Tag Archive | "America"

Ecuador’s Got Milk & Honey


Ecuador is the land of milk and honey for less… really.

In a moment we’ll look at some global investing ideas. Or you can skip Ecuador milk and go directly to Global Investment Thought.

First, how about some raw milk?

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Our hotel Meson de las Flores makes its own ice cream with fresh raw milk from local diaries, plus they…

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make and press their own fresh butter.

Our health is enhanced with raw milk and in Ecuador raw milk is easy to obtain. We get it for the hotel every day. The cost is about 45 cents a quart, delivered fresh daily from the local dairy.

In the US, it’s a task.  To get it in North Carolina, we have to buy it from a friend of a friend who will not say who produces the raw milk.

In Florida I noticed a health food store selling raw milk and raw organic yogurt labeled “for pet use only.”   We used to buy our French salt in a similar way “for deer licks only”!

How sad that informed adults have to play such games to get what is good that they want.

There is very little raw milk sold in America and this is sad as it’s a highly health-promoting food. The government story is that raw milk can carry disease. More to the point pasteurizing milk extends shelf life and makes it easier for big business to be more profitable.

One can become sick from any contaminated food as the nation has learned from meat, spinach and peanut butter all to well.

In California where raw milk can be sold, millions have consumed it without a single person getting sick. During the same period, there were many instances where people became so ill from pasteurized milk they died!

Raw milk provides minerals, beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidolphilus, vitamins and enzymes and in Ayurved is considered one of the best foods there is. Pasteurized non organic milk is viewed as poison as the process changes the structure of the milk proteins and destroys the milk’s beneficial bacteria.

Pasteurized cow’s milk has been associated with intestinal distress, iron-deficiency anemia, allergies, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and more.

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With so much sun and plenty of rain, the grass is rich, even in Cotacachi at 7,500 feet altitude for…

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these organic cows.

Raw Milk Delight

One great food made from raw milk was taught to Merri and me by a shaman here in Ecuador. I call it Sun Yogurt. Get raw milk. Boil it. Let it cool. Pour it in a green bottle. Add a bit of yogurt if you wish. Set it in the sun for the day. That night you will have a rich creamy almost custard yogurt! It’s rich and delicious.

In Ecuador we buy fresh, raw milk by the pail full… creamy to make our own butter, ice cream and yogurt.

There is great fresh, non fermented (queso fresco) cheese in the markets.

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Nearby our hotel there is also organic dairy and Swiss cheese factory. Here is the barnyard and…

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here are their cows.

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Their equipment.

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Their cave filled with great Swiss cheese.

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We serve this Ecuador cheese at our hotel.

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Ecuador also has really great honey that creates some export income opportunity… like this honey and Macadamia nuts offered by the Ecuador Honey Company. We”ll look at this in more detail in tomorrow’s message.

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Learn more about our Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour here

Global Investment Thought

Jyske Global Asset Management’s recent update points out what is becoming obvious… the global economy is picking up.  JGAM said:

*  The Case-Shiller U.S. home price index rose for the second month in a row in June.

* The German IFO business confidence survey came in above expectations, rising for a fifth month in a row.

* Australia’s leading economic indicators continue to suggest a broad recovery over the coming months.

* BCA’s (Bank Credit Analyst) Global Inflation Diffusion Index highlights that most components are falling. Furthermore, inflation typically responds to fluctuations in growth with a 1-1½ year lag, and this time around there is greater slack in the global economy.

In other words, the economy is recovering and inflation is down.

The immediate risks are that traditionally September and October are the most dangerous months for the US stock market.   Signs of a double dip recession coinciding with the traditional market dip could create a new wave of self fulfilling fear.

This will create a good buying opportunity both in equities and real estate.

What’s a Double Dip?

I rarely allow myself to eat ice cream but recently while visiting grand kids, we took them to a Creamery and can attest to the fact that a Sweet Cream and Chocolate double dip on a waffle cone is,  taste wise, pretty darn good.

Double Dips in the global economy do not bode so well, however.

A recession is a time of economic contraction and have always been followed by a return to economic expansion.  However once in awhile when economic distortions that are being sorted out are severe, when the expansion finally starts, it does not continue.   The economy contracts and dips back into recession again.

Economies now are improving globally.  Yet unemployment and foreclosures remain a problem.  Later this year  a second “double dip” recession could return as it did in 1980, then again in  1981-82.

Current conditions are quite different now than in the early 1980s, the 1980-1983 downturn was eventually turned around with major federal spending and a major tax cut.

The period 2007-2010 cannot expect the tax cut which is a shame because Federal spending tends to be less efficient than tax cuts, Federal spending is usually inefficient. Tax cuts stimulate business and inroads into new forms of productivity.

Stock markets tend to do well (as they are now) in the middle of recessions. During the worst of all 1930s depression, the Dow rose 66.7 percent in 1933 and 38.5 percent in 1935. This is because big value oriented investors look ahead.  Eventually economies recover and  grow. This is when value investors cash in.

Yet the poor employment scenario suggests that the equity recovery could be modest.  If this fact teams up with the nervousness acquired in 2008 and the autumnal downward forces… the most likely time for a market set back will be September and October.

With this in mind… values are good now for investors who can afford to buy and ride through another downturn that could last a year or so.

Until next message, may all you life be rich and delicious.

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 if  you attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free. You save $299.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Hi Merri, I wanted to thank you once again for your recommendation
 that I try Sol de Vida. I have had time for thirteen treatments but 
now it’s time for me to return home. The people there are wonderful 
and I’m happy to say there has been a dramatic improvement in my
(used-to-be) “bum” leg.  I can now walk much longer distances and
 remain pain free!
 
FYI, Sol de Vida changed to a  new facility near Meson.  

I enjoyed my stay here at Meson and in Cotacachi and hope to return
 sometime soon… thanks again for your assistance!

Join us at a seminar and tour and have a pain reduction treatment at the same time.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Ecuador Beats Inflation


Living in Ecuador is one way to beat inflation.

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Ecuadorians now how to live well on less.  They even farm steep land like this.

See two other ways to beat inflation below.

Beating inflation is absolutely vital now… especially for those about to retire… because Social Security is fading.

Lalla was a 14th century poetess who lived in Kashmir.  She described herself as a somewhat… something… moving dreamlike… on a fading road.

This is a perfect description for Social Security now… somewhat… something… moving dreamlike… on a fading road.

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Almost every plot of spare Ecuador land is rich and growing food.

Picture this.

Excerpts from a recent AOL.Money article by Jim Kuhnhenn entitled “White House Projects $9 Trillion Deficit”: In a chilling forecast, the White House is predicting a 10-year federal deficit of $9 trillion — more than the sum of all previous deficits since America’s founding. And it says by the next decade’s end the national debt will equal three-quarters of the entire U.S. economy.  But before President Barack Obama can do much about it, he’ll have to weather recession aftershocks including unemployment that his advisers said Tuesday is still heading for 10 percent.  Overall, White House and congressional budget analysts said in a brace of new estimates that the economy will shrink by 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year even as it begins to climb out of the recession. Those estimates reflect this year’s deeper-than-expected economic plunge.

The grim deficit news presents Obama with both immediate and longer-term challenges. The still fragile economy cannot afford deficit-fighting cures such as spending cuts or tax increases. But nervous holders of U.S. debt, particularly foreign bondholders, could demand interest rate increases that would quickly be felt in the pocketbooks of American consumers.

The amount of  this debt just an astounding and will almost certainly lead to inflation and a falling US dollar.

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A lot of the food grown is organic so…

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the local markets, like this one in Cotacachi have low cost organic “Productos Organicos.”  This makes it easier and less expensive to eat well in Ecuador.

The article above about the deficit is bad enough news but a recent USA Today article Social Security checks set to shrink in 2010 that shows how for those who are retiring, matters are getting even worse. Here is an excerpt:  Millions of older people face shrinking Social Security checks next year, the first time in a generation that payments would not rise.

The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won’t be a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. That hasn’t happened since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

By law, Social Security benefits cannot go down. Nevertheless, monthly payments would drop for millions of people in the Medicare prescription-drug program because the premiums, which often are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to go up slightly.

Cost-of-living adjustments are pegged to inflation, which has been negative this year, largely because energy prices are below 2008 levels.

Seniors “count on that COLA,” said Barbara Kennelly, a former Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut who heads the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “To some people, it might not be a big deal. But to seniors, especially with their health care costs, it is a big deal.”

Even the Cathedral next to our hotel grows organic corn in the church yard.

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There are numerous ways to beat this inflation crunch.

Inflation beater #1: Move to a low cost of living location like Ecuador. Inflation will hit Ecuador as well… but the starting baseline is lower.  In addition people in Ecuador know how to live well… on less.

Inflation beater #2: Own real estate or other commodities. The price of property and commodities, properly purchased will rise with inflation.  Property in Smalltown USA especially offers value now.

Inflation beater #3: Have your own business.  This is the greatest inflation beating asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live.

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

ecuador-farming

With so much sun and plenty of rain, the grass is rich, even in Cotacachi at 7,500 feet altitude for…

ecuador-farming

these organic cows.  Plus raw milk can be purchased directly… and at a low cost from the dairy keeping the cost of good living down.

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.

Gary

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the way we help: I really enjoy your Ecuador e-mail every day, especially because of the eclectic nature of the subjects. The recent postings on Loja were great, as my wife and I visited Loja for two nights and a day when were were in Ecuador last March. It is a beautiful town, and we met some very nice people there.

At our hotel the staff makes our own butter, marmalade and ice cream. Plus they love serving in beautiful ways. Here is how they set out the cutlery!  How can anyone not be charmed by such care.

ecuador-beauty

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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.

Read the entire articles below:

White House Projects $9 Trillion Deficit

Social Security checks set to shrink in 2010

International Investment Purification


What is the difference between health and wealth? Not much, just WH.   They are very connected. Without good health, wealth may not last long…  nor is wealth very important when health fails, except to regain health.

We can apply an idea about having better health through purification, to enhance our wealth.  We can improve our wealth by removing toxic investments from our portfolio.

In a moment we’ll also look at investing in sustainable timber and see an Ecuador visa update.

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Sustainable Timber.

First, let me begin with a purification health tip.

The tip is in the summer eat a watermelon.  Many ancient healing traditions (including Andean) view the body as having several elements including water, fire and air. Imbalances of these elements reduces energy, vitality, even leads to illness. The seasons too contain elements of fire, water and air. Water is predominant in spring, fire in summer and air in autumn-winter. Our bodies tend to accumulate these predominances during the season. In winter we have air imbalances (leading to dry throat called colds). In spring we pick up too much water (runny noses we identify as allergies, etc.). So at the beginning of each new season, it’s a great idea to clean the system out.

Watermelon is a cleanser of heat. During the summer the body accumulates heat.  Eat a whole, big watermelon if you can. This works in the summer when the flushing action removes excessive fire, water and air. The melon must be fresh, cut and eaten within 20 minutes. Watermelon is a sponge that absorbs and flushes free radicals from the system. If you let the melon sit after cutting, it oxidizes and loses its cleansing capacity.

Sound crazy? I thought so but tried it after watching a Shaman prescribe it for a woman suffering a severe rash (a summer fire imbalance). I felt so good, I make this a regular habit each summer. About once a month I eat only watermelon… three in a day if I can.

So how do we purify our investment & business portfolios?

One really simple tip for detoxifying your investment portfolio is to sell your losers and keep your winners.

This sounds awfully simple but forty years of working with investors has shown that most investors do exactly the opposite… except the pros. They all know… sell the losers.  Next time you invest, set a limit you will allow the investment to drop before you sell.  Stick to it!

The second trick is review your portfolio now. Are there any investments you hold that you would not buy right now?  Consider selling them. Take the loss and look for something better.

Another way to purify business and investments is to simply take a holistic long term view with expanded horizons.

Since we were looking at watermelon purification, let’s take investments in nutrition as an example.

Here is an excerpt from an article in Time magazine entitled “The Real Cost of Cheap Food” by Bryan Walsh:

Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He’s fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That’s the state of your bacon — circa 2009.

The U.S. agricultural industry can now produce unlimited quantities of meat and grains at remarkably cheap prices. But it does so at a high cost to the environment, animals and humans. Those hidden prices are the creeping erosion of our fertile farmland, cages for egg-laying chickens so packed that the birds can’t even raise their wings and the scary rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among farm animals. Add to the price tag the acceleration of global warming — our energy-intensive food system uses 19% of U.S. fossil fuels, more than any other sector of the economy.

And perhaps worst of all, our food is increasingly bad for us, even dangerous. A series of recalls involving contaminated foods this year — including an outbreak of salmonella from tainted peanuts that killed at least eight people and sickened 600 — has consumers rightly worried about the safety of their meals. A food system — from seed to 7‑Eleven — that generates cheap, filling food at the literal expense of healthier produce is also a principal cause of America’s obesity epidemic. At a time when the nation is close to a civil war over health-care reform, obesity adds $147 billion a year to our doctor bills. “The way we farm now is destructive of the soil, the environment and us,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House garden has so far yielded more than 225 lb. of organic produce — and tons of powerful symbolism. But hers is still a losing battle. Despite increasing public awareness, sustainable agriculture, while the fastest-growing sector of the food industry, remains a tiny enterprise: according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), less than 1% of American cropland is farmed organically. Sustainable food is also pricier than conventional food and harder to find. And while large companies like General Mills have opened organic divisions, purists worry that the very definition of sustainability will be co-opted as a result.

But we don’t have the luxury of philosophizing about food. With the exhaustion of the soil, the impact of global warming and the inevitably rising price of oil — which will affect everything from fertilizer to supermarket electricity bills — our industrial style of food production will end sooner or later. As the developing world grows richer, hundreds of millions of people will want to shift to the same calorie-heavy, protein-rich diet that has made Americans so unhealthy — demand for meat and poultry worldwide is set to rise 25% by 2015 — but the earth can no longer deliver. Unless Americans radically rethink the way they grow and consume food, they face a future of eroded farmland, hollowed-out countryside, scarier germs, higher health costs — and bland taste. Sustainable food has an élitist reputation, but each of us depends on the soil, animals and plants — and as every farmer knows, if you don’t take care of your land, it can’t take care of you.

Big problems create opportunity and investments in apparently obscure but sustainable food and energy ideas can help take toxicity out of your business as well as investment portfolio.

Sustainable may not seem profitable now… but neither did Microsoft when the idea of individual PCs began.

Sustainability is vital to our future. Sustainability is a huge problem and hence opportunity so though it will not arrive overnight…this is a sector we can invest in to detoxify our wealth.

Since we are connected to our investments… this process will also help us learn to eat and live better and help purify our health as well.

Sustainable Tables

Another way to purify your portfolio is to look for opportunities where you invest your own energy as well as your cash… like we are doing with our value added sustainable timber below.

Here is one little idea we are trying in our new little Blue Ridge Crafts business.

For years I have written that timber is a great investment.  Timber is the only commodity where the supply increases even when demand is down.  All you have to do during bad times… of low demand… like now is don’t sell.  Your timber continues to grow!

Now we are doing a business using dead timber and adding value!

We are turning dead wood, like this poplar log, into a business.

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This poplar sitting right behind our house died a few years ago and dropped branches on the house all winter. This spring we trimmed off the branches and last week brought it down… cut it in three pieces and dragged them to one of our fields.

We set up a portable mill and…

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cut over a thousand board feet of nice poplar planks.

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We also…

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cut one huge 13 foot long slab for a table top so if anyone is interested in a 12 foot poplar table… that you help design yourself… let us know.

This is a pretty small step towards sustainability but if we all think about ways to purify our investments, our business and body, our health and our wealth…at the big level and small will improve.

Ecuador Visa Update

A reader who travels frequently in business asked how to handle  the fact that Ecuador immigration policy does not allow a new resident to leave for more than 90 days a year for the first two years.

We checked with one of our Ecuador Living advisers, an attorney who specializes in immigration, who replied:

Please notice that in theory all resident visas come with the obligation not lo leave Ecuador for more than 90 days a year in the first two years.

Nevertheless, please be advised that authorities until now have not automatically removed a resident visa for this matter.

We have noticed that once the visa is stamped and if the passport is valid for more than two years, then you do not need to go to the Ecuadorian immigration authorities for anything else. This reduces the risk of the authorities reviewing how long you have you been outside of Ecuador during the first two years.

A good number of our clients have obtained the resident visa and have been outside of Ecuador far more than the 90 days with no complication whatsoever.

Anther option is to travel into Ecuador on a tourist visa which allows a stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days every year and this can be extended  for 90 days more.

Whether you want to live, do business or and invest in Ecuador, Smalltown USA or anywhere in the world… if you think sustainable, you are thinking… the future. This is a great place to be.

Gary

How We Can Serve You

How to Have Real Safety

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There are only three reasons why we should invest.  We invest for income.  We invest to resell our investments for more than we had invested.  We invest to make our world a better place.

We should not invest for fun, excitement or to get rich quick, or in a panic due to market corrections.

This is why the core Pi model portfolio (that forms the bulk of my own equity portfolio) consists of 19 shares and this position has not changed in over two years.  During these two years we have been steadily accumulating the same 19 shares and have not traded once.

The portfolio has done well in 2017, up 22.6%, better than the DJI Index.

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However one or even two year’s performance is not enough data to create a safe strategy.

The good value portfolio above is based entirely on good value financial information and mathematically based safety programs developed around models that date back 91 and 24 years.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets developed combining my 50 years of investing experience with study of the mathematical market value analysis of Keppler Asset Management and the mathematical trend analysis of Tradestops.com.

In my opinion, Keppler is one of the best market statisticians in the world.  Numerous very large fund managers, such as State Street Global Advisers, use his analysis to manage over $2.5 billion of funds.

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler who continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each major stock market’s history.

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Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.

Michael is a brilliant mathematician.  We have tracked his analysis for over 20 years.   He continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each stock market’s history.  From this, he develops his Good Value Stock Market Strategy and rates each market as a Buy, Neutral or Sell market.  His analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.  Keppler’s strategy is to diversify into an equally weighted portfolio of the MSCI Indices of each BUY market.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.

A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any stock in that country is an attractive investment, so you do not have to spend hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.  Investing in the index is like investing in all the shares in the index.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pifolio consists of Country Index ETFs.

Country Index ETFs are similar to an index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country.  ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent.  The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.

A country ETF provides diversification into a basket of equities in the country covered.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.

Here is the Pifolio I personally use.

70% is diversified into Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) developed markets: Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

30% of the Pifolio is invested in Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The Pifolio consists of iShares ETFs that invested in each of the MSCI indicies of the good value BUY markets.

For example, the iShares MSCI Australia (symbol EWA) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Australia Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Australian Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. This ETF is non-diversified outside of Australia.

iShares is owned by Black Rock, Inc. the world’s largest asset manager with over $4 trillion in assets under management.

Pi uses math to reveal the best value markets then protects its positions using more math created by Richard Smith founder and CEO of Tradestops.com to track each share’s trend.

We use Smith’s  algorithms that calculate momentum of the good value markets.

dr richard smith

The Stock State Indicators at Tradestops.com act as a full life-cycle measure that indicates the health of each stock. They are designed to tell you at a glance exactly where any stock stands relative to Dr. Smith’s proprietary algorithms.

Kepppler’s analysis shows the value of markets.  The SSI signal indicates the current trend of each stock (performing well, or in a period of correction, or stopped out).

The SSI tells you one of five things:

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Akey component of the Stock State Indicator (SSI) system is momentum based on the latest 521 days of trading.  A stock changes from red to green in the SSI system only after it has already gone up a healthy amount and has started a solid uptrend.

How SSI Alerts Are Triggered

If the position has already moved more than its Volatility Quotient below a recent high, the SSI Stop Loss will trigger.  This is an indicator that the position has corrected more than what is normal for this stock.  It means to take caution.

Below is an example of how SSIs work.  This example shows the Developed Market Pifolio that we track at Tradestops.com.

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Equal Weight Good Value Developed Market Pifolio.

At the time this example was copied, all the ETFs in the Developed Market Pifolio (above) currently had a green SSI.

We do not know when the US market will fall.  We only do know that it will.  We also do not know if, when the US market corrects, global markets will follow or rise instead.

The fact that the Pifilios are invested in good value markets reduces long term risk.

Additional protection is added by using trailing stops based on the 521 day momentum of each stock in the Pifolio.

Take for example the graph below from our Tradestops account that shows the iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF.  This ETF had a green SSI and a Volatility Index (VQ) of 13.26%.  This means the share can move 13.26% before there is a trend shift.

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iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (Symbol EWU)

Pi purchased the share at$31.26 and in this example the share was $34.43 and rising.  Tradestop’s algorithms suggested that if the price drops to $31.69 its momentum would have stopped and it would have shifted into trading sideways.   The stop loss price is currently $29.86.  If EWU continues to rise, both the yellow warning and the stop loss price will rise as well.

When the US stock market bull ends, know one knows for sure how long or how severe the correction will be.

When the bear arrives, what will happen to global and especially good value markets?

No  one knows the answer to this question.

What we do know is that the equally weighted, good value market Pifolios have the greatest potential long term and that math based trailing stops can be used to protect against a secular global stock market correction when it comes.

My fifty years of global investing experience helps take advantage of numerous long term cycles that are part of the universal math that affects all investments.

What you get when you subscribe to Pi.

You immediately receive a 120 page basic training course that teaches the Pi Strategy.   You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.

You also begin receiving regular emailed Pifiolio updates and online access to all the Pifolio updates of the last two years.  Each update examines the current activity in a Pifolio, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.

Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets).  This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.

You also receive two special reports.

In the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said:  Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.  The two conditions are in place again!

30 years ago, the US dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  The trends are so clear that I have created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.”   This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of  Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

This report sells for $29.95 but in this special offer, you receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Plus get the $39.95 report “The Platinum Dip 2018” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the last two years.  The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).   The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80, compared to a ratio of 230 only two years before.

In September 2015, I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a silver speculation, leveraged with a British pound loan, that could increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The tactics described in that report generated 62.48% profit in just nine months.

I have updated this report and added how to use the Dip Strategy with platinum.   The “Platinum Dip 2018” report shares the latest in a series of long term lessons gained through 40 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  I released the 2015 report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80.  The ratio has corrected and that profit has been taken and now a new precious metals dip has emerged.

I have prepared a new special report “Platinum Dip 2018” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.

You also learn from the Value Investing Seminar, our premier course, that we have been conducting for over 30 years.  Tens of thousands of delegates have paid up to $999 to attend.  Now you can join the seminar online FREE in this special offer.

This three day course is available in sessions that are 10 to 20 minutes long for easy, convenient learning.   You can listen to each session any time and as often as you desire.

The sooner you hear what I have to say about current markets, the better you’ll be able to cash in on perhaps the best investing opportunity since 1982.

seminars

Tens of thousands have paid up to $999 to attend.

In 2018 I celebrate my 52nd anniversary in the investing business and 50th year of writing about global investing.  Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades.  This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.

Stock and currency markets are cyclical.  These cycles create extra profit for value investors who invest when everyone else has the markets wrong.  One special seminar session looks at how to spot value from cycles.  Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics.  Cycles create recurring profits.  Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 to 20 years as shown in this graph.

stock-Charts

The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.

Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.  Economic downturns can create war.

The chart above shows the war – stock market cycle.  Military struggles (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War: WW III) super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.  The military technology shifts to domestic use.  A boom is created that leads to excess.  Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.

Details in the online seminar include:

* How to easily buy global currencies, shares and bonds.

* Trading down and the benefits of investing in real estate in Small Town USA.  We will share why this breakout value is special and why we have been recommending good value real estate in this area since 2009.

* What’s up with gold and silver?  One session looks at my current position on gold and silver and asset protection.  We review the state of the precious metal markets and potential problems ahead for US dollars.  Learn how low interest rates eliminate  opportunity costs of diversification in precious metals and foreign currencies.

* How to improve safety and increase profit with leverage and staying power.  The seminar reveals Warren Buffett’s value investing strategy from research published at Yale University’s website.  This research shows that the stocks Buffet chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price-to-book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios). His big, extra profits come from leverage and staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio, as all value portfolios, has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.

keppler asset management chart

This chart based on a 45 year portfolio study shows that holding a diversified good value portfolio (based on a  good value strategy) for 13 month’s time, increases the probability of out performance to 70%.  However those who can hold the portfolio for five years gain a 88% probability of beating the bellwether in the market and after ten years the probability increases to 97.5%.

Time is your friend when you use a good value strategy.  The longer you can hold onto a well balanced good value portfolio, the better the odds of outstanding success.

Learn how much leverage to use.  Leverage is like medicine, the key is dose.  The best ratio is normally 1.6 to 1.  We’ll sum up the strategy; how to leverage cheap, safe, quality stocks and for what period of time based on the times and each individual’s circumstances.

Learn to plan in a way so you never run out of money.  The seminar also has a session on the importance of having and sticking to a plan.  See how success is dependent on conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk.  Learn a three point strategy based on my 50 years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

The online seminar also reveals  the results of a $80,000 share purchase cost test that found the least expensive way to invest in good value.  The keys to this portfolio are good value, low cost, minimal fuss and bother.  Plus a great savings of time.  Trading is minimal, usually not more than one or two shares are bought or sold in a year.  I wanted to find the very least expensive way to create and hold this portfolio so I performed this test.

I have good news about the cost of the seminar as well.   For almost three decades the seminar fee has been $799 for one or $999 for a couple. Tens of thousands paid this price, but online the seminar is $297.

In this special offer, you can get this online seminar FREE when you subscribe to our Personal investing Course.

Save $468.90 If You Act Now

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.  Plus you receive FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More”, the $39.95 report “Silver Dip 2017” and our latest $297 online seminar for a total savings of $468.90.

ecuador-seminar

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the Value Investing Seminar right away. 

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free, easy diversified investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Platinum Dip 2018” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.

Gary

Read the entire article “The Real Cost of Cheap Food” here.

Investing in Chaos


Many recent messages have looked at living, business and investing in chaos during times of turmoil and change.

investing-in-chaos

Ecuador at times may seem chaotic.

Chaos is caused by transition from one wave of productive technology to another.

Investors and businesses who understand this have an enormous advantage because they know to look for the next wave.

In a moment, we’ll look at the potential for chaos in Ecuador.

First, let’s look at some positive chaos that could ruin some basic utilities but also create millions (maybe billions) for some businesses and investors.

The industrial revolution has been a time of continual chaos.  There was a time of turmoil when mankind shifted from steam technology to the internal combustion engine. Investors who had been big in railroads (but were smart) shifted to investing in automobiles and trucking and bus lines.

Then chaos came again when the jet engine made the airplane a more effective form of transportation than long distance.  Bus travel and smart investors shifted from Greyhound into airline shares.

In the information era; the PC, Internet (and Microsoft) became the major carrier of mankind and investors who saw this potential once again jumped ahead of the pack.

Where do we go next?

One new wave of technology may come in a product we all take for granted…. creating what I would call the independence era. Let’s just look at the break through.

A forward looking reader sent me the Utah Daily Herald article “New battery could change world, one house at a time” by Randy Wright.

Here is an excerpt:  On a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.  — a new generation of deep-storage battery that’s small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America’s antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices.

The convergence of these two key technologies — solar power and deep-storage batteries — has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

With small-scale electrical generation taking place at millions of individual homes — as opposed to today’s large-scale power generation from a handful of giant power plants — there would be less worry about what’s called “point failure” on the grid. That’s when a single component gets knocked out and shuts off power to a whole region. California-style rolling blackouts would be history.

The threat of terrorism has heightened the worry. But wide distribution of batteries in homes would virtually eliminate it.

Inside Ceramatec’s wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions — electrically charged particles — back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It’s amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it’s both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn’t want your kids around one of these.

The essence of Ceramatec’s breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery’s life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in. Five kilowatts over four hours — how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That’s a pretty exciting place to live.

And then you recharge. With a projected 3,650 discharge/recharge cycles — one per day for a decade — you leave the next-best battery in the dust. Deep-cycling lead/acid batteries like the ones used in RVs are only good for a few hundred cycles, so they’re kaput in a year or so.

How do you recharge? By tapping your solar panels or windmills. It’s just like plugging in your cell phone or iPod, only you plug in your house.

A small three-bedroom home in Provo might average, say, 18 kWh of electric consumption per day in the summer — that’s 1,000 watts for 18 hours. A much larger home, say five bedrooms in the Grandview area, might average 80 kWh, according to Provo Power. Either way, a supplement of 20 to 40 kWh per day is substantial. If you could produce that much power in a day — for example through solar cells on the roof — your power bills would plummet.

“Batteries and PV are about to merge,” said MIT’s Nocera, using the shorthand for “photovoltaics” or solar power. “First Solar is now saying that it takes $1 a peak watt to manufacture, and another 80 cents for installation. So they’re saying that you can get PV for under $2 a watt. That’s a reduction of cost by a factor of four. Only a few years ago, it was $8. If CoorsTek and Ceramatec come up with a good battery, the market will develop quickly.”

The long-term impact of home electric generation for a power company’s business model could be huge. After all, you can’t stay in business if nobody’s paying for power. Exactly how that will play out remains to be seen.

This technology is new to me… but seems breathtaking and loaded with opportunity.  Please send any thoughts, ideas, information or opinions you have.

Before you invest though, remember the golden rules of investing.

1. Money isn’t everything
2. Work only with people you like
3. Buy businesses, not stocks
4. Invest only in what you understand
5. Don’t over diversify
6. Keep looking for new opportunities
7. Buy businesses you plan to keep for life
8. Look for businesses that are available at a good price
9. Do what you like

Potential Ecuador Chaos

investing-in-chaos

The people of Ecuador are friendly and happy.

There is some potential for change in Ecuador that could benefit those moving and investing there.

First, let’s look at the cause of the turmoil.  A recent message entitled Investing Internationally shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to take back a number of radio and TV frequencies stations. We promised to stay tuned to what happens and share observations and opinions from trusted sources in Ecuador about this.

Since that time, the Western press has published even more bad sounding news.

A recent AP article entitled “Ecuador Wants Citizen Committees To Defend Gov’t” said:  QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador wants to create local citizen committees that would defend the government and its “revolution” — sparking criticism that the president aims to control opponents in a system reminiscent of Cuba or Venezuela.

Citizen Participation Minister Doris Soliz told Ecuador TV on Thursday that local citizen groups are needed to defend against coups like the one that recently deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, or against outside agitators, noting U.S. military plans to use Colombian bases.

Other articles covered lots of rhetoric from Venezuela’s President about winds of war in the area (Chavez’s commenting on the announcement that the US would place military in Colombia).

Since the daily press distort, dramatize and magnify the negative; here are more comments from Ecuadorian business people with this comments.

Dear Gary: Sorry for the delay in my reply.  Correa is an unpredictable president.  On one hand he tries to emulate everything Chavez has done in Venezuela.  It is clear that Chavez gave him millions to finance his political campaigns and now he is obligated to do whatever Chavez wants.

On the other hand, he knows how far he can push the people of Ecuador.  If he is not careful, he can end up like Zelaya in Honduras.  I see strong confrontations coming if he tries to close radio and TV stations like Chavez did.

As you say in your reports.  We all need to be diversified in order to avoid problems in one place and not have anywhere to go in thing go bad.  I do believe the Ecuadorians are not as passive as the Venezuelans, and if Correa pushes too far he will find out. Let’s wait and see.

I agree with this reader. Ecuadorians are an independent people, and I have watched them (peacefully) oust a number of Presidents who abused their power.

Here is another opinion from one of my many sources.

Gary,  My comments are just some personal opinions and for that reason I prefer that I not receive any credit.   There is some noise going around that Correa wants to have “block leaders” who will report back to the government of any dissent. You can imagine what this means. Stifling dissent. It is a time to be careful and hope the Ecuadorian military remains faithful to the people of Ecuador. While there are so many needs and opportunities in Ecuador to be attended to, one could ask why does the president feel it is necessary to be out speaking of “winds of war blowing” against Colombia?
Anyway, it all comes with the territory of being in the Latin governmental world I suspect.  If the leaders were just humble people looking to improve the lot of their people instead of being megalomaniacs hell bent on being Castro or Hitler, life would be easier for all.

investing-in-chaos

Here are children in a parade in Cotacachi.

Readers should note that it was not Correa, Ecuador’s president who made the comment about Winds of War but Chavez of Venezuela. A lot of press makes it sound like Correa is much more closely aligned with Chavez than I believe he is.  Good or bad, I do believe that Correa is his own man and is pretty independent.

Here is another comment by an Ecuadorian with a great political and historical background.

Thanks for asking.  Correa. He is all right.  His big problem is being too young.  There is
a proverb in Spanish “mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo”.  (
The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil). That is Correa’s problem.  He is not old enough.  Velasco Ibarra who was president five times, was very much like Correa, when he was young. When he grew older he became much more sedated.

Again I agree with this. Everything I have seen has led me to feel that Correa has many good intentions and is trying to correct many wrongs and has a big job.  In his youth he may be too ambitious and impatient.  Time, inertia and politics should correct a lot of that!

Here are more comments.

He usually talks too much.  He talks every Saturday for 3 or 4 hours continuously.  It is not highly recommendable to quote him or mention his speech. Sometimes he just changes his mind. Or does not follow what he mentioned in the previous weekend.

That could describe more than one politician!

I have met the President a couple of times. He actually stopped next to us on the street at 9pm at night and met our son and was very sincere and asked what we thought about how things were here in Ecuador.  He is very headstrong, but I think that he is a very intelligent guy and he knows how to negociate  and what it is going to take for Ecuador to become a stable economy and that is with foreign investment and tourism.

Again this is the way I see it as well.

This is from a Quito businessman:

Dear Gary:  Many thanks for sharing the concerns some of your readers have about President Correa. I get some emails on the subject too.  I should start by saying that I am no fan of President Correa,  far from it. I don’t particularly like his discourse as if from the union trenches of the 60s and 70s.

Some of his economic policies seem to go counter current and his relative closeness with Chavez is a blemish.

Nonetheless, there are merits too, amongst which is great effort in improving education and health care. Also, in attempting to fix some wrongs and distortions we’ve had on several fronts.

In spite of Correa’s antics, Ecuador continues to offer, and perhaps more so than ever, rather remarkable opportunities for real estate investors, visitors and expats.

Let me explain:

The new, fresh-out-of-the-oven, Ecuadorian Constitution states, following with the tradition of the previous one, that foreigners have exactly the same rights as Ecuadorians under the law.

Furthermore, private property is protected under the law as one of the main pillars of our economy. Confiscation is prohibited and eminent domain (expropriation) situations are extremely rare, much less so than what they would be in Miami, London or Toronto for that matter.

While some people may believe that Correa is not particularly pro foreign investment, the reality is that Ecuador, just as the next country, needs investment to prosper and, hence, the President is very welcoming of it, he just demands responsible practices.

While the pitfalls of politics-as-usual and nationalistic grandstanding in Ecuador, can and does preclude some major investments from coming in (picture hydroelectric, oil exploration, etc), for most of us, of your readers Gary, this should not be a problem.

Regarding the Government’s stance towards foreigners coming to Ecuador and investing here, something quite nice and reassuring happened to me recently, which is telling about how reality differs from perception.

Here’s the story:

While working in the concept for a coastal development with international capitals and geared mostly towards foreigners, we realized that better government planning and zoning was needed in the area if we were to spread our wings the fullest.

I decided to call the Production Ministry, which is a high level coordination entity on top of many other ministries in Ecuador to see if they could perhaps give us some light as to getting some better zoning for the area.

I was immediately transferred to the head authority in charge of foreign investments in Ecuador and in a few hours was meeting with him along with other officers from the ministry he had called in.
They were not only incredibly welcoming of our ideas and concepts but asked us to create with them a road map not only for planning and zoning, but for infrastructure, education of the local community, and much more.

They have let me know that they are ready to lend a hand as needed and that when the time comes, once we have things down on a plan we can meet with the secretary of the ministry and even President Correa for further vision.

What is the reason for this incredible support? Well, that they are really pro investments and that when you want to do the right thing, doors become open.

On the subject of visas, something that concerns many foreigners, I can say that the President has prompted a very open regime for foreigners to come to Ecuador. However, some changes in the procedures are driving some of us nuts. We just have to adapt.

In any case, you can expect to get a resident visa in Ecuador in 3 to 6 weeks in most cases. The new director of Migration is quite a gentleman and very open and understanding. It’s a pleasure to work with him.

With regards to some radios being closed, this is something the President declared as a possibility on grounds that some radio frequencies had been granted with irregularities according to an audit. While the audit may be correct, President Correa does have a bitter quarrel with the press and his fixation with it is over the top now.

Getting back to real estate; I’d like to add that foreigners have been investing and buying real estate in Ecuador for some time, and that this is a trend that is seemingly quite on the rise.

I am seeing the start of a major wave here.

Ecuador has excellent real estate opportunities and values and the current international crisis where former “safe havens” have been shattered is making this truth about Ecuadorian real estate all the more compelling.

Investors into Ecuadorian real estate ought to buy soundly into capital preservation and important appreciation potential.

As final thoughts, given the current financial problems the world is seeing, the violence in Mexico fending off tourists and investors… the bursting of the real estate bubbles throughout, the baby-boomers coming of age with individuals lusting for active living with quality of life to boot, Ecuador is starting to make some tremendous sense to many.

Our President may be a bit of a showman (to put it somehow), granted; and we as a nation have a ways to go into maturity; we are rough around the edges, but we may have among the warmest, most welcoming people on earth, and no development can buy that.

We have good infrastructure and low cost of living. Those who see beyond the perception should be able to get in early on the trend, ride this major wave and make the best out of it.

These are good points… especially this one… the government may be talking one way or the other… but look at how it is acting. In this case it appears that the government is pro tourism… pro investment and is welcoming residents from abroad.

Here is one final comment.

Gary, I don’t get involved in my host country’s internal politics.  I am however a strong believer in the Open Society and the value of ideas meeting arguments, so I guess I would prefer more media outlets to fewer.  By the by, Ecuadorians I know say this is the first time they feel they cannot express freely what they feel about their government, for fear of repression.

These are two key points also. I do not get involved in politics anywhere.  My feeling is that time is better spent adapting to whatever the politicians do rather than joining into the political fray. Reality is that if you do business fair and well, whatever the political system is you’ll be welcome.  The second point is about freedom of speech.

I recall feeling fear like this recently when talking to my son over the phone. I was about to make a joke about a certain president and decided not to thinking… I had better not joke about this.  The problem was I was in the US… not Ecuador.

The great technology that has created such great access to information has destroyed our privacy as well…everywhere.

My new real estate acquisitions are in Ecuador . Recent messages have looked at the importance of seeing reality. People write often asking if it‘s safe in Ecuador. I was thinking of the reality of this as Merri and I concluded a long Ecuador morning walk. The birds were singing, roosters crowing in the distance and we saw two very young children, a girl of maybe six or seven and her little brother maybe four or five walking alone through the village on their way to school. This is so typical in Ecuador.

I wondered how many children of that age in North America are allowed to walk alone through town as they are in Ecuador.

investing-in-chaos

More Cotacachi children in a parade.

You see young girls like this (maybe eleven or twelve) walking around night and day. This is not because Ecuadorian parents are careless. It is because there is a great deal of safety in Ecuador .

Here are a few facts I know.

#1: The Ecuador constitution protects landownership of citizens regardless of citizenship. No local government can take land by eminent domain for economic development.

#2: No Ecuador children have been shot in school.

#3: Ecuador schools do not require metal detectors.

#4: No Ecuador police force has used a “no knock” search warrant to break down a door and then shoot an innocent 80+ year old resident 50 times.

#5: We do not worry in Ecuador about being sued if someone spills hot coffee on themselves at our hotel. By the way our coffee is hot here.

#6: Ecuadorian doctors do not have to shut down their practices because of malpractice insurance costs.

#7: Parents in Ecuador are not at risk of having their child diagnosed as having ADD and being forced to give them Ritalin. Read http://www.ritalindeath.com/ if you want to have your heart rendered over the weekend.

investing-in-chaos

There is a deep culture in Ecuador.

Back in early 2007, a potential real estate buyer visited me about buying a $93,000 house in Otavalo. As we enjoyed a “cuppa tea” and visited I could see he loved the house but was really worried about loss of property due to Ecuador’s constitutional reform.

My view was that the reform was unlikely to reduce individual land rights. As we can see above, the opposite took place. the constitution strengthened property protection.  Ecuador’s base of wealth has always been individual land ownership.

Then I pointed out to this potential buyer that his  real bigger risk was buying a similar three bedroom house in England. A similar house would cost him between $400,000 and a million dollars. The risk of losing $93,000 in value when the overheated English real estate market dips seemed greater to me than the chances of losing $93,000 in Ecuador because a house would taken due to constitutional change.

Prices were way overblown in England.  This was exactly what happened.  Real estate crashed in England while real estate prices in Ecuador have remained strong.

Plus Ecuador offers the benefits of $1.40 a gallon gas, lovely weather, sweet people, no capital gains tax on real estate sales, very inexpensive but good medical and dental help, ridiculously low property tax, almost no tort liability, inexpensive cost of living, low crime and better food.

In the west, the cost of living is so high that many people can barely move!

So where is it safe to live? I think when Merri and I are really realistic, we feel that there are many aspects of safety in Ecuador.

Many of us feel many changes in our homelands that are not good. If you do, don’t despair, the sun always shines somewhere as it did here in Cotacachi, Ecuador. Here’s the sun coming up!

Merri and I always practice diversification…in asset class as well as geographically.  We are over weighted in Ecuador so we are voting with our money that the chaos here will create more opportunity than trouble.

See more about Ecuador diversification here.

Change and chaos are parts of the rhythm of life.  The never ending evolution created by time and space creates turmoil but also opportunity.

We hope the chaos in your life brings only good to you.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth in chaos.

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 seminars below.

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

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Amazingly helpful, amazingly timely … thank you for this !

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + 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.

Read the entire article New battery could change world, one house at a time

Ecuador Diversified


Ecuador is a great place of diversification.

I often get letters from readers like this.

Dear Gary, I have noticed that you have mentioned (a few times) that you and Merri are not residents of Ecuador —– and you do not want to become residents. Would you be kind enough to explain what brought you to this decisions?  Thank you,

My first reply is always “grandchildren!”

Plus there is a limitation. When you become a resident you cannot be out of Ecuador more than  90 days per year during the first two years of your residency.  Merri and I have not been in one place that long for 40 years.

This is our unique quirk.  We are very mobile people… have four homes and move around a lot.

Every person has a unique set of circumstances.  Our relationship with our God, family and purpose in life should be the first determining factors that shape a lifestyle including where we live.

Yet if I did not have grandchildren in the US, I suspect that Merri and I would be living in the same way we do in the Blue Ridge and Ecuador with diversification.

If you have been reading my site for long you may know that since I wrote my first book, Passport to International Profit in the 1970s, my mantra has been 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

Why diversify and have two places of residence?  The answer is to have options.

Things could go wrong in Ecuador. My impression is that Correa is nowhere as bad as the Western press make him out to be… yet if I am wrong… or some other bad event takes place in Ecuador that makes it unsuitable for us, Merri and I have an option.

I do not want to be stuck with everything invested in Ecuador… or any one place anywhere.

So why be in Ecuador at all?  We love the people… the year round sun… the easy way of life… the access to a holistic natural lifestyle and the low cost of living.

Plus frankly, I am as concerned that things could go wrong in the USA.

There are a number of fundamentals about America that are scary to me.

By now almost any thinking person can see raging inflation looming ahead.  They can see the US dollar falling.  Yet there are many more American problems I keep my eye on… like the loss of our basic rights.  Take for example the rule that the US military cannot operate in police actions on US soil.  This is a good rule… yet look at this.

I don’t have a lot of respect for the daily press. There is too much meaningless, bad news that seems slanted towards helping a few.

For example I have been watching the press building a Swine Flu scare since the beginning of the year.    They are at it right now with… “watch out for swine flu this fall.”   The press, knowingly or not,  is preparing the public to buy into swine flu vaccine.. good for pharmaceuticals… but maybe not so good for the individual.  Whether the press publishes this type of stuff because fear sells papers or for some hidden agenda, I do not know.  I am not a conspiracy theorist… but I do know that history suggest that no republic lasts in a state of harmony for very long.

So I read with great concern an August 8 article in the science section of the New York Times entitled “Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security”  by John Broder.

Here is an excerpt from the article:  WASHINGTON — The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.

Such climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions, say the analysts, experts at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies who for the first time are taking a serious look at the national security implications of climate change.

Recent war games and intelligence studies conclude that over the next 20 to 30 years, vulnerable regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, will face the prospect of food shortages, water crises and catastrophic flooding driven by climate change that could demand an American humanitarian relief or military response.

An exercise last December at the National Defense University, an educational institute that is overseen by the military, explored the potential impact of a destructive flood in Bangladesh that sent hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming into neighboring India, touching off religious conflict, the spread of contagious diseases and vast damage to infrastructure. “It gets real complicated real quickly,” said Amanda J. Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, who is working with a Pentagon group assigned to incorporate climate change into national security strategy planning.

But a growing number of policy makers say that the world’s rising temperatures, surging seas and melting glaciers are a direct threat to the national interest.

What concerns me in this article is that it could be a warning shot that more American rights are about to be violated.

The implication is that  anything to do with  climate change could be viewed as a threat to national security and that more normal, democratic rights to … privacy… presumption of innocence… right to an attorney etc.  will be reduced in the name of climatic national security.

I hope I am wrong about this.  If not, is there anything I can do about this?  Not much… but live in a positive way that is as good for as many as is possible. I can do my best to be ethical and prepare, so if living conditions shift badly in the US… there is always Ecuador.  Or vice versa. (See more on ethical investing below).

I doubt things will get so bad in the US that I would not want to live here anymore.

I doubt things will get so bad in Ecuador that I would not want to live there anymore.

If I am wrong, I doubt even more, that things will get so bad in both places that I will not want to live in one or the other of these societies.

Just in case, here is a photo from my passport.  This is the stamp you get when you are allowed to reside permanently in the UK.

I can always live in the UK and from there, anywhere in the European Union.

This also fits into our lifestyle as we have children who live in England and expect to have grandchildren living there some day.

The point is I have options because I am diversified. Yet the options fit my particular lifestyle.

The US is central to all my family.  The US is a country I love and know and as a US citizen have certain rights.

Ecuador is 3 hours and 45 minutes from the US and as mentioned we are fulfilled by being in Ecuador for many reasons.

Ecuador gives us great weather in the winter and we love the people and the place. Ecuador is not a bunghole we have chosen because  we dislike or fear some other place.

I repeat. The six point command posture 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

Let’s take this one step further. To have a fulfilling six point lifestyle posture:

Live in one country you love.
Bank in a second country you really enjoy.
Invest in many countries you would like to explore or feel good about.
Earn in two or more countries you would like to explore or feel good about.
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country that best fits your circumstances.
Take a second residence in a place where you love and want to be.

We live in a time of incredible opportunity and freedom. There are probably dozens of places where each of us could enjoy living, investing and doing business.  There is no need to look for the one perfect place.  In fact, such a Utopia probably does not exist.

There are however many places like Ecuador where you can enjoy living full or part time and gain lifestyle diversification.

Also do not look for the perfect place to live, or the one and only business to do or the best investment of all forever.   Our circumstances and countries, institutions and relations change.

Diversification gives us a greater ability to change too.

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 course fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two courses below.

Here are delegates at a recent international investing course that I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Management.

This is why I like banking and investing in London and Copenhagen. They are my favorite European cities.   Plus they are safe places to bank and Merri and I can visit our children when we visit our bankers.

bank-privacy

Here I am with Thomas Fischer of  JGAM at the seminar. While other banks are dumping Americans, Jyske is working harder to enhance its global service for US investors.

bank-privacy

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 course.

Here’s a comment from a Canadian delegate at our last course:  Gary: First let me thank you for an excellent course. We were so fortunate to get an overview of the currency market and the internet business both delivered in understandable language and with logic to back up the ideas.  Although the banking presentation by Thomas was American oriented we Canadians still got great information and know how to go forward with international banking.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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
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.

Learn more about the power of ethical investing and business here.

Read the full article New York Times entitled “Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security

Ecuador Car Rental Review


See below why our recent article about Ecuador car rentals aroused more than just comments about cars. That message evoked a strong reaction to change… a change that must take place…  a change where resistance is futile and in many places a gesture that degrades our chances for happiness, health and a life of ease.  See why below.

We Americans do love our cars.

I know.

I have kept my little Suzuki Samari going for 22 years now… and hopefully will be driving it for another 22 years…. or more.

 

Four wheel drive from flowers. What fun!

I was not surprised that my suggestion in the Ecuador car rental article “get a driver rather than rent a car  in Ecuador” caused some panic.

You can read that article at car rentals in Ecuador

Beware those who try to separate Americans from their cars!  This caused one reader to worry so about the cost of cars that he wrote:

Hi Gary,  what about importing your own car, or buying one there?
From what you are writing, the living seems to be very inexpensive, that is until you want to travel on your own. Try that on $1000 month or a fixed income.
All that shines is not gold. Reading between your lines these past 3 months I have come to conclude that there are lots of “hidden” costs in living in this 3rd world country.

I have lived for decades in many similar countries, and even worse, however never have I encountered such car costs as you describe. These are by far the most expensive car rentals I have heard of.  Doesn’t make sense living there unless one wants to walk or take taxis everywhere. An independent person would be doomed to frustration.  No, thanks…this was the article that opened my eyes.

This reader jumped to some incorrect conclusions. The gist of the article was that people who visit Ecuador should hire a car and driver.

The car rental situation is quite different for a tourist than for someone who has moved to Ecuador, learned the system… knows the roads and is not trying to see the country in a limited  time period.

Many people who live in Ecuador have cars.  Cars are not that expensive…. especially new ones partly assembled in Ecuador.

Gas is really cheap ($1.50 a gallon) and mechanics very inexpensive.

We recently looked at buying a four wheel drive Land Rover Challenger in good shape for our hotel.  The asking price was $15,000.  But we wouldn’t drive it.

GoEcuador says: It is now possible to obtain a used car in good condition beginning at $4000.

I just posted an entire report about prices of used cars for our Ecuador Living subscribers. If you do not subscribe to Ecuador Living and want that report on Ecuador car prices, learn how to get that report here.

Plus that reader says he is independent because he has a car?

He forgets the fact that this means he is very dependent on cheap gas… something he may not have for long.

In Ecuador, the cost of hiring a driver can be less then renting a car and may even less than owning your own car. The availability of drivers with cars can eliminate the idea that we become dependent on others if we do not have a car.

One small piece of technology altered the automobile driver equation… the cell phone. In Ecuador most people have cell phones.   A number of drivers we and many others rely on have cell phones.  A car is always just minutes away from a call… no parking… no insurance… no maintenance… no getting gas.

Another reader wrote:

Thank you!  We would purchase a locally manufactured ‘middle of the road’ (pun) vehicle.  But I’m worried about drivers, accidents, tickets, gringo-problems with the locals and the police as well as the various other road condition, speeders, etcetera other issues.  (We have both driven over 45 years in various countries with no tickets – I’m not worried about our driving.)  We plan to relocate to Ecuador – probably suburban/rural area (but near enough to a city with a bilingual school) so will need a car daily for commuting our daughter to school, shopping, and more.  How can it be affordable to take taxis all the time instead of owning a vehicle ourselves?  Please let me know how others do it.   Do you and Merri drive in Ecuador? Thanks.

These notes conjure several important points about change from living in Ecuador or anywhere abroad…  points that go way beyond cars.

These readers, like so many readers who contact me, projected the old American commuter ideal onto an imagined lifestyle into Ecuador.

Why?

This mental error is understandable.   We Americans are car junkies.

I am living proof.

Like many Americans I obtained my driving license on my 16th birthday.  Shortly after I found a job and bought my own car… a 58 Chevy Bel Air just like this.

ecuador-car-rentals

That was a great car and I just about lived in it.  We boomers in high school were judged by our cars!

I initially carried the burden of the car mentality with me when I left the USA.  I have driven in some crazy places during my time… jungles… war zones… deserts… swamps.  We’ve had our car robbed in Nice … had fender benders in Djakarta and on roundabouts in London and Rome.  Merri had her car bombed in the parking lot of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona…along with everyone else’s car there. (Long live the Basques!) Plus I have had a couple of cars stolen and some serious smashes in the US.  I live with the effects of a broken back, whiplashed neck and busted knee from driving an Austin Healey Frogeye (see below) into an 18 wheeler truck .

So I have experienced the good and the bad of cars.

When Merri and I bought our first hacienda in Ecuador, the seller threw in a really great, old Land Rover… gray… perfect leather seats but so old it had only three switches… one for the lights, one for the windshield wipers and one that apparently did nothing.   You could (and we did) start that vehicle with a hand crank.  The heating and air conditioning system was a flap in front that you could either open or shut.

We loved that car and I drove it exactly once… from our hacienda to Calacali… about a hour ride with only 15 minutes on a paved road.

The rest of the time we had our driver drive us.  This provided one more job in a country that needs employment plus gave Merri and me time to talk… look at the scenery and not worry about parking and all the rest of the hassle that comes with driving.

That is the only one time I have driven in Ecuador in all these decades.

Now let me add… I have always been a driver.

When I lived in Hong Kong I had a car… a great little Sprite Frogeye. Like this…

I loved that car in Hong Kong but hardly ever drove it.  I took the peak tram, the Star Ferry, taxis… the trolley and even jumped on the bus from time to time.

Why?

Have you ever tried to park in Hong Kong?

Ditto for London. I had a number of cars… first a little MG Midget like this.

In 1970, I drove that MG from London to Rome with my wife and two children… one still in diapers… a mistake… having not learned about the luxuries of Eurorail.

Then I had an Audi… a Peugeot… a BMW… and a Triumph Spitfire.

Yet I rode my bicycle many miles through London traffic from my home is Chiswick to my office on Artillery Row near Buckingham Palace.  I was often stopped by the police and even ticketed for riding my bike on a short cut through Kensington Gardens.   I also regularly used the Tube.

Why?

Have you ever tried to drive in London?

Plus riding the bike every day eliminated having to drive the car to a gym… a double savings.

Here is a point about change that goes beyond cars.

Americans are car addicted because of the nature of America.

Americans need and are highly dependent on cars because everything is spread out,  gas has been cheap, there is little public transportation and labor is expensive.

This set of conditions does not apply in all countries.  Cars are an asset in the USA but they can be liabilities elsewhere.

Why in a time when the environment is at risk through pollution… energy prices are rising… and roads are becoming more and more congested… would one want to stick to a lifestyle that revolves around one car per person if that is not the most effective lifestyle?

The one car per person mentality is old thought.

We really need to move onto the new.

Due to high labor costs, Americans have become hooked on DYI.   Yet when we move to a country with great, low cost labor… it makes sense to take advantage of these conditions.  Everyone gains.

When we can do good, why not create a bit of employment and save time, energy and money… why not sit back and enjoy the ride?

Hundreds of my readers have moved to Ecuador.  Almost none have chosen to buy a car because they really are not needed in many places there.

In Cotacachi we walk. Our friends who have moved to Cotacachi report  losing weight, feeling better and having more energy… in part because they walk more instead of driving.

Taxis are very inexpensive.  Most trips around town are a dollar and they come quickly to a cell phone call.  Though Merri and I do not use the buses, many of our friends do. The system works well.  If we need to take a trip away from the village, we have a number of drivers who have excellent vans and cars who charge between $55 and $70 to take us wherever we want to go.  A ride is  available at any time night or day… with one cell phone call.  Usually on a long furniture shopping trip to many places nearby, we might spend $10-$15….plus we have the advantage of the driver’s help, no problems parking, etc.

We have eliminated the cost of the car… gas… maintenance…. insurance…. parking… security.

Many US and Canadian readers write to us asking about cars…. big refrigerators… washing machines and dish washers.  These are all products that have evolved from North America’s spread out, low energy, high labor cost, nationally distributed, highly preserved food lifestyle.

In many countries you do not need these expenses and burdens.  You can walk daily to the market and get great fresh food.  This is fun!

Why have a huge fridge?  Merri and I love visiting the market. We searched for the tiniest fridge we could find.  We live just like we lived in London for all those years.  Every morning out on the streets looking for THE perfect vegetables, fruits, etc. and then enjoying a morning coffee and back home with everything for lunch!  What fun!

ecuador-car-rental

Here’s the kitchen of one of our condo rentals.  Do you see a fridge?  It is tiny and hidden away. We amble to the food markets instead. Cotacachi market is just three blocks away and we enjoy buying our food fresh from our neighbors.

ecuador-car-rentals

Ecuador Visit

The market provides these bicycle carts. For 50 cents or a dollar a happy man will ride all your groceries home for you….and put them away if you like!

The food market is fun and we love having a hot fig and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Not a combination most would ever dream of. They are delicious but missed if you are driving your car though miles of traffic to get to the American style super market!

Why pay a premium for imported dishwashers and washing machines when you can have cheerful, happy people do your cleaning and ironing for you?  You save time, energy and create employment to help the poor.

Which makes more sense?  Spend extra money for a very expensive  imported washing machine that takes up space in your home… and requires effort on your part or spend a LOT LESS money letting these two cheerful mothers, Rosita and…

ecuador-car-rental tags

and Rosita Elena…

ecuador-car-rental tags

do your laundry and deliver your sparkling, ironed clothes to you?  I love all natural clothes but they do require startch and ironing…and here’s our delightful answer.

You save space, money and help the Rositas support their families.

There is another important point here.

You help the environment. One washing machine that serves 20 families is better on the environment than 20 machines serving families.

Ditto for cars. Even in the USA, car sharing is growing as explained in the Washington Post in an article entitled “Car-Sharing Merges Into the Mainstream
Not Just for Tree-Huggers: Businesses and Universities Help Drive Growth of Flexcar, Zipcar.”

You can see how Car sharing is growing in Germany and car sharing is growing in Japan.

Car sharing is growing in these industrialized countries because labor is still dear.  In Ecuador you can car share with a driver!

Plus one more really important point.   With rising energy costs, why would any of us think that on a limited budget we can continue to have this wasteful high energy lifestyle?  Why would we even want our old wasteful high energy lifestyle?  Americans have been warned.  Four dollars a gallon gasoline can return.

In fact four bucks a gallon may be low.  In Europe gas can cost seven dollars a gallon.

This note is not about cars.

It is about change.

We’ll be seeing more and more change in our lifetimes… coming faster.

We can profit if we adapt to the change and take advantage of new circumstances by living in new ways based on the local conditions that surround us.

Those who try and stick to old ways in a new environment will lose opportunity and ease in life at best. They may even suffer… sometimes a lot.

Change means we may life differently than before.  Change means we may even choose to live in a country where we were not raised and born.  This change can enhance our lifestyle… improve our health…. relieve our stress… if we adapt and embrace that country for what it is and enjoy its unique attributes.

If we choose to leave one country… why try to reproduce what we decided we no longer enjoy? If you want a mini USA or another Canada in Ecuador… but on the cheap… I expect you’ll be very disappointed coming to Ecuador.

Ecuador is a great place to be… but it is Ecuador… not Canada… not the USA.

Think about the quote by Anatole France about change: All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

Through change we may lose the one car per person lifestyle… but gain stronger legs… healthier lungs and cleaner air.  We may not be able to jump in the Chevy, go to the levy and drop off the laundry, do the banking  and get a Big Mac on the way… but in the change we can eliminate our fear of the meter maid.

Plus that ride can still be provided by a wonderful knowing person… just one cell phone call and minutes away.

Do not get me wrong. I still have cars… three right now in fact… all in the US, a Honda minvan for long drives and our old Suzuki and a conservative Dodge pickup for use on the farm.  Conditions warrant each.

Yet I am thinking about creating bio diesel from the farm when change brings the day that gas is not so available or cheap.

We have no car in Ecuador and have never missed one for a second.

If change is bringing a time when the daily one person per car commute must pass… Ecuador is a great place to get started.  For car sharing with drivers, taxis, buses and yes walking… Ecuador is a good place to be. 

Gary

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM and our webmaster David Cross in North Carolina this October.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and early retirement in Ecuador at the course.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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
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.

See why we love Cotacachi Market here.

Ecuador visit

 

Retire in Ecuador – Out of Cities


Retire in Ecuador… our wherever…out of town because isolated places may be out of the box bargains.

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot from our North Carolina farm.

A reader, wanting to know whether to retire in Ecuador or not sent this note last week:

Dear Gary,

I have noticed that you have mentioned (a few times) that you and Merri are not residents of Ecuador —– and you do not want to become residents. Would you be kind enough to explain what brought you to this decisions? Thank you,

My reply was “Mainly grandkids”.

Yet there is much more.

Merri and I live both in Ecuador and North Carolina because we love the people, the way of life, the land and the value.

We did not choose Ecuador because it is outside the US, nor Ashe county because it is in America.

We chose them because they are both in our opinion great places to be… and they are isolated.

Change alters the value of places.

When I grew up living in the suburbs of Portland Oregon, I could walk miles to school when I was eight.  We let our doors unlocked.

When I was a young man, huge cities were great places to be.  I lived in Hong Kong, San Francisco and London as well as portland… at times walking late at night in many parts of the city alone.  Cities were fun!

Now cities are much more dangerous and crowded and inconvenient.

Traffic from my mom’s suburban Oregon house (the same one for 50 years) to downtown Portland is horrid and she has to double lock all her windows.

Great places bring opportunity and joy in our lifestyles… but great places change and now there are double benefits in Isolation

I have steadily increased my investments in three seemingly isolated places; high in the Ecuador Andes, in a remote Pacific fishing village and in Ashe County North Carolina.

I chose each for the same reasons.  They are isolated but have good internet and reasonable access to a good airport

There are several reasons why change has put a premium on isolation.

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot from our Ecuador Hacienda.

One reason is food.  Ecuador is a small agricultural country and as such, huge national distribution systems are not required to feed the population.  The food is fresher.  Preservatives are not as required.

The residents in the Blue Ridge of Ashe county know how to feed themselves as well.  Our farm is dotted with old homesteads where the dwellers lived mostly off the land… not that long ago… so people here know how to create their own food supply if need be.

The second reason is that the cost of living is still low compared to cities in Ecuador or the US.

The third reason is health.  There are no big factories… the air is fresh… water is quite pure… and you are not surrounded by crowds… increased risk of crime and such.

Plus (fourth) lifestyle benefits are great. No traffic jams… not much traffic noise… far less stress.

Fifth, property prices are low compared to alternatives… yet for the reasons stated above… they offer potential of appreciation as more and more people want to get out of the cities and burbs.

At the beginning of this millennium I recommended investing in Ashe County, North Carolina and did so myself.

In the 10 years since, even with the real estate crash, the price of land in the area has risen five to 10 times. Yet these prices remain low compared to other similar areas.

The small towns in the area are safe, the people friendly.   Life is still good.  People still wave when you drive by.

I can now eat a hearty breakfast in Jefferson, North Carolina (our nearest town of any sort) for under five dollars.   Also when we go out to breakfast we can leave the house unlocked and cars, trucks and jeeps parked with the keys in them.

9/11 changed people’s values. Family, friends and quieter, more peaceful life is more important than before.

Having these fine qualities is harder to achieve in downtown Manhattan or Central Chicago or in the heart of L.A.

Life in America is changing due to the difficult economic and social times. There is a return to simplicity and the value of these small towns and their honest core values will grow.

If the economy suddenly recovers and the world’s economy rises, small towns will still not lose their appeal. The world’s population continues to grow.   People always want what they perceive they have lost… freedom from crowds, traffic jams, pollution and the hassle of city life.   I believe these qualities will grow in value.

Today, the portable computer, internet and cell phone have changed all the rules of real estate. The old maxim is still true that the three most important aspects that affect a properties value are location, location, location, but technology alters which locations will have greater value!

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot of the land around the village where we have our Ecuador hotel.

Take for example, my own career in writing about international investing.

When I began, I had to live in London. This was where all the knowledge and information was held. To give timely advice I had to be there. Then as phone rates dropped and the fax came along, I was able to leave the congested city and move to Naples, Florida, then a sleepy fishing village and still have access to the data I would need. Finally as Naples became crowded, because of the Internet, we were able to move to isolated farms both here and in Ecuador and still have access to any international investment information.

I can call up market details, specific shares, global news, regardless of how remote I am.

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot of the empty beah near our Ecuador beach condos.

Here is the key point.

The primary factor of real estate’s value used to be physical accessibility to many people. This factor is shifting to accessibility of information.

Remote places are gaining a new value if they have access to information.

Ashe county which adjoins Virginia and Tennessee was established and named after Samuel Ashe in 1799. It is often known as the Lost Province because until recently hardly anyone knew of the place.

The county seat is Jefferson and the county has a land area of 426.16 miles but only a population of 22,209 people. This population is wide spread as well. The only towns are Jefferson (1,300 population), West Jefferson (1,002) and Lansing (183).

This is a totally rural area with three commercial crops, Christmas trees, timber and tobacco.

There are several small factories in the county but tourist activities such as canoeing on the new river, scenic drives though Southern Appalachian Wilderness, leaf looking and camping.

Ashe county is isolated but sits almost equidistant from the north and south of the east coast of the United States.  We almost the same distance from Florida and  Maine.

Here are the signs I see that suggest to me that this area will boom:

1. The prices here are a fraction of the counties north and south.

2. The first cappuccino machines have arrived in Jefferson. When we arrived there was nothing like this and it was a dry county.  Now there are smart cafes… wine bars and art gallerys.

3. Prices as mentioned have already risen.

4. The major road from I-77 has being widened to four and even six lanes.

5. Wal Mart built a super store.

6. The first golf course community has been a success in Jefferson.

7. Lowes has open a large DIY store.

There are some other great benefits here. The nearest airports for commercial flights is Tri-Cities Tennessee.   This s one of the easiest airports I have ever checked into…a 15 check in allowee. Parking right at the front door and often the policemen will hel yu haul in your bags.  Yet this regional airport is just over a half hour to Atlanta or Cincinnati.

There is a great college town Boone just 45 minutes away, a chic, resort area, Blowing Rock the same distance and real cities, like Charlotte two hours drive.

Yet as isolated as we are we have great DSL broadband so I am as connected as if I lived in Manhattan.

This makes me more effective than some businesses in the center of major cities, as I avoid the delays from traffic jams, crowds, smog, missed parking places and crowds.

You can take advantage of great isolated places to be by creating an internet business and looking for places like Ashe county north Carolina that are short on people but long on data resources.

Retire in Ecuador because Ecuador real estate is inexpensive.

Merri and I have purchased a lot of Ecuador real estate in remote places as well.

See why at Ecuador Real Estate is Inexpensive

Wherever you plan to retire in Ecuador at home or elsewhere, think about leaving the maddening crowd.  Isolated places may be the bargains of the future.

Gary

Our 2009 course and tour schedule.

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 Tour

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.

International Investing & Business Index


Making international investing and business decisions based around an index of happiness can add depth to your international investment and business decisions.

Understanding what will happen globally is important to everyone’s decision making process on where to do business… where to invest and where to live.

We’ll see below that Ecuador is high on NEF’s (New Economics Foundation) Happiness Index (more on the index in a moment)… but this index is about much more than Ecuador.

This index is about the world… the future…. prosperity and poverty… life and death.  We should know it… especially because it is quite hard to believe.

You’ll see below why:

* Seemingly poor countries may have an advantage in the years ahead.

* The richest countries may not be the best places to invest or start a business.

* How to use new techniques to see what the future may bring socially and economically.

NEF is an independent think-and-do tank that tries to analyze real economic well-being.  NEF’s aim is to improve the world’s quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environmental and social issues.

NEF says:  NEF’s report, the Happy Planet Index: An index of human well-being and environmental impact, published in association with Friends of the Earth, moves beyond crude ratings of nations according to national income, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to produce a more accurate picture of the progress of nations based on the amount of the Earth’s resources they use, and the length and happiness of people’s lives.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) strips the view of the economy back to its absolute basics: what we put in (resources), and what comes out (human lives of different length and happiness). The resulting Index of the 178 nations for which data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go.  In terms of delivering long and meaningful lives within the Earth’s environmental limits – all nations could do better.  No country achieves an overall ‘high’ score on the Index, and no country does well on all three indicators.

This index is important because everyone is increasingly faced with complicated problems, parts of which are unknown or unreachable.

This index is worth sharing because as I read it,  my first thought was “nonsense.”

Who would have placed the nations of Guyana, Bosnia, Georgia  and Romania above the UK for happiness?  Yet  Guyana is 63rd in the index. the UK 74th.

Here is 63 to 74 on the happiness index.

63. Guyana
64. Belgium
65. Bosnia and Herzegovina
66. Slovenia
67. Israel
68. Korea
69. Italy
70. Romania
71. France
72. Georgia
73. Slovakia
74. United Kingdom

Guyana happier than France and the UK?

I wanted to reject it.

Then it made me begin to realize… the somewhat disturbing fact that as far as potential for happiness goes, Americans are almost at the bottom of this international index… along with the British and most Europeans.

Reading this index made me realize that we cannot use old standards of the past to analyze what will happen in the future.

About the time of this thought, a page from an old John Sanford novel, “The Hanged Man’s Song” came to light.

The prime person in this fiction is a computer hacker… a very logical, scientific thinking person… but who also from time to time uses a totally unscientific way to process information… tarot cards.

The story says:

So I got the cards out, my tarot cards.  I’m not exactly a scientist – I was trained as an engineer-but I have studied the philosophy of science and I’m a true believer.  The tarot as a predictive system is superstitious nonsense. The deck is useful as a gaming device, though and that’s how I use it.

Like this: we are forced to deal with complicated problems, when some facets of the problem are unknown or unreachable, we deal with them in terms of our past experience. That’s almost inescapable. But approaches that are useful with some problems don’t work with others. The tarot deck, when used as a gaming system, pushes you outside past experience and encourages you to think of new ways to deal with it.

Say for example, you are involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were dealing with, the opposition,consisted of five men and a women. You begin doing the tarot spreads and see a number of indications of female influence.

This does not mean that the deck correctly predicts female influence in the transaction, but suggests that you should sit back and think about the woman on the other side, who might otherwise seem to be just another functionary. Why is she there? What specific influences does she have? Is there a way to approach her that would help the deal?

This has nothing to do with supernatural-it’s simply a human way, and a fairly subtle way to game a problem.

This started me looking at the index more.

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Sustainability and cost of happiness are a part of the index. This is why we grow some of our own crops at our farm… like the lettuce we harvest around our backyard pool.

The Happiness Index pushes us beyond our past experience.  This international index does challenge mainstream thinking.

Imagine Haiti is 41st on the list.  Denmark 105th.

99. Uruguay
100. Ghana
101. Latvia
102. Australia
103. New Zealand
104. Belarus
105. Denmark

That started me thinking for sure.

NEF is composed of some very intelligent people so their approach does have  logic. NEF calls it a new global measure of progress, the ‘Happy Planet Index’.

The NEF logic factors in the short and long term cost of happiness.

Mainstream thinking uses measurements like growth of GDP… but ignores the relativity involved. If GDP rises 10% this is considered good.  Traditional thinkers do not ask what is the cost of this growth to our environment. How much will we, our children and grandchildren have to pay in the future for this current growth?

Nor does the mainstream paradigm compare the happiness efficiency of a nation.

The NEF Happiness Index takes into account whether a culture is using more than its fair share of the Earth’s resources.

This creates a new international ranking of environmental impact and well-being and reveals a very different picture of the wealth, and poverty of nations.

Environmental Efficiency

NEF’s view is that Happiness Efficiency is a phrase and concept worth knowing and using in consideration of the overall (long and short term) success of a nation.

We all know the benefits of efficiency. Now we have a way to measure a really important long term efficiency.  We could call it the “cost per smile” or “laughter earning ratio”.

This really makes sense because it is the inherent nature of all living things to strive for happiness and satisfaction and avoid stress.  If the population of a nation needs to do and spend a lot to attain it… that nation is likely to have economic problems due to its lack of efficiency compared to other nations.

NEF’s index combines environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which countries provide long and happy lives.

The results are surprising, even shocking.

The index shows a very different hierarchy of success than we normally assume.

For example, the US is a disappointing 114th in happiness ranking behind  countries like Mongolia, Malawi and Chad.

106. Mongolia
107. Malawi
108. Russia
109. Chad
110. Lebanon
111. Macedonia
112. Congo
113. Madagascar
114. United States of America

NEF’s report also says:

“It is clear that no single nation listed in the Happy Planet Index has got everything right. But the Index does reveal patterns that show how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means. The challenge is – can we learn the lessons and apply them? Governments the world over have been concentrating on the targets for too long. If you have the wrong map, you are unlikely to reach your destination”, says Nic Marks, head of NWF’s Centre for well-being.

The HPI shows that high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being (life-satisfaction).  This suggests that it is possible to produce high levels of well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources.

The report also shows that a culture can have a long, happy life with a small environmental impact.   America and Germany have similar life satisfaction and life expectancy. Germany’s Ecological Ecological footprint is barely half that in America.   This means that Germany is twice as efficient as the USA at generating happy long lives based on the resources they consume.

international-investing

Sustainability is important for long term happiness which is why we bought a farm with lots of spring fed water, like this stream that flows in our backyard.

How can we use this index in business and investing?

I am not sure how accurate this index is or how important it will be.  Accuracy is not all that important though because, if nothing else, this index is a thought process put together by intelligent people that can help us see and think outside the box… something we always need to do.

We must always ask, what comes next?  This index might help us answer this question by adding one more small light that reflects of what might be in the days ahead.  Now we can see better how a country is doing now plus how the cost of the current success may affect the future.

Thinking outside the box is almost always a criteria for long term success. For those who believe this, NEF’s Happiness Index will help make them happy!

Ecuador is 25th on the index.  See the top 25 countries on the index and more about Ecuador’s Index here

Gary

Join us July 24-26 in the cool Blue Ridge during the hot summer and save $299.

We hope you’ll share our beautiful lifestyle in the cool Blue Ridge with us this summer. July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

Merri and I love our life in the Blue Ridge… the rushing streams and..

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cool, green forest.

We invite delegates to the farm for lunch and we’ll take a walk through the woods with delegates who would like to…

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enjoy nature and the views.

We’ll have a wine tasting of Blue Ridge organic wines. Here are delegates at the tasting last year.

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I have just sent our multi currency email course subscribers a report on coffee related shares that now have a strong upward trend.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Read the NEF  report at www.neweconomics.org/gen/m1_i1_aboutushome.aspx

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International Earning Potential in Business


Ecuador and international earning potential in business offers great freedom.

The 4th of July, America’s day to celebrate freedom, is a good day to remind ourselves of how freedom can bring anyone and everyone opportunity now.

ecuador-earning-potential

Internet based export businesses are a way to develop International income potential. 

I am happy to report, that freedom in America is not dead.   America’s independence, in my opinion, has improved and evolved.  Yankee ingenuity has used technology to enhance the business mobility that has often given America a leading business edge.

ecuador-earning-potential

Textiles for export

ecuador-earning-potential

that we…

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saw on our…

Ecuador-earning-potential

Ecuador tour.

This spirit of  Americans moving to “where the action is” was epitomized in Horace Greeley’s famous quote, “Go west, young man.”

In fact Greeley himself was a reflection of this mobility-for-better-circumstances ideal.

He was born the son of a New England farmer and day laborer in New Hampshire. The economic struggles of his family meant that Greeley received a spotty education.  When he could not find enough work and seeking to better his circumstances, he set out for New York City and eventually founded the New Yorker and later the New York Tribune.

Willingness to keep moving for progress has always been the American way.  In less mobile times this mobility worked from state to state.  Now it moves from nation to nation.

At a time when US earning potential may seem diminished, it should be no surprise that Americans are on the move finding opportunities all over the world.

ecuador-earning-potential

Jewelry for export.

ecuador-earning-potential

Leather products for export.

Why should American earning mobility be limited to just the borders of the USA?

The original concept of  many united states was that we lived in the land of the free and could move to whatever state that offered the best opportunity.  With modern technology, why not spread this mobility beyond the oceans and Canadian and Mexican borders?

Big businesses in America have certainly not limited their efforts within American borders.  Almost every major US corporation, manufactures or outsources work globally.  American corporations go where opportunity is best.

Now small businesses can use the internet to be global as well.

I see many Americans finding good earning potential in Ecuador.  I expect this is taking place around the world.

The real factors that make Americans free… willingness to work… try new innovations… cross social and cultural lines… take risk and trying new things works anywhere and are a state of mind and attitude… not a place… or a date.

This is the American way… serve… work harder… be better… do more for others. This works… an attitude that gives anyone, anywhere, who uses it an edge.

This is why one finds American  entrepreneurs thriving in Ecuador and anywhere one travels…  Americans and the American spirit are global… successful… and free.

Today let’s celebrate more than just a day of  declaration of freedom.   Let’s rejoice in a universal truth that freedom is something within us all.  Freedom is not a condition but an energy available to any and everyone with desire and willingness to work and serve wherever the opportunity opens.   That’s the spirit of the American way.

Merri and I send our best wishes that each and every reader will always be free!

Gary

Join us in North Carolina at our July seminar and learn how the internet era can help you increase your freedom with  your own global internet business operated from Ecuador or anywhere.

At the seminar we look at how to get good rankings for your business.

For example our Garyascott.com and Ecuadorliving.com sites have first page Google rankings for many Ecuador search phrases including the phrase “Ecuador Banking” and…

ecuador-rankings

and “Ecuador Attorney”.

ecuador-rankings

plus many others like “Ecuador Real Estate”,  “Ecuador Beach Property”, “Ecuador Exports”, and many many more.

At our seminar we’ll study how to get and monetize rankings.

Our rankings do so well, that according to Alexa.com our garyascott.com site’s traffic rank is in the top 20,000 US sites. Out of tens of millions.  Here is a recent Alexa report.

ecuador-rankings

Our webmaster David Cross will join us at the July seminar.  David is chief internet consultant to some of the largest internet marketing companies in the world.

The July seminar will focus on the essence of a successful internet business, plus those who attend this course can have our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave, How to Have Your Own Internet Business” FREE.  (or you can choose our email course on multi currency investing instead).  You save $299.

Learn more at Tangled Web

This seminar  is July 24 to 26 here in the green and cool North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.

Half this course is about international investing and Thomas Fischer at Jyske Global Asset Management helps me conduct this portion of the course.  The other half is about how to develop your own business. Merri and David help me with this.

Here is a special offer. If you enroll in the July 24 to July 26 course, I sign you up for one of our two emailed courses free. This is up to a $299 savings.

Join me and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management in North Carolina to learn more about economic trends and David Cross our webmaster to learn how to have a global internet business.

We’ll have lunch at the farm and enjoy the cool summer mountains. Here’s a shot of our front yard.

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Thomas Fisher speaking to our delegates at the farm.

seminar-roses

orange-roses

multi-currency-meeting

Delegates enjoying a private conversation with Thomas Fischer during a coffee break at the farm.

Join Merri and me with Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management and our webmaster David Cross in North Carolina July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Read the entire article Business bankruptcies up 240% since 2006 at www.usatoday.com/printedition/money/20090701/smallbiz01_cv.art.htm

Read the entire article Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index Up at online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090630-711211.html