Tag Archive | "Afghanistan;"

Retire & Earn Abroad


Here is another reason to Retire and & Earn Abroad.

Yesterday’s message on lifestyle and Ecuador diversification was really backed up by Uncle Sam quickly!

Whether you retire in Ecuador or anywhere outside your home.. you want diversification. See why below!

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One benefit of retiring in Ecuador is that it can help the poor there.

Yesterday’s article worried about weather change being called a threat to national security and wondered if this concept could further erode human rights.

I never imagined the very next day we would have even more concern… yet an article by James Risen in the New York Times entitled:  “U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban” must give us pause.

Here is an excerpt:  WASHINGTON — Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed, reflecting a major shift in American counternarcotics strategy in Afghanistan, according to a Congressional study to be released this week.

United States Marines on a recent raid in Helmand Province. Under a new policy, drug traffickers are subject to being killed.

United States military commanders have told Congress that they are convinced that the policy is legal under the military’s rules of engagement and international law. They also said the move is an essential part of their new plan to disrupt the flow of drug money that is helping finance the Taliban insurgency.

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Part of our work at Meson de las Flores was to continue a policy at our hotel to feed the poor. We always keep a pot of nutritious stew on the stove and our less fortunate are welcome any time of the day.  Above is one of our regular guests.

The problem is that the erosion of rights creeps upon us in small steps… like income tax. When to raise revenue to fund the Civil War, an income tax was introduced in the United States with the Revenue Act of 1861. It was a flat rate tax of 3% on annual income above $800.

When the idea was contested on concerns that the tax, once established, would grow, one Congressman stated that there was no way the population would let the tax ever be higher than 3%.   Yet a year later  flat tax this was replaced with a graduated tax of 3-5% on income above $600 in the Revenue Act of 1862.

This act made tax temporary ending in 1866.  Regretfully, perhaps, in 1866, income tax collections reached their highest point ever, over $310 million.  This made the tax popular and today we can see the effects of the small steps… one freedom eroded at a time.

So where does the legal right to kill drug dealers lead?  If it is legal to kill Afghan drug dealers to disrupt the flow of drug money that finance insurgency, what about drug dealers in Mexico that are financing insurgency in the US?  Can we kill them too?  If so, how about if we catch them in the US, can we kill them there?   If so what if they are US citizens or residents?  Can we still kill them?  Can the army become involved… in the name of national security?  Do they have to check a person’s passport before they shoot the drone at them?

These are tough calls, but somehow making it legal for the army to kill non combatants seems like a small step in the wrong direction.

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Merri and I visiting a village that our foundation supports… helping the old and supporting the young by improving their school.  This is a fulfilling retirement activity.

Yet loss of rights is not the only reason we might want to live or retire in Ecuador or elsewhere, full or part time, for diversification.

The rising cost of living makes it difficult to retire in the West.  Plus though taxes are rising… benefits for those who retire are not.

A recent BBC article “Pension age could rise further” shows how the rot in England has grown. An excerpt says:  The state pension retirement age could be increased further, the UK’s pensions regulator has told the BBC.

David Norgrove said rising life expectancy meant millions of people would “undoubtedly” have to wait longer in future to draw a state pension.

People will not save as much for retirement as in the past, with many people “frightened” to do so, he said.

The state pension age is due to rise to 68, and Pensions Minister Angela Eagle said there were no plans to raise that.

Currently, the state pension age is 60 for women and 65 for men, but four years ago Lord Turner published a report calling for it to rise to 68 for everyone by 2044.

But Mr Norgrove said he thought it would end up higher.

Mr Norgrove said: “People are going to have to work longer, partly because we’re not going, as a nation, to save as much for retirement as we did in the past.” He added: “The government’s recent legislation is increasing the state retirement age progressively to 68. I think it will end up higher than that.”

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Part of our program is to get readers who retire in Ecuador involved helping the poor.  We also offer roses and donate the proceeds to help people like this charming woman.  See more about her, and how the roses help, here.

Another reason to retire in Ecuador is that business opportunity seems to be rising there as it falls in the north.

A recent USA Today article. “Business bankruptcies up 240% since 2006”, by Christine Dugas outlines a US retirement and lifestyle problem.  Here is an excerpt of that article:

Entrepreneurship and new small businesses are supposed to lead us out of the recession, just as they have in prior downturns, right?  Sure.

Your neighbor’s grand idea will persuade a bank to lend her start-up money; she’ll open for business in six weeks; and money will immediately flow from customers to her to her employees. Taxes will be paid, and the national economic engine will hum effortlessly in no time. If only.

Today shows a different reality: Commercial bankruptcies are surging. Fewer people are starting small businesses, and firms already open are struggling under changing consumer habits, a lack of funding options and tougher bankruptcy laws. If a nationwide trend seen since January holds true, more than 300 businesses will file for bankruptcy today alone.

The first five months of this year have shown a 52% increase in the total number of commercial bankruptcy filings (36,106) compared with the same period last year (23,829), according to the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records. On average thus far in 2009, some 350 commercial enterprises file for bankruptcy daily an increase of 240% from 2006, the first year after the bankruptcy law was changed.

Major corporate failures, like GM and Chrysler, flash across front pages and websites. But the vast majority of commercial bankruptcies, which are not separated by size of firm by data keepers, are filed by entrepreneurs and small-business owners, says Robert Lawless, professor of law at University of Illinois.

Troubling for the economy, say Lawless and Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, is the double-whammy of fewer start-ups and increasing bankruptcies.

“In the past, small-business formation increased in a recession because people had self-employment thrust upon them,” he says. “One avenue out of economic hard times self-employment has become less attractive, because the bankruptcy law is less forgiving” and there are fewer options for those entrepreneurs to get bank loans or to find funding elsewhere.

Small business is considered the backbone of the economy. In the past, new businesses led economic recoveries, McCracken says. Small businesses  those with fewer than 500 employees  make up half of the gross domestic product and account for most job growth.

Problems from the devastated housing market, overall recession and suffering major industries all funnel down to small businesses, especially those that supply the troubled corporations.

Household spending cutbacks reach far, too. Dual-income families who are now single-income may no longer need or be able to afford child care, so many of those services are going out of business, says Lester Thompson, a bankruptcy lawyer in Dayton. Sporting goods stores and lawn-mowing services also have struggled.

Small-business bankruptcy filings jumped the most in the Los Angeles and Chicago metro areas, according to Equifax. But even smaller areas of the country are experiencing a big increase.

Many small businesses owe so much money to creditors that there is no future. Such owners often file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut their businesses for good.

The credit crunch is a major contributor to the rise in filings.

Loan dollar volume from the U.S. Small Business Administration has increased 35% since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed on Feb. 17, according to the SBA. Even so, a National Federation of Independent Business trend report states that in May the percentage of business owners reporting that loans are harder to get rose to 16%, the highest reading since the 1980-82 recession.

With that reality, and loath to dip into their retirement savings, struggling small-business owners have few options other than bankruptcy. When the bankruptcy law changed in 2005 it was mostly aimed at curbing abuse of personal bankruptcy filing. But it also singled out small businesses for harsher treatment, and those changes did not apply to larger corporations, Lawless says.

Bankruptcy is still the only option for many small-business owners who are hanging by a thread.

This is why the idea of living or retiring in Ecuador or elsewhere, at least part time,  for diversification and global earning potential makes sense because opportunity is growing elsewhere.

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Nothing makes our retirement problems diminish faster than helping those who have even greater needs.

An excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article “Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index Up” by Mercedes Alvaro says: QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index, measured by Deloitte and Touche, surged 5% in May to 93.2 points, compared with May 2008, the company said in its monthly report.

Deloitte said the index recovered by 31% in May against April, returning to the levels registered during the last quarter of 2008.

The Index’ recovery is largely due to the waning perception among executives of a deterioration of the country’s economic and political conditions, it said.

Deloitte found that 45% of those surveyed are less optimistic about the economy compared with April, while 52% perceive no change.

The slow but steady increase in oil prices and the revival of the global economy are grounds for expecting that the economy in Ecuador could improve by year’s end or in early 2010.

Questioned about the performance of their businesses, 34% said they had lower sales compared to the previous months and 39% reported revenues down on the same period of last year.

The survey found 20% reported a reduction in their workforce compared to the previous month.

Around 57% of the business leaders surveyed said that the country’s socio-economic situation makes it difficult to attract foreign investment.

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We should help our neighbors at home as well. This is why we are developing environmentally sensitive, sustainable programs to encourage value-added, employment in the Blue Ridge as well.

I have written many times about the benefits of retiring in Small Town USA for lifestyle diversification as well. See more on lifestyle diversification at Inspired to Retire

We can see below why diversification remains important even if we retire in Ecuador.

Just because we want to live or retire in Ecuador does not mean that Ecuador does not have its own creeping erosion of rights problems as well.  An August 3 news.Yahoo article says: Correa: Ecuador to take over radio, TV stations.  QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says “many” radio and TV frequencies will revert to state control due to what he’s calling irregularities.  The president has been at war with Ecuador’s news media since taking office in January 2007. He has called TV stations and newspapers corrupt and mediocre, and twice fined an opposition broadcaster.  Correa did not specify Monday what sort of abuses or irregularities broadcasters have committed. Nor did he name any alleged offenders.

An August 5th update on this matter in the Wall Street Journal says: Ecuador Govt Braces For Reaction To Radio, TV Takeovers

QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s government is expecting “strong reactions” to a report that will determine which television and radio stations will revert to state control.

Antonio Garcia, chairman of Ecuador’s National Radio and Television Board, said Wednesday that a report will be issued next week on which stations the government will take over.

President Rafael Correa’s government has alleged that a number of stations received their broadcasting concessions illegitimately and said that “many” would revert to state hands.

Correa’s announcement came on the heels of the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Ecuadorian president’s close ally, shutting down 34 privately-owned radio stations last weekend.

An initial report by an Ecuadorian government commission last year found that 236 of 1,637 frequencies had obtained their concessions illegally.

Garcia brushed off what he called “alarmist accounts” that all radio and television stations will revert to state control and that the government is looking at them on a case-by-case basis.”

He said that some media outlets, however, are “trying to misinform” viewers and listeners.

We’ll stay tuned to what happens with this takeover  at our Ecuador Living  Service.

The greatest asset for diversification is the ability to earn wherever you live and to keep your investments safe.

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

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

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

See details of the two seminar below.

Here is Thomas Fischer talking with seminar delegates at a recent international investing course that I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Management.

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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Seminar delegates visiting Otavalo market looking for Ecuador export ideas.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Learn more about the power of  Ecuador export ideas

See WSJ article Ecuador’s government braces for reaction

See NYT article U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban

Ecuador Iran Excerpt


A number of readers have asked about Ecuador and Iran so here is an excerpt from our latest Ecuador Living report.

Some of the ideas apply to interaction between radicals in all of the Middle East and the West and how they can affect our wealth, business and investing.

The idea that Iran is a great enemy intent on attacking us is great for selling news, but a bad leader or two does not reflect the entire population.  Many of us in the US did not agree with some of the leaders our the last administration.

IF  Iran is to become more involved in the West and that’s a very big IF, I do not see it being any great deal. The only risk Iran poses is if many people give them a lot more concern then they deserve… as certain leaders in the West gave Saddam Hussein.

I do not claim in any way to be a great global military strategist but that thinking has some support from the thinking of other  who I do think are good at strategic global thought such as… Lee Kwan Yew.

I worked and spent a lot of time in Singapore during the late 1960s and early 1970s so I recall vividly the way Singapore used to be.

Lee Kwan Yew had a lot to do with Singapore emerging from a form of colonialism that included a lot of poverty to one of the wealthiest societies in the world.

This means it is fitting to read some of Lee Kwan Yew’s thinking that could apply to Ecuador and Iran now.

Lee Kuan Yew outlines the risks of relying on the local press succinctly in a 2007 interview with  UPI’s editor at large, Arnaud de Borchgrave.

Q: So what is your recommendation about Iran’s nuclear ambitions?

A: Is it now unstoppable. They are a very old civilization. Unlike the Arabs, apart from Mesopotamia valley, they rank with the Chinese, as history’s two principal civilizations worth talking about. And I think the mullahs and others want to go back to the days of empire.

Q: So should we be talking to them at the highest level, the way Henry Kissinger went to China?

A: (Chuckle) But you haven’t got a Kissinger or a Brzezinski to do that anymore. Where is the successor generation of geopoliticians?

Q: In fact, democracies don’t produce great statesmen anymore. Why?

A: You now have, and I don’t know how long this phase will last, mass media domination, owned by a group of media barons who want constant change for their balance sheets.

Q: So the power of mass media has made it impossible for a great statesman or woman to emerge and last any length of time?

A: I’m not sure. It depends on the nature of the crisis that must be faced. When a real crisis sets in, a matter of life and death, opinion formulators realize this is no time to be pontificating, but a time to stay the course with someone who understands what this is all about.   Short of that, the media help put a leader on the pedestal and then start chopping away at the pedestal until he/she falls in disgrace. That’s part of the cycle of constant change. Watch Sarkozy in France. They hoisted him up to prominence and now they’re already attempting to bring him down through his personal life.  Well, yes. But it’s also the enormous pressure of media competition and the giant appetite for advertising revenue, what television program gets what viewership, or eyeballs, or clicks online. Never mind the consequences. If you get the advertising, you win.

Q: When I last interviewed you in May 2001, I asked you what concerned you most about the next 10 years, and you replied, “an Islamist bomb, and mark my words, it will travel.” Four months later, we had Sept. 11. Secondly you said, “China and India’s challenge to the global status quo.” Do you still have the same concerns about the next 10 years?

A: Not quite. The Islamic bomb has traveled already (in Iran). I’m not sure how this will now play out. The U.S., the Europeans, even the Russians, will have to make up their minds whether to allow Iran to go nuclear. The Russians are playing a game, posing as the nice guys with Iran, supplying nuclear fuel, and making it look as if America is causing all this trouble. But if I were Russia today, I would be very worried about Iran acquiring the bomb, because Russia is more at risk than America. The risk Israel runs is another dimension. Russia is at risk because whether it’s the Chechens or Central Asian Muslim states that were former Soviet republics, none are friendly to Moscow. Next time there’s an explosion in Moscow, it may be a suicide bomber who isn’t wearing an explosive belt or jacket, but something a lot bigger. It would certainly be in Russia’s interest to say at some future point to Iran, “this far and no further.” It could also be that Russia no longer knows how to stop it, in which case the Russians will be opening the door to a very dangerous world of nuclear proliferation. You can be quite sure that if and when Iran gets the bomb, the Middle East will go nuclear.

Q: Which raises the question of the United States or Israel bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.

A: (long silent pause) … I can express no views on that.

Q: As I travel in moderate Muslim states in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, I ask heads of state and government how many extremists, or would-be jihadis, they estimate live in their midst, also how many fundamentalists who support openly or secretly the jihadi cause. The answer is usually 1 percent and 10 percent. In a country like Pakistan, that translates to 1.6 million extremists and 16 million supporters. On a global scale, that comes out to roughly 14 million extremists and 140 million sympathizers.

A: Yes, but I do not see them winning, and by that I mean able to impose their extremist system. I can see them inducing fear and insecurity, and causing fear, but they don’t have the technology and the organization to overwhelm any government.

Q: So how do you assess the global threat since Sept. 11? What are we doing that’s right and also that’s wrong?

A: Even if we can’t win, we mustn’t lose or tire. We cannot allow them to believe they have a winning strategy, and that more suicide bombers and WMD will advance their cause and give them a chance to take over.

Q: Did Iraq have anything to do with al-Qaida?

A: Of course not, as became clear in the daily sessions the imprisoned Saddam spent with his Arabic-speaking FBI interrogator over several months before his execution. But U.S. authorities were convinced Saddam was secretly supporting al-Qaida with weapons and training and maybe even WMD. So therefore the imperative became the elimination of Saddam.

A: (Laughs for several seconds) We should learn to live with it for a long time. My fear is Pakistan may well get worse. What is the choice? (President) Musharraf is the only general I know who is totally secular in his approach. But he’s got to maneuver between his extremists who are sympathetic to Taliban and al-Qaida and moderate elements with a Western outlook. We forget that right after Sept. 11 he was given a stark choice by President Bush: either you abandon your support of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan or face the disintegration of Pakistan. There is an interesting study of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency that says 20 percent of the Pakistani army’s officer corps is fundamentalist.

A: There is very little, if anything, the U.S. can do to influence the course of events in Pakistan that wouldn’t make matters worse. Any U.S. interference in Pakistan would result in Pakistan’s four provinces becoming four failed states. And then what happens to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal? It’s a horrendous festering problem. The Feb. 18 elections may bring a little clarity and hopefully democratic stability to Pakistan, but I am not holding my breath.

Q: So you do feel that NATO’s future is at stake in Afghanistan?

A: No doubt about it. But you should also realize Afghanistan cannot succeed as a democracy. You attempted too much. Let the warlords sort it out in such a way you don’t try to build a new state. The British tried it and failed. Just make clear if they commit aggression again and offer safe haven to Taliban, they will be punished.

Q: If NATO collapsed in the wake of a failed campaign in Afghanistan, would that be a major concern of yours in Singapore?

A: Not immediately, but overall the balance of power would be upset.

Q: In whose favor?

A: China and Russia. They would be faced with a much weakened West in the ongoing global contest. I can also see the danger if America loses heart and says to hell with it all because the Europeans are not helping and the Japanese are blocking this and that, and tokenism from all the others. Let’s not forget that what we’re all enjoying today is the result of Pax Britannica and Pax America over the past 100 years. So don’t give it up.

Q: But in the Gulf, if the U.S. and/or Israel bombed Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran has formidable asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities?

A: But let me repeat, they cannot conquer you. Hezbollah cannot conquer Lebanon. They can create trouble for the non-Hezbollah Lebanese. So micro actors can cause a lot of trouble for your friends, but they can’t eradicate them.

You can read this entire report as an Ecuador Living subscriber and see why if there were to be a military concern in Latin America it would be over China…not Iran..

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Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn in an upcoming report about this huge lot and house in Cotacachi for $30,000.

There were two articles readers have recently mentioned.

The first article began, QUITO – Iran will finance two new power plants in Ecuador and extend a 40-million-dollar loan for business development, officials from both countries said Thursday, three months after the first visit by an Ecuadoran president to Tehran.

The second:  Iran, Ecuador Eye Military Ties As U.S. Prepares to Withdraw from Airbase Friday, May 29, 2009, by Patrick Goodenough, (CNSNews.com) – As the United States military prepares to vacate an airbase in Ecuador in the fall, the leftist government responsible for its upcoming departure is looking to Iran as a future military partner.

While I do not feel that nuclear power or expanded military might are good things, I do believe completely in the global economy and in expanding the wealth of all.

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Subscribe to Ecuador Living and see an upcoming report on how to own this organic tomato farm with…

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trout pond.

One can argue about all the numerous conflicts in the world but if we boil it down to the few most important, one of the biggest tensions in today’s society is that there are a few very wealthy people and many, many poor.

For decades my premise for economic expansion has been based in part on the belief that most people, if given a choice, will spend their time doing positive things, like working at something they love for increased material wealth and great fulfillment rather than living a guerilla’s life.  A poor soldier’s living conditions are  generally not pleasant… the pay low… the risk extreme.  That life, however, is better than one of complete hopelessness and despair.

If Ecuador Iran cooperation can help make more poor Ecuadorians and Iranians rise out of poverty… I say…”go for it!”

There are many potential and huge benefits to be gained by bringing Iranian business to the West. Maybe Iran being closer to the West will help it integrate?  Current events in Iran suggest that many of the population would be happy to do so.

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Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn about these 15 new houses on Cotacachi’s creek.

I have had an opportunity to observe Correa and the people of Ecuador react for a couple of years now.  At times I have been quite close… such as when I took this photo.

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Correa is in a strong political situation at this time. One thing that could destroy his popularity quickly would be the perception in this 90% Catholic country that he is introducing Islamic radicalism.  Therefore Correa may line up with Iran for some money… and to gain leverage in his dealings with the West… but a major integration would surprise me very much.   One bombing in an American hotel in Quito or Guayaquil and Correa’s popularity would be toast.

There have been worries about his friendship with Chavez. There are these worries of Correa with Iran. There have been worries about South America pulling away from the US dollar.

Yet so far none of these fears have affected life, happiness, opportunity, real estate values or  law and order in Ecuador.

In short anyone who never heard of or ignored all these fears and moved optimistically forward is better of than those who did not.

Most of the press are writing about the world sliding into recession. Many articles in the Western press make it sound like there’s little opportunity and great danger everywhere.

Good. Their doom and gloom creates positive global investing opportunity for those of us who can see through the illusion.

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Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn about Primavera V condos.

Regards,

Gary

We hope you’ll join us to learn more business and investing opportunities globally as well as Ecuador.

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Shots & Global Comments


Here are some shots of Ecuador and comments from readers about our recent Ecuador Joys & Global Thoughts article.

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Here is a photo taken of a proud Ecuadorian cheese maker.  Our next Imbabura real estate tour will view this organic farm and Swiss cheese factory for sale.

The first reader wrote:

Gary, A fine letter from a daughter that has learned some important things about life at an early age.  Of my three summers in Mexico(1965-70) working on a Peace Corp style project in 18th century mountain life, from those rural  Mexicans I learned what it meant to be an American. Before Mexico I had no context  about the values and way of life that I was living.  I presumed the world thought and lived more or less like we lived.  Jim

This is a great point. To me one of the greatest pleasures from my global lifestyle is a broadened horizon.  The US is such a vast country and huge market, that in the years I lived here, the focus has always been inward.   This seems to restrict many from seeing alternatives and other great ways to live.  Don’t get me wrong. I love the US and enjoy living here.  This is one great way of living… but not THE way of living and certainly not the ONLY way to live.

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This is a shot of Andean musicians who regularly serenade our diners at Meson de las Flores.

Another reader wrote:

Hi Gary,

I really enjoyed Francesca’s message about her experiences in various cultures and countries.  In 1985 I went to Saudi Arabia where I was the only American working at a UN designated Arab Training Center, upon graduating from USC.

It was just the thing I needed to give me the itch for all things international ever since. From there, I saw a good bit of Europe, then I worked for a Japanese electronics trading and assembly company, where I traveled most of Asia. Since then, I have been a self supporting ex-pat. I married my wonderful Filipina wife in the Philippines where I have resided these past 10 years.

She is like me, I like to try almost any type of food offered (well I passed on raw Camel’s milk because I heard it was an almost definite prescription for diarrhea). The wealth of experiences and international friends my wife and I share has provided a perspective I could never have obtained if I had never ventured from Southern California or The States.

So both Francesca’s and your daily messages resonate with me. I found Francesca’s message to be spot-on. I only wish more American’s could experience living outside the box (US)  Cheers!  Jim.

Jim lives in the Philippines… another great place to live especially for those in the Western US.

ecuador-shots Ecuador bamboo ready for construction scaffolding.

I thought this reply from a friend of 50 years (we grew up together in Rockwood, Oregon) who now teaches in China.

Gary,  I challenged my students to examine political incorrectness through humor.  Each of many classes were to ‘turn the tables’ in their humor.  And did they ever.  Here are but a few examples (often I corrected the grammar, but I never changed the meaning or focus).  The form of the jokes are an ‘imagined’ press conference to question China’s actions:

Q:  Do Chinese eat dogs?

A:  Yes. We eat a lot of dogs; and cats,too.  Especially on your “Thanksgiving Day”.  Turkeys are our favorite pets. We regard turkeys as human’s best friends.  In China only the most uneducated eat turkeys.

Q:  Why don’t you clean up the pollution in your air and water?

A:  Why don’t you clean up ‘Love Canal’ and 1000 other sites without closing the offending factories and moving them to China.

Q:  Why do you keep lending money to the USA even in light of the financial crisis?

A:  Why does a dog chase his tail?

Q:  China is becoming strong. Does your government want to take over the world?

A:  Yes, absolutely.  As soon as we become powerful enough, we hope to invade Iraq and Afghanistan; Viet Nam, Panama, Granada, Pakistan and Somalia are also on our wish list.

Q:  Why doesn’t your government give Tibet back to its monks?

A:  We keep Tibet only as a favor to the USA.  The monks want peace through repatriation, that is, equivalently, they want to help the Seminoles take back Florida, the Souix and Cherokee and Iriquois and Nez Perce to take back their homelands.

Q: Are the products made in China very cheap?

A: Yes, but if we were we using black slaves, the price would be even cheaper.

Q: You have 1.4 billion people. Now what do you want to do with it?

A: Find a new planet. Kill the native people there, and move in.

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Ecuador lilies. Learn about Ecuador Mother’s Day lilies here.

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Ecuador has excellent potters and entire pottery villages. Ecuador pottery comes in all shapes and forms. We look at its report potential in our July Ecuador export tour.

Gary

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Delegates enjoying a coffee break at Meson de las Flores on one of our tours.

Join us and visit Ecuador with our April  2-4-1 tours this May and July.

See great May Ecuador airfares  here.

We have three Ecuador tours scheduled for May and July 2009.

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24

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Delegates viewing San Miguel.

Merri and I will not be on these tours but we do want to meet you. So to make sure we can meet, we will let you attend these either one of the May real estate tours free if you enroll in one of our three International Made EZ  courses, in July, October or November.

You get two courses for the price of one.  Enroll in any of these courses that Merri and I will conduct below and choose either May real estate tour free.

ecuador-real-estate

Mansion we’ll view on real estate tour.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

ecuador-real-estate

The real estate tour will view a new listing on this lake.

You can enroll in one, two or three of these courses below

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17. $499 Enroll here.   $749 For a couple.

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21.  $499 Enroll here.  $749 For a couple.

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24.  $399 Enroll here. $499 For a couple.

ecuador-real-estate

Organic wine and Swiss cheese made in Cotacachi and enjoyed by delgates.

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

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

cotacachi-green

Roses shown in a presentation on how to export Ecuador roses.

Learn about our July 2009 Ecuador export tour 2-4-1 deal here.

Bear Rally Tactics


The salvation for this bear market may be near.   See below how bear rally tactics can help you profit in the current economic downturn.

History suggests that we will not see a lasting bull until 2012…but one more bear market rally may provide an escape hatch for those who are caught with too many depressed shares. These tactics begin by understanding where the US economy and equity markets are in relation to thirty year cycles that seem to dominate the flow of mankind’s industrial productivity.

These cycles are not economic cycles.  They are cycles of human interaction, technology and productivity that drive the economy and hence the stock market. These cycles are intricately connected with new waves of productivity that grow from some great human platform of combat.  Struggles for survival in the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War (WWIII) super charged inventiveness that created new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and internet, etc.

Each new invention helped win a war. Then shifting the technology to domestic use after the war created a boom.

Each boom led to excess.

Each excess led to a correction…and viola here we are…in a correction again…at the correct time!   This downturn started almost exactly (1998), 16 years after the last boom began (1982)…which began after the last great human struggle called the Cold War.

This correction like its predecessors has enjoyed a number of bear market rallies. You can see this quite clearly, in the graph below, how each upward cycle rises after a war (postwar boom) and how the market then crashes before the next upcoming war.

We have been viewing this process via this chart at our site since it began and we can observe how the last bear market recovery ended around December 2007 in this update from yahoo.finance on Wednesday December 3, 2008. dow charts

The yahoo chart looks a little different because it is not dollar adjusted, but we can see a bear market pattern, beginning in 1998, similar to one that began in the 1920s and ran though the 1930s into the 1940s.

We see another bear from the mid 1960s that ran through through the 1970s in the early 1980s. The last bull market began in 1982 so it is significant when we see newspaper headlines like USA Today’s December 3, 2008 headline, Auto Sales Fall to 1982 Level. If car sales…stock market levels and economic signs are at their lowest level since the early 1980s, history suggests that the end of the current correction is heading our way….but not quite here yet.

This is why the portion of the Dow graph from 1920 to 1940 is of special interest to me. I see that the sharp 1929 contraction was too sharp. The real correct correction took place from 1929 to 1942 with a strong, last bear market rally from 1932 through 1936.

graph

Everything about this 30 year theory suggests that the bear market will not end until about 2012…and we need a serious human struggle and new technology before we see the next boom. Yet this same theory also suggests one last bear rally which may be a savior for baby boomers who would like to see their pensions and savings recover a bit before they retire.

The current bear trend began in 1998.  The 2005 to 2007 bear market rally led many investors astray. We are now in a late 1920s style market slide.

This has all been pretty predictable…which is why beginning August 2007 this site began recommending a reduction in equities and debt.

In September 2007, this site listed four important facts that affect most investors:

#1: They care too much about day to day volatility.

#2: They care too little about strategy.

#3: The short term process of buying and selling takes too much time.

#4: This short term process leaves too little time to analyze and forecast. We added seven suggestion then about of what to do when there is a market crisis.

#1: Turn on the auto pilot and normally add to your position.

#2: Do not panic.

#3: Do not let feelings influence you too much.

#4: Add some restructuring stories to your portfolio.

#5: Know that a period of high returns will be followed by a period of low returns…and vice versa.

#6: Do not underexpose yourself for the long term.

#7: Risk is your friend or alibi for expecting higher returns. Take risk in good value!

The market outlook at this site then (Sept 2007) was:

#1: Expect moderately higher stock markets at the end of 2007.

#2: Earnings growth will slow further.

#3: Watch out for core inflation and GDP growth. Dramatically lower growth with high inflation is the signal to watch for.

This could create a recession, the worst enemy for equities. We have that recession now. Hopefully you have been following these ideas.  If so, you have been hurt less than most and now we should be thinking hard about a reentry into markets. There are some stunning values developing especially if we engage three bear market rally tactics now.

Bear Market Rally Tactic #1: Realize that some blue chip equities in old industries may see some sharp immediate gains…but are not the wave of the future. If you hold such shares…when they recover…take your profit if the shares begin to be sold at an unreasonable value.

For example, General Motors was a Blue Chip that spiked in the late 1970s bear market rally.  The internal combustion engine was a productivity technology that came out of WWI.  Selling GM in the $40 range in the late 70s was the smartest thing a person could have done. From then forward, if you take the dollar’s fall and inflation into account, these shares have been a bad value and poor investment.

gm-share-chart

The Blue Chips that could peak in this rally are WWII era firms..plastics…telecommunications…TV…computer (not internet)…fertilizers and such.

Dump them if you get a decent price.

Boomers especially will want to use such timing.  If you have to sell shares to for liquidity, sell these Blue Chips in old industries that are not likely to have a bright future ever again.

Boomers, hold your new era investments that have a bold future and can still rise a lot to provide your income later when you are in your 80s and 90s and 100s!

Bear Market Rally Tactic #2:  Watch for the next war or struggle and the technology that will emerge. The nature of the battle will have an impact on what technology might emerge. Last year I thought that the war could be in Iran. See why at  WWIV

There are other options. For example a December 2, 2008 CNN article said:

Terrorists are likely to use a weapon of mass destruction somewhere in the world in the next five years, a blue-ribbon panel assembled by Congress has concluded. They are more likely to use a biological weapon than a nuclear one — and the results could be devastating, the chairman of the commission told CNN. “The consequences of a biological attack are almost beyond comprehension. It would be 9/11 times 10 or a hundred in terms of the number of people who would be killed,” former Sen. Bob Graham said. He cited the flu virus that killed millions of people in 1918 as an example. “Today it is still in the laboratory, but if it should get out and into the hands of scientists who knew how to use it for a violent purpose, we could have multiple times the 40 million people who were killed 100 years ago,” he said. Graham warned that such measures would be costly, but were necessary. “The leadership of this country and the world will have to decide how much of a priority … they place on avoiding the worst weapons in the world getting in the hands of the worst people in the world,” he said. “It is not going to be cheap. It is not going to be accomplished without some sacrifices. It won’t be accomplished without putting this issue ahead of some other competing national and international goals. But I think our safety and security depend upon doing so,” he added. It cited testimony before the commission from former Sen. Sam Nunn, who said that the “risk of a nuclear weapon being used today is growing, not receding.” The report recommends a range of measures, including increased security and awareness at biological research labs and strengthening international treaties against the spread of biological and nuclear weapons. “Many biological pathogens and nuclear materials around the world are poorly secured — and thus vulnerable to theft by those who would put these materials to harmful use, or would sell them on the black market to potential terrorists,” the report warned. The commission expressed particular concern about the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, and about Pakistan, which it described as “the intersection of nuclear weapons and terrorism. While observing that Pakistan is a U.S. ally, the report said, “the next terrorist attack against the United States is likely to originate from within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas” in Pakistan. The tribal areas lie in northwest Pakistan where the government exerts little control; the United States says it is a haven for militants from both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. Congress created the commission to investigate and report on WMD and terrorism in line with a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, which compiled a report on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Commissioners heard testimony from more than 250 experts from around the world over the course of their six-month investigation.

This is what it takes…a struggle where all concepts of return on investment go out the window….a no holds barred struggle that must be won. This type of endeavor breaks molds…urges thinking outside the box and changes the way humanity thinks, lives, works and interacts.

The struggle could be against global warming. This would be good, man against his bad lifestyle habits instead of man versus man. What will that struggle and new technology be?

None of us know for sure since we are all afflicted with that human failing of only being able to see the immediate future and (pretty badly) the past.

Yet being aware and watching for both (the struggle and technology) increases the odds of spotting them early and helping you venture into the next winners…that are the ones that can really grow over the next 10…20 and 30 years.

Bear Market Rally Tactic #3: Treat new era investments as high risk venture investments. Buy a little of several hoping to catch the winner.

In the last era for example, as mentioned, computers were the deal…so perhaps you invested a bit in shares of Data General…one of the first minicomputer firms from the late 1960s that due to a series of missteps in the 1980s, including missing the advance of microcomputers led to its decline and demise.

Plus maybe you invested in a bit of Sperry Univac…still in business as UNISYS CORP but only trading at .47 cents a share. Plus perhaps you purchased a bit of  Commodore Business Machines (big in the 80s…bankrupt in the 90s).

And you rounded your diversification by investing in a small company formed by two guys who were writing a program for Ed Robertson and his Altair computer (a first personal computer…in a kit).  Roberts said he would buy the program if he could see it running on the Altair but the programmers didn’t actually have the programs written.  They immediately set out to write them. It took about six weeks and worked.  Those programmers founded a small company in Albuquerque and later moved to the Seattle area.  Their names… Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The company…Microsoft.  Ahhh.

You may have chosen three losers out of four…but the name of the game in venture investing is the huge run up you get when you select a winner. Hold your winners and sell your losers.

We are in an era that we as investors have never seen before.  I began global investing in 1968 and this is the worst correction in those 41 years. This means we have greater opportunity for finding good value then we have had for four decades.

Use the seven suggestions above for investing in a market crisis….especially, take risk in good value!  Watch for the bear market rally and use the three bear market rally tactics to take this risk as YOU START LOOKING FOR VALUE NOW.

Gary

You can get regular quotes on multi currency shares that could do well in a bear market rally from Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management.

For more details on this, US investors should contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US investors Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

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

Take a hike with me in the warm Cotacachi winter’s sun.

cotacachi-sun

See how to attend two or three connected courses for great savings.

Stroll the sunny Ecuador beach this winter.

Ecuador beach

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us for great fresh Ecuador seafood!

Cotacachi-fish

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See Ecuador’s incredible scenery.

Cotacachi-fish

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Share some time with Ecuador’s friendly people.

San Clemente-fishermen

Better still join us all year! See how to attend our 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions in 2009 FREE.