Tag Archive | "HSBC;"

Three Reasons Why We Don’t Trade


Our basic good value share portfolio has not changed for over three years.    Last week I sent subscribers the ten best value stock markets for investing and one share to buy in each of these markets.  That list has not changed in over three years.  Not one trade has been required.

We do have a small portion of our portfolio in spicier positions that use the basic portfolio to gain leverage.  These shares may be traded in a few months (or years).   If this sounds boring, think again and look at three reasons why  good.  Most of us should trade the shares in our basic portfolio as little as possible.

First, the human makeup is designed to avoid pain more than it seeks pleasure.  This causes us to make exactly the wrong trades.  One study by Bloomberg of nearly 100,000 investors found that people are one-and-a-half times more likely to sell a winning stock than a losing stock.  Another study at the University of California found that investors repeatedly keep losing investments too long and sell winning investments too soon.

Second trading is expensive.  There is no universal system regarding trading commissions and costs charged by brokers.  Some charge steep fees for each trade.  Others offer discounts, but the reality is that commissions are just a part of your trading costs.

There are other more significant costs that outweigh commissions such as the bid and ask spread, the difference between buying and selling price can be higher than expected and is not seen.

Take this example from Optionistics.com

A trade of 1000 shares of a stock with a bid of 19.90 and an ask of 20 will incur a typical commission fee of $14.95 at your discount broker and cost 20,014.95 to execute. But turn around and try to sell that stock right away, and you’ll only get the bid price of 19.90. Add another commission to sell the stock and a Securities an Exchange Commission fee of .00307% on the principal amount of the sale, and the cost to trade in and out of the stock just jumped to $130.51. So much for low commissions.

The bid and ask are hard to see and change continually.  Bid and ask quotes are limited to specific numbers of shares.  Orders can be (and often are) filled at a worse price than quoted.

Order delays also add expense when orders are not executed in a timely fashion.  Orders that don’t reach the market immediately are subject to price swings, which can add to the cost of the transaction.  Stock orders are not normally executed by your broker, they are forwarded to an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) or directly to an exchange.  This routing can add to the delay.  Your order will be routed in a way that’s best for your broker, not you.  Brokers often get paid to route your order to an ECN.  The ECN in turn uses proprietary algorithms to check bid or asks.  The ECN will route to the destination that benefits them.  These electronic decisions can be delayed, even by microseconds, and result in a poor execution price.

Third, the companies executing your trades are known to cheat.  A recent Wall Street Journal article gives just one example telling how the former HSBC European head of currency trading, was recently arrested on charges of fraudulently front-running a $3.5 billion currency trade for a client.  The cheating netted millions in profits for the trader and the bank to the detriment of the client.

HSBC bank has already paid $614 million in fines and compensation to settle allegations it rigged currency rates.  The allegations is that the trade executioner was front running,  which is taking advantage of  advance knowledge of an order to buy or sell a stock or bond.

The laws aimed at stopping front running have led to a new form of cheating called backloading.   The trade executioner waits for the order to be almost complete.  After the trade causes the share price to rise, the executioner shorts the order for its own account at the top and then buys it back over the next hour.  This inside advantage is easy to accomplish with equities, since the executioner knows about how much a stock will move.  This is totally legal.  It is against the rules to front-run clients orders, but unfairly moving the market by selling after the security has moved is quite legal today.  Usually the backload only moves the market one or two cents a share, but this is done several hundred times per day and is legal.   If the executioner buys the shares before the clients order moved the market it was deemed against the law.  Selling after the order still increases costs but is legal.

Moving from one unethical action to the next  is nothing new.  The entire history of stock markets are littered with scandals of brokers and big investors cheating or using loopholes to rip off traders.  Every systemic injustice arose from some loophole created to correct a prior injustice.  No matter what regulators do, insiders who control trading will find a way to take advantage of traders.  Our chances of knowing what really goes on with our stock buy and sell orders are pretty slim.

When we trade shares regularly, our chances of losing money are as easy as 1-2-3.  Our human emotions, the costs of trading and the conflict of interest we have with the trade executioners who have inside knowledge reduces our odds of making a good profit.

Creating an equally weighted portfolio of good value shares, that are rarely traded increases our odds of profit.  This form of investing is not exciting, but requires little time, so we can do more to earn added income beyond the market and enjoy the many activities in life beyond the computer screen.

Gary

(1) www.optionistics.com Cost of Trading Stock

(2)  www.wsj.com  HSBC Foreign Exchange Executive Charged With Front Running

We’ll look at how to create a low cost value investing system at our International Club Retreat August 12-13-14.  There is one space left, so don’t delay making this reservation.

The Essence of Real Security

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.

I want to share this information with a special few in our summer course in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the air is dry, crisp, with a bright sparkling sun.  Our North Carolina woods is a place where we can once again walk down sun filled, pine needle covered, dirt paths beneath huge, fat, green fir and hemlock.

We start the course with this question that can help us get our lives back.

“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 likely to make good investment decisions.  If not, no matter how much money an investors has, changes are, they’ll lose.

Bring Value and Purposeful Investing Together

value

Join us to learn how to make safety and profit easier and less time consuming so we can focus on our individual purposes in life.

Become an International Club member and join like-minded souls, who take a positive view and think outside the box for better health, greater income and safer, more profitable investments. Share ideas on how to add value to everything and make 2016 -2017 your best years yet.

In 2016 Merri’s, David’s and my mission is to share our 50 years of experience in international business, investing and living to make ourselves happier, healthier and wealthier.

To reach a wider audience we have shifted our seminars online including the seminar “How to Secure Your Future With a Value Breakout Plan”.

Here is a partial syllabus of this seminar.

  • Three common sense ideas:   Avoid lines.  Go where you are a name not a number.  Decide who you are and what matters to you.
  • Why three economic trends that have make smart investors rich every 30 years are ready for cashing in now.
  • How to look for short term problems that create long term value.
  • Update on the best ten markets for safety and profit.
  • How to diversify in value with Country ETFs.
  • The value of time in investing and life.
  • The economics in cyber wars. How to look back at the economics of war to see ahead.
  • Great new innovations that will ignite a 16 year bull market from 2016 to 2032.
  • The next great fuel.
  • Timing long cycles, economic cycles and seasonality.
  • Investing in Demographics.
  • Trading Down, the biggest global trend ahead.
  • Hidden Inflation .
  • How to protect against pension loss.
  • The Silver Dip 2016. When and how to invest in gold and silver . How to double your position with loans.
  • How to spot currency distortions and borrow low to deposit high.
  • How, Why When & Where to bank abroad.

Club membership is for an entire year and the recorded seminar is just one high point.

In 2016 and 2017 we are conducting online seminars about value investing, natural health and how to write to sell.

International Club members receive all the online seminars free.

In addition club membership includes:

  • Personal investing Course (Pi), normally $297, FREE
  • Self Fulfilled How to be a Self Publisher, normally $299, FREE
  • Eventful Business, normally $349, FREE
  • International Business Made EZ, normally $299, FREE
  • Report “Three Economic Conditions for 50% or More Profit,” normally $29.95, FREE
  • Report “Silver Dip 2015” normally $27, FREE
  • Three online Value Investing Seminars, normally $477, FREE
  • One online Natural Health Seminar, normally $119, FREE
  • One online Writers Camp, normally $299, FREE

Annual International Club (one year) Membership  $1,199

Annual International Club (one year) Membership four quarterly $375 payments

Merri and I have been organizing courses, seminars and newsletters about international and Super Thinking  lifestyles for over 30 years.  The importance of this sharing… by like minded souls… was reinforced when a delegate from a course sent an email that said:

My Dearest Merri and Gary, Thank you for your most gracious hospitality last weekend. I am just thrilled at being a part of your group.  You and Gary were exactly as I imagined you to be, warm friendly, kind, considerate, genuine, helpful, fun, sincere, what else can I say……I felt so comfortable in your presence and learned so much in your course. I was sad to leave the farm that Sunday afternoon.  You made us all feel so welcome and cared about.  You were so kind to make arrangements for a ride with the other delegates from the Charlotte Airport.  They were so nice to me and so helpful, by the time the weekend was over I felt like they were my long lost brothers. Monday morning we all had breakfast at the airport together and I was so sad to see them go, I was sad the weekend was over, perhaps sad is not the right word for how I was feeling perhaps Gratitude is a better way to describe it.  Grateful for having the opportunity to share the weekend with such wonderful, like minded Human Beings, in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Thank you Merri and Gary.  Thanks to you I now have new hope and a new direction to move forward in my life.   I know by attending your classes and conferences that through education and due diligence I will make the right choices.

I invite you to be a member of the International Club.

Let’s prosper in these times of change. Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year?  Join us online.

Club members receive everything we offer in 2016 and 2017.

Annual International Club (one year) Membership  $1,199

Annual International Club (one year) Membership four quarterly $375 payments

Gary

 

 

 

 

Two Urgent International Bank Updates


Here are two urgent international bank updates.

Thomas-fischer

Thomas Fischer Senior VP for JGAM speaking with delegates at our farm.

First the good news from Thomas Fischer who updated our recent report on FATCA in an article entitled “Global Banking Business Opportunity”.

FATCA is a regulation contained in the 2010 HIRE act that will require overseas banks to report earnings of US citizens beginning in 2013.

Thomas wrote:  Hi Gary, according to the attached Bloomberg article  it looks like FATCA is postponed.

The Boomberg article is linked below and is entitled: “IRS Delays Overseas Bank Reporting Rule Criticized by Aegon” written by
Steven Sloan and published July 14, 2011 .

Here is an excerpt of this article covering the main points:  The Internal Revenue Service is giving overseas banks an additional year before they will have to make any withholdings from U.S. customers who fail to disclose enough identifying information to U.S. tax collectors.

The second round of IRS guidance issued today on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, doesn’t require banks to make 30 percent withholdings on non-compliant U.S. customers until Jan. 1, 2014. Other withholdings on gross proceeds and income that might be indirectly sourced to the U.S. won’t start until Jan. 1, 2015.

The requirements, which Congress approved last year, were originally slated to take effect at the beginning of 2013. Today’s announcement is intended to address the concerns of overseas financial institutions, including Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) of Canada, Allianz SE (ALV) of Germany and Aegon NV (AGN) of the Netherlands, which have said the proposal is too complex.

“Today’s notice is a reflection of our serious commitment to implementation of the statute, but also a serious commitment to listen to the implementation challenges of affected foreign financial institutions,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a press release.

This good news has a dark side as well.

An article in the July 18, 2011 USA Today articlke entitled “HSBC alerts U.S. clients to offshore tax evasion probe” by Kevin McCoy, USA fortifies the problem Americans have when it comes to banking abroad mentioned in our recent message  “Global Banking Business Opportunity”.

Here is  an excerpt from the USA Today article: A major bank at the center of an expanded federal crackdown on wealthy Americans suspected of offshore tax evasion has told Indian-American clients to “be aware” of the IRS’ offer of lower penalties for those who voluntarily disclose secret overseas assets they hold.

HSBC’s former head of services for Indians living outside their homeland recently wrote to the clients confirming that the London-based banking giant had received an IRS summons seeking the names of Americans who hold accounts at the bank.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by USA TODAY, Sanjay Nair did not address whether HSBC plans to turn over the information. But he urged Indian-American clients to consult with a U.S. tax adviser “if you have any concerns about your U.S. tax reporting relating to your HSBC India account(s).”

“You may wish to be aware of an IRS voluntary disclosure program, which encourages U.S. taxpayers to bring themselves voluntarily into compliance with the U.S. tax laws,” Nair added, referring to an offer set to expire Aug. 31.

Martin Press, a Fort Lauderdale tax law expert who said he and his firm had been consulted by several HSBC Indian-American clients, predicted the letter signals “HSBC intends to fully cooperate with the U.S. government.”

“It basically seems to put people on notice to either take advantage of the IRS program — or face possible legal consequences,” Press said.

Since the investigation began, at least two American-Indian clients of HSBC have pleaded guilty to tax-related charges. A third was indicted last month by a federal grand jury in Milwaukee.

Separately, Credit Suisse announced Friday that federal authorities have designated the Swiss bank itself as a target of the continuing investigation. “Subject to our Swiss legal obligations, we will continue to cooperate with the U.S. authorities in an effort to resolve these matters,” Credit Suisse said.

This site has warned readers to always report all earnings and never use overseas accounts to avoid tax. For decades it has been clear that the US would continually increase the pressure to reduce bank secrecy.

This fact also confirms the fact that fewer and fewer banks are likely to accept US customers. This increases the opportunity for those referring customers to  JGAM.

This is why JGAM is the first company we have introduced in our new international business program.

We have been working for many years with a number of businesses who have products or services that we love.  These companies are headquartered in many places… Switzerland, Denmark. Ecuador, Spain, Canada as well as the USA and all of them offer global potential… business opportunity almost anywhere.

We write about many of the products of these companies often… though we are not paid.. but just because we like their products and hope you’ll enjoy them too.

We have now started a program to help our readers create their own micro business working with these businesses as referrers, dealers and distributors.

What a match… tens of thousands of readers, many wanting to earn globally… meeting some great… really unique global businesses tied together with our communication system that can bring all this: training…. communicating and networking.

Our online course, International Business Made EZ, is already geared to help readers learn how to do business abroad… anywhere… anytime.

We have now expanded this course into an annual service that updates readers with business ideas, leads, and tips, contacts, etc.

We have started the beta program, and the good news is that we are not charging a penny more more.  Our International Business Made EZ online course and our International Business Made EZ seminars remain the same price though we’ll now offer subscribers an entrance to doing business with many turnkey businesses.

The overall service can bring you the following benefits:

#1: Connect you via our our online course “International Business Made EZ” to here and now specific business opportunities.

#2: Keep you in touch with other readers in the program, share business tips, ideas contacts and even website support in some instances.

We are starting with these five businesses first.

#1: Jyske Global Asset Management  (JGAM)
#2: Bio Wash
#3: Candace Newman Essential Oils
#4: Roses
#5: Ecuador Imbabura Export Products

Introducing JGAM training is the first step in this program because our activities as publishers has a synchronicity with Jyske and JGAM so we have been able to combine our training, communications and lead generation abilities with their financial organization.

Business is always a little more complicated when it entails financial products so we have created a beta program to develop this system.

A referrer does not have to be a registered as an investment adviser but JGAM does have a due diligence requirement. JGAM will also expect a certain amount of referrals per year though this amount has not been determined… hence this beta offer.

JGAM pays a percentage of their fee to the referrer up to a maximum 25% of their fee. This not only offers an excellent income generating opportunity but creates a potential long term income stream because JGAM keeps paying the fee as long as the client remains a client. Fees are paid on a quarterly basis.

There is also potential for growing long term income because JGAM pays the referrer based on the total assets under management.  If a referred client makes additional payments, the referrer will be paid on the total amount.

For example if an referrer refers a client who invests a minimum $100,000 and the annual fee is 2%, the referrer earns $500 per annum basic fee (as long as the customer remains with JGAM)… plus if the assets grow either through portfolio growth or added deposits… so too does the referrer’s fee.

The JGAM program is just one part of a more advanced program to help our readers earn income with their own micro businesses.

Our first program is already under way with JGAM and we have set our first training session for October 10, 2012.

This program will allow subscribers of International Business Made EZ who have attended an International Business Made EZ seminar to become referrers for JGAM.

We have been working with Jyske Bank for over 20 years and Jyske Global Asset Management, a Jyske Bank wholly owned subsidiary. We started talking to Thomas Fischer Senior VP about an referral program for some time.  Finally,we introduced this opportunity for the first time at our June 2011 seminar.  The response was overwhelming.

Jyske Bank employs a staff of about 4,000 and operates 116 Danish branches, which makes it the second largest independent Danish bank. They offer a full range of financial solutions to retail as well as small and medium-sized corporate clients.

We have always liked Jyske because they are one of Europe’s largest currency traders and offer very simple but sophisticated multi currency investing services.  They are one of Europe’s largest currency traders and dealers.

We have especially enjoyed our business relation with Jyske because being open and honest is one of the core values of the bank group. Traditionally, Jyske formulates and communicates its values – and the way they understand and live by them – to the surrounding world. They work hard offering shareholders, customers and employees balanced opportunity.

We especially like the fact that Jyske employees are not paid bonuses.  No multi million pay outs are in the system that might temp staff to distort earnings or take undue risks.

The book “Our Foundations” outlines the principle of balance, the values, the vision, the company mission, the strategy and the value chain of the Jyske Bank Group.  You can read “Jyske’s Foundations” here to get to know the group better.

The first business opportunity we are offering through International Business Made EZ is with JGAM.  Subscribers to our International Business Made EZ online course who attend can train as referrers introducing American customers from anywhere in the world.

Here is how you can apply for this program.

To start as a referrer,  there is first the compliance process with Jyske Bank.

Once that process is complete, our IBEZ system helps educate and assist referrer.

First… once a referrer has been approved by JGAM, and the referrer has completed our online course International Business Made EZ course and attended one of our  international investing and business seminars they can attend an exclusive training seminar at our farm.

We have a…

little-horse-creek

creekside…

little-horse-creek

seminar hall where…

little-horse-creek

unless the group grows too large, we’ll meet.   We’ll have lunch  on the deck looking over Little Horse Creek.

International Investing and Business seminars.

JGAM and our company conduct this one day intensive training for agents the day after each International Investing and Business seminar.

The first such seminar will be conducted Monday, October 10, 2011 immediately after our October 7-8-9 International Investing and Business Seminar in West Jefferson, North Carolina.

Part of the program is designed so we can assist referrers by referring readers in their locale to them.  So for example if a referrer is in Miami, we will send special emails to our readers in that area, help organize mini seminars… etc.

We can zero in as close as 20 miles to a location so for example we can send a separate email to every reader within 20 miles of the address of a referrer.  And although we won’t release the names in that area, we can send them a note of the opportunity.

We will also provide a referrer communication forum and update training as well as portfolio and investing ideas.  We have general plans at this stage but find the best way to develop systems is to refine through action. We expect our beta program this year to clarify how we can best help our readers become referrers and how we can help them succeed.

Step one is to start the compliance process with JGAM.  Thomas Fischer  can send you the Introducer Questionnaire and Terms of Business.

Thomas Fischer’s email is fischer@jgam.com

This will begin the process of establishing a relationship with JGAM.  Once this relation is approved and verified, then you will be able to enroll in the referrer training.

You must subscribe to the online International Business Made EZ course and attend an International Business and Investing Seminar to be eligible for the October training.

All of our readers are invited to enroll in our International Business Made EZ Online Course and our International Business and Investing Seminar at any time.

If you have an interest, subscribe to our online course.  Enroll Here $299. When you enroll, we’ll send you the online course  International Business Made EZ. and five bonuses worth $557 FREE.

In addition, once complete, your $299 fee can be applied to the International Investing and Business Seminar.  Likewise when you enroll in the seminar the online course is provided free so you save $299.

Get more details about the online course and bonuses at International Business Made EZ.

After attending our International Business and investing seminar on October 7-8-9, you will be able to attend the JGAM agent training session FREE.

You can also reserve the October seminar now, if you choose. Click here for details.

Your Cost

Your cost will be exactly the same as it has always been… $299 for our online course and $799 for the seminar (or $999 for a couple).  There is no additional charge for the training involved for a year.  Each year you remain an agent, you’ll be able to get updated training with an automatic charge of $299 if you choose to remain in the program.

Satisfaction Guaranteed.  Three Guarantees.

There is no guarantee that JGAM will approve your application as a referrer just because you enroll in the seminar or take the online course so we make two special guarantees.

First Guarantee. Regarding the online course International Business Made EZ.  Enroll in this course. Take it and if you are not satisfied for any reason within 30 days… let us know and we’ll give you a full refund.

Second Guarantee. Enroll in our October 7-8-9 International Business & Investing Seminar.  I’ll send you a recording of the June seminar now so you better understand what these seminars are and how they help you.  If you are not happy with what you hear, let us know within 30 days and we’ll give you a full refund. You keep the recorded seminar as our thanks.

Third Guarantee.  Your earnings potential has this guarantee.  First, any time between now and October… before you attend the International Business and Investing seminar if you fail to qualify as a JGAM referrer agent or change your mind before attending the International Business and Investing seminar you can ask for a full refund.

Enrolling in International Business Made EZ will also qualify you for all other distributor and dealer programs we develop. Enrolling in the online course once and attending one seminar provides full qualification to apply for all programs we develop for a year.

Regards,

Gary

Enroll in the online course International Business Made EZ.  Enroll Here $299. When you enroll, we’ll send you the online course  International Business Made EZ. and five bonuses worth $557 FREE.

Enroll for the October seminar now if you choose.   Get the recording of the June seminar AND the online course International Business Made EZ course FREE. This saves $498.  Click here for details.

See more on the farm at Littlehorsecreek.com

Bloomberg:  IRS Delays Overseas Bank Reporting Rule Criticized by Aegon

USA Today:  HSBC alerts U.S. clients to offshore tax evasion probe

Ecuador & International Banking Update


Here is an important Ecuador & international banking update created by the wonderful world of mobility in which we live.

Our global mobility provides huge benefits… broadens our horizons and enriches mankind through global trade.   Yet being global also creates some problems… one of them is banking.

This site recently posted a message about Ecuador banks that began with, “I do not trust Ecuador Banks.”

This is not a slight on Ecuador.  This statement is a comment on the realities of trying to maintain control of one’s own wealth in an era where almost all governments are increasing control over money.

The banking article was followed by  another article stressing  the importance of diversification in Ecuador Diversified.

Here is a reminder of the importance of this information.  A couple of years ago I purchased a block of buildings in Ecuador planning to resell them.  I am according to plan selling them now and recently received a payment.

My attorney wrote this to me:

They deposited funds in my account last Wednesday to pay for the condo and asked me to send to you.  There is a 2% tax on money going out of Ecuador which was recently established, plus bank commissions.  I will wait for your instructions  to wire these funds to you.

There previously was a 1% tax but it has now been increased to two percent. This increase is not a big deal but a step in the wrong direction and a reminder that we should never trust any one country, currency or banking system.

I just sent our Ecuador Living subscribers an alert about one more Ecuador banking problem.  Ecuador Living subscribers click here.

Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Hence my mantra to have what I call a “Six Point Command Posture” which is to:

Live in one country
Bank in a second country
Invest in many countries
Earn in two or more countries
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country
Take a second residence

Where to Bank

Knowing where to bank is a growing problem… especially for Americans.  Non Americans should read this article any as you’ll see that you are not exempt from this problem either.

Americans are being crushed between a rock and a hard spot.

The Rock. Many US banks will no longer accept Americans residing overseas because they have a foreign address. This has been caused by the US Patriot Act.  Banks have to know their clients so they refuse to accept (or keep) clients with overseas addresses, even Americans who have banked with them for decades, but change their address.  The following banks have been sited as closing accounts with just 30 days notice of long term customers just because they took on a US address: Ameriprise, Bank of America; Bank of New Hampshire; Citibank; Citizens Bank; Edward Jones, St. Louis; E- Trade; Fidelity Investments; INGDirect; JPMorganChase; Morgan Stanley; National City Bank in Riverview, Michigan; Provident Bank, Maryland; Smith Barney; T. Rowe Price; USAA Federal Saving Bank; Vanguard mutual fund; Wachovia; Washington Mutual; Washington Mutual Investment, Spokane; WellsFargo; Zions Direct.

The Hard Spot. At the same time the IRS has created a set of regulations that discourage non US banks from accepting Americans.

Many Swiss and British based banks will no longer accept Americans.

Here’s an excerpt from a 13, June 2009 Telegraph article entitled “Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge” by By Louise Armitstead:   Banking group drops American customers in UK ahead of costly proposals to stamp out tax evasion  Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama.

This week American private client account-holders at Lloyds’s received letters informing them of an “important change in policy regarding clients who are resident, domiciled or linked to the United States by property or asset holdings”. They were told the bank had “no choice” but to “cease acting as your investment manager.”

One letter sent to Bank of Scotland’s portfolio management division, which is now part of Lloyds, said: “The USA has a mature regulatory environment governed by its Securities and Exchange Commission. These regulations mean that we are not licensed to manage portfolios for US clients.”

The letter added: “Unfortunately we cannot offer an equivalent service from within Lloyds Banking Group.” Clients have been advised to transfer their assets.

One recipient, who has lived in the UK for over 25 years, said: “After all this time, I’ve suddenly been told I must take my money elsewhere and I don’t understand why. Now I’m scared that other banks won’t take me on either.”

The Brits are no the only group shedding US account holders.

A July 12, 2009 USA Today article entitled “Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap”  by Kevin McCoy explains how other banks have booted Americans as well.  An excerpt says: The closely watched Justice Department court fight to get the names of 52,000 suspected American tax evaders from Swiss banking giant UBS has prompted some other foreign banks to drop U.S. clients they once welcomed, tax experts said Monday.

Eager to avoid a similar struggle with federal prosecutors, banks including Credit Suisse and HSBC in recent weeks have notified American clients they must close their offshore accounts or transfer them to the institutions’ U.S.-based operations, where tax reporting requirements are far stricter.

“Overall, the international banking community, and particularly the offshore banking community, has been very friendly to American account holders,” said William Sharp, a tax law specialist at the Sharp Kemm law firm in Tampa. “That changed in the past couple of months as a result of the UBS case.”

The Dutch were early in dropping American clients.

ABN AMRO, a huge, Dutch based, international bank gave all clients  with U.S. passports within 30 days notice in 2008 and then closed their accounts because of the  high costs to comply with U.S. regulations.

Expect this problem to get worse! Beginning in 2010 stronger US reporting rules will force even more overseas banks to stop accepting Americans.  They simply cannot afford to fill all the obligations.

Americans should not feel totally alone…nor should non US investors feel totally safe from being shut out of a banking center.

According to the British Times Newspaper, Barclays Bank used the US anti-terror laws to shut down the personal bank accounts of British citizens who were working for Iranian owned businesses.

The bank enforced anti-Iran sanctions under the US Patriot Act.  Accounts of Iranian owned companies that operated completely legally in Britain were shut.  But Barclays went much further. They amazingly shut down accounts of directors of these companies and even more amazing they shut the personal accounts of ordinary staff members, including clerical officers, computer engineers and bank tellers, just because they worked for an Iranian owned company.

Here is an excerpt from a June June 6, 2008 Times of London article entitled, “Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law:”  Barclays began the account closures in February, shortly after reports from industry sources that US Treasury agents had been touring the City of London putting pressure on financial institutions to withdraw from any form of business that might have Iranian links.

One source told The Times that City banks had been warned that they would lose access to the US market if they continued to deal with Iranian businesses. Barclays has extensive business interests in the United States.

Case study: Cast out in the supermarket

Chris was doing the shopping in Tesco when Barclays rang to tell him that his bank account was being closed. Later that evening his wife was told that her Barclays account, which she had held for 25 years, was also being closed.

Chris, 46, works in IT for Bank Saderat, and his wife is in the accounts department of Melli Bank. Both institutions are Iranian-owned. “They said it was because of sanctions but I knew there were no British sanctions on the banks. I asked them if they were responding to US laws and they said they didn’t have to give me a reason,” he said.

The couple opened new accounts with one of Barclays’ rivals but they had difficulty transferring standing orders, especially Chris’s child-support payments. He said: “I know that UK banks are being pressured by America to stop all dealings with Iran but what impact will it have to shut an English bloke’s account with an English bank? The Iranians won’t give a monkey’s. What upsets me is the lack of respect Barclays have for their customers.”

This last comment hit me strongly… the lack of respect many of the big banks have for their clients.

This is one reason I have enjoyed banking with Jyske Bank in Denmark for more than 20 years.  Jyske is big and well managed enough to be very safe, but small enough to provide genuine care and attention to the individual.

This is why I was not surprised that a number of years ago, Jyske made the decision to spend a lot of time, energy and money to comply with US law so they could continue to serve US as well as non US investors around the world.

This shift though has created some confusion. For example a Reader from the Netherlands sent me this note:  Hello Gary, Since beginning of this year we are subscribed to your newsletter. In your articles we read that it is possible to go to Jyske Bank and start doing multi-currency for about 30,000 dollars. We were very enthusiastic about this philosophy and asked the Jyske Bank for information. However we were very surprised when we got information back including the message that we have to start with $150,000 euro. Can you help us and maybe clarify the misunderstanding about this starting amount?  Thank you very much in advance!

The services and minimums required by Jyske Bank Private Bank (JBPB) for non US investors differs from those offered by Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) who serves US investors.

Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) offers Americans managed accounts, advisory accounts and IRA services to US clients.

JGAM’s managed accounts provide Americans with access to international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

There are two levels of managed accounts for US investors:

Mutual Fund Managed Accounts, $50,000 to $200,000.  Accounts from $50-200,000 are mainly  invested in mutual funds and ETF`s in order to get the appropriate diversification.

Individual Investment Managed Accounts from $200,000 up are mainly invested in individual securities as trading costs are not prohibitive for this size of account.

There are two forms of advisory accounts for US investors.

Advisory Accounts for US Residents.  Accounts for US residents are available and provide access to investments in currencies, commodities and US listed securities.

Advisory Accounts for Americans who are resident outside the US.   US citizens who are resident outside the US (proof of residence is required) have access to investments in currencies, commodities and all international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

The minimum required to start an advisory account is $25,000.

Because the minimum annual fee is  $1,000 JGAM recommends an initial deposit of minimum $50,000.

IRA accounts are managed accounts with more conservative investments than those in a normal  managed account.  IRA accounts require a minimum investment of $50,000.

Jyske Bank Private Bank offers the following services to non US investors.

Non US Clients can open accounts with minimum deposit of Euro 150,000 (approximately 220,000 USD), or equivalent in another currency.

JBPB works with six profiles:

Income profile. A low-risk profile, invested in currency accounts (cash) and/or traditional bonds.

Stable profile. A low-risk profile, invested in bonds (incl. high- yielding bonds), a small equity part.

Balanced profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on bonds).

Dynamic profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on equities).

Growth profile. A high-risk profile, invested mainly in equities and a lesser share in bonds.

Aggressive profile. A high-risk profile, invested almost exclusively in equities.

There are six managed strategy funds (available only in Euro) for investors who want managed services with minimum deposits of US$ 220,000. These six funds are based on the principles of asset allocation and match the investment profiles above so all investors can attain risk diversification, risk management with even a limited investment.

There is a full Discretionary Portfolio Management service for investors who want managed services with US$ 350,000 and above. This service is also based on the six strategies above. Jyske Bank will invest and manage the clients portfolio in close cooperation with the Bank´s experts and their network of international partners. These strategies are offered in EUR, USD, GBP, DKK and SEK.

Investors, who do not want managed services, and have accounts of US$ 220,000 or more, can wish to engage in an active dialogue with their advisers and be very involved in the decision-making process. based on the client’s investment profile. They can invest in currency accounts in a large number of currencies, all tradeable equities and bonds, mutual funds and commodities.

Here is one huge feature I like very much about both JBPB and JGAM…  No Jyske employees in  management, advisory services or any employee receives any kind of bonus pay. This eliminates any temptation for hidden agendas to exist.  Employees have no incentive give any advice or take any action that is not in the client’s best interest.

Technology has given great mobility to our wealth. This mobility is good for the individual and the global economy… but governments do not like this as they wish to control our finances.  The tension created by this struggle between the individual and the collective has created a never ending thrust and counter thrust of regulations and adaptions to these rules.  It is harder to maintain a diversified global portfolio than it used to be… but the effort is still worthwhile.

Gary

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

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

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

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

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Read the full articles:

Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge

Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap

Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law

Bank Privacy Gone


The problem of getting Bank Privacy is gone.  Now the problem is being able to get a good international bank at all.

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

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

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

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

This is what has happened to American wealth.

Now we are in the end game.  I have been warning about this problem of reduced bank privacy for over 2o years… first in my printed books and newsletters… later at my web site.

Here is what I wrote at this site almost nine years ago to the day, July 13, 2000.

More on the loss of bank privacy

Bank privacy no longer exists. Some years ago I wrote about the insidious tactics that the US and other governments have used to erode financial privacy and personal liberty and pointed out that the problem is that the government does not attack the individual but puts the pressure on the overseas financial institutions. The current additional move by the US government to collect tax is just one more small step.

The message below shows that one of our readers does not understand this yet. After his message I put my comments below.

“Gary  How can a non-US institution, and there must be many thousands of them in hundreds of countries, be “forced” to comply with the IRS and become a tax collector for them? I would think that most of them would tell the IRS to stick it. Or simply ignore it. Sounds more like scare tactics for US “taxpayers.”

The problem began in the 70s when the SEC sued an investment manager in the US who was managing an overseas mutual fund which kept all its money in Switzerland. The SEC demand to the Swiss bank (Credit Suisse) that they return the money (it was many millions) to the US. The Swiss bank pointed out that the fund had not broken any law and that they had no legal way to return the money.

The US simply seized an equivalent amount of Credit Suisse’s money in the US. The was the beginning of the end of bank privacy. The simple fact is for an international bank to operate it must hold accounts in the US, England, Germany, Japan, etc. This makes these institutions vulnerable to the authorities in each country.

Now we can see that this bank privacy problem has grown so serious that more and more international banks will not accept US investors.

Excerpts from USA TODAY article entitled “Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap”  by Kevin McCoy shows how far the loss of bank privacy has grown.

The closely watched Justice Department court fight to get the names of 52,000 suspected American tax evaders from Swiss banking giant UBS has prompted some other foreign banks to drop U.S. clients they once welcomed, tax experts said Monday.

Eager to avoid a similar struggle with federal prosecutors, banks including Credit Suisse and HSBC in recent weeks have notified American clients they must close their offshore accounts or transfer them to the institutions’ U.S.-based operations, where tax reporting requirements are far stricter.

“Overall, the international banking community, and particularly the offshore banking community, has been very friendly to American account holders,” said William Sharp, a tax law specialist at the Sharp Kemm law firm in Tampa. “That changed in the past couple of months as a result of the UBS case.”

The owner of an HSBC account in Jersey, one of the English Channel islands, recently received a 45-day notice to close the account, said Robert McKenzie, a tax law specialist at Arnstein & Lehr in Chicago. A client with an offshore Credit Suisse account got a similar notice, he said.

Some foreign banks elsewhere now avoid offshore business with Americans because they know the Justice Department plans “to extend this effort to other jurisdictions beyond Switzerland,” said Martin Press, a tax expert at Gunster Yoakley Valdes-Fauli & Stewart in Fort Lauderdale.

It was a smart move. Overseas banks do not vote and do not lobby in Congress.   US banks of course do not mind the competition getting kicked.

A few writers, (ourselves included) have been sounding the warning… in our case for decades.

Yet we are small potatoes and this never reached the majority of the public awareness.

The freedom to bank abroad has never been removed. Conditions have just been set so overseas banks cannot serve Americans.

Clever.  This leaves US investors with fewer ways to protect against inflation created by irresponsible spending.

The loss of bank privacy is not as bad as the loss of being able to use competent international banks.

Fortunately some banks like Jyske Bank (the Danish bank I have worked with for decades) has taken the time and considerable expense to qualify to serve US customers and actively accept them.

One way to overcome this problem is move.  Live and/or retire outside the US. Retire in Ecuador or somewhere you enjoy… as many Germans who saw what was coming did before the Nazis took total control.

This is one reason why so many Americans are moving abroad. See more at America Moving Abroad.

Gary

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

See the entire article Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2009-07-12-ubs-secrecy-case_N.htm

Financial Experience, Skill and


Financial common sense is important no matter how much financial skill and financial experience one has.

This is one reason I enjoy working with Jyske Bank.  They apply great doses of common sense.

When the sub prime loan scandal shook the global financial industry Jyske had very little exposure.

When  New York financier Bernard Madoff  generated a fraud of $50bn, I was surprised to see how many major banks and investment managers were duped for billions!   How can  experienced, supposedly skilled investors and money majors, do something so dumb.

I knew that Jyske Bank would be better than this…but I  had to ask Jyske if they had invested with Madoff.

Here is their reply.

“We did not have any exposure however some of the other big banks did (Danske bank and Nordea) also a big Danish pension company.

When someone can make 10-15 percent every year without a losing year it
should raise some questions! I always say if it is to good to be true ..it is!

This is why my confidence in Jyske as the main bank that protects my wealth has grown over the past two decades.

Those who were ripped off were not yokels. Look at this list of institutions that internet news says  lost a billion dollars or more.  I am excluding a host of banks and huge investors who lost hundreds of millions.  These firms should have known better.

Spain’s Banco Santander, which owns Abbey and Alliance and Leicester, said its hedge fund unit invested nearly 4 Billion of client funds with Bernard Madoff.

Fairfield Greenwich Group  invested $7.5 Billion.

GMAC chairman Jacob Ezra Merkin’s Ascot Partners  invested most of its $1.8 Billion.

HSBC is reported by the Financial Times to have a potential exposure of about One Billion dollas.

Kingate Management Ltd  invested $3.5 Billion dollars.

Again and again I have observed Jyske sidestepping financial debacles while their competitors lose through the smple lack of  finacial common sense.

My hat is off to the management of Jyske Bank for avoiding Madoff.   Often the pressures of competition lure investment maagers and banks toward great deals that seem too good to be true.  Jyske was not sucked in…beause of their good common sense.

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jyske Gobal Asset Management will join us Feb. 13-15 for our course International Business & Investing Made EZ

Join us and then stay on for a real estate tour Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

We’ll view this hotel if it has not sold. It has a huge front porch.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. If you subscribe, you can have this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.