Tag Archive | "Japan"

Why We Need Slow Investing


As the world speeds up, we need to slow down.  One typical lie is the promise of something so far in the future, that the liar won’t be around when the promise needs to be kept.  Governments and businesses have been lying this way for so long that they have created quite a rat race for those now stuck with keeping the promise.  The way to avoid this rat race is to get off the treadmill and take time to observe and create your own health, earning and savings strategy.

A Wall Street Journal article “Cracks Starting to Appear in Public Pensions’ Armor” (1) reminded me that we each need to find easy practical ways to care for ourselves.

This article caught my attention because my father worked for the city of Portland. He was a zoo keeper.

Portland-zoo

(Article from Oregonian about my sister and me raising a baby lion.  We loved dad’s job.  He brought many lions and tigers home for us to care for.  At ten years old, this was so cool.)

What a great occupation for your dad to have when you are a kid!  But this is now the remains at the zoo.

Portland-zoo

Old Portland Zoo after it was abandoned… picture taken February 1960.  Will state, city and county employees be abandoned as well?

Having grown up during the depression of the 1930s, “job security and benefits” were Dad’s mantra.  He was in the right time at the right place.  His job provided a steady income and his pension benefits were fantastic.   Though he passed many years ago, my mom has received great benefits for over 30 years.

I have watched the benefits be cut and the article in the Wall Street Journal shares how all types of pensions from private to public to Social Security do less than before and are likely to do even less in the years ahead.

The article says:  “First in Detroit, then in Stockton, Calif., and now in New Jersey, judges and other top officials are challenging the widespread belief that public pensions are untouchable.”

The article tells how Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey proposed freezing that state’s public pension plans and says: The first crack came in Detroit, where a judge ruled that public pensions could, in fact, be reduced, at least in bankruptcy. Then, just a few weeks ago, an opinion by the bankruptcy judge for Stockton, which emerged from Chapter 9 on Wednesday, called California’s mighty public pension system, Calpers, a bully for insisting in court that pension cuts were wholly out of the question.

Companies can legally freeze their pension plans and now more and more states are arguing that because they are legal sovereigns, federal pension law does not apply to them.  The problem is when states, cities and other local governments reform pensions  they cannot freeze benefits for existing workers.  Statistics show that reducing benefits only for future hires does not save enough money to preserve overstretched pension plans, especially in places where retirees outnumber current workers.

This problem created by longer lifespans, swollen benefits and lowered pension earnings induces many pension managers to do exactly the wrong thing, to speed up and leverage investing and increase risk.

An article entitled “Intel Lawsuit Questions Place of Hedge Funds in Retirement Plans (2)  tells how the Intel pension places big bets on hedge funds and private equity.  The plaintiffs say that this increases risks and costs in the retirement portfolios, hurting plan participants.

A decade ago Intel had a conservative pension primarily in large-capitalization stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500. Then the company began diversifying into small-capitalization stocks, emerging-markets securities, fixed-income and alternative investments like commodities futures, hedge funds and private equity. Recently, these investments in hedge funds and private equity have grown significantly.

The answer to increased risk of default is not to increase risk, but to resolve the underlying problem of too much demand and too little contribution.  Pensions are meant to be absolute promises that their participants can depend on.  To keep their promise, they need well founded math based on reduced promises, increased contributions and slower, more dependable, good value investing.

Times are changing at an ever increasing rate.  The way to succeed in this scenario is to step off the treadmill, slow down so you can observe and create your own strategy for natural health, earning through a pinnacle career and saving with purposeful, good value investing.

Gary

www.nytimes.com – public pensions look vulnerable

www.nytimes.com – intel lawsuit questions place of hedge funds in retirement plans

Gain From the Volatility of the Next Four Years

However America’s politics turn out, one thing is sure.  There will be volatility in stock markets during the next four years.

The first reason markets will bounce has nothing to do with politics or policies.   The market’s downward shift is simply due regardless of the party or the person in office.

Second the new politics will create an uncertain era. Everyone is shaken whether they are pleased with the election or not and nothing frightens markets like uncertainty.

Third we’ll see rising interest rates over the next 48 months. This will push markets down.

Despite these pitfalls, there is a way to profit using the downtrends  to pick up good value shares.

During nearly five decades of global investing I have noticed found that good value strategies increase through bull markets and bear, through good presidents and bad.  The steps to take are simple.

The first tactic is to seek safety before profit.

We can look at Warren Buffett’s investing strategy as an example.  Buffett success is talked about a lot, but rarely does anyone explain how he make so much money.  That was the fact until some researchers really stripped his operation bare.  They looked at everything and learned the deepest of Buffett’s wealth management secrets.  Fortunately they published all in a research paper at Yale University’s website. that reveals important truths about extending wealth.

This research shows that the stocks Buffett chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price – to – book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios).

The second tactic is to maintain staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.

keppler asset management chart

This chart based on a 45 year portfolio study shows that holding a diversified good value portfolio (based on a  good value strategy) for 13 month’s time, increases the probability of outperformance to 70%.  However those who can hold the portfolio for five years gain a 88% probability of beating the bellwether in the market and after ten years the probability increases to 97.5%.  Time is your friend when you use a good value strategy.  The longer you can hold onto a well balanced good value portfolio the better the odds of outstanding success.

The Buffett strategy integrates time and value for safety and profit.

A third tactic is using limited leveraging, tactic in the strategy boosts profit.  Buffett leverages his portfolio at a ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1.   The Yale published research paper shows the leveraging methods used by Warren Buffett to amass his $50 billion fortune.  The researchers found that the returns from Buffett’s investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, far outweighed those achieved by any rival that has operated for 30 years or more.  The research shows that neither luck nor magic are involved.  Instead, the paper shows that Buffet’s success hinges on using leverage at the rate of 1.6.

To sum up the strategy, Buffet uses limited leverage to invest in large purchases of “cheap, safe, quality stocks”.   He limits leverage so he can hold on for very long periods of time, surviving rough periods where others might have been forced into a fire sale or a career shift.

Stated in another way buffet uses logic (buy good value) to have the conviction, wherewithal, and skill to invest with leverage over many decades.

What do we do when we are not Warren Buffett?

May I introduce the Purposeful Investing Course (Pi) for those who want to invest like Warren Buffet, but know they are not.  This course is based on my 50 (almost) years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

Enjoy Extending Wealth

Pi’s mission is to make it easy for anyone to create a three point strategy, like Buffett’s even though they do not have a lot of time for or knowledge about investing.

Pi reveals investing secrets and the sciences that make investing easy, safer, less time consuming and increases the chances of profit.

One secret is to invest with a purpose beyond the cash.  One tactic as mentioned is staying power.  This means not being caught short and having to sell during a period of loss.  This also means having enough faith in a strategy that we stick to the plan.  When we invest with purpose, doing what we love, we enjoy the process more and are more likely to hold on during down times, when most poor investors panic and sell.

Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing

Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  They create the Behavior Gap, a trait exhibited by most investors, that causes them to underperform any market sector they choose.  The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.   Pi helps create profitable strategies that avoid losses from this gap.

Spanning the Behavior Gap

Behavior gaps are among the biggest reasons why so many investors fail.  Human evolution makes fear the second most powerful motivator.  (Greed is the third.)  Fear creates investment losses due to behavior gaps.  Fear motivates us more strongly than desire.  By nature investors are risk adverse.

Winning investors though embrace risk because they have a plan based on good value.

Purpose is the most powerful motivator,  stronger than fear and greed, so a strategy with purpose is the most powerful of all.

Combine your needs and capabilities with good value secrets and the math to back up your value selections through the Pifolio – The Pi Model Portfolio

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 (often created by someone with vested interests) and is based entirely on good math.

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 follow this research of a brilliant mathematician and have tracked this analysis for over 20 years.    This is a complete and continual study of international major and emerging stock markets.

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.

A country ETF provides diversification and cost efficiency by spreading one simple, even small investment into a basket of equities in a good value stock market.  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 matches this mathematical certainty with my fifty years of experience. This 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.  There is so much more to write and the trends are so clear that I have 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 you’ll receive the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Leverage

Pi also explains when leverage provides extra potential without undo risk.  For example in 1986 I issued a report called “The Silver Dip” that showed how to borrow 12,000 British pounds (at almost 1.6 to 1 dollars per pound the loan created US$18,600) and use the loan to buy 3835 ounces of silver at around US$4.85 an ounce.

Silver had crashed, I mean really crashed from $48 per ounce.  As prices decreased from early 1983 into 1986, total supply had fallen to 449.7 million ounces in 1986.  Mine production was restricted by the low prices at this time, with silver reaching a low for this period of $4.85 in May 1986.  Secondary recovery also was constricted by these low prices.

Then silver’s price skyrocketed to over $11 an ounce within a year.  The $18,600 loan was now worth $42,185.

The loan was in pounds and in May 1986 the dollar pound rate was 1.55 dollars per pound.  So the 12,000 pound loan purchased $18,600 of silver.  The pound then crashed to 1.40 dollars per silver.  The loan could be paid off for $13,285 immediately creating an extra $5,314 profit.  The profit grew to $47,499 in just a year.

Conditions for the silver dip have returned.  The availability of low cost loans and silver are at an all time low.  The price of silver has crashed from nearly $50 an ounce to below $14 as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).

silver chart

(Click on chart from Google.com  (1) to enlarge.)   Imagine investing in a spike like this… with leverage!

At the same time the silver gold ratio hit 80, a strong sign to invest in precious metals.

I have updated a special report “Silver Dip 2016” about a leveraged silver speculation 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 gained through 30 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  While working on the report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80 and the price of silver dropped below $14 an ounce, I knew I needed to share this immediately.

I released a new report “Silver Dip 2015” so readers were able to take advantage of these conditions and leverage 1.6 times as a speculation.  That report generated profits as high as 212% and a revised 2017 issue has been produced.

“The Silver Dip 2106”  sells for $39.95 but  you receive  “Silver Dip 2017” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Save

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 the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and the $39.95 report “The Silver Dip 2017 free.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.   Get the first monthly issue of Pi, and the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and “The Silver Dip 2016” right away.

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

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

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  I guarantee you can keep “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and “The Silver Dip 2106” report as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You have the ultimate form of financial security to gain.

Subscribe to the Pi for $197.   You Save $158.95.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Borrow Low Despoit High in Japan


This may once again be the time to borrow low in Japan to invest high elsewhere.

See how this five year chart from www.finance.yahoo.com may mean money in the bank… a fortune actually.

Multi Currency Chart

Excerpts from a recent BBC article entitled “Japan’s economic growth rate revised down” helps explain why a new fortune may be in the making with the Japanese yen…

Here is the excerpt:  Japan’s economy grew by less than first estimated in the final quarter of 2009, revised figures have shown.  The Cabinet Office said the economy expanded by 0.9% between October and December of last year, down from its initial estimate of 1.1%.\

On an annualised basis, economic growth was 3.8% in the quarter, down from the initial estimate of 4.6%.

The downward revision in economic growth is likely to increase pressure on the Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy.

However, with interest rates already down to 0.1%, it does not have much room to move. This is bad for an economy as it tends to make consumers and businesses delay major purchases in the expectation that prices will fall further in the future.

A slowing Japanese economy is just one reason why it may now make sense to borrow Japanese yen to invest elsewhere.  Borrowing low and depositing high is called the Multi Currency Sandwich and this investing technique has been a phenomenal way to invest for over 20 years.

Since the end of the US dollar’s link to gold the fluctuations between currencies have created some of the world’s greatest (such as George Soros’) fortunes.

multi-currency-seminar

See below why at our International Investing and Business Seminars we have delegates come to our house for afternoon tea or lunch.  Here I am arriving at our house with Don Childs (our US Spanish instructor) and delegates during our last Mt. Dora seminar.

This personal touch in part is because one great, very exciting Multi Currency Sandwich that lasted nearly two decades has been to borrow Japanese yen at a very low interest rate and reinvest the loan in higher yielding currencies.

Back at the end of 1988, the yen hit dizzy heights in the 120 Yen per U.S Dollar range. Yen interest rates dropped into the low 4% range. This created a classic sandwich opportunity. The yen was a strong currency at an all time high with a low interest rate. This is the formula that Multi Currency investment sandwich investors always looks for.

Now, twenty years later the yen is again a strong currency and the interest rate has fallen as low as 1.375%!

I have been writing and publishing information about international investing for nearly forty years (since May 1968 to be exact). Fortunately I stumbled across and wrote about the Borrow Low-Deposit High Strategy at an early stage so the original readers of my report “Borrow Low Deposit High–How to Use the Multi Currency Investment Sandwich” have been able to borrow yen at low rates and redeposit the loans in other currencies at much higher rates (without forex loss) for over 20 years!

This is not a fast trading technique and in fact most positions are aimed with a five year horizon…pretty sleepy compared to people who trade currencies (an entirely different approach). Yet for most of us, slow and sleepy mean SAFE! However the Borrow Low Deposit High tactic can be really profitable.

How sleepy and safe?

Imagine this. Over the past 20 years, the cost of a Japanese yen loan has averaged about 2%. The US dollar interest rate has averaged 4% over this same period.  If one invested $100,000 in safe US dollar bonds or CDS held in huge, safe banks for this period and used this loan as collateral to borrow $400,000 worth of yen to reinvest in safe US dollar CDs or bonds, they have earned an average $12,000 a year and turned a safe 4% investment into a safe 12% investment. They added an extra $144,000 of income (on a $100,000 investment) over the 20 years!

Investing for 20 years in US dollar bonds or CDs is about as sleepy and safe as one can get.

Yet many smart Multi Currency Investment Sandwich investors have done much, much better.

How much better?

Take for example one year’s review of three Borrow Low Deposit High model portfolios we created and tracked.

In 2007 these portfolios rose:

Dollar Short +48.19%
Emerging Market +122.62%
Green 266.30%

Is this enough better?

Let me hasten to add that this type of performance is not guaranteed.   Do not ignore the fact that as sleepy and safe as Borrow Low-Deposit High can be that there can also be risks.  Had we invested in these same portfolios above in 2008, they would have lost a lot of money. Here is how they performed in a bad year.

Dollar Short Portfolio -35.21%
Green Portfolio -56.08%
Emerging Market -73.79%

The price for extra performance in leverage is added volatility and risk.

Yet we saw in yesterday’s message that one portfolio in 2009 used Borrow Low tactics to invest mainly in bonds and earned 66% profit in just nine months!

Tracking these portfolios for many years has taught us some valuable lessons.

For example catch areas of likely growth where a borrowed currency is hedged to the invested currency.

For example we watched Eastern European markets enjoy great growth at a time when the Swiss franc was loosely linked to the Eastern European currencies.

In that year, the Jyske Invest Eastern European Equity Fund rose from $51,000 to $76,138, a return of nearly 50%.

Had you leveraged this loan two times with a 2.75% Swiss franc loan, the return on a $50,000 investment would have been over $225,000 in one year.

The Czech koruna was also loosely linked to the other Eastern European currencies.

The Jyske Fund above performed really well over five years, up from 110 euro to 500 euro since 2001. That was an increase of 3.54 times. If you had invested $100,000 and borrowed $200,000 more in Czech koruna at 3.75% and invested in this fund for the past five years the initial $100,000 would now be worth over a million dollars! Your loan costs would be $37,500. Your profit on $100,000 after interest would be $1,024,500 on $100,000 of cash invested.

Plus because of the loose link, your currency risk would have been reduced. How much better can we ask than that?

Now two golden Borrow Low Deposit High opportunities may be on the horizon.  Japanese yen loans invested in China and Swiss franc loans invested in Russia.

Multi Currency Chart

Japanese yen loans have been one of my favorite money making vehicles for over 20 years. I first borrowed yen at 111 around 1988.  Then  the yen strengthened (bad news for a borrower) to 79!    My paper losses looked formidable, yet I held on and watched the yen tumble all the way to 146 yen per dollar (shown in chart above) by 2002.  I exited and my forex profits were huge… plus I had been earning the positive carry (difference between the loan cost and investment return) for all the years I held the loan.

Please let me repeat. The formula that Multi Currency investment sandwich investors always considers is a strong currency at an all time high with a low interest rate.

The yen is almost there… too strong versus the US dollar in the perfect position to borrow!  Plus because the Chinese yuan is likely to rise versus the US dollar, the yuan is likely to rise versus the yen as well… which makes the idea of investments in China financed with yen loans especially strong now.

However before you make these investments, please let me remind you of several important lessons about risk we have learned in the past two decades of making and tracking Multi Currency Sandwich portfolios.  The longer you can hold a position the less likely you are to lose.

One lesson for example is that many portfolios that lost short term became profitable if held for the year. The lesson is that when a properly constructed portfolio is leveraged and diversified, it can be safe and profitable regardless of the underlying idea, if an investor sticks to his beliefs and does not panic during short term drops.

We also learned that past performance is no guarantee of future profits. The profitability of the portfolios changed dramatically based on varying entry and exit points! This reminded us that such high performance may not materialize for all and that we must plan our profit and loss potential.

These and other important lessons, plus the upcoming Japanese yen potential are why I am updating my report Borrow Low Deposit High. This report teaches how to Borrow Low & Deposit High and helps you learn the risk as well as the potential rewards.

This is also why we maintain close contact with Jyske Bank, Denmark’s second largest bank. Denmark is rated by Standard & Poor’s as the safest country in the world to bank in. Jyske Bank is the only bank we know that specializes in the Borrow Low Deposit High strategy. Jyske Bank is also one of the leading currency traders in the world. Unlike most banks (that trade only eight hours a day) Jyske maintains a 24 hour trading service. They have been our bank for over twenty years and help us stay informed about global equity markets, plus global currency parity and interest rate trends so we can learn from portfolios that are real time. What you learn from is actually happening as our service unfolds.

More importantly Jyske Bank provides a stable and safe institution for those who wish to employee a Borrow Low-Deposit High strategy based on what they learn.

Our emailed Borrow Low-Deposit High report can help you learn how to expand your profits with up to 400% loans just as our reports have helped thousands of readers do over the past twenty years.

You can learn why this profit is available in my new updated “Borrow Low-Deposit High–How to Use the Multi Currency Investment Sandwich” emailed report. This email report explains everything you need to know about how to create and invest in the Multi Currency Investment Sandwich.  (See details below.)

Tens of thousands of readers have purchased this report, and several updates, since it was first published in the 1980s. You however can have the most up to date edition at a $30 savings.

I am updating Borrow Low-Deposit High now. When the new update is complete it will be offered at $79.

This report will include ideas on were to invest in China and Russia (both neighbors of Japan)  now.

Finding the right Chinese investment requires care.  Take the WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan Fund (Trading symbol CYB) as an example. This fund seeks to achieve total returns reflective of both money market rates in China available to foreign investors and changes in value of the Chinese Yuan relative to the U.S. dollar.

The fund invests in very short-term, investment grade instruments, so has a very low yield. However its yield since inception is 2.26% so this fund might pay the cost of the loan.

However the ideal is to borrow low-invest high, not borrow low-invest low… so we’ll be looking at Chinese investments with higher yield potential in the report.

You do not have to wait and miss this yen opportunity, buy our report “Borrow Low-Deposit High” for $49.  I will email it to you immediately… plus when the new update is complete, I’ll email that to you also… FREE.

The report helps you see why and where to invest and learn why and how currencies and interest rates rise and or fall.

Finally, as always you are protected by our 30 day completely satisfied or your money back guarantee

Borrow Low Deposit High – How to Use the Multi Currency Investment Sandwich… click here to get this emailed report for only $49.

Gary

Save $100 more. There is another important benefit you gain when you order my emailed report “Borrow Low-Deposit High”.  You can save $100 at the next Jyske seminar where I review this tactic.

Share strategies with me in California and Save.

I speak at the Jyske Global Asset Management’s April 30 – May 2 Foreign Exchange Investment Seminar in Laguna Beach, California.

The normal seminar fee is$499 or $750 for two.

However Jyske is providing the same discount to our premium subscribers (including those who order Borrow Low – Deposit High) as to their clients… $399 single and $599 for a couple.  You save $100…even though the emailed report “Borrow Low Deposit High” is only $49.

Order “Borrow Low-Deposit High – How to Use the Multi Currency Investment Sandwich”… click here to get this emailed report for only $49. Save $100 on JGAM’s California seminar.

See more on the JGAM California seminar here.

If you have questions about Jyske’s seminars contact Thomas Fischer of JGAM at fischer@jgam.com

See other ways to fight inflation here.

Read the entire article Japan’s economic growth rate revised down

Ecuador Asset Power


Ecuador Asset Power

Perhaps the greatest asset is real flexibility.  Years ago we lived in Ecuador with the Taita Yatchak. Here is a small house that his village built for us.  It was covered in passion flowers!

ecuador-assets

Once in awhile the yatchak would take off for a walk about and the villagers and his family would be amused when we asked “When will he return?”

“No one knows… especially not the Yatchak” they would rely.

I asked him about this once and his response was that when he was hiking around…   events… signs and intuition would lead him and show where to go.  He came back home when he received a sign that was a time to be back.   This of course would drive us Westerners who had appointments and scheduled meetings and clocks crazy!   There is nothing like bringing to meet the yatchak… and he is not around!

But the Andean belief is to let nature be our guide.

Beliefs in India are this way as well. I recall one sage saying that we are in perfect harmony when what nature delivers is exactly what we desire.  We become one with nature… always happy… always pleased.

One quote in the wonderful book “Autobiography of a Yogi” tells how during the British occupation if an enlightened Indian was brought to court and threatened with harsh punishment, he would speak the truth even when a small lie could have eliminated their penalty. This was because they knew… “if you never tell a lie… then whatever you say will be true.”  Such a simple but deeply profound wisdom.

Recent messages have looked at the risks of a breakdown in North American society from an EMP attack.

Numerous readers expressed concern about what to do if one is not in the right place when an attack takes place.  Others worried about neighbors attacking one another or people from the city invading the country.

First please realize that a total breakdown such as described in the various doomsday novels using EMP as the culprit are highly unlikely. Those who suggest that the end of the world is ahead may be trying to panic the public, for whatever reason, just as many did when they promoted nuclear holocausts… Y2K… the Swine or Avian Flu… SARS etc.

Yet… here we are.. humanity, alive… progressing… abundant… and I hope in a holiday mood!

However there are plenty of potential shifts in the global economy and society that are cause for concern.
The problem of global inflation combined with high unemployment (stagflation) created by massive debt in the US, Japan and Europe is one example.

Yet problems are good once we accept the fact that problems and change create opportunity.

Everyone wants a better life… yet most resist change.  How can things get better without change?

I am reminded of the 700 year old motto on the Isle of Man….”Quocunque Jeceris Stabit” which translates literally as “whithersoever you throw it, it will stand.”

Merri and I conducted many real estate tours on the Isle of Man years ago… before prices skyrocketed.   We were there when I published my first novel, “The 65th Octave” and the Manx Prime Minister was kind enough to write a forward for that book.  Many of our readers and tour delegates still live there… having picked up great real estate bargains there in the 1990s… just as they did in Ecuador on early 200o tours.

The Isle of Man (the oldest democracy in the world) is a truly wonderful place and I try to live by its motto… “Whichever way you throw me, I land on my feet.”  Merri and I often look at each other in tough situations and quote this out loud!

Have no doubt, society is getting thrown. Change is accelerating.

So we can choose to benefit from the shifts… or not.

Success, in a faster changing world, comes from “what we are”… not “what we have”.

What we have stored within… not what stuff we have stored is the key to success.

Many messages at this site have focused on the fact that the way to flight inflation and benefit from change is to first improve yourself… your health… your intelligence and your ability to act on what you feel (intuition) as well as what you think (your logic).

Then invest in:  Equities… Commodities… Your Own Business and Real Estate.

Merri and I live by this belief and have invested heavily in Ecuador and Smalltown USA real estate.

We work continuously at improving ourselves and our own small business.

We have expanded our investments in commodities by investing in the direct ownership of timber, water and have now purchased orange groves in Florida.

Merri and I currently do not hold many equities…instead we hold bonds. In the past two years, bonds have acted like equities.  Plus there has been such great opportunity in business and real estate we have not had the time to study shares.  However we continually look for good value equities as well.

Our email courses, seminars and tours focus on these same ideas… improve yourself with quantum health and wealth.  Make yourself wiser… more flexible and more adaptable as you invest in your own internet businessglobal multi currency investments… real estate in small town USA and Ecuador.

Here is an idea for an Ecuador internet business.

Integrate your intuition with your logic.  Turn your passion into profit. The daughter of one of our tour delegates provides a great example.  He attended a number of our conferences last year and I enjoyed watching  him when he was buying goods to export from Ecuador for his daughter’s business. She turned her passion to help poor women around the world into a profitable internet business.

ecuador-asset

Ecuador exports help poor Ecuadorians live better.

This excerpt from a Country Living article entitled “Nesting Instinct” explains her business success.

Name: Rebecca Kousky
Location: St. Louis, MO
Business: buildanest.com

How did you start Nest?

I graduated at 24 with a master’s degree in social work and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do next. I applied to several jobs. Then one day I went to a coffee shop and just ended up listing all the things I liked on a sheet of paper and trying to come up with something that fulfilled many of my interests: working with women and children, social activism, international travel, fashion, design, art, and the “green” movement. I knew I was at a point in my life where I could take risks, so I started the business in June (two weeks after graduation), and by August was selling goods from 40 designers. We grew really fast: At our year anniversary, we had 80 designers.

Why this business?

Nest provides micro-credit loans to women in developing nations to help them start art or craft-based businesses. Many of the societies where these women come from are patriarchal — the women’s husbands and fathers handle money, so they are reliant upon them for everything. Working with Nest helps the loan recipients ease into self-sufficiency. Our business model is unique in that we try really hard not just to be a bank; we want to help council the women, learn about their dreams and hopes and family lives. And the women are able to pay back their loans to us by selling their goods on our site.

What’s the best advice you got before launching?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so I had lots of support around me. At first, I was really stuck on the idea of having a physical boutique, but the bank denied me a loan. I told my dad what had happened. He asked me how badly I wanted to do this, and when I told him it was what I really wanted, he said then I needed to figure out a way to make it feasible. That’s when I came up with the idea to put Nest online. If you have a dream and a passion for something, you find a way to make it work.

What advice can you give for someone considering starting her own business?

Just to do it! There are a million reasons out there not to do it — for example, everyone thought I should get a job with a stable paycheck after grad school, but I went and started Nest anyway. I didn’t have any experience with online sales or boutiques, but you learn as you go. I realized that it’s good to have a vision, but if you look too far in the future it’s overwhelming. Instead, take one step at a time.

I could not have said this better. Take it one step at a time. Be flexible and adapt…learn… grow…have fun and profit.  Living, investing and serving in this way turns life into one big pleasant walkabout!

Helen Keller expressed how to proceed nicely when she said:  “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

We do not know what the future will bring, but history is on our side.  Despite humanity’s many waves the tide has continued to rise and we can ride this uplift if we develop our greatest asset.

Until next message, may all your problems be good.

Gary

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Learn about an Ecuador export business.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour

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

Learn about global investing & business.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida – International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

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

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird Multi Tour Adventure fees (if you enroll through December 10, 2009)

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

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

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

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

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

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

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

Read the entire Country Living article Nesting Instinct here

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.

non-electric-car

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.

non-electric-car

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

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn globally in many currencies.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business that can help you create your own internet business.

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

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

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

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

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

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November all three courses, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Join us with Jyske Bank and my webmaster David Cross in West Jefferson North Carolina. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

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

Or head south to Ecuador!

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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.

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

How to Make Money in the Multi Currency Era


The US and Ecuador property market offers a rare opportunity to make money in this multi currency era. Here is an excerpt from a recent multi currency update.

Two economic forces have come together to create extra special profits.

I know because the same  combination occurred in London during the late 1970s and allowed me to increase an investment eleven times in two years by buying property then.

Earlier in 1970 I had lived in London, England for a year, then moved to Hong Kong. During that time I also maintained a home outside of San Francisco, California.

This was a time of great inflation. My homes in California and in Hong Kong appreciated greatly. In the mid 1970s, when I moved from Hong Kong back to London, I noticed that London real estate was priced about the same as it had been in 1970. This puzzled me. Why had London property prices remained flat despite inflation?

On investigation, I learned that there had been a huge real estate crash in 1970 which continued to dampen real estate prices six years later despite the rampant global inflation. I felt this was a great distortion as European property prices had risen, but London prices had not. Yet London offered the best utility as the center of the English speaking world. This, to my way of thinking, created a huge distortion.

It’s late 1976. Britain faced  a sterling crisis. In less than two years the pound has fallen from $2.40 to $1.60. Investors had no faith in the British economy, or the government that ran it. The government’s budget was a mess.  Investors  were ditching the pound.

The plummeting pound pushed the economy to breaking point. Prime Minister Callaghan, in desperation borrowed as much as possible, £2.3 billion from the IMF.

At that time, the British pound collapsed to its lowest level ever (a pound per dollar for a short time) so the distortion widened. This meant in US dollar terms London property had dropped almost 50% while property in other major cities of the western world had increased in price by three or four times.

london-house

The house I bought was right next door and very similar to this house in Bedford Park, London W4.

This house in West London was 34,000 pounds, 9,000 pounds down (then $9,000).   I took a mortgage for 25,000 pounds ($25,000).  I lived in the house and three years later the pound had recovered to 2.2 dollars per pound plus London real estate had caught up with property in other major western centers. I sold the house for 115,000 pounds or $253,000 a profit of $244,000 on a $9,000 investment.

Now it’s the US dollar that is very low.

You will have seen articles something like the the September 7, 2009 Bloomberg article “Weak Dollar? Currency, at 10-Year Low, May Fall More” by Bo Nielsen.

An excerpt says: Anyone who says the dollar is weak after it fetched a record-low $1.3681 against the euro and the fewest pence against the pound in 25 years is expressing a euphemism.

The currency may decline at least another 10 percent by the end of 2008, say Jay Bryson, an economist at Wachovia Corp., and Kenneth Rogoff, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. The dollar has only fallen 3.4 percent in the past two years to a 10-year low, according to a Federal Reserve index that weighs trade with 38 countries including China, Mexico, Canada and countries in Europe. It tumbled 30 percent in the three years ended 1988.

“Dollar weakness will be broad-based and could last for years,” said Bryson, a global economist at Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia who previously analyzed currencies at the Federal Reserve.

Investors are dumping dollars, lured by higher returns elsewhere. The U.S. will grow more slowly than Europe for the first time since 2001 and Japan for the first time in 16 years, the IMF forecasts. The difference in yield between 10-year German bonds and Treasuries has shrunk to the smallest since 2004.

Those who read this site regularly or subscribe to our multi currency course know that I reported my personal portfolio and recommended getting out of the US dollar in February 2009. See that recommendation here.

I showed that my portfolio was 86% out of the greenback.

My liquid portfolio currency allocation was reported as Brazilian real  4%,
 Denmark kroner  33%
,  euro 31%
, British pound 10%
, Turkey lira 8%
, US$ 14%.

I also mentioned in February that I was going to start buying Florida real estate.

So Merri and I began looking and in our research found that there appears to be a hole in the market for Central Florida property selling in the million to $750,000 range.  There seems to be no buyers at all. We have been watching prices tumble hundreds of thousands.

We are viewing one property next week that started at $800K+. It just dropped $100,000 last week from $395,000 and is now down to $295,000.

This is about a 25% drop in that house’s price in six months. That’s pretty good!

Now look at what this means in depreciated dollar terms.

dollar-chart

Here is a chart of the euro to US dollar from yahoo.finance.com from February 2009 to September 10, 2009 when this was written.

In February a US dollar bought .80 euro so that house at $395,ooo cost 319,200 euro.  Now a US dollar buys about .68 euro so this house at $295,000 costs about 200,000 euro.

That is a drop in that house price of 37% in six months in terms of euro. That’s even better!

Here is the magic in this hidden, built-in profit.  For most of the market, the profit is hidden.  Most investors are not comparing currencies and real estate prices.  Yet these distortions will filter through. Eventually European investors…. or those like me who are holding currencies other than dollars will see this distortion and cash in.

I, and now you, just have an advantage because we are always looking at both markets… currency and real estate.

Ecuador Real Estate Cheaper as Well

This also creates better value on Ecuador real estate. Take for example one penthouse property I am selling at $139,000.

This is a perfect property for those who want peace… quiet…and instant access to miles of empty, warm Pacific beach.

ecuador beach rentals

This two room, top floor penthouse is at Palmazul and includes use of the the swimming pool, tennis courts… and spa.   You can dine here, one floor below.

ecuador beach rentals

The units are fully equipped… kitchen…

Ecuador beach rentals

with full size fridge.

Living room…

Ecuador beach rentals with a view…

Ecuador beach rentals leading…

Ecuador beach rentals to large private balconies…

Ecuador beach rentals with these views…

ecuador beach rentals

and sunsets to kill for.

ecuador beach rentals

Long walks on the beach… you can amble at low tide for ten miles and not see a soul.

ecuador-seminars

Luxury bathrooms with bathtub…

Ecuador beach rentals

and a king size bed with view and caressed by the ocean breeze.

Ecuador beach rentals

This unit would have cost 111,000 euro in February. Now the price has dropped to 94,500 euro… just from the dollar’s fall.

The US and Ecuador property markets offers a rare opportunity to make extra profit now because of hidden added value from the US dollar’s fall. History suggests that real estate is a real asset so its price rises as the currency its counted in falls.

These corrections take time because most property owners do not calculate their property in multi currency terms.  Those of us who watch this can gain extra profit now.

The article above is an excerpt from a recent Multi Currency update. Learn more about multi currency investing. Subscribe to our multi currency course.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn globally in many currencies.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business. This can help you create your own internet business.

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

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

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

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

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

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November all three courses, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Join us with Jyske Bank and my webmaster David Cross in West Jefferson North Carolina. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

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

Or head south to Ecuador!

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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.

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Read the entire articles:

Weak Dollar? Currency, at 10-Year Low, May Fall More

Dollar Is Near Lowest in Almost Year as Borrowing Costs Plunge

Ecuador Car Rental Review


See below why our recent article about Ecuador car rentals aroused more than just comments about cars. That message evoked a strong reaction to change… a change that must take place…  a change where resistance is futile and in many places a gesture that degrades our chances for happiness, health and a life of ease.  See why below.

We Americans do love our cars.

I know.

I have kept my little Suzuki Samari going for 22 years now… and hopefully will be driving it for another 22 years…. or more.

 

Four wheel drive from flowers. What fun!

I was not surprised that my suggestion in the Ecuador car rental article “get a driver rather than rent a car  in Ecuador” caused some panic.

You can read that article at car rentals in Ecuador

Beware those who try to separate Americans from their cars!  This caused one reader to worry so about the cost of cars that he wrote:

Hi Gary,  what about importing your own car, or buying one there?
From what you are writing, the living seems to be very inexpensive, that is until you want to travel on your own. Try that on $1000 month or a fixed income.
All that shines is not gold. Reading between your lines these past 3 months I have come to conclude that there are lots of “hidden” costs in living in this 3rd world country.

I have lived for decades in many similar countries, and even worse, however never have I encountered such car costs as you describe. These are by far the most expensive car rentals I have heard of.  Doesn’t make sense living there unless one wants to walk or take taxis everywhere. An independent person would be doomed to frustration.  No, thanks…this was the article that opened my eyes.

This reader jumped to some incorrect conclusions. The gist of the article was that people who visit Ecuador should hire a car and driver.

The car rental situation is quite different for a tourist than for someone who has moved to Ecuador, learned the system… knows the roads and is not trying to see the country in a limited  time period.

Many people who live in Ecuador have cars.  Cars are not that expensive…. especially new ones partly assembled in Ecuador.

Gas is really cheap ($1.50 a gallon) and mechanics very inexpensive.

We recently looked at buying a four wheel drive Land Rover Challenger in good shape for our hotel.  The asking price was $15,000.  But we wouldn’t drive it.

GoEcuador says: It is now possible to obtain a used car in good condition beginning at $4000.

I just posted an entire report about prices of used cars for our Ecuador Living subscribers. If you do not subscribe to Ecuador Living and want that report on Ecuador car prices, learn how to get that report here.

Plus that reader says he is independent because he has a car?

He forgets the fact that this means he is very dependent on cheap gas… something he may not have for long.

In Ecuador, the cost of hiring a driver can be less then renting a car and may even less than owning your own car. The availability of drivers with cars can eliminate the idea that we become dependent on others if we do not have a car.

One small piece of technology altered the automobile driver equation… the cell phone. In Ecuador most people have cell phones.   A number of drivers we and many others rely on have cell phones.  A car is always just minutes away from a call… no parking… no insurance… no maintenance… no getting gas.

Another reader wrote:

Thank you!  We would purchase a locally manufactured ‘middle of the road’ (pun) vehicle.  But I’m worried about drivers, accidents, tickets, gringo-problems with the locals and the police as well as the various other road condition, speeders, etcetera other issues.  (We have both driven over 45 years in various countries with no tickets – I’m not worried about our driving.)  We plan to relocate to Ecuador – probably suburban/rural area (but near enough to a city with a bilingual school) so will need a car daily for commuting our daughter to school, shopping, and more.  How can it be affordable to take taxis all the time instead of owning a vehicle ourselves?  Please let me know how others do it.   Do you and Merri drive in Ecuador? Thanks.

These notes conjure several important points about change from living in Ecuador or anywhere abroad…  points that go way beyond cars.

These readers, like so many readers who contact me, projected the old American commuter ideal onto an imagined lifestyle into Ecuador.

Why?

This mental error is understandable.   We Americans are car junkies.

I am living proof.

Like many Americans I obtained my driving license on my 16th birthday.  Shortly after I found a job and bought my own car… a 58 Chevy Bel Air just like this.

ecuador-car-rentals

That was a great car and I just about lived in it.  We boomers in high school were judged by our cars!

I initially carried the burden of the car mentality with me when I left the USA.  I have driven in some crazy places during my time… jungles… war zones… deserts… swamps.  We’ve had our car robbed in Nice … had fender benders in Djakarta and on roundabouts in London and Rome.  Merri had her car bombed in the parking lot of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona…along with everyone else’s car there. (Long live the Basques!) Plus I have had a couple of cars stolen and some serious smashes in the US.  I live with the effects of a broken back, whiplashed neck and busted knee from driving an Austin Healey Frogeye (see below) into an 18 wheeler truck .

So I have experienced the good and the bad of cars.

When Merri and I bought our first hacienda in Ecuador, the seller threw in a really great, old Land Rover… gray… perfect leather seats but so old it had only three switches… one for the lights, one for the windshield wipers and one that apparently did nothing.   You could (and we did) start that vehicle with a hand crank.  The heating and air conditioning system was a flap in front that you could either open or shut.

We loved that car and I drove it exactly once… from our hacienda to Calacali… about a hour ride with only 15 minutes on a paved road.

The rest of the time we had our driver drive us.  This provided one more job in a country that needs employment plus gave Merri and me time to talk… look at the scenery and not worry about parking and all the rest of the hassle that comes with driving.

That is the only one time I have driven in Ecuador in all these decades.

Now let me add… I have always been a driver.

When I lived in Hong Kong I had a car… a great little Sprite Frogeye. Like this…

I loved that car in Hong Kong but hardly ever drove it.  I took the peak tram, the Star Ferry, taxis… the trolley and even jumped on the bus from time to time.

Why?

Have you ever tried to park in Hong Kong?

Ditto for London. I had a number of cars… first a little MG Midget like this.

In 1970, I drove that MG from London to Rome with my wife and two children… one still in diapers… a mistake… having not learned about the luxuries of Eurorail.

Then I had an Audi… a Peugeot… a BMW… and a Triumph Spitfire.

Yet I rode my bicycle many miles through London traffic from my home is Chiswick to my office on Artillery Row near Buckingham Palace.  I was often stopped by the police and even ticketed for riding my bike on a short cut through Kensington Gardens.   I also regularly used the Tube.

Why?

Have you ever tried to drive in London?

Plus riding the bike every day eliminated having to drive the car to a gym… a double savings.

Here is a point about change that goes beyond cars.

Americans are car addicted because of the nature of America.

Americans need and are highly dependent on cars because everything is spread out,  gas has been cheap, there is little public transportation and labor is expensive.

This set of conditions does not apply in all countries.  Cars are an asset in the USA but they can be liabilities elsewhere.

Why in a time when the environment is at risk through pollution… energy prices are rising… and roads are becoming more and more congested… would one want to stick to a lifestyle that revolves around one car per person if that is not the most effective lifestyle?

The one car per person mentality is old thought.

We really need to move onto the new.

Due to high labor costs, Americans have become hooked on DYI.   Yet when we move to a country with great, low cost labor… it makes sense to take advantage of these conditions.  Everyone gains.

When we can do good, why not create a bit of employment and save time, energy and money… why not sit back and enjoy the ride?

Hundreds of my readers have moved to Ecuador.  Almost none have chosen to buy a car because they really are not needed in many places there.

In Cotacachi we walk. Our friends who have moved to Cotacachi report  losing weight, feeling better and having more energy… in part because they walk more instead of driving.

Taxis are very inexpensive.  Most trips around town are a dollar and they come quickly to a cell phone call.  Though Merri and I do not use the buses, many of our friends do. The system works well.  If we need to take a trip away from the village, we have a number of drivers who have excellent vans and cars who charge between $55 and $70 to take us wherever we want to go.  A ride is  available at any time night or day… with one cell phone call.  Usually on a long furniture shopping trip to many places nearby, we might spend $10-$15….plus we have the advantage of the driver’s help, no problems parking, etc.

We have eliminated the cost of the car… gas… maintenance…. insurance…. parking… security.

Many US and Canadian readers write to us asking about cars…. big refrigerators… washing machines and dish washers.  These are all products that have evolved from North America’s spread out, low energy, high labor cost, nationally distributed, highly preserved food lifestyle.

In many countries you do not need these expenses and burdens.  You can walk daily to the market and get great fresh food.  This is fun!

Why have a huge fridge?  Merri and I love visiting the market. We searched for the tiniest fridge we could find.  We live just like we lived in London for all those years.  Every morning out on the streets looking for THE perfect vegetables, fruits, etc. and then enjoying a morning coffee and back home with everything for lunch!  What fun!

ecuador-car-rental

Here’s the kitchen of one of our condo rentals.  Do you see a fridge?  It is tiny and hidden away. We amble to the food markets instead. Cotacachi market is just three blocks away and we enjoy buying our food fresh from our neighbors.

ecuador-car-rentals

Ecuador Visit

The market provides these bicycle carts. For 50 cents or a dollar a happy man will ride all your groceries home for you….and put them away if you like!

The food market is fun and we love having a hot fig and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Not a combination most would ever dream of. They are delicious but missed if you are driving your car though miles of traffic to get to the American style super market!

Why pay a premium for imported dishwashers and washing machines when you can have cheerful, happy people do your cleaning and ironing for you?  You save time, energy and create employment to help the poor.

Which makes more sense?  Spend extra money for a very expensive  imported washing machine that takes up space in your home… and requires effort on your part or spend a LOT LESS money letting these two cheerful mothers, Rosita and…

ecuador-car-rental tags

and Rosita Elena…

ecuador-car-rental tags

do your laundry and deliver your sparkling, ironed clothes to you?  I love all natural clothes but they do require startch and ironing…and here’s our delightful answer.

You save space, money and help the Rositas support their families.

There is another important point here.

You help the environment. One washing machine that serves 20 families is better on the environment than 20 machines serving families.

Ditto for cars. Even in the USA, car sharing is growing as explained in the Washington Post in an article entitled “Car-Sharing Merges Into the Mainstream
Not Just for Tree-Huggers: Businesses and Universities Help Drive Growth of Flexcar, Zipcar.”

You can see how Car sharing is growing in Germany and car sharing is growing in Japan.

Car sharing is growing in these industrialized countries because labor is still dear.  In Ecuador you can car share with a driver!

Plus one more really important point.   With rising energy costs, why would any of us think that on a limited budget we can continue to have this wasteful high energy lifestyle?  Why would we even want our old wasteful high energy lifestyle?  Americans have been warned.  Four dollars a gallon gasoline can return.

In fact four bucks a gallon may be low.  In Europe gas can cost seven dollars a gallon.

This note is not about cars.

It is about change.

We’ll be seeing more and more change in our lifetimes… coming faster.

We can profit if we adapt to the change and take advantage of new circumstances by living in new ways based on the local conditions that surround us.

Those who try and stick to old ways in a new environment will lose opportunity and ease in life at best. They may even suffer… sometimes a lot.

Change means we may life differently than before.  Change means we may even choose to live in a country where we were not raised and born.  This change can enhance our lifestyle… improve our health…. relieve our stress… if we adapt and embrace that country for what it is and enjoy its unique attributes.

If we choose to leave one country… why try to reproduce what we decided we no longer enjoy? If you want a mini USA or another Canada in Ecuador… but on the cheap… I expect you’ll be very disappointed coming to Ecuador.

Ecuador is a great place to be… but it is Ecuador… not Canada… not the USA.

Think about the quote by Anatole France about change: All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

Through change we may lose the one car per person lifestyle… but gain stronger legs… healthier lungs and cleaner air.  We may not be able to jump in the Chevy, go to the levy and drop off the laundry, do the banking  and get a Big Mac on the way… but in the change we can eliminate our fear of the meter maid.

Plus that ride can still be provided by a wonderful knowing person… just one cell phone call and minutes away.

Do not get me wrong. I still have cars… three right now in fact… all in the US, a Honda minvan for long drives and our old Suzuki and a conservative Dodge pickup for use on the farm.  Conditions warrant each.

Yet I am thinking about creating bio diesel from the farm when change brings the day that gas is not so available or cheap.

We have no car in Ecuador and have never missed one for a second.

If change is bringing a time when the daily one person per car commute must pass… Ecuador is a great place to get started.  For car sharing with drivers, taxis, buses and yes walking… Ecuador is a good place to be. 

Gary

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM and our webmaster David Cross in North Carolina this October.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

See why we love Cotacachi Market here.

Ecuador visit

 

Retire in Ecuador – Beat Inflation


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

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

See below three ways to beat inflation.

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

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

retire in ecuador

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

retire in ecuador

a huge yard filled with mature fruit trees and…

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this view.

Second, invest in land or commodities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The answer is yes, absolutely!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With best wishes, Steve Rosberg  www.ushay.com

Third, invest in commodity based equities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asia Troubled As Well

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

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

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

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

Huge Economic Problems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Keppler recent sent me this note:

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

Retire in Ecuador & Live Longer


Retire in Ecuador, work and live longer!

Many who planned to retire… cannot…  because of the global economic crash.   They have to work.  So why not work instead of retire in Ecuador?

It may be hard to get a job… a good one especially… in Ecuador or anywhere right now.  We can take advantage of this fact and work at something we love by working with our own business.

retire-in-ecuador

Ecuador is a safe, low stress place. These children work in Otavalo and ride on their own, on tour buses selling scarves, dolls and rugs.  The oldest (on the right) is 15.

There are several reasons why it’s good not to retire in Ecuador… but to work instead.

First retirement, in Ecuador or anywhere, kills! An important part of longevity, for those who retire or not, for those who work in Ecuador or not,  is to remain independent, challenged, active and needed.

One of the most important features that was found in the valleys of Ecuador where people rarely retire but live long lives, is that old age was revered.  In Ecuador old age its not viewed as bad…  Maturity is highly respected.  People at the age of 100, even 110 are known to still be active and working!  There is not the same old age glass ceiling as in the West.

If you plan to work beyond retirement age, why not provide your services in a place where you efforts are more appreciated?

One does not have to move to Ecuador to work.  There are innumerable stories worldwide of how staying at work extends life.

One non retirement story that motivated me is of Max Zimmer of Los Angeles.  Max came to the US from Austria in 1911 with only a two dollar bill. At age 103 he still had the same two-dollar bill and had built and still ran a multimillion-dollar business.

One MD who specializes in anti aging points out that most centenarians seldom spend much time with doctors. When they finally get sick, they die quickly and with little expense. They depend on themselves to remain healthy not others.

retire-in-ecuador

Ecuador is becoming an increasingly international place, offering more opportunity for business work and retirement. Here are the flags of our visitors at our inn, Meson de las Flores.

A second extra income from Ecuador retirement work, is that your efforts can be more effective and enjoyable because the cost of living is low. When it is easy to live within your means… huge stress is removed… and make no mistake… stress kills.

Third, living in a country, like Ecuador, where slow and steady, is a lifestyle foundation, enhances longevity and makes life more enjoyable as well.

Having a good savings and investment plan for old age is an important factor to remaining independent.  But the recent economic downturn has destroyed this for many, so why not at least be able to take it easy a bit as you work. Enjoy a more laid back lifestyle.

The world has put itself in an economic mess.  We do not have to participate if we steadily do something we love in a balanced way.

Live where you can afford. Enjoy serving someone every day  and spend less than you earn in healthy surroundings where society appreciates your efforts.

retire-in-ecuador

Ecuador has a great supply of fresh, low cost food.

Excerpts from a recent USA Today article by Noah Berger entitled “Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, says today’s problems are caused by capitalism’s excesses”  fine tunes this point when it says:

INAMORI’S TIPS

Capitalism brought prosperity to mankind. Today’s problems are due to capitalism’s excesses.

Seek profits for the good of society and long-term sustainability of companies.
Lead with altruism and modesty, seeking reasonable profit over the long term.

Q: The 20th century ended with the greatest prosperity in human history. Doesn’t capitalism deserve the credit?

A: Capitalism was able to bring previously unknown levels of prosperity to humankind. We have now fallen into an unprecedented recession brought about by capitalism. With humankind’s unlimited desire to earn more profits and live more affluent lifestyles, financial institutions launched new instruments, such as derivatives, using advanced mathematics and statistics. They created enormous profits by leveraging funds that were 10 times larger than their assets. This human desire caused the economic collapse. While the past prosperity resulted directly from the achievements of capitalism, the present difficulties have resulted from capitalism’s excesses.

Q: Leverage has not always been bad. Won’t there be times when Kyocera competitors will do far better because they are willing to take a risk with leverage?

A: You are right. It’s easy to outperform companies like Kyocera. Companies make huge profits by leveraging their capital. However, if society and employees need a company, then it has to be maintained so it can grow for a long time. This is a company’s mission, to maintain and expand for the long haul. The correct way to manage a company is to have a firm financial foundation that is capable of overcoming economic downturns rather than making a significant profit in the short term. I will continue to aim for stable management even though we are facing harsh economic challenges.

Inamori is now 77-years old and is showing no signs of slowing down! I chose to quote him because he is a great example of steady success and shows how continuing to work rather than retire enhances longevity.

Retirement-ecuador

Inamori was born in  Japan and at age 27, he started Kyocera. His company is now a high-tech multinational maker of cellphones, office document equipment, solar power products and ceramic components that employs 66,000.  He founded KDDI in 1984, which is now Japan’s second-largest telecom network.

Yet he has not just followed the money.  He is an ordained Zen Buddhist monk. His priest name Dai-wa, means “great harmony.” 

Our lives do not have to be dictated by the errors of others.  No matter how insane a society becomes, we as individuals can remain steady, balanced and happy by serving others while living within our means.

Retirement in Ecuador makes good living less expensive.  Yet we can adhere to these principles anywhere to live longer and happier… not tired or retired no matter how old we are.

See more on Ecuador retirement at Why Ecuador Retirement and  Retire in Ecuador Idea.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us 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

Read “Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, says today’s problems are caused by capitalism’s excesses” at  http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/advice/2009-04-19-advice-inamori_N.htm

International Investing Trick


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But which shares… in which markets?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

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

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

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

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

2006     7.40%          18.23%

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

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

Mt. Imbabura to the east.

ecuador-shaman-recap

The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

ecuador-shaman-recap

creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

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

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

filled with fruits…

ecuador-shaman-recap

vegetables…

ecuador-shaman-recap

flowers and …

ecuador-shaman-recap

herbs.

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

ecuador-shaman-recap

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

Gary

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

ecuador-sun

Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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