Tag Archive | "AUD"

Sandalwood Investment Up 81%


The sandalwood investment we reviewed in our Sandalwood Investing Report has risen 81% since December 27, 2013 when a Wall Street Journal article on illegal sandalwood tree harvesting captured my attention.  Because I have great interest in helping the environment, in forestry and in sandalwood oil, I began researching investing in sandalwood.

sandal wood share chart

Yesterday’s TFS Corp. share chart from Australian stock exchange.

Our Sandalwood Investing Report was published January 26, 2014 and I let you know about this right away.  Since then, as of yesterday,  the price of the TFS Corp. sandalwood shares reviewed in that report have risen from A$1.19 to A$1.71, a 43% rise.

Those who invested $10,000 in this at Jyske Bank on that initial date have earned about A$4,300 in just over one month. (See details below)

Yet there are three reasons why we can expect these shares to rise even further, short term and why they can rise up to $10 a shares over the next ten years.

One reason we can expect another short term burst in the TFS Corp share price is the value of the Australian dollar.

The chart below shows that the AUD has dropped over 12% versus the US dollar.  There are no fundamental reasons for this drop and the Crimean tension could cause a shift from the Greenback to the Aussie as a commodity currency.

Yahoo AUD chart

www.finance.yahoo.com Australian dollar to US dollar chart (see link to current chart below)

Sandalwood Investing Report Updates. 

This post updates our continual review and research on sandalwood investments that we share with our readers of the Sandalwood Investing Report.

Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 5.28.13 PM

You can learn all about the TFS sandalwood share investment in the $2.99 Sandalwood Investing Report at  Amazon.com

Gary

Wall Street Journal article on sandalwood smuggling

AUD USD Yahoo Chart 

Learn how to buy TFS shares with an ENR advisory account at Jyske Bank  from Thomas Fischer at Thomas@enrasset.com

 

 

Ecuador Stock Market


See below why I am not buying into the Ecuador stock market… or any stock market at all.

First, let me be clear… there is not much of an Ecuador  stock market… never has been and probably won’t be for quite a while.

Merri and I do own a few Ecuador shares… in Cemento, an Ecuador cement company,  but these were purchased years ago when Ecuador had a stock market beginning to boom. Then the economy and sucre collapsed and all the Ecuador banking shares (including the ones we held) rushed to zero.

The Ecuador cement shares were all that was left… along with a lesson learned.

Yet there are two other reasons why you’ll not see many Ecuador equities in my portfolio.

In fact, you won’t see many stocks in our portfolio at all.  A review of my recent total asset allocation shows that I hold only 3% in equities.

An excerpt from our recent Multi Currency Update shows that I do not hold many shares at all and why I am not buying more now.

Last week my account adviser at Jyske Global Asset Management sent me this note.

Gary, The USD on the move!  The main focus this week has been on the FX market. We have had a long period of a declining US Dollar against most other currencies. The market participants have been waiting for an excuse to take profits. The market got its excuse last week, where we for the first time saw better than expected US unemployment figures. The non-farm payrolls where better than expected and the unemployment rate dropped to 10%. When the numbers hit the market the EUR/USD was trading above 1.5000 and during this week the USD strengthened approximately 5%, currently trading at 1.4350.

The correction of the EUR/USD also indicates that the psychology in the market could have changed. During 2009 improving economic figures led to a risk-on scenario where investors began  to diversify in to  more speculative markets and at the same time exiting the USD safe-haven. The change in psychology has resulted in a focus on possibly increasing interest rates as the economies worldwide begin to improve. The US economy shows signs of improvement and investors are thus beginning to focus on being long USD assets.

The FED however announced no change in the FED funds after their meeting on Wednesday. Bernanke told the market on the following press conference that the interest rate would remain unchanged until the economy is back on track and we see a significant drop in the unemployment rate. We therefore believe that the current strength in USD is temporary and we do expect the EUR/USD to turn around and once again go toward our target of 1.5500.

The main focus in Europe during the week has been on the down grading of the sovereign debt of Greece to BBB+, by both FITCH and S&P. Both rating agencies, still have Greece on a negative watch. The 10 year government bond of Greece now pays a historical 250 bps more than a 10 year German government bond.

Norway once again increased their interest rate with 25 bps, from 1.5% to 1.75%. Norway has seen an increase in the private consumption and a hot real estate market. The Central bank of Norway thus chose to increase the interest rate, even though the industrial production in Norway still suffers.

That note from my adviser cemented my thinking that the greenback’s upswing creates a good time to further reduce US dollar positions. I am reducing my euro positions as well.

The global economy continues to upswing and eventually interest rates will be heading up…. bit equities are at risk due to the chances of another economic slowdown and massive government economic stimulation that has supported high risk speculation.

So last week I added more emerging currencies with higher interest rates by liquidating my Jyske Invest Danish Bond Fund and Jyske Invest Euro Bond Fund.

I used the proceeds to purchase higher interest rate bonds away from the euro and mostly into the dollar zone but not the US dollar itself.

I purchased:

NOK 4% Rabo Bank 29.05.2013 (AAA)     101,25   3,60% p.a.
CAD 4,95% KFW October 2014  (AAA)      109,60  2,80% p.a.
EUR 7,25% Bombardier 15.11.2016 (BB+) 102,25  6,70% p.a.
AUD 6,00% EIB 14.08.2013 (AAA)            101,60   5,50% p.a.
NZD 6,50% EIB 10.09.2014 (AAA)            104,50   5,39% p.a
MXN 8% Bonos 19.12.2013 (A+)               103,60   6,97% p.a.
BRL 11,25% EIB 14.02.2013 (AAA)           104,75   9,41% p.a.

I also sold my Hungarian government bonds and bought the Polish bond below with the proceeds.

PLN 6,50% EIB 12.08.2014   (AAA)            107,00   4,77% p.a.

I see any period of US dollar strength as an opportunity to exit the greenback and accumulate other currencies.

Learn how to get my regular portfolio updates.

The personal reasons why I do not invest much in shares is based on three cornerstones in Merri’s and my lifestyle and investing philosophy.

Cornerstone #1:   Know Thyself.

Cornerstone #2: Be True to Thyself.

Cornerstone #3: Turn Your Passion into Profit.

Merri and I love our business. We earn more than enough from it and…  we gain enormous fulfillment from serving others.

Plus we love buying and fixing up real estate. If you have been sharing this site from long you have read our escapades buying real estate in North Carolina, Ecuador and now again in Florida.

We love fixing up real estate in Ecuador and…

Ecuador-house-for-sale

on our North Carolina farm…

golden-mean

and…

ecuador-future

at the lakefront in Florida.

On the dark side, we hate accounting. We cannot read balance sheets… nor do we trust them much… so we tend to avoid equities… which historically overall are the best investments of all…. if… you ignore the three cornerstones.

We only have two shares… Bank of Florida and Jyske Bank…. because we know (and like) the people and the concepts involved.  Plus we understand the financial business.  Otherwise the most we do in shares… even though we have helped others make many millions in the stock market… is buy ETFS or mutual funds.

When we invest in shares there are three factors we continually look for…

Investing Factor #1: Contrasts.

Investing Factor #2: Trends.

Investing Factor #3: Value.

We are always looking for contrasts in value that will eventually create trends.

This is why we began buying real estate in Florida and are not investing in many equities now.  A recent New York Times article “New Slip in Housing Prices Undercuts Fragile Optimism” by David Streitfeld explains why.  Here is an excerpt:

Just as the economy is finally beginning to strengthen, the real estate market is showing new signs of deterioration.  Prices slipped in many cities in October, new figures show, despite low mortgage rates and a generous tax credit meant to spur sales. Now rates are starting to rise, making it harder for many buyers to afford a house, and the tax credit seems to be losing its capacity to lure them into the market.

The renewed worries about housing come against a backdrop of improvement in the broader economy.  Surveys suggest consumers are growing more confident. That better mood probably helped improve holiday retail sales. The number of people joining the ranks of the jobless is dwindling, while the hiring of temporary workers is up, a traditional harbinger of recovery.

Still, economic growth for the third quarter was more modest than originally reported; it was revised down to an annual rate of 2.2 percent from 2.8 percent. Many economists are fretting that housing could drag down the tenuous recovery.

The figures released Tuesday showed that the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, a widely watched measure of housing markets in 20 metropolitan areas, rose 0.4 percent in October from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis.
It was the fifth consecutive month that prices were up, but the rate of increase has dropped sharply from the impressive gains of the summer. Prices in nine of the 20 cities were flat or down.

“I’m worried. Everyone’s worried,” said Karl E. Case, the Wellesley College economist who helped design the housing index that provided fresh cause for alarm on Tuesday. “If prices sink 15 percent from here, which is a possibility, and the 2008 and 2009 loans go bad, then we’re back where we were before — in a nightmare.”

One might think why invest in real estate… not stocks… when real estate seems down.

Due to the last economic downturn… many governments… led by the US… spent trillions flooding the market with easy money… for big banks.

These big banks in turn borrowed the money and poured that money into stock markets.  This made the banks look profitable and pushed stock markets up… at the expense of currencies around the world.

Government spending rarely works efficiently as evidenced by the multi billions spent of security that missed a Nigerian, whose father’s warning to the US Embassy validated a risk… that the CIA had already picked up… even though he was on a risk list… and after buying a ticket for cash…. and arriving without luggage… he was allowed to walk onto a plane headed for the US with a bomb in his underwear.

This post 9-11 security may not have been such a great government investment.

Just imagine that the economic spending from the governments of the world have created the same situation… making the public feel better when  the reality is… the risk is the same… or actually worse… because of the government’s heavy handed involvement.

If the economy once again stalls…  the stock markets… many of which are thinly traded… will collapse like a house of cards. All that government money (actually your money and mine) will be gone.

Repayment of the loss will most likely be made via inflation.  Stock portfolios will be wiped out.

This concerns me.  Jyske Global Asset Managers are concerned as well.  Their low risk managed account for US investors has only 17.5% in equities and they are only in seven investments… of which five are major Blue Chips.

Electricite De France France’s electric company.

Siemens AG a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors.

Bayer AG, a global enterprise with companies in almost every country.

G4S Plc the world’s leading international security solutions group, operating in over 100 nations.

Novartis AG Reg.  the largest producer of insulin.

Only a very small portion of the portfolio is in other equities, iShares II BRIC and Jyske Invest IT Equities.

If we see a double dip recession, then real estate will remain depressed perhaps for a bit.  However there is real utility in real estate and the very inflation that could ruin so many investors will benefit those who hold real estate (and can hold on) plus those who hold commodities and have their own business.

There is no doubt still some good individual shares but overall shares offered good value early last year… not now so investors should beware.

Gary

We hope you will join us for seminars and tours in 2010.

If you plan to join us at six or more seminars and tours in Ecuador, Florida or  North Carolina in 2010 you can save as an International Club member

See details about each of our seminar and tours below… then see our December special that allows you to attend as many of these courses you like at a huge savings.

For International Investing and Business.

For Super Thinking + Spanish

For Ecuador Shamanic Tour

For Ecuador Export

For North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi

For Manta & Mid Coast

For Quito & Mindo

For Salinas & South Coast

For Cuenca

You gain discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours.

Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

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

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

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

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

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

But our 2009 International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 56 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 in January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501.

International Club 2010

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

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

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

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

Join us in February or March.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

Read the entire article New Slip in Housing Prices Undercuts Fragile Optimism

Multi Currency Breakdown


See the multi currency breakdown of my portfolio below.

Yesterday’s message on multi currency bank safety mentioned that multi currency safety is as important as bank safety. Investors who do not have multi currency diversification can end up holding assets in a safe bank but with a worthless currency.

This is one reason why I have such a large percentage of my portfolio in real estate…carried at cost.  All of our real estate has been purchased at prices well below even the current market. We spend a lot of time researching and searching and fixing because I love working with buildings and land. This is the most important investing lesson of all…do what you love…with those you like.

Really…I would much rather play at making land like this worth more than fiddling with stock charts.

Multi-currency-love

I receive many emails like this:

In this current and, I believe, temporary ‘strengthening’ of the US dollar, I am looking for ways to preserve my assets. I have a lot of faith in the Australian $. The 2 obvious benefits in my mind are, no capital gains if/when the US$ weakens, plus I earn interest on the Australian dollar account. I am also looking to buy silver and I am looking at coins and bullion, any suggestions in this arena would also be appreciated. Thank you,

To invest in just one currency is speculation. Nothing wrong with that, if you know and accept the consequences of speculating incorrectly.

To me, real estate is so much more interesting…a puzzle to be worked filled with mystery that beckons like our hidden horse barn tucked away in the woods…just waiting for value to be added.

multi-currency-barn

Gold is nice also…in the leaves here during the leaf change or the yellow metal…a bit for insurance …but more is speculation as well. Property however almost always has utility…like our home.

Holding several currencies for multi currency diversification is better for most.

As it happens I have not felt good about Australia’s currency as you will see in my multi currency breakdown below.  In my opinion, too many investors are betting too much on t based as a commodity currency.

Here are three trends I have been aiming my multi currency diversification towards.

#1: A return to value. Value investing has long been our philosophy. No reason to change now but other investors have been chasing the easy, fast bucks in rapid appreciation. Look for a shift towards owning high yielding, solid boring shares and bonds.

#2: Real estate. The real problem investors face is not an economic meltdown. Inflation is the genuine risk because governments have proven that they will flood markets with liquidity to avoid the meltdown. Inflation means that cement will cost more. So too will steel and labor. This means a rise in labor. I salivate when this fundamental meets a global real estate correction and am buying so much real estate I scare myself.

#3: A shift to underlying currency value. Where does an investor go when the euro is no longer trusted and the dollar is fundamentally weak but suddenly flexing muscles it should not have? My guess (and here I am overweighted ) is investors will lean towards currencies of small, economically sane, solid, established, politically sound countries…such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark. If so, these currencies will rise versus the euro and dollar. If I am wrong, they are least likely to fall.

All of this brings us to the point of this lesson. If you travel and visit currency and forex trading rooms of large established, successful trading operations, you’ll note that there are very few, old traders. Young men and young women do this job because experienced investors know that currency trading, rather than diversification requires immense capital, continual diligence, almost unlimited discipline and the ability to absorb many small losses before making a big hit. Plus traders must have the emotional stability to not let the big lead them astray! This is an error that has allowed one trader to break many a bank and major firms’ backs…..Coutts…AIG are two examples.

Here is my currency breakdown:

US & Ecuador Real Estate 50.12%

Europe EUR 16.05%

Denmark DKK 9.03%

United States US$ 8.46%

Britain GBP 4.01%

Sweden SEK 3.16%

Hungary HUF 2.37%

Turkey TRY 2.1%

Brazil BRL 1.28%

Canada CAD 1.18%

Norway NOK 1.15%

New Zealand NZD 1.09%

Australia AUD 0%

I am now readjusting this breakdown and will review why in my Multi Currency Course.

Learn how to subscribe here.

Gary

Join Merri, me and Jyske Global Asset Management at one of our courses. We review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and our multi currency breakdown plus investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

Stay on for the real estate tour Cotacachi and surrounding areas. We’ll see real estate for sale on this lake.

Ecuador-lake-sites

Plus we’ll see homes at San Miguel and Prima Vera II.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel

Primavera II $46,000 condos.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condos

Nov 10-11 Cotacachi-Imbabura Real Estate tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

Then travel to the coast and enjoy this Pacific surf that in November is warm!

Ecuador real estate for sale .

Salt or fresh water

Ecuador real estate for sale

November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour

See discounts for two or more of these courses and tours

Ecuador Currency Tip


This Ecuador currency tip can save you big bucks in Ecuador or any time you need a foreign currency.

I recently spoke at a seminar in Mexico and realized that I have become lazy about carrying multi currencies. Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar so no currency exchange is required coming or going.

I maintain British pound and Danish kroner investments so when I travel to Denmark or England, our two most frequently visited places after Ecuador, I already have the correct currency available in cash.

So when Merri and I arrived at Cancun airport, I realized Mexican pesos would be needed! Ouch. Avoid converting currencies at airports. The forex exchange rates are usually bad.

If you are frequently exchanging currencies the costs can be high, so here is a multi currency, conversion tip sent to me by a trusted friend.

“Gary, It costs me about $1500 a year just to send money to the UK and Sweden in bank and FOREX charges! A friend in Australia recommended www.ozforex.com – you select a buy and sell currency and beneficiaries (destination bank accounts). So far it looks like I’m going to more than halve the annual costs of sending money and their rates seem much better. For example $1500 with current method gives £794.74 but with OZForex, £842.25 – 6% better rates and only A$15 transfer fee.

Ecuador Cash Tips

The US dollar is Ecuador’s currency. Paper money is identical but both US and Ecuador coins are used. Ecuadorian coins minted in Ecuador are the same in size, weight, workmanship and color as US coins but have different reliefs and are only legal currency in Ecuador.

You can bring dollars with you. They work well except $100 dollar bills. These are accepted only with caution. Outside major cities sometimes it is impossible to cash $100 dollar bills. There is a lot of counterfeiting of $100 bills in Colombia, so the Ecuador Central Bank issues a list of valid $100 bill serial numbers. If the serial number of your $100 bill (even though it is real) is not on the validated list, you may not be able to use it in many places.

Bills that circulate in Ecuador are the $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The coins are the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, fifty cent piece. Plus the one dollar coin is very popular in Ecuador. I always wondered where all the Susan B. Anthonys went!

Ecuador prices are low and vendors are poor. They do not have a lot of change. When Merri and I go to Ecuador, we take rolls of quarters and a lot of $1, $5, $10, $20 bills.

Ecuador Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks are not accepted at this time. You usually need to go to the forex houses or banks to cash them. The commission charged varies between 1% and 4%. And often banks will no longer accept these checks as South America is inundated with forgeries. In Cotacachi, no one will accept a traveler’s check

We never even had an ATM card in the US but found that this is a good way to access cash. We also have a safe in all our rooms in Meson de las Flores and Hotel Quito offers free safety deposit boxes so when we arrive, we just put all our cash, wallet with credit cards and passports in our safe box. Then we just have a bit of cash like $20 or so in our pockets.

Ecuador ATM’s

Merri and I live off of ATMs in Ecuador.

ATM’s are in almost every village in Ecuador and are compatible with international credit cards.

Visa credit cards work at ATMs operated by Bank of Guayaquil, Pichincha, Produbanco and Banco Pacífico. Each ATM shows the logos of which cards can be used on that machine. We use our regular ATM cash card issued by our Florida bank at this Bank of Pichincha branch in Cotacachi.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm

This bank is on Cotacachi’s second smaller plaza.

Ecuador-multi-currency-plaza

The plaza is pristine because it is maintained by the bank.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-sign

The bank is next to the police station and the second smaller Cathedral.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-cathedral

There are two Cathedrals in Cotacachi and one bank…a nice ratio.

However there are two Cotacachi ATMs. The second is on the main street 10th of August.

Here is a map of Cotacachi.

cotacachi-atm-map

Our hotel, El Meson de las Flores, is by the Cathedral insignia. The bank and ATM are marked by the red box.

We are allowed to take $500 a day from the Pichincha ATM and $300 a day from the other.

When using an ATM take the same precautions you would anywhere. Merri and I do not withdraw cash alone at night. We keep our password hidden. We observe the people around and make sure the machine is working correctly. If we were to note anything odd in the surroundings or the machine, we would not use our card.

This has never happened. We have never had a problem but still always take precautions. The safest ATM’s are those that are found inside banks and shopping centers.

Ecuador Credit Cards

Credit cards can be used at most hotels, restaurants and in most shops, but not in the markets. Places that are recommended for the use of credit cards are first class restaurants, hotels, gift shops, shopping centers and travel agencies. Not all places accept credit cards. Ask before buying if you do not see a Visa or MasterCard sign. Amex is not seen much outside the major cities.

Vendors are gouged by the credit card companies. Some businesses charges extra, up to 12% to cover the cost of this fee they have to pay…so you can often bargain by offering cash.

Money transfers

Bank transfers take at least three working days. The bank sending the money charges a commission for the transfer, usually $30 to $60. Western Union offers quick and efficient money transfers but is much more expensive. For example a Western union wire of $1000 to Quito, may cost $85.

Merri and I do not have a bank account in Ecuador even though we live there half the year. There is one excellent bank that has a US subsidiary and the subsidiary has offices in Ecuador so you can bank in the US but access cash in Ecuador. We are compiling a complete report on “How to Bank in Ecuador” for our Ecuador Living subscribers now.

You will receive this report free when you subscribe to Ecuador Living.

Until next message, may all your money be easy to access and good!

Gary

Our September 17-20 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour is sold out.

Our September 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour is sold out
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

Our September Spanish Class is sold out.

Oct 14-18 Ecuador Import Export Course has a few places left.
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-import-and-export-tour

We still have space in November.

Nov 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour

Multi Currency Problems & Solutions


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

multi-currency-meeting-in-autumn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the first question received.

JYSKE BANK QUESTION

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

JYSKE BANK ANSWER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cash                                Neutral                            0
Investment                               %
Asset type

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

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

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

CASH                                                                       0
TOTAL                                                                 100.0%

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

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

This also provides some privacy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

at our house on the farm.

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

multi-currency-meeting

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

See dates for our Autumn courses and tours:

Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour

Ecuador-beach-meeting

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

Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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

like this.

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

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

See discounts for attending more than one course.