Tag Archive | "UBS"

International Investing Update


Here is an International Investing Update:

We need to continually update our investment plans to protect the purchasing power of our savings, investments and pensions.

Let’s begin this international investment update with a look at the state of the market for bonds.

At Jyske Bank’s most recent Global Wealth Seminar, one of the great speakers was Tommy Leung. He is in charge of the bond trading for UBS in London… so I really enjoyed listening to him and then talking more about bonds over dinner.

tommy-leung

Tommy Leung speaking to Thomas Fischer and other speakers at the Jyske Global Wealth Seminar.

Tommy pointed out that there may be a bond bubble in several segments of the bond markets.

This chart from his speech at the Jyske conference shows how bonds out- performed shares even during the credit crisis.

global-bonds-2010-

He showed how some segments of the corporate bond yields are near…

global-bonds-2010-

20 year lows. This is what a bond bubble is about… low yields.  This means that bonds are expensive.

However Tommy looked at some segments of the bond market that still offer potential.

Here is another slide from his presentations.

global-bonds-2010-

Summed up this slide says to me: There are still opportunities in high yield investment grade bonds. Avoid the below investment grade (BBB) issues.

Some bond issues he reviewed included the bonds below:

Name: New World Resources Miners   (NWORLD)

Bond: 7.875% 2018

Rating: BB-

Yield:  7.13%

Name: Rhodia Chemicals RHA

Bond: 7% 2018

Rating: BB-

Yield: 6.30%

Name: Obrascon Huarte Lian Construction OBRAS

Bond: 7.375% 2015

Rating: BB-

Yield: 8.57%

Name:  Virgin Media Cable VMED

Bond: 9.5% 2016

Rating: B+

Yield: 6.05%

Name: Campofrio Food Group Food CPFSM

Bond: 8.25% 2016

Rating: B+

Yield: 7.68%

Be sure to check with your investment adviser for current bond yields as they continually change.

Leung also  mentioned high yielding equities.

With the global economy in a shaky recoverywith continued high US and Western European unemployment and… since equity markets had bounced strongly after the recession, we are likely to see a period of high uncertainty volatility and low growth in stock markets.

Yet we face great inflation risk.  The huge debt and public spending in both the US, Europe and Asia will at some time lead to global inflation.

The normal investments thus are equities, high yielding bonds, commodities, real estate or one’s own business.

If bonds  are expensive and equities risky, where does one go?

High yielding equities may be the answer.

Jyske Global Asset Mangers (JGAM) believe this and have produced a report “High Dividend Paying Stocks” that identifies 54 high yield shares.

JGAM wrote:  As the next few years most likely will show subdued economic growth, we believe that less cyclical companies and companies paying high dividend yields have become even more attractive.

With interest rates at historic lows, money in the bank generates little or no return, while the yield from government bonds -2.6% for the 10-year Treasuries – is not that appealing. We believe there are a great number of high-quality equities which offer a yield in excess of cash and bonds.

In addition to their attractive dividends yield above that of cash and bonds, most also offer good prospects for long-term growth.

We have prepared a list of companies we find interesting. High dividend yield stocks tend to be less risky and volatile than growth stocks, as long as they keep pumping out the dividend. This may partly be due to investors being content with sitting back and collecting their checks when the market gets rough. Please note though, they are still stocks and in case of a new contraction, these may to varying degree be negatively affected by this.

Here are seven of these shares that I like and will review at our October 7 to 10 International Investing and Business Course.

American Water Works Co USA USD  provides drinking water, wastewater and other water-related services in multiple states and Ontario, Canada. The Company’s primary business involves the ownership of regulated water and wastewater utilities that provide water and wastewater services to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

E.ON AG E.Germany EUR operates in power generation and gas production businesses.
The Company’s operations include electric generation at conventional, nuclear, and renewable-source facilities; electric transmission via high-voltage wires network; regional distribution of electricity, gas, and heat; power trading and electricity, gas, and heat sales.

Endesa, S.A. Spain EUR generates, distributes, and trades electricity in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, North Africa, and Latin America. The Company distributes natural gas, operates co-generation plants, and treats and distributes water.

Enel S.p.A. Italy EUR 3 generates, transmits, distributes, and trades electricity.
The Company operates hydroelectric, geothermal, and other generating plants. Enel, through subsidiaries, also provides fixed-line and mobile telephone services, installs public lighting systems, and operates real estate, factoring, insurance, telecommunications, and Internet service provider businesses.

Veolia Environnement France EUR operates utility and public transportation businesses. The Company supplies drinking water, provides waste management services, manages and maintains heating and air conditioning systems, and operates rail and road passenger transportation systems.

Land Securities Group Plc UK GBP a property investment and management company. The Group invests in real estate, including offices, shops and shopping centres, out of town retail locations, supermarkets and industrial/warehouse facilities throughout the United Kingdom. Land Securities’ portfolio also consists of a small percentage of hotel, leisure and residential properties.

Suntec REIT Singapore SGD is a real estate investment trust.
This Asian company was  established with the objective of investing in income-producing real estate properties which are used primarily for retail and office purposes.

You can get the report on all 54 shares including a table that JGAM has prepared mid-August that shows:

#1: Latest share price
#2: Latest paid dividend
#3: Yield  – latest paid dividend as a percent of latest share price
#4: Whether the dividend is paid annually, semiannually or quarterly
#5: Bloomberg recommendation – on Bloomberg analysts following the company stating thei4 recommendation to Buy, Hold or Sell
#6: Bloomberg 12 month Price Target – is an average on the analysts price targets
#7: Morgan Stanley – Their 12 month price target and recommendation
(UW = Under Weight – EW = Equal Weight – OW = Over Weight) and Percentage Upside/downside on the 12 month price targets from Bloomberg and Morgan Stanley.

To obtain this report, contact Thomas Fischer at JGAM at fischer@jgam.com

Or join me with Thomas Fischer, Jean Marie Butterlin at Team Ecuador, David Cross, my webmaster, Bob Shane  and Ann Russell Roberts for our October seminar…coming up in the Blue Ridge with all its autumnal glory!

Enroll here. $749 Reserve here –  $999  Reserve for two

I also believe there is excellent opportunity for income and growth in real estate… especially in Florida and Ecuador.

This is why we are continually adding Ecuador properties in our Ecuador Multiple Listing like this house in Guayaquil.  Here you gain rental income potential and appreciation potential when inflation surges.

Guayaquil House

guayaquil-house-for-sale

2 story, 3 bedroom, 3 bath home.  Large European style kitchen, guest bathroom, foyer, living room dining room, laundry room and a very large backyard. Ciudad Celeste is near the Babahoyo River.   Upgrades on closets, lighting and cabinets.

This is a gated community with tennis court, olympic size swimming pool, social area, gym. Maintenance fee is $55 a month.

See more details and contacts under “Guayaquil House” at our Ecuador MLS.

Gary


Ecuador Fares & Legal Tips


Here are some Ecuador fares & two legal tips learned from living and doing business abroad for 41 + years.

First, the facts on fares.

Ecuador air fare fact #1: Ecuador air fares are really low again. Ecuador air fares from Quito to Miami seem to rise and fall from under $400 to over $500. Right now LAN is offering the very low rate of $398.  Here is this low cost Miami-Quito air fare that LAN sent to Merri.

Ecuador-Air-Fare

Ecuador air fare fact #2. Ecuador is easy to reach.  The flight from Miami is about 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are direct flight from Miami on American, LAN and Aerogal… Atlanta (Delta) and… Houston (Continental).

Merri and I fly from Atlanta and it takes less time and costs less than our frequent flight to Portland, Oregon.

Ecuador fact #3. Ecuador is a great place to escape the cold weather at this time of year.  See Ecuador weather comparisons here.

You can look up fares at www.kayak.com and www.farecompare.com

See a two part report on getting Tickets to Ecuador here.

Ecuador is…

Ecuador-scenery

a beautiful place from mountains to…

Ecuador-scenery

sea with hidden…

Ecuador-scenery

charms like this thermal spa near our hotel in Cotacachi.

The people are…

Ecuador-scenery

friendly and…

Ecuador-scenery

wonderful from many…

Ecuador-scenery

cultures.

Yet Ecuador like all places also has its ways.

I began thinking about this when numerous readers wrote to me asking for an opinion about the arrest in Ecuador and extradition to the US of  an American naturopath who has been living in Ecuador.  Several newsletters and blogs have featured an article stating that this naturopath was kidnapped by the FDA.

I do not know the naturopath nor have I read anything else about this in the news so I contacted a friend who is an attorney and who has been involved in improving Ecuador’s law enforcement system.

The reply was:  Good morning Gary. I could not find any information about this in Ecuadorian newspapers. I will contact the chief of the police in Cuenca to learn firsthand the facts about this.  Warm regards.

I’ll report as soon as I hear more.

There are several issues readers asked.

The first issue about this arrest seems to be claims that the FDA committed a number of illegal acts in this process.   Readers have expressed shock about this.

They should not be surprised.

There have been crimes committed for years.  Our newsletters have focused on this a bit well before we started our website in the 1990s.  So this should not come as any great surprise.

Did this corruption begin in the 1980s?

I recall writing in the 1980s or 1990s about a report on IRS abuses.  That report outlined how the IRS hired a prostitute to distract a foreign banker in Miami. While the banker was busy with the woman, the IRS ignored normal procedure and helped themselves to a briefcase full of banking records.

We do not have to look far to see illegal actions.  A www.cnn.com article entitled “a 1998 Senate Panel Hears Stories Of Alleged IRS Abuses” says:  WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 28) — The Internal Revenue Service was once again under fire on Capitol Hill Tuesday, as a Senate committee launched another round of hearings, this time focusing on alleged abuses of power inside the tax agency.
In the first of four days of testimony from taxpayers and agents, the Senate Finance Committee heard instances of the IRS stepping over the line, including stories of retaliation against whistle blowers and raids on taxpayers’ homes that may not have been justified.

Some of the harshest criticism was aimed at the agency’s criminal investigation division, as witnesses complained that the investigators used excessive techniques and were out of control.

A New York Times article entitled “DIRECTOR OF I.R.S. ISSUES AN APOLOGY FOR AGENT ABUSES” says:  WASHINGTON, Sept. 25— The acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service issued an extraordinary public apology today to four individual taxpayers — and, by extension, to all American taxpayers — for severe mistreatment at the hands of agency officials. The tax official, Michael P. Dolan, also promised immediate changes to eliminate incentives for misconduct and make the I.R.S. more responsive to public complaints.

At the conclusion of three days of hearings on I.R.S. abuses before the Senate Finance Committee, Mr. Dolan said that he was deeply troubled by the charges leveled against the tax agency this week by taxpayers, current and former I.R.S. officials, and outside watchdogs.
Today’s session featured testimony from five current I.R.S. agents and one former agent, their identities concealed by fabric-covered screens and their voices electronically altered. Their testimony included the following accusations:

*Agency workers browse through tax returns to snoop into the finances of celebrities, relatives and prospective dates.

*I.R.S. agents are judged by their total tax collections, no matter how poorly documented.

*Managers cover up abusive behavior by collection agents.

*Revenue officers consider all tax debtors ”crooks or flakes” who deserve no sympathy.

Earlier in the week, in emotional testimony from four taxpayers, the panel heard from a retired priest who was wrongly assessed $18,000 in taxes from his mother’s estate and from a California woman who went through a 17-year nightmare with the agency that arose from a mix-up over her husband’s identity.

The hearings were the first formal oversight of the tax agency conducted by the Finance Committee, which has nominal supervisory authority over the I.R.S.

Mr. Dolan said that the agency had programs to prevent harassment of taxpayers and abusive collection efforts, but acknowledged that in the cases presented to the Senate, and perhaps in many others, internal controls had broken down.

”While each case was different, the end result is indisputable: We were wrong in the way that we handled many aspects of their cases,” Mr. Dolan said beneath bright television lights in the cavernous Finance Committee hearing room. ”I fully appreciate that an apology is little consolation when it comes at the end of the stress and obvious frustration these men and women have experienced. Nevertheless, I do apologize to each of them. They deserved far better treatment from the I.R.S. than they received.”

Did this corruption begin in the 1970s with Watergate perhaps?

Nah.  Harry Truman, considered by some to be the best US President was stained by corruption charges that lead to the firing or resignation of 166 lower level Federal employees in 1950.

In fact if we look back, we can see corruption and abuse of power clear back almost to the beginning of the US.  In 1831, Robert Potter a Congressman from my other state North Carolina had to resign from office  after castrating two men.  Ouch.

It seems that there are good and bad people in every organization…. public and private.   Governments probably have corruption and abuse of power at about the same level as private companies and other types of organizations do.

We have seen people in the US government start wars based on false information. We have seen them condone torture. We have seen them put people in illegal, hidden prisons… so why would anything be a surprise?

The second issues is that purportedly a corrupt Ecuadorian police we involved as well… and American Airlines as well.

I cannot comment except to say… we are digging for the facts which leads me to two legal tips about living and doing business abroad.

Legal Tip #1: Do not move from one country to another and feel that being beyond the borders of your previous home will provide you with special protection.

All organizations, governmental and not, have some corruption and abuse power.  This is human nature. Expect it and be careful of it.

We live in a global economy that is growing more closely linked all the time.  The long arm of the law can extend beyond borders.

A Time magazine article entitled “Can Swiss Banks Thrive After the UBS-U.S. Deal?” by Helena Bachmann outlines how much pressure US authorities can place on governments abroad.

An excerpt says: After months of behind-the-scenes wrangling that threatened to strain relations between Switzerland and the U.S., the fate of secret Swiss bank accounts reportedly holding billions of dollars in undeclared assets is finally resolved.Under an agreement announced by Swiss and U.S. authorities on Aug. 19, Switzerland’s second largest bank, UBS, will disclose the names of approximately 4,450 American account holders suspected by the IRS of evading taxes. In return, the U.S. Justice Department will withdraw its lawsuit against the banking giant and stop demanding the names of 52,000 Americans accused of hiding assets in offshore accounts.

US officials are not the only ones who abuse power and break laws.  A BBC article “Liechtenstein fury at German tax snoop” by Steven Rosenberg explains how German tax authorities bribed a businessman for bank records.

Here is an excerpt:  Germany has launched a tax evasion investigation using the data, which was supplied by an anonymous informant who was reportedly paid 5m euros (£3.75m; $7.3m).  It was a former LGT employee who stole data relating to German businessmen in Liechtenstein.
It is thought this could be the same information that was bought up by the German secret service.

Germany went on to sell this data to all tax authorities in Europe and I was delighted when the Danish government turned the data down saying they refused to use information that had been illegally obtained.  This is one reason I use Jyske Bank as my main international banker.

Americans can learn more about Jyske’s services from Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non Americans should write Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

Here is tip legal #2 for living abroad. The reverse is also true. If you move to another country do not expect your citizenship to protect you if you fall afoul local law.  Do not ignore local laws.

Some recent events remind us of this.   A U.S. student recently convicted of murder in Italy found little help from being an American.

US citizens are not the only who have discovered this sad fact.    Schapelle Leigh Corby, a 27 year old Australian woman traveling to Bali. Indonesia was arrested in 2004, at the airport after 4.2 kilograms of marijuana was found in her boogie-board bag.  She was convicted of importing a group 1 narcotic and sentenced to serve 20 years in jail.  All legal and judicial appeals have been exhausted.

About the same time Singapore executed a 25 year old Australian for drug smuggling despite repeated requests for clemency.

Laws in a new country you visit or move to may seem stupid.. exaggerated… or ignorant… but do not break them. For example Ecuador is very harsh on drugs and child molestation.  Ecuador is one of the few countries I know that inspects for drugs when you come in and depart from the country. If you visit Ecuador, do not ignore this fact!

Every country has its customs, rules, regulations and foibles… in life… in law… in business.

One reader recently sent me this note.

Gary, I am interested in exploring the possibilities of Ecuador , but this seems like  a lot of money to pay for the privilege of letting people try to sell me something.  Seems like they should pay to be in the seminar.  At first I thought it must include the room, but that’s not the case either. What am I missing?

Here is my reply:  You are missing the fact that we do not sell real estate, do not allow our staff to accept commissions on the sale of real estate and have been buying our own real estate and doing business in Ecuador for 14 years.

We ask those whose property we show on the tour to give discounts to our delegates (as we are known to bring many buyers and do not charge commissions). We make sure that sellers show up.  (A bad habit Ecuadorians have is often to not have the property open on time.)

We avoid showing property that in our experience is out of line price wise or quality wise.

We provide efficiency. There are few road signs in Ecuador… no organized brokers… no multiple listings… not many English speaking.  We
plan routes so our delegates can see the most in the shortest time and have English speaking staff with the tours.

We provide contacts with brokers, attorneys architects etc who have shown to be trustworthy.

We share 41 years of experience investing globally and 14 years in Ecuador.

Otherwise chances are you’ll drive around… be lost… see little…  and have no basis on which to compare and when and if you plan to buy
not know if the people you are dealing with are trustworthy.

We feel that our $499 fee is a bargain.  If you hire a car with driver for four days… you’ll have spent almost as much just on transportation.  Regards,  Gary

Our Ecuador real estate tours help you learn the ropes in Ecuador.  We also provide a very personal service that helps you save money and makes your trip to Ecuador more comfortable and secure.   One delegate on a recent tour sent this note.

Merri,  I don’t know how you and Gary give such great individual attention, but I sure appreciate it.  Preparing myself for this trip and the even greater spector of preparing for a life outside the US does not come without a bit of anxiety.  I am so thankful for yours and Gary’s kindness, attention to detail, and responsiveness.  It makes it all seem a little more manageable!  I’ll plan on spending at least the first 2 nights at the Radisson unless we are day two out of Quito.  I will verify my flight with Bonnie.  Thanks again Merri.  Jim

We hope to help you in Ecuador soon.

Gary

Join us on Ecuador’s coast this winter.   Attend our seminars and tours in Florida and Ecuador. See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

We just added four South coast Ecuador tours that can help you gain extra savings with a multi tour pack.

These extra tours create a dilemma for me. See how below.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

These four new south coast tours and our six pack tour price create a bit of a crisis here.

As you can see above a six pack costs $3,099.  This is already a really low price for a tour that last up to 21 days (under $150 a day).

But as you will see below, our International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend up to 56 courses and tours in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

Which would you choose… 6 courses and tours for $3,099 or those same 6 courses and tours plus 50 more for $2,999?

“Duh,” I said when this was pointed out to me.

So our only solution is to raise the International Club membership to $3,500… still a terrific deal… but $501 more than before.

Save $37,457…plus $501.  I will not raise the International club fee until January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999.

International Club 2010

Attend our 56 investment, business, Spanish, real estate and export, courses and tours in 2010 with one small enrollment fee.

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

Here are the 56 courses and tours you can attend free. Plus there is even one more savings you will see below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

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

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

May  13-14     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May  22-23    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  28-29    South Coast real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

June 24         Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27    International Investing and Business North Carolina  ( $749 or couple $999)
June 28-29   Travel to Ecuador and Andes
June 30-Jy 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
July 3-4          Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
July 6-7          Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
July 9-10        Cuenca Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)

Sept.   3-6      Ecuador Export Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept.   8-9      Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 11-12     Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 14-15     Cuenca Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 17-18     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept 20-21      South Coast Real Estate tour ($499 or couple $749)

Oct.    7          Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10     International Investing & Business North Carolina ($749 or couple $999)
Oct.   11-12    Travel to Quito and Andes
Oct.  13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 22-23     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Nov.    4-7        Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Nov.    8-9       Travel to Quito and Andes
Nov. 10-11       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 13-14      Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 16-17      Quito-Mindo Real Estate  ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 19-20     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov  22-23      South Coast Real Estate Tour (($499 or couple $749)

Dec.   3-5       Ecuador Shamanic Mingo  ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.   7-8       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.  10-11    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 13-14     Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 16-17      Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth $40,947.

You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses is shown below.

Arrival dates are always one or two days earlier. Please double check with us before booking flights.

I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses which are valued at $40,947!

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

You may well wonder why I would make such an offer and ask why the cost is so low? Let me answer this question frankly and from the heart.

First, it helps us do a better job for you. We feel greatly enriched when we can really help our clients improve their lives. We have learned through years of experience the best way to do this is to meet with you regularly. We can best help you learn how to improve your health and wealth through continual expansion of knowledge.

Second, we gain enormous fulfillment from the many friendships we form through the years. Our friends have enriched our lives tremendously. Let me explain this in more detail.

As a member, you will be part of our international family that meets intensively over the next year to examine ways we can make our lives better. Our goal is beyond just having money. Our goal is to have quantum wealth… good health… wealth and fulfillment through service.

Though I give all course delegates my very best, I cannot help but to do a better job for those who come again and again. As we meet often; your particular wants, needs and desires become clear, and it is easier for me to point you in the right direction.

Another phenomenon is that repeat delegates help each other! They get to know one another, help each other learn, share their insights, make contacts and gain more wealth.

Out associates in Ecuador, are experienced business people who live or work and conduct our real estate and export courses.  They can also act as your local backup for the business.

Lifestyle for Two. There is more! I have learned at my courses that many repeat delegates were couples.

We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO!  You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)

Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

Read the articles:

DIRECTOR OF I.R.S. ISSUES AN APOLOGY FOR AGENT ABUSES

A 1998 Senate Panel Hears Stories Of Alleged IRS Abuses

Can Swiss Banks Thrive After the UBS-U.S. Deal?

Liechtenstein fury at German tax snoop

U.S. Student Knox Convicted Of Murder In Italy

Ecuador & International Banking Update


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

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

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

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

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

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

My attorney wrote this to me:

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

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

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

Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

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

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

Where to Bank

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dutch were early in dropping American clients.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case study: Cast out in the supermarket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are two levels of managed accounts for US investors:

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

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

There are two forms of advisory accounts for US investors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JBPB works with six profiles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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Read the full articles:

Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge

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

Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law

Bank Privacy Gone


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

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

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

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

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

This is what has happened to American wealth.

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

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

More on the loss of bank privacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

America Leads the Way


America Leads the way…sadly often in the wrong direction.

Though my name is Scott, I like so many Americans am also Irish, thanks to my Grandma McGee.  In fact though she lived in Oregon for more than sixty years, she never became a US citizen.

Yet I have done nothing about this and remain only a US citizen…nor do I intend to.  First, it’s a lot of work registering that Irish citizenship…getting all the documents together and such.  Yet there are other reasons…we’ll see in a moment.

In a recent discussion with a friend, who was also a dual national,  I learned that he gave up his American citizenship.

His reasons were good but for many this does not make sense.  The second reason I remain in the US…this is one of the countries I know my way around best.  I have friends and family and a terrific support system developed here.

The number one rule for good investing and business is to do what you love. Rule #2 is to do or invest in what you know.

I love the US, this magnificent country and the wonderful people so the US is a good place for me to be.

Too few people who leave the US think of this personal aspect.  They become so caught up in high taxation or the bad parts of this nation’s evolution and want to leave. I do not blame them but recommend that they are sure they know where they are going before they irrevocably leave the US.

While recently visiting friends in Seattle, I was talking with their cleaning lady and her daughter from the Czech Republic.  They told me how they had moved to America to be in the land of the free and to live the American dream.  Now they are going back for better opportunity in Eastern Europe.  Plus they feel they will have more freedom there.

For the Czech couple, this may make sense.  They know the Czech Republic and have more friends, family and support back in their original home.

This is a pretty bad commentary on America where opportunity used to be so good that to was worth giving up the old for the new.

Now maybe it’s not.  So many freedoms have been lost in America.   So many new regulations have been been born.  Life is now so complicated.  America is  burdened with an overworked tort system, a failing health and insurance system and monumental federal debt that has and continues to destroy the dollar.

Many Americans feel stifled.  Many fear things will get even worse.

There can be tax benefits to moving abroad (though new tax laws tax those who leave and any gifts they give to Americans before they leave).  It is certainly easier to open a bank account abroad if you are not a US citizen, plus if one has immigrated, a citizenship elsewhere can make life in one’s new country easier and better as well.

Plus I know from living abroad for decades how one feels out from under the eye “Big Brother”, once you live in another country.

Despite these facts, (this may seem strange for me, as one of the first proponents of being a one man multi national), I have no plans to abandon my US citizenship….nor my residence in the US.

This is a well informed choice.  I have lived for many years in Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as the US….so my choice is based on experience.

This global lifestyle has confirmed one important fact….every country has its great good points and its flaws.

If I know and like the US, have children and grandchildren here…why move?
Why spend the time and resources to make a switch?

I see nothing wrong with changing citizenships, especially for those who earn and live abroad, but except in certain cases, I wonder if the benefits are worth the effort?

Instead I devote my efforts to maintaining flexibility and utilizing options.

To me flexibility in earning and asset allocation are more important than citizenship because change is taking place everywhere.  I would rather be a US citizen and have one or two other places to go if everything goes south here, than abandon one of the places I know best, for somewhere new that could have negative changes as well.

America has problems but regrettably as the world’s biggest economy leads the way for other nations to follow.

Take federal deficit spending as an example. For many years it was easy to invest out of the US dollar. The American government was a spendthrift going deeper and deeper into a more of debt.  Other industrial, nations, especially Germany and Japan were much more fiscally prudent.  The the Japanese and German’s learned from the US how to borrow massively every time the economy slowed.

There is a great erosion of freedom in other countries also not just the US.

Let’s look at some specifics.

A July 2 USA Today article entitled “IRS gets OK to request UBS information” says:

“A federal judge in Miami authorized the Internal Revenue Service to request information from UBS about U.S. taxpayers who may be using Swiss bank accounts to evade federal income taxes,” the Justice Department said Tuesday.

“The so-called John Doe summons is used to obtain information about possible tax fraud by people whose identities are unknown. The judge granted the government’s request for a court order a day after it made what a Justice Department spokesman called an unprecedented request for the records. The order ‘directs UBS to produce records identifying U.S. taxpayers with accounts at UBS in Switzerland who elected to have their accounts remain hidden from the IRS,’ the Justice Department said in a statement.”

To me this is a horrible breach of law. How can UBS know if a taxpayer has their account hidden from the IRS?

Yet the US is not alone. Take the UK as an example. I love England was resident there for a decade in this nation and was resident there for many years…but the wonderful freedoms of the Common Law have been eroding just ike in the US.

A recent article at Telegraph.com entitled “Safety deposit box raids yield £1bn of drugs, cash and guns” by Richard Edwards, says:

“Police have seized a potential £1 billion ‘treasure trove’ of cash, drugs and guns in an unprecedented raid on concrete vaults holding 7,000 safety deposit boxes.
Police officers close Park Street in Mayfair before raiding Park Lane Safe Deposit in connection with suspected money laundering operations.”

“Members of the public who have innocently and legally stored their valuables were ‘inevitably’ going to get swept up in the disruption, it was predicted. Police said they could use a freephone number – 0800 030 4613 – to claim back their goods.”

In both cases, innocent parties who have done nothing illegal nor even irregular are going to be inconvenienced at the least.

Let’s look at Canada in another example. Many Canadians are in a fuss over the proposed C-51 laws.  WWW.stop c51 warns Canadians that Bill C-51 will allow government agents to:

* Enter private property without a warrant                    Section 23 (4)
* Confiscate your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 a
* Dispose of your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 c
* Seize your bank accounts without a warrant                     Section 23 (2)
* Levy fines of up to $5,000,000.00 / 2 years in jail per offense. Section 31.1
* Allow laws to be created in Canada, behind closed doors, with the assistance of foreign governments, industrial and trade organizations     Section 30.7
* Allow ‘Crack house style’ of enforcement on natural health providers
Section 23.1″
Plus the site warns more losses of freedom.

There is a government site that says this law will not create these problems but one wonders.  When income tax was first introduced in the US, it was promised it would never rise beyond 2%!

America has enormous tort problems. Every US business worries about lawsuits,
but before you move to France to escape this problem read this article:

“A French court on Monday ordered the online auction giant eBay to pay 38.6 million euros, or $61 million, in damages to the French luxury goods company LVMH, in the latest round in a long-running legal battle over the sale of counterfeit goods on the Internet.

“LVMH, a maker of high-end leather goods, perfumes and other fashion and luxury products, successfully challenged eBay for a second time in the French court, arguing that 90 percent of the Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfumes sold on eBay are fakes.

“The court ruled that eBay, which earns a commission on the sales, was not doing enough to stamp out counterfeit sales.”

Change is everywhere.  We should always look for a balance in our living, earning and investing, that fits our lifestyle and circumstances.  We should seek flexibility and options…but remember that problems are everywhere.

Thank God for problems.  Problems are a sign of evolution and problems create opportunity.  Who wants to live in a land without opportunity?

The problems we see from eroding freedoms are not dilemmas unique to the USA.
They are problems of increased populations all trying to do and have more.  Life seems more complicated today because it is more complicated in some ways.

The more moving parts a machine has…the more likely it will break.   Our social systems have more and more people moving faster and governments working to do just that-govern. One definition of govern is: “manipulate b: to control the speed of (as a machine) especially by automatic means.”

Wherever you live…work…earn look for the problems and figure out the opportunity. If part of that opportunity comes in the form of a new residence or citizenship…that’s great. Go for it…yet realize that this is not the best solution for everyone.

Until next message, may all your freedom come from within and all your problems be good.

Gary

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Multi Currency Problems & Solutions


Multi currency investing becomes increasingly harder as increasing numbers of banks abroad refuse to accept US customers. A recent message at this site shared how the large Dutch Bank, ABN Amro, stopped accepting US customers and gave existing US clients 30 days to liquidate their securities.  If you missed this see Multi Currency Investments Easier

multi-currency-meeting-in-autumn

See below how autumnal colors can help you solve multi currency problems.

Now another large Swiss bank has found it too much to deal with aggressive US regulatory tactics and shut down its US business. Here is what a recent Financial Times article entitled “UBS tells unit staff to avoid US visits” by Haig Simonian says:

“UBS has told members of its former private banking team responsible for rich US clients not to travel to America.  The Swiss bank has also made lawyers available to the more than 50 bankers involved, many of whom have left UBS since it decided last November to wind down its cross-border private banking business for US ­customers.  The move follows the recent indictment of one of the unit’s former senior executives, Bradley Birkenfeld, who US authorities have accused of helping a billionaire client evade taxes. Mr Birkenfeld has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have made no public statement on the matter.”

I am very pleased that Jyske Bank, my banker for about 25 years has decided to stand by its American customers. The bank created a wholly owned subsidiary Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) that is registered with the SEC.

The changes, however, create many questions which I would like to answer at this site. Please send your questions.

As a financial publisher, I cannot give independent advice.  I cannot even give you a personal reply nor comment on your specific personal investments or portfolio.  I can, however, answer your questions here in a general way.

Here is the first question received.

JYSKE BANK QUESTION

“What is going on with Jyske Bank and their JGAM program which will make it more difficult to do multi currency sandwiches unless one has invested at least 1 million with the bank.  As I understand it, my portfolio will be managed without my input which does not make me feel comfortable.  What is your take on this?”

JYSKE BANK ANSWER

I have spent hours reviewing how JGAM will work with Thomas Fischer.

First, let me clarify several points…the first being that only Americans will use JGAM.  For non Americans it is business as usual at Jyske.  This will have a pretty big impact on my business since I have so many non US readers.  Our site ranks well for visits in Ecuador, Canada, China, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and Mexico as well as the USA.

This means I’ll have to write everything twice once for us Yanks and once for the rest of the world.

Second, minimums have not changed at all.  For some time the minimum has been $50,000 to open and account and $100,000 is minimum for a multi currency sandwich…not 1 million.

Though JGAM will manage each portfolio on a discretionary basis, the client still has a great deal of input on how they will manage each account.

Jyske has a number of portfolios ranging from low risk – medium risk – high risk and speculative.

These portfolios are then again split into portfolios with and without US securities.

Then the accounts are again split  based on assets under management.

For example, clients with less than $200,000 will have a different diversification than larger accounts.

Every portfolio is monitored and tracked on an individual basis.  There is no specific JGAM portfolio so all investors will have their own regular performance up-date.

The JGAM investment committee will meet once a month deciding on the tactical weight of the asset classes and the underlying investments.

When a client joins, the Jyske account manager will work first to help the client decide on a risk profile. Once this is decided, Jyske will be invested in one of the 16 options above.   Every investor’s portfolio will be designed and will change according to the time of entering the portfolio.

Here are the latest recommendations as of late May 2008 of the speculative NON US dollar portfolio.

Asset type                Recommendation       Tactical weight
Fixed Income                  Underweight                  20
Equities                           Neutral                          60
Alternatives                     Overweight                    20

Cash                                Neutral                            0
Investment                               %
Asset type

FIXED INCOME
USD       7.2% Porsche 01.02.2049                         3%
USD       7.875% Turanalem 02.06.2010                 2%
USD       8.5%  Titan Petrochemicals 18.03.2012    1%
EUR       Var% Bombardier 15.11.2013                     3%
GBP       8.7% Cable & Wireless 06.08.2012             1%
AUD       5.5% Rabobank 27.01.2010                       3%
BRL       12.5% Brazil 15.01.2016                              2%
HUF       6.75% Hungary 12.10.2010                        2%
TRY       15% Intl. Bank Recon 15.07.2009                2%
ISK         8.5% Rikisbref 12.06.2009                         1%
Subtotal                                                                  20%

EQUITIES
CHF                   Novartis                                      4.2%
EUR                   Siemens AG                                 4.2%
EUR                   Adidas AG                                   4.2%
DKK                   Carlsberg A/S                             4.2%
EUR                   EDF Energies Nouvelle                4.2%
DKK                   NKT Holding                               4.2%
DKK                   Neurosearch                               4.2%
EUR                   Bayer AG                                     4.2%
EUR                   L’Oreal                                        4.2%
SEK                    Hennes & Mauritz AB                  4.2%
Latin Equities Mutual Fund       4.0%
Chinese Equities Fund              4.0%
Indian Equities Fund                 4.0%
European Equities Fund             5.0%
Subtotal                                                              60.0%

ALTERNATIVES
USD                    ETFS Crude Oil – CRUD LN         10.0%
USD                    ETFS Aluminium l ALUM LN          5.0%
USD      ETFS Metal Secs Phys. Gold – PHAU LN       5.0%
Subtotal                                                                 20.0%

CASH                                                                       0
TOTAL                                                                 100.0%

This looks like an interesting portfolio, and in future messages we’ll be looking at
the equities in this portfolio.  Plus we will review the other three (high medium and low risk) portfolios.

I believe that Multi currency investing is a must in these times of inflation.   Using international investment managers still has main advantages.  First, this provides some excellent asset protection. This also provides access to more experienced multi currency managers with different points of economic and world view than anywhere in just North America.

This also provides some privacy.

May I add one more word on privacy?  If you are a law abiding citizen then an overseas account gives you as much privacy as you need.  If you break the law and have almost any government looking for your financial data, then no system or structure you use is enough.

I have not touched on this subject for years because this is such old news…but knowing we have many new readers…let me repeat what I shared with readers clear back in the 1990s.  “Bank privacy is dead”.

Here are just a few of my articles at this site in the archives  from the 1990s and early 2000s.  Please read them carefully.
http://www.garyascott.com/privacy/77/
http://www.garyascott.com/privacy/50/
http://www.garyascott.com/privacy/167/
http://www.garyascott.com/privacy/60/
http://www.garyascott.com/privacy/59/

Yet here is one more brand new story….about what is known as the most private place in the world…Liechtenstein.

Here is a direct quote from a February 22, 2008 BBC article entitled
“Liechtenstein fury at German tax snooping”  by Steven Rosenberg

“Liechtenstein also has the reputation of being one of the most secretive tax havens in the world.

“Just ask the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“This financial watchdog says Liechtenstein is one of only three states left on its blacklist of ‘uncooperative tax havens’ (the others are not a million miles away – Monaco and Andorra).

“Liechtenstein this week attacked the authorities in Berlin for buying information on German businessmen clients that have bank accounts in the tiny Alpine principality.

“Germany has launched a tax evasion investigation using the data, which was supplied by an anonymous informant who was reportedly paid 5m euros (£3.75m; $7.3m). “

So I will say this again.  Please for your sake, don’t break the law anywhere…anytime.  This could come back to haunt you in unexpected ways.

Here is an example.  The data the German authorities obtained about accounts in Liechtenstein covered people from around the world…not just Germany…so the Germans began sharing it.

According to my European banking sources, only one European tax authority turned the data down…the Danes.   They believed that since this data had been illegally obtained it should not be used.

One reason I have banked for so many years with Jyske Bank is the same reason why I live half the year in Ecuador.

I like Jyske’s services, their very reasonable fees and their solid banking foundation…but in addition I like the Danes…feel an underlying honesty, sense of fair play and sound judgement.  The have never let me down which is why I am not surprised that they worked for several years setting up this structure so they can continue to serve Americans…when so many other banks have cut us Yanks loose and run.

I expect that the service JGAM will provide is still a work in progress and have noted the people there questioning, adapting and smoothing out a new system.

Everything I have seen to date suggests that I will be happy with this new program
because the people there like I have always seen seem focused on giving a service that is safe, wealth preserving, ground breaking and easy for the customer.

I’ll be adapting our multi currency course to reflect the changes and will keep you informed about new ways we can continue to learn about this mysterious, interesting and profitable world of multi currency investing.

I am not paid a penny for writing this about Jyske Bank and have always been able to write that I keep them as my bank simply because I like them the best of all banks I have used.

I can continue writing this and hope until next message that you find all these qualities with whomever advises you on your finances, savings and wealth.

Gary

You can join me with Thomas Fischer of JGAM at our October 2-5 lifestyle International Investing & Business Made EZ North Carolina

We have selected these dates for our next course because this is traditionally the weekend when the fall colors are best.  We’ll meet here for a meal multi-currency-meeting-place

at our house on the farm.

Here is Thomas Fischer talking with a group at a previous course.

multi-currency-meeting

You can still  make to our June 19-21 Ecuador Shaman Tour

See dates for our Autumn courses and tours:

Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour

Ecuador-beach-meeting

We’ll see properties in this developmet and stay at and walk that beach below.

Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See houses for sale in the San Miguel development
Cotacachi-real-estate-for-sale

like this.

cotacachi-house-for-sale
Learn about this Imbabura real estate for sale at Cotacachi Real Estate at San Miguel

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

See discounts for attending more than one course.