Tag Archive | "cent;"

Ecuador’s Got Milk & Honey


Ecuador is the land of milk and honey for less… really.

In a moment we’ll look at some global investing ideas. Or you can skip Ecuador milk and go directly to Global Investment Thought.

First, how about some raw milk?

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Our hotel Meson de las Flores makes its own ice cream with fresh raw milk from local diaries, plus they…

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make and press their own fresh butter.

Our health is enhanced with raw milk and in Ecuador raw milk is easy to obtain. We get it for the hotel every day. The cost is about 45 cents a quart, delivered fresh daily from the local dairy.

In the US, it’s a task.  To get it in North Carolina, we have to buy it from a friend of a friend who will not say who produces the raw milk.

In Florida I noticed a health food store selling raw milk and raw organic yogurt labeled “for pet use only.”   We used to buy our French salt in a similar way “for deer licks only”!

How sad that informed adults have to play such games to get what is good that they want.

There is very little raw milk sold in America and this is sad as it’s a highly health-promoting food. The government story is that raw milk can carry disease. More to the point pasteurizing milk extends shelf life and makes it easier for big business to be more profitable.

One can become sick from any contaminated food as the nation has learned from meat, spinach and peanut butter all to well.

In California where raw milk can be sold, millions have consumed it without a single person getting sick. During the same period, there were many instances where people became so ill from pasteurized milk they died!

Raw milk provides minerals, beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidolphilus, vitamins and enzymes and in Ayurved is considered one of the best foods there is. Pasteurized non organic milk is viewed as poison as the process changes the structure of the milk proteins and destroys the milk’s beneficial bacteria.

Pasteurized cow’s milk has been associated with intestinal distress, iron-deficiency anemia, allergies, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and more.

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With so much sun and plenty of rain, the grass is rich, even in Cotacachi at 7,500 feet altitude for…

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these organic cows.

Raw Milk Delight

One great food made from raw milk was taught to Merri and me by a shaman here in Ecuador. I call it Sun Yogurt. Get raw milk. Boil it. Let it cool. Pour it in a green bottle. Add a bit of yogurt if you wish. Set it in the sun for the day. That night you will have a rich creamy almost custard yogurt! It’s rich and delicious.

In Ecuador we buy fresh, raw milk by the pail full… creamy to make our own butter, ice cream and yogurt.

There is great fresh, non fermented (queso fresco) cheese in the markets.

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Nearby our hotel there is also organic dairy and Swiss cheese factory. Here is the barnyard and…

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here are their cows.

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Their equipment.

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Their cave filled with great Swiss cheese.

Ecuador-milk

We serve this Ecuador cheese at our hotel.

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Ecuador also has really great honey that creates some export income opportunity… like this honey and Macadamia nuts offered by the Ecuador Honey Company. We”ll look at this in more detail in tomorrow’s message.

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Learn more about our Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour here

Global Investment Thought

Jyske Global Asset Management’s recent update points out what is becoming obvious… the global economy is picking up.  JGAM said:

*  The Case-Shiller U.S. home price index rose for the second month in a row in June.

* The German IFO business confidence survey came in above expectations, rising for a fifth month in a row.

* Australia’s leading economic indicators continue to suggest a broad recovery over the coming months.

* BCA’s (Bank Credit Analyst) Global Inflation Diffusion Index highlights that most components are falling. Furthermore, inflation typically responds to fluctuations in growth with a 1-1½ year lag, and this time around there is greater slack in the global economy.

In other words, the economy is recovering and inflation is down.

The immediate risks are that traditionally September and October are the most dangerous months for the US stock market.   Signs of a double dip recession coinciding with the traditional market dip could create a new wave of self fulfilling fear.

This will create a good buying opportunity both in equities and real estate.

What’s a Double Dip?

I rarely allow myself to eat ice cream but recently while visiting grand kids, we took them to a Creamery and can attest to the fact that a Sweet Cream and Chocolate double dip on a waffle cone is,  taste wise, pretty darn good.

Double Dips in the global economy do not bode so well, however.

A recession is a time of economic contraction and have always been followed by a return to economic expansion.  However once in awhile when economic distortions that are being sorted out are severe, when the expansion finally starts, it does not continue.   The economy contracts and dips back into recession again.

Economies now are improving globally.  Yet unemployment and foreclosures remain a problem.  Later this year  a second “double dip” recession could return as it did in 1980, then again in  1981-82.

Current conditions are quite different now than in the early 1980s, the 1980-1983 downturn was eventually turned around with major federal spending and a major tax cut.

The period 2007-2010 cannot expect the tax cut which is a shame because Federal spending tends to be less efficient than tax cuts, Federal spending is usually inefficient. Tax cuts stimulate business and inroads into new forms of productivity.

Stock markets tend to do well (as they are now) in the middle of recessions. During the worst of all 1930s depression, the Dow rose 66.7 percent in 1933 and 38.5 percent in 1935. This is because big value oriented investors look ahead.  Eventually economies recover and  grow. This is when value investors cash in.

Yet the poor employment scenario suggests that the equity recovery could be modest.  If this fact teams up with the nervousness acquired in 2008 and the autumnal downward forces… the most likely time for a market set back will be September and October.

With this in mind… values are good now for investors who can afford to buy and ride through another downturn that could last a year or so.

Until next message, may all you life be rich and delicious.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which brings everlasting wealth.

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

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

This is why if  you attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free. You save $299.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Hi Merri, I wanted to thank you once again for your recommendation
 that I try Sol de Vida. I have had time for thirteen treatments but 
now it’s time for me to return home. The people there are wonderful 
and I’m happy to say there has been a dramatic improvement in my
(used-to-be) “bum” leg.  I can now walk much longer distances and
 remain pain free!
 
FYI, Sol de Vida changed to a  new facility near Meson.  

I enjoyed my stay here at Meson and in Cotacachi and hope to return
 sometime soon… thanks again for your assistance!

Join us at a seminar and tour and have a pain reduction treatment at the same time.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Export & Southern Coastal Tour


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

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

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

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

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Leather products of all types.

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

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Wood carving.

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

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

What does this mean?

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

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

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Botanical art.

In other words…what is this class all about?

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

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

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Ceramics.

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

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

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

What have I learned?

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

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

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Jewelry

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of many types.

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

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

I am not talking about groceries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes you guessed it.

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

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Flowers.

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

Look at accessories.

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

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

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Textiles of…

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many

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types.

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

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Crafts of all sorts and much… much more.

You can enroll in the Ecuador Export Tour here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ecuador-beach-salinas

The Salinas Malecon area has long been a favorite destination.

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

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Pose for a photo by the giant sandcastle

Salinas at a Glance

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

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

Where to Eat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things to See

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The southern coastal tour package includes three nights accommodations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

See how to save even more on multiple tours below.

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

Save 2% on real estate purchase.

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

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

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

Still more… Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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

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

Gary

Electric Investments


Yesterday’s message looked at high voltage investments ideas.

In a moment we’ll see an Ecuador income idea.

First, here are some more electric thoughts about investing in energy.

wind-turbine

Investments in alternate energy can be profitable.  For example in 2006 we introduced the idea of investing in the Vestas Wind Turbine company.  The chart below from finance.yahoo.uk shows that this share has done really well… up four times even after the great 2008 correction.

Vestas-shares

Jyske can buy the VESTAS WIND ADR (VWDRY) of this share for US investors by the way.  Here is a chart from finance.yahoo.com of the ADR since it was introduced.

wind-turbine-chart

Jyske Bank currently has a buy recommendation with the current price of 378.50 Danish kroner  and a target price of 550 Danish kroner. Jyske considers this a HIGH RISK share and says:  Thanks to its market share of about 23% in 2007, Vestas Wind Systems is the world’s largest producer of wind turbines. The company began its production of wind turbines in 1979, and was listed on the stock exchange in 1998. Today Vestas produces and sells wind turbines in sizes from 850 kW to 3.0 MW. The company’s vision is to turn wind into an energy source equal to oil and gas.

They believe the shares are available at an attractive valuation. The company’s streamlining will continue to the benefit the earnings margins and despite the financial crisis, Vestas is facing high growth past 2009, and the management is experienced and strong.

You can get more details from Thomas Fischer at Jyske Global Asset Management at fischer@jgam.com (US investors) or Rene Mathys at Jyske Bank (non US investors) at mathys@jbpb.dk

Yet we must understand that not all alternate energy investments will go well.  See what I mean here.

Of course one malfunction does not mean much… this was just a dramatization… pointing out that we have to invest in a future…that we cannot truly see.

What can we do?

First, we can understand that we may not know the technology but we can know the trends.  Part of the future is in the here and now and we can pick up these trends.

Here are seven trends we can use to reflect upon when looking at new ideas for the future.

Trend #1: The rate of change will increase. This is self evident. Change is speeding up… so new products will not remain “in” as long.  This means bigger is not better. Ian Pierson, a futurist whom I know and respect, said that the value of a company is its idea… less its size and experience.  Fast and small have an advantage now.

Trend #2: The rate of private consumption will grow. From 1884 to 1995 private consumption just about doubled, but increased 25% in the past ten years. This means that the amount of money spent per person will continue to grow. This also means that the amount of discretionary income per person is growing.  There will be more people producing more.

Trend #3: There will be more automation. In the process of automation, mankind supplements muscles first, brains second and feelings third.

Trend #4: Age, gender and wealth are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Trend #5: There will be a shift of attitude from our brain to heart.

Trend #6: Families will turn more and more of their responsibilities to the market place.

Trend #7: The growth in markets will be for stories, not products.

When looking at new technology… run it past this list.  This will not tell you if the technology is best… but may help you understand if the product fits the trends.

Take electric cars as an example.

We have been thinking about electricity here at the farm for some time as we have great hydro potential.

Mark Owen has been helping us research this and sent us this note about electric cars.

Electric Car Idea

Those readers who were able to get to the final paragraphs of my Electric Bicycle article might remember that I myself wondered what the Electric Bike Industry might lead to. I questioned how the industry could become more mainstream, how could it address safety concerns, convenience, and of course speed. I also pondered the question: “Two wheels or Three?”

Aptera answers “Three.”

electric-car

Aptera

After completing the article I researched a new electric “car” named the Aptera Typ-2e. This is an extraordinary vehicle on many accounts. The reason I italicized the word car when describing this vehicle is that it will be considered a motorcycle by the US government. It has three wheels, two in front, one in back. The cockpit is teardrop shaped cocoon with airbags, two comfy-looking seats, and a very sophisticated dashboard. Many have said the interior of the cockpit makes it seem like you are in a small airplane.

I have seen this car featured by videographers, and it is purported to have extraordinary acceleration and top speed. Please visit the Aptera Forum for the latest specifications sheets

I am sure it will be faster, safer, and more convenient than my electric bike.

It will cost a little more, though. Aptera reports they will be delivering the first of their vehicles in October of 2009, for an estimated cost of between $25,000.00 and $40,000. This vehicle is by far my favorite of all the electrics You may see the Aptera and 26 other electric cars reviewed here

If any reader has access to the Aptera, please invite me for a test drive, no matter where you are.

Maybe in a few years, when Aptera gets their initial “bugs” worked out, and the price slides down a bit due to enhanced production, you will see me and my daughter grinning behind the wheel of one of these cars.

This car differs a lot from the Fisker Karma we reviewed in yesterday’s post.

Will people buy the stylish Karma or the more functional Aptera?

Each of these technologies may help a bit.  Some solar… some wind… hydro… better batteries and such plus most importantly energy use reduction.

Perhaps micro production and savings will be the in thing instead just as the PC overwhelmed the mainframe computer.

Mark for example has been looking at micro wind power for us.  Wind energy is normal considered expensive… but Mark shows here that it does not need to be.  He writes:

Gary, I was at the farm a couple of times this winter. I went to the top and felt the consistency and strength of the wind up there. I have done lots of research on the cost-effectiveness of installing a windmill system. These pre-made windmill systems are expensive. Even with consistent wind, it takes a long time for a windmill system to pay back its initial investment costs.

I researched making our own windmill. It will be easy and cost eight cents on the dollar. I have already purchased a 33 foot aluminum sailboat mast. It is quite strong and will handle a medium-sized windmill. I would like to purchase the remaining components. The motor would cost about $200.00 (motor/generator, they are both the same thing). I would also like to purchase a fan blade kit. I think after the initial purchase, I will be able to manufacture our own fan blades. I will produce a template from the purchased blades, then manufacture future blade systems from the template. I think I can purchase the blade kit for another $100.

Perhaps the way of we receive, store and use energy will evolve into many inexpensive, small devices each saving a bit… as PCs and then lap tops and now hand helped devices have altered the way we receive and transmit information.   

We can see a bit of this at Neuton Power.  I have used a Neuton Electric lawn mower for five or six years and finally the battery died.  When I called to get a new one, I discovered they also have electric weed eaters, chain saws, hedge trimmers, blowers and power carts. The rep explained that when they introduced their weed eater they were overwhelmed with 1,500 orders.

I have mine on back order. It will take months for them to fill demand… so electric replacing gas is in… perhaps for now in small ways… but watch for this trend to grow.

Here is another nifty idea that saves energy and could create a business opportunity in Ecuador… the solar or sun oven.

sun-oven

Sun ovens cook with the sun… no electricity… fossil fuel, wood, charcoal or any pollution are required.   This may offer a  business opportunity in Ecuador or anywhere sunny.  Learn more about solar ovens here.

Whether the savings are large…

wind-turbine

Worlds-Largest-Wind-Turbine-Generator

or small…

energy-saver

Neuton electric weed eater.

Investing in alternate energy is wise for the future.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which brings everlasting wealth.

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

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

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

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

High Voltage International Investing


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

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

electric-car

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

But which green investments make sense?

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

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

Investing in electric energy not always simple though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a huge overstatement, to say the least.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The same questions can be raised about electric cars.

electric-car

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Galapagos Green

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

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which brings everlasting wealth.

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

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

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

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Ecuador Jobs


Ecuador farming is one way to create your own Ecuador job.

In a moment we’ll see how to diversify globally to beat  inflation and protect your savings. First, let’s look at ways to earn income abroad.

ecuador-farm

Ecuador’s land is rich.

ecuador-farm

Here is some land recently purchased by a reader just outside Cotacachi… beans and blackberries are grown here.

Many readers write and ask about getting work in Ecuador.  Jobs are scarce, do not pay well. This is why our foundation is devoted to creating employment… but for Ecuadorians not expats moving down.

We do help our readers learn how to earn income abroad with their own business because this helps have work in Ecuador and often enhances employment in Ecuador for Ecuadorians as well.

I was delighted to read this note about earning income from Ecuador farming. The reader shared this:

Hi Gary,  I just wanted to drop you a note making you aware of another idea  we came across to produce some income in Ecuador.

My wife and I have retired in the Cotacachi area ( we live in Ibarra now) and have been looking at some income producing ideas as we are only 52 years old and not ready to sit in out rocking chairs just yet. Believe it or not, we have settled on becoming chicken farmers!

My wife and I have agreed on a partnership with a couple that own a farm. We are putting up the money to fix up a building on their land and turn it into a chicken coop.

We then purchase the chicks at 55 cents each, waterers, feeders, heaters, and feed . Our partners make sure the chickens have water, food, heat, and a good clean environment. We then sell the chickens after raising them for 48 days back to the company we bought them from. They are currently offering 90 cents a pound.

Overall, we are making about $1.00 a chicken every 7 weeks or so. Our chicken coop holds 2400 right now and we plan to build a couple more structures that will hold 14,000.

We never imagined that when we moved here, it was possible we could become chicken farmers. Our friends and family back in the States are in disbelief.  Interesting to say the least!

ecuador-farm

Merri and I love our chickens.  We…

ecuador-farm

let them roam free. There is something wonderful about collecting the eggs and they are so much better than those available in the store… thick shells…. deep orange yolks.

We helped another reader buy….

ecuador-farm

this chicken farm just outside Cotacachi…

ecuador-farm

at a very low price.

The greatest asset we can have is the ability to earn anywhere in the world doing what we enjoy. This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

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.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

International Investment Allocations

Jyske Global Asset Management just finished altering their managed portfolios after their late August Investment Committee.

They made the following changes to their managed portfolios:

Their asset allocation exposure remained  the same. They are:

* Neutral on Fixed Income (i.e. bonds and currency positions other than dollar)

* Underweight on Equities

*Overweight on Alternatives and Cash

The gearing on leveraged portfolios has been increased a little to adjust for the deleveraging effect of positive development on the value of portfolios.

Here is what that means. If an investor desires a one times leverage and their portfolio started with $100,000, they added $100,000 so a total $200,000 was invested.  If the portfolio has risen over 15% in the last six months, its value is now about $230,000.  The leverage is now less than one time… so about $20,000 more is borrowed and invested.  This will put the portfolio at $250,000 with a $120,000 loan.

JGAM has also reduced the dollar exposure in their portfolio. They belive as I do that the US dollar is likely to fall versus other currencies.

They have added more Brazilian, Mexican and New Zealand bonds to some portfolios.

They were so underweighted with equities in some portfolios that they added some shares… though they remain underweight.

The new shares added were: Group4 Securicor, Gazprom,  iShares S&P Global Clean Energy and iShares FTSE BRIC 50.

You can see a review of the portfolios and the shardes above as a Multi Currency Course subscriber.

Be sure to see about a new 100 mile per gallon electric car at Jyske’s Financial Friday WebTV here

Send questions about Jyske JGAM and their portfolios to Thomas Fischer (US investors) at fischer@jgam.com or  Rene Mathys (non US investors) at mathys@jbpb.dk

Gary

October & November Ecuador Tours

Here is a recent comment about staying about a seminar at our hotel:  We both thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and really appreciated Mauricio and Alberto’s help, as well as the help from all of the hotel staff.  Cotaccachi truly is a magical place and we feel blessed to have had the opportunity to stay Meson.  We really hope we’re both lucky enough to return in February.

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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


International Investment Purification


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

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

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

sustainable-investment

Sustainable Timber.

First, let me begin with a purification health tip.

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

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

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

So how do we purify our investment & business portfolios?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sustainable Tables

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

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

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

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

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

sustainable-investment

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

We set up a portable mill and…

sustainable-timber

cut over a thousand board feet of nice poplar planks.

sustainable-investment

We also…

sustainable-timber

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

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

Ecuador Visa Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

How We Can Serve You

How to Have Real Safety

Regain Real Security

There is a path to true security.

I was reminded of this once when I made a horrible mistake.  Almost!

The supposed error?  Letting my mind wander six decades back to an hour I spent with a girl.

Learn from this near disaster, seven most powerful sources of wealth, health, security and fulfillment in this era.

The girl was pretty and blond.  Terry was her name. My imagination spanned decades returning to my Oregon roots seeing her as if she were there.

We were 11 or 12 and had known each other since we started Rockwood grade school.  Just buddies, our non-romantic friendship lasted 12 years, from first grade till high school’s end.  Then she went off to Pepperdine College in California.  I started traveling the world.  Never saw her again.  I hope her life has gone well.  But until that reflection I’d never thought much of Terry in so many years.

What could have been the tragic error was letting that memory touch my heart.  Two kids, walking on a crisp, Pacific Northwest autumnal afternoon.

We walked down a sun filled, pine needle covered, dirt path.  Huge, fat, green Douglas firs lined the road.  Traffic was no problem, not many cars.  Crossing Stark Street we turned left, hiking three blocks to 182nd.  There we passed an old clapboard candy store.  I can still hear the wooden sidewalk of that store slap beneath my feet, felt the soggy planks sag and smelled astringent pitch from the fir trees.  Then we turned right, up 182nd for about a mile.  There was Terry’s house.

I carried on, walking through a big field, waist high grass turned straw brown by an early frost.  There were dozens of paths made by who knows what.  Animals perhaps or countless generations of other kids walking home alone from school.  I chose one following it to another wood of tall, rough-barked fir.  Crossing one more field, I climbed a rock wall, struggled through a barbed wire fence (my Mom hated that fence ripping my jeans).  I was home!

Sweet simplicity, that dream.  Two kids holding hands, walking on a dirt trail under a crisp, but blue, sunny sky.  Pure innocence.

My tragic error was looking back.  I returned to Rockwood, Oregon with Merri and my kids to show them this part of their roots.  Following the route, Terry and I had walked were the candy store, grange hall, old wooden buildings and their home spun honesty and charm.

Instead we found six lanes of fast, frantic traffic and road rage.  McDonalds, KFC, strip shopping centers.  The car radio blared warnings of local gangs and drive-by-shootings. Beauty, innocence, sweet simplicity, replaced by drive ins and drive bys.  Gangs and drive-by shootings replacing a tender walk in the sun.  Good bye memories, good bye.

How can our kids walk in places like this?  How can we return to those old feeling of security and comfort?

How can any of us possibly keep pace in this world that’s moving so fast?  Then something inside snapped. “There has to be an answer for honest, hard working folks to enjoy the wonderful opportunities of today and regain what we’ve lost over the past forty years”, I swore to myself.

How can we keep up, without having such a fast paced life we turn into machines?  Where do we find time for God, family, charity, and our friends?  How can we rediscover those sun filled, pine needle covered, dirt paths we want to walk?

“There has to be places that are still innocent and pure”, I thought.  “There has to be a way of life that does not pound us with stress”.

This thinking led me to begin reviewing the thousands of economic and business experiences I have shared with readers over the decades.  This started a search for a simpler way of life and a better place to earn and protect our wealth.

By digging, asking and observing, traveling and talking to investors and investment managers all over the world I found that there are true paths to real security in the here and now.  That knowledge helped me develop courses on how to have natural health, everlasting wealth and purposeful investments.

This knowledge helped Merri and me invest in stocks and real estate all over the world.  It helped us find and develop Merrily Farms into a sanctuary here on Little Horse Creek.

That almost error led us to create an entire portfolio of information on how to keep pace, get ahead, enjoy our modern society but, to enjoy life wherever you choose without having to move too fast.

This is why I am making a special three day “Let’s get our lives back offer”.

“What would you think in the last 30 seconds of your life if you were the richest man in the world but were unhappy?”

This quote is from the opening slide of our Value Investing Seminar, “How to Secure Your Future With a Value Breakout Plan”.   This a vital question because few investors think about the value of comfort and happiness.  Yet the truth is, those who are comfortable and happy with their investments are most likely to make good investment, business and lifestyle decisions.

Without comfort, no matter how much money a person has changes are, they’ll eventually lose it or kill themselves with stress from worry.

There is a way to have the perfect form of financial security.  Let’s call it the perfect pension.  To help understand how to build an unshakable economic platform, here is Part One of the report, The Pruppie Factor.

The Pruppie Factor – Seven Steps to Comfortable Living & Profits.

“May you live in interesting times”.  That’s a Chinese curse that seems to have been cast on our modern world.  We can enjoy comfort and profits in the year ahead despite this fact.

Become a Pruppie.  Integrate your earning with your investing and enjoy peak living, everlasting wealth and natural health with PIEC Investing in the year ahead.

Before we look at what PIEC means, let’s delve into Pruppieism, the new economic and social realism.  Pruppies expect everything to expand.  They take advantage of every new benefit and technology they can.  Pruppies enjoy using the fruits of our ancestor’s deliberations and labors to earn in this advanced technological world.  They also engage in activity that they love that would sustain them in case society and the incredibly intricate weave of our global economy and society should fail.

Pruppies are prepared in case everything, everywhere, or at least everything relating to their income and savings fails and the fabric that surrounds their lives disintegrates into an unknown veil.  Yet a Pruppie’s preparation is not a sacrifice, but a joy as you will see.

Hope springs eternal and it should.  One of the key themes in my first book, Passport to International Profit, (published in the 1970s) was “The Sun Always Shines Somewhere”.  This thought has been in and remains a foundation of everything I do.

Sometimes this sunshine is hard to see because the press always focuses on doom and gloom.  Current news often makes the world seem about to end.  We cannot blame the press. Bad news sells.  The majority seem to want to worry instead of learn about all that’s good.  This does not make doom and gloom right.  This is why the majority are also the rich portion of the population, but bad news is an economic fact for the press.

Yet despite all the negative headlines, we have lived through the Cold War and MAD, Y2K, GridX II, the Peak Oil Crisis, the recession of the 1970s, 1980s 2007, etc. etc. etc.  Chicken Little is always out there, selling the falling sky.  Don’t buy into this story!

History suggests that there will always be opportunity.  The sun always shines somewhere.

Brexit, global warming and the election of Donald trump as President of the United States are 2016 examples of how the press gravitates to negative news.  These three events may be bad news or not.  The future will tell, but they are examples of how the media focuses on tiny parts of our infinite existence.  They can make anything and just about everything seem negative.  This can blind us to the positive realities ahead, if we let it.  Don’t.  Expect that the world will remain standing and look for opportunity instead!

Our wealth and economic opportunity is pushed by supply and demand.  We are part of a growing global population.  New technology makes more people, as a whole, more productive every day.  The world has increasingly larger markets creating more supply in increasingly efficient ways.

This reality increases everyone’s wealth.  Yes there is a lot of bad news in many places.  There is inequality.  There is crime.  There is war and hate and injustice.   Despite these negatives there is even more that is positive.  Opportunity grows.

Pruppies tap into and use every bit of the good news they can.  They have a plan B if everything goes wrong, but Plan B is based on something a Pruppie wants to do we love, not just a shelter from bad news.

At the end of this report, you’ll find three day special offer that can help you integrate earning and investing for the ultimate form of profit and safety.

Imagine this example of Pruppism.  The Tiffany lamp casts an amber glow, rich, ivory and warm in the grey gloom of early dusk.  The gold knobbed mahogany desk, its deep patina waxed and smooth, shines with reflections of ancient leather Chesterfields stuffed full, but rumpled with age and of maritime shots that hang in brass frames on the wall. The room speaks of settled tradition, the kind that might never end.  But thoughts instead are on the demise of the business that has supported this room.

The late Jim Slater of Slater Walker, a British industrial conglomerate turned bank in the 1970s was in that room.  I recall his bank’s collapse well as I was living in Hong Kong and Slater Walker was a huge going concern in what was a British colony in those days.  The Slater Walker crash was big news that unsettled the entire British banking system at the time.

Slater, the founder, had been a really high roller, using every modern banking tactic available including buying many assets with cheap loans.  Then in the mid 1970s banking crisis interest rates skyrocketed and his bank was unable to refinance its debt.  The company failed and Slater had to resign.  Numerous charges were brought against him and he spent considerable time defending what he had done.

In the end he was only fined a nominal sum but despite this, his banking career was well and truly dead.

However he had already moved on.

He wrote about this in his autobiography, “Return To Go”.  He had always had a hobby making puppet shows and telling stories to his children, so instead of banking, he turned his passion into profit and wrote some children’s books.  His first effort sold a respectable 35,000 copies.  His next a monster series for younger children, became a huge hit.

He had also maintained a hobby of salmon fishing so again turned his passion into profit by creating a business that bought up fishing rights and resold them as time-shares.  He had quite a success.

Some day a catastrophe beyond our control could redirect the course of our lives.  We might lose a job, learn that our pension won’t pay or that our dollars won’t buy as much as they must.

Though Jim Slater was a banker, outside economic forces beyond his control caused his business disaster.  Yet he had options because he had been doing things he loved that were not related to his banking, but could become useful income generators in difficult time.

I do not know if Slater understood Pruppism but that’s what he was practicing.

Pruppism is a positive realism based on the knowledge that much of our lives are directed by events that we do not know or expect and could not change them even if we did.  There is always something we do not know and that’s okay.

Years ago I was speaking at an investing seminar in Marbella Spain.  One of the speakers was a brilliant strategist, Johan Peter Paludan, of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies.  This institute has a large interdisciplinary staff with expertise in economics, political science, ethnography, psychology, engineering, PR and sociology.  They identify and analyze global trends that influence the future.  Paludan was speaking of these trends and answering questions that delegates had about the world’s economic future.

One delegate asked what to do if there was a global nuclear exchange.  Paludan replied that the results of some events are so unpredictable that it is not worth trying to plan for them.

This thought has stuck with me for decades because it helped me realize that no matter how cautious, how defensive and careful we are, there are events that we cannot even imagine that can turn our lives upside down, for the good or bad.  With this in mind my wife Merri and I have created a lifestyle where we turn our passions into profit but in a way that whatever happens we are likely to be in a position to spot the positive and the opportunity.

A PIEC Experience

Pruppies gain the benefits of PIEC wealth.  PIEC is an acronym for “Personal Income Earning Corridor”.  PIEC income and wealth come from doing what you do for love, rather than just the money.

Traditionally people get jobs to create income.  They work to live and support their lifestyle while attempting to spend less than they earn.  They hope, that maybe the savings will bring, sometime in the future, a lifestyle of doing something enjoyable without work.

Pruppies reverse the priorities.  Instead of working for money to save and invest, they focus their prime effort on doing something they enjoy right now.  Then they learn how to enjoy the effort in some profitable way.  They learn to create “Avenues of Abundance” that combine lifestyle with the necessary task of accumulating wealth.

If economic circumstances tie them to an existing income effort, they create hobbies that are income producers of the future.

For example, if a Pruppie loves golf; instead of working six days a week, 50 weeks a year just to golf on Sundays and during short vacations, instead he or she will create a business in some aspect of the golfing trade.

In another example, a client of mine, who loved animals became a vet.  But he learned that the vet’s lifestyle was not one he enjoyed.  He wanted to travel and move around, which is difficult for a professional who needs to stay at his office and build a practice.  So he built a business that prepares special animal foods for race horses.  Now he travels globally visiting horse breeders and makes much more money as well.

Pruppies combine money with time, energy and desires.  They generate income doing something desired.  Desire and fulfillment become at least as, if not more, important as the money.

#1: Do What You Love!

The reason PIECs work well is that when we love to do something, we do it better, for longer and with greater enthusiasm.

Effort, determination and tenacity are wealth building attributes that cannot fail.  Yet Pruppism does not mean we should suddenly abandon our jobs and try becoming golf pros, when we have never been able to break 100.  Smart Pruppies start small and gradually expand into their passion.

For example, as a writer and lecturer, I was never fully satisfied sitting behind a desk or standing on a podium all day long, even though I was making over a million bucks a year. I’m the physical, outdoors type and yearned for exercise and the wilds of the deep woods. “What good’s the money if this isn’t fun?” I often asked myself.

Rather than quit writing and teaching, I looked for ways to combine these professions with the outdoor life.  Through research I learned that many city folk like myself yearn to be in the primitive outdoors.  So I bought an isolated farm high in the Blue Ridge Mountains and an Andean plantation high in Ecuador where I developed seminar centers with charming but simple dwellings, set in rustic surroundings, with clean water and pure air.  Now I live in nature so after I finish the writing or talking, I can walk in the woods or take my axe and chop firewood or something physical.  I’ve combined my writing with physical work and have blended the life I want, with my readers’ needs in a way that makes great financial sense.

We built a series of cabins in the wild that bring more profits than most stocks or bonds could ever return.

The process took six years to shift. Now we have been at this for nearly two decades and we are far from finished.  But while doing what we love, who cares? This is one of the great benefits of PIEC investing. We can slow down and enjoy the work instead of always rushing ahead, looking for something more.

Those who work nine to five can start PIEC businesses part time if they are too uneasy to quit their jobs. Others, who like myself, already have a business can slowly shift their product or service in a sensible way and let it evolve toward their PIEC.

But where do we start?

There is a seven step process we can all use whether we have our own careers, a business or even if we are retired (PIEC investing is especially good for retired folks who have found the supposed good life flat or financially short).

The first step is to get a clear idea or vision of our dream.  This is sometimes harder to achieve than it seems.  We are so deluged with false ideals from Washington, Wall Street, Madison Avenue, etc. that we have to stop and really take stock.  What do we sincerely want?

There is a very practical economic reason to look inwards for wealth.  Warren Buffet recommends that we only invest in what we understand. What can we understand better than ourselves?

This inner search will lead us to an ideal that begins the second step which is gaining enthusiasm.  How can we be anything but enthusiastic about finally fulfilling our deepest dreams?  The enthusiasm leads to the third step; gaining an education.

We need to find out everything we can about our idea.  To succeed we must take the third step and become real experts in the product or service we offer.

Fourth, this educational process allows us to develop an intelligent, focused business plan we can act upon and the action is the fifth step which brings us the experience. Experience gives us the sixth step, a financial loss or profit.  We always profit in increased knowledge which creates the seventh step, more ideas.

Then the entire cycle starts all over again: Idea, Enthusiasm, Education, Action, Experience, Financial Profit and New Ideas.

This is a way to keep adding new opportunities into our lives.  Business is rarely static. It is an ever evolving process instead.

This seven step cycle may take days, weeks, months or years, but the moment you begin you’ll start moving into an avenue of affluence where you love your work so though money isn’t your main goal it comes more easily.

#2: Do what you love, but also be of service.  Do something for others that is meaningful and important to you.

We all have a purpose in life and when we are filling it, we feel fulfilled.  Wealth and fulfillment is the goal.  Fulfillment is important because of the law of diminishing returns.  A 2008 study that analyzed Gallup surveys of 450,000 Americans suggested that day-to-day contentment improves until income hits around $75,000 per annum.  After that, more money just brings more stuff, with far less gain in happiness.  Income beyond $75,000 does not do much for a person’s daily mood.

This is a pretty general study and regional differences in costs, inflation and life circumstances will create many fluctuations from this norm, but the point is when money is the main goal, the better you get, the harder it will be to gain satisfaction.

Giving, on the other hand, never has limitations, especially when the giving helps complete a purpose that is part of our destiny.

This is true in business and investing.  A study of investors for example found that investors with socially responsible ideals gained the best returns.  A dual goal of profit and achieving some social benefit provides a purpose beyond returns.  This brings comfort and determination to the investments and the added stick-to-it-ness helps increase profits.

The financial giant State Street Corporation’s Center for Applied Research did an 18 month study of 7,000 investors to get a better understanding of the role incentives play in making investment decisions.  Based on this study a new measure of investment performance called “Phi” was created.  Portfolios were previous rated by their Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Phi is the newest measure of performance.

Alpha measures an investment’s performance against a market index.  If the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is up 10 percent and a mutual fund is up 15 percent, for example, that 5 percentage point difference is alpha.

Beta is the return of any given market.  And charting beta is what a passive index fund does.  Comparing different indexes’ beta — say domestic equities and international bonds — helps investors in deciding how to allocate their investments.

Gamma is a measure of the impact on returns of more intelligent financial planning decisions.  A Gamma rating quantifies the additional value that can be achieved by optimal asset allocation, a dynamic withdrawal strategy, incorporating guaranteed income products (i.e., annuities), tax-efficient decisions, and liability-relative asset allocation optimization.

What phi aims to add is a way for investors to quantify how their motivations — or those of the people managing their money — will affect long-term investment returns.

The study examined what motivates a person to invest — or not and found that main investment motivations are market-based motives, the most frequent and powerful being fear in the market.  Both market motivations, the prospect of profit and the fear of loss, can have a negative effect on long-term performance.

A deep sense of purpose is what causes a high phi score.  A high phi factor is not about outperforming markets or peers, and it’s not an asset-gathering measure of performance.  Pi performance is defined as sustainable investing with a deeper sense of purpose.

People who invested with socially responsible ideals did best in the study.  The dual goal of profit and achieving some social benefit provides a purpose beyond returns.  This brings comfort and determination to the investments.

The study helped define three aspects of investing that are generally ignored, purpose, habits and incentives.

Purpose.  Purpose requires some soul-searching questions about what we each want our life to be.  This purpose is more important than the investment goal.  The purpose of the money we have becomes more important than the amount in the portfolio.

Habits.  Habits come next because we need to create habits and routines that keep us on the path of our unique purpose.  The marketplace does all it can to distract us from our goals.  There is an endless stream of news, rumor, conjecture, facts figures, ideas and tactics generated by every part of every stock market aimed at getting us to act in ways that benefit the agenda of others.

Habits help us avoid being distracted from what we are meant and want to do.  The muffle the noise of Madison Avenue, the spin from Washington DC and the hidden agendas of big business.

Incentive.  Changing incentives to accomplish a purpose instead of a numerical (percentage or profit) goal helps us adopt better behavior.  We react to accomplishing our meaningful purpose instead of drama created by media as well as manipulation and short term whims in markets.

The study showed that changing incentives in this way improved phi when they had a meaningful impact on a person’s investment strategy.

The study found these facts: Every one-point increase in people’s orientation toward investment goals with a purpose — and the scale is 0 to 3 — equated to 42 percent greater odds that the investors know what they are paying in fees, 37 percent greater odds that investors are not rejecting their financial adviser, 38 percent greater odds that the people consider investing in socially responsible investments and 79 percent greater odds that investors will trade less frequently, the research found.

As in so many others cases, two of the most important factors of success are keeping costs and trading activity low.  These are among the most powerful ways to increase wealth.  Having greater fulfillment as well as more wealth is a bonus that Pruppies call “Everlasting Wealth”.

Figure out what is really important in life for you and then find ways to invest in that purpose.  When you do, you’ll be on a solid path to everlasting wealth that is not so easily diverted by the daily drama that seems to be unfolding in the modern world.

Learn to focus your investments using purpose as the most important investment goal.  The purpose of money becomes more important than the amount.

Learn how to create habits and routines that keep us on the path of our unique purpose.  The market will do all it can to distract us from our goals.  Understand that many banks, brokers, the media, the government and commerce all have agendas to take our money, not make more for us.   Good wealth habits and routines protect us from this.

#3: Integrate your earning and investing. 

Long term success in business and investing are determined by control and comfort.

Comfort comes from feeling in control, but since there is always something we do not know, real comfort comes from knowing that we are serving a valuable purpose, the best we can, regardless of how events unfold.

Real comfort helps maintain determination, dedication and enthusiasm, all among the most vital parts in the process of succeeding in investing and business.

Our own business increases comfort because a business is simply an investment that gives us more control due to the addition of our own time and energy. 

A Personal Income Earning Corridor (PIEC) begin with a main income generator that we control.  For some this is a job with a salary.  For others it is a pension. For many it is their own business.

Integration of business and investing is important because investments are not always good income generators.

Years ago I managed an investment portfolio for Canada’s largest private investment management firm.  One day, during lunch with the president of the firm, we discussed the difficulties of professional fund management.  He explained that one of his biggest problems was the excessive expectation of customers.

“I have a retired client who has a million dollars”, he said.  “The client wants $90,000 a year to live on.  In a good year, we might earn 11%.  The client can take 9%. Our fee is 1% and the client’s fund increase by 1%.  In a bad year, we might earn 5%. The client takes 9%.  Our fee is 1% and the client’s funds drop by $50,000.  In the next year the client has even less to work with so a withdrawal of $90,000 may be more than 9% of the portfolio.  The client tends to take even more in good years, but never reduces the demand in bad years.”

The number one golden rule of investing is that there is always something we do not know.  Risk is always our partner.  When we invest, there is always potential that will negatively affect our financial welfare.  Our investments might rise or fall because of market conditions (market risk).  Corporate decisions, such as whether to expand into a new area of business or merge with another company, can affect the value of our investments (business risk).  If we own an international investment, events within that country can affect our investment.  There is both political and currency risk.  There is liquidity risk because we may need to draw on an investment at a time when it price is low.

Plus there are broken promises.

We live in an era of broken promises.  Defaults could ruin most average retirees and even investors.

A look at government, social and currency breakdown at its worst can help us see the problem.  Germany is an example when it borrowed heavily to pay WWI costs.  Such borrowing almost always leads to currency and social erosion and this did then.  Right after the war there was some stability, before government spending began to run wild.  By 1923, it reached the worst in history.  This caused prices to sometimes double in hours. In Germany by late 1923 it took 200 billion marks to buy a loaf of bread.

Hard-working people with modest spending habits could not even buy a postage stamp with their life savings.  All debt was wiped out but so too were all savings.

Salaries were paid three times a day yet shops were empty.  Food riots raged. Businesses closed down, unemployment soared.  The economy collapsed.

Anyone on a fixed income was destitute.  They sold everything just to buy food.

Small businesses however survived because they could hold material things such as clothing, food, anything people could consume. 

Recent news about Social Security, pensions and health care shows that the US government has excessive debt today and that we as individuals need tactics to make sure, when governments, pensions and insurers weasel out of their promises, that we can take care of ourselves.

One big broken promise is Social Security and Medicare.  The most recent Social Security trustee report shows that the programs will begin to spend more than they earn within just three or four years.   The Medicare hospital-insurance trust fund, could use all its reserves by 2028.  They face insolvency over the next 20 years because Social Security runs totally out of money by 2034.

This is a bigger problem then it may seem because it creates an even bigger broken promise concerning the US dollar.

Medicare and Social Security already account for 41% of federal spending.  That was the expenditure last year.  This is not a static problem.  Each year that percentage is growing worse.  This creates a special risk for the dollar because Social Security’s reserves are not really assets at all.  The purported assets are simply IOUs from the US government.

Social Security assets are a liability of the government, so eventually the money comes from the same place as all other government expenditure, taxes or federal debt.  This means that if Social Security has to sell an asset, then the government, already overburdened by debt, will have to borrow the money from somewhere else.

If the Fed cannot raise enough money to pay Social Security only two options are left, devalue the greenback or don’t pay.

When Social Security was established in 1935, the President and Congress imposed taxes to pay the promised benefits. Thirty years later politics had changed.  When Medicare was established in 1965, the government took credit for the popular health coverage but left the payment problem for future generations.

President Nixon and Congress also enjoyed the popularity of they increased Social Security benefits  in the 1970s but left future generations the bill.

The public has not been fooled.  A survey in 1964 found that 77% of the population answered yes to the question “Do you trust the government to do the right thing “just about always” or “most of the time”.  Only 19% answered yes in 2015 according to Pew Research.

Yet what can individuals do other than what we have, voting in new administrations?

Voters attempted to create change in 2008 with a new administration.  The election process and result of 2016 suggests they were no pleased with the results. 2017 and beyond may be “interesting” years.

There should be little wonder that Americans have stopped trusting politicians who promise benefits to get and remain elected but leave the burdens of paying for the promises to pile up waiting to sink the next administration.

This problem has grown so large that in 2011 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke “maintaining the status quo is not an option. Creditors will not lend to a government whose debt, relative to national income, is rising without limit.”

In 2014 Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress that more work must be done “to put fiscal policy on a sustainable course.”

If the government does not resolve this problem soon, then the world of lenders will.  If the US has to raise interest rates to continue attracting loans, a downward spiral will grow.  Higher rates create greater debt and greater debt demands higher interest payments. The costs will be catastrophic.  As investors flee US bonds and T-Bills for safer investment, the US dollar will lose purchasing power.

Social Security, if paid and even if paid in the same amounts as before, will buy less.  If Medicare stops working then all that’s left for backup is Obamacare and the private insurers in the plan.

This is another broken promise.  When United Health Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, recently announced that it was pulling out of Obamacare insurance the public learned that it will face higher premiums.  Many will need to choose a new plan, change doctors and hospitals as well.  United Health is not the first or only insurer to quit. A dozen nonprofit health insurance cooperatives shut down just last year.  The giants Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield are even considering a drop out.

If Social Security and health care promises are broken that just leaves our pensions. Right?

Yet if we look at the Pensionrights.org website we see hundreds of corporations that have reduced pension benefits including the likes of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Allstate Corp., Coca Cola, Boeing, Caterpillar, Kraft Foods, Hewlett Packard, Fedex GM and GE to name a few of over a hundred.

This problem is not limited to corporate pension.  An Economic Budget Issue Brief issued to Congress from the CBO (Congressional Budget office”) says:

“By any measure, nearly all state and local pension plans are underfunded, which means that the value of the plans’ assets is less than their accrued pension liabilities for current workers and retirees” CBO.

The report shows that even five years ago the short fall of State and Local Pensions was over 3 trillion dollars, more than all other state and local debt

That leaves the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) as a safety net.  In the 2015 PBGC’s annual report the Director’s message says:  “One of the most important functions of PBGC is assuming responsibility for pension plans when their sponsors can no longer keep them going.  We insure the benefits of more than 40 million workers and retirees.  Currently, we pay more than 800,000 people each month.  An additional 585,000 workers are scheduled to receive benefits from PBGC when they retire.”

But if you look at the first paragraph of the Financial Report in that annual report you see:

“PBGC’s combined financial position decreased by $14,577 million, increasing the Corporation’s combined deficit (net position) to $76,349 million as of September 30, 2015 an all time record high from  $61,772 million as of September 30, 2014”.

Every step along the way we see shortfalls, debt with little hope of repayment and an economic overhang that will eventually create broken promises at every level from the pensions, healthcare, Social Security and most from a falling US dollar.

These facts will ruin the life styles of millions, but not all.

In short, there is risk in even the safest investments and there is a possibility that a negative financial outcome might occur.

This is why multi dimensional business opportunities make sense.  You can profit from expanding your utility.  The US currency may fall but your business can offer valuable, needed services or products that will be worth more than gold.

You can gain from having a source of income in a place where you have the best chances of control.  This is why for centuries… small business have had a home upstairs and business below, so the owner could control their business.

Those who profit most in changing times are those who add new dimensions to old time proven ways.  Modern technology offers many exciting ways to create multi dimensional profit and can earn income at home.

When you have your own business, you reduce the need to place excessive demands on your savings and you reduce the risks of broken promises especially when your have a multi dimensional business with multiple streams of income.

At the end of this report, you’ll find three day special offer that can help you integrate multiple streams of income and investing for the ultimate form of profit and safety.

Merri and I aim to create multi dimensional opportunity wherever we live.

In Florida we bought a house and an orange grove next door.  Then we added a rental unit.

In North Carolina we bought a farm, then we added a seminar center, rental units and a trout raising business.

Products and services of essentials, food, clothing, shelter, protection and good health are the real golden assets in the worst times.

Imagine the scenario where our entire structure melts down.  “See the man who has just come in to get some milk for his family.  He stares at the rows for canned milk.  They were empty. Cleaned out.  He closes his eyes.  The world spins.  He snaps his eyes open and checked the rows again.  They are still empty.  He feels oddly betrayed.  Grocery stores are the supports of life.  When you need something you come here.  This is a fact of life in today’s world.  How can he not take this for granted.

“He rushes to the dairy case.  That’s empty too.  He runs to other shelves and sees shoppers piling up food, any food they can grab, throwing entire rows into their carts.  He is pushed and shoved in a mad rush to take any remaining food.

“The man speeds off to the nearest Dollar Store but finds the parking lot filled, lines waiting just to get in the door.”

Just one disruption in the supply line and in a day, the stores were empty. Our modern world is so intricately connected and stores operate on a just-in-time inventory control system.  When you buy anything a computer orders more and it comes next shipment, next day. One glitch in this complex system, one short break and the shelves rapidly go empty.  The barer the shelves, the faster everything goes.

Yesterday everything had been normal. Suddenly there was no milk anywhere.

The man’s tale is imaginary, but the fabric behind it is not, as the real story below shows.

In September and November of 2016, the Colonial pipeline that supplies millions of people with gasoline was shut down.

In November, one simple error caused the disruption.  A track hoe digging for utilities accidentally struck the pipeline, ignited gasoline and caused an explosion.

In September there was a leak (over a quarter million gallons of gas) that caused the disruption.  While shut down, so many people rushed to the gas station to fill up that it created a panic and shortage.

I spoke with the owner of the local gas station we use. He said people were lining up to fill their cars, gas cans and even large tanks in pickups.  He had to limit sales.

A shortage of just about any essential quickly creates panic.  In the pipeline disruptions motorists running to gas stations deviated from their normal consumption habits at the pump and quickly exhausted existing supplies.

There was still plenty of gasoline, but the ability to transport the product to North Carolina (and four other states) was restricted.  Loss of common sense, civility and safety flew out the window within hours.

This was despite the good news that there are two pipes that run side-by-side.  Only one was ruptured, so the disruption was not as bad as it could be.

The September leak, just one small problem in just one pipeline led to days of dry pumps and higher gas prices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas while repairs were made.

Five states are so dependent on just two side by side  pipelines that their shutdown can create panic for millions of people in under one day.

Merri and I make each of our houses multi dimensional…a home and a source of income from some essential product.

Governments are going further into debt globally.  This creates serious debt and economic problems everywhere.  These burdens mean that governments and societies lose their ability to keep their promises.  Multi dimensional earnings can help overcome the risks these conditions create.

Our website has long shared the idea of multi dimensional business, investing and living.  We have looked at the idea of living as a landlord or the idea of multi dimensional writing and farming or Ecuador farming with B&B, plus Ecuador B&Bs on the beach or in the Amazon to name a few.

Multi dimensional opportunity earns in numerous ways.

Merri and I have always created multi dimensional opportunity in our global travels.  We have united self publishing, seminars, tours, real estate, teaching, currencies, investing and real estate to enhance our income and living.  For example in London we converted a house into an office and bedroom time share. We found special currency deals that helped.

I came across this (one of my first) multi dimensional opportunities when I wanted to finance a house purchase in London.  My business plan was to create a small office-apartment complex.  I would live in part of the house, have an office in part that I would share with a number of my readers.  The deal was aimed at helping overseas businesses people have an office and a place to stay when they were in London.  I set up a club something like a timeshare.  Not quite a timeshare but close enough.

My track record with the bank was good and I had always repaid loans.  Yet the policy at that bank was “timeshares are no-nos”.  I could almost see the glaze come over my bank manager’s eyes as I explained the project.  It was the look that said “No matter what you say, the answer will be NO”.  Once a manager thinks that what you want is against company policy, it is better to do something realistic like climb Mount Everest on a lunch break.  I come from a family of modest means and had no relatives or friends with the cash to start the deal so my alternative was to find overseas investors.

After making the necessary polite motions with my banker and letting him do likewise, I thanked him for his time and was preparing to leave.

Then he said, “By the way let me show you our new American Express Gold Card plan”.  The bank had just started to offer credit cards and they came with a 7,500 pound unsecured overdraft.  He told me that overseas investors could have these as well as local investors and customers.

Overdrafts are a peculiarly British line of credit that allows you to borrow up to the limit of the overdraft without any regular payment plan.  The banker sort of expects to see the amount borrowed rise and fall.  The borrower just pays interest on whatever amount is owed and on occasion the bank reviews the overdraft with you.

At that time one pound equaled about 2.2 dollars so this meant that everyone who obtained this credit card received a $16,500 dollar unsecured line of credit. $15,000 was the amount I was charging each member who joined my London office-apartment club!  I immediately saw how to use this to attract overseas investors.

I wanted 50 members at $15,000 each which was double the $375,000 I needed to buy and develop the property. I saw how to turn my customers into my overseas investors.

My head was spinning as I left the bank.  The bank would not give me a $375,000 loan secured by property.  Yet they would lend my buyers of the club the full price of membership on an unsecured basis.  All I needed was get half my buyers right now on a nothing down pre -purchase deal.  This is exactly what I did.  My customers became my overseas investors.

I hustled out, called my customers and offered them this deal they could not refuse.  “Join our club now and you get an American Express gold card.  The bank will lend you the money unsecured for your club membership.  Pay it back when you can.” 

That was a deal that few overseas investors could refuse.

This was a much better deal for me than borrowing the money from overseas investors to start.  The original 25 sales were financed by the bank.  My customers had to pay the money back, not me.

My clients loved me for this deal.  The British pound collapsed shortly after.  That 7,500 loan that created over $15,000 became much less expensive…. barely $10,000.  Those who borrowed made about $5,000 (33%) forex profit on the loan as well as the good real estate deal.

They made such a profit on the currency change I wrote a report about it and earned additional income from the report sales.

In that real example, I used my writing to enhance a real estate deal.  The real estate helped me promote my seminars and sell a report plus I ended up with a income and a wonderful central London house to live in.

There are many multi dimensional real estate opportunities, land that offers a low stress, healthy home, farm income and other profit potential all at the same time.  Merri and I sponsored many Ecuador real estate tours to help readers buy multi dimensional real estate like Ecuador beach farms that provide rentals and farm income.

When investing and business are balanced the building of wealth becomes a more fulfilling, enjoyable process of service.  Great financial rewards are an extra benefit rather than ultimate goals.  Worries about money become less dominant and we gain an inherent power because we want to work harder and longer.  We don’t need to search (and spend) so much for fulfillment and are more likely to excel financially.

Three Layer Financial Plan

Having our own business allows us to operate at peak performance and create a PIEC (Personal Income Earning Corridor).  Having a PIEC business does not mean you should put all your money in just your own business (though at times you may).  Diversification is always good.

PIEC portfolios come in three layers, first the personal business, then a layer of very safe investments over a third, much smaller layer of speculative deals.

The majority of PIEC diversification beyond our business should be in stodgy, liquid investments such as utilities, CDs, bonds and good value equities.

I prefer Country Index ETFs that provide diversification into entire equity markets.  These investments might pay little in the short term, but are safe and they are highly liquid at a known price.  The low return on these investments is acceptable because they support your PIEC business which maximizes profits and adds comfort like few other investments can.

These very safe investments act as reserves if your business hits a sticky patch and can provide ready finance if sudden business opportunities arise.  They also don’t take up much time in research, accounting, watching the market, etc. so you can devote your energy doing what you love (your business).

However, if you genuinely love researching and tracking the market and have the mentality, capital and experience for it, just being an investor can be a wonderful PIEC business in itself.

The third layer of diversification can be speculative because modern portfolio theory suggests that safe investments are enhanced and made safer by adding a small amount of higher risk deals.  This also allows us to fulfill any casino mentality we might have left if having our own business is not enough.

PIEC investing makes it easier to create and keep wealth.  It enhances our lifestyles now, because it lets us make money being who we really are.  It makes life more fulfilling and fun.

Integrating investing and business reduces the risks of placing excessive demands on your savings, especially if we have an anchor of value.

#4: Find your Anchor of Value.

Find your passion.  Knowing ourselves also helps begin a business with a most powerful business tool I call the Golden Rule of Simplicity.  This rule says there are millions of people just like us.  When we truly see ourselves we look into a mirror that reflects an entire market who feel and desire just as we do.  This is a simple rule yet gives us a finely tuned market research system which shows us how to get create our product, get in touch with our market, deliver the product or service and surrounds us with like minded souls.

Self-knowledge is also essential for comfort and comfort is a vital part of everlasting wealth.  When investors are not comfortable, no profit is enough.  Uncomfortable investors have a never-ending thirst for more that cannot be quenched.  This indefatigable desire gums up the money making process.  Amounts don’t matter.  Even investors with incredible assets suffer this never-ending lust.  A well documented example is Bunker Hunt’s huge losses when he speculated in silver in the 1970s.  He had hundreds of millions yet speculated it all to make even more. When is hundreds of millions not enough?

Develop your investment rules.  Whatever your passion you will need to establish your method – the criteria you will use to select shares for your portfolio.

Whatever your preference you need to establish your key criteria.  Once you have your method working well, improvements come from experience and practice – learning from the successes and failures of each and every investment you make.  The quote “The harder I practice, the luckier I get” applies here.

Know when to sell – and when not to.  A key factor in effective portfolio management is to run profits and cut losses.  This is counter-intuitive for most people because it is natural to want to grab a profit and rather unpleasant to realize a loss.

If you run your profits they can become very big.  If you cut your losses they will always be relatively small.

To understand this approach better, let me ask a question.  What if I offered you a free Mercedes Benz?

You would probably say YES… but would be thinking… “What’s the catch?”  That’s good because we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch, much less a free new car.

Would an answer be harder if instead there was a choice, a FREE Mercedes or $4 million bucks (as in US dollars)?

Most would choose the cash.  Yet of course we would still be expecting a catch.  There is a penny to drop, some risk and the need to ignore the thundering herd and an absolute requirement of discipline.

Let me share a true story about how and why an investor in similar circumstances got the Mercedes and had the $4 million, but then lost it.

The story contains three valuable tips.

Once upon a time, 1981 to be exact, there was a recession. An economic and political mess arose across the land.  The story began with unemployment.  In 1981, the US Presidential election was over, the US economy was hurting and the new government and president were turning on the money printing machine.

This was a gloomy time, those early 1980s.  Really.  That was the worst recession since the great depression.

You often hear that the worst recession since the great depression was the great recession of 2007.  This is statistically wrong.  1982 was worse.

The times were dark and this story begins at the end of the 1980 Presidential election when the US economy was at its worst in 50 years and getting worse.

Our hero in the story thought the stock market would recover, despite the fact that everyone thought everything was bleak and black.  He approached his bankers and asked to make some leveraged investments in the stock market.

His goal was to make enough profit to buy a brand new Mercedes Benz.

He opened the account and bought shares. He used those shares as collateral to leverage these investments with borrowed Japanese yen.

His timing was lucky.  The stock market rose quickly.  The Japanese yen collapsed.  His profits shot past his goal to buy the car.

The Fever

Bubble fever had set in so when the hero’s investment manager called with that great news, “You have enough for your new Mercedes“, the investor changed his mind.  “Let it roll,” the investor said.  “I want to make a million instead”.

The investment manager left the portfolio alone and soon the investor’s profit rocketed past 1 million dollars.

The investment manager called.  “You have made a million bucks… perhaps we should take some profits.

Let it roll,” the investor said. “I have decided to make two million instead.”

The investment manager left the portfolio alone and soon the investor’s profit rocketed past 2 million dollars.

The investment manager called.  “You have made two million bucks… perhaps we should take some profits.

Let it roll,” the investor said. “I have decided to make three million instead.”

The investment manager left the portfolio alone and soon the investor’s profit rocketed past 3 million dollars.

The investment manager called.  “You have made three million bucks… really we should take some profits.

Let it roll,“… the investor said. “I have decided to make four million.”

As the portfolio was nearing four million in value the investment manager called.  “You have made almost four million bucks… perhaps we should take some profits.

Let it roll,” the investor said. “I have decided to make four million and enough for a Mercedes.”

Shortly after the stock market corrected and the yen strengthened.  Profits fell so quickly the investor lost a million almost overnight.

The investment manager called.  “You have lost a million bucks… we had better take the profits.

Hold,” the investor said. “The market will come back”.

The stock market fell more and the yen grew stronger.  The profits fell even faster and the investor lost another million.

The investment manager called again.  “You have lost another million bucks… it’s time to take your profits.

Hold,” the investor said. “The market will come back”.

The stock market continued to plummet and the yen rose more.  The investor lost another million.

The investment manager called.  “You have lost three million bucks now…  You really should take the profits left.

Hold,” the investor said. “The market will come back”.

Finally as the market plunged more and profits faded away, the investor, having lost more than 3.5 million, closed his positions and had just enough profit left to buy his new car.

The Mercedez was black and shiny… a big 500 SEL model… king of the road.  The hero never enjoyed it much.

The moral of the story is that when you invest you need a plan, a discipline and to know when to holdem and when to foldem.

Remember that there are always three distinct options – buy, sell and hold.  We’ll look at how to decide when to buy, to sell and to hold later in this report.

Make sure you have some liquidity. You should always keep an eye on the “liquidity”, the ease with which you can sell all or part of your portfolio. If you are invested mainly in big cap stocks you will have little trouble going into cash if necessary.  However, if you have focused on smaller growth shares it makes sense to keep enough of your PIEC portfolio in large companies.

Select shares that can, if necessary, be turned into cash instantly and provide some comfort if the market as a whole turns ugly.

The potential gains on very large companies are not likely to be as high as those from smaller growth companies, but they can and often do well enough to give you a warm feeling.  Remember comfort counts!

Diversify – but not too much.  Your portfolio should contain no fewer than 10 shares, and you could put 10 percent of your money in each of your top selections.  Diversification is essential to reduce risk, but too much of it can hinder performance.

One of the best ways to have huge diversification in a small portfolio is with Country Index ETFs.  These ETFs are similar to an index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country. ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent. The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.

Most country index ETFs are invested in dozens, often a hundred or more, shares.

For example, the iShares MSCI Australia (symbol EWA) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Australia Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Australian Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. With 72 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in Australia.

A portfolio of a dozen country index ETFs represents diversification to hundreds of shares and a dozen currencies.

Diversifying into countries is safe because countries  generally do not go away, go bankrupt or become challenged by changing technology and altering markets.

Diversifying into countries is also relatively simple because, there is sufficient analysis of global markets so every country’s stock market can be compared and markets of best value included in a safe portfolio.

In addition these valuations do not change quickly.  In 2016 our portfolio of 20 good value country index ETFs had only one change, an addition of the Turkey Index ETF, in the year.

This low volume turnover gives us time to put our focus and energy on our business and the passion we love most.  Studies over decades suggests that this simple slow trading, highly diversified approach increases long term profits and increases safety.

Country ETFs provide massive, good value diversification at a really low cost.

Most passive country index ETFs have minimal cost structures.

#5: Keep costs down. 

High trading costs are one of the biggest drags on the performance of your PIEC portfolio.

There are numerous costs we need to keep an eye on.

Load fees. Avoid back-end and ongoing load. When looking at mutual funds, we’ll typically see them listed as A shares, B shares, and C shares.  All of these share classes have some type of load.  Avoid them.

A shares include a front-end, a guaranteed loss the minute you buy.  B shares come with a back-end load, a guaranteed reduction of any profit or expansion of any loss.  B shares typically charge 5% if they are sold within a specified time (normally five to seven years). There are also higher ongoing operating expenses for B shares. Fund companies typically charge up to an extra 1 percent a year for B share operating expenses.

C shares charge a penalty (usually 1 percent) if a sale is made within the first year.  They also carry higher expense ratios.

12b-1 fees are fees hard to see internal fees that cover a fund’s marketing and distribution costs. Funds can 12b-1 fees to pay brokers incentives for selling their funds. We should watch 12b-1 fees to make sure our broker is advising this fund because it is a good investment, not because he or she is receiving an incentive.

Management fees. We should make sure we get what we pay for, a good manager who makes us feel comfortable by helping build safety and steady performance in our portfolio.

Churning. Some funds and brokers churn, or buy and sell more than is really required.  History suggests that the less activity in a portfolio, the higher the return. Active management is one thing, but funds and brokers can increase their income with excessive transactions that do little or nothing to help us as investors.

Misallocation. Many investors are misallocated for the benefit of the bank or broker.  There are a remarkable array of unnecessarily risky, undiversified portfolios created to generate fees, and that have nothing to do with a client needs. Beware of complex and expensive portfolios full of bits and pieces that are hard to understand. Low transparency can often be associated with high costs.

Expense ratios in fund doesn’t cover all of the costs.  All investors, whether using funds or not face other costs such as brokerage and bid-ask spreads.

Bid-ask spreads for example are subject to market friction.  Markets are liquid because makers standing ready to buy or sell shares at all times.  They are paid by the difference between what they will buy and or sell for.

Shares that have less liquidity, ie.  Not many buyers and sellers, have bigger spreads between buying and selling prices.

Investing in widely held index funds and index ETFs can reduce this cost gap.  Such investments normally trade within fractions of a cent, keeping this this hidden expense in check.

Trading commissions make active trading an expensive way to increase profits. Trading costs sandbag our profits from the start.

Taxes need to also be considered. Buying and selling quickly increases fees and also creates short-term capital gains taxes.

Be careful of margin account as well. Most brokers will let us borrow money (for a fee) so we can leverage our investments.  This increases any profits or losses created, but also adds the interest cost of the leverage.

If we add up all the potential fees, redemption fees, brokerage fees, back-end load fees, management fees, inactivity fees, 12b-1 fees, transfer fees, minimum equity requirement fees, commissions, the cost of limit orders and consultancy costs, before investing.

We should know what all our fees are.

Passive Funds Usually Cost Less. Because reducing costs is a major factor in investment success, low cost passive funds that do not require high cost managers generally out perform managed funds in the long run.

Over a 15 or 25 year period very few managers outperform the respective benchmarks of sectors where they invest by a couple of percentage points.

It’s an easy way to game the stock market, and getting easier by the day.

In Part Two of this report we’ll look at the more speculative end of our PIEC portfolio.

While we are sharing this report, I want to make a special offer, limited to the next three days, that can help you integrate your business and investing.

We offer two courses for attaining financial security.

The first is our “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”.  The program contains  a series of courses and reports that show ways to earn and be free. These courses and reports are:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

You can learn all about this program at How to Have Real Freedom, but do not order the program there for $299 .  If you subscribe to the Purposeful investing Course in the next three days, I’ll send you the program free.

I invite you to join me and a small selective group who for the next year will participate in an intensive program called the Purposeful investing Course (Pi).  The purpose of Pi is finding value to increase the value of and protect our savings, pensions, income and wealth in good times as well as devastating economic conditions.

Learn Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing

Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  They create a Behavior Gap, that causes investors to underperform in any market good or bad.  The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.   Pi helps create profitable strategies that avoid losses from this gap.

Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of a Primary Pi Model Portfolio, called the Pifolio.  There are no secrets about this portfolio except that it ignores the stories from economic news (often created by someone with vested interests) and is based mainly on good math that reveals the truth through financial news.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets using my (almost) 50 years of global experience and my study of the analysis of four mathematical investing geniuses (and friends).

The Pifolio analysis begins with a continual research of international major stock markets that compares their value based on:

#1:  Current book to price

#2:  Cash flow to price

#3:  Earnings to price

#4:  Average dividend yield

#5:  Return on equity

#6:  Cash flow return

#7:  Market history

We combine the research of several brilliant mathematicians and money managers with my years of investing experience.

This is a complete and continual study of what to do about the movement of international major and emerging stock markets.  I want to share this study throughout 2017 with you.

This analysis forms the basis of a Good Value Stock Market Strategy.  The analysis is rational, mathematical and does not worry about short term ups and downs.  This strategy is easy for anyone to follow and use.  Pi reveals the best value markets and provides contacts to managers and analysts and Country Index ETFs so almost anyone can create and follow their own strategy.

The costs are low and this type of ETF is one of the hardest for institutions to cheat.  Expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund.  Little knowledge, time, management or guesswork are required.  The investment is simply a diversified portfolio of good value indices.  Investments in an index are like investments in all the shares of a good value market.

Pi opens insights to numerous long term cycles that most investors miss because they have not been investing long enough to see them.

For example, in the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said:  Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.  The two conditions are in place again!   There are currently ten good value (non US) developed markets,  plus 10 good value emerging markets.

Pi shows how to easily create a diversified, worry free portfolio in some of these good value markets using Country Index ETFs.

The current strength of the US dollar is a second remarkable similarity to 30 years ago.   The dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  The trends are so clear that I created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.”   This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of  Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

This report sells for $29.95 but when you subscribe to Pi you’ll receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” FREE.

Plus get the $39.99 report, “The Silver Dip” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events.  The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).   The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80 and has remained near this level, compared to a range of the 230s only two years ago.

These two events are a strong sign to invest in precious metals.

I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” and updated this in 2017.   The report explains the exact conditions you need to make leveraged silver & gold speculations that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The purpose of the report is to share long term lessons about speculating in precious metals gained through 30 years of speculating and investing in gold and silver.

The low price of silver offers special value now so I want to send you this report because the “Silver Dip 2017” offers enormous profit potential in 2017.

Save $457.95 if You Act Now

Subscribe to the first year of the Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.  Plus you receive FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More”, the $27  report “Silver Dip 2015” and the $299 “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the first monthly issue of Pi and the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and the “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program” right away. 

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through your own purposeful business and slow, worry free purposeful investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  I guarantee you can keep “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” and “Silver Dip 2015” plus the Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.  You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.

I am so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email me within 60 days for a full refund  and keep the $299 “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program” as my thanks for giving Pi a try.  

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

Ecuador Real Estate Tours


A schedule of our remaining seminars and Ecuador real estate tours for 2009 is below.

There is also information about shopping in Salinas and a green investing idea.

Please note that we have added a Southern Ecuador coastal real estate tour that will be conducted by Amy Pinoargote.

Here is an interesting explanation that Amy sent about shopping on Ecuador’s southern coast.

Farm Fresh Produce in Salinas
Story and photos by Amy Pinoargote

Salinas has several large, modern grocery stores, but the savvy shoppers don’t buy their produce there.  Instead they travel just a few miles to the “Plaza” or farmer’s market in nearby La Libertad.  This huge market is open 7 days a week.  Not only is the produce sold here even fresher than that sold in the supermarkets, it also costs less.

Ecuador’s climate lends itself to year round cultivation of a variety of both familiar and exotic fruits and vegetables.  You can always find tomatoes, avocados, carrots, oranges, endless varieties of fresh beans and other staples.

ecuador-southern-coast

How much can you expect to pay?  A couple of dollars will go a long way.  The price on limes runs between 50 and 100 for $1.  You can also get two pineapples or several large, sweet mangos for $1.

Don’t expect to find neatly wrapped bunches of bananas, though.  You will see both bananas and plantains being sold by the branch.  Of course if you don’t want to buy several dozen bananas at a time they are sold in smaller quantities.  One variety you won’t to miss is the “orito.”  This miniature banana has a smooth texture and a sweet taste.  The going price is usually ten for 25 cents.

Not only is the produce fresh, the prices are low.  For example, you can get two delicious pineapples for $1.

ecuador-southern-coast

Some of the more exotic choices include cherimoya, mamey and melloco.   Cherimoya is a brownish green, heart-shaped fruit.  It’s eaten by breaking open the fruit and scooping out the white flesh.  Be prepared for plenty of seeds.

The mamey is a fruit shaped like an avocado with a dusty looking brown skin.  It is best eaten by cutting the fruit in half, removing the pit and using a spoon to scoop out the creamy, sweet orange flesh.

Melloco is a tuber that can be used in soups, stews and salads.  Although it looks like a small, purple speckled potato and tastes much like a potato, the texture is quite different.  It has a slightly slimy feel, much like okra.

The plaza also has a large, indoor fish & seafood market.  Each morning the fresh catch is brought to the market.  As with the produce, not only is the quality wonderful, the prices can’t be beat.  With a just a dollar or two you can buy enough fresh fish to make a large meal for a family of four.  Some varieties to try include corvina, dorado, pargo (snapper) and carita.  Most Ecuaodorians prefer to roast or fry the fish whole, although it is possible to buy it filleted.

Vendors are open until the mid to late afternoon, but the morning is really the best time to visit the plaza and the earlier the better.  Locals begin arriving before 7:00 a.m. to make their daily purchases.  The variety of produce and seafood available can dwindle as the day wears on.

Don’t forget to take loose change and single dollar bills.  Most vendors in the plaza may not have change for $10 or $20 bills.  Amy.

Green Investing Update

We are always looking for new investing opportunities that help the environment. Since our use of plastic  bags and bottles create a huge environmental concern,  I’m passing on an email from a reader.

I have not researched these shares in depth yet but am sending the early idea to you.

Gary, my name is Steven Stark, General Manager for a Eco Friendly company that is a leader in this technology in the US. We are a publicly traded company that has grown very quickly with major accounts such as Walgreens, CVS, A&P, Ace Hardware and etc.

We are selling a number of products that include biodegradable bags, non toxic cleansers and I am responsible for eco respectful batteries made from recycled materials.

Please let me know if you are interested in further conversation regarding our company and product initiatives. We are looking for strong clients in South America and would like to talk to you about
Ecuador.

You can see the company’s website at www.perfgogreen.com

Bay Street Research has issued a report on the company and shares.

The report says: Perf Go Green Holdings, Inc. (“Perf Go Green” or “the Company”) is focused on the global distribution and marketing of oxo-biodegradable† plastic products that are eco-friendly, nontoxic, and compliant with ASTM D6954-04 and food contact standards. During 2008, the Company launched and marketed a total of seven biodegradable plastic products, comprising three varieties of household trash bags, plastic drop cloths, Doggie Duty™ bags, cat pan liners, and commercial trash bags—all of which biodegrade and incorporate recycled plastics. To accelerate the degradation process, Perf Go Green’s plastic products are manufactured using a prodegradant additive. Based on environmental claims made by the manufacturer of the additive, Perf Go Green believes that its products are degradable in a landfill setting within 12 to 24 months, leaving behind no toxic residue. As such, the Company anticipates that its products can offer a practical and viable solution to minimize plastic waste in the global environment. To promote consumer awareness about Perf Go Green and its products, the Company is currently implementing a diverse marketing campaign, including television, radio, national print, and online marketing, as well as search engine optimization and retail store promotions. Perf Go Green has also established a nonprofit foundation, called Go Green 21.0, to foster and promote green education initiatives worldwide. Based on agreements with major national retailers, Perf Go Green has launched products in over 22,000 retail stores to date. Headquartered in New York City, the Company began trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTC.BB) in May 2008.

Here is a chart of the shares from finance.yahoo.com since they began to trade.

ecuador-tours

See the full report from Bay Street Research here.

Gary

This may create a business opportunity for someone interested in marketing these products in Ecuador. Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.  For details contact Steven Stark at sstark@perfgogreen.com

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

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

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

See details of the two seminars below.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the way we help: Thank you for the help on my Cotacachi trip!  Everything is working out great.  It was a little dicey getting to Atlanta for some reason all of the flights from DFW were full.  But not to worry, I just took a little side trip to Memphis then to Atlanta.  When traveling standby you learn not to stress about the flights and go with the flow.  The driver you arranged was great.  Mauricio has been fantastic and very helpful.  Peggy and Lee have also been great and spent most of the day showing me around.  I really like Cotacachi is has a great energy and the people are very welcoming.  Peggy and Lee invited me to go to the Otavalo market today.  You and Gary picked a wonderful place to live in Ecuador!

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Investing in Chaos


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

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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

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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.

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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.

investing-in-chaos

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

Ecuador Flower Longevity


Ecuador’s flower longevity is one reason why Ecuador rose and Ecuador lilies make such a great gift.

See how to order Ecuador Roses here

See how to order Ecuador Lilies here

Recently I wrote how my order of 25 Ecuador lilies actually gave us almost 100 blossoms. There are three or four blossoms on each Ecuador lily.

I arranged three full vases of Ecuador lilies. Here is one…

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two and…

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three.

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These arrangements lasted over two weeks!

Then we traveled to our daughter’s home for a visit in Florida and some of the Ecuador lilies we sent her for Easter still looked good… even though they were two weeks old.  Here they are.

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Now I have been able to see a good example of Ecuador rose longevity as well.

For Mother’s Day, I sent my mom red Ecuador roses.  They were delivered Tuesday May 5th.

Regretfully mom was then hospitalized.

We flew out to Portland May 11th.  Some of the roses had been brought along to the hospital where they did not receive any care… sitting in direct sunlight…not put in water immediately and then this was water stale.  They were almost gone.

Fortunately on May 12 we brought mom home (yea, she said!) and I dragged these wilting Ecuador roses along.  I snipped their ends and put them in fresh water.

We saw amazing results by the next day.

On the way back I also stopped at Safeway and bought a dozen yellow roses from Colombia.  Thus we can compare.

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I took this photo on May 14, nine days after these mistreated Ecuador roses were delivered.

They still looked great.

I added in a couple of the super market Colombia yellow roses for comparison. The yellow roses were two days out of the store.

You can see the difference in the size of the heads.

History suggests that the Colombian roses never fully open and that the Ecuador roses will last two or three times longer.

The Ecuador roses cost $1.59 per stem delivered to mom’s doorstep… including over the one fourth of the price ($20 of the $79) being donated to Land of the Sun to help the poor of Ecuador.

The Colombia roses were .83 cents a stem at the store.

Plus the Ecuador roses are environmentally certified.

In short the 365 days a year of direct sunlight mean that Ecuador flowers are bigger, longer lasting and brighter than most roses you’ll find in any super market… plus thanks to Fedex they can be delivered directly to your door.

See how to order Ecuador Roses here

See how to order Ecuador Lilies here

Learn more about how to earn income with Ecuador flowers at Ecuador Flower Income.

Gary

Learn more about Ecuador, Ecuador flowers and how to  earn in Ecuador on our courses and tours.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Food Prices


Ecuador food prices are low.

There is a lot more to Ecuador food than just the low price.

Ecuador food is not anything like Northern Latin food.  Beans & rice … tacos… tortillas… enchiladas… burritos etc. are NOT the typical food.

Here is a typical Al Muertzo (lunch of the day) at Meson de las Flores… beef stuffed cabbage… fresh vegetables and potato pancakes.

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Here is another, steamed quinoa with avocado and shrimp.

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Availability is of good food is great! Here are some shots I took at the Ibarra seafood market.

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Even in the Andes, There is a huge selection of great Ecuadorian seafood.

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Plus the people put such great energy in the production… the growing… the selling at the market and the cooking.  The Ecuadorian people are warm and friendly Every step in the process.

Merri and I love to get in the kitchen with the staff and cook.  Merri is a great cook and the staff are kind so they tolerate me!

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The process of preparing and cooking is fun and after the work, the staff all dine together… laughing,  joking and giggling after a long day. Here they are eating in the kitchen.

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Ecuadorians are artists at heart so they make everything beautiful.  They turn the breakfasts they serve at Meson into artforms, from the fruit…

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to the eggs and even…

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the juice. Here is the juice one morning,  fresh squeezed alfalfa and mango juice.

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Another day it is mango juice with raspberry.

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The staff  even put their enthusiasm into the linen!

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Even the catsup (I would rather not serve it at all, but some guests insist) gets special treatment… served in a carved out grapefruit.

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The chefs are serious about serving great food. Here I am with our chef Santiago.

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Alberto, our sous chef, is a maestro as well.

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The staff are always looking for ways to make the food look better when they serve.

Here are some typical coffee break servings for our course delegates.

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Empanadas

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Fresh strawberries and gooseberries with shredded fresh coconut and dipped in Ecuador chocolate.

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Quinoa jello.

Ecuador food and all this beauty is possible at really affordable prices because the base prices of Ecuador food is so low.

I asked Mauritio, our night watchman and concierge to visit Cotacachi market and get some prices of Ecuador food.

Here is Mauritio’s  report.

Mr. Gary

At the Cotacachi market a trout cost $1.66 but if you buy four or more then the prcie drops to $1.25.

Lomo fino, the best beef for one kilo is $5.28 ($2.40 a pound).

Chicken is $2.64 a kilo ($1.20 a pound).

One kilo of apples is $1.25 (8 apples). This is 56 cents a pound.

One kilo of pears is $1.25 (8 pears – 56 cents a pound).

A liter of fresh milk (appx. quart) is 40 cents.

A pineapple ranges based upon size from 80 cents  to $1.25

Eight mangoes is 2.40.

A batch of 20 bananas is  between 25 and 50 cents.

Regards, Mauritio.

Ecuador-food

Maurition Bonilla.

Low price is not everything when it comes to food.  Quality, freshness and ripeness…plus the way it is grown, prepared and served all count. in Ecuador you can get all the above at a price that is easy on the pocketbook.

Gary

Enj0y Ecuador food on our upcoming Ecuador tours.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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