Tag Archive | "Cuba"

Why Cuba is Not Ecuador


Many readers have asked about our interest in Cuba.   A BBC article, “US approves Ferry service between Cuba and Florida” (1) announced yesterday that there will soon be a ferry service between the USA and Cuba.  We’ll be enjoying those ferry trips ourselves but there are several reasons why we do not think Cuba will be like Ecuador from a real estate investing point of view.

Since the 1970s when we began publishing our books and reports on global investing, we have included special real estate opportunity created by distortions and trends.

Bedford Park

In 1976, I noticed that London real estate had not appreciated while property prices in much of the USA,  Asia and Western Europe had skyrocketed.  Research showed that there had been a huge real estate crash in 1970 which continued to dampen London real estate prices six years later despite the rampant global inflation.  This was quite a distortion so I started buying British real estate. The first house in Bedford Park (a London suburb) cost$35,000 and sold four years later for $253,000.

Our London experience led us to the Isle of Man where again real estate prices were of incredible value.  After years there we headed to the Dominican Republic and finally stumbled across incredible real estate bargains in Ecuador.

We are definitely headed to Cuba but in a far different way than we did in Ecuador.

There will be real estate bargains in Cuba for sure, but a lot of the low hanging fruit is gone.  Though Americans have not been able to invest in Cuba, the rest of the world has.  The small amount of real estate that was for sale has been taken and is now not cheap.  Some Havana apartments already have have premium prices.   A recent Wall Street Journal article “Real estate revolution hits Cuba” (2) tells of one Havana penthouse listed, by a Bermudian investor, at $1.2 million.

During our first Ecuador real estate tours (in the 1990s) wonderful brand new condos in Quito were under $50,000.  This is a big difference in price. 

The legal situation is also very different.  Ecuador had easy real estate regulations from the getgo.  Anyone from anywhere could buy Ecuador real estate and were treated equal to Ecuadorians.  The purchasing system was proven, understood and really easy.

Cuba has not had much of a concept of private ownership so there will need to be reform and the establishment of people and a system to convey real estate ownership.  There is great opportunity in this but this will not be as simple as the “buy almost anything and it will rise” approach that was available in Ecuador.

A helpful reader shows a note that explains one complication.

Gary, the Associated Press article “Run From Cuba, Americans Cling to Claims for Seized Property” (3) tells me more than I have ever known about Cuba and makes me a bit hesitant about Latin America in general.

Mount Dora was mentioned as a home to one of the individuals in the article and I was glad to know so much more about the Mount Dora than I had ever known.  I have also read about those living in North Carolina and Asheville and so forth and how many are writers and publishers from that area.  Just wanted to share since I know you are focused on Cuba now.

I would not put it past US regulators to require that Americans report ownership of Cuban property on their income tax form and passing legislation that puts such ownership at risk to repatriation.  This risk is increased if some of the minor presidential candidates position against US Cuba relations forces real presidential candidates to harden their position against Cuba in their platform.  The spin would be something like “We need relations with Cuba but have to make sure that former American owners of Cuban real estate get their property back”.

That AP article is linked below and is worth a read if you have been considering buying real estate in Cuba.

The best investment opportunity comes from spotting value created by contrasts and distortions.   There will be plenty of all three-value, contrasts and distortions in Cuba, but I do not believe the incredible early real estate opportunity we enjoyed in Ecuador will be found in Cuba by the time the market really opens there.

Gary

(1) BBC US approves ferry service between US and Florida

(2) wsj.com Real estate revolution hits Cuba

(3) Run From Cuba, Americans Cling to Claims for Seized Property

 

Enjoying the Spirit of the Andes


Whoa!  There has been so much turbulence these last few days! 

I am so happy I learned the spirit of the Andes long ago.  There is so much going on I could feel overwhelmed.  The Andean mindset goes a long way in helping me keep my composure.   That spirit comes from the indigenous circular thought process that Merri and I learned in Ecuador.  The year we lived at our hacienda with an Ecuador Taita Yatchak  and his apprentices taught us how to think in this Andean way.  The apprentices never expected (except for festival days) the future to vary from the here and now.  They lived to enjoy the here and now instead of sacrificing every moment for the future.  Thus when we view events, (such as a tumbling economy) as bad or something that made us feel good (due to  a booming economy), they did not react.  Why?  They enjoyed events as they were and as they came.

Ecuador Images

Cuenca, Ecuador Learn about Ecuador from Ecuadorians

This created an inbred sangfroid, a wellspring of calm and contentment during the most turbulent times.  Though the apprentices had no material wealth and most earned about $30 a month, their joy and happiness  was infectious.  Laughter always just waiting to bubble over at any moment.  The turbulence we are seeing now would not bother them much at all.

What turbulence?

Crashing oil prices will hurt Ecuador a lot, especially the poor.  We’ll see why in a moment.  First, let me share some of the other stuff that is bouncing around that makes life interesting.

Well, Mount Dora was just featured as one of 11 most stunning towns you must visit.

Mount Dora

“For southern charm in a small town, take a side trip to Mount Dora”.  Buzzfeed says in “11 stunning Florida towns you need to visit”.

More people are pouring in.

Then how about Cuba?  In 2007 I wrote in Beyond Ecuador & Cuba, that Cuba, after Mexico was the potential #2 competition for Ecuador.  I expected Cuba to open up around the time the big wave of baby boomers began to retire.  Now that event is near!

We have been keeping our eyes open and in 2011 I started sending Canadian Researchers (and our Super Thinking Spanish teacher) to Cuba to investigate for us.

We decided to avoid Havana just as we avoided  Santo Domingo when we launched our Dominican Republic Tours in the 1990s and Quito-Guayaquil when we focused on Ecuador in the late 1990s and 2000s.  Our research is centered around the Frank Pais International Airport, which is a small-size airport located 8 miles southwest of the city of Holguin, the capital city of the province of Holguin.

We featured photos of the countryside in this area  in 2011.

What could create more turbulence than the crashing price of oil?  The plunge in oil prices is one of the biggest weapons in the return of the cold war with Russia.  Has it gone too far?  North Dakota’s booming economy has helped the US economic recovery.  Have falling prices gone too far?  Bringing Cuba back into the Western fold probably did not make the Russians too happy either.  Yet Measure HR 5859 goes much further.  I cannot help but ask how it won unanimous initial approval in both the Senate and House last week.

This law mandates U.S. sanctions again Russian arms and oil, plus authorizes providing lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military.  Those provocative steps go beyond what the White House and European Union have been willing to do so far and yet the vote was unanimous.   When was the last time that the Democrats and Republicans, the House and Senate and President agreed on anything?  This makes me suspicious that there is something I do not see.

Falling oil prices will create some incredible opportunity in Ecuador as well.  

I polled many of our contacts in Ecuador asking what they felt might happen.  One of our long term friends, Ecuador attorney, an astute businessman, sent this note yesterday:  “Gary, regarding the economic future, yes, I think we are going to see a crunch.  The government has been spending like there’s no tomorrow and with such drastic drop in the price of oil there’s going to be a lot less money going around.  The government will seek loans to balance things out but, ultimately, there’s going to be some crunch. We have a relatively low debt to GDP ratio but there is only so much that can be done.  I too see the same silver lining, though. We may start seeing some very interesting opportunities to buy real estate sometime in the later portion of next year and beyond. While these opportunities may not be as widespread or that big (as I believe we did not get to a bubble) they are certainly going to be there. On the other hand, for the many, many aspiring expats … the weather, the relative low cost of living, the beautiful natural and cultural landscapes… will still be here.

What turbulence and potential for good and bad.  Special Ecuador real estate bargains, extra investing and business opportunity and risk of more war.  So much to get excited about.  Let the spirit of the Andes help you remain calm in the eye of the storm.  There will always be opportunity and risk of war.  Fulfillment and peace of mind come from within.   Neither the good nor the bad can hurt you in the here and now.

Gary

mt-dora-images tags:"2012-4-20"

Join us this winter in Mount Dora.  See our winter course schedule in Mount Dora here.

How Cuba evolves, know one truly knows.  Here’s a good book to get up to date on where Cuba is now and why:

“Cuba, What Everyone Needs to Know” by Julia E. Sweig.

Cuba All You need to know

Cuba All you need to know at Amazon.com

Three Ways to Earn South


Here are three business ideas to earn south.

Look south… first to Cuba.

cuba

Cuban country scene

We introduced our first Cuban business ideas at our June 24-26 International Business seminar. Now Cuba is starting to open up! Cuba is already Canada’s number one tourist destination and now it’s easier than ever for Americans as well.

Here is an excerpt from Last Sunday’s New York Times Reports in an article “New Ways to Visit Cuba — Legally” by By Michelle Higgins

The new people-to-people measures make it easier for United States citizens who do not have special status to visit Cuba legally, so long as they go with a licensed operator.  ALWAYS wanted to visit Cuba? Well now you can — legally.

Thanks to policy changes by President Obama earlier this year designed to encourage more contact between Americans and citizens of the Communist-ruled island, the Treasury Department is once again granting so-called “people-to-people” licenses, which greatly expand travel opportunities for Cuba-bound visitors.

To be clear, it is still illegal for ordinary American vacationers to hop on a plane bound for Cuba, which has been under a United States economic embargo for nearly 50 years. True, plenty have dodged the restrictions — and continue to do so — by flying there from another country like Mexico or Canada (for Americans, traveling to Cuba is technically not illegal, but it might as well be since the United States prohibits its citizens from spending money in Cuba, with exceptions for students, journalists, Cuban-Americans and others with legal reasons to travel there). And while Washington has also expanded licensing for educational groups traveling to Cuba by loosening requirements, travelers joining an educational trip must still receive credit toward a degree.

But the new people-to-people measures make it easier for United States citizens who do not have special status as working journalists or scholars to visit Cuba legally, so long as they go with a licensed operator.

“All a U.S. citizen has to do is sign up for an authorized program and they can go to Cuba. It’s as simple as that,” said Tom Popper, director of Insight Cuba, a travel company that took more than 3,000 Americans to Cuba between 1999 and 2003, and was among the tour operators to apply for a license under the new rules earlier this year. It received its license at the end of June, and has planned 135 trips of three, seven or eight nights over the next year.

This creates a multitude of business ideas.  You can listen to our friend and researcher, Dr. Glenn Stirling, who just returned from Cuba on the recorded International Business & Investing seminar.  Read more here.

Then look further south to Ecuador.

Learn two others ways to earn on the equator.

#1: Ecuador Export Tours. See more here.

#2: Ecuador Agriculture Tours. See below.

Jean Marie Butterlin has created an Ecuador agricultural property tour.  This is for those of you who have asked to look at property for its potential in this field.

Ecuador-ag-land

See Ecuador agricultural property by four wheel drive.

Agriculture has a bright future and there are few places with as much agricultural potential and diversity as Ecuador. It is not surprising that many readers ask us about Ecuador farmland or agricultural property there.

Our first reply to anyone asking is… agricultural land is hard to find and get it!  Searching for good farmland takes hours just to get to the land.  Secondly, it almost always takes hours inspecting the land.

Then once you find something that looks good… the hard part begins.  Doing all the research negotiating the right price.

Buying agricultural property is not like buying urban property from a title point of view.  There are no rural land registers, so deeds have to be carefully researched by an attorney.

Finally if you buy it… what’s next?   Who do you hire?  What do you grow… who buys the crops?

Because there has been such interest Jean Marie Butterlin has created an Ecuador Agricultural tour.   He has been working hard at this for over 6 months, and I am proud to announce that he has set up an excellent program for those who are really interested in farming potential in Ecuador.

Here is what Jean Marie has explained about the first Ecuador real estate tour he will conduct this October 2011.

When I was 40 years old and told my friends that I would retire at 50, they were laughing.  They are not laughing anymore!

My name is Jean Marie Butterlin and I live on one of the nicest, most affordable coasts of all South America with my wife Pascale and although I consider myself retired, I still like to work… but only at what I really like.

How did I achieve that ?

I had a plan.

Part of that plan was to move to a nice area where it was less expensive to live and much less stressful than Europe.   I found that place after traveling and inspecting most South American countries.  We chose Ecuador and more specifically Bahia as our home.

We live now as well on $2,000 a month in Bahia than we did in Europe on $10,000 a month.

When you are planning to retire and live the good life, you should look at both parts of the equation, expenses and what you can earn.I have been able to lower my expenses considerably by living in Bahia.  We live in front of the Malecon enjoying the sun 320 days per year.

But the key to retirement is really in the INCOME part of the equation.   How can you generate income without working too hard?

The answer is to have an “outside the box”  plan.  If you do what everybody else does, chances are you’ll earn what everyone else does.

A lot of younger clients on our real estate tours ask  “How can  I generate a little income in Ecuador”?  They say they would move down immediately if they could. This started me thinking  about how to show a few select clients a chance to be part of that world of retirees in Ecuador who work only at what they like.

I have put together a special plan for those seeking to move and earn in Ecuador now!

Here is the plan and here are the facts:

* Every economist is currently saying that agriculture will be the next place to invest because :

  • God is not making more arable land.
  • The world is running out of food.  China has been buying and leasing arable land all over Africa and in South America for example.  A lot of the smart money is going into arable all over the continent.

* Ecuador has some of the cheapest yet best agricultural land in all of South America.  The climate is best for growing as well with 365 days a year of direct sunlight.  In many parts of Ecuador, farmers can get 3 and even 4 harvests per year, depending on the water available on the property.

* However, most Ecuadorian farmers have not yet learned how to produce and manage a farm. They are lacking higher education and management skills as well as equipment.  Some Ecuador farmers still plow with oxen.

*  Many Ecuadorian farmers do not know how to sell and do not treat the farm as a real business.

There is a great opportunity that lies in this combination of cheap, arable land, the geographical place of Ecuador on the equator and lack of good agronomical skills.

Here is the chance to attend the first agri business expedition, planned for October 17, 18 and 19.

This is a tour for those who want to have an active agricultural business in Ecuador and have $100,000 minimum to invest.

This tour will be conducted over three long, jam packed days to provide you a low cost efficient way to inspect Ecuador agricultural property that is legitimately for sale at a reasonable price.

Day 1 – 9 am to 6 pm: Detailed presentations by agri engineers and specialists of several type of agri businesses. These presentations  include costs, types of soils for each type of crop, risk analysis, potential profits, timing, where to find the buyers of crops,  introduction to buyers  looking for specific crops.

On the tour we look “outside the box” at crops that can for example produce “biofuel”. We’ll look at land where one company in Manta will buy every available crop at market price.   We know the owners of that company and you will be introduced to them.

Day 2: Visits farms for sale.  Here is one farm we will inspect.  This agri property has 203 hectares (507 acres) divided into:

28 hectares (70 cares) of balsa trees.  In 5 years these will fetch $30,000 a hectare.

30 hectares (75 acres) of African palm trees in production (the nuts fetch $250 per ton).

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– 140 hectares (350 acres) of pasture sufficient for 200 head of cattle or other crops that can produce an excellent return.

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– 3 small

Ecuador-agricultural-land

and one large river along the property with water availability.

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– Close to the main road

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– $6600/hectare ($2,640 an acre) asking including a small casita for caretakers.

Day 3: Q&A’s with the agri specialists…with round table discussions. We will break into small groups to discuss in more details each business its costs and potential profits.

We will have inspected and investigated all properties prior paying special attention to three special issues:

* water on site
* access roads
* good port close

We will only show land that has water in Manabi province near Manta the second largest port in Ecuador.

We will have investigated electricity, pricing and title plus will have speakers during breakfast and dinners who will discuss these  issues and the legal matters pertaining to agri businesses in Ecuador.

These experts will be available for consulting during the tour and later… covering technical matters on which crops are best suited for each soil and what times of the year are best for planting and harvest.  The tour pays special attention to reviewing the marketing aspect of each crop and where to find buyers.

We use our contacts with local people were born in the area… who know the land owners… who know what the “market” price should be and we do not show farmland where the seller is asking an unrealistic price or if there are any doubts about ownership or clear title.

We also provide administration, accounting and legal consultants who will answer questions about owning and running a company in Ecuador, a civil code country and very different from the US and Canada which run on common law.

Optional Day 4 and 5: residential real estate tour of the mid coast from Manta to Cojimies.

Included in the tour fee:

*  Agri engineers who can help you start your business, provide services and the follow up.

* Legal experts in incorporation, administration accounting etc..

* Experts in marketing agricultural crops.

Although we do not advise being absentee owner, we can provide all the services needed to run the business with our agricultural team.

If your agricultural knowledge is limited, we have the experts who will help you through the learning curve.

The big Question is “How much can someone make in agri business in Ecuador?”

The Answer:  We will not show any businesses that do not produce on a regular basis at least 10% net return. Many agri businesses you will see can pay off land costs within 1 to 2 years.

Arrival date is October 15 in Quito. Travel to Manta and Bahia October 16, 2011.

Travel back to Quito on October 20th. (or October 22 if real estate tour option is added).

Included in the price are all local transportation including domestic airfare from Quito to Manta and lodging.  Meals are not included.

Agri Business Expedition fee is $1,990/single $2,990 couple.

2 day Ecuador residential real estate option $299/single   $499/couple;

Tour Plus Extension Single  $2,289

Tour Plus Extension Couple  $3,489

You may decide to take the option during the agri expedition.

For efficiency and logistics, this tour is strictly limited to 16 people… 4 persons per four wheel drive vehicle.

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?

Ecuador-friendly

Ecuador has wonderful natural resources… in the mountains and…

Ecuador-friendly

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.

Ecuador-friendly

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…

Ecuador-friendly

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.

Ecuador-friendly

The…

Ecuador-friendly

people of Ecuador are…

Ecuador-friendly

warm and…

Ecuador-friendly

friendly…

Ecuador-friendly

naturally.

Ecuador-friendly

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.

Ecuador-friendly

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.

Ecuador-friendly

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

Ecuador-friendly

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.

Ecuador-friendly

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.

Ecuador-friendly

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.

ecuador-health

Our hacienda Rosaspamba.

Ecuador-house-for-sale

Our house.

Our hotel Meson de las Flores.

ecuador-sea-real-estate

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 Currency


Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar.

When Merri and I first arrived in Ecuador the currency was the sucre and it took 3,000 sucre to buy one dollar.  About five years after we arrived the sucre had dropped to about 8,000 sucres to buy a US dollar.  Then a decade ago the Ecuadorian economy went into self destruct and the sucre collapsed all the way to 25,000 sucres per dollar.

ecuador-real-estate-for-sale

The dollar still goes a long way in Ecuador. You can still buy beach condos like this for under $24,000.

This created incredible real estate bargains.  I began buying Ecuador real estate which is one reason I can sell Ecuador real estate now at below the market and still make a decent profit.

ecuador-real-estate

Large fixer upper houses like this in the Andes can still sell for less than $29,000.

However getting out of the sucre into the greenback was in a way like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire…. because since then the US dollar has dropped a lot in value compared to other currencies such as the euro.  Excerpts from our latest Multi Currency portfolio report show this fact.  Here is what that message said:

Since we are beginning a new decade it makes sense to look back a decade at the past multi currency action.

A reader just sent this note:  Dear Gary, I am worried by the breaking news that the “Bolivarian Alliance” is creating its own currency.

The news says:   “Countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) agreed to introduce regional common currency, the SUCRE…”During the ALBA summit on Dec. 13 (In Cuba), nine member countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela announced the introduction of new virtual currency in January 2010.”  Thanks.

These countries have been announcing this type of stuff for quite some time.

You can see a 2007 article I wrote about this at Ecuador Currency Opportunity.

Announcements by governments are easy.  Actions not so much so.  Getting all these countries to actually do something together is not such an easy task.  Not much has happened from the 2007 announcement and I do not expect much to happen from the 2009 announcement.

Most of the countries above face enormous social and economic challenges in the decade ahead.  Keeping their own currency stable will be hard enough.  Creating a new one easy… but maintaining it hard.  Getting all these nations to work together to create one currency seems pretty unlikely.

The European Union and euro whose nations enjoyed  much greater economic success and stronger political stability, than the nations above took decades to create. The euro was driven by a real fear… a repeat of WW I and WWII.   Yet the euro has taken many decades to form.

Should we expect quick action for a union by Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela? Remain watchful but do not expect anything too soon.

A better way to answer the US dollar dilemma  is to invest in the best value BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and speculate on the ups and downs of their value.

Here are excerpts from a recent Multi Currency Update I sent to our multi currency portfolio subscribers.

BRIC currencies make sense because these countries are still viewed as emerging markets… but they now are major economies.

Together, these four countries generate approximately 27% of the world´s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The BRIC economies are also growing faster than in the Western world.  The average annual GDP growth of a BRIC nation was greater than 7% before the recession, as compared to approximately 2% for a G-7 nation.

The future growth of the global economy depends largely on the BRIC economies continuing growth.

The simplest way to invest in BRIC economies is with a BRIC ETF like iShares MSCI BRIC Index Fund. This ETF tracks the MSCI BRIC Index and invests in about 260 different companies in these four countries.  Invest and leave the investment alone for long term growth.

Jyske Global Asset Management recommends BRIC allocation as below :

If you have a Low Risk profile                  : up to 5%
If you have a Medium Risk profile          : up to 10%
If you have a High Risk profile                : up to 15%

A more complicated but potentially more profitable approach is to weight your investments more heavily in the good value BRIC countries and sell shares in the BRICS with poor value.

Heavier speculation  could buy the good value BRICS and short the low value BRICS.

For example you can see below why right now may be a good time to sell investments in India and invest in China.

Learn how to read this entire update on why to sell these BRICS now as a Multi Currency subscriber.

A March 2009 report entitled “Ecuador Economic Worries” shows why the dollar’s fate is not so important to Ecuador when it says:

A number of readers have sent questions about Ecuador economic worries. One regular Ecuador economic worry I receive is that Ecuador will stop using the US dollar as its currency.

There is little doubt that Ecuador’s economy is in a mess.

Which economy is not?

We’ll look at this Ecuador economic worry in a moment, but to put this worry into perspective, may I share some other economic worries at the same time… plus post some photos from our friend, Dennis Goff… such as this shot from a boutique hotel in Manta, Ecuador where you can stay for $52 a night.

ecuador-economic-ideas

Ecuador has economic worries, yes, but are they worse than the economic worries in Europe or the US?   The photos show that while we worry we can be in paradise on a shoestring budget.

Read the entire article Ecuador Economic Worries here.

Learn more about BRICS. Join Merri and me along with Thomas Fischer and my portfolio manager, Anders Nielsen, at our February 11-14 IBEZ seminar.

Learn more at  Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

Gary

If you plan to join us at six or more seminars and tours in Ecuador, Florida or  North Carolina in 2010 you can save as an International Club member.

See details about each of our seminar and tours below… then see our December special that allows you to attend as many of these courses you like at a huge savings.

For International Investing and Business.

For Super Thinking + Spanish

For Ecuador Shamanic Tour

For Ecuador Export

For North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi

For Manta & Mid Coast

For Quito & Mindo

For Salinas & South Coast

For Cuenca

You gain discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours.

Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

But our 2009 International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 56 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 in January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501.

International Club 2010

Attend our 56 investment, business, Spanish, real estate and export, courses and tours in 2010 with one small enrollment fee.

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

Here are the 56 courses and tours you can attend free. Plus there is even one more savings you will see below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

May  13-14     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May  22-23    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  28-29    South Coast real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

June 24         Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27    International Investing and Business North Carolina  ( $749 or couple $999)
June 28-29   Travel to Ecuador and Andes
June 30-Jy 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
July 3-4          Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
July 6-7          Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
July 9-10        Cuenca Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)

Sept.   3-6      Ecuador Export Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept.   8-9      Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 11-12     Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 14-15     Cuenca Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 17-18     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept 20-21      South Coast Real Estate tour ($499 or couple $749)

Oct.    7          Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10     International Investing & Business North Carolina ($749 or couple $999)
Oct.   11-12    Travel to Quito and Andes
Oct.  13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 22-23     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Nov.    4-7        Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Nov.    8-9       Travel to Quito and Andes
Nov. 10-11       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 13-14      Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 16-17      Quito-Mindo Real Estate  ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 19-20     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov  22-23      South Coast Real Estate Tour (($499 or couple $749)

Dec.   3-5       Ecuador Shamanic Mingo  ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.   7-8       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.  10-11    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 13-14     Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 16-17      Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth $40,947.

You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses is shown below.

Arrival dates are always one or two days earlier. Please double check with us before booking flights.

I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses which are valued at $40,947!

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

You may well wonder why I would make such an offer and ask why the cost is so low? Let me answer this question frankly and from the heart.

First, it helps us do a better job for you. We feel greatly enriched when we can really help our clients improve their lives. We have learned through years of experience the best way to do this is to meet with you regularly. We can best help you learn how to improve your health and wealth through continual expansion of knowledge.

Second, we gain enormous fulfillment from the many friendships we form through the years. Our friends have enriched our lives tremendously. Let me explain this in more detail.

As a member, you will be part of our international family that meets intensively over the next year to examine ways we can make our lives better. Our goal is beyond just having money. Our goal is to have quantum wealth… good health… wealth and fulfillment through service.

Though I give all course delegates my very best, I cannot help but to do a better job for those who come again and again. As we meet often; your particular wants, needs and desires become clear, and it is easier for me to point you in the right direction.

Another phenomenon is that repeat delegates help each other! They get to know one another, help each other learn, share their insights, make contacts and gain more wealth.

Out associates in Ecuador, are experienced business people who live or work and conduct our real estate and export courses.  They can also act as your local backup for the business.

Lifestyle for Two. There is more! I have learned at my courses that many repeat delegates were couples.

We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO!  You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)

Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

New International Investing Era


A new international investing era could be created by a destructive scientific fundamental that is now so powerful it could overwhelm all other factors determining our wealth. This danger has such power that it could destroy most investors and much worse… end civilization as we know it.

electromagnetic-pulse

Photo from Wikepedia report on Electromagnetic pulse weapons.

The most frightening part is that this force could unleash its destruction on us… now… at any time!

I want to share what, why and when this disaster could happen.

Then, I want to share how you can be protected rather than ruined.  We’ll even see how this, with luck, could be the creator of untold wealth which you, I, and a handful of cautious, insightful investors could share.

Before I explain how to safeguard your family from this possible upcoming disaster, let me explain that I first began to understand the magnitude of the risk after reading the New York Times best selling novel “One Second After” written by bestselling author, William R. Forstchen.

The story had extra meaning for me because it shows life in a small North Carolina town (similar to where Merri and I live during the summer) after an electro magnetic pulse is detonated by terrorists over the United States.

In the story the electrical grid and anything using a computer stopped working due to an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) created by just three small nuclear devices, launched from container ships and detonated high above the USA.

Without central communication and distribution, mass devastation and chaos ensued immediately.   The agony was terrible and life almost unfathomably complicated.

What made this fiction meaningful is that the book really documents and details the West’s dangerous reliance on technological systems which are so extensive that no one even recognizes them any more.

Adding to the terror of this book is a forward by Newt Gingrich and and afterword by Captain Bil Sanders (USN) one of the foremost experts on EMP. His comment  on how an EMP exploded over the US would create the Compton effect and how it would have “devastating consequences on our country” should be examined and understood.

It was Captain Sanders’ deep understanding of EMPs that made the warning in this book so powerful.

In a moment we’ll share ways to protect against this disaster… that could happen to all of us… suddenly… at any time.

First here are three facts that you should know.

EMP Fact #1: Many countries, including the US have EMP weapons that have nothing to do with a nuclear bomb and are quite small. They essentially put out a high energy very sharp spike of energy – high frequency and very short wavelength, short duration pulse.

However it is the nuclear EMP device that creates the greatest risk.  These are nuclear bombs that DO NOT CREATE DAMAGE FROM THEIR BLAST, HEAT OR NUCLEAR FALLOUT.   Instead the weapons create an electrical wave that fries just about anything with a computer.  A survey of open sources over the past decade finds that knowledge about EMP and EMP attack is evidenced in at least Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Egypt, Taiwan, Sweden, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran, North Korea, China and Russia.

Russian and Chinese military scientists in open source writings have shown how to design nuclear weapons that generate an extra powerful EMP effect called Super-EMP that can destroy even the best protected military and civilian electronic facilities.

electromagnetic-pulse

EMP Fact #2:  This risk has grown to such an extent that America’s electrical grid is so vulnerable to terrorist attack that the Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson is pushing a bill to give the energy commission broad authority for “true emergency situations.”

This is explained in a recent USA Today article entitled “Electrical grid vulnerable to terrorist attack”  by Thomas Frank.  Here are excerpts from that article: It sounds like a science-fiction disaster: A nuclear weapon is detonated miles above the Earth’s atmosphere and knocks out power from New York City to Chicago for weeks, maybe months.

electromagnetic-pulse

This graphic is from the USA Today article linked below.

Experts and lawmakers are increasingly warning that terrorists or enemy states could wage that exact type of attack, idling electricity grids and disrupting everything from communications networks to military defenses.

An expert panel that Congress created to study such an attack says it would halt banking, transportation, food, water and emergency services and “might result in defeat of our military forces.”

“The consequences would be catastrophic,” said Joseph McClelland, director of the energy commission’s Office of Electric Reliability. Full recovery could take up to 10 years, he said.

The scenario involves a phenomenon called an “electromagnetic pulse,” or EMP, which is essentially a huge energy wave strong enough to knock out systems that control electricity flow across the country.

The immediate effect would resemble a blackout. Although blackouts can be restored quickly, an EMP could damage or destroy power systems, leaving them inoperable for months or longer.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., is pushing a bill to give the energy commission broad authority.

At a committee hearing in July, Steve Naumann of energy giant Exelon said the authority should be limited to “true emergency situations.”

The commission studying the threat says the U.S. is ill-prepared to prevent or recover from an EMP, a vulnerability could invite an attack.

“We are not well-protected at all,” said Michael Frankel, who was executive director of the commission.

EMP Fact #3:  If an EMP event takes place, the Western World could quickly run out of food. Here is an excerpt of a transcript of a speech given by Professor Sir John Beddington, chief scientific adviser to the British government, at the GovNet SDUK09 event.  This has become know as “The Perfect Storm” speech.

I spoke here last year at about the same time about the issue of the food crisis and the burgeoning increases in food prices that were being driven by population growth, use of biofuels and so on.

The first problem here is that we really have a major issue. This graph takes a little bit of explanation; it is the ratio of our reserves to our consumption. What it is showing is that last year is the lowest level of reserves that we have had as a proportion of our consumption in years, since 1970 and actually since records were taken of this sort.

electromagnetic-pulse

That means that we’ve got somewhere like reserves of around 14% of our consumption, that implies, give or take, 38 or 39 days of food reserves if we don’t grow any more.

As you can see, it’s the lowest level that we’ve actually had.  Is that a problem?  Well the answer is yes it is going to be a problem.  We saw the food spike last year; prices going up by something in the order of 300%, rice went up by 400%, we saw food riots, we saw major issues for the poorest in the world, in the sense that the organisations like the World Food Programme did not have sufficient money to buy food on the open market and actually use it to feed the poorest of the poor.

But this is England, not North America.  Right?

Beddingdon’s note shows that North America might not be able to rely on Europe for much food assistance and…

America’s food reserves are even worse as explained in this excerpt from last year’s article “The US has no grain reserves” published in the Tri State Observer, Milford, PA. The excerpt says:  Larry Matlack, President of the American Agriculture Movement (AAM), has raised concerns over the issue of U.S. grain reserves after it was announced that the sale of 18.37 million bushels of wheat from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.

“According to the May 1, 2008 CCC inventory report there are only 24.1 million bushels of wheat in inventory, so after this sale there will be only 2.7 million bushels of wheat left the entire CCC inventory,” warned Matlack. “Our concern is not that we are using the remainder of our strategic grain reserves for humanitarian relief. AAM fully supports the action and all humanitarian food relief.

Our concern is that the U.S. has nothing else in our emergency food pantry. There is no cheese, no butter, no dry milk powder, no grains or anything else left in reserve. The only thing left in the entire CCC inventory will be 2.7 million bushels of wheat which is about enough wheat to make 1⁄2 of a loaf of bread for each of the 300 million people in America.” (MY BOLD)

The CCC is a federal government-owned and operated entity that was created to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices. CCC is also supposed to maintain balanced and adequate supplies of agricultural commodities and aids in their orderly distribution.

“This lack of emergency preparedness is the fault of the 1996 farm bill which eliminated the government’s grain reserves as well as the Farmer Owned Reserve (FOR),” explained Matlack.

This is backed up by a Scienceblog article that says: “The US Government Has Zero Grain Reserves.”

In 1996, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (“Freedom to Farm Act”) called for elimination of government stockpiles of grain.  I’m sure someone thought it made sense, at the time.

Now, the United States government has no reserves of butter, cheese, dry milk, barley, corn, oats, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, rice, sugar, honey, peanuts, canola seed, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower seed, sunflower seed, peas, lentils, chickpeas, and cotton.  [Source: US Farm Service Agency, Current CCC Inventory (PDF file)]

The book, “One Second After”, clearly and very dramatically (but I am not sure how accurately) drives home the point that unless a person takes a unique financial stance that his finances, and maybe even his or her life, could be wiped out.   Many military and scientific studies support this monumental economic, social and life threatening risk.

Yet you do not have to ruined by EMP.  You may even find that this potential weapon will create extra ordinary wealth that a few investors will share.  Here is how and why.

First, there is no proof that an EMP event as described above would create quite the havoc mentioned above.

Here is how one scientist whom I have known for years and trust completely, explains this.

“I’m not sure how large an effect the nuclear device would have above the atmosphere — the pulse might dissipate somewhat along the earth’s electromagnetic field.  It would probably take out a lot of communications and military satellites.

“Electronic devices that are not attached to any power source and that do not have an antenna when the EMP pulse hits could survive – even better with some shielding material.”

EMPs could be the driving force for the next investing era.

Just like the nuclear threat in the Cold War…  an EMP attack may never happen.   Yet because it could… the perception of risk… has created a huge rush by many governments to develop new weapons and forms of protection… just as during the Cold War.

This site and our multi currency site have repeated many times how stock market bulls and bears are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.

These cycles are intricately connected with the new waves of productivity that grow from the great human platform of combat. The cycle goes like this.

An economic downturn enhances a war or threat of war. Struggles for survival in the war (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War (WWIII), super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.

Each new invention helped win a war.  Shifting the technology to domestic use… after the war… created a boom.

Each boom leads to excess.

Each excess led to a correction.  The correction creates an economic downturn.

The economic downturn enhances a war or threat of war.

Here we are… in the correction again… at the correct time when we should expect that another war (or threat of war such as the Cold War) should begin to build!   This latest downturn started almost exactly (1998), 16 years after the last boom began (1982)…which began after the last great human struggle called the Cold War.

If the cycle repeats, the struggle should build now due to the poor economy.

The key for spotting the greatest investment opportunities is to spot the next big invention… the technology that will spin out of WWIV.

The key is that a problem must have such severe consequences (such as losing the war and being destroyed) that all stops… all logics of return on investment are ignored.  Technology and research are pushed full steam ahead regardless of cost. The threat must be real and serious… like EMP.

There are seven steps you can take to assure that you are not destroyed by an EMP.

#1:  Move well away from the USA…. to an agriculturally based country.  This is one reason Merri and I have been active in Ecuador for nearly 15 years.

#2: Move to Small Town USA.  Our sites have been looking at the benefits of this for years and why we live on agricultural property.

#3:  Create your own source of food.

#4: Create a local source of hardened energy and communications.  This is one reason our newest real estate purchase is also agricultural property and already has a HAM radio tower installed.

#5: Keep some gold and or silver on hand.

#6: Know how to take care of your own health.

#7:  Hold some assets outside of North America.

Merri and I have already taken six of these seven steps… and are well on our way to completing the seventh step.  From this we learned one really important point.

You should not suffer in the process of  gaining this protection either.

Merri and I did not move to the country… buy our Blue Ridge farm… set up our own food supply… start our garden… buy agricultural land in Florida… get a ham radio tower… buy gold and silver… organize assets out of the US and become involved in taking care of our own health naturally because we were worried about EMPs.  We did so because we wanted to.

Chances are that an EMP attack will NOT take place.  During the Cold War nuclear bomb shelters were not required!

Yet can we take a chance?  Ignoring this risk and with no action is not the answer either.

Instead let’s share ways and lifestyle alterations that protect as they provide joy, satisfaction, better health and enhanced wealth.

You may not be able to (or want) to move your home abroad or to a rural area.   Yet gardening, even in urban areas,  can be healthy and fun.  Holding some precious metals is probably a good investment anyway.  We should be taking care of our health even when their is no threat of war.

When it comes to holding assets abroad… our multi currency course can help.

Since mankind began, every generation has endured some great threat or risk.  Yet here we are… still growing!  Only time will tell whether EMP will create havoc or the greatest new wave of wealth we have seen.  Whichever, Merri and I will be here to share the experience with you.

Gary

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

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

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

This is why I am giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November our “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course” (offered at $299) free.

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

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010.   Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emailed courses free.

Our multi seminar-tour discounts have grown!

See the 2010 winter schedule below.

To Enroll click below.

1 real estate tour  $499 Couple $749

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour ($499) Couple $749
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Feb. 15-16   Travel to Quito and Andes
Feb  17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

Read the entire articles:

Electrical grid vulnerable to terrorist attack

The US has no grain reserves” published in the Tri State Observer, Milford, PA.

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.

investing-in-chaos

More Cotacachi children in a parade.

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

Here are a few facts I know.

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

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

#3: Ecuador schools do not require metal detectors.

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

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

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

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

investing-in-chaos

There is a deep culture in Ecuador.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more about Ecuador diversification here.

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

See details of the two seminars below.

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

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

International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun Part II


International investing and business have proven themselves over the past 40 years to be profitable. And even more than the profits are the broadened horizons, fulfillment and fun!

Yesterday’s message International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun looked at why International investing and business should be a fun filled process…not a dull boring set of numbers.

One reason for this is that those who live a fulfilled, involved fun existence are likely to be healthier…with less need for expensive pharmaceuticals and medical treatment.

This makes life better plus can save huge amounts of cash.

This is likely to become even more important in the years ahead for those who live in much of the Western world.   Existing medical systems are already filled with problems.  Inflation and aging populations will make the problems even worse.

At the turn of the decade, The World Health Organization analyzed the world’s health systems. The WHO used five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states.

The five performance indicators were:

* Fairness of financial contribution.  While private health expenses in industrial countries now average only some 25 percent because of universal health coverage (except in the United States, where it is 56%), in India, families typically pay 80 percent of their health care costs as “out-of- pocket” expenses when they receive health care.

* Overall Level of Health.

* Distribution of Health in the Populations:  the average level – goodness – and the smallest feasible differences among individuals and groups – fairness.

* Responsiveness: respect for persons including dignity, confidentiality and autonomy of individuals and families to decide about their own health as well as prompt attention and access to social support networks during care, quality of basic amenities and choice of provider.

* Distribution of Financing.

The study revealed that U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries.  The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th.  Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.

Here is the WHO ranking.

1         France
2         Italy
3         San Marino
4         Andorra
5         Malta
6         Singapore
7         Spain
8         Oman
9         Austria
10       Japan
11       Norway
12       Portugal
13       Monaco
14       Greece
15       Iceland
16       Luxembourg
17       Netherlands
18       United  Kingdom
19       Ireland
20       Switzerland
21       Belgium
22       Colombia
23       Sweden
24       Cyprus
25       Germany
26       Saudi Arabia
27       United  Arab  Emirates
28       Israel
29       Morocco
30       Canada
31       Finland
32       Australia
33       Chile
34       Denmark
35       Dominica
36       Costa Rica
37       United  States  of  America
38       Slovenia
39       Cuba

Most of the readership of this site live in countries where the medical system is not even in the top 15 countries!

This means that many of us, (especially us boomers now in our 60s), may want to rely on a good lifestyle to keep our health…not the medical system.

The cost of this medical system is another reason we want to have independence
rather than reliance on government funded programs.  We’ll see why next message.

Until then, may your international investing and business be good…and fun!

Gary

Learn about our next International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador