Tag Archive | "General Motors"

More Electric Investing Ideas


Will the Volt put voltage back into General Motors shares?

electric-car

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

Probably not… because small is beautiful.

In this era of rapid change a company’s value is its idea… less its size and experience.   A monster organization like GM… even trimmed down comes from the muscle car experience. Changing course from the “Giddiyap 409” attitude to “Go Green” requires enormous effort.

Yet who will come out ahead?

Chinese? South Koreans…. even Japanese?  Europeans?

The Japanese and Europeans have the benefit with their small, crowded nations, narrow and winding roads. They have always had to think smaller than in the US, where soft big and fast were the norm.

Japan’s gas prices are almost double those in the US and Europe’s are sometimes triple…. so when America’s cars were getting bigger… Europe’s and Japan’s were shrinking.

The Chinese and South Koreans are relatively new to the game so their mindset may not be as formed.

Americans did not learn much from the 1980s oil crisis.  Americans made pretty crappy, small cars at that time… the Dodge Reliant…  yuck!  No wonder Chrysler went broke.

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The Ford Mustang had fallen from its great beginning to a miserable low and the Chevy Malibu wasn’t any better.  We should not be surprised that the Japanese grabbed so much market share.

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GM rebounded with the Suburban.  Ford watched F150 pickup sales soar. Chrysler  made the minivan an every day affair and American drivers moved from gas guzzling muscle cars to gas guzzling SUVS and trucks.

Here are reader comments from our last message about green investing.

Greetings Gary, Thank you for printing the electric engineer’s letter. He is a smart guy, and used good illustrations. In his passion for reminding us that a battery is like a bucket [of course he is right] he managed to throw out the benefits of the battery out the window.  I hope he doesn’t impede you from reporting on new tech you hear about in the future. We all knew what you intended. The real point is reducing our grid use [via wind solar, whatever] and being able to store it economically. If this battery works it is the breakthrough you reported.  Please don’t lose your passion, tell us as many of the details of the vision you see, please. Happy Trails, and keep up the good work.

No chance I’ll lose my passion! I have grand kids and my children are really passionate about this so they push me right along. From the investing point of view, I know that big problems create big opportunity and there are few bigger problems than environmental pollution.

Here is another reader:  In response to the solar battery section of this post, it may interest you to access National Geographic’s August’s “Picture of the Month”.  Scout around the site until you find the series of photos from their recent article on the current state of solar power technology.

You may know that the WSJ recently had an article about a meeting Correa had with a Russian delegation to discuss Russian help building a nuclear energy plant in Ecuador. The WSJ (which hates Correa) was on red alert. But the general feeling in other media is that the Russians are meddling in “our” backyard in response to us meddling in “their” former sphere of influence, particularly those missiles in Eastern Europe.  I continue to be puzzled why no one in Ecuador, or interested in Ecuador, is looking at developing a solar power industry. Apart from the obvious abundance of stable and intense year-round solar radiation, a distribution system along the north/south axis of the Andes would avoid all the problems of moving oil and gas through mountains and volcanoes from the eastern Amazon basin west to the Pacific ports for trans-shipment.

The lack of solar would seem a puzzle until one thinks it through. Solar power is still costly and poor nations tend to go with the least expensive choice.   Plus who would help?  Solar could make Ecuador independent and no one seems to have that on their agenda.

Mankind must become greener. This is a huge problem and because problems create opportunity, demand for electric cars that help the environment may continue to grow.

When looking at investment ideas in electric cars think small… the winners are not likely go come from America’s… big (mostly busted) three.

See Jyske Bank’s Financial Friday including an interview about electric investing in cars.

Gary

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October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour

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Join us with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management in Ecuador. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

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Green Investing & Ecuador Cars


Green investments may have extra value now.

“Green  Cars”  means something different now… than it did when I began to drive.

Today “Green Car” might means this….”Small is beautiful”.

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45 years ago a “green car” meant something like this!

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“Bigger was better!”

Thinking about this change can help us cash in on green investing.

Actually buying a car like the GTO would have been a pretty good investment.

Rare cars had really good appreciation for many years… but the green, very non green, GTO above can tell us more about where to invest in “Environmental Green.”   A change in green mentality can show us how to spot special investing value that goes way beyond collecting antique cars.

This was my first car.

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This was a 1958 Chevy Bel Air.  I bought it in 1963, used… for $895. This forced me to get a job…. busing dishes at a steak house in Portland, Oregon.   That car sort of set my lifestyle for decades… a solid member of the “one car per person” society.

I lived a mile from an isolated levy on the Columbia River… so yes, I drove my Chevy to the levy.

No more!   Bye Bye Miss American Pie is a more appropriate tune since Pontiac is about to die.   What could be more American Pie than a Pontiac?

I know because this was my second car…

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a 1966 Pontiac Tempest LeMans Sprint.

These pictures from www.cardomain.com brought back fond memories.  I can list every car I have ever owned in order… it’s a guy sort of thing… but this is not the point here.

That Pontiac had a special new Pontiac – built 230 cubic-inch overhead cam six power plant, the only such engine found in an American production car at that time.  This was available in this Sprint option package on two-doors with a four-barrel, high-compression 207 horsepower version,  marketed as an alternative to higher-priced European sport sedans, which had similar OHC engines.

This motor was hot and was fuel efficient!  Here is a picture.

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Then the idea of smaller more fuel efficient engines was lost.  The gas guzzling GTO with a huge eight cylinder took over and this type of engine became hot.  Europe’s idea of smaller, high performance fell to the idea of … just plain… BIG.

Bigger is better.   Faster is good.   Power is king.  These became  the American ideals and most of us (boomer) guys and gals bought into it.

This led society down an incorrect, unsustainable path of consumption worth mentioning now because of Pontiac’s recent death.

A recent BBC News article entitled “Pontiac RIP” by Nick Holland tells the tale.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

The GTO transformed Pontiac into a muscle car brand.

Pontiac has become the highest-profile victim of the crisis in the American car industry.  The decision this week by General Motors to discontinue the brand shocked a generation of petrol heads who fell in love with the all American muscle cars the company developed in the 1960 and 70s.

It is a great shame that one of America’s iconic brands is having to be removed from the automotive scene

We are talking about cars like the Pontiac Firebird, The Grand Am and the GTO.
Like Route 66, roadside diners and baseball all of these vehicles have become genuine artefacts of U.S. culture.

“If ever a car company defined swagger – Pontiac was it,” says Peter DeLorenzo who runs the Autoextremist.com blog.

“Pontiac delivered cars to the market bristling with a maverick, edgy appeal and genuine soul – a commodity so far removed from most of Detroit’s products then that it was striking,” he says.

Things began to change when the company employed John De Lorean, who later founded the ill-fated De Lorean Motor Company, as its new head of engineering in 1956.

Pontiac started test driving a saloon car fitted with powerful V8 engines.

However, the vehicle did not meet General Motors’ corporate guidelines because they were considered too fast and breached an agreement with other manufacturers within the GM group to avoid building performance cars.

Regardless of that, a handful of the cars were built and Pontiac salesman drove them around to test public reaction.  They got 5,000 orders.

Once the board at General Motors found out, the GTO was born.

The popularity of the car encouraged the company to transform itself into a performance brand.

Alongside the GTO the company developed the Grand Prix and the Firebird during the 1960s, all of them muscle cars.

The demise of Pontiac is a clue… the end of a wasteful non sustainable way… plus it’s part of  this economic slowdown that signals huge socio-economic changes.

The global financial correction has pushed equity markets down everywhere and ended as time Magazine puts it, “the end of excess”.

American society revered big. Bigger was better. The more one had… the bigger the house… the faster the car… the greater the consumption… the more a consumer was respected.

Perhaps no more.  Now being environmentally sensitive is cool.

This creates a distortion because green shares have been especially hard hit.

There is a reason for this.  A USA Today article entitled “Going green can cost too much green” by Alan Gomez may help explain why.

Here are excerpts from this article:

Going green isn’t easy, especially during a recession.

For two years, the city of Durango, Colo., bought electricity for all its government buildings from wind farms. The City Council ended that program this year, reverting to electricity derived from coal-burning plants and saving the cash-strapped city about $45,000.

“It’s very hard for us to lay off an employee to justify green power,” City Manager Ron LeBlanc said. “Those are the tradeoffs you have to face.”

Across the country, government agencies are either cutting or shrinking programs that use or fund renewable energy projects. Green power — from wind farms, solar power or other renewable energy sources — remains more expensive than traditional power sources.

As budgets shrink, some people have had to scale back their green ambitions.
Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive energy plan last July that included a $100 million program to encourage people to invest in solar energy. The Pennsylvania Sunshine Program would provide reimbursements to homeowners and small business owners who installed solar electric and solar hot water projects.
The program has yet to begin, and the state will start with only $30 million in grants, according to Scott Dunkelberger, executive director of the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which administers the funding of Pennsylvania’s economic development programs. “We just want to take on the debt that we need,” he said.
That has left some in Pennsylvania waiting.

Buyers and investors have been backing off green because of short term financial concerns. Yet the huge long term problems of sustainability have not been resolved. Driving old Pontiacs might be cheaper in the short run then building new energy efficient cars… but returning to “Gitiup Little GTO” will not solve the problem’s of the high energy costs that those dual quads consume nor deal with the pollution coming from the twin exhausts.

Wise investors with a medium and long term view can gain extra value by investing in the value created by distortions in green shares that are vital to society in the long term… but depressed more than the norm right now due to short term economic concerns.

One example of this is that a no car trend is also growing. Excerpts from A New York Times article entitled “In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars”
by Elisabeth Rosenthal.

VAUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.

Ecuador Cars

Ecuador has some green potential in this way because Ecuador has a great import law for cars.  You cannot import used cars to Ecuador.  You can only import new cars only…ie. in 2009 a 2008 or newer.  This helps keep junkers, gas guzzlers and smokey, old wrecks off the road.

Merri and I encourage people to forget the car in Ecuador… for several reasons.

First, it is a hassle.

Second, the taxes are  high for imported vehicles. The norm for taxes for a regular car is near 50% and as the price of the car rises…so does the percentage of tax.  Cars over $100,000 have a 100% tax.

Third, hiring a car with driver (this what Merri and I do) is really inexpensive. Cars used for commerce (i,e. taxis) can be imported into Ecuador tax free. Gas is cheap (about $1.50 a gallon) and drivers do not earn a lot.  These facts often make it cheaper to hire a car with driver than to own a car.

Using a car and driver avoids getting lost.  You eliminate the legal hassle of fender benders and provide employment. Very few of the many people I know who have moved to Ecuador have a car.

Learn more about Ecuador cars at Driving in Ecuador

Owning one’s car is ingrained in the North American mentality. I am reminded of this every time I drive through a city during commuter hours. There are miles upon miles of individuals each sitting in one car.

I understand this… the minute I turned 16  I had to get a car… a big one that was fast.

That mindset was an error that the world (and many individual budgets) can no longer afford… so say bye bye Miss American Pie and so long Little GTO.  Invest in green and when possible do what you can to eliminate one person… one car.

Gary

Learn more about green investing at our upcoming International investing and business courses.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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.

You can read the entire article “Going green can cost too much green” at www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2009-05-03-greencities_N.htm

You can read the entire article German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/science/earth/12suburb.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Ecuador Risk


Ecuador has risks.

As does everywhere.  In fact our world has more risk then ever before.

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Are quiet Ecuador streets like this Cotacachi avenue at risk?

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The young Ecuadorian children who go to school early, alone don’t seem to feel much risk.  Yet?

Change creates risk and we live in an era of increasingly rapid change.

Those who welcome this fact are those who have the best chance of success. ahead.

This is the era of rapid change… the era of  extra risk.  The current time period within this era is of accelerated change and risk.

This is an important message about how to manage risk in Ecuador or anywhere.

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Even young children play alone in the Cotacachi Ecuador streets without much risk

Yet we must always take care.

Take for example the US travel advisory for Ecuador… read  without perspective. Ecuador risk would seem high.

Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Ecuador:

SAFETY AND SECURITY: The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to the northern border region of Ecuador, to include areas in the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana and Carchi, northern Esmeraldas, and southern Esmeraldas, south of Atacames.  U.S. government personnel are under limitations with respect to traveling alone and over-nighting in these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist organizations.

CRIME:  Crime is a serious problem in Ecuador, and visitors should be alert and cautious.  Non-violent crime is common: hundreds of Americans are robbed every year in Ecuador.   Incidents of rape have increased, even in well-traveled tourists areas and when the victims traveled in groups for safety. Shootings, kidnappings, and carjackings are still relatively rare, but American citizens have been victimized by those crimes.  The Ecuadorian government has increased police patrols in tourist areas, but travelers should remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant control of personal belongings.

Criminals sometimes use incapacitating drugs such as scopolamine on unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them.  These so-called date rape drugs are put into drinks in order to drug the unsuspecting victim.  This drug can render the victim disoriented and can cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems.  Never allow a stranger to “buy” you a drink and never leave your drink unattended.  Several American citizens have reported thefts of property following ingestion of such substances.

Does Ecuador sound risky?

Ecuador sounds risky until you read the travel advisory for Italy.  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Italy:

Some travelers are victims of rape and beatings.  There are incidents of drinks laced with drugs being used by criminals to rob, and in some cases, assault tourists.  Many of these incidents occur in the vicinity of Rome’s Termini train station and at major tourist centers such as Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona, as well as in Florence and Naples.  Criminals using this tactic “befriend” a traveler at a train station, bus stop, restaurant, café or bar in tourist areas, then eventually offer a drink laced with a sleeping drug.  When the tourist falls asleep, criminals steal the traveler’s valuables.  There are also instances where the victim is assaulted, either physically or sexually.

Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities.  Clients of Internet cafes in major cities are also targeted.  Tourists who have tried to resist petty thieves on motor scooters have suffered broken arms and collarbones.

The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian Law Enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices.

Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south.  They occasionally resort to violence to intimidate or to settle disputes.

Italy could seem risky as well until you read the travel advisory for Spain .  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Spain.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:     Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents.  Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity.  Spain’s proximity to North Africa makes it vulnerable to attack from Al Qaeda terrorists in the Maghreb region.  Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, in March 2004, Islamist extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries.  Spanish authorities tried the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators in February 2007 and convicted in October 2007.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain.  ETA has historically avoided targeting foreigners, directing their attacks against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets as well as attempts to disrupt transportation and daily life. However, foreigners have been killed or injured collaterally in ETA attacks.  Two examples of this are the Barajas Airport bombing in December 2006, in which two Ecuadorian nationals were killed and the bombing at the University of Navarre in October 2008, in which 17 students were injured including one American student.  In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. The risk of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” in event of an ETA action is a concern for foreign visitors and tourists.  U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas.  Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of pick-pocketing, mugging and occasional violent attacks, some of which require the victim to seek medical attention.  Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk.  Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATMs.

Thieves often work in teams of two or more people.  In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplices perform the robbery.   Spanish authorities warn of the availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy.  Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

We could go on… in Europe…  in Asia… or anywhere.

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Parents in Cotacachi Ecuador do not feel much risk when they let their children play in the parks.

Mostly, places are not the cause of risk.  The causes of risk  are within,  our awareness, our actions, our  patterns and habits.

If one becomes aware of change and adapts accordingly… there is no risk.  There is opportunity instead.

Early adapters are called risk takers.   They are not.

Real risk takers are those who do not  adapt because…  we know…  there is change.

The real risk is living by OLD rules in a NEW world.

The real risk is believing in General Motors for example… because it is the biggest… oldest… so it must be safest.

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Young lovers in Ecuador can meet safely in out of the way places.

The world is new every day and each day, some old rule no longer works.

The old rules used to say that the Western world was safe… and the emerging world riskier.   The old rules said that the Western world had low crime…  the emerging world had high crime.

Yet look at excerpts of a recent New York Times article entitled “Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid” by Solomon Moore (See a link to the entire article below) says:

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance, based on state and federal data. Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending, which quadrupled in the past two decades, according to the report Monday by the Pew Center on the States, the first breakdown of spending in confinement and supervision in the past seven years.

This suggests that the US has quite a lot of risk… both in crime and health.

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Ecuador people are by nature, caring, friendly and warm.

Sometimes I get letters like the one below from readers who have been victims of crime in Ecuador.  This reader lost her computer and camera when she forgot them in the business lounge at the Radisson hotel in Quito.

Dear Gary,  Can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and had them sent by Federal Express to me.  I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen, for the items they were not able to send me  (camera and cellular phone) I was reimbursed via bank transfer. I still can’t believe it.  This was a good ending and so unexpected.  send you all love, and good thoughts. Laura

New rules about risk are being written every day and our daughter Francesca shared some thoughts on this when she recently visited us here.

Fran is quite a traveler.  Here early studies were in England… Gloucestershire and Birmingham.  Then she spent more for more than a year in Spain and Costa Rica, and moved to Naples and Delray, Florida which were bases for her to  manage real estate tours in Argentina, Belize, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay.

She worked for several years doing human rights training in Geneva, Switzerland before returning to get her Masters degree at London School of Economics.

Then  she worked in London for the Crown Agents where she was assigned
as a project manager and consultant to governments in Nigeria,  Peru, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

She has worked the last several years  as a development planning, monitoring & evaluation consultant in Swaziland and is returning there now on a contract with the United Nations.

As a young, single woman (now married) she has had to be aware of risks traveling everywhere from Florida to London to Lagos.

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Here I am with Francesca on her wedding day.

Fran & Sam rode to their reception in Richmond Park on a bicycle built for tow.

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Riding a bike through London traffic… now that is risky!

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Here are some common sense thoughts that Francesca shares about living with risk.

Living with Risk by Francesca Scott

We’re living in risky times; from the economic collapse, to swine flu, to erratic weather conditions.  It sometimes surprises me when people ask me if I’m not worried about living in Swaziland (my current home), because, they say, Africa is such a dangerous place.  I figure that when I return to London, my risk of being attacked in a terrorist attack skyrockets.  And I am still dumbfounded by the fact that children are screened for guns at schools in the United States.  By the way in England for the first time screening for knives has begun in some inner-city London schools.

The issue of risk came to mind recently, when I was visiting my Grandma. One evening over dinner, the discussion turned to the security situation in Swaziland, and I mused that in certain ways I feel safer in Swaziland than I do in parts of London. My Grandma commented that gangs were increasingly becoming a problem in Portland, her home city, and that she didn’t feel that safe these days.  The next day, as we stopped at the local bank, I was surprised by the thick wall of bullet proof glass completely separating the staff from the general public. They don’t have that in banks in London, or in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital city.

I began thinking about how easily we adapt to different risks within our local environments. In many countries, one would be crazy not to have bars on lower windows. In central London, I hold my bag very close to my chest – I value my purse and cell phone too much. My mother-in-law, who lives in Australia, actually leaves her keys in her car when she stops at a store to pick up groceries (gasp!).  Sadly, I doubt that will last for much longer.   So does my Dad in NC.  They have a policy on the farm that all keys remain in all vehicles…just in case someone needs to jump in one!

Each country has a different risk profile, from pick-pockets, to pollution, to drug barons.  I am not saying that Swaziland does not have its dangers – my house has been broken into several times, and I drive much more defensively than I would in the US or the UK (mostly to avoid wayward cows that have drifted onto the road).  The important thing is to be fully informed about the risks.  This might sound obvious, but sometimes people are scared off by unfamiliar risks or misinformation.

It’s also worth remembering that there are often a variety of ways to mitigate those risks through effective prevention methods, so long as you know the rules. Most of us are guilty of exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk as a result of ignorance at one time or other, and are lucky that we’ve lived to tell the tell. I was threatened at knife point by a drug addict in a park in Spain, when I lived there as a student.  When I recounted my story to my Spanish roommate, she told me that I was a fool to be in that park in the first place, ‘…didn’t you know that it’s the favorite haunt for heroine addicts in the city?’  Well, no, obviously I didn’t know at that time, but it was a valuable lesson for me about the importance of knowing the rules.

I must admit to being a little scared before I went to Swaziland.  After all, it’s in one of the poorest parts of the world, and only three hours drive from Johannesburg, a gang-ridden, violent city. I also couldn’t shake off all those awful images of Africa I’ve seen on the evening news. I told myself that I would try it out for six months (I figured I could survive for that length of time in an underground bunker living off tinned corned beef and bottled water if it was that bad), and make a decision from there about whether or not it was for me. Two-and-a-half years later, I still thoroughly enjoy living here and am very glad that I resisted my initial anxieties.

For those considering buying property, or even moving to Ecuador, or any other country – developed, developing or downright poverty stricken for that matter – I would recommend to take the time to become fully informed about the types of risks you might face.  You can find out a lot from the internet and books, but it would be a shame to be scared off by some of what you read or by the well intentioned comments of a neighbor who hasn’t ever lived away from their home town.

Everyone comes from a different starting point, and everyone has a different risk threshold.

Also, the dramatic stories tend to be more interesting to tell.  While reading around can certainly offer you a variety of different and valuable viewpoints, it’s also important to talk to people who have lived in the country. Locals can be an invaluable source of information, while ex-pats may be more appreciative of the kinds of risks unanticipated by a foreigner, risks that may seem glaringly obvious to a local. Also, find out what you can do to mitigate those risks. Often you can reduce your exposure significantly using the appropriate precautions. If you think that the benefits outweigh those risks, then go down and check out the country for yourself.  That’s the only way you can really know if the level of risk is one that you could tolerate.

It might be that the risks are in some countries and in some places, in fact, just too high, pushing you beyond your comfort zone, or that the restrictions necessary to reduce your risks would make you feel stressed and claustrophobic. It’s no fun lying restless at night at night because you’re worried over a break-in, even though you have an alarm, or resent the lack of privacy from having a guard permanently outside your house. If you’re looking for the exact replica of your own community, with the same level of risk, and a Starbucks around the corner thank you very much, then somewhere like an emerging country really may not be for you. There will inevitably be new and different risks in poorer countries, some to which you, as a foreigner, could be at much higher risk than a local.

But take a moment to reflect on the risks that you face in your daily environment back home, and you might find that such risks are relative. While some risks will be new when you move abroad, you will also leave some behind. Therefore, before making any decision of moving to a country other than your own, I recommend making sure that you are informed by the reality on the ground, not some misconception fed by the media or well-intentioned homebodies. Only with that information can you gauge whether you’ll be comfortable with the type and level of risk you might face. For an adventurous soul, you may well find that the benefits of living in a new culture, the fun of exploring a foreign terrain, make everything worthwhile.

Risk assessment is a vital part of survival and success in today’s world.

This has always been true so always consider risk… but when you evaluate danger… don’t  just look at the places where you will be.   Review your thinking, your habits and patterns to see how you can turn risk into opportunity.

Gary

Join us here at our hotel Meson de las Flores.  Learn more turning risk into opportunity at our courses and tours.

ecuador-risk

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

See the entire article Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html

Cotacachi Spa & Ecuador Web Business


Cotacachi’s (perhaps Ecuador’s)  most famous spa is La Mirage and seeing it could help you own your own Ecuador business.

cotacachi-spa

In a moment, there is a link to some great shots of La Mirage by Todd Smith.

However it is Todd’s success with his web business after attending our course that I want to share.

The global economy is going though a much needed cleanse.    A recent USA Today article reports that census numbers show that a record one in nine U.S. housing units are vacant, including about 3% of owned homes. The Mortgage Bankers Association says more than 2 million homeowners faced foreclosure last year. The median sales price dropped 12%, according to the National Association of Realtors — far more in parts of Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan.

This inventory is delaying any kind of housing recovery and will dampen the job market for some time.  This is especially true because of the lack of demand.

One in nine means that 14 million housing units are vacant. USA Today says: That number does not include an estimated 4.8 million seasonal or vacation homes, most of which are occupied part of the year. The combined vacancy rate of almost 15% is higher than during previous recessions: 11% in 1991 and 9.4% in 1984.

• About 3% of owned homes are vacant. In normal times, “maybe 1% should be vacant.”

This means we should not expect to see any economic recovery soon.

A recent New York Times article entitled “U.S. Is Pressed to Add Billions to Bailouts”  by Edmund L. Andrews, Andrew Ross Sorkin  and Mary Williams Walsh says:  The government faced mounting pressure on Monday to put billions more in some of the nation’s biggest banks, two of the biggest automakers and the biggest insurance company, despite the billions it has already committed to rescuing them.

The government’s boldest rescue to date, its $150 billion commitment for the insurance giant American International Group, is foundering. A.I.G. indicated on Monday it was now negotiating for tens of billions of dollars in additional assistance as losses have mounted.

Separately, the Obama administration confirmed it was in discussions to aid Citigroup, the recipient of $45 billion so far, that could raise the government’s stake in the banking company to as much as 40 percent.

The Treasury Department named a special adviser to work with General Motors and Chrysler, two of Detroit’s biggest automakers, which are seeking $22 billion on top of the $17 billion already granted to them.

All these companies’ mushrooming needs reflect just how hard it is to stanch the flow of losses as the economy deteriorates. Even though the government’s finances are being stretched — and still more aid might be needed in the future — it is being forced to fill the growing holes in the finances of these companies out of fear that the demise of an important company could set off a chain reaction.

This means the government is creatng more money then it has and we are likely to see inflation.

So what can we do?

One is buy real estate in California, Florida and some of the other hard hit states. There will be real bargains.  Merri are headed to Florida as fast as soon as we wrap up our March tours in Ecuador.

Start our own business. No other time offers such great opportunity. The old boys network is slashed. Big business cannot compete and labor has not been so abundant in decades.

This is why Todd Smith sets such a great example.

Todd attended one of our courses on how to self publish and has developed a growing, thriving internet business.

See Todd’s latest emailed message about La Mirage here.

Here are two important points about Todd’ success.

First he already had a successful wedding photography business. However hat type of business did not have the upside potential nor offer the freedom he desired.

Second he was not enjoying the business. The hours and the types of photography did not fit Todd’s desires.  He had a passion to earn in a different type of  photography.

So he turned his passion into profit!

Due to numerous successes like Todd’s and because of  the ideal business conditions created by the economic correction, I have developed a new course... The Tangled Webs We Weave…A Web Based  Business Course

Enroll here $299

You own web business provides enormous freedom.  You can like anywhere you desire…  a Cotacachi business is great. This is a quiet peaceful place without much crime, noise or pollution.    Merri and I  have have a web business that works in Cotacachi, the Blue Ridge of North Carolina or anywhere we choose in the world?

The reason we can have this freedom in business is passion.

I am one of the luckiest guys in the world because my children are continually doing things that I learn from.  This allows me to be a bragging dad and actually share a worthwhile point in the process.

For example Merri and I recently were reminded of the most important secret of business success from our youngest daughter, Eleanor.   Here is a shot of Merri and me riding the Virgina Creeper Trail last summer with Ele.

Cotacachi-business

Eleanor is just 27 but has already built a very successful London based business that not only provides her a six figure income, but gives her the freedom to travel the world.  This last year, she visited us twice in the US plus spent time in China  enjoying the Olympics and made numerous other trips.  She has over four months of each year to travel wherever she desires…and earn as she goes.

While she was last with us, we had a great deal of time to talk and she surprised me by sharing a valuable lessons about business.

The first lesson came when she was telling me about her latest efforts at getting some of her students auditions and roles in London West End shows.  Ele started as an entrepreneur early. She owns a performing arts school in London that teaches dancing,  drama and singing.  Here are some of her students in the production of Aladdin they are currently performing.

New-year-economic-lesson

Ele’s school is a franchised operation…one of about 600.  She is one of the youngest owners yet has one of the top ten busiest schools.

One reason for her success is the enormous energy and passion she puts into her business.  Another reason for  her success is she has a growing reputation for getting her students professional roles in the London theater.

She currently has eight of her students working in London’s West End.

Two are in the Sound of Music at the London Palladium on Argyll Street.

Two are in Rodger and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Savoy on the Strand.

One is  in Disney’s  Lion King, at the Lyceum Theatre on Wellington Street.

One is in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

I was a bit surprised at this success and asked her “what is your trick”.  She replied:

“This is very simple.  I give the children who have extra talent free lessons. I bring them to my home and work with them there.”

When I questioned the wisdom of giving away her services as being part of a good business model, she replied:

“This is not about the money, Dad. The thrill of hearing those kids when they call me and tell  they were selected is worth every minute I put into this. I love those calls so much,  I am happy to devote my time and effort.”

This is the secret. Do what you love and figure out how to make money in the process.

In Ele’s case, she has profited indirectly…but the profit is not the purpose.  This is a matter of fulfillment and of the heart.

This has always been an important idea, but grows in importance now.  Our message about the upcoming 2011 disaster showed an economic distortion that is so grave it will force many of us to continue working… or  to work more then expected or… to start working for oneself when an existing job is eliminated.

This problem is so acute and the importance of having more people do what they love is so vital that we have decided to write a new course…on how to develop your own international internet business.

I have now started this course and before I launch it to the public want to make a special offer…that gives you this course free…or more.

Years ago, Merri and I  had 23,000 print readers…micro sized in publishing terms….but very, very profitable for us.  We made millions from this business.  We believe that in this rapidly changing world…small is beautiful.

When money stopped mattering as much, our children were grown, finished with university, we sold our print business and took a year off…lived with a shaman high in the Andes.

Then we morphed into an internet only business.  Our readership began small, with  about 1,600 email readers.  We expected to slow down and smell the roses more.  We even bought an isolated hacienda high in the Andes called Rosaspamba (Place of roses).

As crazy as it seems, we could actually run a business with this small readership and make a profit because our readers are so wonderfully responsive.

Why?  How?

This is what the new course I am creating will teach you….how to have a small, safe, profitable global internet business by creating wonderfully response, fun to be with, like-minded customers.

How small?

Today, our business remains micro sized but we have grown from 1,600 readers to four  main subscription lists consisting of 16,782 subscribers.

How safe?

The downturn of 2008 has not slowed us a bit.   In fact we  are growing faster, in number of subscribers and income, than ever.   December 2008 was our busiest month on the internet ever…by about 50%! January and February 2009 were up 226% over January and February of 2008.  This March we have almost surpassed March 2008 sales in the first ten days.

This is all at  a time when many say the world is economically depressed. Yet our sales are way up and growing almost every month.

How profitable?

Our list and sales are still tiny compared to many of our competitors and associates who make millions a month.   We make tens of thousands…sometimes hundreds.

Yet we have been able to add this extra income with a surprisingly small amount of added overheads.  This number works perfectly for Merri and me…a fun sized readership. In our opinion, this should be the key in business… satisfaction… fulfillment and fun…through service along with the profit.

Yet, profits do matter. Almost every month our internet sales have been rising. In 2008 they rose nearly every month and created a new record for web based sales for us.

These internet sales alone have given us the freedom to live in an isolated Blue Ridge farm during summers and in Ecuador the rest of the year…yet still earn many tens of thousands of extra dollars a month.

Now you can learn everything I do to create this extra income and have fun and fulfillment in a micro publishing business.

The syllabus of this course will help you learn how to find something that is fun, fulfilling and profitable for you to do.

Our growing income is one reason I have decided to create this course.

Second, the economic downturn of 2008 means that more of my readers will need a new way to earn in the years ahead.

Yet the third reason was the straw that made me decide to do this….my webmaster who helped me start this site agreed to co-write the course with me. Merri and I explain what we do in the business.  The writing…the marketing…the product planning and such.   Our webmaster outlines the technical part. How to chose a server…set up a shopping cart…create pay per click systems…send thousands of emails a day.

Though we like to remain small, this does not mean all of our students will.  Our webmaster started with us first but since has grown to be the chief internet consultant for several much larger internet marketing companies that send over a billion emails a year!

We are explaining in the course in detail as we develop it over this year…what I will share and what my webmaster will share as well…how the course will help you.  We are at chapter eight now and I honestly do not know everything what will be in the course.

Previous courses have always evolved as they are written because of the questions that are asked as the lessons are sent.

This is why I want to offer this emailed course (which has not yet be written) now so you can grow with the course as it evolves.

Here is a  special offer.

This new course entitled “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Internet Business” is available at $299.

This is a bargain. Merri and I have been traveling and doing international business for 41 years. We have had a web based business for over ten years. You can share everything we have learned for just $299.

Plus we provide our standard full guarantee. Enroll.  Try the course for 30 days. If not satisfied we’ll give you an immediate, full… no fuss refund.

However if you sign up for any three of our in person courses below, you can have The 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.

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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

Enroll in Tangled Web here $299

To enroll in three courses click here.   I will automatically send you the free Tangled Web course when you enroll. You save $299 more.

Micro Business Security


Your own micro business can increase security.

There is a lot of bad economic news flowing these days.

For example, last week a New York Times headline last week announced:

U.S. Economy Contracted at 3.8% Annual Pace in Fourth Quarter

Though the Commerce Department’s preliminary figure for gross
domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2008 showed the
greatest decline in more than 26 years, economists had
forecast much worse.

A BBC report this week said:

Ford, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler have all reported a sharp fall in US sales in January, as industry-wide American sales fell to a 27-year low.

Sales at Ford plunged 42% last month, compared with a year earlier, while those at GM declined 49%, and Chrysler was hit by a fall of 55%.
But the bad news is not for everyone.  A recent message explained why our business is growing by leaps and bounds almost every month.

There is not bad news everywhere though.  Life is good for small businesses that have adapted and zeroed in on helping during the economic crisis.

A recent message Ecuador Business Passion explained why our web business is growing by leaps and bounds almost every month.

Car sales may be down 50% compared with a year earlier, but our January business is up over 100% compared to last January.  See why at Business Passion.

Web business are perfect during these troubled times. They reduce overheads and allow maximum flexibility to shift with economic trends.

I also also like a web business because they provide freedom to move around.

In the summer I can work and enjoy this view at our North Carolina farm.

business-security

Then in winter when it is miserable and expensive to be in these mountains I can enjoy this sunrise view from our Cotacachi condo and still be in business.

income-security

Or Merri and I can visit our Ecuador Pacific beach condo and wach this sunset while we still work.

income-security

This freedom not only makes life more enjoyable but also reduces the cost of living.

This is why we are sharing a free course on how to create your own website without a webmaster written by Michelle Toole. Here is the 32nd lesson in this course.

Blogging…Another Effective Way to Keep Your Readers Coming Back by Michelle Toole

It is a well known fact that many a time a visitor may visit your site only once, never to return.

So how do you get them to come back?

Good Question.

You have a couple of options, first by publishing a high-value e-zine/newsletter you will encourage return visits and build a trusting relationship between you and your visitors/potential customers. But there is another “communication” approach that is growing in popularity.

It’s called “blogging.”

Basically, blogging means creating a “Web log” or a diary on your Web site, and it is a fast way to share timely information (updates, new developments in your field, trends, etc.), express an opinion, answer a question, or exchange whatever info you want.

How you communicate in your Web log/Blog will depend upon your personality, your time commitments and the tolerance level of your audience. The guiding principle should be simplicity — quick and easy-to-create messages to stay in touch.

Having a web site and a blog combined is one of the best ways to get return visitors while at the same time gaining new visitors.  And as an owner of a theme-based content site, all entries on your designated blog page need to relate to your site’s particular theme. This is a critical criterion to note. You don’t want to risk losing Search Engine relevancy points because your blog page is off target. So, for example, if your Web site focuses on PREselling your accounting service, documenting your passion for orchids will not benefit your page-ranking score — no matter how exhilarating it is for you to share new discoveries!

For a small business owner, a blog is a great way to keep your site fresh and worth revisiting on a regular basis.  But more importantly, it nurtures a feeling of familiarity and reinforces your expertise and knowledge base…

A few final points about blogging…

•    An entry should take as much time as it would to craft an informative e-mail.

•    In the offline world, sometimes people come into a store just to look around, see what’s new and visit with the owner or employees. A blog is an easy way to replicate that relationship-building scenario with your online visitors.

•    Not everyone will be interested in your blog page. But if it makes an impact on even a few visitors, then it’s a worthwhile ROI (Return on Investment). A sale more than compensates for your time effort.

•    Continue to blog as long as it makes sense to you and/or you enjoy it. Use your e-zine to cross-promote what’s new in the blog. And use your blog to cross-promote your e-zine.

Bottom line…..

The growing popularity of “Blogging” emphasizes the importance of updated content on your site. And the fastest and most profitable way to add freshness to your site is by adding regularly to a blog. Of course, long-term, nothing beats creating new pages on your theme based web site.

Look for my future articles where we discuss additional monetization options, search engine optimization, incoming links, additional e-zine techniques, link exchange programs and much more…..

You can check out Michelle’s web site at http://healthy-holistic-living.com. To get more great tips, like the ones above and to see how and what tools she used to create a successful on-line business go to http://sitesell-sbi.com

Until next message may you always find income security.

Gary

How We Can Serve You

How to Have Real Safety

Regain Real Security

There is a path to true security.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However he had already moved on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A PIEC Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#1: Do What You Love!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But where do we start?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3: Integrate your earning and investing. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus there are broken promises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi dimensional opportunity earns in numerous ways.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was a deal that few overseas investors could refuse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Layer Financial Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4: Find your Anchor of Value.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The story contains three valuable tips.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most passive country index ETFs have minimal cost structures.

#5: Keep costs down. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We should know what all our fees are.

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

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

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

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

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

We offer two courses for attaining financial security.

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

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

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

Learn Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing

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

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

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

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

#1:  Current book to price

#2:  Cash flow to price

#3:  Earnings to price

#4:  Average dividend yield

#5:  Return on equity

#6:  Cash flow return

#7:  Market history

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Save $457.95 if You Act Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bear Rally Tactics


The salvation for this bear market may be near.   See below how bear rally tactics can help you profit in the current economic downturn.

History suggests that we will not see a lasting bull until 2012…but one more bear market rally may provide an escape hatch for those who are caught with too many depressed shares. These tactics begin by understanding where the US economy and equity markets are in relation to thirty year cycles that seem to dominate the flow of mankind’s industrial productivity.

These cycles are not economic cycles.  They are cycles of human interaction, technology and productivity that drive the economy and hence the stock market. These cycles are intricately connected with new waves of productivity that grow from some great human platform of combat.  Struggles for survival in the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War (WWIII) super charged inventiveness that created new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and internet, etc.

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

Each boom led to excess.

Each excess led to a correction…and viola here we are…in a correction again…at the correct time!   This 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.

This correction like its predecessors has enjoyed a number of bear market rallies. You can see this quite clearly, in the graph below, how each upward cycle rises after a war (postwar boom) and how the market then crashes before the next upcoming war.

We have been viewing this process via this chart at our site since it began and we can observe how the last bear market recovery ended around December 2007 in this update from yahoo.finance on Wednesday December 3, 2008. dow charts

The yahoo chart looks a little different because it is not dollar adjusted, but we can see a bear market pattern, beginning in 1998, similar to one that began in the 1920s and ran though the 1930s into the 1940s.

We see another bear from the mid 1960s that ran through through the 1970s in the early 1980s. The last bull market began in 1982 so it is significant when we see newspaper headlines like USA Today’s December 3, 2008 headline, Auto Sales Fall to 1982 Level. If car sales…stock market levels and economic signs are at their lowest level since the early 1980s, history suggests that the end of the current correction is heading our way….but not quite here yet.

This is why the portion of the Dow graph from 1920 to 1940 is of special interest to me. I see that the sharp 1929 contraction was too sharp. The real correct correction took place from 1929 to 1942 with a strong, last bear market rally from 1932 through 1936.

graph

Everything about this 30 year theory suggests that the bear market will not end until about 2012…and we need a serious human struggle and new technology before we see the next boom. Yet this same theory also suggests one last bear rally which may be a savior for baby boomers who would like to see their pensions and savings recover a bit before they retire.

The current bear trend began in 1998.  The 2005 to 2007 bear market rally led many investors astray. We are now in a late 1920s style market slide.

This has all been pretty predictable…which is why beginning August 2007 this site began recommending a reduction in equities and debt.

In September 2007, this site listed four important facts that affect most investors:

#1: They care too much about day to day volatility.

#2: They care too little about strategy.

#3: The short term process of buying and selling takes too much time.

#4: This short term process leaves too little time to analyze and forecast. We added seven suggestion then about of what to do when there is a market crisis.

#1: Turn on the auto pilot and normally add to your position.

#2: Do not panic.

#3: Do not let feelings influence you too much.

#4: Add some restructuring stories to your portfolio.

#5: Know that a period of high returns will be followed by a period of low returns…and vice versa.

#6: Do not underexpose yourself for the long term.

#7: Risk is your friend or alibi for expecting higher returns. Take risk in good value!

The market outlook at this site then (Sept 2007) was:

#1: Expect moderately higher stock markets at the end of 2007.

#2: Earnings growth will slow further.

#3: Watch out for core inflation and GDP growth. Dramatically lower growth with high inflation is the signal to watch for.

This could create a recession, the worst enemy for equities. We have that recession now. Hopefully you have been following these ideas.  If so, you have been hurt less than most and now we should be thinking hard about a reentry into markets. There are some stunning values developing especially if we engage three bear market rally tactics now.

Bear Market Rally Tactic #1: Realize that some blue chip equities in old industries may see some sharp immediate gains…but are not the wave of the future. If you hold such shares…when they recover…take your profit if the shares begin to be sold at an unreasonable value.

For example, General Motors was a Blue Chip that spiked in the late 1970s bear market rally.  The internal combustion engine was a productivity technology that came out of WWI.  Selling GM in the $40 range in the late 70s was the smartest thing a person could have done. From then forward, if you take the dollar’s fall and inflation into account, these shares have been a bad value and poor investment.

gm-share-chart

The Blue Chips that could peak in this rally are WWII era firms..plastics…telecommunications…TV…computer (not internet)…fertilizers and such.

Dump them if you get a decent price.

Boomers especially will want to use such timing.  If you have to sell shares to for liquidity, sell these Blue Chips in old industries that are not likely to have a bright future ever again.

Boomers, hold your new era investments that have a bold future and can still rise a lot to provide your income later when you are in your 80s and 90s and 100s!

Bear Market Rally Tactic #2:  Watch for the next war or struggle and the technology that will emerge. The nature of the battle will have an impact on what technology might emerge. Last year I thought that the war could be in Iran. See why at  WWIV

There are other options. For example a December 2, 2008 CNN article said:

Terrorists are likely to use a weapon of mass destruction somewhere in the world in the next five years, a blue-ribbon panel assembled by Congress has concluded. They are more likely to use a biological weapon than a nuclear one — and the results could be devastating, the chairman of the commission told CNN. “The consequences of a biological attack are almost beyond comprehension. It would be 9/11 times 10 or a hundred in terms of the number of people who would be killed,” former Sen. Bob Graham said. He cited the flu virus that killed millions of people in 1918 as an example. “Today it is still in the laboratory, but if it should get out and into the hands of scientists who knew how to use it for a violent purpose, we could have multiple times the 40 million people who were killed 100 years ago,” he said. Graham warned that such measures would be costly, but were necessary. “The leadership of this country and the world will have to decide how much of a priority … they place on avoiding the worst weapons in the world getting in the hands of the worst people in the world,” he said. “It is not going to be cheap. It is not going to be accomplished without some sacrifices. It won’t be accomplished without putting this issue ahead of some other competing national and international goals. But I think our safety and security depend upon doing so,” he added. It cited testimony before the commission from former Sen. Sam Nunn, who said that the “risk of a nuclear weapon being used today is growing, not receding.” The report recommends a range of measures, including increased security and awareness at biological research labs and strengthening international treaties against the spread of biological and nuclear weapons. “Many biological pathogens and nuclear materials around the world are poorly secured — and thus vulnerable to theft by those who would put these materials to harmful use, or would sell them on the black market to potential terrorists,” the report warned. The commission expressed particular concern about the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, and about Pakistan, which it described as “the intersection of nuclear weapons and terrorism. While observing that Pakistan is a U.S. ally, the report said, “the next terrorist attack against the United States is likely to originate from within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas” in Pakistan. The tribal areas lie in northwest Pakistan where the government exerts little control; the United States says it is a haven for militants from both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. Congress created the commission to investigate and report on WMD and terrorism in line with a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, which compiled a report on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Commissioners heard testimony from more than 250 experts from around the world over the course of their six-month investigation.

This is what it takes…a struggle where all concepts of return on investment go out the window….a no holds barred struggle that must be won. This type of endeavor breaks molds…urges thinking outside the box and changes the way humanity thinks, lives, works and interacts.

The struggle could be against global warming. This would be good, man against his bad lifestyle habits instead of man versus man. What will that struggle and new technology be?

None of us know for sure since we are all afflicted with that human failing of only being able to see the immediate future and (pretty badly) the past.

Yet being aware and watching for both (the struggle and technology) increases the odds of spotting them early and helping you venture into the next winners…that are the ones that can really grow over the next 10…20 and 30 years.

Bear Market Rally Tactic #3: Treat new era investments as high risk venture investments. Buy a little of several hoping to catch the winner.

In the last era for example, as mentioned, computers were the deal…so perhaps you invested a bit in shares of Data General…one of the first minicomputer firms from the late 1960s that due to a series of missteps in the 1980s, including missing the advance of microcomputers led to its decline and demise.

Plus maybe you invested in a bit of Sperry Univac…still in business as UNISYS CORP but only trading at .47 cents a share. Plus perhaps you purchased a bit of  Commodore Business Machines (big in the 80s…bankrupt in the 90s).

And you rounded your diversification by investing in a small company formed by two guys who were writing a program for Ed Robertson and his Altair computer (a first personal computer…in a kit).  Roberts said he would buy the program if he could see it running on the Altair but the programmers didn’t actually have the programs written.  They immediately set out to write them. It took about six weeks and worked.  Those programmers founded a small company in Albuquerque and later moved to the Seattle area.  Their names… Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The company…Microsoft.  Ahhh.

You may have chosen three losers out of four…but the name of the game in venture investing is the huge run up you get when you select a winner. Hold your winners and sell your losers.

We are in an era that we as investors have never seen before.  I began global investing in 1968 and this is the worst correction in those 41 years. This means we have greater opportunity for finding good value then we have had for four decades.

Use the seven suggestions above for investing in a market crisis….especially, take risk in good value!  Watch for the bear market rally and use the three bear market rally tactics to take this risk as YOU START LOOKING FOR VALUE NOW.

Gary

You can get regular quotes on multi currency shares that could do well in a bear market rally from Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management.

For more details on this, US investors should contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US investors Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

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San Clemente-fishermen

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Economic Correction Opportunity


The current economic correction is creating some great investment opportunity. Here are three economic correction opportunity ideas I have seen already.

Economic correction opportunity #1: Recent messages mentioned that a golf course on Lake Yaguarcocha, just five minutes north of the city of Ibarra is for sale. This is just a little more than half hour drive along main highways north from Cotacachi. Here is the lake.

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There is a ridge which runs between the lake and the city of Ibarra and from a local lookout point you get the view of the lake above and also the city below.

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Here is a picture of our last real estate course delegates eating lunch at the course.

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There is 22 acres in total and room to build townhouses along the course. Steve just posted a full report abut this.  Here’s a shot of one of the fairways with the lake and mountains in the background.

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The course includes 44 seat restaurant. (The patio can seat a further 100 people).

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Steve Marchat has posted a full report on the details of the sale for Ecuador Living subscribers.

Learn how to subscribe here.

Economic correction opportunity #2: We just finished our International investing and business course in North Carolina and I outlined why I am now looking at foreclosure property for sale in Portland Oregon. Property prices are down but the potential in Portland is up.

An October 5th Oregon Live article by Eric Mortenson entitled Look our, oregon, for a global warming land rush says: By 2060, a Metro economist said, the seven-county Portland area could grow to 3.85 million people — nearly double the number here now.

Then Lorna Stickel, a planner with the Portland Water Bureau, stood to ask a question. Does the population projection, she asked, account for the possibility of climate change refugees?

That article uses Rebecca Niday, a Realtor from Florida, as an example. She moved to Rhododendron for Oregon’s more moderate weather. Experts speculate that such migration could become more common if climate change causes other areas to dry up, brown out or get increasingly hammered by storms.

The article continues: What if the American Southwest dries up, browns out, and those people now misting their patios in Arizona head to the still-green Pacific Northwest? What if Californians hit the road north in numbers far surpassing the 20,000 who now move to Oregon each year? What if the polar ice melts, oceans rise and millions living along coastal areas — or ravaged by Katrina-like storms — have to move?

What happens, as Oregon becomes more attractive and other places become less attractive?

Property prices will rise and those who buy wisely now will see prices like we will never see again. Look for places that will thrive due to global warming.

Economic correction opportunity #3: Illiquid bonds offer unusual returns. Take a look at lower quality bonds now. Take for example the US dollar 8.5% TITAN PETRO issue that matures 18/03/2012 .  This bond was recently selling at a discounted price of 59.00 so its yield was 26.93%.  Then that discount dropped even more so the issue had a 45% yield. The risk premium is way out of line…much more than the risk.

Some General Motors bonds are paying 70% interest.

We are creating a complete report about these bondsfor our Multi Currency Course subscribers.

Learn how to subscribe to our Multi Currency Portfolios Course here.

This time of economic correction was predictable. So too are the profits that will be made from this shift.

I look forward to sharing the opportunity with you.

Gary

Merri and I love our lives in North Carolina’s mountains but autumn’s frosty bite has arrived. The trees along the creek are golden now.

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Instead of sitting in the cold and gray we move to Ecuador’s Pacific coast and Cotacachi, enjoying warm, sunny weather at unbelievably low prices.

Many who join us pay for their trips with Ecuador products they buy and export. One delegate who just visited told us he bought 150 Ecuador shawls at $1.50 and exported them to sell at $19.95. He paid for his entire trip and made a small profit.

At our Ecuador exports course we look at how to combine ideas and products to make them worth more. For example here I combined Ecuadorian carpets with Ecuadorian carved wood frames to make Ecuadorian art.

Ecuador-exports-art

Our Oct 14-18 Ecuador Import Export Course is a great place to do your Christmas shopping and learn how to have an Ecuador export business in the process. The course has one space left. See more here.

Learn this November more about Ecuador and emerging bonds. Join Merri, me, Steve, Kjetil Haugan and Peter Conradsen of Jyske Global Asset Management in Cotacachi Ecuador. We’ll review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

Nov 7-9 2008 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

Stay on for our Imbabura real estate extension. See wonderful condos for sale at $46,000 in Cotacachi with beautiful hardwood interiors like this.

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Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour

Then travel to the coast. Enjoy Ecuador’s coast and see condos for $89,000 on Ecuador’s Pacific with views like this.

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November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour;

The coastal tour includes a free one day Quito Real Estate Tour November 16, 2008.

See discounts for two or more of these courses and tours

Economic Labyrinth


Follow the money three words that form an economic labyrinth and have the potential to destroy the world.

Actually those words create an economic maze not a labyrinth.

Labyrinths are often confused with mazes, but a maze is a  puzzle that confuses the path and direction; Labyrinths have only a single path to the center that are unambiguous ways to the center and back. Labyrinths are not designed to be difficult to navigate.

The Western economic model of working mainly for money to have lots of things and to eventually retire is flawed.

So too is the social concept that having more is better.

The combination of these flaws have hurt the environment…perhaps badly…not to mention our social order.

Now the entire concept is falling apart because bigger is not better.

Correcting this will create some fortunes for those who see ahead.

Environmental investing is one area that is and will continue to prosper.

Shifting China and the US to European/Japanese conceptual models of “smaller is better” will help as well.

A July 7, 2008 USA Today article entitled “New cars will skimp on fuel but not on amenities” by Sharon Silke Carty gives an example when it says: “Automakers are working as fast as they can to meet a new consumer landscape: Buyers want not just fuel-efficient cars but also the same amenities they had in their hulking SUVs.

“It’s a change from how most cars have been set up in the USA.

“If gas prices stay high and demand remains strong for smaller engines, auto executives say the U.S. market will start looking more like Europe’s, where what is considered a small car here is seen as a family sedan.

“People are starting to look at their four-cylinder cars like they did their luxury cars, with leather seats and creature comforts,” says Mike DiGiovanni, General Motors’ executive director of global market analysis. ‘Think about this: The price of fuel in Europe is $7 a gallon, and the industry has survived nicely with smaller vehicles that are loaded up.'”

Automakers that shift fastest to this euro model will clean up.

One way to prosper is to look at how crowded Europe and even more crowded Japan deal with the different supply and demand. The US, Canada, Australia and China all have learned to squander having huge natural resources and space.

No more.

However there is another flaw in the relation to work, fulfillment and living. The idea of having the biggest house on the bloc and “he who has the most toys wins” isn’t working so well anymore.

Bonsai is an example, a Chinese invention that became big in Japan…perfect for limited resources and space.

The Japanese rock or Zen garden, often small, containing sand, gravel, rocks, and occasionally grass and/or other natural elements, with the sea symbolized not by water but by sand raked in patterns that suggest rippling water. Compare this with the large water consuming grass lawn requiring plenty of gasoline to mow.

The Japanese tea ceremony is another…lots of pleasure from limited resource expenditure.

Global shifts in resource supply and demand are creating new lifestyles via economic crisis that will bring a post consumer society.

This shift will be easier than most realize because it is human nature to feel best when working with a sense of purpose. Current shifts are so profound that societies will have to live more purposeful lives.

We try to watch for, adapt to and reflect these shifts in everything we do in our work, play, business and social interactions.

Yet it is not always easy to change after 61 years of doing things one way!

This is why we are busy here at the farm making a number of changes. One was to enhance our labyrinth.

The history of labyrinths dates back into the mists of time, but their religious and spiritual aspects became most noted during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries when many Christian gothic cathedrals installed them in England, Italy and France.

Labyrinths help connect the spiritual side of consciousness in a physical way.

Walking or tracing a labyrinth unites the physical with the spiritual. It brings the inner spiritual life into the outer physical world. We operate in a more holistic way when these inner and outer worlds are united.

Labyrinths represent an easy to follow series of twists and turns from the outer to the inner and back..200% of life, in spirit and material wealth.

Environmentally speaking, labyrinths are great places for exercise as well. They provide the longest amount of walking in the smallest possible space.

We have had a seven circuit classic labyrinth carved in one of our upper, hidden meadows for a numbers of years, but it had grown a bit worn and the meadow overgrown

So Richard and I jumped in my 22 year old Suzuki Samari and headed to the meadow.

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We cleaned up.

old labyrinth

Then we called our friend of decades, Chuck Hunner, a master labyrinth builder who had laid out this labyrinth in the first place.

Chuck drove up from his home in Asheville and the three of us enhanced this labyrinth…a lot…including with another good and essential friend John (Deere) putting a heavy stelae in the center.

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The labyrinth is beginning to look better!

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You can see the entire process and many pictures of our Merrily Farms Labyrinth being created in Chuck’s Labyrinth Journal.

Chuck is a craftsman with 38 years of experience making art with his hands. For the last 10 years he’s made labyrinths.

His ‘career’ in labyrinth making started when Richard Anderson taught him to
scratch the labyrinth pattern on the beach. The first time Chuck walked into
the pattern he immediately felt the same effect that 15 minutes of deep
meditation gave him.

He makes labyrinths because he knows that they can influence the way people think and feel…this has been for hundreds of years. Walking a labyrinth automatically balances and enhances the way we think. Labyrinth walkers report feeling calm, clear headed and focused. Some experience a catharsis moving old emotions out so that they can see new solutions to the confines of their past. Breakthroughs are almost automatic.

Chuck says he loves labyrinths because they free up his own creative process. A long walk in this small space gets the creative juices flowing and allows new ideas to bubble up into awareness. Ideas come and make life better.

Man working with the environment. Logic uniting with intuition. Work becoming part of play.

There is huge change coming. The change is good. Understanding and adapting to it can help bring profits and help make life better as well.

Gary

Join us and stay at our farm. Enjoy the mountain cool and summer views as you learn.

Or sit at our waterfall.

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Walk the labyrinth with us during Susan Rotman’s business intuition course.

Or walk the Labyrinth during the splendor of the Blue Ridge leaf change as you learn at our October 3-5, International Business and Investing Made EZ North Carlolina Course.
Labyrinths…lots of walk…little space…uniting the mind, body and emotion. They are springing up all over the US …another sign of how the Western world is changing.

You can see many permanent labyrinths in hospitals, churches and schools near you. Chuck Hunner has helped create many. Try a long walk in a small space.

Labyrinths are another sign of how Western concepts are changing.

Here is a list of Labyrinths that Chuck as worked on in the past few years.

Yanney Park, Kearney, Nebraska
Memphis, Tennessee Cancer Survivors’ Park
Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, Utah.
Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, California.
Trinity United Methodist Church, Ruston, Louisiana.
Labyrinth at Bright School, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois
First United Methodist Church of Ventura, California
First Presbyterian Church, Livermore, California
Central Park Labyrinth, Burlington, Ontario,Canada.
University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
All Saints Cemetery, Salina, Kansas.
Boone Medical Center, Columbia, Missouri..
Church of the Good Shepard, Augusta, Georgia.
Maxey-Gregg Cancer Survivor Park, Columbia, South Carolina.
Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara, California.
St. Dominics, Houston, Texas.
Danville Labyrinth Project, Danville, Kentucky.
Kanuga Conference Center near Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Dolores, Colorado – Sophia Retreat Center

See pictures of these labyrinths