Posted on 29 May 2014.
“What Value from Utility Change is Next?”
This is a question we should always ask.
This never ending search for the next good value has served me well.
Portland, Oregon 1950s image from, Wikipedia
Mount Hood stood directly east, looking out from our front door. This was the early 1950s, on a dirt road, in an 837 square foot, prefabricated, semi finished house designed for returning WWII veterans. Semi finished means there was no complete plumbing. One of my early memories is of the dark and cold in the outhouse during Oregon’s winter months.
Our family home was on NE 191st. That’s 191 blocks from downtown Portland or about 13 miles This was the outer ring suburb. a small dairy farm and Douglas fir filled woods edged our back yard. Forests and empty fields stretched beyond, hosting berry farms and bean fields. Meadow Land and Alpenrose Dairy were nearby. Fuji Farms offered summer work picking strawberries and raspberries. The soil was rich. the farming was good. The house building was better.
Then the fields were torn up. Houses were built. At my age 14 we moved further from Portland to a new subdivision on 198th. This is when I caught a glimmer that the best profits were offered by converting utility at the leading edge. The great idea then was to convert the utility of farmland to residential homes. Later as traffic grew and congestion increased this idea lost value. By then, at age 20, in the mid 1960s, I had purchased a house and seven duplexes even further out of town.
That leading edge experience created an appetite, a sense of wonder about “What’s next?” In the late 1960s, the alure of “what’s round the corner” led me to sell the Portland property and move to Hong Kong, then the leading edge of the emerging global community.
This led me to emerging stocks, then London real estate in the 1970s, then Isle of Man and Naples real estate in the 1980s. Next in the early 1990s we invested in Dominican real estate and then Ecuador real estate in the mid 1990s. Finally Central Florida real estate became the what’s next in 2009.
Now this low cost US housing “What’s next?” is gone.
A Wall Street Journal article entitled “Housing Investors Settle Into a Holding Pattern” by Robbie Whelan and Conor Dougherty sums up this fact.
Here are excerpts: After a buying binge that helped drive the housing recovery, big investors are being forced to rethink the home-rental business.
With bargains less plentiful, executives are slowing property purchases and turning their focus to generating steady income from tenants.
A spike in home prices over the past two years was quicker and more striking than many expected, squeezing returns and raising concerns about the industry’s growth prospects.
The companies jumped into distressed markets, buying foreclosed properties and other homes at depressed prices with plans to fix them up, rent them and eventually sell at a profit. But buyers have slowed their pace after acquiring roughly 140,000 homes worth about $20 billion.
The reason: the unexpectedly sharp recovery in the price of homes over the past two years.
“The distressed wave has largely passed,” said Jonathan Gray, head of real estate for New York-based Blackstone, which has spent $8.6 billion on some 45,000 homes and is the biggest player in the sector.
Many investors have decided to hold onto homes for longer than they originally expected because a larger proportion of investor returns is coming from rent instead of the home’s rising value.
Industry executives say there is plenty of money to be made from renting. They say more households became renters after the downturn because of the high rate of foreclosure and the inability or unwillingness of many to buy.
In 2009 we began recommending buying low cost US housing before the big investors crashed the party. Merri and I bought a number of rental homes in Central Florida from 2009 to now. We are still looking as bargains always appear in every market, but the big easy profit is now gone.
So the question is, “What’s next?”
What we are seeking is something that is interesting, fulfilling, profitable, good for us and the world health wise and that in some way serves a greater good.
One important utility that can affect the value of real estate faster than any other is water.
Order the seven part 2012 report on “Investing in Water” here FREE.
Ofuru is a Japanese soaking tub.
The free report “Investing in Water” you can order now mentions the deep woods Ofuru at our North Carolina farm.
Ofuru at Merrily Farms (click on image to enlarge)
Soaking in the deep woods ofuru (Japanese Soaking Bath), fed from a sacred healing spring (the Indian’s Trough) is healthy and is a joy! As you will see, there is more to that ofuru than just the pleasure.
Merri and I began looking for a farm with two goals, altitude (to avoid air conditioning in summer and mosquitoes anytime) and an abundance of water. We attained both at Merrily Farms.
This is because we saw a growing problem in obtaining pure water.
When growing up in Portland, we didn’t think it special to be able to drink clear, clean Bull Run water fresh from the tap.
This was the view of Mt. Hood from our front yard and the Cascade mountain range provided us with clear, healthy water.
We lived near Mount Tabor.
Mount Tabor reservoirs.
Access to pure water has changed. Water in most metropolitan areas is not good. Portland even recently had its first boil water notice (1) due to E-Coli in what had been pristine waters.
This is not just a problem in Portland. Water quality is a global concern.
Problems create opportunity so investing in water is a natural. But how? Where?
Another way to invest in water is to own land with water. That’s why Merri and I decided to go to the source and buy land with bountiful springs . Each of our houses at Merrily Farms has its own gravity fed water supply from one of four separate artisian wells. There are dozens of other springs on the land plus three rushing creeks.
We looked for land where we could drink and even be immersed in pure water.
Merrily Farm has…
a path leading to a cabana that contains our Japanese soaking tub.
The granddaddy of all the springs is the “Indian Trough”. This is a huge spring where about three gallons a minute pours out of a large rock formation. It is a historic site because the natives here viewed it as sacred (when this land was their hunting ground). They gouged a trough in the rocks so they could drink from the spring face and their horses could water from the trough.
This redwood Japanese soaking tub has spring water filled for each use. The water is heated by an immersed wood stove that sits in the tub.
When you sit in the warm water… surrounded by floating leaves you look down into a small creek and then straight up a hill that rises a hundred feet or so and ends on a ridge.
This Japanese soaking tub that is heated with a wood burning stove and refilled after each soak is designed so the water never requires chemicals but is always clean.
The water is said to be medicinal and the locals have come here to collect it for generations. Mainly for their health, but one neighbor said his father was a famous moonshiner and only used this water to make his moonshine! Our neighbors still come up to collect it and a dear friend whose brother was passing asked for some to take to the hospice. To drink this water was his brother’s dying wish.
We are blessed with this water and have built a wonderful Japanese Cedar Soaking Tub (the Japanese word is Ofuru deep in the woods. The spring (which comes out at exactly 49 degree temperature year round) fills the 450 gallon tub (it can accommodate six people). A wood burning snorkel stove with heat exchangers is immersed in the water and heats it to the temperature desired (usually a little under 100 degrees). After the soak (and drinking lots of water while there) the tub is drained and filled again so no chemicals are ever needed. We also have ten gallon oak barrels so we can drink it all over the farm as well.
Water is a key ingredient in life. We are more than 60% water, and we need pure water to be pure.
Order the seven part 2012 report on “Investing in Water” here FREE.
A focus on water is one reason I also like the shares of Sandalwood Plantation TFS Corp.
In 2014 Mount Romance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TFS Corporation, was awarded the Western Australia Water Corporation’s Champion Award for its ongoing water saving measures. Since Mount Romance began its activities in 2010, the company has reduced its scheme water use by more than 80%, saving a massive 28-million litres of drinking water. These savings have been thanks to a water recycling program that which uses bacteria to purify the water so that it is safe to reuse in the production process.
TFS Corp shares have risen 284% from June 2013 to June 2014. For readers who ordered the “Sandalwood Investing Report” at Amazon.com, I have posted a new update that reveals big news about TFS Corp’s sandalwood oil being used to treat a highly contagious pox virus skin infection for which there are currently no approved prescription treatments. Use the link in the “Sandalwood Investing Report” report to read this update.
If you have not ordered this report, and want the link, it is available at Amazon.com.
Order the Sandalwood Investing Report for $2.99
Have a soak in the ofuru at our July Spanish Course, August Writer’s Camp or both
Learn Super Spanish in Ecuador
Learn Spanish in 3 Days – Cuenca Course – September 30, October 1 & 2, 2016
Learn how to speak Spanish in just three days in Cuenca, Ecuador.
Super Thinking tactics help us absorb… retain and recall information better and faster. We prove this in our Super Thinking + Spanish course which teaches how to communicate in Spanish in just three days.
Learn Spanish in Cuenca, Ecuador, Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 30, October 1-2, 2016.
Rick Brown teaches 3 Day Spanish in Cuenca Ecuador.
Learn Spanish in Cuenca, Ecuador, over the September 30 – October 1 -2 weekend. Enrollment for one $275. Enrollment for a couple $499
Save $148 when you enroll in Cuenca Super Spanish Course and Cotacachi Ecuador Export Tour October 4-5-6 or an individual tour.
Cuenca is Ecuador’s most popular city, a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site because of its many beautiful colonial buildings. Cuenca has wonderful architecture, tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels and night activity.
Ecuador Living Club members can enjoy discounts at Cuenca hotels as well.
This course really works!
An M.D. who attended wrote: We want to thank you plus all the others for making the class such a fun and rewarding experience. I took Spanish as an undergraduate and lasted two days before dropping the class due to my own anxieties. Over the years I have tried to learn French, Italian, and Spanish yet again using a variety of methods such as Rosetta Stone, Berlitz etc. and was never successful. I finally feel like I can be successful at learning to converse at Spanish–in fact already feel successful! Thanks so much for teaching an old dog some new tricks. We’re both looking forward to continuing the learning process, having fun doing so, and taking more classes.
See a ten minute video of Gary Scott and Pronunciation coach Don Childs showing how to get started creating Spanish sentences right now.
Click here for FREE Super Spanish video.
Unlock the power of your untapped knowledge.
Super Thinking + Spanish course goes beyond just learning to speak Spanish.
There are numerous little known, but scientifically proven ways to enhance the speed, accuracy and efficiency of your decision making process for greater wealth, health and happiness. In just three days you can gain almost amazing learning skills. Plus you become skilled in Spanish as a bonus.
In just three days? Sound too good to be true?
This is not a gimmick nor a trick. At least three best selling books, Superlearning, the Mozart Effect and Superlearning 2000 have revealed insights about how we can learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian, Dr. Georgi Lozanov. In 1980 Superlearning sold over two million copies and showed how the Lozanov learning system blended long-tested sciences of yoga with contemporary physiology and psychology so people could learn faster and better.
The 3 Day Spanish system includes some of Dr. Lozanov’s original work that uses music to integrate brain waves so the process of absorbing, processing and recalling information is vastly accelerated. The course integrates the use of music with 17 lessons that teach you over 4,000 Spanish words.
Fluency in a language is considered to come when you know 1,200 words. To prove that it is possible to gain this and much more, let me share just one of the 17 lessons.
Here are the thousands of Spanish words lesson #1: All words in Spanish and English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently. For example action is accion, education educacion, manipulation, manipulacion, etc.
Now you already literally know hundreds of Spanish nouns. This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons you gain. The next lesson teaches you how to pronounce each of these nouns. Then you learn in a third lesson almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.
You also learn how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds). This simple lesson leaves you sounding like a Spanish professor.
There are many other lessons. For example lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything you want in Spanish. Lesson six gives you the valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples your Spanish capacity with yesterday, now and tomorrow.
By the end of the three day course you will feel quite comfortable speaking Spanish without stress!
A delegate who learned Super Spanish outlined how this course can help you. After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible! Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador. The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Thinking Super Spanish. And learning Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course. In recent years, I’ve rarely relaxed (No wonder I have had high blood pressure!) . In class, the past three days, I’ve been introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music. What a blessing! I’m inclined to make this a daily part of my life. Rob Christi
The Super Spanish helps you start speaking and understanding Spanish right away. This can help you speak Spanish faster and make your traditional Spanish course easier and more effective.
A Livescience.com article helps explain why this course works and how delegates are creating Spanish sentences by the first lunch break and can communicate well in Spanish after just three days. This article by Jeremy Hsu, LiveScience Senior Writer, is entitled “CIA Seeks Anyone, Anyone Who Can Speak 2 Languages”.
Four important points in the article are shown in excerpts below with my comments to show what has been wrong with traditional Spanish courses and why the Super Thinking tactic is perfect for this program.
This three day course gets you speaking and thinking Spanish all the time so you can use and/or think Spanish every day… and communicating even from the beginning. In this way the education grows even when Spanish is not being spoken.
The Super Thinking course first integrates the brain. Students learn better with relaxed concentration. Then the course teaches them 17 simple lessons so they know 4005 words in Spanish and can use them to create sentences. In this way, you can communicate in just three days.
Travel, accommodations and food are not included.
Learn Spanish in Cuenca, Ecuador. Enrollment for one $275. Enrollment for a couple $499
Here are what delegates wrote about a Super Thinking + Spanish seminar.
“Hi Gary & Merri, You two are the BEST!!! Your Seminar was fantastic! I am so excited. I had procrastinated fulfilling my continuing education for my Broker’s License and then just before my surgeries, I realized by expiration date isn’t Nov. 12th – it is Sept 12th. Well, as you can see prior to taking your course I had only completed 3 units of the required 45 units. I thought I would take your course and then complete my remaining 42 units over the next 2 weeks. However, I took one class exam on Saturday night, August 27th. I didn’t even take the cellophane off the required Course manuals until after I saw the two of you today less than 5 hours ago! I used your techniques and completed 39 units of continuing education today. I have now completed all 45 units. All of my test scores were in the 90.6-96% range. My course exam information is listed below. I just wanted to let you know how valuable your course was to me. Thanks again!” Suzy Kurinsky
Another wrote: Thanks for the Spanish course. This technique is truly a breakthrough in learning. I believe I learned more Spanish in four days than I learned in four weeks in a previously attended Costa Rica language school. The Costa Rica school taught a very limited number of memorized words and phrases. Ted.
Another delegate at a Super thinking plus Spanish seminar wrote: The Super Thinking approach exposed us to a broad variety of works and the technique needed to expand the language. Again, Thanks for the experience.
One attendee wrote: I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything during the seminar. You guys are indeed a shining example of having a business that truly serves others. And thanks for the extra time spent and good things taught to me personally. I have begun to implement them already and will continue to apply them. And you might be interested that waiting for my flight home I ended up sitting next to a woman from Quito and could understand some of what she said in a cell phone conversation. We talked a little and she said that I should visit Ecuador! Thank you again for your real graciousness and acceptance! I will also write to Merri and thank her as well. And I wish that I could do something for you two!
Another wrote: Thank you! We always look forward to spending time and learning about so many fascinating things. Like Minded people and Vivaldi! What could be better?
Another sent this note: Thank you for the wonderful workshop on Super Learning + Spanish! I really enjoyed the workshop.
Since I returned home, I have purchased some of the CDs of Baroque music and thought about which specific pieces will work best in different parts of my classes. I am also reading Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra. I found your discussion of this book to be very helpful in showing how to balance one’s life. I have adjusted my daily schedule, and I can already notice a difference in my productivity.
Thank you for sending the file of the 4005 Spanish words. This will be very helpful in my daily review of Spanish.
Another emailed this: Every day I’m becoming more proficient in Spanish. As I get ready to do something, I think about how I would say it in Spanish. Thank you again for a Super Workshop! With love and blessings,
Another: It certainly was an interesting and intriguing four days for me. I enjoyed the Spanish but even more so, all the tentacles that extended during those four days that went into so many different directions.
I grew up in a very SQUARE box with loving and intelligent parents but my world remained within this box, unable to see beyond those walls, as I was never encouraged to “think outside the box”.. Mike has been opening doors and leading me outside this box but because of my upbringing I have not completely embraced or understood what was beyond those doors he opened for me. As I have gotten older I have become more open to the world outside those doors yet those old tapes continue to play and I have not been able to completely release myself and experience all that can be.
Another shared this: Listening to the two of you during our time together has suddenly got me to thinking, and although some of the ideas still seem foreign to me, I am at a point in my life now where I can say, “anything is possible” and I am now willing to embrace and allow myself to experience the world of possibility and let it take me in directions I may have in the past resisted. I really don’t know where all this is going to lead me but I am now willing to explore, develop and grow.
I found all the information you offered on healing, realigning the body, nutrition, etc. so fascinating, have you ever thought about doing a course on just that? With the aging population and the health care issues I think it would be not only an interesting course but one that would be very beneficial to so many. I, personally, would love to learn more about what you talked about and plan on purchasing the book, “Body Renewal, the Lost Art of Self Healing” for my Kindle.
Thank you again for a wonderful four days!!
Another: We had fun at Disney World on Monday and sat beside several Personnes Espaniol. We could understand them however I couldn’t make sentences quickly, but could say one or two word phrases that were understood. We arrived home at 3am yesterday – the airlines were very late in Denver due to a crew incident.
I found myself making up sentences all day yesterday as I was running errands. John knows more vocabulary than I at this point as he has studied Spanish previously. Today I will begin to review the lessons and construct sentences to send to you and the group – as you suggested below. Es en BUENO sugestion!!! I also received the email Merri sent with the 4005 words and started to scroll through those yesterday.
Another: Thank YOU for everything you have done to create and bring this wonderful experience to all of us. It takes a well sychronized team of people to put on an effective, change producing seminar! I have given many seminars and enjoyed the experience immensely. The outcome is even better! Estoy une infantil de Super Thinking and Spanish, y es possible aprender en tiempo.
John and I both thank all of you for the wonderful experience – we are working now to clear up things so we can leave for the Galapagos and Ecuador November 25th – December 20th. Nosotros tiene muchos appreciacion! Gracias y Abrazos,
Another: Muchas gracias para la informacion! I had a wonderful time at the Super Learning + Spanish weekend!… excelente!
I was impressed with your depth of knowledge on numerous subjects and your ability to speak about them with exceptional recall. Con mucho apriciar, P.S. Yo estoy enteresado en Espanol #2.
One delegate even explained how after our course they ended up as the accidental translator: Gary, I have sent a couple of messages, and a story of Mike being able to translate yesterday for a Spanish person who couldn’t understand what a man was trying to tell him!
We loved the seminar, and are excited to put the super learning to practice, and especially the great company of like-minded people (especially G & M!) Muchas Gracias! Tiene an excellante dias.
One delegate communicated entirely in Spanish…. after just our Super Thinking + Spanish seminar: Buenas dias nuestra maestra perfectamente, Merri! Muchas gracias por la lista espanol.
Claro, David y yo aprendemous mucho espanol el fine de semana pasada. Gary y usted nos hacen espanol muy facil aprender. Es importante continuar a practicar espanol cada dia. Gracias tambien! Buenas suerte…hasta la vista! Con mucho amor,
Comments from another delegate: I wanted you to know that the Spanish course has proven incredibly helpful. Dealing with internet service providers and shopping for appliances, etc., normally would have required me hiring a translator to follow me around. While it may not be pretty or 100% grammatically correct, I am understood. Thank you! Saludos!
Delegates during a relaxation session.
Another a dentist said: I was so delighted with my experience at the Spanish training. I felt more confident of ability to pronounce Spanish than I ever was of French or German. Funny… I did not think I remembered any French or German but when I cannot remember the Spanish words the German and French popped up. Practicing my pronunciation made my trip home go faster. I never enjoyed pronouncing either of the other two, but this was fun. It is hard to fall asleep at the wheel when you are moving your mouth to speak Spanish. It does work your mouth in a different way. I realized that you have to say each syllable slowly and correctly(until you get it perfectly) and when you do it is impressive.
It was amazing to see us all writing such advanced sentences after a few days and so much more enjoyable than having to go through the alphabet to build the words to build the sentences.
Rick Brown has created his own programs attending a one year Super Spanish training program from Merri and me. He has now been teaching this course for five years. He has moved to Cuenca Ecuador and teaches this course once or twice a year.
Learn Spanish in Cuenca, Ecuador. Enrollment for one $275. Enrollment for a couple $499
The Course will be conducted at the beautful American run B & B in Cuenca.
Cuenca Inn Courtyard. Click to enlarge.
The Cuenca Inn B&B is located just outside the city center and is in a large home well back from the road, so you have maximum peace and quiet.
View from near Cuenca Inn B&B. There are plenty of very inexpensive taxis into the center of town.
It has large luxury guest rooms, two with bathroom en suite and TVs. There is a wonderful large central covered courtyard with TV, a central fire pit and lots of plants.
TV room for guests.
A guest living room with TV and big comfortable sofas adjoin the courtyard.
There is also a small bar area just off the courtyard that we all enjoyed. The Inn is very well appointed and the ambiance is warm and conducive to the comforts of a home away from home. Internet/WIFI is good and Magic Jack is available to guests for long distance calling, along with pyre-loaded local cell phones.
Delegates can sit round the fire pit enjoying conversation.
The Inn’s manager Bill Dixon attended one of Rick’s first Super Thinking / Super Spanish courses prior to moving to Cuenca. He believes this was a really good investment on his part as he acquired the language basics he needed, and it gave him the confidence to make the change in his location and his life.
Cuenca Inn is offering a 20% discount on room rates and a hearty and warm welcome to Cuenca to course members . You can make reservations or get further details from Bill Dixon at email@example.com.
Learn Spanish in Cuenca, Ecuador. Enrollment for one $275. Enrollment for a couple $499
Save $148 when you enroll in Cuenca Super Spanish Course April 1-2-3, or October 2016 and Ecuador Export Tour April 5-6-7 or an individual tour.
(1) Housing Investors Settle Into a Holding Pattern
(2) Portland boil water notice