Tag Archive | "Colombia"

Why Ecuador


“Ecuador has it all. Beauty, convenience, low cost and opportunity.” I wrote these words nearly fifteen years ago when Merri and I first visited this unique equatorial country as investors.

Yesterday’s message began our review of seven lifestyle foundations.

The last two messages at this site entitled Lifestyle Foundations and Ecuador Healthy Lifestyles outlined why we, at the beginning of this decade, are sharing seven key messages I have sent before…  but have update.  They reflect the fundamental values we share from the lessons we learn at this site.

This third lifestyle thought looks at why Merri and I have brought thousands of readers to Ecuador and been living and investing so much there for the past 15 years.  This messages answers the question… Why is Ecuador  a great place to be?

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Ecuador has wonderful natural resources… in the mountains and…

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and on the sea.

Ecuador is unique for many reasons.  One huge benefit is that it has direct sunlight 365 days a year. Ecuador’s topography ranges from sea level to over 22,000 feet. Going from the coastal plain into the mountains of Ecuador offers the same bio diversity as from the equator to the Arctic Circle.

Ecuador offers incredible luxury at reasonable prices… heart warming sweetness… breath taking beauty… health benefits… and new horizons  at every turn.

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Ecuador is affordable for everything… such as affordable housing… even ultimate luxury.  Here is a chef creating delights at the Relais and Chateaux Spa La Mirage in the Andes and…

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the luxurious Casa Ceibo hotel on Ecuador’s Pacific.

Having lived, worked and played there now for fifteen years, we are just beginning to realize how really special and what enormous joys and pleasures this tiny country has.

Slightly smaller than the state of Nevada, Ecuador has four highly distinct zones, the Amazon jungle basin, the Andean central highlands, the Coastal Plain and the Galapagos. Not only do these four regions offer highly different lifestyles and opportunities distinct from each other, each also offers unique sights, sounds and thrills that you cannot obtain anywhere else in the world. Yet it is all so compact!  Nothing is much more than an hour or two away.

In Ecuador you encounter cultures, knowledge, birds, plants, sights, scenes and sounds you will not find anywhere else in the world.

Yet there is even more that is hard to explain. A sweetness that lies just below the surface permeates all things and makes them somehow enjoyable in ways that are difficult to describe. Merri and I have taken over thousands of delegates to this country since we first began.

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The…

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people of Ecuador are…

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warm and…

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friendly…

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naturally.

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Again and again they say the same. “I don’t know what it is that I feel so good here, but I love it. I have to come back again.”

Perhaps it’s the random, jumbled, apparent lack of order in a society where things do work.

The airport is organized and gets better every time we arrive. The political system does move forward (Ecuador is South America’s oldest democracy), the legal system does work.

Perhaps it is the way things work differently there. Perhaps it is the incredibly low cost of fresh fruit, clean air and pure water.

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Food,  of every variety, is excellent, abundant and in expensive.

Whatever it is that makes Ecuador wonderful, many of those who have accompanied us have (like Merri and me), bought homes, moved there and bettered their lives in a multitude of ways.

Perhaps it is the slight differences because like good ice cream, the nuances often say more than the obvious. Cracks in a wall, its patina and peeling paint speak more loudly than color, architecture and design. So I’ll describe the current circumstances of the country below, but written words are never enough. I’m writing the logical reasons why you might love Ecuador here, but you need to visit. Ecuador is a place for the heart and it will be your heart that rules in Ecuador, never your mind.

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Ecuador is at the dawn of its development and has wonderful dawns like this one over the sophisticated city of…

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Quito… the Paris of South America.

Ecuador is at a crossroads. It stands in a position where it can really rise from its third world state or sink into an even deeper time of turmoil.

There are three driving forces at work, the first being economics. The country has oil… a lot of it.   About 60% of the government’s revenue comes from oil. A new airport is being built to replace the one in Quito.

On the downside the country is in an economic mess… has defaulted on its bond debt which is a huge negative for participation in the global economy.

Another driving force is the nation’s dollarization. The idea of abandoning the sucre and using the U.S. dollar as the nation’s currency was that this will stop inflation because it limits the politicians’ ability to spend. This was a good idea and the long-term stability and much lower inflation has created will be good.  The IMF loves this as do many of the other bright boys in top western economic posts…all who have never tried to run a country surrounded by other nations that do devalue their currencies. Dollarization has been good but there remain doubts that it can survive.  If the dollar rises versus currencies in neighboring countries, then Ecuador’s exports will become uncompetitive.

Enter the third driving force, President Rafael Correa.  He has gained great popularity especially be developing indigenous connections and has spent his first years in office on a reform campaign.  Can he continue to spend and can he continue his reform are the big questions.

The man is probably sincere, but like Jimmy Carter may be overwhelmed by events. He has no political experience at all. He is inheriting an economic mess and has managed to get many people angry with him.

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Ecuador’s President Correa is dynamic and aggressive… and accessible.  Here is a photo I took of Correa when he visited our village.

Ecuador real estate prices are not as low as they were when Merri and I began investing a decade ago, but the values are still good… and the cost of maintenance and taxes etc. place are still low.  The streets are not as safe as they were, but especially out of the city and away from the Colombian border, Ecuador is very safe… not a dangerous place.

There are enormous historic, economic, cultural obstacles to overcome. Three forces are clashing.

The first are the few very rich families, who have always been in economic and political control. Since there is no middle class, these business families have never used capital markets and have kept business ownership to themselves. Without capital markets they have depended on low cost labor rather than capital equipment. If they stick to this old paradigm, as real wages rise (especially in relation to the neighboring countries) they will become increasingly uncompetitive.

The second force is the huge number of very poor. They want change, better lives, etc., but do not understand global economics. They want change without changing and/ or evolving to fit into today’s modern industrial world. They want the goodies of the west but do not know what to do or how to integrate successfully into the global economy.

The third force is president Correa. He has promised to attack graft to help the poor and downtrodden.  But can he do this with success?

My humble opinion is that education is the only real way to make the shifts required. The country must focus its newly found incoming cash flow on education. The poor must be helped to become more productive so they can rise. My guess is the funds will go instead to handouts to quell uprisings and to more graft.  This has been the trend so far.

However the president has instituted free education to all in Ecuador… a good step.

This is hardly an optimistic opinion but regardless, there will be great opportunity in Ecuador.  If the country moves the right way, they will enjoy increased stability, productivity and we who move there can participate in helping this wonderful nation join its place in the global economy.

The zero on the roulette wheel will be law and order. If the impoverished majority make enough fuss, law and order may decline. This is always the businessman’s risk.  This risk is balanced by the peaceful nature of Ecuadorians and their strong family values.

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Ecuador has strong spiritual and family values. Even our small village Cotacachi has two large cathedrals.

My feeling is that the unchangeable good parts will remain.  Sweet people, more sight and sounds than you can find anywhere else, exquisite biodiversity of flora and fauna. There will be a rich, ancient culture full of wisdom to mystify you and bring you back again and again. The people have an inherent sweetness that has been ingrained for thousands of years. I do not believe that this will suddenly go away. A portion of the indigenous population (the Otavalans) are perhaps the most successful indigenous community in the world. Their influence is a stabilizing factor.

Plus there is more flora, fauna, some really great Indian markets, jungle lodges, incredible fishing, hiking, sightseeing and such. The many readers who have moved to Ecuador tell me they still love living in this place, as do Merri and I. Ecuador is a great place to visit, live in or do business. There are still some real estate deals but one has to search and work at this harder than in previous years… due in part to the large number of westerners who have moved to Ecuador.

Ecuador real estate potential is enhanced by increased inflation and this is why Ecuador real estate investing makes sense. Messages at this site monitor investments in Ecuador.

The collapse of the US economy made real estate in America more affordable… but reduced income, jobs and wealth also.  This has forced the US government to stimulate the economy at the expense of the US dollar.  This will cause inflation.

This is forcing many middle class Americans to move to less expensive areas in the US and abroad.

60 million baby boomers have begun to retire.  Many of their pensions and social security will be severely squeezed by inflation, leaving these people with one of five options.

#1: Keep working
#2: Move to less expensive areas within the US
#3: Export their retirement
#4: Live in near poverty
#5: Die

This is one reason I  believe in Ecuador.  Imagine this. 60 million boomers will retire over the next 20 years. We boomers are the most spoiled group of consumers as a demographic class that has ever existed on earth. We were promised the world. We were given the world. Now the magic is about to disappear.

Assume that 10% of these boomers will decide to move to less expensive countries. That’s 6 million people. Where is the most likely place to go? Eastern Europe offers great potential but are long distances from the US.

Estimating the Number of Americans Who Move Abroad.

My estimates at 105 may also be low. An article in Barrons entitled, “A new life in Panama” by Bob  Adams tells of  a silent immigration of Americans retirees and more, seeking to  work and live in other nations.

I have been writing and speaking and urging people to consider an international life for 40 years next May. Yet the scale of the  immigration that is taking place now surprises even me.  The author of this article  did a survey with over 115,000 respondents.

They eliminated any relocating for less than two years or because of military, government or their jobs.  They discovered that 1.6 million  households have already made the decision to relocate. 1.8 million households are seriously considering relocating and 7.7 million households are somewhat seriously considering relocating. The survey suggests that in total, an astounding 10% of American households are considering relocating abroad and another 10% are considering owning a home to either vacation or live part time abroad or 20% of Americans are n the move!

More surprisingly the largest group who are making these plans are in households aged 25 to 34.

If this survey is anywhere near correct (I will assume that Barron’s vetted this at least a bit), then the wave of Americans headed abroad are larger than I believe.

So where will these Americans (Canadians, British, Australians, Kiwis and Continentals are leaving their homelands as well) go?

Canada is out…too expensive and too cold. Most people will head south.

Mexico stands to be #1, but prices there are rising quickly and there is a lot of anti-gringo sentiment.  After all there have been numerous Mexican-American wars. The building of a fence across the border will not help either.  There is a law and order crisis. Yet it’s still probably the place that will benefit the most due to location.

Cuba, when it opens, will be ripe and good as well. A great place to buy when you can assuming no negative political circumstances. The low end Caribbean is also good except for those darn hurricanes that will put lots of people off…plus many water and transportation problems and the fact that few of the islands have a real infrastructure.

Panama is good…lots of English spoken, many yanks already there, but weather is lousy if you want to be in town (hot and humid) and prices are no longer low. Ditto for Costa Rica. Central America lacks infrastructure though there are some nice gringo settlements though they are expensive. Yet we see many Americans now moving from Panama to Ecuador.

Colombia is the first nation with a progressive economy and full infrastructure after Panama and Mexico. This is a wonderful place but security will stop most from going there. If the security/drug/crime issues are resolved and image cleans up…go buy in Colombia. This will be a great opportunity.

Argentina, especially Buenos Aries should do well also. It’s further away but BA has a very European feel.

Ecuador, 3 hours and 45 minutes from the US will benefit as the first nation with a full infrastructure and really low cost of living.

If Ecuador gets just 10% of six million Americans who leave the US, imagine what this means to this nation of 11 million.  First this is more than a 5% increase in population. However look at what it means in dollars!

According to the CIA World Fact Book, Ecuador has a Gross Domestic Income of $4,300 per annum per person. That makes a total GDP of $47,300,000,000.

Imagine what happens if the 600,000 gringos have an average income of $18,000 a year per person. That adds $10,800,000,000. This is an annual income that almost equals 20% of the entire national GDP! This is one reason why Merri and I include Latin equities in our investment portfolio and are buying more and more real estate in Ecuador.

Every cloud has a silver lining and two clouds casting shade on the greenback’s value are liberal money supply and political interference to support presidential elections. The silver lining comes in the form of profits made in places where fed up Americans and Canadians decide to go when they leave home.

This is why we have purchased a hotel, an office building, 6 condos and a house, a 900+ acre hacienda plus a beach apartment in Ecuador ourselves.

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Our hacienda Rosaspamba.

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Our house.

Our hotel Meson de las Flores.

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Our Ecuador beach apartment.

In summary Ecuador’s real estate potential may depend more on how bad things become in North America rather than how good will be be in Ecuador.

Ecuador has it all… at affordable prices and is an great place to be. Ecuador is a wonderful option to investigate if you are not happy comfortable or certain of the fate of your existing home.   Ecuador is an excellent second place, with growth potential  and no matter what happens to the global economy… the sun always shines there… 365 days a year.

Gary

Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

The Learn Spanish in three day course is now available online.

Read below to see why we are offering our Super Spanish course online for the first time.

Speaking Spanish is a huge benefit on its own.  You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak Spanish at all.

You can tap into all this potential when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says: “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling.  It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English.  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

The article then explains studies that show seven cognitive advantages gained from learning a foreign language.

#1:  You become smarter
#2:  You build multitasking skills
#3:  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
#4:  Your memory improves
#5:  You become more perceptive
#6:  Your decision-making skills improve
#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

Though you may choose to take more time using this course to learn Spanish, thousands of our readers have learned at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

This method was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov, who transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 70s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from delegates who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org).  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know .  

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we created an online program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.   This is available at the highly reduced price of $79.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79

Gary

Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Spanish online $79

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

 

Ecuador Beach Tours


Ecuador beach condos offer great value.  Only $89,000 (with 80% financing) for brand new units and resales.

Here is an update on Vistazul Ecuador condos on the coast.

These condos offer great value and come with a club membership at Palmazul Boutque Hotel & Spa.

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This is the Palmazul Boutique Hotel and Spa which is also the Vistazul club house right at the condo project.  You can enjoy massages, swimming pool, tennis.

The owner Kjetil Haugan is currently adding upgrades at the club house with a loan received from an Ecuador business agency, upgrading rooms, building a new spa in front of the ocean, adding a new bar, along with bikes and  kayaks.

There is a children’s play ground and…

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Here are children of two of the first families with children who have condos at Vistazul.

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You can enjoy fine dining overlooking the beach.

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There are also several Vistazul condo resales offered at $84,000.  The benefit of these resales is that the units are finished. You can move in or begin renting them at any time.

Kjetil has also started to promote the hotel heavily in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia and is getting an average of 10 requests per day.  This should be very good for the apartment rentals once Vistazul is ready.

Here is an update on the Vistazul project.    Units 101 t0 1o5 are now finished and sold.

103 is available as a resale at $84,000 including club membership.ecuador-sea-real-estate-401

Here is the front of units 101 to 105.

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Here is unit 102 also there is a resale at the same price…. finished and ready to move in at the same price… $89,000.

For those with patience five units that are not ready… are still for sale…  for Ecuador Living subscribers.  The price is just $89,000 including the club membership.

Here are the unfinished units in Building two…

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and six.

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Here is the site plan.

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Every unit has a sea view from the bedroom or roof and of course has great sunsets.

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Let me walk you around the project with these pictures so you can tie the units and progress to the sketch above.

Here is a shot from the Palmazul hotel which is also the condo development’s clubhouse which sits right on the beach.

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The first building you see on the left is Block #1.  This block is 133 steps to the beach…just a bit over the distance of a football field.  I counted the steps myself!

Block #3, is  done.  There is one resale here at $89,000.

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Phase one of the project has 38 units in total.  Phase II is scheduled for 32 units.

Keep in mind ownership of these condos also include a free four day Galapagos cruise worth $2,230.

If the current owner has not used this cruise that benefit also passes along with the sale.  The tour is also offered in the resale units.

Patience is a great virtue in business and investing.

Though Vistazul owners have the right to use the pool and tennis courts at the clubhouse, Vistazul is also adding a swimming pool and tennis court at to make it easier for those in the upper to rent their condos.

Phase II units have better views but also higher prices at $115,000

See www.sanclementeecuador.com/ for more information.

Gary

Interested in Ecuador beach condos. learn more hear about our Ecuador coastal real estate tours.

Ecuador Demonstrations


There were some Ecuador demonstrations last week.

ecuador-demonstrations

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

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

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

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ecuador-demonstrations

Another AP photo shows how some road blocks cannot circumnavigated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

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

Then oil prices dropped and the government began cutting back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business person from Manta:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Person from Puerto Viejo

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards,

Vilcabamba Teacher:

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

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

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

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

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

Quito Businessman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loja Businessman:

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

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

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

Guayaquil businessman:

Gary, I do not see it so bad.

Ambato Investor:

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

Coastal Businessman

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

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

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

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

Regards,

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

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

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

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

ecuador-demonstrations

Third AP photo from this article.

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

See details of the two seminar below.

ecuador-seminars

Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

ecuador-exports

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

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

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

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

Investing in Chaos


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

investing-in-chaos

Ecuador at times may seem chaotic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where do we go next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery’s life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in. Five kilowatts over four hours — how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That’s a pretty exciting place to live.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potential Ecuador Chaos

investing-in-chaos

The people of Ecuador are friendly and happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is another opinion from one of my many sources.

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

investing-in-chaos

Here are children in a parade in Cotacachi.

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

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

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

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

Here are more comments.

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

That could describe more than one politician!

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

Again this is the way I see it as well.

This is from a Quito businessman:

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

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

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

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

Let me explain:

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am seeing the start of a major wave here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is one final comment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More Cotacachi children in a parade.

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

Here are a few facts I know.

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

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

#3: Ecuador schools do not require metal detectors.

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

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

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

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

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There is a deep culture in Ecuador.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more about Ecuador diversification here.

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

See details of the two seminars below.

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

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

Retire in Ecuador


Retire in Ecuador

Are you thinking that you want to retire in Ecuador?

A huge and growing legal problem that affects the way we bank and invest is forcing Americans to change their financial plans.

We’ll look at this problem and some overseas income earning ideas that can help solve the difficulty in a moment.

One of the solutions to this dilemma is to live or retire abroad and since we focus so much on Ecuador may I review three steps that anyone should  take before they make a final decision to retire in Ecuador.  (Then we’ll get to the problem).

First, visit Ecuador. This seems obvious but we have many people who tell us they have decided to retire in Ecuador before they have visited.

Second, rent a place and stay awhile before you buy or make a final decision to retire in Ecuador. The fastest way to pay too much or make a less than perfect decision about where to retire in Ecuador is to rush a purchase.

Third, create a plan and make sure it will work for you.  Do you need to earn income? If so how.  Do you have enough assets or income  to qualify for a residence visa to retire in Ecuador.  Do you have children who need schools? Do you have healthcare issues to resolve that will affect the location where you retire in Ecuador?

Here is how other readers have told us how we have helped them retire in Ecuador. 

Here are some retire in Ecuador raves  from recent visitors who are checking Ecuador out and who, plan to retire in Ecuador.

We can help you look around to decide if you really do want to retire in Ecuador. Here is what one Ecuador Living subscriber shared.

Dear Merri and Gary, my wife and I are staying here in Ecuador at the El Meson De Las Flores both for the very first time.I thought I would relate our first impressions of this most unique place called Cotacachi.

We arrived here July 3 not knowing if we would seek permanant residency or return to the U.S. Initially the culture difference was a shock,but only after a few days we found ourselves growing fond of the Cotacachi area.

The native people in Cotacachi have made us feel welcome and comfortable.We speak only marginal spanish but store vendors and even the indiginous who sell thier vast array of wonderful organic fruits and vegetables at the Mercado also are all helpful and accomodating

Ecuadorian people seem far more relaxed than many people in the U.S.

And it is true.Ecuadorian children do play together safely after dark.

Most ladies wear the traditional clothing,are quite pretty and take pride in their appearance.

On Leather street there are countless stores with gorgeous belts,boots,handbags,jackets,sweaters,etc,all usually made by the vendors who sell them. These Ecuadorians seem to be very creative and industrious. Otavalo has a huge marketplace and has a surprising bustle to it. To us, Otavalo has its own character but lacks the village atmosphere of Cotacachi.

The views in Cotacachi are incredible. If you like greenery,high mountain volcanoes and patchwork hillsides Cotacachi is spectacular. We went to the Mercado Sunday morning and the veggies and many exotic fruits for sale were beyond belief. Giant heads of brocolli, lettuce, tomatos, herbs and some fruits we have never seen before.

Best of all, so inexpensive. Three large bags about 16 dollars.The restaurants here are inexpensive but they seem to serve mostly starches (rice, potatos etc) along with chicken, beef or pork.

You can order fresh veggies if you want in most eateries.

Also,the produce in Ecuador is fresh.Locally grown and harvested right to your stomach.Certainly not shipped hundreds or thousands of miles like US supermarket produce.For any person who wants to improve their health through diet Cotacachi could be the answer.There are poor people in Ecuador, but no body appears to be going hungry.

Downsides?  Well,the traffic can be noisy and the drivers seem to have the right of way.  There are no emission standards so exhaust fumes can be a problem. Debbie and I have decided to seek residency in Ecuador.

We do live on my pension and believe we can be happy and healthy living a more relaxed lifestyle here in Cotacachi.

Also, I compliment your staff at  Meson? Everyone here has been helpful to us being our first time in Ecuador and also after a particuraly bad experience with animal customs at the Quito airport. Thank you  to Eduardo, Rosita, Consuelo, Franklin, Mauricio, Alberto, Christian the computer guy and the other fine associates at Meson. To the wonderful kindred spirits we have met, Olivia, Maggie, Jaci, Mercedes Peggy and Lee.  Again,thank you all.

Talk to a US (or Canadian) and Ecuador attorney before you retire in Ecuador.

Here is what an Ecuador Living subscriber shared about this.

Hi Merri:  I’ve been meaning to send you a note to let you know my passport paperwork was in perfect order for our 12IX Visa and we got it in two days after the applicaction was sent to Washington.  I gave my permanent visa paperwork to the attorney you recommended when we arrived in Manta and it was in order as well.  There were a couple of documents they had to prepare for us to sign and it was off to Quito with the attorney the day after we met with him for the first time.  I can’t say enough good things about your referal (and his Immigation specialist).  It was because of their help that the legal part of our experience in Ecuador has gone so well.  Thank you again for the referral and for filling me in on what we needed to do prior to leaving the States.  Believe me, most people out there don’t give you the true or whole story about the visa requirements.  Because of your advice, we saved ourselves a lot of headaches.

Another wrote about one of the immigration attorneys we refer to our Ecuador Living readers who want a retire in Ecuador visa.

I contacted the Ecuador attorney as you suggested and he gave my file to hsi asscoiate who specializes in immigration.  They responded immediately and she has been wonderful.  I think I have ordered all the documents I need certified and apostiled.  It’s taking forever to get a couple of them but I’m hoping they will arrive soon.  Until you go through this, you don’t realize just how time-consuming it is.  Thank you so much for your advice in this regard. You and Gary have been so helpful in helping us realize the potential problems and we are very appreciative.

Get to know expats in the community who can share what they have learned as they retire in Ecuador.

One Ecuador living subscriber planning to retire in Ecuador wrote this:

We arrived in Manta on May 30th and after spending a few days at the Howard Johnson’s, rented a house for a month. It was owned by a wonderful Ecuadorian woman (native of Cuenca) who moved to the Casita in the back.  We became great friends and met a lot of people through her as well as through the local Gringo organization.

We came to Cuenca a week ago and are living in a rented, furnished apartment overlooking the city (across from the Ore Verde Hotel.)  We attended the Gringo gathering Friday night and who should appear shortly after we arrived we met another one of your Ecuador Living subscrobers who we had met on the January Tour.  Never did I dream we might run into her in Cuenca.  It was great seeing her.

We know we love Ecuador and, hopefully, after out three month rental is up here we hope to be able to decide where we want to settle.  At this point, we are really loving Cuenca! Thanks, Merri and regards to Gary.

Talk to MDs and learn about the healthcare options you may need before you retire in Ecuador.

Here is what one Ecuador Living subscriber who planned to retire in Ecuador shared about this.

Here is the website for my insurance company in Ecuador.  They have clinics across Ecuador plus a number to call and talk to an English Speaking sales person.

The monthly rate for a 69 yr old – and it is $80. Plus the initial medical exam.

They do not have doctors who speak Englaish but I suspect that within all the clinics there probably is at least one, if not several doctors who speak English.

They do have connections with optmologists and dentists in other clinics.

They do not cover treatment outside Ecuador except for emergency treatment in Colombia.

Emergencies are covered all over Ecuador – say you have the misfortune to suffer a life threatening event then you would, presumably, be taken to Loja and treated in a hospital there. You would pay the cost and the insurance would re-imburse you.

All non emergency treatment needs to take place in Quito or where there are insurance owned or affiliated clinics – at this moment just Guayaquil or Santo Domingo.

Now the problem.

The problem is that Americans have lost control of their wealth.

An insidious form of of loss has been taking place for decades and now we are in the end game.

The theft has taken place in the same way the Nazis robbed the Germans of control.

A German industrialist once explained how the Nazi’s took over when he explained that very few people were Nazis.  However many enjoyed how the Nazis brought back an external German pride.  Most were just too busy to care.  The majority let it all happen at an early stage.   Too late the realization came that the Nazis were in total control.   See how this has happened to your wealth here a Bank Privacy Gone

One way to overcome the problem is with overseas income ideas.

See one Ecuador Income idea at Retire in Ecuador with Income

Big problems creates big opportunity.  The huge problem of losing our bank privacy  is creating great profit for those who move, invest or retire abroad. Whether you work invest and retire in Ecuador or elsewhere,  be sure to create ways to protect your wealth in the inflationary era ahead.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about early retirement and Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador 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
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

International Investing Trick


Here is a global diversification trick that may do well in the likely global economic scenario ahead. Buy good value shares internationally as markets dive during the summer dip.

In a moment we’ll look at some Ecuador health ideas… first the investing trick.

Global equity markets have been in a bear market rally for six months but are now hitting the summer blues due to seasonality.

Share prices will probably drop now. Chances are there will be a strong global equity slump at least through October 2009.

This will create extra value in equity markets and provide good opportunity to pick up high value long term.

The bear market is likely to carry on until 2012-13, but good value shares acquired during dips are more likely to spike early and have extra potential after the bear ends.

Now through October 2009 could be a good time to invest in high value shares for long term appreciation.

But which shares… in which markets?

One way to approach this is to look for extra value created by inefficiencies in markets…to find markets where the values are best.

Statistically this is the best way to be absolutely sure of the best long term returns.

There are numerous investment managers who use very strict valuation criteria (usually based on dividend yields, cash flow, price earnings) to spot the best value markets.  They then try to apply similar criteria to select good value shares in the good value market.

The next goal is to decide how much should be weighted in major market and how much in emerging markets.

Here is a comparison of the Morgan Stanley Major Market versus Emerging Market indices.

The MSCI World Index is a market capitalization weighted index that measures the equity market performance of developed markets.  It includes 23 developed market country indices : Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index includes Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

Major                            Emerging
15 years    4.10%                   5.41%
10 years  -3.85%                   9.11%
5 years    -2.77%                  11.16%
3 years   -10.81%              -00.17%
1 year      -20.81%             -27.53%
3 mos.      14.30%               27.53%

Regardless of the time frame observed,  the emerging equities almost always seriously outperformed major markets… but as a class they also dropped further in the 2008 downturn.

Here is a year-on-year comparison for the past five years.

Major                   Emerging
2003  10.74%           29.63%
2004    6.46%           16.51%
2005   26.17%           54.41%

2006     7.40%          18.23%

2007     -1.66%         25.71%
2008   -50.30%      -37.64%
2009      5.39%         34.79%  3 months

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

However before becoming too aggressive in over weighting emerging markets, we have to keep in mind two thoughts.

First economic thought. The last 15 years has been a catch-up era when the investing world caught on to the idea that emerging markets offered great opportunity.

Second economic thought. A great deal of emerging growth came from debt financed exports to the developed world. This leaves emerging economies holding huge amounts of debt for customers who may not be able to repay the debt nor continue to buy the same volume of goods as before.

The easiest way for investors to invest in good value during dips is via a value mutual fund.

You can select a value major market fund, a value emerging market fund or a value diversified fund.

The benefit of a value diversified fund is that the professional manager decides how much to weight in emerging and major markets.

For example I just sent a lesson to our multi currency subscribers that showed a US traded international diversified value fund that has risen 36.08% in the past quarter ending June 30, 2009.  This fund is 86% in major markets and 14% in emerging markets.

Learn how to read about this fund as a multi currency subscriber.

The most valuable asset we can have in tough economic times is good health. This is why we studied Ecuador health ideas at our June tour.

Cotacachi is considered sacred by the shamans… a place of wonderful mountains that ring the valley.  This is Mt. Cotacachi to the west.

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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The first afternoon of the tour we visited La Mirage Spa and the Shamana Estella.

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She began a theme that the many shamans we visited confirmed.   She said that the three keys to better health, increased longevity, more energy and fulfillment are good nutrition, proper exercise and good sleep.

The purpose of the Ecuador shamanic tour is to learn ways to unlock this healthy  combination in a natural low cost way!

The second day we joined Clemencia, the Shamana of Zuleta and drove 15 minutes from our hotel Meson de las Flores to Otavalo market where we visited the local food market…

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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Here is the shamana speaking to the group with Merri and Mauricio translating.

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We learned the importance of the herbs to make good teas that hydrate the body are cedron, chamomile and lemon verbena.

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We learned how other herbs relax such as chamomile and valerian root. Plus we were told to boil lettuce in milk as a prebedtime drink for better sleep.

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On the other hand, tea from cinnamon, paprika, cloves and ginger help reduce sluggishness in digestion and to speed the system when we need to be fired up.

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You can read this entire report as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

Gary

We hope you’ll join us and enjoy Ecuador’s or North Carolina’s beauty soon.

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador 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
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 Tickets #3


Buying Tickets to Ecuador Part Three

This series on buying tickets to Ecuador began with two articles at this site.  If you missed part one see it at Buying Tickets to Ecuador.

See Ecuador Tickets 2 here.

Here is a rave from the first messages on this series.

Merri,  This message on Ecuador tckets is a good one=—thanks for your input.  Shoot, I thought I WAS THE BEST at getting Ecuador tickets!!!!!!     I use Delta, American and Southwest…..I did not have quite enough miles on American for both my son and I so we just bought the extra miles. I am using Delta miles to fly to Calgary and I am getting first class on way back for no extra miles because their coach air mile seats were taken but they had a first class seat available.  I am happy. When I get over 50,000 miles with one airline, I start using the card that needs boosting up to 50,000 —and Southwest is easy—-I like it —2 hours to Columbus from TPA——can go to Orange City airport in California – Seattle – Tulsa – now they are hooked up with  West Jet for  Calgary-!!!    but I loved Avianca and Lan Peru both.  Our airlines do not compare.

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There are many reasons to buy an Ecuador ticket. Miles of safe empty each is one. All the pictures in this message were taken at San Clemente Ecuador around the Vistaul condos. For more information on Vistazul contact Kjetil Haugan at kjetil@haugancruises.com

There are no hurricanes in Ecuador.  This surf is as bad as  have ever seen.

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Most days it looks like this.  Or at best…

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a surf to play in… .. lots of nature… birds and sun!

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Here is the third part of Merri’s tips on Ecuador tickets.

Some suggestions for Ecuador.  I find a lot of people need help on this somewhat exotic country…because there isn’t a lot of information out there.  Gary and I have lived/worked in Ecuador for going on 15 years, so we’ve learned a lot the hard way…that is so you won’t have to!

Here are my list of dos and don’ts:

1.Fly into Quito not Guayaquil (even if the flight is cheaper). Guayaquil is a big, bustling, expensive city full of a lot of things you don’t need to put up with and not much of interest to tourists as well as those who want to look for a place to live.  Quito is orderly and functional and the airport really organized.  We have good friends in Guayaquil and over the years have spent a lot of time there, but that doesn’t mean that we like it.  It also costs a lot of time and money to get up to Quito (over $100 round trip, so that usually wipes out any savings) and since most flights arrive in the evening…you’ll have to overnight in expensive Guayaquil.

The surf at San Clemente is safe enough for kids to play in.

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Merri continues.

2.Don’t fly on a Colombian Airline (Avianca and others), even if it is great deal cheaper.

For instance, right now Avianca is flying from Miami to Quito for $361 while Delta is listing at $362. (round trip).  I’ve been waiting for all of you to arrive in Quito for over 14 years and those which fly from Bogota, Colombia often don’t land in Quito, they go onto Guayaquil and overnight there…or more usual, they just stop in Bogota (unscheduled of course) and then continue in the next day to Quito.

Why do people fly with them?  Often they are the cheapest…but cheap is nothing compared to an American passport holder overnighting in Bogota and not really understanding when the next plane goes out, plus missing your ride in Quito, etc.  I always  say to people this is the prime example of false economy.

Weather can be misty with a socked in airport and Quito can be a tricky airport to land into.  (This will be remedied when the new airport is finished.  It is built on top of a plateau instead of in the valley of Quito.)  All Delta pilots who fly in there are licensed to land in any weather (but sometimes choose not to land and go to Guayaquil…but rarely.)  Colombian pilots are rarely licensed to land on instruments, so the plane just stays in Colombia and comes the next day…not ever a good thing for a traveler!  I’ve waited hours in the Quito Airport with our crew for years looking for those people who don’t arrive until the next day!

Even little children are safe on this beach.

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Merri’s notes continue.

3. Bring your own favorite non heavy snacks and just drink lots of water, skip the airline fare and the drinks…you’ll feel better and the next day not have any recovery time.

4. We never book “Multiple Airlines” tickets.  This can be a combination of all sorts of airlines and can be a reason if anything goes wrong (like lost luggage) that no one claims responsibility.  We don’t like to mix airlines.

5. If you think that Quito might be too high in altitude for you, then just hire a driver to meet your plane, bring you water and fruit and a pillow and blanket and bring you on out to your destination!  That’s what we do!

Ecuador is a charming, beautiful country…buy your tickets with care and enjoy the ride!

Let’s discuss Award Tickets vs Pay with Miles and other variations that  we use tomorrow.

Big children can play in the surf as well!

tickets-ecuador

Gary

Go to Part Four of Buying Tickets to Ecuador here

Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

The Learn Spanish in three day course is now available online.

Read below to see why we are offering our Super Spanish course online for the first time.

Speaking Spanish is a huge benefit on its own.  You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak Spanish at all.

You can tap into all this potential when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says: “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling.  It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English.  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

The article then explains studies that show seven cognitive advantages gained from learning a foreign language.

#1:  You become smarter
#2:  You build multitasking skills
#3:  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
#4:  Your memory improves
#5:  You become more perceptive
#6:  Your decision-making skills improve
#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

Though you may choose to take more time using this course to learn Spanish, thousands of our readers have learned at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

This method was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov, who transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 70s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from delegates who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org).  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know .  

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we created an online program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.   This is available at the highly reduced price of $79.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79

Gary

Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Spanish online $79

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

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.

Global Investing and Ecuador


My global investing and business began 41 years ago May 2, 1968 and eventually led me to Ecuador.

My background as son of a zoo keeper did not leave me prepared.

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Here is a newspaper clipping of my sister Sandra and me feeding a baby lion we kept at home… one of many lions and tigers we raised.

Let me share 41 years of multi currency investing and a couple of important facts I learned that may help you… including what’s happening with the swine flu in Ecuador.

I arrived in Hong Kong in the night, the tropical air so soft it was a velvet mist.   Thick evening scents in the fragrant harbor and mellow insects purrings in rhythm with the cacophony of the great city!  What a an exotic adventure.

Kai Tak was Hong Kong’s airport then and being American born and bred, I knew nothing about investing aboard.

That was my first airplane trip, first time out of Oregon. Portland to Vancouver, Tokyo to Hong Kong.  I melted in my heavy woolen blazer, was weary and afraid but excited too. An incredible global investing journey had begun… and continues to this day.

Here I was, 21 years old.

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Here is the first stamp in that first passport. That stamp you might say was my first international investment.

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That first stamp makes a point by the way about how to enter and initially work or invest in a country.  That first stamp was issued May 2, 1968 and allowed me to stay in Hong Kong until June 2, 1968.

I worked in Hong Kong for quite some time on tourist stamps… coming in for a month at a time.   I was developing sales teams in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines at the same time so a month was plenty of time before I exited.

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Here is one of my first sales teams… this one in Hong Kong led by John So Kwok Kee (far left – you can guess which one I am).

I built teams from the north in Japan down through Thailand.  One of the salesmen we worked with in Thailand, Brian Tracy, returned later to Canada and has had great success in the sales education field.

Starting a business, investigation or residence with a tourist visa is a pretty good idea. This is usually the easiest, most efficient, practical way to begin so you can be sure what you are doing and how you’ll develop a more permanent stay if you want one.  In many cases… such as mine… a permanent tourist system is simply the easiest and best.

I began my business in Hong Kong this way and for years I also lived and worked in England on tourist stamps before obtaining my permanent residence there.

A reader recently sent me this note about Ecuador tourist visas.

“Gary, When I was staying at the Hotel, someone mentioned that you do not
have a residential visa for Ecuador.  Is this correct?  How do you
spend as much time in the country as you do?”

Here is my rely:

“I spend less than 6 months a year in Ecuador.

“We have heard from others who come stay for 90 days, leave for just a day or two (especially just over the border in Peru or Colombia)  and come right back that there are difficulties.

“Our experience is that every time we come to Ecuador we are given a 90
day visa.  However we do not stress this system. For example we may stay 70 days and then be away for weeks or even a month or so.  Then return for 20 days or so.. then leave for another month etc.   The immigration officers look carefully at the total number of days by the end of the year and to help them, I keep a list of each day we have arrived and departed and the page number in our passport… so they can efficiently see we have not been in more than 180 days the maximum allowed on a T-3 tourist visa).

Be careful not to overstay. One reader reported that having done so he was denied entrance upon his return and were not allowed to return to Ecuador for one year.

We have a full report on Ecuador visas and an immigration attorney who helps our Ecuador Living subscribers.

I am also preparing a report for Ecuador Living subscribers to answer this question from a reader yesterday.

“Hi Gary, Wonderful timing, we had tickets to fly from Guadalajara to Quito yesterday, but were stymied by the fact that Ecuador (and Peru) are refusing passengers from Mexico.  We understand Ecuador’s borders  will be closed for a month to non-residents flying in from Mexico.

We had thought about flying back to the States and then flying to Ecuador, but an electronic scan of our passports would show we’d been in Mexico and we’re not sure what would happen.  Any insights?   Thanks!

You can obtain these reports and answers as an Ecuador Living subscriber. Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Back to Hong Kong.  I began there selling US mutual funds.

When arriving there 41 years ago there is no way I could have known how exciting the next decades would be, how much information, facts, figures, ideas and insights on how to invest globally would be gained. Had I known the mistakes to be made I would probably have run!

Then I moved east again to England and Europe… trying many things.

Thankfully all the trials, tortures and errors were mitigated by much fun and an earnest endeavor to live right and learn.

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Here is a newspaper clipping of me  with a business partner in my London office on Artillery Row selling square inches of Graceland… not really a very good idea.

Later I imported Rolls Royces and Bentleys from England to the US… a better idea.

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One goal at this site is to share basics of global investing and living an international life learned over these 41 years. Global investing has changed so much during this time and is changing even faster now.  I am continually forced to rearrange my thinking strategy and tactics at a faster pace.

We offered health courses at our North Carolina farm. Here I am with our son, Jake, with one tactic we taught… a morning dip in a cold creek after exercise… yes that is snow on the banks and no… this not surprisingly did not sell very well either.

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Our food as medicine courses taught by Merri in her teaching kitchen at the farm had better attendance!

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For almost 15 years now we have been conducting courses in Ecuador. Here I am this year in the meeting room at the Cotacachi museum next to Meson de las Flores on an Ecuador export tour.

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This continual evolution has helped Merri and me, our readers and our income continually grow… through good times and bad.

Yesterday April 2009 for example ended with anoter record month for our internet sales.  Our 2009 sales (April month on month) were up 48.01% over April 2008, which in turn were up 24.04% over April 2007 sales.

Our sales in the first four months of 2009 were up 81.75% over Jan through April 2008 which was up 26.20% over 2007.  Learn how to develop an internet business that can grow like this here.

The reason we have survived and progressed amidst this never ending update is that the little stuff shifts and evolves, but the fundamentals remain immutable.

Investing globally is not a panacea, but expanded horizons are. Life is a trip and we have an entire globe to enjoy the ride.

Two years ago on May 2, 2007, I wrote:

History suggests that this is a time when chances are increased for panic and sudden drops in investment markets. Investors who have proven themselves nervous short term thinkers are highly leveraged, in thin, over purchased markets that are easily sinkable boats treading the dangerous waters of May though October when tradition says the currents will most likely be treacherous and surrounded with lots of storms.

Now, that this risk has proven true, history also suggests that we have a once in a life time opportunity.

The way to cash in on this incredible opportunity is the same way I suggested avoiding the collapse two years ago. I wrote then: “One way to get good international investments is to take a long term, expansive international view.”

My first trip abroad 41 years ago was significant because 1968 was the beginning of a new era for world stock markets. When I arrived in Hong Kong the world of investing was dominated by Wall Street. That was about to end. 1968 was the year when the Hong Kong Stock Market began to explode upwards along with Tokyo’s market. What a ride!

The Heng Seng Index was then 100 and rose to 18,000. Anyone who steadily committed money to this market then made a fortune.

I can sum up my investment basic investing and advice in seven sentences.

#1: 1970s. Invest in real estate, gold, silver Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

#2: 1980s. Invest in real estate, the Tigers, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore Malaysia and South Korea as well.

#3: 1990s. Invest in real estate South America (which led me to Ecuador).

#4: 2000s. Invest real estate, China, India and emerging markets including Ecuador real estate.

#5: Always have an expansive view.

#6: Use stop losses during peaks.

#7: Have an international investment view. Never overextend. Don’t trade too much, just hang on.

This philosophy has reaped millions for Merri and me. Had we been more expansive, we would have an extra $20 million or so.  However our conservative approach to business and investing also protected us during the recent melt down of 2007 and 2008.

This may be time to begin taking advantage of the recovery. Panic is subsiding but values are still high. The huge excesses of the US and other government’s will at some stage begin to seriously erode the purchasing power of currencies.

I remain highly diversified from a currency point of view.  Here is my current currency breakdown in my liquid portfolio that represents 43% of my total portfolio.

An excerpt from a recent Multicurrencyinvesting.com lesson explains why when I wrote about the currency distribution of investments:

Here is my currency distribution:

Danish kroner    24%
Euro                     24%
British Pound      8%
US Dollar            12%
Canadian Dollar 3%
Norway kroner   4%
NZ Dollar             3%
Sweden kroner    7%
Brazil real             3%
Hungary Forint   6%
Turkey Try            6%

With more than a third of my liquid position in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian kroner, my Scandinavian  position is seriously over weighted in terms of global market size.

One reason is because these are such small countries located on the sea.  This means that their histories are composed of  travel and trade.

A nation’s heritage reflects in the value of its currency strength. This fact helped me answer this question from a reader.

“Gary, Will  future strength in DKK be bad for equities denominated in that currency?”

Here is my reply.

Most of the Danish companies you would buy are global companies.

Because Denmark is such a small market any large Danish company is doing most of its business out of Denmark  so a lot of their success depends on the type of business business and where the company actually manufactures and sells its products.

Plus look at the margins built into the product.

One benefit in Scandinavia is their very highly educated population. A recent Time magazine article shows that Finland (not Scandinavian but Baltic and Finland’s currency is the euro – otherwise I would have Finmark in my portfolio as well) ranked number one for educational performance of 15 year olds in math. Denmark was number 10, Sweden number 15 and Norway number 23… all ahead of the US (number 25).

Finland was number one for reading performance of 15 years olds as well.  Sweden number seven, Norway number 10 and Denmark number 16. The US was number 15.

This means that the products produced in these nations will tend to be high value.

For example, Novo Norsk makes insulin.  I suspect that the margins are substantially high.

Ditto for novozymes that makes enztymes for environmental purification.  These are firms where there is likely to be a great deal of value added into their product.

Vestas, makes wind turbines. and may be more affected by a strong kroner if they do a lot of manufacturing in Denmark but are having and sales in the US and especially if their competitors manufacture in the US or other countries where the currency is weak.

I am updating the value of major and emerging markets now at multicurrencyinvesting.com and will be revaluing our green and Danish portfolios in upcoming lessons.  You can subscribe to our Multi Currency Portfolios Course here.

I have increased my Ecuador real estate to 22% of my total property.  The balance is in US property and I am looking to add more US property now in Florida and or Savannah.

If you have real estate in central Florida or Savannah that you would like to swap for real estate in Ecuador… let me know.

I have held a high cash position for over a year but now agree with Warren Buffet who recently wrote about business and opportunity:

Clinging to cash equivalents or long-term government bonds at present yields is almost certainly a terrible policy if continued for long. Holders of these instruments, of course, have felt increasingly comfortable – in fact, almost smug – in following this policy as financial turmoil has mounted. They regard their judgment confirmed when they hear commentators proclaim “cash is king,” even though that wonderful cash is earning close to nothing and will surely find its purchasing power eroded over time.

Now is the time to convert cash into investments that will appreciate with the loss of cash’s loss of purchasing power… stocks… commodities… real estate or your own business.

This leaves all of us with a lot to do after 41 years of a global life.

I feel healthier and more energetic then 41 years ago.   Maybe I am not wiser… but I am more experienced and seem in a better position then when I took that first trip.

Merri and I look forward to the next 41 years… and we look forward to sharing them with you!

Gary

This is the schedule of Gary our 2009 Ecuador information tours, courses and seminars.

May 16-17 Ecuador Coastal Tour

May 20-21 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

May 22-24. Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour

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 Wills


Ecuador wills do not work if challenged.

We’ll look at some important information about Ecuador wills and Ecuador’s legal system in a moment.

Plus see below how asset protection benefits in the LLC you use may have changed.

Here is a group of indigenous farmers that our foundation Land of the Sun (LOTS) is helping.  They created a mingo (working circle) to clean out their water system that feeds a school that LOTS is helping to renovate.  Merri and I and some friends visited to check on their progress.

Ecuador-wills

Everyone works, men…

Ecuador-wills

women…

Ecuador-wills

young…

Ecuador-wills

and old.

Ecuador-wills

Well… not everyone works.

Ecuador-wills

But everyone gets involved in helping. Here is our hotel manager Franklin Sandoval conferring with the head of the village.

Ecuador-wills

I mentioned our foundation here  because it helps us gained fulfillment in our business, plus creates tax and asset protection benefits plus is part of our estate planning to make sure that the people of Ecuador are helped even after we pass.

Making sure that your assets held abroad are protected and properly conveyed in your estate requires extra planning.

Yet many Ecuador Living subscribers have been buying real estate or are moving to Ecuador without giving thought to the added complexity in their estate plans and other legal requirements.

I strongly suggest that you review you entire estate with both a local and Ecuadorian attorney. Here are some excerpts from an Ecuador Living report on why.

The Western world operates on two systems of law, the civil law of ancient Rome, and the common law of England.  These two systems have a lot in common, yet in many important areas they differ.

These differences can create legal conflicts in contracts, wills, trusts, parental rights and even residency.

The passing of wealth to heirs for example is one area that differs.

Few people coming from North America (which operates under a British common Law system), understand that US, Canadian or Ecuador wills do not work in Ecuador if challenged.

Many legal systems have evolved from The Roman civil code.  The Napoleonic Code is the French version, established under Napoléon I in 1804.  The Napoleonic code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system though. The Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis was reated in Bavaria arund 1756).  The Allgemeines Landrecht formed in Prussia, around 1794.  The West Galician Code,  began in part of Austria around 1797.

Many of the civil codes in Latin America are based on an original work derived from the French code and Castillan law.  Chile was the first to accept this type of legal system in 1855.  Ecuador followed in 1858.  El Salvador,  Venezuela,  Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Panama are other countries with a legal system based on this foundation.

In this Ecuador legal system, the will is called the testament and allows the testor to direct the disposal, in whole or in part, of their property, upon death.   The testor retains the right to revoke the provisions in the testament anytime during his or her life.

However there is a difference in common and civil law as to what is a person’s property is.   In most civil codes, the wife automatically owns half of all property unless otherwise  stipulated in a formal way. The children own the other half.  Period. A will cannot supersede this fact.

If a person’s will leaves all of his or her property to his or her spouse, the will works fine UNLESS the children contest the will. If they do the testament will not be valid.

This can create complications in simple circumstances.  If the circumstances become complicated… for example children from two or more marriages… then problems could mount.  There is even a concern in my mind that a surviving spouse could lose investor residency status if the inheritance falls below required minimums.    A spouse could lose residency and a house!

In a common law country a person can write a will on a scrap of paper, throw it in a drawer (not advised) and that may be enough.  Though it also might not.  In a civil code jurisdiction such a will definitely will not work!

So if you create a will in Ecuador and then write another later… be sure to make the change official. Otherwise the new will may not work.

In a common law legal system wills do not have to be recorded and often the act of writing a new will allows the new document to supersede the old.

Ecuador’s Act reforming the Civil Code, of August 17, 1989 updated a number of areas relating to  covers relationships between a children and their parents, marriage, divorce, the status of wives, marital property and marital agreements.

Having an attorney to help you with estate planning in every country where you hold property makes sense…  especially if  two of the countries have different legal systems.

The US attorney we use is our friend (and trustee of LOTS) Joe Cox.

Joe’s firms specializes in cross border tax and estate planning, asset protection and real estate.

He provides an incredible system called The Strategic Snapshot which is an easy to use, color coded visualization of a person’s structures, corporate entities, estate plan and assets. We use the snap shot and have found it incredibly useful in seeing how everything from a legal point of view should fit.

You can ask Joe about the Strategic Snapshot at  jcox@coxnici.com.

Joe’s law firm also provides an excellent estate planning newsletter that I read regularly.

A recent letter at his archive shows how and says:

Conversion to Manager-Managed LLC Format

Many individuals concerned with asset protection have formed a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) in an effort to protect their assets. In fact, most people do not know that Florida was the second state in the United States to draft LLC legislation (dating back to 1982). Most LLCs we see in our daily practice have been formed as member-managed LLCs, that is, when the members (i.e., owners) of the LLC control and manage the LLC as well. However, due to recent changes in the law regarding LLCs, we are now recommending that any Member-Managed LLC be converted into a Manager-Managed LLC format.

The intent of this recommendation is to increase the creditor protection of the LLC should the Member be involved in a lawsuit.

For example; under a Member-Managed LLC, if a creditor of the Member is able to obtain the LLC membership units (by court order, for example), the creditor could obtain management rights and make decisions for the LLC. At least one recent court ruling (from Colorado) makes this result a possibility. However, under a Manager-Managed LLC format, the Manager retains control of the management of the assets held by the LLC even if someone else “controlled” the LLC membership units.

In a Manager-Managed LLC, an elected Manager (pursuant to the Operating Agreement) manages the LLC. Note, that an existing member can act as the initial Manager of the LLC, and an independent Manager can be elected at a later time, if desired. Under a Manager-Managed LLC format, if a member was successfully sued, and the creditor obtained the member’s LLC membership units, the Manager could withhold distributions from all Members and the creditor would receive nothing. This result could deter a potential creditor from filing an unjustified or otherwise frivolous claim.


Plus Joe’s website offers an easy to use internet questionaire. See Questionaire.

We live in a complicated world often made more frustrating by the legal system.  Legal systems are problematic enough when one lives and resides in one country.   Difficulties can compound when living and or holding assets in two countries or more… especially if both legal systems…common and civil become involved.  So get an attorney and get advice so you, your spouse and your heirs never find your results uncivil.

The text above is an excerpt from a more complete report sent to Ecuador Living subscribers that describes Ecuador legal system, how to create wills there and provides legal contacts in the US, Canada and Ecuador that can help.

Learn how to subscribe here.

Regards,

Gary

Join us in Ecuador at a 2009 course or tour.

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17. $499 Enroll here.   $749 For a couple.

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21.  $499 Enroll here.  $749 For a couple.

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24.  $399 Enroll here. $499 For a couple.

Take Two for One. Attend any of the three international business & investing courses below and select any one of the tours above free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

Sign up for our three May 2009 tours and attend any of the IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web seminar above FREE.

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.

Learn about our July 2009 Ecuador export tour 2-4-1 deal here.

See our full 2009 schedule here.

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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