Tag Archive | "Wachovia Corporation"

How to Make Money in the Multi Currency Era


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

london-house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now look at what this means in depreciated dollar terms.

dollar-chart

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

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

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

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

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

Ecuador Real Estate Cheaper as Well

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

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

ecuador beach rentals

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

ecuador beach rentals

The units are fully equipped… kitchen…

Ecuador beach rentals

with full size fridge.

Living room…

Ecuador beach rentals with a view…

Ecuador beach rentals leading…

Ecuador beach rentals to large private balconies…

Ecuador beach rentals with these views…

ecuador beach rentals

and sunsets to kill for.

ecuador beach rentals

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

ecuador-seminars

Luxury bathrooms with bathtub…

Ecuador beach rentals

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

Ecuador beach rentals

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

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

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

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

Or head south to Ecuador!

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Join us with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management in Ecuador. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Read the entire articles:

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

Dollar Is Near Lowest in Almost Year as Borrowing Costs Plunge

Ecuador & International Banking Update


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

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

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

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

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

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

My attorney wrote this to me:

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

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

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

Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

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

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

Where to Bank

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dutch were early in dropping American clients.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case study: Cast out in the supermarket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are two levels of managed accounts for US investors:

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

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

There are two forms of advisory accounts for US investors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JBPB works with six profiles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Read the full articles:

Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge

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

Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law