Tag Archive | "real estate broker"

Small Town Benefits


There are many small town benefits.

Because we have a big focus on Ecuador… many readers mistakenly think we are promoters of Ecuador. Actually this is not quite true. We are more lovers of small towns and Ecuador has some great small towns and villages.  Anyone who reads our Ecuador messages will see that we do not write much about living in the big cities of Quito or Guayaquil.

However we have also always had a focus on Smalltown USA and now that real estate prices are so affordable in the US… we are looking at this more.

Merri and I just returned from a West Coast USA trip…. California, Oregon and Washington.

There are some great places there as I thought that the note below from a reader is worth sharing:

smalltown-oregon-real-estate

View of Mt. Hood from small town Oregon property for sale.

Gary, I just joined your Ecuador Living Service and am looking forward to those aromatic  Mother’s Day Roses!   I’d like to start the new membership with my contribution to your Small TownUSA pool of choice properties.

I’m Gary’s age and have been a one woman rodeo, wearing several hats over the decades, TWA instructor, herbalist, Naturopath,  Real Estate Broker, custom log home builder.    Building a log home model, landing a few projects, selling and repeating the process enabled me to live rurally & happily.  I rode with the natural feast & famines, took some falls, got back up, dusted myself off and kept on going.

I’ve finally started listening to my body and realize that it’s been screaming at me for sometime.   I have been so busy with other things and our Non Profit Rescue/Sanctuary that I’ve not taken the time to tune into my own body and the broadcast that it’s been repeating over and over.

Now is the time for me to make some dynamic life style changes, to slow down the pace, stop burning that candle and look more at the quality of life in connection to my body than to look at how much work I can push through in a day.  Even computers have their limits on how much they can multi process.

Rather than incur debt and spend my sacred energy to finish this product, I’d like to be wiggling my toes in the Ecuadorian sand this time next year and be sitting around one of your Shamanic Circles.   I’ve lived in 5 countries, have  traveled to 80 (including Ecuador) and want Ecuador to be our new home.  While a vacation would be an obvious solution, it’s just not practical for us.  I  thought your creative readers might be interested in benefiting from this piece of Small Town USA..

Growing up in Portland you may already know Goldendale?  Unlike Portland, 40 years has not changed many things  here, same dog- same corner!

People still wave at you, still no traffic signals.  The work ethic is strong and cowboys still show up at local restaurants wearing their spurs.   Twice yearly traffic jams may inconvenience you 15 minutes or so while families herd their cattle, on  horses with herding dogs, to the lush high country  spring grass and another 15 minute traffic jam as they  are rounded up and herded home in the fall.

Goldendale is in the Columbia River Gorge area at the base of the Simcoe mountains, where the wet, rainy west meets the moderate, sunny (300 days yearly) central part of the state.   A town with less than 4,000 population may not have everything you want, but it has everything you need, not the least of which is tranquility!

We enjoy the undulating fields of alfalfa,  rodeos, organic cattle ranches, bison,  nearby wineries,  mouth-watering fruit, outdoor concerts, world-class fishing,  birding, hiking, noted observatory, horse trails, rock climbing, petroglyphs, wind surfing, skiing,  snow-mobiling,  golf,  organic foods and more horses than people!

This is the potential ultimate  primary home “get away”,  multi-generation property, corporate retreat or retirement lodge style home offering just about every amenity required in a dream home of dignified proportions and rural surroundings.

smalltown-oregon-real-estate

House front.

An impressive 20 acre site, all usable,  forested with pines in the front and back  for privacy, compelling views of Mt. Hood,  Mt. Adams, the Simcoes,  western sunsets, fantastic sunrises,  pasture & great fertile soil.    Truly  the ultimate for the discriminating home owner near unlimited recreational opportunities and located near the end of a dead end, maintained, gravel road, just 1.5 miles to pavement.

Main portion of home needs finishing with  interior touches  such as flooring, counter tops, professional kitchen range, some paint, closet furniture/doors, baseboard, window trim.  Nothing beyond the average ability of any homeowner.   Exterior needs some 2nd story siding, fascia, some window trim.

Attached/separate  conference/rec room & upstairs suite needs to be finished, it is to the dried in stage.  Handy folks could easily finish this project, estimate including materials for about $50,000, others could spend that much on landscaping.

Property would benefit from expanded photovoltaics & batteries.

Plenty of room for an indoor riding arena to enjoy out-the-driveway-and-to-the-hills-riding.

Replacement costs today, this location including improvements about $763,120, finished listing price would realistically be in the neighborhood of $1,200,000, this type of home appreciates due to:

superior construction
uniqueness
scarcity
multi generational capability
Columbia Gorge area location

Cash is a great motivator, will also consider Ecuadorian property exchange  + cash.

Rustically Elegant Hand Hewn Log Home
12 miles outside Small Town USA
45 minutes to The Dalles Oregon and 2 hours to Portland

20 acres with breathtaking views

Off grid, with Photovoltaic, small wind generators, grid available

4,300+/-sq ft 6 x 14″ ogs
Multi generational capability (Nanny, family, business conference)  separate access suite consists of laundry, bath, kitchenette, bedroom, spacious living room .

Below is a conference/home theater with planned wet bar, framed to dry in stage.

Main portion has 3 bedrooms plus loft, 2 full baths, 2 half baths

Hi tech control center, entire home  “smart” wired rough in,  multiple phones,  data, network, security
Hi speed, wireless internet access, the only one on this street, with 14 mile line of site access

Hand crafted efficient, full  masonry  “Rumford” radiant fireplace w 4 x 4 firebox

soaring interior radiant stone chimney with  stone hearth  & life size metal Bison head on tile border

smalltown-oregon-for-sale

Fireplace not showing 4 x 4 fireplace/hearth.

European style clay  “Bakeoven” for tasty European style breads & pizzas

toasty warm ceramic tile floors with radiant floor heating

8′ wide  front entry steps, 8′ wide rear deck steps

Central vac w kitchen dust bin, rough in, new unit in box

24′ x 48′ shop/barn  with  10′ side extensions for storage or horses

24′ x 36′ upstairs of shop/barn has   “caretaker” quarters, gas hook up,  full bath, kitchen area

50 x 50 Medicine wheel garden & Feng Shui perfect picket fence, with Mt. Hood View through arbor

property fenced with 5′ no climb horse fence/cross fenced, 6′ no climb w rail road ties for stallion area

smalltown-oregon-real-estate

Front pasture gate.

Some interesting websites of the area:

http://www.klickitat-trail.org/                                       Klickitat Trail Conservancy
http://wdfw.wa.gov/viewing/birds/index.htm               Birding in Klickitat County’
http://bchw.org/lnt/main/BCHWhistory.htm                Back Country Horsemen of Washington
http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/                                 Maryhill Museu
m

For details contact Toni Reita at toni@happytailsrescue.com

Neither Merri or I are involved in this offer in anyway and are just passing this along as part of our Smalltown USA focus.

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.  

Small Business Tangled Idea


Here is a tangled small business idea that can untangle complications in your life and career.

Cotacachi-Otavalo

See how this woman may help make your life better… and you hers.

This tangled thought begins with two of the major themes at this site… “turn your passion into profit” and “embrace change”.

Yet momentum off us keeps us locked in a rut… until something like the recent economic crash breaks or ends our routine or job.

Such seeming problems can lead us to our real passions and desires.

otavalo-Ecuador

People like this can make a new business for you fun… and you theirs.

Excerpts from a recent USA Today article “For some, hard times are a gateway to new careers” by Rick Hampson explains how (the bolds are mine): To  cope with the recession, people like Sussy Deleon are coming up with creative ways to make a buck. Listen to Deleon, who was in real estate, describe her new business: selling pinatas handcrafted by artisans in Guatemala.

For millions of Americans, the recession has been a curse. For a relative few, it’s something more complicated: A catalyst for change. An opportunity to grow.  A kick in the butt.

In some cases, economic necessity has been the mother of re-invention. It has forced people to pursue careers they might never have considered if they hadn’t gotten — or quit before getting — the ax.  Their optimism is based on two convictions: That even in hard times, people still will spend on things like their dogs, their kids and their looks; and that things such as flexible hours, casual dress and a shorter commute are worth a few lost dollars.  Above all, they agree that if they hadn’t been pushed, they never would have made the leap.

Andrea Kay, author of Life’s a Bitch and Then You Change Careers, says many people hang onto jobs they don’t like, oblivious to the fact that their unhappiness — which they mistakenly think they can hide — hurts their performance and attitude.

It’s the same in every economic downturn, says David Kyvig, a Northern Illinois University historian who wrote Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940: “When things are going well, we tend to stay with what’s working. When they don’t, we explore something new.”  In a surprising number of cases, we’re happier — “if, after the shock, anger and fear, someone is willing to see there’s an opportunity to do something different,” Kay says. “Then they ask, ‘Why did I wait so long?’ “

Research indicates that workers who change jobs generally are more satisfied in their new positions than their old ones, even though they often take cuts in salary and benefits, AARP economist Sara Rix says.

A new idea

Sussy Deleon got her idea for a recession-proof business at her son’s first birthday party.  The young guests couldn’t break the piñata to get at the goodies. The piñata, made in China, was cardboard, not wire-and-tissue paper like those in Deleon’s native Guatemala.  When the recession dried up her real estate sales practice in Providence, she decided to import piñatas handcrafted by Guatemalan artisans in designs ranging from animals to clowns to spaceships. Deleon, 39, sells them at her new shop, the Piñata Center, for $40 to $50.  “People still have some money to spend, and they’re going to spend it on their kids” — particularly on special occasions, she says.  After four months in business, Deleon’s begun to make enough to cover her costs.

A passion Caroline Blake knew what she didn’t like — her job — and what she did — animals. The result was a new career in pet care.  A year ago, Blake, 29, of Kenilworth, N.J, was a recruiter for an IT consulting firm that was laying people off. Fearing she was next, she quit. She bought a Fetch! Pet Care franchise for $10,000. Some friends were skeptical. “You’re leaving a good-paying job to walk dogs?” she says one asked.

Blake often works seven days a week, starting as early as 6:30 a.m., with a last walk at 11 p.m. She went three months this summer without a Sunday off.  She has integrated pet care into her lifestyle — while sunbathing around the pool or watching TV. She’ll even jog with a dog.
She charges $18 for a 30-minute visit and $55 a night to keep a dog overnight at her home. She also provides overnight sitters. She says she still makes a fine living, about 75% of what she earned as a consultant. “Smartest thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “Every day, a different dog.”

Trying something different Springs, 45, was laid off in April. In her next job she wanted security, and she wanted to make things with her hands. After considering more gender-typical jobs — nursing, teaching — she settled on a six-month welding program at Central Piedmont Community College, with $4,000 in tuition and fees covered by federal stimulus money.  She’s the only woman enrolled in the six-month program. Her first welding job should pay $28 to $32 an hour, about twice what she made as a driver.  “When you get knocked down, you brush yourself off and get up,” Springs says. “My daughter’s watching my response. Does she see me wallow in pity or try something different?”

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 or how to market your prodcut or service over the internet.

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.

Cotacachi-Otavalo

Meet these Otavalo textiles producers  at our next Ecuador export tour Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Help these wonderful people expand their businesses as you begin yours.

Or come to our January 2010 Ecuador export tour.

May I add that we have done  a pretty good job helping readers start their own business already? Here are a few examples of small businesses that have been started with our help.

From Sandra, a restaurant owner:

“Dear Gary and Merri, yes I did it! Without you and your wonderful writing class I would not have been able to see my potential!! I THANK YOU BOTH! You told me to write about what I know and I did. Thank you for all the encouragement. Starting today, we are taking orders and I wanted you to be the first to know! So here goes…..I have some exciting news to share! I have just written my first book and very much appreciate your help. This book would make a great gift for any bride-to-be or even the parents of the bride (especially if they’re paying the bill)! Please check it out. I genuinely appreciate you helping me spread the word! Thank you!! Sandra”

Recently Sandra wrote again: Hi dear ones,  I just wanted to share an update with you.  Look what we are doing for Feed The Children and introducing our hCard Program to their schools!  Remember it was at your meeting, that Marvin and I met.  He is now our vice president!

Remember the book I wanted to write while attending your class in the mountains…….I did finish it and now it has been “purchased” as an online downloadable version. for a network marketing company.  Learn more about Feed the children and Sandra’s book form Sandra Burnett at sburn10@aol.com.

From Jerusha, an anthropologist:

“Hello Gary and Merri. I am the first in the class to publish! I published a calendar!

“I posted the lulu site on the forum because it looks like a good place to start for people. It is a lot of fun and very easy to do. Jerusha”

From Todd, a wedding photographer:

“Thanks, Gary and Merri name recognition is beginning. Here is my new photoletter that your program helped me develop. I’m getting more clear about my own marketing now, so I may be able to better advantage of it. I am planning now to send out an email once a week showcasing new photos and creating awareness for my products and services. By mid July, I will place my first greeting card order (with a printing company Merri recommended in Cotacachi). So, I will soon have an inexpensive product to offer along with the more expensive prints that I sell. So far, I’ve got 60 opt-on subscribers to my email list, and I am telling everyone I know about it, so it’s starting to grow nicely. My first goal is to have 1000 readers. I’ll see how quickly I can accomplish it. Take care, Todd” Learn more about Todd’s business at todd@toddsmithphotography.com

From Mickey, a real estate broker:

“I want to say thank you for the inspiration and encouragement that I received through your publishing program. I recently published a 28 page booklet” Naples is Priceless “. This FREE booklet is being distributed through the Chamber of Commerce, banks, hotels etc. With over 25 years as a Naples Realtor I can now let potential real estate buyers gain knowledge and inside tidbits about this beautiful area. Again, thank you for helping me develop my potential. Micky”

From Michelle who was on disability: “Hi Guys, I have been working my tail off applying the stuff that I learned from both your publishing seminar. Amazing how much meat I keep pulling out of those conferences! I want you to be the first ones to know that I just finished my first e-book: “A Practical Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits”. I am very excited!

“You have no idea how much I have learned and continue to learn from both of you and how my life has changed since I met you. Having learned from you the basic premise of diversification, how to follow your passion and tap into your personal knowledge base, I seem to have one opportunity after another present itself and I am making the best of it. The really exciting thing is that this has allowed me to build a foundation which I continue to use to launch my new endeavors. The possibilities are endless!

“Here’s an Update : “I get on average 368 – 522 visits per day! And I rank in the top 2 pages of Google search for tons of keywords below are just a few:  holistic living tips 1 and 2 out of 1,620,000 – definition healthy spirit 1 and 2 out of 1,840,000 – emotional healthy living 1 out of 2,060,000 – benefits of Healthy Living 6 and 7 out of 2,420,000 -holistic wealth 3 out of 1,810,000 – definition of healthy 7 out of 2,910,000 – healthy holistic living 2 and 3 out of 1,980,000 – holistic living Google 14 out of 2,300,000 – holistic health tips 10 out of 1,960,000

“ Gary you are right the internet is the Great Equalizer! See what I have published,  My best to you as always, Michelle”

Since sending that note Michelle’s site has grown to over 1,000 visits a day! Learn more about Michelle’s business from her at mtoole2@tampabay.rr.com

We hope to help you take advantage of the great economic shifts we are experiencing now create your own business which is why I am making a special offer below.

Gary

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

You can now get Tangled Web, How to Have an Internet Business  and my other two business courses described above free.

I am giving everyone who enrolls in all our seminars or tours for any one month, October, November or December 2009, the online courses “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Yet there is even more.

Join our Ecuador courses and tours October, November or December…. but you do not have to.

Head south. Experience Ecuador or…

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Otavalo-art

Meet Ramiro on the export tour.

Otavalo-art

We like his style and…

Otavalo-art

have purchased…

Otavalo-art

many of his works ourselves.

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

If you cannot attend a 2009 seminar or tour sign up for the three online courses for $299 now and I’ll give you full credit of this amount on any of our seminars or tours in January, February or March 2010.

Ecuador Export & Southern Coastal Tour


We have added an October Ecuador southern coastal and a northern Andes real estate tour to our 2009 schedule.

This southern coastal tour will be conducted just before our final Ecuador export tour of the year conducted October 21 to 25.  The Andes real estate tour will be conducted just after the export tour so you can attend all three.

ecuador-exports

We’ll see fine gold encrusted art on the export tour.

Maggie Beesley conducts our export tours and she just sent me this note.

ecuador-exports

Leather products of all types.

Value, Value, Value.  Today’s economy has us all looking for value in everything.  In reading Gary Scott’s emails for the last two weeks, we are all learning about ways to help our dollars to go farther, as well as how and where to get wise values.

ecuador-exports

Wood carving.

October 21st thru October 24th we will be conducting another Import/Export class in Cotacachi, Ecuador.

If you are a reader of International Living, or Gary’s Ecuador Living, you know Ecuador is rated the number one country in the Retirement Index.

What does this mean?

Value is here, prices are incredible, cost of living anyone can afford and wonderful shopping.

Who should come to the class, why you should come, and what you will learn?

ecuador-exports

Botanical art.

In other words…what is this class all about?

•    Creating income
•    Finding those “one of a kind” treasures
•    Having fun doing the above two things

Of course, those are only three things.  You are going to learn to recognize true “finds”….know what your market will buy, and get all these wonderful treasures in your suitcase home safe and sound.

ecuador-exports

Ceramics.

We all know shopping is much different today than it was this time last year.  Last year we were still charging whatever we wanted.  This year we are paying cash for whatever we want.  People never spend as much if paying with cash.  So our mission in class is to find things for your market that are affordable, attractive, AND your people will happily hand over those hard earned dollars still allowing you a nice profit.

As I said this time last year, the main question I was asked “Do you take credit cards?”

I did a Bazaar yesterday and not one person charged anything.  The phrase of the day was “if I can’t pay cash for it, I won’t buy it.”  So right away I know some of the high end items that were selling left and right this time last year aren’t going to be my main sales today.

What have I learned?

Always be prepared to offer less expensive alternatives…not less quality, just more affordable for this cash market we are in.  The Credit Card Machine that was a must last year is an unneeded start up expense to you right now.

Don’t waste your money.  Plus the beauty of cash is that there are no additional charges from your bank to process those charges.  All a little more profit for you.  Yesterday at the Bazaar there were 16 vendors and I was the only one who had a credit card machine, and it sat, meaning at the end of the month, that “sitting” charge will cost me $48.00.

ecuador-exports

Jewelry

ecuador-exports

of many types.

ecuador-exports

Now for this class there is a little homework, but fun homework.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT…..I want each of you to think about what you would buy today?

I am not talking about groceries.

Ladies, is it that “to die for” pair of boots on sale, perhaps a leather purse, maybe a wrap for early fall, or decorations for the December holidays?

Guys, what would you buy today? Boots, new billfold/wallet, leather sports jacket, sweater? Just think about what you would spend your hard earned dollars on.

ecuador-exports

Top quality hand made suits at really low prices. This suit in french wool cost $135.

Your needs and wants are probably what will sell in your market, and that is what we need to look for.

Knowing your market is probably the most important knowledge you will take with you when making those purchases for resale.  Many of you already know about my red cape.  I love my red cape, however up in the Northeast my buyers are a little more conservative and red is not necessarily their first color of choice.

Gary Scott told me all about knowing my market, but I just love red.  I purchased 6 red alpaca capes plus 1 beige,  1 sage, 1 tan, 1 navy, and 2 black.

Yes you guessed it.

The red capes sat for a bit, but the neutral colors sold instantly and I could have sold more.  So I lost sales, and warehoused those 6 red capes until Christmas.  Moral to this story, please know your market.

ecuador-exports

Flowers.

Your SECOND ASSIGNMENT… Please walk around your shopping areas and notice what colors people are wearing. Go into the stores and see what is on display.  Look at every catalogue you get.  What are those colors everyone is looking at?  Purple is huge again in the catalogues and stores, but do you see your market going with the fashion trends?

Look at accessories.

Scarves, jewelry, purses, shawls and make note of the prices.  Accessories have a very high markup, and this is where we can really make our money.

You all have your assignments, so get to work.  In class I want to see pictures you have cut out of catalogues, and let’s see if we can’t find those same items in Ecuador for much better prices.  It is fun!

ecuador-exports

Textiles of…

ecuador-exports

many

ecuador-exports

types.

Look forward to seeing many of you in Ecuador.  By the way, if you haven’t made your flight reservations, there is what I call an “airplane sale” going right now for flights into South America. Grab those lower prices…and you just saved some money.  Maggie Beesley

ecuador-exports

Crafts of all sorts and much… much more.

You can enroll in the Ecuador Export Tour here.

Before Maggie’s Export tour you can join Amy Pinoargote and Mike Sager  for the Ecuador southern coastal tour.

We have been our expanding our focus in Ecuador and now are helping readers look in the southern coastal areas.

Ecuador beach property has always represented incredible value and this expansion means we can help readers see a much larger part of the Ecuador coast.

We are also adding an October northern Andes real estate tour as you will see below.

ecuador-beach-map

Those who have been reading our messages for any length of time know that we have focused our efforts on the middle portion of Ecuador’s beach from Manta to Bahia in the province of Manabi.

However there are many other great Ecuador beach areas that some of you want to visit.

I recently sent readers an article “SEE SALINAS LIKE A LOCAL” by Amy Pinoargote  that said:

Ecuador-beach-salinas

The Salinas Malecon area has long been a favorite destination.

Salinas is one of the favorite in Ecuador for good reasons.  It has beautiful beaches, with calm waters perfect for swimming, water sports, activities or just relaxing.   Along the Malecon, or beachfront promenade, you will find a variety of restaurants, hotels, bars and other attractions.  During the summer season there is even a giant sandcastle.  If you “tip” the sculptor $1, he will take your photo.  However, to really enjoy all that Salinas has to offer, you need to get to know it like a local.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Pose for a photo by the giant sandcastle

Salinas at a Glance

There are two seasons in Ecuador.  Summer runs from December to April and winter from May to November.  The summer in Salinas is usually sunny, with occasional showers.  Daytime temperatures reach the low to mid 80s and nighttime temperatures run in the low 70s.  The winter tends to be overcast to partially sunny, but not rainy.  The winter is actually the drier time of the year and temperatures run about 10 degrees cooler than during the summer.   Because Salinas is semi-arid, it doesn’t experience sticky, tropical humidity.  This makes a comfortable environment for outdoor activities all year long.

As with most beach towns, the dress code in Salinas is casual.  It is perfectly fine to go from beach to restaurant.  Along with your swimsuit, pack plenty of shorts and short sleeved shirts, plus pants and long sleeves if you are visiting in the winter months.   Have a sweater handy, as some days are cooler than others.

Where to Eat

The Salinas area is a prime spot to enjoy fresh fish and seafood, as well as other Ecuadorian specialties.

A great spot to sample those specialties is Delícias de Ecuador, located near the entrance to the Costa de Oro neighborhood on the main road that runs from Salinas to La Libertad.

Prices here are very reasonable.  The daily lunch special or “Almuerzo” includes a soup, entrée and beverage, usually priced at $2.50.

Don’t ask for changes or substitutions on the lunch special; it comes the way it is.  Other options include Seco de Pollo, which is chicken stewed in a tomato-based sauce, and Menestra, lentils or beans served with your choice of grilled chicken, beef or fish.

If a relaxing lunch at the beach, complete with a hammock for a post-meal siesta is your style, drive about 30 minutes north of Salinas to San Pablo.  In this fishing village you will find cabana style restaurants right on the sand, specializing in fresh fish and seafood.

Las Manabas restaurant is one of the best.  If you can’t decide what to order from the extensive menu, try the Chupe de Pescado (fish stew) or Corvina (a mild tasting sea bass), cooked to order.  Most meals run between $3 and $5.

Ecuadorians typically eat a big meal at lunch and a light dinner.

Roca Parilla is the spot to enjoy an Ecuadorian style dinner.  Located a block off the Malecon, it opens at about 6 p.m.  Place your order at the counter, then take your receipt to the grill.  Specialties, which are typically priced from 50 cents to $1 each, include:

Chuzos -shrimp, chicken, beef or sausage grilled on a skewer
Torta de Papa – potato pancake filled with cheese
Torta de Choclo – corn pancake (this one is usually a favorite!)
Muchín – a yucca croquet filled with cheese

No trip to Salinas is complete without a visit to the Cevicherías, casual outdoor eating areas a few blocks off the Malecon that specialize in ceviche.  Shrimp ceviche in a tangy salsa is a good choice.  Shellfish and fish ceviche are also available.  Be aware that the shellfish or fish will not be cooked in the traditional manner.  The citrus juice in the salsa is said to “cook” the fish.  If you have concerns about eating uncooked fish, go with the shrimp version, which is cooked.

Things to See

If you want to browse for souvenirs, visit Mercado de Artesanias, an outdoor flea market in the Chipipe area of Salinas, where you can buy a variety of Ecuadorian handicrafts.

To get a glimpse of days gone by, visit the Museo de Sumpa.  This small, but well thought out museum features exhibits of artifacts from the early residents of the Santa Elena peninsula, including the Las Vegas culture.  It also features a Las Vegas burial site of the “lovers of Sumpa,” mummified remains of two people that appear to have died in an embrace.  You can also tour a cane dwelling typical of those built by the early settlers.

Enjoy a relaxing evening drive a few miles across the Santa Elena peninsula to the Punta Carnero beach, where you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets in Ecuador.  On your way back to Salinas, pass by the Malecon of La Libertad and stop for an evening stroll.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Whether dining, sunsets or beach activities are your idea of a fun time, you will find it in Salinas.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Gerardo & Amy Pinoargote spend their time between their home in Florida and Salinas and together with relatives are building and managing Spondylus II, a small beachfront development in the Costa de Oro area of Salinas, about 2 miles from the Malecon.

This is an area they like due to its privacy, great beach for walking, sunbathing and water sports. Yet it is just a short ride to dining and shopping in the central area.

Spondylus II  is a family business consisting of three towers. Tower A1 is sold out, except for a ground floor ocean front 1000 square foot unit. Several one and two bedroom suites are still available in tower A2, priced from $49,500 to $50,500.

Larger 1300 square foot units are also still available, priced under $110,000. Tower B has just been release for sale and features larger units (1400 – 1500 square feet), in the $120,000 – $135,000 price range.

Spondylus II offers the following amenities… beachfront pool & social area, a workout center, 24 hour security and the Pacific Ocean as a front yard.  All units feature granite kitchen counter tops, tile floors, tile baths, inset ceiling light fixtures and wooden kitchen cabinets.

Now it is possible to see Salinas like a local with Amy and her husband acting as your hosts and guides.

Amy and Gerardo Pinoargote, along with American real estate broker, Mike Sager, will conduct a Ecuador southern coastal real estate tour October 15th through 18th.

On this tour you can get to know Salinas property and the real estate along the beaches north of Salinas.

This is an opportunity to view more than a dozen properties and get tips from experts who are living in this area right now.  You save time, risk and zero in with help from those “in the know”.

The tour makes your real estate investigation efficient and productive but also allows time for relaxing in the evenings and enjoying the beaches.  Plus as you’ll see in a moment could save you thousands should you ever decide to buy in this area.

Here are a few of the properties you’ll see:

•    New 2 bedroom condo located directly on a tranquil beach in popular Salinas… $55,000.

•    3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with ocean views in the most popular complex in Olon…. $100,000.

•    Large house on a ¼ acre lot near Montanita, complete with basketball court, ample parking and caretaker’s cottage that could be a bed & breakfast… $250,000.

The southern coastal tour package includes three nights accommodations:

Thursday, October 15 –  The tour fee includes a room at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.
Friday, October 16 – breakfast, transportation from Guayaquil to Salinas, lunch, Salinas area property viewings, happy hour and night’s stay at Coco’s or similar hotel in Salinas.

Saturday, October 17 – breakfast, Ruta de Sol property viewings (Ballenita to Montanita), lunch, night’s stay at Charo’s or similar hotel in Montanita.

Sunday, October 18 – breakfast, Olon area property viewings, lunch, tour of Salinas , return transportation to Guayaquil, night’s stay at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.

The tour will be limited in size but you can assure a space and save $100 if you reserve by September 1.

If you enroll today, the fee is $499 for one $998 for two.

Tomorrow the tour fee rises to $599 for one and $1,198 for two.

See how to save even more on multiple tours below.

The tour package does not include your flight.  You should plan to fly into Guayaquil on October 15th and depart from there on the 19th.  If you are attending the export and/or Andean tour we’ll help you join other delegates in Quito.

Save 2% on real estate purchase.

We are promoting this tour in cooperation with Gerardo, Amy and Mike and when we promote outside tours, we always ask for the tour operator to give something special to our Ecuador Living subscribers.

In this case,  Amy & Gerardo will provide Ecuador Living subscribers a 2% discount on any  Spondylus II condo purchase. This is possible because we do not accept real estate commissions and ask that the benefit of exposure to our large readership (this message will reach 16,572 readers) be pass onto our Ecuador Living subscribers.

Your tour does not have to end on the southern beach. As mentioned, you can then continue to Quito and Cotacachi for our October 21 to 24 Ecuador export tour.

Still more… Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Finally you can also join our October Imbabura real estate tour October 25-26, where we have also convinced developers and real estate sellers to pass savings along to our tour delegates in the form of  discounts.  For example the Prima Vera condos also offer a 2% discount to buyers from our tours.

Join us for one, two or all three tours.  Reduced tour fees apply for attending two or three tours.

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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.

Gary

Ecuador Property Insights


Yesterday’s message looked at insights on patience and value. If  you missed that message click here.

Patience and the never ending quest for value are vital in investing and buying real estate in Ecuador or anywhere.

Value is really hard to understand in the real estate and equity market now because the bubble of 2007 created many false illusions.  This creates the need for even more patience.

The value of a house is twofold… the value of a roof overhead and the value of whatever price it can be resold.

These are unpredictable times.   Basing a potential resale on previous inflated bubble prices can be a great error.

For example,  after months of searching, Merri and I made our first offer for property in Florida.  Our offer is half the seller’s asking price.

This was really hard for me to do, but after looking at everything I had to come in with this price.  Here is the note I sent to the broker with the offer.

We appreciate your help and attach our offer for the property.

In today’s market, value is really hard to determine because of the economic instability and uncertainty of when markets will rebound. History suggests we won’t see a full recovery for six to ten years… but there is no guarantee.   Because our offer is substantially less than the asking price, I have tried to apply some logic looking at this as a value oriented investor.  So here are the seven reasons for our offer price.

First, our main goal is as investors and we expect to buy at good value. Since there is so much uncertainty we will err on the low side rather than take risk.  We are in no hurry and there are plenty of houses we have seen that we could enjoy for our winters.  If this offer does not work we have several more houses we are ready to make an offer on.    A really fair value is an important part of our offer and in this market we expect to get one.

Second, this property is valued at an even lower by eppraisal.com at realestate.yahoo.com.

Third, we offered more than the lowest appraisal.

There are two other higher internet appraisals but we have gone with the lower of the three for the reasons above and below.

Fourth, as you can see at http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Eustis-Florida/
The median sales price in Eustis has dropped over 35% in the last year and there are 496 properties for sale.

This page says:  “Average price per square foot for Eustis FL was $71, a decrease of 45.8% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Eustis FL for Feb 09 to Apr 09 was $122,000 based on 115 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 35.3%, or $66,600, and the number of home sales increased 42%.

Ecuador-patience

Fifth, we are buying into a market with falling prices so prices may go even lower as you can see in the zillow.com estimate below. This chart estimates the five year value of this house.

ecuador-patience

Sixth, we are buying into a market with a large inventory.

There are currently 496 resales and new homes in Eustis according to Trulia, including 299 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process.

All of this means that this property could be hard to sell and that any price rise could be a long period of time away.

Seventh, this offer is more than the current debt the owner holds so though it leaves them with a loss on their purchase price, it does provide a mortgage payoff and leaves them with some cash. Otherwise they could be holding this property, and all the expenses,  for quite some time.  In a year’s time the property could still be unsold with a lower value and the owners would have had to outlay more in cash.

This places the sellers’ (who bought in 2004) position in a better circumstance compared to having invested in the Dow Jones Industrial Index.
ecuador-patience

As the chart from finance.yahoo below shows had they invested in the Dow instead of the house in 2004 the index was 10,410 then.  The Dow rose to 14,093 by late 2007.  Had they sold then in 2007 they would have gained a 40% profit. Then within a year the index fell to 6,626, 36% below the 2004 level.  A 36% loss in the Dow instead of real estate their investment would be worse then the loss they will take if they sell at the price I am offering.

This stock market comparison is important. As an investor, I have a choice. I can buy property or equities.  If I buy equities they are about 50% less than they were and they are mostly lower than five years ago. 

Now we will be patient.

Before I made the offer, I reviewed the deal with a close friend who has been a real estate broker and developer for many years.

He wrote something worth reading:

“Gary, As a realtor, I rarely find a fellow realtor who has good appraisal methods. The research and valuation methods you have employed in your study are in the 98th percentile of methods used by professional realtors.

If a seller wants to sell, there are three things that do not affect the selling price: (1)What they paid, (2)What they owe, and (3)What they want. Try to explain this to a seller though.

Please stick to your guns because as you pointed out, this is a buyer’s market. Don’t get emotionally attached.  The key is to be ready to offer on numerous properties. As you evidently are. Sometimes walking away and coming back a few weeks later puts the seller in a different frame of mind. Sometimes another property is waiting around the corner.

It is always a good idea to have a neutral party representing the transaction, if not an agent representing your interests only.

Make sure that you choose the title company, not the selling party. This will avoid many conflicts of interest.  Any deposit money should be held in escrow at that title insurance company. Do not give earnest money to any other party. Never give any money directly to the homeowner, no matter what they might request in the contract. Real estate companies should not hold the deposit money because I have seen them try to get a piece of the leftovers if a transaction fails to close. Oftentimes it is not their fault that a transaction does not close. They figure they have already done their work. They still want their fees. Don’t let that become your problem.

Whoever gets the deposit money, ask them specifically if they have any fees due if the transaction does not close. Ask what those fees are. Neither me nor any of my clients have ever paid a fee if the transaction does not close.

This is good advice when you buy property in the USA, Ecuador or anywhere!

Gary

Join us at an upcoming Ecuador or North Carolina course or tour.

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-energy

it is in a quiet place and it has a garden directly below the house.

ecuador-energy

Here are Ecuador real estate tour delegates checking the house.

ecuador-energy

We also look at property around Lake Quicocha for sale.

ecuador-energy

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Economic Corrections


Ecuador economic corrections create fear. People retract…shrink and stop doing what they should and…they are wrong.

People in downturns follow the 80% rule. 80% of the people act incorrectly 80% of the time.

We can take advantage of this and use the current economic correction to get ahead.

I know from experience.

Merri and I were sitting at our Hacienda, Rosaspamba, in Ecuador. The time was November 2000. White mists rose over jagged peaks and a huge, multicolored bird suddenly burst from the brush.

I had been bringing investors to Ecuador to show them ways to invest in this economy while it was in ruins. Ecuador had done so many things badly.

There was graft, corruption, political hassles, discrimination and lies that all helped lead the Ecuador economy into shambles. Ecuador had been the first to default on Brady Bonds.

All bank accounts had been frozen.

Two Presidents in a row had been impeached within a couple of years and the public had been demonstrating again and again in the streets.

The worse it got, the more I had advised investors to come with me. The more property I bought myself.

Real estate prices skyrocketed up.

The economy has gained from higher oil prices. (Ecuador is the second largest oil producer in South America.) The new President is looking very capable (perhaps even a little honest) and there has been optimism.

The country dollarized after the economic debacle in 2000.

Real estate prices have risen dramatically. I am hearing stories from investors on how much money they have made in just the past year.

Has the economy slowed where you are? It does not seem to have done so in Manta, Ecuador. Here are shots I took last week of Manta harbor.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

The harbor is packed!

manta-Ecuador-harbor

Luxury boats as well as cargo.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

The beach is thriving.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

On our recent Ecuador coastal real estate tour we met with Pilar Davila, a real estate broker we have worked with for over a decade now.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

Construction is booming…new condos and luxury hotels like this small beach front accommodation where Pilar is standing are up and coming.

We were inspecting this wonderful small hotel in Manta. The central lounge and swimming pool are absolutely beautiful.

manta-Ecuador-hotel

Overlooking the beach and sea.

manta-Ecuador-hotel

Even the business and internet center is filled with charm.

manta-Ecuador-hotel

Pilar reminded me that Manta property that our real estate tour delegates bought in the late 1990s at $.40 cents a square foot is now selling for $9.00 a square foot. Condos that sold for $79,000 during the 1999 depression are $240,000 now.

Here are lots that our Ecuador coastal real estate delegates bought in the 1990s for $2,500. They are for sale now at $17,500.

crucita-Ecuador-land-for-sale

Ecuador real estate prices are still low compared to the US, Mexico or Panama for example…but sometimes I have a hard time keeping my perspective because they are high compared to what they were ten years ago.

Regardless of how bad things appear, there is always opportunity. The sun always shines somewhere.

For this we should be eternally grateful. When events appear gloomy, we should get excited. There is never as good a time to create wealth as when economic conditions are bad. This is especially important to remember as the U.S. economy (which has been feeding global economic growth) slows.

In the months and years ahead our daily publications, newspapers, TV shows, etc. are likely to give us more than our fair share of doom and gloom. Let this be good news! Be thankful. Bad times are the best for making money. If we focus on serving our community, instead of weeping over what newspapers say, it will help us get ahead.

Until next message, may the sun shine for you.

Gary

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

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

On our last coastal real estate tour we viewed this luxury hotel front…

bahia-Ecuador-hotel

and back.

bahia-Ecuador-hoyel

Here are delegates working hard at viewing.

Bahia-Ecuador-Hotel

Plus we saw land and a next door house for sale.

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

We also saw this Bahia Coco Bongo Hostal for sale (the owner says she has $110,000 in it).

ecuador-coastal-hostal-lobby

Here delegates view a 15 room hotel for sale, with an asking price of $60,000.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

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

Plus we saw this potential Bed & breakfast. $90,000 asking.

Ecuador-bed-&-breakfasts

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

Ecuador Crime Update


A number of emails about Ecuador crime have come in such as the one a reader sent below.

The people of Ecuador work hard. The indigenous code is “Do not be lazy – do not lie – do not steal.” The people is what we love most about Ecuador. Yet we get this…

Ecuador-worker

“Gary Recent reports (today) of attempted murder of American tourist.
does little to inspire confidence in Ecuador. You need to publish this story!”

The story is entitled, “Vicious attack turns couple’s dream trip to nightmare
Oregon man critical but stable after being stabbed on Ecuadorian beach”

This article tells about a man who was stabbed in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

You will not read Ecuador crime stories like this at our site. We prefer to publish useful information that help readers avoid crime. “After the fact” horror stories have little value, but shock value.

Ecuador is a country of great beauty. Here is the Cotacachi Cathedral near where we stroll every evening and at dawn.

cotacachi-sunrise

The article above did not help the man avoid being stabbed. Had he read our site (shown below) perhaps he would have had a different experience…impossible to tell.

There is an even deeper issue if you travel to Ecuador…anywhere in the world…or even around your home.

I am not sure why this particular crime became international news. Had this stabbing happened in Oregon, it may not have even made the local news.

I know. I grew up in Portland Oregon and there was plenty of crime there. What city may I ask does not have crime? Where in the US is a stabbing or even shooting (unless it is in a school or involves many people) that makes the global news?

Here is the bigger point.

Anywhere you go, even the city near where you live has places where you are more likely to be involved in a violent crime.

The people of Ecuador are by nature, sweet and gentle…but yes there is crime in Ecuador…like everywhere…just not as much violent crime as in many places.

Cotacachi hombre.

Ecuador-man

I regularly post warnings for my subscribers and recently wrote about Ecuador crime and safety. See a review of this warning here.

However, though one has to be careful wherever you go, that article shows that Ecuador is not even in the top fifty nations for murder rates. Colombia is #1, Mexico is 6th, Costa Rica 19th and the US 24th.

This is one reason why we recommend to our readers not to go too close to the Colombian border when they are in Ecuador.

In fact for the past year we have had a posting at our site (offering our real estate tours) that warns about Esmeraldas (where the man from Oregon was stabbed) in particular. That warning says:

Warning #3: Colombian Guerillas

Plus we avoid Esmeraldas…too close to the Colombian border. When you are in doubt about an area, a simple rule of thumb is …”follow the missionaries”. They are a fearless lot, going places where most people won’t. If missionaries won’t go somewhere, you probably should not either. The Latin America Missionary web site recently wrote about Esmeraldas:

“Miami (LAMNS)—New reported threats against Americans in Colombia are once again causing U.S. missionaries to be careful about their movements. Along Ecuador’s coast near the city of Esmeraldas , Batchelor reported that missionaries have had to take caution.”

See the entire warning and how to join our Ecuador coastal tours here.

Ecuador feels safe. You see children out walking playing, day and night.

Ecuador-children

boys…

Ecuador-children

and girls

Ecuador-child

This is why our Ecuador Living service is so important. I grew up in Portland, Oregon the same state as the man who was attacked. So I know if anyone had asked him about going to Portland he would have warned them to avoid parts of Burnside Street. If one hangs in the wrong places on Burnside, there is a chance to be robbed, stabbed AND shot.

In June when Merri and I were visiting my mom, we had an unusual experience.  We wanted to go to a pharmacy near her house to buy some bandaids but were told my mom that the store only had daylight hours.  Well, that surprised us because we’ve thought that pharmacies would be open 24 hours.  “Not true,” she told us, “too dangerous”.

Our 40 years of experience in global travel and more than a decade in Ecuador means that Merri and I have a lot of safety experience to share.

Many families have moved to Cotacachi Ecuador from the US and Canada. Here is a group on our real estate tour viewing San Miguel homes.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-visit

We have helped over 3,000 people to Ecuador in the past decade and never had a single violent crime. Our close friends in Ecuador run a travel agency and the largest Spanish school for thousands of young people. Ditto…not one physical assault.

This is in part because we know which areas to avoid and we let our readers know.

Esmeraldas is considered dangerous. I know that and so do any readers who read what I write.

Ecuador is not a place of violent crime. Ecuador is also not a place of drugs. This is interesting and some people are surprised. Ecuador is very strict when it comes to crime and drugs.

A September 30, 2008 Miami Herald article entitled “U.S. ambassador says Ecuador solid on drugs” said: “The U.S. ambassador to Ecuador says the country’s anti-drug efforts influenced the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to extend a trade promotion program in Ecuador for another 10 months.”

Ecuador’s government is also cracking down on crime right now.

Another Cotacachi hombre.

Ecuador-man

Recent news articles have interpreted this police crack down incorrectly and claimed that Ecuador’s government had declared a State of Emergency. This is not quite correct.

One great asset Merri and I have developed is an extensive network of friends across the country who can provide us grass roots information. I have asked around, “What does this state of emergency mean?” and here is what a number of our Ecuadorian friends explained:

Our friend and attorney wrote about the State of Emergency:

“The reason is to fight the surge in violent and non-violent crimes in cities such as Manta, Guayaquil and Quito.”

A businessman from Quito wrote:

“This declaration of emergency, must be construed for what it stands. More than a radical mobilization effort (which it does involve among other things), it is a way to bypass bureaucracy in the purchase of equipment for the police.”

Anther coastal businessman wrote: “Yes, there is a state of police emergency due to a wave of violence lately including an attack on a US couple in Esmeraldas. You see more police in the city and more controls.”

An American who lives on the coast wrote: “I have an e-mail from Cuenca stating that he will explain when I get there but not to worry — Ecuador is always in a state of emergency. My friend’s father in law is a cop and hasn’t mentioned anything. Normally they are first to know and wear fatigues when there is a state of emergency. No fatigues.”

Steve, our man in Ecuador, wrote: “Gary this is NOT a ‘State of Emergency’ – which has all kinds of undertones such as curfews, withdrawal of democracy and all kinds of other draconion measures. This is, from my reading of yesterday’s El Commercio anyway, an emergency police operation. Right now there are university student demonstrations in Manta against the violence – in other words they are saying that the police/government aren’t doing enough. Hence, probably, the police operations. A long term resident American with a business in La Mariscal was shot dead last week in Avenida Amazonas in Quito. He was carrying $7,000 takings (!) and probably resisted the robbers. This is not viewed as a big thing here. It was only on page 17 of one newspaper ‘El Telegrafo’ and I can´t find any mention of it at all in La Hora today except they have replaced the two police chiefs in Manta and are tightening up on all report procedures and sending in an elite hit squad to break up organized crime – so there´s a positive – they’re doing something about the problem.”

Another businessman wrote: “Just, just to comment on this email from Steve..the American guy that was shot had a bar in the Mariscal area and it was most likely a contracted job..two men on a motorbike shot him from a distance..I do not think it had to do with the money..at least that is what I heard from my messenger boy who saw the shooting.”

For the record Mariscal Sucre is one of the areas, as is Amazonas Avenue, that we recommend to avoid. We get a lot of flak for this because this is the main tourist area…lots of great bars, hostels, even the Hilton Hotel. So this area is promoted a lot…but we lived there and know that the tourists attract the thieves.

This is another important point about not just Ecuador but all travel and being a tourist. The danger comes from being in places you do not know.

Merri and I know Cotacachi well. Here is Merri with Ma leading some friends into the village.

Ecuador-cotacachi-entrance

The infrastructure is not deteriorating here. More police. Now free education and here is the new road installed in the center of Cotacachi.

Ecuador-street

Some people feel that tourists are target in Ecuador. They are right…but tourists are targeted everywhere because they are in a places they do not know.

Having lived abroad for most of my life, I have almost always been a tourist. When I lived in Hong Kong I was one of the minority…the white, long nose, foreign devil swimming in a yellow sea. There we had to worry about Teddy boys…gangs that fought, and of course being robbed in Wan Chai and the tourist areas.

Here I am with the first Hong Kong sales team I built 40 years ago. Can you spot who stands out?

sales-team

When living in Europe and the UK I was a foreigner there as well…and robbed a couple of times until I caught on. One night I really made mistake in Amsterdam…had to barricade myself in the hotel room…in a district where I should not have been…Oops.

When Merri and I moved to North Carolina, we were foreigners there also. Our real estate broker helped. “See that bar there,” he said. “Do not go in there…unless you want to deal with Bubba and his pool cue when he asks if you’re from around here.” We do not drink so this was not a problem…but it was good to know.

Even stranger, I am now a foreigner in suburbs where I grew up in Oregon. Rockwood Oregon is not like it was. My sister has had to tell me where not to go..my old stomping grounds…and I did not know! My mom has had several break ins at her house of 50 years. We have had no robberies in Ecuador.

There is a huge opportunity these fears about Ecuador crime or anywhere create.
When an area has a problem, most people paint it with a broad brush. Yet most dangerous areas are measured in blocks not miles.

One reader from the Esmeraldas area pointed this out when he wrote:

“Thanks for the follow up and for Steve’s follow up as well. Also, remember we live 25 klicks south of Esmeraldas which in Ecuador is a long distance. I have checked with my contacts in Tonsupa and so far nothing of significance other than a terrific cash offer for a piece of land we own just off the beach.”

You can often find bargains in really safe, good areas that inexperienced investors avoid because they do not know which blocks to avoid and which are good.

This does not mean that Ecuador is for everyone.

I doubt that you will find any place where there is not risk, if you do not take care. Yet I always recommend for anyone to come to Ecuador if it does not feel right.

Go to places that seem exciting to you. Do not travel just because you dislike where you are. Travel because you have overwhelming excitement about where you are going!

Then, wherever you go, be careful. Remember that you have to go through a learning curve in any place that is new.

If Ecuador sounds exciting, please do come, look and see for yourself. Most who do and the many families who have moved here feel pretty darn safe…because we have learned where and where not to go.

If you do come to Ecuador, I have established a full time full support research and assistance team to help Ecuador Living subscribers in any way required. Part of this team are multi lingual Westerners so we understand the Western cultural needs as well as those of Ecuador. We know the typical mistakes that our friends from the US and Canada make when coming down to begin and can help you avoid them.

Here are some pictures that one of our delegates took in Cotacachi.

Ecuador-view

You can subscribe to our Ecuador Living service here.

Regards,

Gary

Join us in Cotacachi this winter.

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

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

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

Ecuadorians love music.

Ecuador-music

They love flowers and beauty.

Ecuador-flowers

They are friendly.

international-club

They are very religious. Here is the cathedral next to our hotel.

multi-currency-Ecuador-cotacachi-dawn

Cotacachi-Statue

Here are Merri and me with our Ecuador family and Godson, “Quinti Ananki” (King of the Hummingbirds).

ecuador-family

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.