Tag Archive | "France"

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.

Ecuador’s Season


Our belief in Ecuador, as a place to live and invest, comes in part because of its position in the seventh wave of the industrial revolution.

We conducted our International Investing & Business Course last weekend here at the Jefferson Lansing Golf resort clubhouse.

ecuador-season

We reviewed cycles and seasons… how Ecuador opportunity and business in Ecuador really pick up at about this time of the year.  Ecuador’s up season is coming up.

Seasonality is a really important factor of investing to keep in mind… especially right now… as we will see below.

First, in that course we looked at the Asset Allocation of my portfolio and…

Ecuador Property      15%
US Property                46%
Total Real Estate   61%
Equities                           3%
Emerging Bonds            9%
Bonds                             14%
Cash                                13%
Total Liquid              39%

Why I have so little in the stock market now is due to cycles, seasonality and personal values.

Regarding seasonality, October is the bewitching month of  shares.

We viewed how, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the western economy has been moving through fifteen-year upward and downward cycles.  We saw how we are in the tenth year of a potentially 15 year downward wave.

Since the 1800s the stock market has moved in 30 year waves, peaking in bubbles and ending in troughs. Technology, warfare and politics are all related to these cycles. The phrase that coined this great social economic transformation we call the “Industrial Revolution,”  according to historian David Landes, was first in a letter of 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto.

Since that time mankind has enjoyed ten boom cycles… each created by new technology. Each boom has been followed by a bust… a bear market… a down wave that lasts about 15 years…. for 310 years.

So it is appropriate that in information era up wave  (the dotcom bubble) the Dow topped at 10,336  and then crashed Oct 1, 1999… 300 years after the first revolution began.

Here is a chart of the Dow in that 10th upward period from www.finance.yahoo.com.

ecuador-season

That crash began the current 15 year side ways model that marks the downward cycle.   The peaks and valleys, consistent with the downward wave has slaughtered many investors which, I explained at the course,  is why I have so few equities now.

Seasonality is why I  am not buying equities in October as well.

We viewed how seasonality was at work. Over 30 years the Dow has grown 8.16% overall but all of that growth and more (8.36% per annum average)  has come in the months of November through April. The average annual growth per annum over thirty years in May  to October is only 0.37%.

In other words… October is a volatile month for shares.  In fact the worst days of  the US stock market have been in October.

Black Thursday was October 24th in 1929. During that frenetic day nearly 13 million shares changed hands, nearly four times the norm.  Black Tuesday was October 29, 1929.   The market was slashed again leaving the Dow 40% down in that week.

ecuador-season

Black Monday  was October 19, 1987, global equity markets crashed, starting in Hong Kong. Panic rushed to Europe and then knocked the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) down 22.61%, its largest one day drop ever.

ecuador season

In short the good equity growth season is about to begin.

Market timing is never more important than the search for value… but it sure can help the search for value.

Seasonality studies give support to the current bear market recovery but suggest the support is best after October.

Plus watch out for a severe October market correction!

Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management was with us and pointed out that JGAM’s  low risk portfolios have a very underweight position in equities as well.

During the course we also looked at the importance of personal values in investing by enjoying the process.

We saw some great autumnal beauty…

ecuador-intuition

in the Blue Ridge during the course.  We walked some glorious paths.

ecuador-intuition

Yet this is an El Nino year… a cold winter is predicted.  A long one maybe.

Excerpts from a 19 August 2009 UN New Center article entitled “El Niño weather pattern likely to continue into 2010, explains why: The United Nations agency dealing with weather, climate and water says an El Niño event has begun in the tropical Pacific and is likely to continue into early 2010.

El Niño and La Niña bring significant temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical belt of the Pacific Ocean: an El Niño event sees a rise in temperatures and La Niña witnesses a drop in normal temperatures.

These temperature changes are strongly linked to major climate fluctuations around the world, especially in Latin America, Australia and East Asia, which can last for a whole year or more. Both El Niño and La Niña can disrupt the normal weather patterns and have widespread impacts on climate in many parts of the world.

The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said today that sea-surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific had risen to between 0.5 and 1 degree Celsius warmer than normal by the end of June, with similar temperatures in July.

“Scientific assessments of these observations indicate that this warming resembles the early stages of an El Niño event,” the Geneva-based agency stated in a news release.

In its most recent update on the subject, WMO stated that the expectation is for El Niño conditions to very likely prevail through the remainder of 2009 and into the first quarter of 2010.

Last year our autumn paths in October turned…

ecuador-season

to this in November.

ecuador-season

Here was the weather report yesterday Oct.14 2009 at Asheweather.comRainy, cold, and raw about sums it up for today. High temperatures for the day were early this morning; We’ll slip into the lower 40s for the rest of the daytime as rather steady rain continues. Watch out for thick, dangerous fog along the Blue Ridge today through much of Thursday. And yeah, we weren’t kidding about that weekend snow shower thing. Gory details below.

Here are some weather statistics for our area that suggest what  happens in Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina (where we are in the Blue Ridge) during an El Nino year.

Roanoke’s snowiest month on record was January 1966, with more than 41 inches. That was during an El Nino.

Roanoke’s coldest winter on record was that of 1977-78, which also had more than 37 inches of snow. That was during an El Nino.

Roanoke got 19 inches of snow on Feb. 10 and 11, 1983. That was during an El Nino.

Roanoke’s snowiest year of the 1950s (1957-58), second snowiest of the 1990s (1992-93) and snowiest of the 2000s (2002-03) each in the 28-to-30-inch range occurred during El Ninos.

Long term patterns in weather or stock markets are no guarantees… but by looking at the odds wouldn’t you rather invest in equities at a time that historically has shown the highest appreciation year after year.   And though snow and cold are not guaranteed up north, wouldn’t you rather have this in the dead of winter (Mt Imbabura) or…

ecuador-season

this?

ecuador-season

Ma, Merri and our friend Steve Hankins at our condos in San Clemente, Ecuador.

This is why we added three more courses and tours in December in our 2009 schedule and will have even more Ecuador courses in January though March 2010.

The remaining 2009 courses are below.

Gary

Join our Ecuador courses and tours October, November or December.

The greatest asset of all is the ability to labor at what you love wherever you live. This brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business

This course can help you create your own internet business.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course, at no added cost, as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times..

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in all our seminars or tours for any one month, October, November or December, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-hotel

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

In Cotacachi the weather is always Spring like.  Here is the village plaza near our hotel Meson de las Flores.

ecuador-hotel

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

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Read the entire UN article El Niño weather pattern likely to continue into 2010, says UN agency

International Investment Gains


Our latest International Investment & Business Seminar here in Ashe County,  North Carolina  looked at International Investment gains that were up 14% in the first six months of this year.

When these seminars begin… there is always a hint of excitement.   Thomas Fisher has flown in from Denmark. Our webmaster, David Cross, has arrived from Oregon and delegates have come from all over the world.

We’ll look at some of the international investments we view (including Ecuador opportunity) but let’s also allow some of the delegates to tell you how they felt about this seminar.

One delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Merri and David,  Thanks for a great weekend.  As a new club member, I’m looking forward to the next time that we can spend some time together and to reading “Ecuador Living”.  Sincerely,

When our North Carolina international investing and business seminars begin, I rise at dawn on the farm and then…

international-investment-seminar

we drive into West Jefferson where we conduct the seminar.

We are casual at our international investment seminars but serious.

international-investment-seminar

Many delegates make international investing and business… even lifestyle decisions based on the economic updates we share, so I and our other speakers, Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management, our webmaster David Cross and Merri have spent enormous time getting prepared.

This year our July North Carolina course was conducted at at the Ashe County Arts Center in West Jefferson.

The Arts Center is housed in a historic WPA building featuring a gallery so we share our information amidst local art and crafts, statuary and exhibits from over four-dozen artists.  Here is some of the art we saw.

international-investing-seminar

The seminar began with a historical review that led us to three places to invest now.

#1: Multi Currency Sandwich in value markets, emerging markets and wellness.

#2: The environment.

#3: Real Estate in the US and Ecuador.

Plus we saw why many of us would need our own business.

The first historical fundamental we covered was a way to predict where markets might go next.  We saw for example that the Dow has moved in approximate 15-17 year up and down cycles for over 100 years.

We viewed how the Dow appears to be in the 10th year of a 15 to 17 year down cycle that began in 1999.  We compared the last two years of this cycle, with the equivalent period in the 1968 to 1982 bear cycle.

We saw an amazing 93% correlation between then and now.

The chart below from Moore Research compares the Dow from 1976 through 1978 to the Dow of the last 18 months. The Blue line is what happened in the equivalent period in the 1970s to now.

global-trends

Here is what another delegate wrote about this seminar:

Hello Merri & Gary,  Now that I am back home and settled into the normal routine, it’s time to drop you a line to say how much my brother Rick and I enjoyed attending the conference last weekend.   Experiencing the beauty of Ashe County and the pleasant disposition of the people who live there contributed to the picture of the place that you paint via the letters and photos sent out to your readers.  Not only was the information presented there of great value, but Rick and I found that all of the other participants we met are great people indeed, just as you’ve mentioned.  Your ability to attract like-minded souls is a service in itself, and one that provides lessons we can all strive to emulate going forward.

Thank you again for providing the opportunity of meeting you both in person; I will begin to make use of the information to enhance my own life and look forward to seeing you both again some day.  Best wishes.

Then we looked at the multi currency sandwich and how you can currently borrow US dollars at 3% to invest the loan in higher yielding shares and bonds.  Pound loans are 4%.

We also saw how the British pound was a potentially undervalued currency versus the US dollar.

We looked at how Jyske Global Asset management’s Low Risk Portfolio with a 100% loan rose 11.4% since 2009 or at 23% per annum pace.

Then we reviewed an 18% six month profit with 4.75% ISS Capital 2010 bond (or growth at 36% per annum pace).

We reviewed a  7.25% Bombardier 2016 bond. that offered a longer duration and higher spread of 3.5%.

This led us to a multi currency sandwich with $100,000 invested and $50,000 US$ loan at 3% and $50,000 loan in British pounds at 4%.

The $200,000 was invested $100,000 in US the 7.5% dollar bond above.  $50,000 was invested in a Pound denominated bond issued by Hungary due 2016 and yielding 10%.  $50,000 was invested in British shares because Britain is one of the best valued major markets at this time.

Here is what another delegate shared about the seminar:

Merri, My wife  and I would like to thank you and Gary for a wonderful course. We thoroughly enjoyed all the information presented by Gary, Thomas and David. And we thank you for your hospitality with having us to your lovely “piece of paradise” in Lansing. The lunch was delicious and your presentation of import/export items was quite interesting.  We look forward to visiting Ecuador in September of 2010. And we look forward to visiting and staying at your hotel in Cotacatchi.

We then reveiwed the best and worst value equity markets around the world and saw that the best valued major markets are now Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and the UK.

Here is what another delegate had to say about this seminar.

Hi Gary & Merri,  I thoroughly enjoyed the time you so graciously allowed me to attend at your seminar and am not surprised, in the least, that you are getting rave reviews.  You and Merri make such a wonderful team offering these seminars with professionalism and charm, and here in Ashe County, with a unique local flavor.  We all thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting acquainted with many of your delegates.  As it was last year as well, many of the people you attract with your seminars are well traveled, interesting and very personable.  Thank you for your friendship and generosity,

In another session we looked at the importance of investing in the environment. We saw three ways to gain from sustainability changes ahead.

#1: Adaptation.  Investing in solutions to health problems is an example. Poor food produced in our central food system creates blood sugar problems, so Novo Norsk a Danish company that is the largest producer of insulin makes sense.

#2: Mitigation.  Cleaning up the mess humanity offers profit especially with water. Hyflux, a Singapore company, and Kurita Water, a Japanese firm, both have potential in this field.

#3: Structural Change.   Vestas Wind Turbines is a Danish company and is the largest maker of wind turbines to produce energy.

Here is what anther delegates sent to Merri and me about this seminar:

As a retiree who saw her retirement sustain considerable loss due to the economy, I found the information you presented during the three days to be extremely helpful and showed a plausible way for me to have some recovery.  Besides all of the relevant information, your emphasis on honesty and the importance of not to be deceptive was reassuring.  The bottom line is, that what gave real value to the information we were receiving and what made us feel comfortable was, that we felt you, Thomas and David were all people of good character.  Something that is very important to us.  Thank you, Gary and Merri, for providing a wonderful Seminar. Sincere regards.

On Saturday evening we drove to Lansing and looked at how small businesses can grow as we visited the New River Winery for a wine tasting. The winery is housed in another old WPA building which originally was the Lansing school.

international-investing-seminar

Here is Haskell McGuire one of New River founders showing us the winery.

international-investment-seminar

New River’s flagship wines are Bohemia Red and Bohemia White. These were followed by the introduction of signature wines, Back Porch Blueberry.  New River now has several new wines in production including:  Pinot Blanc, Viogner, Hellbender Red, Lansing School White, Big Laurel Blush, and Seyval.

The winery started small and is growing by leaps and bounds. Vineyards and wineries are one of the fastest growing business sectors in North Carolina.

Here is an unedited quite from another delegate:

Dear Gary and Merri:  We so enjoyed attending the IBEZ Seminar this past weekend in Jefferson, NC.  We loved the high country area, the nice people we met and particularly enjoyed the visit and tour of the New River Winery.  We were lucky to sit at a table with four utterly charming southern women, one of whom was Haskell’s wife.  We had a long drive home on Sunday and were sad that we had to leave and not be able to join you and our group for lunch at your farm and sad that we missed Merri’s cooking.  We hope someday in the future we may have the opportunity to visit your property as we heard it is quite beautiful.

Then we began the international business sessions of the course and David began teaching how to use the internet in business.

We started by looking at a Time Magazine quote which said:

Throw away your briefcase: you’re not going to office. You can kiss benefits goodbye. Your new boss won’t look much like your old one. There’s no longer a ladder, and you may never get to retire, but there’s a world of opportunity if you figure out a new path.

On Sunday we continued the course at our farm. Everyone was invited up to the house for lunch.

international-investment-seminar

We did a review of Ecuador export products.

international-investment-seminar

Like this leather coat and these baby alpaca sweaters.

international-investment-seminar

Another delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Just a quick note to tell you again how much I enjoyed the seminar and seeing your lovely farm.  I spoke to you briefly about deciding that I wanted the web course instead of mult-currency.  Thank you for sending me that instead of the multi-currency.  It may be two weeks, but I am starting to work on that site.  I know from life experience that it is always better to focus on what you want to create instead of what you don’t want. So thank you for the buzz of creativity that you, David, and others from the  group inspired.  I am also interested in featuring the dulcamaras product on my site, along with testimonials.  You mentioned a contact for that product.  I would appreciate that information also. Smiles.

Here is some Ecuador art that evolved from drum making.

international-investing-seminar

Delegates came up with many marketing and…

international-investment-seminar

Business ideas.

international-investment-seminar

plus we had fun.

international-investment-seminar

Next time this course will be in October.  This view…

international-investing-seminar

will look like…

international-investment-seminar

this!

international-investment-seminar

As the guests leave… in the dusk… there is always a moment of sadness.  New friends made.  Interesting ideas shared and now we are moving apart.

international-investment-seminar

Yet we’ll be back together again next seminar.

This delegate expressed it well when she wrote:

Thank you again for a truly life changing and life enhancing weekend. And we also wish your loved ones a speedy recovery and good health. Best regards.

We hope you will join us for our International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina this October or in Ecuador in November like this delegate who wrote:

Hi Gary,  It was wonderful to meet you and Merri at the IBEZ Conference this past weekend!  You both are so warm and caring and have a genuine desire to help the people of Ecuador and others to build a successful business.

The classes were very insightful and jam packed with information and suggestions on how to start your very own web based business. You and David, your webmaster, presented the information in an easy to understand format that even computer dummies like me could understand.

The multi currency investing portion of the class presented by you and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management were very interesting and educational.  It opened our eyes to new avenues of investing that we didn’t have a clue about before.

We also very much enjoyed the Import and Export portion of the class.  The items from Ecuador that you and Merri shared with us were very beautiful.  I especially loved the bird art and would be very interested in importing some of these to sell.  I am also interested in jewelry, leather goods, and the shawls like Fran was wearing in class (they were enhanced with the leather collar and leather applique).  I think that custom made leather goods that are stamped, as you and Merri suggested, have good income potentials. We would like to thank you and Merri for opening up your beautiful home to the class on Sunday afternoon and feeding us such a delicious lunch.  This was the perfect ending to three days of fun and sharing of ideals and suggestions on how to make money from investing in property and multi currency to building a successful web site business and Importing/Exporting from Ecuador for profit.  Thank you and Merri so much for everything.  We look forward to attending additional conferences.  Take care and hope to see you again soon.

Gary

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM and our webmaster David Cross in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free. Save $299.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and early retirement in Ecuador at the course.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

Another delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Just looked at your website for the first time and couldn’t hardly stop reading all the fantastic topics and the wealth of information you provide.  One of the best website’s I’ve experienced.  Don’t know why I haven’t looked at it sooner but am very happy I finally got to it.  I read as many articles as I could in one sitting with limited time this morning and am anxious to get back to read more.  Your life experiences and expertise is fascinating.  It’s amazing how close your philosophy about life, work, investing, family, etc. parallels my own.  I suppose international living, broad experiences with other cultures, diverse business experiences, etc., culminate in a certain way we view the world.  Anyway, thanks for sharing so much excellent philosophy and expertise.

Retire in Ecuador – Beat Inflation


A good reason to retire in Ecuador or away from your home is to beat inflation.

Yesterday’s message looked at reason why inflation is not a problem now… but it will be… probably in a serious way.

See below three ways to beat inflation.

First… live or retire in Ecuador or any country where the cost of living is low.

These nice houses in Cotacachi were offered at $49,000.  That beats inflation when you retire in Ecuador.

retire in ecuador

Costs are low. This fixer upper in Cotacachi has an asking price of $30,000 with…

retire in ecuador

a huge yard filled with mature fruit trees and…

retire in ecuador

this view.

Second, invest in land or commodities.

A long time friend Steve Rosberg whom I first met when he was my banker in Ecuador recently sent me this note as he operates a timber plantation and real estate development in Argentina.

Gary, During our visit to New York two weeks ago, a friend and former colleague from my banker days pointed out that Latin America had been the perfect training ground to succeed in the current investment environment. I agree 100%.

In case there was any doubt, California’s  issuance of IOU’s to settle short term debt was the final confirmation, and was rapidly followed up by other corollary events, such as banks stating that these could not be accepted as deposits. This would be obvious to anybody thinking about it, but apparently, most people weren’t.

Those IOUs are a different ‘currency.’ They are a currency which you will see more of in the future, as the issuer (the CA government) is still running deficit budgets, and no new voluntary lenders are rushing in to fund them.

Decidedly a  scenario familiar to those of us who have been through a number of LatAm crises. If an Argentine president tried to pass those IOU’s off, nobody would be foolish enough to take them in the first place, and the international press would ridicule the plan as another example of LatAm fiscal impropriety.

Meanwhile, the debate seems to rage between “Are we going deeper into recession? Are we going into high inflation? Are we going into stagflation?”

The answer is yes, absolutely!

How do we position our portfolios to make the best of this without taking on more downside risk?

This is the crux of why we have developed our business as we have:

– to have growth even if there is recession (the trees keep growing, the vineyard too),
– to have value even if there is high inflation (timberland, vineyard, hotel, all real, appreciating assets that will both protect the real value of your initial investment from inflation’s erosion and generate cash flows that will also increase in this scenario),
– to have current revenue originating in the sustainable production of real assets,
– to do so in environmentally responsible ways, and
– to enjoy what we are investing in.

In short, what you want now for the long run.

We continue to believe that debt free assets producing real commodities and generating solid returns are the antidote to portfolios stricken by the poor performance of supposedly safe, “mainstream” assets, and will continue to be so going forward.

Yes, we’re from Argentina, that means we’ve been preparing for these markets for decades. Our customers didn’t lose money last year-they made it.

Visit our website and write back for more information, it’s always our pleasure to be in touch with you.

With best wishes, Steve Rosberg  www.ushay.com

Third, invest in commodity based equities.

The excerpt below is from our Multi Currency course and shows why global inflation is a problem.

A recent article in the Economist showed that the US deficit could be three trillion dollars in 2010.   Half of this would come from borrowed funds.  Normally this would cause the US dllar to fall versus other currencies.

A free fall in purchasing power of all currencies is also more likely than in previous recessions (1970s and 1980s), because then, the US overspent but other major governments, especially Germany and Japan, were still conservative and fiscally prudent.

This is no longer true. West Germany unhinged fiscal common sense when it absorbed Eastern Germany.

Excerpts from a May 14, 2009 article in the Financial Times entitled “Germany set to suffer record deficit” by Bertrand Benoit says:

The German government will record its biggest post-war budget deficit this year as the economic crisis sends tax revenues plummeting, Peer Steinbrück, finance minister, said on Thursday.

Mr Steinbrück admitted the federal deficit would exceed €50bn in 2009 and rise to €90bn next year, more than twice the previous record of €40bn set in 1996 as Germany was absorbing the huge cost of its unification. In contrast, the federal deficit last year was only €11.9bn..

Germany and Japan have both been hit especially hard by this recession because their economies have been so dependent on exports and global trade.

Germany has a huge amount of short-time working and its exports have fallen dramatically.  Like almost everywhere, government income is dropping as spending is on the rise.

If the German economy were to continue to shrink at its current pace, it will be a 20% smaller by the end of 2009.

This means Germany remains in default (as does France, Italy and Spain) of the three per cent limit in the EU stability pact.

All eurozone countries, but especially those with larger deficits, such as Italy and Spain, face a similar problem…  rising costs… aging populations… growing pension and health costs while faced with reduced income.

Asia Troubled As Well

This year, Japan suffered its first annual trade deficit in nearly three decades and business has slowed dramatically there. Global demand for Japanese products plummeted in 2008 and exports were down 16% in the year to March 2009 compared to 2008.

Hong Kong’s economy gives a glimpse into China’s economic soul and here business also contracted at the fastest rate since the Asian financial crisis.

The first three months of 2009 had the biggest drop in more than half a century.

The Hong Kong government predicted that GDP would contract by up to 6.5 per cent in 2009.  Total exports dropped 22.7 per cent in the first three months of 2009 compared with the previous year – the biggest drop since 1954. Overall investment fell by 12.6 per cent and private consumption by 5.5 per cent. The unemployment rate also rose to a 38-month high of 5.2 per cent in the first quarter.

Huge Economic Problems

Huge economic problems create huge investment opportunity and one of the greatest problems facing the world is that education has not evolved as fast as democracy.  Too many poorly educated voters expect their government to do more than they can… or should.  The voter’s desires and expectations are ill informed and generally incorrect… yet their vote is as powerful as an educated one.

This forces politicians to act (spend) more than they have.  This tends to create inflation.   This rather predictable fact has become increasingly global so choosing a strong currency becomes increasingly hard.  Most currencies are at risk to inflation.

This is why stocks, commodities, real estate and your own business makes so much sense now.   There is a caveat.  Always invest in good value in these things.

This is why my attention was really captured when I read about the ALTIS Global Resources Fund.

This is a fund that invests in commodity backed equities and is advised by value guru Michael Keppler.

If you are a new reader learn about Keppler Asset management here.

This creates a powerful combination for opportunity.  The figures below support this.

Michael Keppler recent sent me this note:

Gary, Attached please find the latest Fact Sheet and Performance Review (as of April 30, 2009) for the ALTIS Fund Global Resources, a global sector fund we advise, which was featured in an e-fund journal report of May 4, 2009 as one of the “top 10 natural resource equity funds” based on its 5-year Sharpe Ratio calculated by Lipper.

This fund seeks long-term growth of capital by investing primarily in equity securities issued by companies located anywhere in the world with business operations in the energy, natural resources and precious metals sectors.

You can learn more about this share and read this entire multi currency report as a subscriber to our multi currency course.

Economic fundamentals suggest that the price for ending the current recession will be inflation.

Three ways to fight inflation are retire in Ecuador or some other country with a low cost of living or to invest in real estate, commodities or commodity based investments.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about how to fight inflation and retire in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

International Investing Trick


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But which shares… in which markets?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

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

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

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

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

2006     7.40%          18.23%

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

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

Mt. Imbabura to the east.

ecuador-shaman-recap

The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

ecuador-shaman-recap

creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

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

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

filled with fruits…

ecuador-shaman-recap

vegetables…

ecuador-shaman-recap

flowers and …

ecuador-shaman-recap

herbs.

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

Gary

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

ecuador-sun

Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

International Investing & Business Index


Making international investing and business decisions based around an index of happiness can add depth to your international investment and business decisions.

Understanding what will happen globally is important to everyone’s decision making process on where to do business… where to invest and where to live.

We’ll see below that Ecuador is high on NEF’s (New Economics Foundation) Happiness Index (more on the index in a moment)… but this index is about much more than Ecuador.

This index is about the world… the future…. prosperity and poverty… life and death.  We should know it… especially because it is quite hard to believe.

You’ll see below why:

* Seemingly poor countries may have an advantage in the years ahead.

* The richest countries may not be the best places to invest or start a business.

* How to use new techniques to see what the future may bring socially and economically.

NEF is an independent think-and-do tank that tries to analyze real economic well-being.  NEF’s aim is to improve the world’s quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environmental and social issues.

NEF says:  NEF’s report, the Happy Planet Index: An index of human well-being and environmental impact, published in association with Friends of the Earth, moves beyond crude ratings of nations according to national income, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to produce a more accurate picture of the progress of nations based on the amount of the Earth’s resources they use, and the length and happiness of people’s lives.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) strips the view of the economy back to its absolute basics: what we put in (resources), and what comes out (human lives of different length and happiness). The resulting Index of the 178 nations for which data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go.  In terms of delivering long and meaningful lives within the Earth’s environmental limits – all nations could do better.  No country achieves an overall ‘high’ score on the Index, and no country does well on all three indicators.

This index is important because everyone is increasingly faced with complicated problems, parts of which are unknown or unreachable.

This index is worth sharing because as I read it,  my first thought was “nonsense.”

Who would have placed the nations of Guyana, Bosnia, Georgia  and Romania above the UK for happiness?  Yet  Guyana is 63rd in the index. the UK 74th.

Here is 63 to 74 on the happiness index.

63. Guyana
64. Belgium
65. Bosnia and Herzegovina
66. Slovenia
67. Israel
68. Korea
69. Italy
70. Romania
71. France
72. Georgia
73. Slovakia
74. United Kingdom

Guyana happier than France and the UK?

I wanted to reject it.

Then it made me begin to realize… the somewhat disturbing fact that as far as potential for happiness goes, Americans are almost at the bottom of this international index… along with the British and most Europeans.

Reading this index made me realize that we cannot use old standards of the past to analyze what will happen in the future.

About the time of this thought, a page from an old John Sanford novel, “The Hanged Man’s Song” came to light.

The prime person in this fiction is a computer hacker… a very logical, scientific thinking person… but who also from time to time uses a totally unscientific way to process information… tarot cards.

The story says:

So I got the cards out, my tarot cards.  I’m not exactly a scientist – I was trained as an engineer-but I have studied the philosophy of science and I’m a true believer.  The tarot as a predictive system is superstitious nonsense. The deck is useful as a gaming device, though and that’s how I use it.

Like this: we are forced to deal with complicated problems, when some facets of the problem are unknown or unreachable, we deal with them in terms of our past experience. That’s almost inescapable. But approaches that are useful with some problems don’t work with others. The tarot deck, when used as a gaming system, pushes you outside past experience and encourages you to think of new ways to deal with it.

Say for example, you are involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were dealing with, the opposition,consisted of five men and a women. You begin doing the tarot spreads and see a number of indications of female influence.

This does not mean that the deck correctly predicts female influence in the transaction, but suggests that you should sit back and think about the woman on the other side, who might otherwise seem to be just another functionary. Why is she there? What specific influences does she have? Is there a way to approach her that would help the deal?

This has nothing to do with supernatural-it’s simply a human way, and a fairly subtle way to game a problem.

This started me looking at the index more.

international-investing

Sustainability and cost of happiness are a part of the index. This is why we grow some of our own crops at our farm… like the lettuce we harvest around our backyard pool.

The Happiness Index pushes us beyond our past experience.  This international index does challenge mainstream thinking.

Imagine Haiti is 41st on the list.  Denmark 105th.

99. Uruguay
100. Ghana
101. Latvia
102. Australia
103. New Zealand
104. Belarus
105. Denmark

That started me thinking for sure.

NEF is composed of some very intelligent people so their approach does have  logic. NEF calls it a new global measure of progress, the ‘Happy Planet Index’.

The NEF logic factors in the short and long term cost of happiness.

Mainstream thinking uses measurements like growth of GDP… but ignores the relativity involved. If GDP rises 10% this is considered good.  Traditional thinkers do not ask what is the cost of this growth to our environment. How much will we, our children and grandchildren have to pay in the future for this current growth?

Nor does the mainstream paradigm compare the happiness efficiency of a nation.

The NEF Happiness Index takes into account whether a culture is using more than its fair share of the Earth’s resources.

This creates a new international ranking of environmental impact and well-being and reveals a very different picture of the wealth, and poverty of nations.

Environmental Efficiency

NEF’s view is that Happiness Efficiency is a phrase and concept worth knowing and using in consideration of the overall (long and short term) success of a nation.

We all know the benefits of efficiency. Now we have a way to measure a really important long term efficiency.  We could call it the “cost per smile” or “laughter earning ratio”.

This really makes sense because it is the inherent nature of all living things to strive for happiness and satisfaction and avoid stress.  If the population of a nation needs to do and spend a lot to attain it… that nation is likely to have economic problems due to its lack of efficiency compared to other nations.

NEF’s index combines environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which countries provide long and happy lives.

The results are surprising, even shocking.

The index shows a very different hierarchy of success than we normally assume.

For example, the US is a disappointing 114th in happiness ranking behind  countries like Mongolia, Malawi and Chad.

106. Mongolia
107. Malawi
108. Russia
109. Chad
110. Lebanon
111. Macedonia
112. Congo
113. Madagascar
114. United States of America

NEF’s report also says:

“It is clear that no single nation listed in the Happy Planet Index has got everything right. But the Index does reveal patterns that show how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means. The challenge is – can we learn the lessons and apply them? Governments the world over have been concentrating on the targets for too long. If you have the wrong map, you are unlikely to reach your destination”, says Nic Marks, head of NWF’s Centre for well-being.

The HPI shows that high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being (life-satisfaction).  This suggests that it is possible to produce high levels of well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources.

The report also shows that a culture can have a long, happy life with a small environmental impact.   America and Germany have similar life satisfaction and life expectancy. Germany’s Ecological Ecological footprint is barely half that in America.   This means that Germany is twice as efficient as the USA at generating happy long lives based on the resources they consume.

international-investing

Sustainability is important for long term happiness which is why we bought a farm with lots of spring fed water, like this stream that flows in our backyard.

How can we use this index in business and investing?

I am not sure how accurate this index is or how important it will be.  Accuracy is not all that important though because, if nothing else, this index is a thought process put together by intelligent people that can help us see and think outside the box… something we always need to do.

We must always ask, what comes next?  This index might help us answer this question by adding one more small light that reflects of what might be in the days ahead.  Now we can see better how a country is doing now plus how the cost of the current success may affect the future.

Thinking outside the box is almost always a criteria for long term success. For those who believe this, NEF’s Happiness Index will help make them happy!

Ecuador is 25th on the index.  See the top 25 countries on the index and more about Ecuador’s Index here

Gary

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

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

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

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

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

investing-course

cool, green forest.

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

investing-course

enjoy nature and the views.

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

investing-course

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Read the NEF  report at www.neweconomics.org/gen/m1_i1_aboutushome.aspx

Ecuador Iran Excerpt


A number of readers have asked about Ecuador and Iran so here is an excerpt from our latest Ecuador Living report.

Some of the ideas apply to interaction between radicals in all of the Middle East and the West and how they can affect our wealth, business and investing.

The idea that Iran is a great enemy intent on attacking us is great for selling news, but a bad leader or two does not reflect the entire population.  Many of us in the US did not agree with some of the leaders our the last administration.

IF  Iran is to become more involved in the West and that’s a very big IF, I do not see it being any great deal. The only risk Iran poses is if many people give them a lot more concern then they deserve… as certain leaders in the West gave Saddam Hussein.

I do not claim in any way to be a great global military strategist but that thinking has some support from the thinking of other  who I do think are good at strategic global thought such as… Lee Kwan Yew.

I worked and spent a lot of time in Singapore during the late 1960s and early 1970s so I recall vividly the way Singapore used to be.

Lee Kwan Yew had a lot to do with Singapore emerging from a form of colonialism that included a lot of poverty to one of the wealthiest societies in the world.

This means it is fitting to read some of Lee Kwan Yew’s thinking that could apply to Ecuador and Iran now.

Lee Kuan Yew outlines the risks of relying on the local press succinctly in a 2007 interview with  UPI’s editor at large, Arnaud de Borchgrave.

Q: So what is your recommendation about Iran’s nuclear ambitions?

A: Is it now unstoppable. They are a very old civilization. Unlike the Arabs, apart from Mesopotamia valley, they rank with the Chinese, as history’s two principal civilizations worth talking about. And I think the mullahs and others want to go back to the days of empire.

Q: So should we be talking to them at the highest level, the way Henry Kissinger went to China?

A: (Chuckle) But you haven’t got a Kissinger or a Brzezinski to do that anymore. Where is the successor generation of geopoliticians?

Q: In fact, democracies don’t produce great statesmen anymore. Why?

A: You now have, and I don’t know how long this phase will last, mass media domination, owned by a group of media barons who want constant change for their balance sheets.

Q: So the power of mass media has made it impossible for a great statesman or woman to emerge and last any length of time?

A: I’m not sure. It depends on the nature of the crisis that must be faced. When a real crisis sets in, a matter of life and death, opinion formulators realize this is no time to be pontificating, but a time to stay the course with someone who understands what this is all about.   Short of that, the media help put a leader on the pedestal and then start chopping away at the pedestal until he/she falls in disgrace. That’s part of the cycle of constant change. Watch Sarkozy in France. They hoisted him up to prominence and now they’re already attempting to bring him down through his personal life.  Well, yes. But it’s also the enormous pressure of media competition and the giant appetite for advertising revenue, what television program gets what viewership, or eyeballs, or clicks online. Never mind the consequences. If you get the advertising, you win.

Q: When I last interviewed you in May 2001, I asked you what concerned you most about the next 10 years, and you replied, “an Islamist bomb, and mark my words, it will travel.” Four months later, we had Sept. 11. Secondly you said, “China and India’s challenge to the global status quo.” Do you still have the same concerns about the next 10 years?

A: Not quite. The Islamic bomb has traveled already (in Iran). I’m not sure how this will now play out. The U.S., the Europeans, even the Russians, will have to make up their minds whether to allow Iran to go nuclear. The Russians are playing a game, posing as the nice guys with Iran, supplying nuclear fuel, and making it look as if America is causing all this trouble. But if I were Russia today, I would be very worried about Iran acquiring the bomb, because Russia is more at risk than America. The risk Israel runs is another dimension. Russia is at risk because whether it’s the Chechens or Central Asian Muslim states that were former Soviet republics, none are friendly to Moscow. Next time there’s an explosion in Moscow, it may be a suicide bomber who isn’t wearing an explosive belt or jacket, but something a lot bigger. It would certainly be in Russia’s interest to say at some future point to Iran, “this far and no further.” It could also be that Russia no longer knows how to stop it, in which case the Russians will be opening the door to a very dangerous world of nuclear proliferation. You can be quite sure that if and when Iran gets the bomb, the Middle East will go nuclear.

Q: Which raises the question of the United States or Israel bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.

A: (long silent pause) … I can express no views on that.

Q: As I travel in moderate Muslim states in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, I ask heads of state and government how many extremists, or would-be jihadis, they estimate live in their midst, also how many fundamentalists who support openly or secretly the jihadi cause. The answer is usually 1 percent and 10 percent. In a country like Pakistan, that translates to 1.6 million extremists and 16 million supporters. On a global scale, that comes out to roughly 14 million extremists and 140 million sympathizers.

A: Yes, but I do not see them winning, and by that I mean able to impose their extremist system. I can see them inducing fear and insecurity, and causing fear, but they don’t have the technology and the organization to overwhelm any government.

Q: So how do you assess the global threat since Sept. 11? What are we doing that’s right and also that’s wrong?

A: Even if we can’t win, we mustn’t lose or tire. We cannot allow them to believe they have a winning strategy, and that more suicide bombers and WMD will advance their cause and give them a chance to take over.

Q: Did Iraq have anything to do with al-Qaida?

A: Of course not, as became clear in the daily sessions the imprisoned Saddam spent with his Arabic-speaking FBI interrogator over several months before his execution. But U.S. authorities were convinced Saddam was secretly supporting al-Qaida with weapons and training and maybe even WMD. So therefore the imperative became the elimination of Saddam.

A: (Laughs for several seconds) We should learn to live with it for a long time. My fear is Pakistan may well get worse. What is the choice? (President) Musharraf is the only general I know who is totally secular in his approach. But he’s got to maneuver between his extremists who are sympathetic to Taliban and al-Qaida and moderate elements with a Western outlook. We forget that right after Sept. 11 he was given a stark choice by President Bush: either you abandon your support of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan or face the disintegration of Pakistan. There is an interesting study of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency that says 20 percent of the Pakistani army’s officer corps is fundamentalist.

A: There is very little, if anything, the U.S. can do to influence the course of events in Pakistan that wouldn’t make matters worse. Any U.S. interference in Pakistan would result in Pakistan’s four provinces becoming four failed states. And then what happens to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal? It’s a horrendous festering problem. The Feb. 18 elections may bring a little clarity and hopefully democratic stability to Pakistan, but I am not holding my breath.

Q: So you do feel that NATO’s future is at stake in Afghanistan?

A: No doubt about it. But you should also realize Afghanistan cannot succeed as a democracy. You attempted too much. Let the warlords sort it out in such a way you don’t try to build a new state. The British tried it and failed. Just make clear if they commit aggression again and offer safe haven to Taliban, they will be punished.

Q: If NATO collapsed in the wake of a failed campaign in Afghanistan, would that be a major concern of yours in Singapore?

A: Not immediately, but overall the balance of power would be upset.

Q: In whose favor?

A: China and Russia. They would be faced with a much weakened West in the ongoing global contest. I can also see the danger if America loses heart and says to hell with it all because the Europeans are not helping and the Japanese are blocking this and that, and tokenism from all the others. Let’s not forget that what we’re all enjoying today is the result of Pax Britannica and Pax America over the past 100 years. So don’t give it up.

Q: But in the Gulf, if the U.S. and/or Israel bombed Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran has formidable asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities?

A: But let me repeat, they cannot conquer you. Hezbollah cannot conquer Lebanon. They can create trouble for the non-Hezbollah Lebanese. So micro actors can cause a lot of trouble for your friends, but they can’t eradicate them.

You can read this entire report as an Ecuador Living subscriber and see why if there were to be a military concern in Latin America it would be over China…not Iran..

ecuador-iran

Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn in an upcoming report about this huge lot and house in Cotacachi for $30,000.

There were two articles readers have recently mentioned.

The first article began, QUITO – Iran will finance two new power plants in Ecuador and extend a 40-million-dollar loan for business development, officials from both countries said Thursday, three months after the first visit by an Ecuadoran president to Tehran.

The second:  Iran, Ecuador Eye Military Ties As U.S. Prepares to Withdraw from Airbase Friday, May 29, 2009, by Patrick Goodenough, (CNSNews.com) – As the United States military prepares to vacate an airbase in Ecuador in the fall, the leftist government responsible for its upcoming departure is looking to Iran as a future military partner.

While I do not feel that nuclear power or expanded military might are good things, I do believe completely in the global economy and in expanding the wealth of all.

ecuador-iran

Subscribe to Ecuador Living and see an upcoming report on how to own this organic tomato farm with…

ecuador-iran

trout pond.

One can argue about all the numerous conflicts in the world but if we boil it down to the few most important, one of the biggest tensions in today’s society is that there are a few very wealthy people and many, many poor.

For decades my premise for economic expansion has been based in part on the belief that most people, if given a choice, will spend their time doing positive things, like working at something they love for increased material wealth and great fulfillment rather than living a guerilla’s life.  A poor soldier’s living conditions are  generally not pleasant… the pay low… the risk extreme.  That life, however, is better than one of complete hopelessness and despair.

If Ecuador Iran cooperation can help make more poor Ecuadorians and Iranians rise out of poverty… I say…”go for it!”

There are many potential and huge benefits to be gained by bringing Iranian business to the West. Maybe Iran being closer to the West will help it integrate?  Current events in Iran suggest that many of the population would be happy to do so.

ecuador-iran

Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn about these 15 new houses on Cotacachi’s creek.

I have had an opportunity to observe Correa and the people of Ecuador react for a couple of years now.  At times I have been quite close… such as when I took this photo.

Ecuador-photos

Correa is in a strong political situation at this time. One thing that could destroy his popularity quickly would be the perception in this 90% Catholic country that he is introducing Islamic radicalism.  Therefore Correa may line up with Iran for some money… and to gain leverage in his dealings with the West… but a major integration would surprise me very much.   One bombing in an American hotel in Quito or Guayaquil and Correa’s popularity would be toast.

There have been worries about his friendship with Chavez. There are these worries of Correa with Iran. There have been worries about South America pulling away from the US dollar.

Yet so far none of these fears have affected life, happiness, opportunity, real estate values or  law and order in Ecuador.

In short anyone who never heard of or ignored all these fears and moved optimistically forward is better of than those who did not.

Most of the press are writing about the world sliding into recession. Many articles in the Western press make it sound like there’s little opportunity and great danger everywhere.

Good. Their doom and gloom creates positive global investing opportunity for those of us who can see through the illusion.

ecuador-iran

Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn about Primavera V condos.

Regards,

Gary

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

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

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

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

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

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

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

Ecuador Joys


Readers continually ask me about the joys of Ecuador… and I reply that Merri and I first love the  people… then the land and of course the great weather, low prices  and opportunity.

Ecuador-joys

The sweet people of Ecuador include this weaver.

Yet there are some other bigger more important internal benefits of living in Ecuador or anywhere different around the world.

Ecuador-joys Here is another weaver in Peguche, Ecuador. We visit both on our Ecuador export tour

Our daughter Francesca who has been living in Swaziland sums it up in the note below.

Ecuador-joys

Ecuador musical instrument makers.

The Joys and Challenges of Traveling & Living in a Foreign Country
by Francesca Scott

If you’re into self development and personal growth, I highly recommend a stint traveling or living in a foreign country, and if you’re in for an additional challenge, a country that speaks a language different from your own.

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to travel frequently since I was a child, and traveling overseas has now become a way of life, having lived and/or worked in 12 countries since I graduated from university 10 years ago.  In every new country I travel, I experience a whole range of joys and challenges that leave me incredulous at the beauty and diversity of both humanity and our planet.  It becomes almost addictive, the ongoing realization through such experiences that, while we are all so incredibly different, we are also profoundly similar. That no matter what you eat, what language you speak, whether you have lived through poverty, wealth, war or peace, that a parents’ love for their child, the humiliation of failure, the contentment of a stomach well fed and the smell of freshly cut grass are universal.

To me, the challenge of living overseas is to have the courage to overcome what can at times appear insurmountable differences between your own ways of living and interacting and those of a different culture – to accept the awkward, the alien and the contradictory.  The joy is that in doing so, you sift through much of what is social engrained and culturally specific to your own upbringing, and begin to see the values that are common to all humanity, as well as the values that are uniquely important to you.

A few qualities that you are likely to foster in your journey of personal and international exploration include:

–          Humility.  Living in a different culture to your own will inevitably result in your looking like a complete idiot at one time or other, and if you’re like me, on a daily basis, which can be quite a humbling experience.

There will be boundless opportunities to use the wrong word, wear the inappropriate attire, break some cultural taboo. When my mother worked as an au pair in France, she told her host family that she was ‘pregnant’ (pleine), rather than ‘full’ (plein), after a tasty meal they had served her.

Even within the same language, there are abundance of opportunities for confusion and embarrassment.  When traveling through North Carolina with my family, we stopped for a snack.  I asked in my usual English accent for four waters.  The lady at the counter looked bemused and darted around the back.  She returned soon after, explaining apologetically that they didn’t sell ‘otters’!

–          Gratefulness. I am full of boundless gratitude for the generosity of the friends and acquaintances, in pretty much all the countries where I have traveled, giving me the benefit of the doubt that I was not actually trying to insult them when I made yet another cultural gaffe, but it was merely that I am a clumsy ignoramus.  In Swaziland, where I have been living for the past two-and-a-half years, it is considered extremely rude to hand over food with your left hand.

It took me a good few months to realize this, before someone shyly pointed out my indiscretion, and it then another few weeks before I managed to train myself not to do it instinctively.  Never once did my friends or colleagues show me overtly their distaste of my behavior, although, once aware of this culture, I noticed a looked of suppressed surprise on the odd occasion that I forgot myself.

I, in return, committed myself to not taking offense when confronted with what were, at times, behaviors or situations that were personally quite offensive, such as the practice of polygamy (in Swaziland) or having to eat snails of a remarkably large size (in Nigeria – they were about the size of a tennis ball!).

–          Open mindedness. For me, one of the most amazing things about traveling or living in a different culture is learning that so many of our most fundamental assumptions about life are in fact only that – assumptions – socially engrained from birth onwards. My time in Swaziland has expanded my horizons incredibly in this sense.

Most Swazis have so little materially, in fact 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line (one dollar a day), which is tragic by any standards.  However, their sense appreciation of life that is not filled with material things is impressive, while their hope for the future, even in the most desperate of circumstances is remarkable, and certainly puts my daily irritations and stresses into perspective. Their strength of community is also a refreshing alternative to the urbanized and individualistic societies in which most of us live in the west.  Every country I have been to, has provided me with unique insights.

If you’re game for some personal exploration, combined with international adventure, I would highly recommend getting out your atlas and passport.  With an open mind, genuine interest in learning something new, and a conscious effort to engage with the people in your selected destination, unforgettable experiences are no doubt in store. Certainly, I will always cherish experiencing different countries and cultures, and aspire to emulate the cultural aspects I admire most, in some small way, no matter where I call home.

My experiences of different countries have truly enriched my life, and have undoubtedly made me a better person. There have been blunders and unintended insults along the way, but every one of them has been character building, and the laughter and joy has far outweighed any tears.
Ecuador-joy

The joys of Ecuador include the happy children. Here they play football on the beach in Manta.

Ecuador-joys

Here Ecuador children are a joy playing football in the Andes.

May, wherever you go, you find joy.

Gary

Learn  more about Cotacachi business ideas at our July 4-8 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Another Ecuador joy is learning together.  Here a group of delegates relax at Meson de las Flores after a day’s tour.

Ecuador-joys

Enjoy savings by attending our real estate tours at the same time.

July 4-8 Ecuador Import Export Tour
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

We provide discounts for delegates who attend two or three courses and tours in a month.

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

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

Plus during the month of April, (this offer expires April 30) enjoy  our extra 2-4-1 savings.

Because Merri and I will not be conducting the July tours, our 2-4-1 offer lets you attend the July 2009  Ecuador export tour free if you enroll in one of our three International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ courses, in July, October or November that we will conduct.

You get two courses for the price of one.  Enroll in any of these courses that Merri and I will conduct below and choose any one of the three July tours free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

There is no need to  hurry either. If you are not sure about attending two tours,  sign up and attend the July export tour now… then we’ll knock the tour fee off our International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ courses, in July, October or November fee later.

You can also still take advantage of the two or three course discount as well.

For example, if you choose to attend all three of the July Ecuador tours… both real estate and export tours, then you can have the two or three courses discount and still attend a July, October or November International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ course free.

The 2-4-1 offer expires April 30 2009.

We hope to meet you in North Carolina or Ecuador.

Gary


Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour


Ecuador’s Amazon is rich in herbs  as you’ll learn on our Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour, May 22-24, 2009.

Enroll here $399.  Enroll here for a couple $499

Studying Ecuador herbs is fun.

You see them regularly in Native Ecuador markets are ancient rites of human endeavor. Meetings like this one high in the Ecuador Andes have taken place almost since civilization began as have imports and exports. I closed my eyes and felt the energy, the deep, inner excitement that marketplaces bring and how they thrill. Such wonderful agitation! Ecuadorian men and women, different religions, cultures and ages. People from near and far. Explosions of color. Mutterings and hawking in Quichua, Spanish, and occasional English working their babble of exchange. Ecuadorian babies bobbing on mother’s backs, children working, playing and racing among the stalls. Adults serious in their cares. Explosions of sights, smells and sounds create this purposeful cacophony true to only one mission, to trade and sell, import, export!

Exploring the markets is a great way to see Amazon herbs but the best way to know them is to actually visit the marker.

So for years we have been helping readers go to the Amazon and learn how they are actually grown.

Alberto Verdezoto (a long term friend and guide as well as an expert on herbal medicine from the Amazon) will guide a tour to the Amazon and the Flora Sana finca this May.

ecuador-information-tours

Here is Alberto leading one of our tours.

You could not be in better hands.  Alberto was in the Ecuador travel business for more than 10 years and has been working in the Amazon with herbs for many years. He is the distributor for the Flora Sana Amazon products.

Here is Alberto (left) leading our staff at International Living’s Ecuador seminar in March.

ecuador-tours

Alberto helped develop  the entire line of organic Amazon health products to export from Ecuador under the “Flora Sana” (Flower Healing) brand.

Ecuador Herbal Products

Stimusan Herb Pack
Dulcamara Cream
Dulcamara Liquid
Dulcamara Shampoo
Dulcamara Soap
Sweet Sleep
Sangria Drago
Organic Chocolate

There are many more Ecuador export products in the Flora Sana line.

We are working with Alberto to obtain dealers for these products.

This line has special interest in the health food supplement field. Take the Dulcamaras range for example.

Merri and I have enormous energy vitality and enthusiasm, running the farm and our publishing business. Many are amazed at what we get done. At a time when many are thinking retirement, we feel we are just getting started. Plus despite our heavy work load and travel schedule we seem to be getting younger…yet this is a time when many of our friends are rapidly deteriorating both in energy and appearance.

We feel that one reason is that we regularly take the Dulcamaras food supplement which is a pure Amazonian plant extract. When we began using this product years ago, one MD told us that he used this plant extract to help his cancer patients. The doctor explained that Dulcamaras is not a cancer cure but so enhances the immune system that many patients cure themselves. He explained that many of his patients also used Dulcamaras to enhance their vitality and that it has anti-aging qualities that could be enjoyed.

We decided to try it ourselves. After a couple of days we felt tiredness but then found ourselves feeling more energy. My weight started dropping. Muscle mass and skin tone built though we did not add any new exercises.

We began sharing Dulcamaras extract years ago with a few of our friends and heard back similar stories from those who were well. From others we heard incredible stories.

We read a medical study from the University of Miami Medical School entitled “INDUCTION OF CASPASE-MEDIATED APOPTOSIS AND INHIBITION OF PROSTATE TUMOR GROWTH AND METASTASIS BY A PLANT EXTRACT”.

The study was done by Deven S. Dandekar1*, Vinata B. Lokeshwar1, Edwin Cevallos. 2, and Bal L. Lokeshwar1. 1Dept. of Urology and Sylvester Cancer Center, Univ. of Miami, Miami, Fl. 2Tumor Institute, Quito, Ecuador. *d.dandekar@miami.edu

The study began “INTRODUCTION: Most cancer drugs are derived from plants and many more are yet to be discovered (1). An orally active, aqueous plant extract (Dulcamara sp) was tested for its anti-tumor properties on prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.”

The conclusion of that study was that the Dulcamaras extract tested was a potent orally active anti-neoplastic agent, which primarily affects caspase-mediated apoptosis and inhibits metastasis by inhibition of hyaluronidase, an ECM-degrading enzyme implicated in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis.

We saw one friend with Lymphoma have a miraculous cure in 18 days. Another who was quadriplegic with MS had such a recovery that she can now stand alone. But mostly the stories were about feeling better, having more energy, sex drive, clearer mind, strength, endurance and feeling and looking younger.

Dulcamaras has great potential to be of assistance in diseases in which the immune system is implicated as a contributing factor. The medical doctor in Ecuador has gathered data which indicates possible value in conditions of over active and under active immune system such as AIDS, Allergic States, Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Hepatitis, and Lupus like diseases.

We do not believe that Dulcamaras is a panacea and it is not intended to diagnosis, treat or cure any condition nor should it be viewed as a substitute for orthodox medical treatments. But it is a powerful plant-derived nutritional supplement which may safely be used for longevity, more energy and better health plus as a complementary treatment to assist the body’s natural healing processes.

Here is more about Ecuador Dulcamaras Export Opportunity.

Common names: Donkey Ears, Life Plant.

Scientific Name: Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri Raym.-Hamet & H. Perrier

Synonym: Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri

Family: Crassulaceae

Origin of the Plant:

Kalanchoe or Bryophyllum gastonis bonnieri is originated from Madagascar . It was known and used as a medicine by the ancient Egyptians. The plant was brought to the Amazon during the time of the rubber boom at the end of the 19th century.

The Dulcamara plants used to make Flora Sana natural products are organically grown in their gardens located on the left bank of the Puyo river, next to the Amazonian town of Puyo, the capital of the Pastaza province, in Ecuador. A plant takes 6 to 8 months to mature and be ready for harvest.

The plant is then used to make tinctures and creams.

The Flora Sana Dulcamara Tincture is used here in Ecuador for inflammation of prostate, tumor in ovaries, uterus, brain, kidneys, breast, cysts, leukemia, kidney and gall stones, hemorrhoids, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis, depressed immune system. Of course it cannot be exported from Ecuador or offered in other countries for these purposes unless it has been approved by relevant authorities.

There has been a study at University of Miami Medical School on the effects of this plant. See http://www.med.miami.edu/mnbws/Dandekar106.html

The Dulcamara Cream is created by blending pure dulcamara water extract with a base cream imported from France. The cream has protective, nourishing and moisturizing properties. A small quantity of essential oil of lavender is added to complement its nutritional properties and therapeutic uses, especially for acne, allergies, burns, diaper rash, and general skin care. The cream can be applied on the face and to all body parts.

The cream is used in Ecuador for burns, allergies, varicose veins and ulcers, diabetic, baldness, warts, vitiligo, acne, pimple, blackhead, wrinkles, hemorrhoids, psoriasis, diaper rash, dermatitis and general skin care. Again this cannot be exported form Ecuador or offered in other countries for these specific purposes.

This is just one of many herbs you’ll learn about because Alberto also works with CORPEI, the Ecuadorian government organization dedicated to developing export opportunities for handicrafters up to big organizations. They approached Alberto to see if he wanted to be involved in an international project to promote the development of businesses and organizations involved with producing and marketing natural products from the Andes and Amazon.

The tour fee does not included air travel, food or accommodations.

You can enroll in the May 22-24 Ecuador Amazon Herbal tour here.

Enroll here $399.  Enroll here for a couple $499

You can join one or two Ecuador real estate tours before the Amazon tour.

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

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

Sign up for two or three of the May 2009 tours and gain a discount plus attend any of the IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web course FREE.

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

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

Cotacachi Hotel Suite


You can live for a month in our Cotacachi hotel suite and save.

We offer a Hometel at our Cotacachi hotel Meson de las Flores so you can enjoy Cotacachi room rates… at a ridiculously low $32 a night… including a full served breakfast, free broadband and free calls to the US, Canada and Europe.

Now there is a Homesuite opportunity at our Cotacachi hotel as well.

Here is Meson.

cotacachi-hotel-savings

We have one suite in the hotel which starts with an outdoor dining area on a covered balcony.

ecuador-hotel-savings

The views are fantastic.

Mt. Cotacachi in one direction

cotacachi-hotel-savings

The cathedral is straight ahead, across the street and at eye level to the suite.

These are all shots I have taken from the balcony.

cotacachi-hotel-savings

I love to sit in the dawn, work to the glow of my computer…(we have great wireless broadband for hotel guests)…and free phone calls to the US, Canada and Europe and watch the sun rise.

First, the dawn makes the Cathedral glow.

cotacachi-hotel-savings

Then Mt. Imbabua comes alive.

cotacachi-hotel-savings

This all happens around 5:30 am so many miss it…but for late sleepers, the views at dusk are a treat as well. Here is the moon just starting to rise.

cotacachi-hotel-savings

Up and away!

cotacachi-hotel-savings

You can also watch all the activity in the courtyard two floors down.

ecuador-hotel-savings

So we enter the suite into the living area.

ecuador-hotel-savings

There are two sofas and a desk for working if you choose.

ecuador-hotel-savings

All the floors throughout are hardwood.

The next room is for sleeping. The bed, on the “World’s Most Comfortable Top Ten” list, is king size.  Merri and I have rented this suite for the last two years and made this so…pillowtop mattress…with 300 thread count Italian sheets we hand carried to Ecuador.

The four poster bed frame was given to us by friends who shipped it from the Seychelles (after their plantation there was burned down). The bed posts are made from a rare coconut called “Coco del Mar”.  Once only Royalty in the Seychelles was allowed to have “Coco del Mar”…under penalty of death we were told.  Whatever…be sure…this is not your normal, run-of-the-mill, hotel bed.

ecuador-hotel-savings

Neither by the way is the ceiling. We are told by the previous owners that the name Meson de as Flores (Meson is not a Spanish word).  It came to be because the Ambassador to France used to almost live here.  This was his “Maison of the Flowers” which became corrupted into translation.  That Ambassador donated a special antique (this all happened a long time ago) pressed a tin ceiling…quite beautiful…and rare.

ecuador-hotel-savings

Finally we reach the third room..a more than king size bathroom and closet.

cotacachi-hotel-savings

Merri and I designed it, because  she loves baths. I’m a shower sort of guy…so…this is why we have great marriage and a Vichy Spa Shower.

cotacachi-hotel-savings

The closets and cabinets, like the floors are all hardwood…

ecuador-hotel-savings

..the real stuff.no veneer or engineered flooring here.

ecuador-hotel-savings

Our normal Hometel program lets guests stay for 31 nights at a low rate of $32 a night.  Merri and I have rented the suite for the last years so it was not available.  Now that we have finished a loft studio nearby where we are moving we have added this suite of rooms to our hometel program and at only $19 a night more.  You can read about our hometel program below and sign up for $999 for a month (31 nights).  You can choose the suite instead at $1,588 for the month or $1,688 for a couple.

To reserve the suite, first check availability with Merri at merriscott@live.com

Hometels including the suite were fully booked through March 2009, so please contact us with your dates.

Once you have cleared availability, simply sign up for the hometel and put your choice of the suite in the comments section. We will charge the $1,588 instead of $999 (or couples price).

See the hometel details below.

Order the regular hometel here $999 Single, $1099 couple order here.

Meson de las Flores is offering a Hometel program in Cotacachi Ecuador where you can enjoy Ecuador at very low costs for a month (or longer) at a time

Here are some snapshots of the Meson de las Flores Inn. Our Land of the Sun Foundation took control March 1, 2006 and created the Hometel program so readers can stay here at a monthly rate of $999. (This low fee helps humanitarian and charitable causes).

The monthly price includes a wonderful served breakfast of just squeezed juice, bacon or ham and eggs, bread, ripe fruit and cereal. Lunch and dinner are extra at $5 for a two course meal if you choose to dine at the hotel.

We have free wireless broadband for your laptop or a computer you can use, plus a VOIP phone system so you can call the US, Canada or Europe at no charge.

We have also installed a far infrared sauna for your health and enjoyment.

The entrance of our home (and we hope yours) in Cotacachi is a bit more than 60 steps to a magnificent cathedral and park.

Here’s the park!

Cotacachi is quiet and peaceful and once inside Meson you feel the flavor of its colonial past. The foundations of this building were started here over 180 years.

The inner courtyard is open and this (plus an inside dining area) is where we serve meals. We have an excellent chef trained in Andean nutritional skills. Meals are delicious and those who stay rave about the food.

We have a full professional kitchen where we produce delicious, nutritious and energizing meals drawn from the Andes’ volcanic soil.

Everywhere you turn you see stunning views from the hotel. The hotel is nestled between three mountains. This is Mount Imbabura.

Five minutes away is La Mirage a Relais and Chateuax Spa.

20 minutes away is a national park and crater lake for picnics and in pure air and nature take you along nearby along Cuicocha Crater Lake. Cuicocha was formed by a massive volcanic explosion 3,000 years ago. You picnic on a carpet of grass by pure, azure, 600 foot deep waters amidst breathtaking scenery. There are numerous trails for hiking and horseback riding.

Here’s Merri, our hound dog Ma and me at the lake.

Less than an hour away is Chachimbiro Thermal Springs (picture below) you soak in the wilds of its mineral waters.

Locals knew of pools of healing waters since pre hispanic times, but the majority of these medicinal thermal waters began to flow after an earthquake in 1868. They come from a volcanic complex that has existed 10,000 years and flow at temperatures ranging from 92 F to 132 F.

The chemical composition makes them among the best healing waters in the Americas as they contain chlorides, sulfides of iron, copper, fluorine, bromine and iodine. They act as a digestive, purgative regulator, stimulant of the cardiovascular system, diuretic and a central nervous system stimulant.

This is one of the most famous craft areas in Ecuador and there are numerous markets all within a few minutes ride (taxis by the way are very inexpensive) from Meson. Shopping markets include: Otavalo, world-renowned for its large, varied indigenous market. Throughout the week, there is an abundance of traditional weavings and handicrafts to be found.

Cotacachi is famous as the leather village and specializes in all types of leather wear. The main street is lined with shops selling belts, jackets, bags, vests, suitcases, saddles and more. There is an abundance of products allowing you to find what you are looking for – all at amazingly cheap prices.

San Antonio de Ibarra, is famous for wood carvings and furniture. The tradition of craftsmanship developed by the population of San Antonio dates to the 16th century and includes sought after wooden religious art and altar pieces that are shipped worldwide.

One of the best weaving villages in Ecuador is Peguche. This village is far less known than Otavalo but the better tapestries are woven here. They have weaving demonstrations including how all natural dyes are made.

Traditional Masapan art made from hardened bread dough craft making is a cultural expression of the rural zone of Calderon, which has been passed down for generations. Now we have one of the descendants of this ancient craft who is offering it in a nearby village to us…just 7 miles away. The masapan crafts are original products, multicolored and perfect for decoration. All products are hand made with quality prime material that is non-toxic, to protect health and the environment.

We have a Spanish teacher who lives near the hotel and offers both group and individual Spanish lessons at very low prices.

You also enjoy very comfortable king size beds (with 380+ thread count sheets), balcony and daily maid service. Every room has a large balcony. Laundry is extremely inexpensive.

Medical services are excellent. Some residents more than pay for their stay just having dental work completed.

In addition the weather is wonderful! Ecuador is a land of intense sun, but the Andes climate varies according to altitude. Cotacachi sits at 7,800 feet, so the temperatures range between mid 40s (at night) and mid 70s during the day. Because there is no industry for many miles the air is clear and the stars at night spectacular!

This is a small community (10,000 people).  The people are warm, sweet and friendly, no traffic jams, no pollution…to us an almost perfect place to live.

Finally your contribution by living here helps support the programs of the Land of the Sun Foundation (See www.landofthesun.org ). The hotel was purchased with charitable contributions and all proceeds from the hotel goes to charitable causes. To date we are offering free English lessons in the community, a soup kitchen for the homeless, a children’s lending library, medical missions, medical help, higher learning for the indigenous, and computer gifts. Being a part of these wonderful programs adds one more fulfilling dimension to living here with us at Meson de las Flores.

We love our home here and hope you will share Ecuador with us.

To make your reservation, simply choose the order form below.

Remember that time is money and in this case, timing your visit to Ecuador is money and convenience!

Details of the $32 a night hometel program are here.

Gary

Join us in 2009.

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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

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

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

Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  Here is a special offer on this new course.

You can enroll in this special course for $299. However if you sign up for three courses in any one month.