Tag Archive | "Rafael Correa"

Ecuador Politics Next


What Ecuador politics next?

There is a lot we can learn about Ecuadorian politics and reality from the recent one day upheaval during the Ecuador police unrest.

If you missed our previous two reports on the benefits of the Ecuador police strike and immediate recovery, please see Ecuador Police Unrest and International Investment Opportunity in Turmoil.

Will the current Ecuador politics lead to this?

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or is this the more likely result of Ecuador politics?

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See below a batch pf Ecuador pictures and why I lean towards the politics of dancers in Ecuador.  First some words about Ecuador politics.

I was talking with our attorney (who does not like Correa) about Ecuador political realities and he feels that Correa mismanaged the situation.  He also felt that Correa took advantage of his error and made the situation look worse than it was.

There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal about last week’s disturbance, entitled  “What Really Happened in Ecuador” by Mary Anastasia O’Grady that confirms this.

Here is an excerpt from this Wall Street Journal article:   Eyewitnesses deny police kidnapped the president, and there’s no evidence a coup was in the making.

Aída Zaldumbide was recuperating from heart surgery at the police hospital in Quito Thursday when Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa arrived there, asking to see a doctor.  Mr. Correa says that, once inside the hospital, the police “kidnapped” him for 10 hours, in what he is calling an attempted coup d’état.

Not so, says Ms. Zaldumbide, at least one other patient, and two doctors and a nurse who were on duty at the time. They say Mr. Correa retained all his presidential privileges and was never without the protection of his security team.

They also say he was offered an armed escort to leave but refused it. Ecuador’s minister of internal and external security has also said that the president was never detained.

Nevertheless, at 9 p.m. Mr. Correa, who was doing telephone interviews with the state-controlled media during the time he was supposedly “kidnapped,” ordered 500 army troops to the hospital. The soldiers arrived with tanks and submachine guns and opened fire on the police. A fierce gun battle lasted 40 minutes, took the lives of two men, and terrified hospital staff and patients.

The trouble started on Thursday morning when the police announced a strike to protest cuts in their compensation. Mr. Correa responded by going to the barracks to confront the cops. Once inside the building he went to a window, tore open his shirt, and shouted, “If you want to kill the president, kill him!”

If the goal was taking out the president, that provocation provided the moment to do it. But it is unlikely that the police had any such thing in mind.

This is because, despite feeble management of the economy, most polls give the populist demagogue an approval rating of better than 50%. Recent history suggests that Ecuadoran governments topple only after their public approval falls first. Without popular support to remove Mr. Correa, a coup—by all accounts there was no leader—was not going to happen.

After the shootout was over, Ms. Zaldumbide told the Ecuadoran daily Expreso this: “It is unjust what happened. The press here is talking about him being kidnapped but it wasn’t that way. The special forces made a cordon for him to be able to leave but he did not want to. We told him to leave, to put our lives first, but he did not want to.” Ms. Zaldumbide went on to say that Mr. Correa “insisted on having [his movement known as Alianza Pais] come to escort him out because he had to leave with his head held high.”

Dr. Fernando Vargas, who was working at the hospital, posted similar testimony online at ecuadorenvivo.com: Mr. Correa “was never kidnapped, was attended to by hospital personnel,” and “the minister of the interior was in permanent contact with him.” The police prepared an armed escort for him and waited two hours for him to make use of it. Instead, there was “a savage military assault on this hospital,” where, the doctor pointed out, there were women, children and old people.

Diego Chimborazo, a police officer who was in the hospital for knee surgery, and another doctor gave similar accounts to Expreso of the senseless military strike.

Mr. Correa had little trouble managing the story. In the morning he closed down independent television reporting, limiting Ecuadorans to his version of the day’s events. Curiously, when he arrived at the plaza in front of the presidential palace—shortly after he left the hospital—to celebrate his triumph over the “coup,” giant TV screens and a sound system were already in place.

There is some evidence that the military, which will also bear Mr. Correa’s austerity measures, sympathized with the police strike. It did not move to police city streets when lawlessness broke out, and the air force closed some airports. Yet throughout the day the top brass remained loyal to the president.

One thing is certain: Mr. Correa is not going to let the crisis go to waste. Since Thursday he has been seizing the airwaves to broadcast his version of the narrative, which implicates his political opponents in what increasingly looks like a coup that never happened.

My comment is, “Correa is a politician. Is there a surprise here”?

What politician… after making numerous blunders does not try to make him or herself look good?

My attorney then went on to agree with me that few politicians… anywhere… meet all our expectations, but overall Correa has done a lot of good.   As mentioned, my attorney does not like Correa much… but says “he has done more than all other presidents in the past 15 years”.

The former Presidents in Ecuador have been bad for the entire 15 years Merri and I have been here. This has made little difference to day to day life.  Go to Garyascott.com and type Correa in the search engine as I have written many messages about him.  He is the best I have seen so far.

I believe that many of his policies are incorrect but he is smart. He remains popular.  He has been providing free housing for the poor.

They are little 240 square feet affairs.

Ecuador-political-scene

given free.

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These little houses are everywhere on the coast.

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He has helped build many more roads in Ecuador.

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Road expansion on Ecuador’s coast.

The bridge from Bahia to San Vicente is being worked on 24 hours a day. Correa as the president said that it is the 2nd most important project in Ecuador for tourisum after the new airport in Quito.

san vicente-pedernales-real estate

The road from San Vicente to Pederanales is presently being widened to four lanes.  A new highway from Quito to Pederanales is 45% complete. This highway will cut  the travel time from Quito to Pedernales in half….to three and a half  hours. This will make Pedernales the closest beach to Quito.

san vicente-pedernales-real estate

New highway under construction from San Vicente to Canoa.

Let me be clear about Correa. I do not like many of the things he has been doing… but then again I do not like many things that Obama is doing either.

Obama and Correa have much in common… youth… energy and inexperience.

Anyone looking for a place to live where the country has only good politicians may be in for quite a search.

Let me also be clear about my position regarding the USA.

A reader recently asked:

Gary, Just curious – if you love Ecuador so much – why is legal address in NC, USA.   Why a non-profit entity in the US!

My reply kind of says it all.

Does one have to dislike one country because they love another?

We have lived in Hong Kong,  England, Europe, The US, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and have enjoyed them all.    If there is one key theme in the thousands of messages we have sent to our tens of thousands of readers about global living is that diversification, people and value are keys aspects in our beliefs.

We love Ecuador and live part time here. We also love North Carolina and live part time there.  We are Florida residents and make no bones about our love for America and how we live more there than in Ecuador.

We reported in 2009 our shift back to Smalltown USA and agriculture in Florida. and why we see value in Smalltown USA as well as Ecuador.  Why we love the people and why  we diversify.

Those three themes… value… people… diversification are our politics.

This is our North Carolina home.

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This is our Florida home.

mt-dora

This, Inn Land of the Sun is our Ecuador home. Note how the US and Ecuadorian flag freely fly, side by side, with those of many other nations.

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Each makes the other better!

We do not get much into politics here in Ecuador (or in the USA).  We just enjoy the life… the sweet people… the warm weather… the good food and low cost living and let the politicians and the newscasters play their games. They have very little effect on our lives as we spend our time figuring out how we can be better rather than how to make the politicians look worse.

In fact bad Ecuador politics in many ways make life better for retirees here.  Bad politics screw up the economy leaving people poor and keeping the cost of living low.

I hope that changes. I would like to see more people in Ecuador prosper but that probably will not happen soon.

Low oil prices are expected this winter.  This and Ecuador’s debt will challenge Correa over the months ahead.

The bad economics will put Correa under pressure and he’ll make mistakes. He may even come off as a brash hot head.  Does this make him a dictator? Not that I have seen.  Will it make any difference in my life or the other gringo’s living here. Probably not.

In fact if there is anyone to fear it is the NEWS that misleads you and tries with its spin to lock you into a narrow point of view. Life is good in Ecuador and in Smalltown USA… make no mistake about this.

While many are living with the crowds and stress and snow and high prices… thinking there is danger here… a growing number of are enjoying the sun… low stress… low cost and a good life without big brother.

Here are more comments about Ecuador politics from readers who were in Ecuador during the one day police strike.

An American living on the coast wrote: Gary, We all had a good time. We arrived yesterday in Bahia and got the scoop of what went on here during the problems with police and president.

Here on the coast and specifically Bahia, Jama and Canoa. There were no problems at all. Everyone just watched the TV and waited for it to be over and got back to normal life the following day. That is pretty much how the coast handles what is happening in these situations in the big city. It is just an unwanted disruption here.  I hope that this explains it a little for your readers.  Regards,

An American living in Quito wrote: Hi Gary, I am an American Citizen 61 years of age, living in Ecuador and an avid reader of yours.  I came here 10 years ago to establish a business here, with plans to return to California in 3 to 4 weeks, but here I am still.  I re-married here 6 years ago and now have a beautiful 3 year old daughter.  I say all this to let you know that I am not new to the Ecuadorian scene and wish to stand up and be counted as an American in Support of “Correa”.

I have had exposure to previous governments of this beautiful country and this one is different.  The government of President Rafael Correa is truly making a difference, they have put people in the Ministries, etc. that are well educated and dedicated to what they are doing and trying to put things in order.  But you know the opposition does not like that.

We have to take what the media says with a grain of salt.  Especially since channel 4 is about to change hands, as a bank, they can´t own TV Stations under the law.  This morning in watching channel 4 and 8, I was disgusted by their description of the events of the past days.  Last night on channel 10 on the “la Television” show with Ellers, they showed and described clearly the events of Thursday.

My wife and I went to Plaza Grande on Thursday and the people were emotional but very peacefully voicing their support for their President.  People crying for fear that their President was in such dire danger.  It was part of that same group that went to the Police Hospital where the President and his staff were enclosed.  They marched peacefully only to encounter violence, rocks, bullets and police batons, by this rogue group.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to describe this as a peaceful country, (the majority of the people are good and loving)  of opportunity and beauty.

An American living near Guayaquil wrote: I agree with you about the media drama.  Watching live footage last night we saw the “Violent Rescue of President Correa.”  The gunfire sounded pretty impressive until the reporter finally let on that they were firing dummy bullets.  This morning the headline was “Bloody Rescue of President Correa,” although there haven’t been any images of bloodshed to back that up.

It brings to mind hurricane coverage in Florida, when even in cases where the storm (luckily) never came ashore, they always managed to find a shot of a ficus tree that had tipped over on someone’s house to illustrate “the storm damage.”

There you have it.

correa

Correa does like to play it up for the crowds as this photo I took shows.  He immerses himself in the people.

None of us are worry much about this leading to dictators and rule by soldiers like…

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this officer on Correas protection ujnit.

This is more what we think of when in Ecuador you say “police”.

ecuador-police

However, you should come take a look, see and feel for yourself.

Gary

Read the entire article What Really Happened in Ecuador

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One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

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 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

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The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

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“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

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Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

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Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

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Gary

Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

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(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

Ecuador Police Unrest


Ecuador police unrest creates a hard spot that rocks with turmoil.

ecuador-police

Ecuador’s police and part of the military are on strike. The Ecuadorian President is speaking to the nation as I write… so let’s take a moment to understand the problem and project what might happen.

Ecuador’s president is between a rock and a hard spot as he has been trying to enhance Ecuador’s infrastructure and help the poor all at the same time.

Unlike the US and some other governments, Ecuador does not have unlimited credit. This creates a problem as explained in a recent article at Bloomberg.com entitled “Ecuador will probably tap China pensions to finance deficit Fitch says”  The article says:

Ecuador will probably tap the nation’s pension fund and seek a loan from China to help finance its $2.7 billion budget deficit, according to Erich Arispe, an analyst at Fitch Ratings.

South America’s seventh-biggest economy may need as much as 4.3 percent of gross domestic product to fund the “relatively large” deficit, Arispe, a New York-based analyst at Fitch, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Ecuador is using debt to increase spending on infrastructure projects and social programs in a bid to lower unemployment and boost economic growth, President Rafael Correa said in a June 5 statement. The nation’s default on $3.2 billion in bonds since 2008, declining oil production and a slump in private investment has crimped funding sources, Arispe said.

Correa “has to find a way to finance his ambitious investment projects,” Arispe said. “Given the limited potential of increased oil-derived revenue” and declining investment, “increasing debt is the option they have at this point.”

The extra yield investors demand to hold Ecuadorean dollar bonds instead of U.S. Treasuries narrowed 6 basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 10.36 percent at 9:09 a.m. New York time, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI+ index. Ecuador’s spread has widened 23 basis points in the third quarter, compared with a 58 basis-point drop for the index.

Ecuadorean sovereign debt is the second-riskiest after Venezuela’s among 15 emerging markets tracked by JPMorgan, according to the bank’s EMBI+ indexes.

The government next year will also begin offering treasury notes with a term of less than one year to boost liquidity, Rivera said Sept. 24. Ecuador has proposed legal changes to allow the country’s banks to use short-term government bonds for as much as 75 percent of their reserves and let the government boost public debt to 50 percent of GDP from the current limit of 40 percent, Rivera said.

The article was correct in a number of respects… the first being that the government is trying to finance part of its debt with Ecuador pension funds.

Yesterday the government altered retirement and military regulations and at least three changes have led to a strike.

Change #1:  All government workers must retire at 65. In Europe people are striking because they want to retire early. In Ecuador people wish to continue to work.  However it is the second change that really creates the rub.

Change #2: Retirement pension buyouts will be paid one half in money and one half in government bonds. In other words, if no one else will buy Ecuador bonds let’s force them on retired government workers.  Americans should remember this ploy.  The US government has floated similar trial balloons about protecting pensions from stock market fluctuations with government bonds.

Change #3: The police and military are being affected. The police and military have many special benefits… military hospitals… bonuses for promotions… for moving, etc. The government has stripped all these away.  In retaliation the police are currently on strike.

As I wrote these details, President Correa was speaking to the public and one of our A TeamEcuador just sent me this note:

Gary President Correa told the people he doesn’t care.  He said he won’t back down on his decision and he said if  the policeman desire,  they can kill him.  That’s not good negotiation in my opinion.

There are several protests going on today.  Since the police are on “strike” no one will make sure that the protesters behave.

This is happening all over the country.   We do not know what will happen but the president went to talk to the police headquarters.  They refused to hear him.

The Asamblea (Congress) has no police protection at this time.  All public employees are going to march to the Carondelet (Presidential Palace) this afternoon, with no police protection to stop them.

I’ll keep you posted.

And we will keep you posted.

Gary

Join us at our October seminar to learn how to earn and diversify globally.

Read Ecuador will probably tap China pensions to finance deficit Fitch says

Power of Image & Spin


There has been some confusion about Ecuador’s president Dale Correa. See below how this confusion can help us learn how to make, keep and enjoy wealth wherever we live.

A recent article looked at some of Dale Correa’s problems and Ecuador’s political tension.

world-view
Here is a photo I took of Correa in Cotacachi.  He stayed at our hotel Inn Land of the Sun (Formerly Meson de las flores).  Imagine if I… an ordinary citizen  tried to get could get this close to photo the president of the USA!
In reply to the political tension article a reader replied to this note:

Hi Gary,  I don’t know how that typo came into being (Ralph or Raul would have been more understandable!) but somehow El Presidente has been renamed Dale! This typo is in two places. See below in the summary of the Political Tension article (I changed it to red so you can find it easily), as well as on page three of your article. Best wishes,  Jennifer

My reply to the reader below helps clarify Correa’s name.

Please excuse my lack of clarity.  Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado is President of Ecuador and often referred to in Ecuador as called Dale Correa.

The words Dale Correa represents the idea to “give them the leather belt.”   Correa used this concept and play on words when running for President sayings that he was going to give the old order the belt and drive them out.

Here is what the Spanish translation literally says:

Spanish translation

Spanish translation

Hence the emergence of a Dale joke in Ecuador.  These might be similar to Bama jokes about the President of the USA.

I should have been aware that those who are not involved in daily Ecuador life and who do not know Spanish would know these facts and could be confused and worried. I hope you did not let this minutiae cause you to miss the theme of the message.  Regards.

A recent message New Sucre in Ecuador shared an important political fact… Correa… like President Obama came to office with a strong  mandate because he promised to bring great change to the system… “Dale Correa.” Now many Ecuadorians have lost their confidence or hope (like in America) as the politics seem to remain the same.

An excerpt in the Wall Street Journal entitled: “Ecuador Government Fails To Pass Monetary Law, For Now” by Mercedes Alvaro shows how Correa has not be so good at throwing out the old order and unifying a new order.  This article says:  Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa’s party failed to garner enough votes in Congress to pass a controversial monetary reform bill that would give the central bank the use of deposits to fund investment projects, but it hasn’t given up on the plan.

Correa’s party, Alianza Pais, secured only 59 votes Tuesday, four short of the 63 needed to pass laws in the 124-seat legislature. The failure is Correa’s second recent congressional defeat, after the party was unable to get enough votes in May for a bill to overhaul water usage. He is also struggling to find sufficient backing for communications and education bills.

The president of the legislature, Fernando Cordero, a member of the government party, plans to present the monetary policy reform bill again next week for another vote, since the opposition also lacked sufficient votes to bury it. Some analysts fear the bill, if passed, could compromise the country’s financial stability.  The proposed law suggests the central bank could invest directly in state-owned banks, and would also be allowed to provide liquidity to institutions “with some questionable lending policies and high non-performing loan ratios,” Crespo said. The reforms would also allow the central bank to invest directly in debt issued by local companies, debt that wouldn’t have to be listed on a stock exchange.

Correa’s administration has been rattled by the recent protests against several of its proposed laws, including proposals on hydrocarbons reform, communications, and university education. On Wednesday, Cordero suspended a session to vote on the universities bill amid protests by opposition lawmakers.

Perhaps we are returning to the old system Merri and I were familiar with for the first decade plus we were in Ecuador… where the people rejected presidents quite often.

There are important messages about making, keeping and enjoying wealth we can learn from observing the Ecuadorian political system.

The first is that the nature of politics… especially in big countries… is framed by sound and image bytes.  What we know is slanted by spin.  Most of our politics… are affected by hidden agendas.  In Correa”s case he used the play on his name to suggest that he was going to toss all the old boys out and change the system.  Promises are normally made (to get into office) that cannot be kept.

Then the new administration uses secrets and spins to hide the real facts.

A Time magazine article “Defending the Leaks: Q&A with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange” by Eban Harrel shows that technology may help solve this problem. It  says:

Q: There’s a collection of newspapers with your picture on the front page. Who is Julian Assange?

I am a journalist and publisher and inventor. In the case of WikiLeaks, I have tried to create a system which solves the problem of censorship of the press and censorship of whistle-blowers across the whole world. As a public spokesman for the organization, I take all the heat and get all the credit. (See the top 10 leaks.)

Do you believe in total transparency? Should governments and individuals be allowed to hold secrets, or should we put everything out there?

Of course there are legitimate secrets. But we must make the default assumption that each individual has the right to communicate knowledge to other individuals. We call up our grandmother, and the government doesn’t listen in. Your mail can be sent, and the government doesn’t open it up. That is our default assumption. There is a community assumption that we can talk to one another freely and that it is right to exchange knowledge about what is happening in the world. Those assumptions are embodied in good jurisprudence.

What we see coming out of the U.S. First Amendment is that Congress shall make no law in relating to restriction of freedom of speech or press. It doesn’t say Congress should make a law to protect the press. It takes the function of political debate and exchange of ideas outside the legislature. There’s a very good reason for that. It was the Federalist papers and the swapping of information that led to the U.S. Constitution and in an ongoing sense to the social structure that creates laws and legislation. It is the communication of information that regulates politics and the legislature, the judiciary and the behavior of the police. It’s quite important to have the default assumption that the free exchange of information should not be regulated except in specific and clear circumstances.

This evolution towards access to the truth away from spin is likely to take time but can offer ways to make money from it.

The reason we are shifting towards transparency is the shift from broadcast to broadband so investments in broad band technology  make sense.

This is a huge filed way beyond description here, but a place to watch… to see the types of technology that is coing online is the “One Economy Corporation” a Washington, D.C. based, global, nonprofit organization that leverages the power of technology to connect underserved, low-income communities around the world to vital online information and resources.

In the long run… the big advances in global communications will be the cuddly interface…  ways to make computer power and communication easier to use.

One economy focuses in this way… founded in 2000 with a mission to ensure that everyone, regardless of income or location, can maximize the power of technology to improve the quality of his or her life and enter the economic mainstream.

One Economy brings broadband into the homes of low-income people, employs youth to train community members to use technology effectively, and provides public-purpose media properties that offer information on education, jobs, health care, and other vital issues.

These initiatives target three barriers to sustained Internet use: affordability, accessibility, and lack of relevant content.

In April 2010, One Economy, in partnership with the Broadband Opportunity Coalition (BBOC), was awarded $28.5 million through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, run by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. One Economy and the BBOC are supplementing this grant with $23 million of private sector matching support so this organization has some  money to spend that might lead to new broad innovations uses of the internet.

Those who spot and invest in these innovations may well see extra profit as the world moves from image and spin to authenticity.

Gary

How We Can Serve You

How to Have Real Safety

Regain Real Security

There is a path to true security.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However he had already moved on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A PIEC Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#1: Do What You Love!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But where do we start?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3: Integrate your earning and investing. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus there are broken promises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi dimensional opportunity earns in numerous ways.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was a deal that few overseas investors could refuse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Layer Financial Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4: Find your Anchor of Value.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The story contains three valuable tips.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most passive country index ETFs have minimal cost structures.

#5: Keep costs down. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We should know what all our fees are.

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

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

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

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

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

We offer two courses for attaining financial security.

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

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

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

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

Learn Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing

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

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

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

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

#1:  Current book to price

#2:  Cash flow to price

#3:  Earnings to price

#4:  Average dividend yield

#5:  Return on equity

#6:  Cash flow return

#7:  Market history

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Save $457.95 if You Act Now

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

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 “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program” 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 your own purposeful business and 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 “Silver Dip 2015” plus the Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

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

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

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

Read the article Defending the Leaks: Q&A with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

Link to more data on  One Economy Corporation is a Washington, D.C.

Why Ecuador


“Ecuador has it all. Beauty, convenience, low cost and opportunity.” I wrote these words nearly fifteen years ago when Merri and I first visited this unique equatorial country as investors.

Yesterday’s message began our review of seven lifestyle foundations.

The last two messages at this site entitled Lifestyle Foundations and Ecuador Healthy Lifestyles outlined why we, at the beginning of this decade, are sharing seven key messages I have sent before…  but have update.  They reflect the fundamental values we share from the lessons we learn at this site.

This third lifestyle thought looks at why Merri and I have brought thousands of readers to Ecuador and been living and investing so much there for the past 15 years.  This messages answers the question… Why is Ecuador  a great place to be?

Ecuador-friendly

Ecuador has wonderful natural resources… in the mountains and…

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and on the sea.

Ecuador is unique for many reasons.  One huge benefit is that it has direct sunlight 365 days a year. Ecuador’s topography ranges from sea level to over 22,000 feet. Going from the coastal plain into the mountains of Ecuador offers the same bio diversity as from the equator to the Arctic Circle.

Ecuador offers incredible luxury at reasonable prices… heart warming sweetness… breath taking beauty… health benefits… and new horizons  at every turn.

Ecuador-friendly

Ecuador is affordable for everything… such as affordable housing… even ultimate luxury.  Here is a chef creating delights at the Relais and Chateaux Spa La Mirage in the Andes and…

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the luxurious Casa Ceibo hotel on Ecuador’s Pacific.

Having lived, worked and played there now for fifteen years, we are just beginning to realize how really special and what enormous joys and pleasures this tiny country has.

Slightly smaller than the state of Nevada, Ecuador has four highly distinct zones, the Amazon jungle basin, the Andean central highlands, the Coastal Plain and the Galapagos. Not only do these four regions offer highly different lifestyles and opportunities distinct from each other, each also offers unique sights, sounds and thrills that you cannot obtain anywhere else in the world. Yet it is all so compact!  Nothing is much more than an hour or two away.

In Ecuador you encounter cultures, knowledge, birds, plants, sights, scenes and sounds you will not find anywhere else in the world.

Yet there is even more that is hard to explain. A sweetness that lies just below the surface permeates all things and makes them somehow enjoyable in ways that are difficult to describe. Merri and I have taken over thousands of delegates to this country since we first began.

Ecuador-friendly

The…

Ecuador-friendly

people of Ecuador are…

Ecuador-friendly

warm and…

Ecuador-friendly

friendly…

Ecuador-friendly

naturally.

Ecuador-friendly

Again and again they say the same. “I don’t know what it is that I feel so good here, but I love it. I have to come back again.”

Perhaps it’s the random, jumbled, apparent lack of order in a society where things do work.

The airport is organized and gets better every time we arrive. The political system does move forward (Ecuador is South America’s oldest democracy), the legal system does work.

Perhaps it is the way things work differently there. Perhaps it is the incredibly low cost of fresh fruit, clean air and pure water.

Ecuador-friendly

Food,  of every variety, is excellent, abundant and in expensive.

Whatever it is that makes Ecuador wonderful, many of those who have accompanied us have (like Merri and me), bought homes, moved there and bettered their lives in a multitude of ways.

Perhaps it is the slight differences because like good ice cream, the nuances often say more than the obvious. Cracks in a wall, its patina and peeling paint speak more loudly than color, architecture and design. So I’ll describe the current circumstances of the country below, but written words are never enough. I’m writing the logical reasons why you might love Ecuador here, but you need to visit. Ecuador is a place for the heart and it will be your heart that rules in Ecuador, never your mind.

Ecuador-friendly

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

Ecuador-friendly

Quito… the Paris of South America.

Ecuador is at a crossroads. It stands in a position where it can really rise from its third world state or sink into an even deeper time of turmoil.

There are three driving forces at work, the first being economics. The country has oil… a lot of it.   About 60% of the government’s revenue comes from oil. A new airport is being built to replace the one in Quito.

On the downside the country is in an economic mess… has defaulted on its bond debt which is a huge negative for participation in the global economy.

Another driving force is the nation’s dollarization. The idea of abandoning the sucre and using the U.S. dollar as the nation’s currency was that this will stop inflation because it limits the politicians’ ability to spend. This was a good idea and the long-term stability and much lower inflation has created will be good.  The IMF loves this as do many of the other bright boys in top western economic posts…all who have never tried to run a country surrounded by other nations that do devalue their currencies. Dollarization has been good but there remain doubts that it can survive.  If the dollar rises versus currencies in neighboring countries, then Ecuador’s exports will become uncompetitive.

Enter the third driving force, President Rafael Correa.  He has gained great popularity especially be developing indigenous connections and has spent his first years in office on a reform campaign.  Can he continue to spend and can he continue his reform are the big questions.

The man is probably sincere, but like Jimmy Carter may be overwhelmed by events. He has no political experience at all. He is inheriting an economic mess and has managed to get many people angry with him.

Ecuador-friendly

Ecuador’s President Correa is dynamic and aggressive… and accessible.  Here is a photo I took of Correa when he visited our village.

Ecuador real estate prices are not as low as they were when Merri and I began investing a decade ago, but the values are still good… and the cost of maintenance and taxes etc. place are still low.  The streets are not as safe as they were, but especially out of the city and away from the Colombian border, Ecuador is very safe… not a dangerous place.

There are enormous historic, economic, cultural obstacles to overcome. Three forces are clashing.

The first are the few very rich families, who have always been in economic and political control. Since there is no middle class, these business families have never used capital markets and have kept business ownership to themselves. Without capital markets they have depended on low cost labor rather than capital equipment. If they stick to this old paradigm, as real wages rise (especially in relation to the neighboring countries) they will become increasingly uncompetitive.

The second force is the huge number of very poor. They want change, better lives, etc., but do not understand global economics. They want change without changing and/ or evolving to fit into today’s modern industrial world. They want the goodies of the west but do not know what to do or how to integrate successfully into the global economy.

The third force is president Correa. He has promised to attack graft to help the poor and downtrodden.  But can he do this with success?

My humble opinion is that education is the only real way to make the shifts required. The country must focus its newly found incoming cash flow on education. The poor must be helped to become more productive so they can rise. My guess is the funds will go instead to handouts to quell uprisings and to more graft.  This has been the trend so far.

However the president has instituted free education to all in Ecuador… a good step.

This is hardly an optimistic opinion but regardless, there will be great opportunity in Ecuador.  If the country moves the right way, they will enjoy increased stability, productivity and we who move there can participate in helping this wonderful nation join its place in the global economy.

The zero on the roulette wheel will be law and order. If the impoverished majority make enough fuss, law and order may decline. This is always the businessman’s risk.  This risk is balanced by the peaceful nature of Ecuadorians and their strong family values.

Ecuador-friendly

Ecuador has strong spiritual and family values. Even our small village Cotacachi has two large cathedrals.

My feeling is that the unchangeable good parts will remain.  Sweet people, more sight and sounds than you can find anywhere else, exquisite biodiversity of flora and fauna. There will be a rich, ancient culture full of wisdom to mystify you and bring you back again and again. The people have an inherent sweetness that has been ingrained for thousands of years. I do not believe that this will suddenly go away. A portion of the indigenous population (the Otavalans) are perhaps the most successful indigenous community in the world. Their influence is a stabilizing factor.

Plus there is more flora, fauna, some really great Indian markets, jungle lodges, incredible fishing, hiking, sightseeing and such. The many readers who have moved to Ecuador tell me they still love living in this place, as do Merri and I. Ecuador is a great place to visit, live in or do business. There are still some real estate deals but one has to search and work at this harder than in previous years… due in part to the large number of westerners who have moved to Ecuador.

Ecuador real estate potential is enhanced by increased inflation and this is why Ecuador real estate investing makes sense. Messages at this site monitor investments in Ecuador.

The collapse of the US economy made real estate in America more affordable… but reduced income, jobs and wealth also.  This has forced the US government to stimulate the economy at the expense of the US dollar.  This will cause inflation.

This is forcing many middle class Americans to move to less expensive areas in the US and abroad.

60 million baby boomers have begun to retire.  Many of their pensions and social security will be severely squeezed by inflation, leaving these people with one of five options.

#1: Keep working
#2: Move to less expensive areas within the US
#3: Export their retirement
#4: Live in near poverty
#5: Die

This is one reason I  believe in Ecuador.  Imagine this. 60 million boomers will retire over the next 20 years. We boomers are the most spoiled group of consumers as a demographic class that has ever existed on earth. We were promised the world. We were given the world. Now the magic is about to disappear.

Assume that 10% of these boomers will decide to move to less expensive countries. That’s 6 million people. Where is the most likely place to go? Eastern Europe offers great potential but are long distances from the US.

Estimating the Number of Americans Who Move Abroad.

My estimates at 105 may also be low. An article in Barrons entitled, “A new life in Panama” by Bob  Adams tells of  a silent immigration of Americans retirees and more, seeking to  work and live in other nations.

I have been writing and speaking and urging people to consider an international life for 40 years next May. Yet the scale of the  immigration that is taking place now surprises even me.  The author of this article  did a survey with over 115,000 respondents.

They eliminated any relocating for less than two years or because of military, government or their jobs.  They discovered that 1.6 million  households have already made the decision to relocate. 1.8 million households are seriously considering relocating and 7.7 million households are somewhat seriously considering relocating. The survey suggests that in total, an astounding 10% of American households are considering relocating abroad and another 10% are considering owning a home to either vacation or live part time abroad or 20% of Americans are n the move!

More surprisingly the largest group who are making these plans are in households aged 25 to 34.

If this survey is anywhere near correct (I will assume that Barron’s vetted this at least a bit), then the wave of Americans headed abroad are larger than I believe.

So where will these Americans (Canadians, British, Australians, Kiwis and Continentals are leaving their homelands as well) go?

Canada is out…too expensive and too cold. Most people will head south.

Mexico stands to be #1, but prices there are rising quickly and there is a lot of anti-gringo sentiment.  After all there have been numerous Mexican-American wars. The building of a fence across the border will not help either.  There is a law and order crisis. Yet it’s still probably the place that will benefit the most due to location.

Cuba, when it opens, will be ripe and good as well. A great place to buy when you can assuming no negative political circumstances. The low end Caribbean is also good except for those darn hurricanes that will put lots of people off…plus many water and transportation problems and the fact that few of the islands have a real infrastructure.

Panama is good…lots of English spoken, many yanks already there, but weather is lousy if you want to be in town (hot and humid) and prices are no longer low. Ditto for Costa Rica. Central America lacks infrastructure though there are some nice gringo settlements though they are expensive. Yet we see many Americans now moving from Panama to Ecuador.

Colombia is the first nation with a progressive economy and full infrastructure after Panama and Mexico. This is a wonderful place but security will stop most from going there. If the security/drug/crime issues are resolved and image cleans up…go buy in Colombia. This will be a great opportunity.

Argentina, especially Buenos Aries should do well also. It’s further away but BA has a very European feel.

Ecuador, 3 hours and 45 minutes from the US will benefit as the first nation with a full infrastructure and really low cost of living.

If Ecuador gets just 10% of six million Americans who leave the US, imagine what this means to this nation of 11 million.  First this is more than a 5% increase in population. However look at what it means in dollars!

According to the CIA World Fact Book, Ecuador has a Gross Domestic Income of $4,300 per annum per person. That makes a total GDP of $47,300,000,000.

Imagine what happens if the 600,000 gringos have an average income of $18,000 a year per person. That adds $10,800,000,000. This is an annual income that almost equals 20% of the entire national GDP! This is one reason why Merri and I include Latin equities in our investment portfolio and are buying more and more real estate in Ecuador.

Every cloud has a silver lining and two clouds casting shade on the greenback’s value are liberal money supply and political interference to support presidential elections. The silver lining comes in the form of profits made in places where fed up Americans and Canadians decide to go when they leave home.

This is why we have purchased a hotel, an office building, 6 condos and a house, a 900+ acre hacienda plus a beach apartment in Ecuador ourselves.

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Our hacienda Rosaspamba.

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Our house.

Our hotel Meson de las Flores.

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Our Ecuador beach apartment.

In summary Ecuador’s real estate potential may depend more on how bad things become in North America rather than how good will be be in Ecuador.

Ecuador has it all… at affordable prices and is an great place to be. Ecuador is a wonderful option to investigate if you are not happy comfortable or certain of the fate of your existing home.   Ecuador is an excellent second place, with growth potential  and no matter what happens to the global economy… the sun always shines there… 365 days a year.

Gary

Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

The Learn Spanish in three day course is now available online.

Read below to see why we are offering our Super Spanish course online for the first time.

Speaking Spanish is a huge benefit on its own.  You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak Spanish at all.

You can tap into all this potential when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says: “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling.  It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English.  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

The article then explains studies that show seven cognitive advantages gained from learning a foreign language.

#1:  You become smarter
#2:  You build multitasking skills
#3:  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
#4:  Your memory improves
#5:  You become more perceptive
#6:  Your decision-making skills improve
#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

Though you may choose to take more time using this course to learn Spanish, thousands of our readers have learned at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

This method was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov, who transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 70s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from delegates who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org).  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know .  

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we are testing an online beta program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.   This is a beta test and is available only this week, June 5 to 11, at the highly reduced price of $79.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79

Gary

Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Spanish online $79

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

 

Ecuador Amazon Problem


Many readers sent me an article from Agora Financial entitled “The Chevron Witch Trial: The Changing Face of Resource Nationalism” about the Ecuador Amazon problem and the ensuing Chevron lawsuit.

See why these Ecuador export tour delegates are creating earning potential and doing some environmental good.

ecuador-flower-exports

Many readers sent me notes similar to this: Gary, I wondered if you’d seen this and were familiar with the case, given your knowledge of and interest in Ecuador?  It sounds pretty scary and doesn’t reflect well on Ecuadorian justice and its authorities, if it’s true. You might want to comment in one of your messages as I assume other of your readers have also seen this matter reported. Regards

The recent article seemed to blame the Ecuadorian government for the problem and has some good points.

Here is a portion of that article:

Ecuador-legal-system

As mentioned the article had some valid points.

However…

We are very familiar with this story which is very, very old news going back into the 1970s.

We have lived with the Amazonians and spent quite a lot of time with the shamans there. Here I am with a Sierra Sion healer.

In fact we built a camp to help a small community of Amazonians who wanted tourism rather than oil revenues to support them.  We lost the entire investment when the FARC invaded that area.   Learn more about our Amazon trips and the Amazon village.

So I see the plight of the Amazonians as well.

I drive a car fueled with gas. I heat my home with electricity and use electricity that may come from diesel fueled generators and buy products delivered from abroad brought to me on ships propelled by their fossil fueled oil bunkers.

So there are two sides to this story.   Quite correctly the emails I have received are, half from this type of article and half from the environmentalists and humanitarians who say Chevron has cheated the poor natives of the Amazon.

See information on the other side from Amnesty International entitled Chevron (CVX) in the Amazon  Oil Rights or Human Rights? Texaco’s legacy, Chevron’s responsibility

Newsweek wrote a good article about this Amazon lawsuit over a year ago that has a balanced view.

If you Google the phrase “amazon chevron lawsuit” you’ll see dozens of articles about this… looking at both sides of the picture.

Plus there are many who argue that this has nothing to do with Chevron or Ecuador but the US legal system that encourages attorneys to file lawsuits like this.

One article “The Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit: It’s all about the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin says:  Sure it is. The 48 so-called plaintiffs or the 30,000 indigenous people we hear so much about in the media aren’t the financial beneficiaries in the law suit. The money goes to the Amazon Defense Coalition (ADC) and the law firm of Kohn, Swift & Graft.

So who is the culprit… the oil companies?  The Ecuador government?  The lawyers or we the people who use fossil fuels?

Our hearts personally go out to the poor people of the Amazon who are slowly being destroyed by civilization.

Yet we see the business view and we do like a warm home and to travel by car.

Plus if it were not for resource exploration and extraction many, many more people would be poor.

Yes, business does exploit.

There is a similar tales of bad exploitation in the part of Ecuador where we live, not with Chevron but with Ascendant Copper Company.

And another with Mitsubishi Mining.

This is because we the consumer buy their product.

Now another dilemma has bubbled up… with pharmaceuticals.

An October 17 Associated press article “Ecuador’s Correa plans to bypass drug patents” says:  President Rafael Correa says he is preparing to override a host of drug patents to provide lower-priced generic medications in Ecuador.  Correa says Ecuador will seek “compulsory licenses” from companies to produce medications considered indispensable.  Under World Trade Organization rules, countries can issue “compulsory licenses” to disregard patent rights, but only after negotiating with the patent owners and paying adequate compensation. Governments can skip the negotiating by declaring a public health emergency.  Correa says access to medicine is a human right and his decision is motivated by “the philosophy of 21st century socialism.”

When I recently noticed this I was really pretty happy to see this.

Merri and  do not use pharmaceuticals ourselves but recognize the importance they play in many people’s lives.  I consider a lot pf pharmaceutical marketing one of the biggest con games in this generation… makes Madoff pale in comparison.

It is hard for me to have sympathy for this industry as I believe that many pharmaceuticals are bilking the US public.

Already many of our readers come to Ecuador to get their prescriptions at a quarter the US cost.  This hopefully will allow this to continue or do even more.

However…

Where does it end?  If patent law loses its validity what incentive will anyone have to risk investing in new inventions and ideas?

So what can we… the little guy do?

There is not much we can do…  but if we all take some small steps, these rivulets become streams that can turn into torrents that do create change.

In Merri’s and my case, we created a small foundation Land of the Sun (LOTS) to help the environment and the poor of Ecuador.   The foundation rejuvenated the hotel Meson de las Flores which now provides a nice number of jobs at above average wages.  Our 2009 project was helping the Village of Topo above Cotacachi with its infrastructure, school and water system.  Also, LOTS sends a dozen children to school and university in our area…including the first university student from Topo.  In the past, we brought water to indigenous villages and an 80,000 gallon reservoir, schools, reforested 250,000 trees and etc….all off the Avenue of the Volcanoes.

LOTS promotes Ecuador flowers… those grown in green plantations certified by Veriflora.

We promote the ideas of having an internet business that sells exports from Ecuador to help stimulate the Ecuador economy… and to help North Americans who find they need new avenues of income.

Here are delegates at our most recent Ecuador export tour…

ecuador-flower-exports

learning…

ecuador-flower-exports

how to conduct…

ecuador-flower-exports

an Ecuador flower party.

In another way we were early advocates of green investing in the mid 2000s through our Spottingtrends.com site and mutilicurrencyinvesting.com where we launched our Green Portfolio Study in 2006.

This is one reason why we focus on green investing and business ideas.
See http://www.garyascott.com/2008/04/01/2064.html

Here perhaps is the most important message.  Self interest is nature’s way of making sure every sentient being remains alive.  Only we human’s  have an imagination to understand the risks of ungoverned expansion.   All other life forms, given the chance will grow themselves out of existence.

Due to the conflict of our vision and this natural self serving impulse, we know that consumers will tend buy what seems most comfortable to them in the short term.

We know that big business will often take advantage of this fact and exploit, without conscious, resources to serve this impulse.

This conflict creates huge problems.  Huge problems create great opportunity… so look for small ways you can serve yourself now and help the future.

Let the big guys fiddle around with their battles while we each do the best we can… trying to make positive environmental and humanitarian statements and changes through the way we live enjoying earning, investing and living in the sun each day.

Gary

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Our multi seminar-tour discounts have grown!

See the 2010 winter schedule below.

2 seminar courses & tours

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 $1,749

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Here is another Ecuador export delegate at Hilana. Learn about and see more Hilana export products below.

Internet-export-idea

Ecuador Demonstrations


There were some Ecuador demonstrations last week.

ecuador-demonstrations

This and the AP photos below by Dolores Ochoa show Ecuador protesters blocking the Pan Am Highway. See excerpts of the related article below.

Merri and I are used to these Ecuador protests as they are part of life in Ecuador. Though we have not seen any Ecuador demonstrations for several years,  they represent a good part of the Ecuadorian way and I am proud of how the  people exercise their democratic rights…. peacefully… but effectively.

The French use demonstrations as well and remember France is where many of the current ideals of democracy as we know them and processes that helped the industrial revolution really begin.

Yet the French leave cars flipped and shops burned. Remember what they did to some of their royalty!  In Ecuador violence is rarely the case.

ecuador-protests

Part of Ecuador’s political problems are created because the majority of the population are very poor… and poorly educated… but they are gaining.  This is Maria…  excited to be headed on her first day to university to study tourism management through a scholarship provided by our foundation, Land of the Sun.

Merri and I have been in the midst of several Ecuador demonstrations.  Our first protest party took place many years ago in the 1990s.  We had to get a friend from Latacunga, (one of the most active places for demonstrations), to Quito airport.

There is a “moving through Ecuador road blocks art” that we learned.

ecuador-protests

Ecuadorians are by nature friendly and easy going. Violence is rare… in their protests, crime or politics. These girls attend the Topo Grande school that Land of the Sun foundation is assisting.

In that first protest adventure we were with a yatchak… in his car… a four wheel drive. This meant that  a lot of the demonstration avoidance tactics came in the form of driving down railway tracks, through football fields and for quite some distance on the grassy path that formerly was the Incan trail.

Eventually however one meets a roadblock.  On that trip the yatchak did most of the work. As gringos we stayed in the car and let the yatchak do the talking.  Most road blocks are more like street parties… the blockers only half serious. There are generally two types of demonstrators… those with a real gripe and the majority who see the demonstration as a sort of fun time.

If you meet up with the party types… usually a dollar or two is a sufficient consideration to be able to move on IF one approaches the road block correctly… never with pushiness or aggression.

If one meets up with those who have a true grievance… the process is more difficult but usually  an earnest listen to their complaint… a murmur of agreement, some sympathy and an explanation of why you need to pass through, with perhaps a dollar or two will open the block.

In that first trip, the taxi drivers had the complaint… so they were the hardest nuts to crack… but the yatchak never failed.  Gentle words… appreciation for their plight and explanation of our own problems always opened the gates.

That trip to the airport took much longer than normal… one does not rush through these events… but we were able to help our friend board his plane on time.

Our second Ecuador demonstration trip took place on the day before one of our seminars in Ecuador.  Talk about terrible timing!

We always met delegates when they arrive at the airport the day before the seminar so we needed to travel from Cotacachi to Quito.  Normally we would make the two hour trip via the Pan American highway.  But Otavalo is another major, strong point for demonstrations.

We have developed a network of friends across the country so we knew that the Pan American was tightly closed.

So we headed down the back roads with an intrepid taxi driver who knew the ropes.

At each road block I would lay down in the back seat, close my eyes and groan.  Owh owh owh.

Merri, looking as pathetic as possible, rambled on “Me esposa necesita un hospital”.

The taxi driver requested clearance to the “hospital” and offered a few dollar for the favor.

This worked half way to Quito.  However there are some road blocks that just cannot be passed.  We found such a place where one group had dug a large pit through the road.

ecuador-demonstrations

Another AP photo shows how some road blocks cannot circumnavigated.

Here I experienced a major recovery from my illness, grabbed our suitcase and we walk through the burning tires… NOT LOOKING ANYONE IN THE EYE.

The only hangup came when our hound dog Ma became tangled in the wires from burned tires. On the other side of the road farmers awaited with their pickups.   For $20, they were willing to give us a lift into town. The normal two hour journey turned into six…. but we were there, smiling when our delegates arrived.

The demonstrations (as with those last week) lasted only a day and we accompanied our delegates on the bus back to Cotacachi next day on the Pan American highway.  No one really suffered.

In short Ecuador demonstrations can range from kinda fun to frustrating… but rarely dangerous… as long as one takes their time, remains passive and avoids getting involved.   These Ecuador demonstrations, are in my opinion, a good part of Ecuador’s democratic process.

I expected political tensions to tighten in January… but they seem to be winding up sooner.

Here is my thinking why there will be more political turmoil in the months ahead.

Part of Ecuador’s political problem began over 500 years ago when the Spanish began colonizing the area that is now Ecuador. The system favored a few at the expense of the majority and has remained that way.

Today the majority of the population is indigenous….but historically have had little political power and they have the smallest portion of wealth and income. Here is a resident of the village of Topo Grande.

ecuador-protests

Slowly they have become increasingly organized and must be considered as a political power that now determines elections.  Yet due to the fact that they still remain among the poorest sector of the population, they also understand the global economy the least.

Almost every Ecuador president, since Merri and I began living in Ecuador, has been elected in part by making promises to poor people, like this lady above, that could not be kept.

President Correa is included in this definition and had two added benefits… his ability to speak Quichua (the indigenous language) and high oil prices when he entered office.

Oil revenues provide the major part of the government’s income and the high prices allowed Correa to keep many of his promises in his first years in office.

Then oil prices dropped and the government began cutting back.

This put so much pressure on the government income that in July 2009 it sold a billion dollars of oil to the Chinese.

An excerpt from a Reuter’s article entitled “Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador ties” explains as it says:  QUITO (Reuters) – Oil-hungry China is moving to strengthen ties with OPEC member Ecuador, part of a global trend in which the Asian giant is providing billions of dollars in financing to producer nations to guarantee energy supplies.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the country will receive $1 billion as advance payment for future oil sales to China. Ecuador sends most of its oil to the United States, and is trying to diversify its market.

Details remained unclear on Monday. But China, the world’s second biggest petroleum consumer after the United States, is striving to cement better ties with resource-rich Ecuador.
Chinese company Sinohydro is bidding for a contract with Ecuador to build a $2 billion hydroelectric plant in the country.

In addition, the leftist Ecuadorean government says it is in talks with Chinese companies interested in investing in the Manta air base, which the U.S. Army is due to leave in September. Ecuador wants to build a commercial airport in Manta.

According to the Chinese customs office, China imported 326,000 tonnes of crude oil from Ecuador in the first four months of 2009.

Ecuador is the fifth largest producer of crude oil in South America after Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. It produced 486,000 barrels of crude oil a day in May.

Impoverished Ecuador faces a liquidity crunch due to low oil prices. The government’s recent debt default has shut the country off from the international capital markets.

Here is how one sharp Ecuador businessman explained the problem to me.

The government took payment now on 30% of its future oil, beginning next January to balance the current budget. How will it balance its budget next year with only 70% of its oil?

This leaves the Ecuador government only two options… higher gas prices… a factor beyond its control… or a cut back which means breaking more election promises.

That’s why it made sense to me that demonstrations would start next year not now.

However I was wrong. On hearing of the demonstrations I wrote to a network of friends and contacts across the country to get people’s opinions. Here are some of the replies I received.

Business person from Manta:

Dear Gary, Today Sunday the indigenas stared to make groups in different places of Guayaquil  and especially Quito. It Iooks like they want to make strikes tomorrow and to close main roads especially in highlands areas.   Until this moment everybody is quiet and nobody worries over  that situation.  The people are asking for solutions to water problems and something more.,

I think we have to see what happens tomorrow and hope that there is nothing more than a one day demonstration.

The Real Estate Tour in Manta was very good yesterday.  The people were very nice and it looks like two couples and two men are planning to stay in Manta to see more properties.

Demonstrations have been brewing and are now taking place on two fronts.

One of them regards schoolteachers that are part of a much politicized association called UNE (Union Nacional de Educadores – or National Teachers Association) who opposes the widely celebrated regime effort to bring higher quality to public schooling via teacher examination and training.

UNE appears to be divided in this and the government is gaining ground in this legitimate endeavor.

The other front regards mostly the indigenous population (also somewhat divided), who opposes the draft for the new Water Law, claiming that it will “privatize” water, something that has no grounds.

They say that they have not been taken into account in drafting it and that it has elements for the privatization of water. Please note that the indigenous peoples of Ecuador are very dependent on natural water sources for their livelihood.

The indigenous population is adept at closing-off highways in very disruptive demonstrations.

So far it seems that the demonstrations have been mostly mild but it’s hard to tell if they will flare-up big time.

The indigenous people also oppose the new mining law on environmental grounds. The general public believes this new mining law is important as it provides environmental safeguards but also allows the exploitation of our mineral riches under a better framework. There are always tradeoffs of course.

President Correa’s Government keeps a very high level of support amongst the population and has been extremely able to defuse situations like this, even though it has had a confrontational stance.

Change brings discomfort and demonstrations are part of our culture. I hope and trust they fade away amidst inclusive dialogue.

It seems that by Tuesday the demonstrations were defused. The biggest supporters have lifted their demonstrations in order to start a dialogue process.

Some fringe groups still remain protesting but for the most the demonstrations should be over now.  Best regards,

Business Person from Puerto Viejo

Hi Gary, Sorry I could not get back to you before.

As you probably know already, demonstrations have been going on this week.  There  are several groups such as teachers (UNE), indigenous people (CONAIE), high school and university students and other small groups who have gotten together protesting against different things they consider that violate or diminish their rights:  all of them have in common their opposition to the government, although the majority of them were part of the government in the past .

Each of the group is protesting against a particular law that is about to pass in the congress:  CONAIE  are against Ley del Agua or a law which regulates water and that in their opinion privatizes the water.  UNE or the teachers are against a new law of secondary and elementary education and also against some regulations that will reduce their salaries.  Students are also against  the law of university education which will not allow to have private universities in the future.  Of course political parties are also involved in these demonstrations.

CONAIE is now splitt and having talks with the government so I do not expect their strike to be as strong as in the past.  UNE  or the teachers are the ones that seem to be stronger and they are right now in their third week of protest.

Please let me know if you need more information or comments on these issues.

Kind regards,

Vilcabamba Teacher:

How are you?  I just read a little about this problem in my Country.  You know I feel sad about it because the only people who suffer the consequences are the students, right now the public schools and some universities are closed, students are in their homes.

UNE (national union of teachers) is protesting for 3 reasons:

1) The Ministerio de Education did some kind of administrative process against the teachers who did not do a test (I do not what kind of test) before, this administrative process could cause a teacher to be fired, so, UNE do not accept this process.

2) Also UNE protests about the new reforms in the law that reduce 1.5% of their salary.

3) UNE protests because a new law says that school´s authorities should get a commission of service without a salary.  Regards

Quito Businessman

Hi Gary,  There are 2 ways to read into this:

1.  Correa is trying to clean up the mess that Ecuador’s education system has grown into over the years, with UNE, the main teachers’ association becoming a by-product of the left wing political party MPD.  He has run into opposition and this has lead to the UNE’s strike which started last week.

He is also trying to put some order into the way water rights are distributed and managed in the country, thus angering CONAIE (whom he no longer needs as a political support base because through the same CONAIE and Pachakutik he has gained direct access to the indigenous people by providing them housing, infrastructure, etc.).

Now it turns out that the UNE strike will tie into the CONAIE demonstrations, and things could turn nasty next week.

2.  Correa has become obsessed with his power, and as such is trying to get control of every aspect of Ecuadorians’ life, including education, the use of land and water, the economy in general and of the production and industrial sector (taxing importers out of business in order to support local industry).  In doing so, he has alienated many of his former allies and has made worst enemies of his former foes.  This is unsustainable in the long run and the first signs that his government is heading into severe difficulties are starting to appear.  As you are aware, Correa has a very aggressive political style, criticizing his opponents and trying to make anyone who does not support him look bad and ridicule.  This has its cost and now Correa may be starting to pay the price.

Frankly speaking, I do not know how serious that is.  The main support of Correa’s “Citizens Revolution” has been the poor people.  If they start to turn against him, I do not think he will fare very well.  On the other hand, these demonstrations may just be caused by a minority of UNE and CONAIE, in which case, they will pass and it will be business as usual in Ecuador.   It is hard to tell at this time, but one thing that is for sure is that people are starting to run out of patience with respect to Correa.  We will have a clearer picture by next Monday, because it will be possible to gauge how strong and successful CONAIE’s closing of roads turns out to be.  Best,

Loja Businessman:

University and high school teachers have been protesting the elimination of a 1.5% payment and a couple of other issues. These protests began last week.

This is normal in Ecuador particularly by the union involved. They like to do this in the beginning of the school year.

The police are involved which makes this more serious, but I don’t know how serious.

Guayaquil businessman:

Gary, I do not see it so bad.

Ambato Investor:

By the way, from reading the article, it is not so against the Correa-Government.  Nonetheless, there has been some small protests in Ambato as well.

Coastal Businessman

Gary, thanks..I am in San Clemente and no demonstrations here!

The students and the teachers have always spent most of the time demonstrating..but of course the government thought they would avoid demonstrations against them with the “peoples revolution” slogan..

The indigenous people seem to want to march again against the new mining law and the governments intent to start big scale mining operations to improve finances..

I do not think any of these demonstrations will be even close in size to what they used to be during previous governments..basically because all these movements supported the government and it’s policy and many still do..They also lack the charismatic leaders they once had.

Regards,

This last comment seems to be supported by excerpts of an Associated Press article entitled “Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws”: The Associated Press  QUITO, Ecuador — Hundreds of Indians blocked Ecuador’s Pan American highway in several provinces Monday with rocks, tree trunks and burning tires to protest new water, mining and oil laws.

Their leaders suspended the protest late Monday, saying the government had promised to talk about their objections.

The Indians contend the proposed the laws threaten their lands and will privatize water resources. Leftist President Rafael Correa disputes that view, and the ruling party-controlled legislature has been expected to approve the laws.

Monday’s protests on the main national highway paled in comparison to protests that ousted Ecuadorean presidents in 2000 and 2005.

ecuador-demonstrations

Third AP photo from this article.

Things are improving. Ecuador’s indigenous are getting richer and better educated.

ecuador-protests

Enrique is one of the excellent Cotacachi indigenous builders who is developing homes in Cotacachi. He is among a growing sector of hard working, highly successful and dependable indigenous businesses that help form a strong, integrated  middle class in Ecuador.  Be sure see to see some of Enrique’s houses at this site next week.

Ecuador demonstrations are a part of Ecuador’s democratic process.  Since moving to Ecuador I have seen many presidents comes and many go… very few serving their full term… a process I like better than having a bad president last.    President Correa has enjoyed a time without Ecuador protests because of high oil prices and his willingness to default on Ecuador bonds.  That former decision is now biting him back… along with low oil prices… so more and more are saying… “throw the bum out”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this at home?

Gary

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

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

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

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

See details of the two seminar below.

ecuador-seminars

Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

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

ecuador-exports

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador textiles like these I photographed in Otavalo are popular.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course:  Gary & Merri –
I know why I get a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling when I see your two names in the ‘From’ column of my emails!  I sincerely hope that others are getting that same satisfaction.  Thank you both again for the help and assistance in getting to Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

“Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador tieswww.reuters.com/article/GCA-Oil/idUSTRE56C6FF20090713

www.thestate.com/world/story/962859.html?RSS=untracked
Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws

Power of Global Investing Diversification


There is great power in global investing diversification.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise at our North Carolina farm.  We diversify because the sun always shines somewhere.

Pure capitalistic theory says that in the long run… a global economy is good for everyone….overall.

Technology gives us the ability to buy from those who serve us best, wherever they are  in the world.  Why should we buy poorer quality goods locally at a higher price when someone from elsewhere can serve us better and for less.

Plus if we produce something better than anyone else we should be able to sell our product or service anywhere in the world as well.

Floridians and Californians buy apples from Oregon and North Carolina.

Oregonians and North Carolinians buy oranges from Florida or California because these areas each have special advantages… excellent conditions to produce and deliver those fruits clear across a continent, better and for less.

Global market advantages can be based on geography, infrastructure, skills sets, labor costs etc.

The theory of globalization is good but the process is not smooth. Globalization creates unemployment in many places and distorts many economies in the short term.  This usually pushes the process into the political arena and gets governments involved.  Governments often act based on political considerations rather than for good, long term economic reasons.

Plus business if given a chance… does not always encourage a free economy either.  Give big business a monopoly and they’ll tie up free trade even faster and much more efficiently than a government.

There is little, as businesses or investors, that we can do do to change these facts.

We are usually better off to adapt and take advantage of whatever situation exists instead.

This is what creates power in diversification.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise at our Ecuador hacienda.

The sun always shines somewhere. When our business and investments are diversified, we just have a better chance that our investments and business will be somewhere where there the business climate is sunny.

For example… a recent message Ecuador Beats Inflation looked at excerpts from a recent AOL.Money article by Jim Kuhnhenn entitled “White House Projects $9 Trillion Deficit”: In a chilling forecast, the White House is predicting a 10-year federal deficit of $9 trillion — more than the sum of all previous deficits since America’s founding. And it says by the next decade’s end the national debt will equal three-quarters of the entire U.S. economy.  But before President Barack Obama can do much about it, he’ll have to weather recession aftershocks including unemployment that his advisers said Tuesday is still heading for 10 percent.  Overall, White House and congressional budget analysts said in a brace of new estimates that the economy will shrink by 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year even as it begins to climb out of the recession. Those estimates reflect this year’s deeper-than-expected economic plunge.

Yet at the same time a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Ecuador Inflation To End ’09 Below 4%”  By Mercedes Alvaro shows that Ecuador’s economy is growing.
Here is an excerpt: QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s inflation rate will end 2009 below 4% and the economy will grow close to 2% this year, President Rafael Correa said Wednesday.

“The annualized inflation will be below 4%,” Correa said late Wednesday in a radio and TV address. “There is not recession. Ecuador will have a growth of about 2%.”  “We have faced the biggest world crisis successfully,” Correa added. Early Wednesday the central bank said the Ecuadorian economy overall is poised to expand 1% in 2009.  Ecuador’s gross domestic product grew 6.52% in 2008 while inflation reached 8.83%.  According to central bank data, Ecuador’s liquid international reserves stood at $4.0 billion as of Aug. 21.  Last week, the central bank president, Carlos Vallejo, said that the government will repatriate in the coming days some $300 million of Ecuador’s liquid reserves invested abroad.  Ecuador’s liquid international reserves include public-sector deposits with the central bank, revenues from oil exports, loans from multilateral lenders and minimum reserve requirements from private banks.  In May, the central bank established a liquidity requirement forcing private banks to keep at least 45% of their assets and investments in Ecuador to draw back cash and boost domestic liquidity.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise on…

Investment-diversification

Sunrise over Mount Imbabura.

Because I am diversified in Ecuador, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina, in 2007, I was selling Florida property at the top of the market.  I was buying Ecuador real estate with those returns. Now that Florida  is down and Ecuador real estate has risen,  I am selling Ecuador real estate and buying in Florida.

A huge portion of all profits in business and investing come from timing.  Most commodity, stock and real estate markets go through ups and downs.  If you plan your investments and liquidity so you sell only at favorable times, global investing diversification enhances your chances of always having assets someplace where there is a seller’s market.

Investment-diversification

Sunrise shot from our hotel Meson de las Flores.

So when you think Ecuador… or Mexico or Panama… or wherever…. also thing diversification.  The sun always shines somewhere and your changes of financial suntans increase when you diversify.

Gary

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

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

This course can help you create your own internet business.

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

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

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

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

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

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in 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.

internet-business-idea We always conduct our autumn North Carolina course on the first weekend of October… the best time to enjoy  the leaf change.

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

ecuador-tours

You’ll see views like this on your way to West Jefferson for the October seminar.

Or head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-tours

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour ONLY FOUR SPACES LEFT

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

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

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

ecuador-hotel

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

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

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

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 article Ecuador Inflation To End ’09 Below 4%

Investing in Chaos


Many recent messages have looked at living, business and investing in chaos during times of turmoil and change.

investing-in-chaos

Ecuador at times may seem chaotic.

Chaos is caused by transition from one wave of productive technology to another.

Investors and businesses who understand this have an enormous advantage because they know to look for the next wave.

In a moment, we’ll look at the potential for chaos in Ecuador.

First, let’s look at some positive chaos that could ruin some basic utilities but also create millions (maybe billions) for some businesses and investors.

The industrial revolution has been a time of continual chaos.  There was a time of turmoil when mankind shifted from steam technology to the internal combustion engine. Investors who had been big in railroads (but were smart) shifted to investing in automobiles and trucking and bus lines.

Then chaos came again when the jet engine made the airplane a more effective form of transportation than long distance.  Bus travel and smart investors shifted from Greyhound into airline shares.

In the information era; the PC, Internet (and Microsoft) became the major carrier of mankind and investors who saw this potential once again jumped ahead of the pack.

Where do we go next?

One new wave of technology may come in a product we all take for granted…. creating what I would call the independence era. Let’s just look at the break through.

A forward looking reader sent me the Utah Daily Herald article “New battery could change world, one house at a time” by Randy Wright.

Here is an excerpt:  On a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.  — a new generation of deep-storage battery that’s small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America’s antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices.

The convergence of these two key technologies — solar power and deep-storage batteries — has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

With small-scale electrical generation taking place at millions of individual homes — as opposed to today’s large-scale power generation from a handful of giant power plants — there would be less worry about what’s called “point failure” on the grid. That’s when a single component gets knocked out and shuts off power to a whole region. California-style rolling blackouts would be history.

The threat of terrorism has heightened the worry. But wide distribution of batteries in homes would virtually eliminate it.

Inside Ceramatec’s wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions — electrically charged particles — back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It’s amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it’s both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn’t want your kids around one of these.

The essence of Ceramatec’s breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery’s life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in. Five kilowatts over four hours — how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That’s a pretty exciting place to live.

And then you recharge. With a projected 3,650 discharge/recharge cycles — one per day for a decade — you leave the next-best battery in the dust. Deep-cycling lead/acid batteries like the ones used in RVs are only good for a few hundred cycles, so they’re kaput in a year or so.

How do you recharge? By tapping your solar panels or windmills. It’s just like plugging in your cell phone or iPod, only you plug in your house.

A small three-bedroom home in Provo might average, say, 18 kWh of electric consumption per day in the summer — that’s 1,000 watts for 18 hours. A much larger home, say five bedrooms in the Grandview area, might average 80 kWh, according to Provo Power. Either way, a supplement of 20 to 40 kWh per day is substantial. If you could produce that much power in a day — for example through solar cells on the roof — your power bills would plummet.

“Batteries and PV are about to merge,” said MIT’s Nocera, using the shorthand for “photovoltaics” or solar power. “First Solar is now saying that it takes $1 a peak watt to manufacture, and another 80 cents for installation. So they’re saying that you can get PV for under $2 a watt. That’s a reduction of cost by a factor of four. Only a few years ago, it was $8. If CoorsTek and Ceramatec come up with a good battery, the market will develop quickly.”

The long-term impact of home electric generation for a power company’s business model could be huge. After all, you can’t stay in business if nobody’s paying for power. Exactly how that will play out remains to be seen.

This technology is new to me… but seems breathtaking and loaded with opportunity.  Please send any thoughts, ideas, information or opinions you have.

Before you invest though, remember the golden rules of investing.

1. Money isn’t everything
2. Work only with people you like
3. Buy businesses, not stocks
4. Invest only in what you understand
5. Don’t over diversify
6. Keep looking for new opportunities
7. Buy businesses you plan to keep for life
8. Look for businesses that are available at a good price
9. Do what you like

Potential Ecuador Chaos

investing-in-chaos

The people of Ecuador are friendly and happy.

There is some potential for change in Ecuador that could benefit those moving and investing there.

First, let’s look at the cause of the turmoil.  A recent message entitled Investing Internationally shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to take back a number of radio and TV frequencies stations. We promised to stay tuned to what happens and share observations and opinions from trusted sources in Ecuador about this.

Since that time, the Western press has published even more bad sounding news.

A recent AP article entitled “Ecuador Wants Citizen Committees To Defend Gov’t” said:  QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador wants to create local citizen committees that would defend the government and its “revolution” — sparking criticism that the president aims to control opponents in a system reminiscent of Cuba or Venezuela.

Citizen Participation Minister Doris Soliz told Ecuador TV on Thursday that local citizen groups are needed to defend against coups like the one that recently deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, or against outside agitators, noting U.S. military plans to use Colombian bases.

Other articles covered lots of rhetoric from Venezuela’s President about winds of war in the area (Chavez’s commenting on the announcement that the US would place military in Colombia).

Since the daily press distort, dramatize and magnify the negative; here are more comments from Ecuadorian business people with this comments.

Dear Gary: Sorry for the delay in my reply.  Correa is an unpredictable president.  On one hand he tries to emulate everything Chavez has done in Venezuela.  It is clear that Chavez gave him millions to finance his political campaigns and now he is obligated to do whatever Chavez wants.

On the other hand, he knows how far he can push the people of Ecuador.  If he is not careful, he can end up like Zelaya in Honduras.  I see strong confrontations coming if he tries to close radio and TV stations like Chavez did.

As you say in your reports.  We all need to be diversified in order to avoid problems in one place and not have anywhere to go in thing go bad.  I do believe the Ecuadorians are not as passive as the Venezuelans, and if Correa pushes too far he will find out. Let’s wait and see.

I agree with this reader. Ecuadorians are an independent people, and I have watched them (peacefully) oust a number of Presidents who abused their power.

Here is another opinion from one of my many sources.

Gary,  My comments are just some personal opinions and for that reason I prefer that I not receive any credit.   There is some noise going around that Correa wants to have “block leaders” who will report back to the government of any dissent. You can imagine what this means. Stifling dissent. It is a time to be careful and hope the Ecuadorian military remains faithful to the people of Ecuador. While there are so many needs and opportunities in Ecuador to be attended to, one could ask why does the president feel it is necessary to be out speaking of “winds of war blowing” against Colombia?
Anyway, it all comes with the territory of being in the Latin governmental world I suspect.  If the leaders were just humble people looking to improve the lot of their people instead of being megalomaniacs hell bent on being Castro or Hitler, life would be easier for all.

investing-in-chaos

Here are children in a parade in Cotacachi.

Readers should note that it was not Correa, Ecuador’s president who made the comment about Winds of War but Chavez of Venezuela. A lot of press makes it sound like Correa is much more closely aligned with Chavez than I believe he is.  Good or bad, I do believe that Correa is his own man and is pretty independent.

Here is another comment by an Ecuadorian with a great political and historical background.

Thanks for asking.  Correa. He is all right.  His big problem is being too young.  There is
a proverb in Spanish “mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo”.  (
The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil). That is Correa’s problem.  He is not old enough.  Velasco Ibarra who was president five times, was very much like Correa, when he was young. When he grew older he became much more sedated.

Again I agree with this. Everything I have seen has led me to feel that Correa has many good intentions and is trying to correct many wrongs and has a big job.  In his youth he may be too ambitious and impatient.  Time, inertia and politics should correct a lot of that!

Here are more comments.

He usually talks too much.  He talks every Saturday for 3 or 4 hours continuously.  It is not highly recommendable to quote him or mention his speech. Sometimes he just changes his mind. Or does not follow what he mentioned in the previous weekend.

That could describe more than one politician!

I have met the President a couple of times. He actually stopped next to us on the street at 9pm at night and met our son and was very sincere and asked what we thought about how things were here in Ecuador.  He is very headstrong, but I think that he is a very intelligent guy and he knows how to negociate  and what it is going to take for Ecuador to become a stable economy and that is with foreign investment and tourism.

Again this is the way I see it as well.

This is from a Quito businessman:

Dear Gary:  Many thanks for sharing the concerns some of your readers have about President Correa. I get some emails on the subject too.  I should start by saying that I am no fan of President Correa,  far from it. I don’t particularly like his discourse as if from the union trenches of the 60s and 70s.

Some of his economic policies seem to go counter current and his relative closeness with Chavez is a blemish.

Nonetheless, there are merits too, amongst which is great effort in improving education and health care. Also, in attempting to fix some wrongs and distortions we’ve had on several fronts.

In spite of Correa’s antics, Ecuador continues to offer, and perhaps more so than ever, rather remarkable opportunities for real estate investors, visitors and expats.

Let me explain:

The new, fresh-out-of-the-oven, Ecuadorian Constitution states, following with the tradition of the previous one, that foreigners have exactly the same rights as Ecuadorians under the law.

Furthermore, private property is protected under the law as one of the main pillars of our economy. Confiscation is prohibited and eminent domain (expropriation) situations are extremely rare, much less so than what they would be in Miami, London or Toronto for that matter.

While some people may believe that Correa is not particularly pro foreign investment, the reality is that Ecuador, just as the next country, needs investment to prosper and, hence, the President is very welcoming of it, he just demands responsible practices.

While the pitfalls of politics-as-usual and nationalistic grandstanding in Ecuador, can and does preclude some major investments from coming in (picture hydroelectric, oil exploration, etc), for most of us, of your readers Gary, this should not be a problem.

Regarding the Government’s stance towards foreigners coming to Ecuador and investing here, something quite nice and reassuring happened to me recently, which is telling about how reality differs from perception.

Here’s the story:

While working in the concept for a coastal development with international capitals and geared mostly towards foreigners, we realized that better government planning and zoning was needed in the area if we were to spread our wings the fullest.

I decided to call the Production Ministry, which is a high level coordination entity on top of many other ministries in Ecuador to see if they could perhaps give us some light as to getting some better zoning for the area.

I was immediately transferred to the head authority in charge of foreign investments in Ecuador and in a few hours was meeting with him along with other officers from the ministry he had called in.
They were not only incredibly welcoming of our ideas and concepts but asked us to create with them a road map not only for planning and zoning, but for infrastructure, education of the local community, and much more.

They have let me know that they are ready to lend a hand as needed and that when the time comes, once we have things down on a plan we can meet with the secretary of the ministry and even President Correa for further vision.

What is the reason for this incredible support? Well, that they are really pro investments and that when you want to do the right thing, doors become open.

On the subject of visas, something that concerns many foreigners, I can say that the President has prompted a very open regime for foreigners to come to Ecuador. However, some changes in the procedures are driving some of us nuts. We just have to adapt.

In any case, you can expect to get a resident visa in Ecuador in 3 to 6 weeks in most cases. The new director of Migration is quite a gentleman and very open and understanding. It’s a pleasure to work with him.

With regards to some radios being closed, this is something the President declared as a possibility on grounds that some radio frequencies had been granted with irregularities according to an audit. While the audit may be correct, President Correa does have a bitter quarrel with the press and his fixation with it is over the top now.

Getting back to real estate; I’d like to add that foreigners have been investing and buying real estate in Ecuador for some time, and that this is a trend that is seemingly quite on the rise.

I am seeing the start of a major wave here.

Ecuador has excellent real estate opportunities and values and the current international crisis where former “safe havens” have been shattered is making this truth about Ecuadorian real estate all the more compelling.

Investors into Ecuadorian real estate ought to buy soundly into capital preservation and important appreciation potential.

As final thoughts, given the current financial problems the world is seeing, the violence in Mexico fending off tourists and investors… the bursting of the real estate bubbles throughout, the baby-boomers coming of age with individuals lusting for active living with quality of life to boot, Ecuador is starting to make some tremendous sense to many.

Our President may be a bit of a showman (to put it somehow), granted; and we as a nation have a ways to go into maturity; we are rough around the edges, but we may have among the warmest, most welcoming people on earth, and no development can buy that.

We have good infrastructure and low cost of living. Those who see beyond the perception should be able to get in early on the trend, ride this major wave and make the best out of it.

These are good points… especially this one… the government may be talking one way or the other… but look at how it is acting. In this case it appears that the government is pro tourism… pro investment and is welcoming residents from abroad.

Here is one final comment.

Gary, I don’t get involved in my host country’s internal politics.  I am however a strong believer in the Open Society and the value of ideas meeting arguments, so I guess I would prefer more media outlets to fewer.  By the by, Ecuadorians I know say this is the first time they feel they cannot express freely what they feel about their government, for fear of repression.

These are two key points also. I do not get involved in politics anywhere.  My feeling is that time is better spent adapting to whatever the politicians do rather than joining into the political fray. Reality is that if you do business fair and well, whatever the political system is you’ll be welcome.  The second point is about freedom of speech.

I recall feeling fear like this recently when talking to my son over the phone. I was about to make a joke about a certain president and decided not to thinking… I had better not joke about this.  The problem was I was in the US… not Ecuador.

The great technology that has created such great access to information has destroyed our privacy as well…everywhere.

My new real estate acquisitions are in Ecuador . Recent messages have looked at the importance of seeing reality. People write often asking if it‘s safe in Ecuador. I was thinking of the reality of this as Merri and I concluded a long Ecuador morning walk. The birds were singing, roosters crowing in the distance and we saw two very young children, a girl of maybe six or seven and her little brother maybe four or five walking alone through the village on their way to school. This is so typical in Ecuador.

I wondered how many children of that age in North America are allowed to walk alone through town as they are in Ecuador.

investing-in-chaos

More Cotacachi children in a parade.

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

Here are a few facts I know.

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

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

#3: Ecuador schools do not require metal detectors.

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

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

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

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

investing-in-chaos

There is a deep culture in Ecuador.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more about Ecuador diversification here.

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

See details of the two seminars below.

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

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

Investing Internationally


Investing internationally with thought about reflexivity can improve your wealth.

See three thoughts below that can help bring you everlasting wealth.

#1: George Soros’ thoughts on international investment reflexivity and how the power of thought affects investing and business internationally.

#2:  More on Ecuador’s government’s plan to take over a number of  TV and radio frequencies.

#3: An update on international emerging market values…

International Investments & Reflexivity

Investing internationally can bring everlasting wealth if your logic can adapt and focus in new and meaningful ways.  One way to focus your investing logic is by understanding reflexivity.

The term reflexivity was coined by George Soros.   His thinking on investment markets can help investors because the philosophy has proven success.

Part one of his book “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” shows how we as investors and as a society need to think outside the box.  This section of the book makes seven points:

Point #1: Understanding world is inherently imperfect because we are part of the world.

Point #2: There are two functions in our thought… understanding the world … cognitive thought and having impact and taking advantage of the world… manipulative thought.

Point #3:  These two functions counteract one another. Manipulation requires intentions and predictions which are not fact.  So our beliefs and expectations can hinder our ability to see fact.

Soros writes in this book: “Take the stock market as an example People buy and sell stocks in anticipation of future stock prices, but those prices are contingent on the investors’ expectations. These expectations cannot qualify as knowledge.

Point #4:  Supply and demand are not independent of people’s expectations.  This means that the element of uncertainty cannot be be eliminated. Yet market theory that rules most investing and most government intervention in markets ignores this fact.

Point #5:  Social events have a different structure from natural phenomena.  Natural phenomena has a causal chain that connects one event directly to the next.  Human affairs include participant’s views. These views affect the causal effect and the participant’s views which creates self reinforcing loops.

Point #6: Natural events happen. Participants can affect what happens next with their decisions but cannot base their decisions on true knowledge because their decisions alter the truth.

Point #7:  At times reflexivity makes the abnormal normal.

Soros’ philosophy is supported by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known exactly.  The more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. It is impossible to measure both position and velocity of a microscopic particle with any degree of accuracy or certainty. This is not only a statement about the limitations of a researcher’s ability to measure particular quantities of a system, it is a statement about the nature of the system itself… the fact that the act of measuring anything alters the very thing being measured.

This would make it seem that we cannot really gain an understanding of what will happen with any international investment or business.   This is true.

However there are ways we can come closer to understanding… because we are a part of nature, which by definition makes us part of and in touch with everything.

Access to this infinite knowledge is via our more subtle brain waves.

Access to these waves can come in many forms.

Soros claims to have many ways to access this greater knowledge but in his book his son wrote:  My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, at least half of this is bullshit. I mean you know the reason he changes his position in the market is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning sign.

Some would call it intuition, instinct, gut feeling and perhaps these are just ways of describing getting in touch with a deeper, non linear, infinite field of intelligence that all receive but few tune in.

We cannot define infinity and logical thought by definition must be linear.

Final decisions should be rational and should come from our logic… but logic by its nature must be focused on a very narrow path.  This means we need a way to let our intuition tell us when we need to shift the focus of our logic on a new path outside the box.

One way the yatchaks (means to know) of the Andes and wise people everywhere is to look for signs of nature.

One term used for these signs is totems.  For example, my totem is the Heron.

So let’s ask what in the heck do Herons have to do with international investments?

The answer is nothing and yet everything…

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Here is an explanation about totems from Speaker for the Animals:

Heron – Aggressive – Self-Reliance – Self Determination  Heron links two worlds: the waters of life—the Unconscious, and the air—the realm of the conscious mind. He feeds on fishes, which symbolize the treasures of the Unconscious mind: spiritual nourishment for the Seeker. Yet he is also a creature of the Earth, so he is a grounding influence for people who spend too much time in their minds and who are called to ‘fish’ in the waters of the unconscious.

The legs of Heron are long to “stand” the deep waters of the Unconscious: the Waters of Lethe bring sleepiness and unconsciousness if one is not awake, aware and wary. Heron is a solitary fisher; if you call upon Heron to be your own totem, you must be able to stand alone as you seek, for there is no one to call on should you step into too-deep waters.

Heron’s strength for those of us who spend too much time ‘in our minds’ is that he brings one down to Earth. With Heron as your guide, he will bring you to ground to explore life here in the physical instead of just daydreaming or losing oneself in one’s imagination or dreams.

We’re unconventional, hearing our own inner drummer. We don’t worry about ‘keeping up with the Jones’s, doing what others do, believing what others believe, valuing what others value. If there is a weakness, it is that Heron works too hard at its fishing because he is a superb ‘stalker.’ He spends long hours standing and watching for a movement in the water, and needs sometimes to ‘loosen up’ and spend more time playing, courting lady herons or just snoozing in the Sun.

Most people, as Ted Andrews says in his book Animal Speak, would never choose to live this way: “It is not a structured way, and does not have a stability or security to it. It is though, just a matter of perspective. There is security in heron medicine, for it gives the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way doesn’t work, then another will.”

Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance. This is a valuable character trait in these times of conformity and homogenization of values. Heron people can stand alone, listen to their own inner wisdom, and go their own way when everyone else is conforming to society’s commands. In this way, they build their own ways to be as well as choose their own way of doing. They are individuals first.

Herons are active in my life and I have painted one (inspired by Audobon’s Heron) that hangs in the entrance to our house.

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So when the Great Blue Heron that lives on Little Horse Creek flew from our high mountain bog right over this morning, I dug out my copy of Animal Speak.

international-investent-thought

I rethought my business and investments in contrast to the symbolism of the heron.  This never happens without my coming up with some worthy thought.  Today it related to a partnership I was looking into.  I reread Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance.

This started me rethinking if Merri and I really want a partner. This started me looking at the business in a very different way.

Ecuador shamans and yatchaks use this process extensively and call it shape shifting. They place themselves in the spirit of their totem and this forces them to think about whatever subject they are concerned with in a different way… thinking like a heron or eagle or condor definitely puts you out of the box!

I did not come to any conclusions about my business decisions because I saw a heron.  The fact I saw a heron caused me to sit down and use my logic to rethink my plans in a different way.

Learn more about how to improve your thought process here.

Ecuador Radio and TV

On the subject of Ecuador, a previous message shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to seize a number of radio and TV stations and promised to stay tuned to what happens.  I have asked many of my trusted sources in Ecuador for their opinions which we’ll share in various messages.  Here are two from businessmen in Ecuador.

The first contributor was quite negative when he wrote:  The first thing to take into account is that he is actually proposing control over the press not only within the countries but at a international
level. What he is saying is that countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others, should create an international committee that will oversee what the media is saying about the governments.

Ecuador is following the Venezuelan model, so if you see that Chávez is pushing for a new legislation that control the media and whatever content they have that may “threaten” the nation security, Ecuador will follow that soon. Below is what Venezuela is doing, they actually want to sensor the information that the media exposes meaning that if who oversees the media thinks that this or that information is “bad” for the country, the media or the anchor will actually face justice and may even go to jail for at least four years. They closed 32 radio stations and 2 tv stations.

Rafael Correa, the President, said that his team was about to revoke some radio frequencies depending on the outcome of a report that his government is finishing. This will mean that whatever happens will be done in the next weeks. Critics claim that this was not done on a technical level but on a political one, opening the door for the government to possibly revoke the frequencies of radio stations or TV stations that oppose the government.   On this matter nothing is sure yet, but Conartel, which oversees the media, actually punished a TV station, Teleamazonas, that opposes the government.  The fines were applied to that TV station one time, by law the second time they must close for about 90 days and the third time they must close forever. They censored the Simpsons also from that TV station and there was a public outcry because Conartel and the government threaten to punish them.  We figure that since he started a new period, things will start to happen in the coming weeks, so far nothing is concrete yet.

He was not totally negative though and added: One thing although is that the government is not talking about taking over TV stations or radio stations, but revoking the frequencies. But take this into account, the government actually took over some private TV stations, they got them as part of a debt that Filanbanco, a bank, had with the government back in the crisis of 1999. This appears to be a separate thing. On the same takeover they got two TV stations plus a newspaper El Telégrafo.

The second contributor feels good about this new and wrote:  Hi Gary,  I have lived here full time for over 9 years and have seen the corruption and I believe that Correa’s intentions are more good than bad. I believe that many things that he does for a good reason while he is working on removing corruption are turned into bad press by the opposition. The same opposition that stole from the people of Ecuador throughout history, and want to regain control and steal from them again. I think that the Wall Street Journal article you wrote about says a lot. It says to me that he is going through the licenses one by one to find out if the licenses were granted illegally through corruption and payoffs. If they were granted legally, no problem…..and if they weren’t we are going to suspend the license and you will have a chance to prove that you obtained it legally.  A year or so ago, two television stations were taken over, with the same uproar in the press. But the truth is that they were taken over because the owners of those two stations were the owners of one of the banks that went under when they took all of the depositors money and went to Miami to live happily ever after. Well, Correa went after their assets ( a first for a president to go after someone like this) and some of those assets were the two tv stations. So we need to look past what the press says as many of them are owned by this type of opposition. I see Correa in a similar boat that President Vicente Fox of Mexico was in a few years ago, when His party was elected after over 100 years of severe corruption by the ruling party and he wanted to remove that corruption. He was also fought along the way by the opposition that wanted the power back to again steal from the people. It is a very difficult job that Correa has ahead of him, and I hope that he can succeed and become possibly the best president that Ecuador has ever had.  Regards.

We’ll be providing a full report on the radio and TV position to our Ecuador Living subscribers

Emerging Markets Update

We’ll share more comments about international investments in Ecuador in upcoming messages… but let’s use our logic here to look some more at international investments in all emerging markets.

One problem many investors have when using non linear approaches to international investments is that they forget the final logical step…. which is to come back and end in the logical mode.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should just ignore what is in the box. We want to use our logic to reflect on “in-the-box-stuff” in different ways.  If we do not know what’s in the box then we won’t know when we are out of the box.   Boxes exist for a reason.  At times the box.. assuming the box is the norm… but Soros says “is abnormal.”    We need to conclude if the box is normal or abnormal which dictates that we do examine what’s in the box.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should abandon logic.

So I may sit down and rethink everything… or something I am doing when I see a heron… but I add that to my traditional logical thought.

This is one reason why we regularly review Michael Keppler’s major and emerging market value analysis.  Kepler is a statistical genius and guru…. very institutional… logical mathematical .

What I search for are strokes of intuition supported by such logic.

This morning for example their were three crows grazing our front yard.

Stock market investors sometimes refer to three crows as a pattern of successive declining stock prices over three days often identified by overlapping candlestick patterns. Three crows are often seen as a warning of a period of powerful selling pressure on the stock market.

This does not mean I rushed out and sold all my shares. It does mean I looked at logical data like Keppler’s value analysis to see if the logic supports the intuition.

Here is an excerpt from our last multi currency portfolios update that shows Keppler’s mathematical logic.

Emerging Markets equities recorded their highest ever quarterly return. In the second quarter 2009, the MSCI Emerging Markets Total Return Index gained 34.7 % in US dollars and 27.5 % in euros.

This brings the year-to-date total return of the global Emerging Markets benchmark to 36 % in US dollars and 34.8 % in euros.

All markets covered here were up last quarter. Hungary (+69.7 %), India (+59.8 %) and Turkey (+56.6 %) had the most impressive returns.

Peru (+11.2 %), Israel (+15.8 %) and Morocco (+19.6 %) came in at the bottom of the performance range with what would be very desirable double-digit returns under normal circumstances.

In the second quarter 2009, the Emerging Markets Top Value Model Portfolio, which invests according to the Top Value Strategy and assumes index returns for each national market included in the strategy, gained 45.5 % in US dollars and 37.7 % in euros, outperforming the benchmark by 10.8 percentage points in US dollars and by 10.2  percentage points in euros.

There were two changes in our performance ratings last quarter: Korea was downgraded to “Sell” from “Neutral” and Brazil was upgraded to “Buy” from “Sell”.

The Top Value Model Portfolio now contains the eight “buy” rated markets: Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey at equal weights.

It is unusual for a market to rise all the way from sell to buy as Brazil did this quarter. This is in keeping with our thoughts on Brazil Distortion Thoughts published in  April and June.

You can see the password protected pages and full emerging markets update and a warning about these values as a Multi Currency Portfolio subscriber.

Whether you plan to have international investments, an international business or non at all, it will become increasingly  important to think outside the box as change accelerates and new social and economic paradigms are required.  Whether you use backaches, gut feel, hunches, totems or meditation and prayer… new ways to focus your logic an help you have everlasting wealth.

Gary

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

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

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

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

See details of the two seminar below.

international-investments-seminar

Thomas Fischer teaching at our IBEZ seminar.

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

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

international-investing

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador tiles are one great product attract many international businesses.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course: Thanks so much.  I have been following the advice in your Multi Currency Course/International Investing monthly and have added selected suggested funds from your lists which are available in my Fidelity IRA.  Even though my transactions are in SMALL amounts for stock and ETFs I am almost back up to the total invested amount prior to the stock market dive of last year.   Your emails have given incentive to keep diversified investments when I know other people are selling out.

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

See the entire explanation of herons at speakerfortheanimals

Retire & Earn Abroad


Here is another reason to Retire and & Earn Abroad.

Yesterday’s message on lifestyle and Ecuador diversification was really backed up by Uncle Sam quickly!

Whether you retire in Ecuador or anywhere outside your home.. you want diversification. See why below!

retire-in-ecuador

One benefit of retiring in Ecuador is that it can help the poor there.

Yesterday’s article worried about weather change being called a threat to national security and wondered if this concept could further erode human rights.

I never imagined the very next day we would have even more concern… yet an article by James Risen in the New York Times entitled:  “U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban” must give us pause.

Here is an excerpt:  WASHINGTON — Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed, reflecting a major shift in American counternarcotics strategy in Afghanistan, according to a Congressional study to be released this week.

United States Marines on a recent raid in Helmand Province. Under a new policy, drug traffickers are subject to being killed.

United States military commanders have told Congress that they are convinced that the policy is legal under the military’s rules of engagement and international law. They also said the move is an essential part of their new plan to disrupt the flow of drug money that is helping finance the Taliban insurgency.

retire-in-ecuador

Part of our work at Meson de las Flores was to continue a policy at our hotel to feed the poor. We always keep a pot of nutritious stew on the stove and our less fortunate are welcome any time of the day.  Above is one of our regular guests.

The problem is that the erosion of rights creeps upon us in small steps… like income tax. When to raise revenue to fund the Civil War, an income tax was introduced in the United States with the Revenue Act of 1861. It was a flat rate tax of 3% on annual income above $800.

When the idea was contested on concerns that the tax, once established, would grow, one Congressman stated that there was no way the population would let the tax ever be higher than 3%.   Yet a year later  flat tax this was replaced with a graduated tax of 3-5% on income above $600 in the Revenue Act of 1862.

This act made tax temporary ending in 1866.  Regretfully, perhaps, in 1866, income tax collections reached their highest point ever, over $310 million.  This made the tax popular and today we can see the effects of the small steps… one freedom eroded at a time.

So where does the legal right to kill drug dealers lead?  If it is legal to kill Afghan drug dealers to disrupt the flow of drug money that finance insurgency, what about drug dealers in Mexico that are financing insurgency in the US?  Can we kill them too?  If so, how about if we catch them in the US, can we kill them there?   If so what if they are US citizens or residents?  Can we still kill them?  Can the army become involved… in the name of national security?  Do they have to check a person’s passport before they shoot the drone at them?

These are tough calls, but somehow making it legal for the army to kill non combatants seems like a small step in the wrong direction.

retire-in-ecuador

Merri and I visiting a village that our foundation supports… helping the old and supporting the young by improving their school.  This is a fulfilling retirement activity.

Yet loss of rights is not the only reason we might want to live or retire in Ecuador or elsewhere, full or part time, for diversification.

The rising cost of living makes it difficult to retire in the West.  Plus though taxes are rising… benefits for those who retire are not.

A recent BBC article “Pension age could rise further” shows how the rot in England has grown. An excerpt says:  The state pension retirement age could be increased further, the UK’s pensions regulator has told the BBC.

David Norgrove said rising life expectancy meant millions of people would “undoubtedly” have to wait longer in future to draw a state pension.

People will not save as much for retirement as in the past, with many people “frightened” to do so, he said.

The state pension age is due to rise to 68, and Pensions Minister Angela Eagle said there were no plans to raise that.

Currently, the state pension age is 60 for women and 65 for men, but four years ago Lord Turner published a report calling for it to rise to 68 for everyone by 2044.

But Mr Norgrove said he thought it would end up higher.

Mr Norgrove said: “People are going to have to work longer, partly because we’re not going, as a nation, to save as much for retirement as we did in the past.” He added: “The government’s recent legislation is increasing the state retirement age progressively to 68. I think it will end up higher than that.”

retire-in-ecuador

Part of our program is to get readers who retire in Ecuador involved helping the poor.  We also offer roses and donate the proceeds to help people like this charming woman.  See more about her, and how the roses help, here.

Another reason to retire in Ecuador is that business opportunity seems to be rising there as it falls in the north.

A recent USA Today article. “Business bankruptcies up 240% since 2006”, by Christine Dugas outlines a US retirement and lifestyle problem.  Here is an excerpt of that article:

Entrepreneurship and new small businesses are supposed to lead us out of the recession, just as they have in prior downturns, right?  Sure.

Your neighbor’s grand idea will persuade a bank to lend her start-up money; she’ll open for business in six weeks; and money will immediately flow from customers to her to her employees. Taxes will be paid, and the national economic engine will hum effortlessly in no time. If only.

Today shows a different reality: Commercial bankruptcies are surging. Fewer people are starting small businesses, and firms already open are struggling under changing consumer habits, a lack of funding options and tougher bankruptcy laws. If a nationwide trend seen since January holds true, more than 300 businesses will file for bankruptcy today alone.

The first five months of this year have shown a 52% increase in the total number of commercial bankruptcy filings (36,106) compared with the same period last year (23,829), according to the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records. On average thus far in 2009, some 350 commercial enterprises file for bankruptcy daily an increase of 240% from 2006, the first year after the bankruptcy law was changed.

Major corporate failures, like GM and Chrysler, flash across front pages and websites. But the vast majority of commercial bankruptcies, which are not separated by size of firm by data keepers, are filed by entrepreneurs and small-business owners, says Robert Lawless, professor of law at University of Illinois.

Troubling for the economy, say Lawless and Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, is the double-whammy of fewer start-ups and increasing bankruptcies.

“In the past, small-business formation increased in a recession because people had self-employment thrust upon them,” he says. “One avenue out of economic hard times self-employment has become less attractive, because the bankruptcy law is less forgiving” and there are fewer options for those entrepreneurs to get bank loans or to find funding elsewhere.

Small business is considered the backbone of the economy. In the past, new businesses led economic recoveries, McCracken says. Small businesses  those with fewer than 500 employees  make up half of the gross domestic product and account for most job growth.

Problems from the devastated housing market, overall recession and suffering major industries all funnel down to small businesses, especially those that supply the troubled corporations.

Household spending cutbacks reach far, too. Dual-income families who are now single-income may no longer need or be able to afford child care, so many of those services are going out of business, says Lester Thompson, a bankruptcy lawyer in Dayton. Sporting goods stores and lawn-mowing services also have struggled.

Small-business bankruptcy filings jumped the most in the Los Angeles and Chicago metro areas, according to Equifax. But even smaller areas of the country are experiencing a big increase.

Many small businesses owe so much money to creditors that there is no future. Such owners often file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut their businesses for good.

The credit crunch is a major contributor to the rise in filings.

Loan dollar volume from the U.S. Small Business Administration has increased 35% since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed on Feb. 17, according to the SBA. Even so, a National Federation of Independent Business trend report states that in May the percentage of business owners reporting that loans are harder to get rose to 16%, the highest reading since the 1980-82 recession.

With that reality, and loath to dip into their retirement savings, struggling small-business owners have few options other than bankruptcy. When the bankruptcy law changed in 2005 it was mostly aimed at curbing abuse of personal bankruptcy filing. But it also singled out small businesses for harsher treatment, and those changes did not apply to larger corporations, Lawless says.

Bankruptcy is still the only option for many small-business owners who are hanging by a thread.

This is why the idea of living or retiring in Ecuador or elsewhere, at least part time,  for diversification and global earning potential makes sense because opportunity is growing elsewhere.

retire-in-ecuador

Nothing makes our retirement problems diminish faster than helping those who have even greater needs.

An excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article “Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index Up” by Mercedes Alvaro says: QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index, measured by Deloitte and Touche, surged 5% in May to 93.2 points, compared with May 2008, the company said in its monthly report.

Deloitte said the index recovered by 31% in May against April, returning to the levels registered during the last quarter of 2008.

The Index’ recovery is largely due to the waning perception among executives of a deterioration of the country’s economic and political conditions, it said.

Deloitte found that 45% of those surveyed are less optimistic about the economy compared with April, while 52% perceive no change.

The slow but steady increase in oil prices and the revival of the global economy are grounds for expecting that the economy in Ecuador could improve by year’s end or in early 2010.

Questioned about the performance of their businesses, 34% said they had lower sales compared to the previous months and 39% reported revenues down on the same period of last year.

The survey found 20% reported a reduction in their workforce compared to the previous month.

Around 57% of the business leaders surveyed said that the country’s socio-economic situation makes it difficult to attract foreign investment.

Blue-ridge-mountains

We should help our neighbors at home as well. This is why we are developing environmentally sensitive, sustainable programs to encourage value-added, employment in the Blue Ridge as well.

I have written many times about the benefits of retiring in Small Town USA for lifestyle diversification as well. See more on lifestyle diversification at Inspired to Retire

We can see below why diversification remains important even if we retire in Ecuador.

Just because we want to live or retire in Ecuador does not mean that Ecuador does not have its own creeping erosion of rights problems as well.  An August 3 news.Yahoo article says: Correa: Ecuador to take over radio, TV stations.  QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says “many” radio and TV frequencies will revert to state control due to what he’s calling irregularities.  The president has been at war with Ecuador’s news media since taking office in January 2007. He has called TV stations and newspapers corrupt and mediocre, and twice fined an opposition broadcaster.  Correa did not specify Monday what sort of abuses or irregularities broadcasters have committed. Nor did he name any alleged offenders.

An August 5th update on this matter in the Wall Street Journal says: Ecuador Govt Braces For Reaction To Radio, TV Takeovers

QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s government is expecting “strong reactions” to a report that will determine which television and radio stations will revert to state control.

Antonio Garcia, chairman of Ecuador’s National Radio and Television Board, said Wednesday that a report will be issued next week on which stations the government will take over.

President Rafael Correa’s government has alleged that a number of stations received their broadcasting concessions illegitimately and said that “many” would revert to state hands.

Correa’s announcement came on the heels of the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Ecuadorian president’s close ally, shutting down 34 privately-owned radio stations last weekend.

An initial report by an Ecuadorian government commission last year found that 236 of 1,637 frequencies had obtained their concessions illegally.

Garcia brushed off what he called “alarmist accounts” that all radio and television stations will revert to state control and that the government is looking at them on a case-by-case basis.”

He said that some media outlets, however, are “trying to misinform” viewers and listeners.

We’ll stay tuned to what happens with this takeover  at our Ecuador Living  Service.

The greatest asset for diversification is the ability to earn wherever you live and to keep your investments safe.

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

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

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

See details of the two seminar below.

Here is Thomas Fischer talking with seminar delegates at a recent international investing course that I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Management.

retire-in-ecuador

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

retire-in-ecuador

Seminar delegates visiting Otavalo market looking for Ecuador export ideas.

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

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

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

Learn more about the power of  Ecuador export ideas

See WSJ article Ecuador’s government braces for reaction

See NYT article U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban