. Is a bank safe or not? I like Jyske from a bank safety point of view because there are three bank safety points, from the top down.

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: Jyske Bank is Denmark’s second largest bank.
On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating stable 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.

That’s safe!

I happen to know Jyske Bank because I began using them (as my bank) over 20 years ago. They are one of the few banks that offers a special multi currency portfolio service for investors from almost anywhere in the world.

I was one of the first writers and publishers to begin writing about multi currency investing. Jyske bank was one of the first banks to offer a multi currency portfolio service…and they were my bank.

Not surprising we got together and have created a strategic alliance that can help you learn how to create multi currency portfolios that suit you.

My multi currency course helps readers learn how to find good value and develop multi currency portfolios that suit their specific circumstances.

Before I explain how you can use this course, let’s look at both the up and down side of these high performing portfolios?

The course provides two levels of education. Part one gives readers an extensive beginner’s guide to developing multi currency portfolios.

Part two is unusual and neat.  Part two educates in real time. We create multi currency portfolios and track them real time.  The education comes from dissecting and discussing the portfolio results.  This is a totally novel way to learn…real time from real portfolios created by some of the best investment managers in the world as these portfolios rise or fall in the market place…in the here and now.

Jyske Bank assists by providing all the portfolio details.   Our symbiotic relationship allows me to combine my experience with this bank’s incredible knowledge, real time capability and expertise so course subscribers can learn in a most practical way from some of the greatest multi currency experts in the world.

Here is our educational performance over the past few years.

We created five portfolios for educational purposes on November 1, 2005. One of the five multi currency portfolios was the Asian Emerging Multi Currency Portfolio. The portfolio started with a $100,000 investment and a $200,000 loan in Japanese yen (more on the loans in a moment).

This gave us $300,000 to invest in this portfolio.

Amount

Currency

Investment

75,000

Rupee

Jyske Invest Indian Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Yuan

Jyske Invest Chinese Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Yen

Jyske Invest Japanese Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Multiple

Jyske Invest Emerging Market Bond Fund

Investments Total Value 300,000.00

Invested $100,000

Loan $200,000 100.00% JPY at 1.63%

Loan cost for one year $3,260.

This portfolio diversified into bonds and equities throughout Asia ..very multi currency.

Chinese yuan, Indian rupee, Japanese yen and more.

Twelve months later the portfolio was worth $417,420. Paying off the loan cost $203,260 leaving $214,160 or $114,160 (114.16% profit) on the $100,000 originally invested.

On November 1, 2006 we made the five changes mentioned above. We dropped the Japanese equities and emerging market bond mutual funds and added an Eastern European, Far Eastern and Turkey equity mutual funds. This is how the rearranged portfolio stood.

Amount

Currency

Investment

75,000

Rupee

Jyske Invest Indian Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Yuan

Jyske Invest Chinese Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

EUR

Jyske Invest Eastern European Equities

50,000

Asian

Jyske Invest Far Eastern Equities

25,000

Lira

Jyske Invest Turkish Equities

Investments Total Value 300,000.00

Invested $100,000

Loan $200,000 100.00% Czech Koruna at 3.875%

Loan cost for one year $7,750.

As promised this portfolio only had five changes. We swapped the Japanese equity fund for a Eastern European equity fund and dropped the bond fund replacing it with a Far Eastern and Turkey equity fund.

May I, at this point, interject a note about Jyske Invest fund managers. They are a Danish firm and are the investment management affiliate of Jyske Bank. This rock solid organization uses a good value system have been rated #1 by Morningstar. They use this value system to select shares in their mutual funds and we place these funds in our multi currency portfolios because they are strictly regulated by the Danish government and have such an excellent record…because they focus on finding value, not market timing.

So how did this new updated portfolio do? From November 1, 2006 to October 31, 2007 the fund rose in value from $300,000 to $430,370. The loan payoff of $207,750 leaves a profit of $222,620 or a rise of 122.62%.

There you have it, a safe sleepy portfolio created at and held in one of the world’s safest banks. With only three trades in two years the performance has been up 114.16% in year one and up 122.62% in year two.

I am sure that when looking at performance like that you are thinking “how did the other portfolios do?” Good question and your suspicions are correct…some of the other portfolios did not rise this much.

Yet believe it or not some portfolios did even better.

For example the 2007 Green Portfolio consisted of six shares and rose 266.30%!

Here is the exact performance of all five portfolios for the last two years.

2006 Portfolio

US Dollar Long

9.04%

US Dollar Short

10.43%

US Dollar Hedge

11.46%

Emerging Market

42.93%

Asia Emerging Market

114.16%

2007 Portfolios

Dollar Neutral

38.67%

Dollar Short

48.19%

Swiss Samba

53.32%

Asia Emerging Market

122.62%

Green

266.30%

You can imagine with performance like this attracted quite a bit of attention…and it did.  However these high returns are not the important benefit you gain with our multi currency course.

Our course does not recommend nor manage portfolios.  We did not suggest that any single reader invest in any of these portfolios. The portfolios are educational and designed to help readers work with their own investment manager to create their own multi currency portfolio that suits their own special, individual needs.

Our multi currency investment course helps readers learn how to manage their manager… nothing more.

Yet this is incredibly valuable because Jyske Bank can provide a stable and safe institution for those who wish to employ a multi currency strategy.

The course helps guide readers so they can direct any investment adviser or investment manager who understands how to invest in more than one currency.

The course also helps you manage risk. The incredible portfolio performance above was achieved because the portfolios were leveraged using a tactic we call a multi currency sandwich. Investors borrow low and invest in yielding or growth portfolios. The portfolios used loans in Japanese yen and Swiss francs to magnify profits in good times.

The course teaches how these loans can magnify losses in bad times as well.

For example look at the performance of the leveraged portfolios we created to study from November 2007 through September 2008.

2008 Portfolios

Infrastructure Portfolio

-112%

Blue Chip Portfolio

-79%

Danish Health Portfolio

-92%

Asia Emerging Market

-73%

Green

-56%

Leverage in 2008 caused the portfolios to lose badly…in one instance the total portfolio was lost!

The multi currency course is useful because it helps investors not to expect rising markets all the time.

The power of studying markets real time, as they unfold, wards off false expectations.

The course helps subscribers learn how to look ahead and act rather that react (after the fact when it is too late).

The sad fact is…we all have to become multi currency investors.  Trusting your fate to any one currency now can destroy your purchasing power.    Every investor needs to know what to do!

The course helps spot when to leverage good times and when to retract for the bad.  he idea is to cash in when the going is good and then withdraw.

For example in early August 2007…well before the market crash….our study of the market began to show increased risk.  Our first warning lesson said:  “We have enjoyed two years of enormous growth.  Periods of high growth are normally followed by periods of low growth.”

August 17, 2007 a lesson said: “The numbers are close enough that we could be entering the fourth sub cycle down (similar to 1976 to 1978). If so expect a sustained drop in markets for two to three years.”

On September 21, 2007, a lesson said: “equity markets dropped again violently last month. Now these markets have recovered again. Yet this may be a last gasp party.”

An October 14, 2007 lesson stated:  “We never know for sure when an upwards cycle will stall. Fundamentals look good for a bright 2008 in emerging and equity markets, but this can change quickly so to give our readers a better perspective, this year we are reducing leverage and adding a sixth portfolio with no leverage to study”.

The October 15, 2007 lesson reviewed how leveraged investments rise and fell faster than investments without leverage.

The lesson on Oct 26, 2007  saved many investors as it was entitled Leveraged Investments Gone.  Just before markets started to head south this lesson warned: “I have had only about 10% of my portfolio leveraged. Compare this to 200% for the Green Portfolio (which is up 265% this year). Now I have none.

So a lot of my portfolio investments are basically in a multi currency portfolio of bonds…mostly in pounds, Swedish and Danish kroner. The equities I hold are mainly in Europe and I do not leverage equities…especially after markets have risen so much. Periods of high returns are normally followed by periods of low returns. These facts, plus my belief that numerous economic woes are rising and my recollection of Oct 1987 leave me wanting to reduce risk in my equity portfolio. So now I have eliminated all my leverage.”

The next lesson warned again: “Okay it’s time to turn the burner down.”

A November 8, 2007 Black Friday lesson reviewed  all the warnings above again and more.

The course also helps readers find ways to spot unusual distortions that profit even in bad times.

For example  lessons  on April 18 and April 27 2009 looked at the benefit of investing in Brazilian currency bonds.

This lesson led to a quick profit.

Here is an excerpt from our June 12, 2009 lesson:

Based on these ideas and those presented in the April 18 and April 27 lessons we looked at why Brazilian bonds made good sense in the LONG TERM.

Sometimes we get lucky though in the short term… as we have now.

Brazilian bonds have made a sudden jump up!   Those who have invested in them have made as much as 50% (in US dollar terms) this year.

Yet the distortion we’ll review below shows how there is even more dollar denominated profit potential ahead.

Last week the Brazilian central bank lowered key interest rates to 9.25%.  This will likely send the price of  Brazilian real denominated bonds up.

The central bank has stated that there could be more rate cuts, but they will be smaller.

This is positive news plus Brazilian inflation has declined to 5.2% from 5.53% in April 2009.

When you take into account the high interest of the real, the rise in value of bonds and the rise of the real you can see the potential.

Brazilian real bonds have risen nearly 30% since the beginning of the year…  in terms of Euro!

This is where there is another huge distortion.  The real has not risen anywhere near this much versus the dollar.

The charts from finance.yahoo.com below show the distortion.

In the last three months the US dollar has dropped from $1 = 2.30 BRL to $1 = $1.97 (- 14.3%) versus the Brazilian real as this chart shows.

brazil-distortion

In the last three months the euro has dropped from 1 euro = 3.05BRL to 1 euro = 2.60 BRL (-13.5%).   This correlation of the euro and dollar would seem normal except…

brazil-distortion

as the chart below shows, the euro has risen from $1 euro = $1.28 to 1 euro =$1.40 a 9.27% rise versus the US dollar.

brazil-distortion

In addition the Brazilian central bank has had to intervene several times in recent months to avoid the Brazilian real being too strong against the euro.

Traditionally the real has had a strong correlation with the dollar but the recent weakening of the buck versus the dollar has not spilled over into the Brazilian real.

In other words. The real is up against the euro almost 10% more than against the dollar.  This is called a cross rate distortion and means that one of two things is likely to happen.  The dollar will rise versus the euro or  the dollar will fall versus the Brazilian real.

Given the fundamental US fiscal weaknesses that could push the dollar down, I am bullish on the real rising more versus the dollar and this makes me bullish about Brazilian real denominated bonds.

Always remember the basic rule though is to never speculate more than you can afford to lose.   A US dollar – Brazilian real sandwich is worth discussing with your portfolio manager or adviser now but could creates losses as well as profits.

I have not leveraged my Brazilian bond investment. Based on this data I instructed JGAM to increase me Brazilian bond holdings.

If you are using Jyske Bank, and are a non US citizen or resident, or a US citizen living abroad, you can simply have the bank purchase Brazilian bonds and lend you the funds (within the bank’s loan to asset restrictions).   Non US citizens contact Rene Mathys for more details at mathys@jbpb.dk

US citizens should contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

If you are a US citizen resident in the US and have an advisory account with JGAM, they may not be able to buy Brazilian bonds for you.  They could  buy the US traded ETF “The WisdomTree Dreyfus Brazilian Real Fund.” (BZF)

These three lessons (April and June 2009) helped many readers cash in on an unusual value!

I would like to invite you to enroll in our multi currency investment course and to also receive a nine lesson report that covers basics and fundamentals of  multi currency investing.

This nine lesson report has been read by tens of thousands of investors over the years.   This report sells on its own as a survivor’s hand guide to currency turmoil for $79.  I’ll email it to you free when you enroll in our online course.

The course is emailed to you regularly and studies stock, bond and currency markets worldwide, real time, as they unfold.

I believe, from the response of tens of thousands of readers over the last 20 years, that you will gain enormously from the course.

Our course helps you learn  why and where to invest and learn why and how currencies and interest rates rise and or fall.

The initial nine lesson report I’ll email you free also shows how to calculate and manage leveraged risk and how to decide if and when to leverage or not.

Is this course for you?

Everyone needs to know how to have multi currency diversification. But in case this course does not help you, we provide a 30 day “completely satisfied or your money back” guarantee that we have offered our hundreds of thousands of readers for more than 20 years.

Our Multi Currency Educational Service is a mere $175 for a very long and educational year! Won’t you share this exciting world of wealth accumulation with us and our readers around the world? Multi Currency Educational Service

Gary Scott

Multi Currency Portfolios Course. Subscribe

Or enjoy this multi currency course for a year free!  Here is how you can save $175.

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

Here I am at our last seminar in Naples Florida (may 2009).

multi-currency-debt

The speakers at the Naples seminar discussed prospects for the economic future.  Left to right: Samuel Rachlin,  Rich Checkan, Steve Blumenthal, Joe Cox, John Mauldin, Gary Scott, Lars Stouge. Thomas Fischer Moderating.

The 115 delegates reported that they really gained from listening to what we had to say and…

brazilian-bond-distortion

talking among themselves during the coffee brakes and at meals.

brazilian-bond-distortion

One benefit of these seminars is talking to an overseas banker.  Here I am at the Naples  seminar  with my Jyske account executive Anders Nielsen.

brazilian-bond-distortion

Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management will join us for the July North Carolina seminar.

I invite you to attend this July course. If you enroll between now and July 1st, I’ll also enroll you in  our emailed multi currency course free. You save $175.

Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Here is Thomas speaking to our delegates at a previous course.

brazilian-bond-distortion

Enroll in our emailed Multi Currency Portfolios Course for $175  here.  Subscribe

Save $175!  Receive the emailed course free when you Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Here is what a few others from around the world have said about our services and reports on international investing.

“ Gary , I am a long time subscriber in various media, and while cleaning out my files today I found some old ‘Gary A. Scotts World Reports’. In particular, the April 1988 issue provided the info that made me over a million dollars. Just wanted to say a belated ‘thank you’ and please continue the excellent work. Warm regards,”

From an Unknown Reader

“Dear Gary, I would like to give thanks to you for introducing me to Jyske Bank two years ago.

“I have been a long-time client of Merrill Lynch, but am in the process of re-evaluating my relationship with the largest brokerage company in the world. My problem is that when I compare Merrill to Jyske, Jyske outshines Merrill (or other major U.S. brokerage firms) in most categories as follows:

“1) Even though Jyske is much smaller, it has a much more global perspective which is critical in an evermore global investment environment.

“2) In order to maximize their own individual revenue, the brokers at Merrill prefer to outsource the day-to-day management of their accounts to various fund managers and hence, ‘manage the managers’. In contrast, I can call my Account Manager at Jyske and he can discuss every aspect of my account in detail with me.

“3) I attribute this difference in #2 to the fact that Jyske’s employees are not compensation driven, but instead are focused on satisfying their customers. That is why Jyske’s clients stay with the Bank on average for 12 years, which is phenomenal by Wall Street standards.

“4) Jyske’s security is far more stringent than that of Merrill’s. In addition to the standard account code and password, to pass through Jyske’s security one has to enter a Key Card number and also a randomly-generated 4-digit number from said Key Card.

“5) Having an account offshore allows me to sleep better given the anxious times we live in. Since I report the existence of the account and pay all taxes due, I am fully compliant with the law. However, such an account gives me and my family a ‘financial life boat’ should events in our own country ever get out of hand.

“As Dorothy Parker once said, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them THINK’. Jyske is a thinking person’s bank. My only complaint is the time zone difference since I live in California . However, since I am an early riser and my Account Manager is very responsive to my emails, this problem is very small relative to the HUGE benefits.

“Again, many thanks for introducing me to Jyske Bank. Given the ‘dumbing down’ that occurs in the popular media today, your ezine and its recommendations are ever more important. Please continue your good work to enlighten your readership.

“Warm regards,”

C.M. CALIFORNIA Businessman

“I was so overwhelmed with information I received I had to spend several days reading, sorting and filing it! I have decided to move my modest investment capital overseas.”

B.W. MONTREAL CANADA Professor

“Send me your report on safe banks lending at 7% for redeposit at 13% or more.” B.V. ADDIS ABADA ETHIOPIA Economic Commission United Nations

“A number of new and significant contacts were made. It would be extremely helpful if you could supply us with WORLD REPORTS.” I.M. TORONTO , CANADA Banker

“You are as good as your word which is rare these days. I look forward to attending one of your seminars.” C.K. GENEVA , SWITZERLAND Banker

“In spite of my marketing experience, your information really got me going!” M. C. LONDON, ENGLAND Marketing Consultant

“Thanks for the three reports. They are very interesting and should find many readers here in Japan .” M.A. Tokyo , JAPAN Computer Programmer

“I would like to say how much I enjoyed the information I received.” A.B. Providenciales TURKS & CAICOS Accountant

“First let me say how much we enjoyed the investment seminar.” W.J. SAUDI ARABIA Oil Engineer

“Once again thanks for all the great information.” G.K. PERTH , AUSTRALIA Insurance Executive

“Your letter of November 8th warned me to beware of the market just a week before the 120 point crash on November 15th!” T.G. N. CAROLINA Pilot”

Won’t you join us as we learn from our Multi Currency Educational Service? Just a mere $175 for a full 12 months of valuable, wealth building education.

Enroll in our emailed Multi Currency Portfolios Course for $175  here.  Subscribe

Save $175!  Receive the emailed course free when you Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Ecuador Patience


There is extra opportunity in Ecuador for those with patience.

This chess set started me thinking about patience.

market-Timing

This is a time of great opportunity…  perhaps the greatest in 40 years…yet not without the bravery to accept risk… and several other qualities…. patience…  flexibility… resilience… tenacity… acceptance and a bird’s eye view to see the big picture.

In a moment… we’ll look at some Ecuador real estate and see how patience works there.   First a true and recent story… about patience and chess.

Having lived a wandering life… I have not accumulated a lot of stuff in the years I was moving around.   In fact only one material thing survived  my decades in Hong Kong and Europe… this ivory chess set.

market-Timing

I am not even sure why I lugged the wooden, silk lined box through so many countries.  For years I did not even play… but I kept the set and now it’s a treasure to me.

The set is a little battered.  Our five children each had a go at it one time or another.   A couple of the rooks are minus their ears.

Overall however this is a lovely set…  4 inch, pure ivory… no longer possible to import.  I love its feel.

Our friend and farm manager, Richard Goebel, and I have a continual, running game.  The board sits in our hallway and as Richard or I pass through we stop for a moment… study and make a move.

Sometimes when Merri and I are traveling we are weeks between moves… but a game is always on the board.   Richard and I are pretty evenly matched.  Usually there is no  winner… just a loser… the one who made the most current stupid error.

Recently it was my turn at stupidity, (aghhhh).  Early in the game, I gave up my queen.

Carelessness… pure and simple. I can offer nothing more.

I was instantly discouraged.  We both had nearly a full board but I was already missing my queen!  “How can I possibly win” I thought, “with such a disadvantage?”

I was about to give up when some quiet voice said, “No, keep playing.”

A few days later Richard stupidly gave up his queen as well.  That game dragged on for days but in the end the match was mine because of… patience.

This started me thinking about these seven qualities that can unlock enormous business and investing opportunity now:

#1: Bravery to accept risk

#2: Flexibility

#3: Resilience

#4: Tenacity

#5: Acceptance

#6: Bird’s eye view

#7: Patience

Thinking about patience reminded me of  John Milton’s poem  “On His Blindness.”

Milton is acclaimed to be one of the greatest English poets and I am not sure he was always patient.   Resilient yes… he was kicked out of university, lost wives and was imprisoned for his political views and went blind… yet managed to keep creating his incredible prose.

However  I believe that Milton understood patience… perhaps from his blindness because he ended his poem “On His Blindness”  (see the entire poem below) with this powerful reminder, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

The Chinese have an even more ancient saying:  “Sit on the river bank long enough and you see the bodies of all your enemies float by”.

Patience is important when buying real estate in Ecuador or anywhere.

Merri and I spent seven years tromping up and down mountains to buy our first hacienda (Rosaspamba) in Ecuador.

ecuador-patience

Here Merri and I are building our first hut at our Ecuador hacienda… Rosaspamba.

We negotiated nearly a year to buy this building… that was a mess.

Cotacachi condos

fixed it looks like this…

Cotacachi-condos

and is getting better because we are patiently fixing one floor at a time.

If a person spends time in Ecuador  and stays alert, he’ll see many incredible fixer upper bargains.

Just over a year ago, Merri and I bought the four story office building shown above.   We began cleaning it up and converting two floors into condos.

If one is not in a hurry, construction costs are low.

This was the third floor kitchen… another mess.

Here is the third floor now.

ecuador-banks

This if fully furnished with…

ecuador-banks

one bedroom and …

ecuador-banks

office/den (or second bedroom)  and…

ecuador-banks

balcony.   The kitchen now…

ecuador-banks

looks great.  The hardwood cabinets had not been installed when I took this shot but are in place now.

We did not start fixing this floor until we dealt with the 4th floor… an even worse mess.  Patience, patience!

Before.

After.

ecuador-banks

This is a loft studio with…

ecuador-banks

great light and an open feel with…

ecuador-banks

full dining area and…

ecuador-banks

kitchen.

ecuador-banks

These floors are among the highest points in the village and views from both units are the best around.  Mornings give…

the sunrise over Mt. Imbabura.

ecuador-banks

Evenings offer sunset in the east on Mt. Cotacachi.

ecuador-banks

Views are great at night with the village alight.

ecuador-banks

and you can see the entire village…

ecuador-banks

and both mountains during the day.

Where we had huge walls we said…”How about windows with a view instead?”   The builder  figured out what height was needed to see Mt. Cotacachi and simply knocked the window openings in the walls. Then he built hardwood window surrounds that frame this view.

ecuador-banks

The bathroom includes a full tiled bathtub and spa shower like this.

ecuador-hotel-savings

The king size sleeping nook has this view also and is fully curtained…

ecuador-banks

with full hardwood closets.

ecuador-banks

These units are available for rental on a three, six or 12 month lease, by the way. Send me a note at gary@garyascott.com

Anyone can have a nice place like this but to get one with great value requires patience.

Patiently fixing up this  property will provide us with some nice extra profit with good value because we were patient… in buying… in fixing.

We  did all this slowly… from cash flow… patiently so we developed value.

I have been using patience to look for real estate in Florida as well.  After months of scouring the state… looking at hundreds of listings we made our first offer… at about half the already reduced asking price.

This is where patience and the never ending quest for value comes into play.

Value is really hard to understand in the real estate and equity market now because the bubble of 2007 created many false illusions.

The values of a house are twofold… the value of a roof overhead and the value of whatever price it can be resold.

These are unpredictable times.   Basing a potential resale on previous inflated bubble prices can be a great error.

Tomorrow we’ll see how,  after months of searching Merri and I are using patience to make our first offer for property in Florida.

Join us at a course our tour in 2009 in Ecuador or North Carolina. Here is our future 2009 courses

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

ecuador-energy

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

These are great reminders that at times, patience is a most important quality in investing, business and all of life.

On His Blindness
John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,—
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?
I fondly ask:—But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: God doth not need
Either man’s work, or His own gifts, who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at His bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:—
They also serve who only stand and wait.