Tag Archive | "bank"

Financial Experience, Skill and


Financial common sense is important no matter how much financial skill and financial experience one has.

This is one reason I enjoy working with Jyske Bank.  They apply great doses of common sense.

When the sub prime loan scandal shook the global financial industry Jyske had very little exposure.

When  New York financier Bernard Madoff  generated a fraud of $50bn, I was surprised to see how many major banks and investment managers were duped for billions!   How can  experienced, supposedly skilled investors and money majors, do something so dumb.

I knew that Jyske Bank would be better than this…but I  had to ask Jyske if they had invested with Madoff.

Here is their reply.

“We did not have any exposure however some of the other big banks did (Danske bank and Nordea) also a big Danish pension company.

When someone can make 10-15 percent every year without a losing year it
should raise some questions! I always say if it is to good to be true ..it is!

This is why my confidence in Jyske as the main bank that protects my wealth has grown over the past two decades.

Those who were ripped off were not yokels. Look at this list of institutions that internet news says  lost a billion dollars or more.  I am excluding a host of banks and huge investors who lost hundreds of millions.  These firms should have known better.

Spain’s Banco Santander, which owns Abbey and Alliance and Leicester, said its hedge fund unit invested nearly 4 Billion of client funds with Bernard Madoff.

Fairfield Greenwich Group  invested $7.5 Billion.

GMAC chairman Jacob Ezra Merkin’s Ascot Partners  invested most of its $1.8 Billion.

HSBC is reported by the Financial Times to have a potential exposure of about One Billion dollas.

Kingate Management Ltd  invested $3.5 Billion dollars.

Again and again I have observed Jyske sidestepping financial debacles while their competitors lose through the smple lack of  finacial common sense.

My hat is off to the management of Jyske Bank for avoiding Madoff.   Often the pressures of competition lure investment maagers and banks toward great deals that seem too good to be true.  Jyske was not sucked in…beause of their good common sense.

Gary

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

Jyske Gobal Asset Management will join us Feb. 13-15 for our course International Business & Investing Made EZ

Join us and then stay on for a real estate tour Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

We’ll view this hotel if it has not sold. It has a huge front porch.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. If you subscribe, you can have this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

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

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Ecuador Bond Default


Today, December 15, 2009, we’ll know for sure if Ecuador has defaulted on some of its bonds. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa threatened to do this once before…and did not.

This time I believe he will.

This will be good…for many…because despite the default, Ecuador’s sun will not go away.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will the beauty of Ecuador’s mountains like this one we climbed.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will it stop the smiles of Ecuador’s happy people like these potato farmers we met on the hike.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will the hard working energy of the crafts people in town like Otavalo (shown here) cease.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor the richness of the land like this Intag forest go away.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will the wonder of the longevity valleys like this Intag plain end.Ecuador-bond-default

Ecuador’s bond default may create profits in two ways….one in the global bond market. The other gain will be in Ecuador.

Many readers have sent me a link to last week’s Bloomberg December 12, 2009 article by Stephan Kueffner which says:

Correa Defaults on Ecuador Bonds, Seeks Restructuring.  Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa halted payment on foreign bonds he calls “illegal” and “illegitimate,” putting the South American country in default for a second time in a decade.

The government won’t make a $30.6 million interest payment by Dec. 15, when a month long grace period expires, Correa told reporters in his office in Guayaquil. The $510 million bonds due in 2012 plunged to 23 cents on the dollar from 31 yesterday and 97.5 cents three months ago.

“I have given the order that interest payments not be made,” Correa said. “The country is in default.”

Though Ecuador is a small country, the size of France, with about 11 million people, its bond default may slow the recovery of the bond market during this global economic downturn.

Latin Bonds already have strong yields.  Look at the high yields on medium term denominated in US euro and US dollars!

Currency   Bond                Country             Yield

EUR     8.5  24/09/2012     BRAZIL             7.49%

EUR     7.375 03/02/2015   BRAZIL            8.38%

EUR     11.5   31/05/2011   COLOMBIA      8.17%

EUR     5.375 10/06/2013   MEXICO           7.28%

EUR         7.5  14/10/2014  PERU               9.02%

USD        10.25 17/06/2013 BRAZIL           6.24%

USD     8.25 22/12/2014      COLOMBIA     7.42%

USD     9.875  06/02/2015    PERU             7.57%

Ecuador owes about $10 billion to bondholders, multilateral lenders and other countries…not a lot by global standards…but  Ecuador’s bond default could cause a ripple down in Latin bonds and create even higher yields.  If so, I’ll buy some today.

The bonds and yields above are from Jyske Bank’s bond list of last Friday. These are indications not recommendations.    You can get up-to-date bond information from:

US investors at Jyske Global Asset Management.  Contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US Investors at Jyske Bank. Contact  Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

The next opportunity is in Ecuador. Many readers have asked questions like:

Ecuador is defaulting on its bonds. Any problems because of this? Is this good or bad?

This is a question much like, “Is the US federal $800 billion bail out, good or bad?”

The answer is yes and no.

First, remember that Ecuador defaulted on bonds once before in 1999.   Everything fell apart. Bank’s shut down. The country ran out of gas.  Times were terrible.

The country remained a great place to live. The cost of living collapsed. Help was easy to get. You could buy real estate for a song. So the answer to “Is this good or bad?” depends on who you are, how much money you have and where it is invested.

The Bloomberg article points out that Correa says of the default:

“I couldn’t allow the continued payment of a debt that by all measures is immoral and illegitimate,” Correa said. “It is now time to bring in justice and dignity.”

A debt commission Correa formed last year said in a 172 page report in November that the global bonds due in 2012 and 2030 “show serious signs of illegality,” including issuance without proper government authorization. Correa invoked the 30- day grace period on the interest payment last month, saying he wanted to analyze the commission’s findings.

Correa, 45, said the government will present a restructuring proposal in coming days. “We want creditors to recoup part of their money,” he said.

Personally I think this is true, but is the wrong approach.  I have long been a defender of Correa.  He is much like Barrack Obama, young, smart, energetic, from a poor background, who worked his way to the top with a mandate made possible by minorities….based on promises that probably cannot be kept.

He is trying to make improvements..but can he?

Obama cannot change the previous American debt and some of that US debt, in my opinion, is as immoral and illegitimate as can be.  If previous Ecuadorian politicians broke the law and created incorrect loans…Correa and the people of Ecuador should punish them.  They should recoup what they can from those people…but to punish lenders will simply stop lenders from lending to Ecuador.   This will hurt the nation, long term, as a whole.

The Bloomberg article goes on to say:

“Ecuador is moving further into isolation,” said Vicente Albornoz, head of the Cordes research institute in Quito. “The hardliners in the government won.”

“Ecuador is a serial defaulter,” said Arturo Porzecanski, an international finance professor at American University in Washington. “They defaulted in the 1980s, 1990s and this decade. A lot of other countries have had one or two defaults, but Ecuador tops them all.”

Correa, who holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has said he will not sacrifice spending on health and education to pay the debt. Ecuador’s foreign obligations are equal to 21 percent of its $44 billion gross domestic product. Argentina’s debt, by comparison, was equivalent to 150 percent of its GDP when it defaulted in 2001, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Oil, which has plunged 67 percent since July amid the global financial crisis, accounts for about 60 percent of Ecuador’s exports. Finance Minister, Maria Elsa Viteri, said on Nov. 18 the country’s fiscal accounts remain “strong and healthy.” Ecuador had $5.65 billion in cash reserves as of Dec. 5, according to the Central Bank.

The default was triggered by the combination of the decline in oil with “a ridiculous ideology,” said Claudio Loser, the former director of the International Monetary fund’s Western Hemisphere department, who now is a scholar at the Inter- American Dialogue. “The financial need wasn’t so great that it was forced to declare a default,” Loser said.

The South American country has defaulted six times since it separated from Gran Colombia in 1830, according to “Debt Defaults and Lessons from a Decade of Crises,” a book published in 2007 by Federico Sturzenegger and Jeromin Zettelmeyer.

“It’s a final blow to external investors, and particularly any energy investors that may have retained interest or had future plans to attempt an investment in Ecuador,” said Enrique Alvarez, head of Latin America fixed-income research at IDEAglobal Inc. in New York.

I believe this default will hurt Ecuador’s overall economy…and help expats who live and invest there in small ways. When economic conditions drop, prices become lower. Labor is easier to find. Everyone is more willing to serve and work hard…if you have money.

Merri and I were living in Ecuador when the sucre collapsed falling from 3,000 sucres per dollar to 24,000 sucres per dollar. This roller coaster reduced the cost of food, clothing, shelter, staff, everything local. Wages were down. Bargains were everywhere!

Merri and I were loved because we stayed. We spent. We provided jobs.

Life can actually be better in hard times…especially if you have your income and investments OUT of the depressed country.

There is a caveat. If conditions deteriorate too far, law and order can break down.  Short term this will make Ecuador’s life better. They won’t have the loan to repay…but long term, as they become more isolated from the global economy, this will hurt.

Ecuadorians are basically friendly, non violent people so I do not have any great concern about this. This is based on experience. I have lived in places where people were not quite as easy going, like Hong Kong in the 1960s when there were riots and bombing in the streets.

My belief if that Ecuador will remain a great place to be…especially for now.

Gary

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

Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

We’ll view this hotel if it has not sold. It has a huge front porch.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. If you subscribe, you can have this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

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

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual
transportation.

Cotacachi Crime Concerns


Numerous readers have sent Cotacachi crime concerns which we share here.

You are a salesman.  A salesman will tell you anything.  You know it is dangerous to live down there. Gayle

I often get notes like this …usually from people who have never been to Ecuador.  Galyle has one point correct for sure.  I have been a salesmen going on 41 years and always considered it a privilege to sell things I truly love and live myself…like Cotacachi Ecuador.

Really the village does not need selling. Cotacachi sells itself. All I have to do is tell the truth…so I sometimes get comments like this.

I visited Cotacachi and your hotel Meson de las Flores. It was exactly as you described it. I felt safe the entire time I was there. Thank you!  Monica

We’ll review more comments on Cotacachi crime in a moment…but one thing that is not a crime in Cotacachi or Ecuador is the great quality and cost of food. I just returned from Oregon and spent some time on the coast. Dungeness crab was $28 a pound…smoked salmon $19 a pound.  That seems like a crime to me!

The wonderful lakes around Cotacachi means we have great fish.  This is Lake San Pablo.

Cotacachi-fish

Here is a high Andean lake above Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-fish

and the trout they catch there.

Cotacachi-fish

Back to crime…let’s read what some people who live in Ecuador say about crime.

Hello Gary, Here’s a New York Times article you may have seen about an Ecuadorian man who was beaten and stabbed to death in New York. He was basically killed for sport…a hate crime.

Personally, I’ve been a crime victim a few times in Ecuador. During my six years there, I lived and traveled among the general population in a large city. I used the public transit system, the local markets, the bus stations… In this situation, you’re bound to be unlucky sooner or later.

But even in the worst of areas, I never worried for my safety. All I lost was money–or replaceable items–and I never carried any more than was necessary. I didn’t (and still don’t) worry that I’ll be killed or beaten for fun, or because I’m the wrong color or nationality.

My personal experience has been that Ecuadorians are basically non-violent people. They steal out of need. What little I lost likely went to feed a family… Best regards,  Lee

I agree with Lee. When you talk to people who have lived in Cotacachi or most parts of Ecuador…they’ll agree…petty theft is a problem from which you must protect…but hate crimes basically do not exist and violent crimes are rare.  Another reader who was a visitor to Ecuador wrote this note.

Hey Gary, first time in Ecuador, flew down from Quito to Guayaquil, heard how dangerous it was everywhere, been walking the streets day and night.  I wear a $15,000 gold watch. Today, I rented car, drove to Montanita.  Tomorrow, I am driving north, along the beach coast, then back to Guayaquil for a few days then over to Peru.   I´m from Mobile.   We have several shootings, stabbings, hit and runs a week, along with other crime. The bottom line is that most crime comes from just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. One of my next trips is Caracas, murder capital of the world…and yes, I am alone and over 60.  I will be in the Dominican Republic for Christmas and New Years, surfing with my kids. Bobby.   The only thing I suggest is it is better to burn out, than rust out.

I urge more caution than Bobby takes but could not agree more with his philosophy of enjoying life and embracing the incredible riches we have in today’s society instead of wasting away worrying about what bad could happen. Life is too short!

Back to fish. Merri and I love to accompany our chef, Santiago, to the Thursday fish market in Ibarra. I can buy about 20 pounds of crab for the same price as one pound in Oregon and it is really fresh!  One of our favorite jobs is helping the chef!

Cotacachi-fish

We also love watching the fishermen at work when we are on Ecuador’s sea.  Here is our last Coastal real estate tour watching the fishing on the Chone Estuary at Bahia.

Bahia-fishermen

There is a big modern town behind these Ecuador fishermen…

Bahia-fishermen

but they are pretty low tech!

Bahia-fishermen

Just canoes and poles…no gas surcharge here.

Bahia-fishermen

The fishermen who fish outside our hotel in San Clemente are even more low tech…no boat!

San Clemente-fishermen

We took our last group for a sea food meal in Manta.

Manta-fish-meal

Where this most expensive dish on the menu…a full lobster meal was $12.

Manta-fish-meal

My grilled fish was $6. That was no crime!

Which brings us back to Cotacachi crime. 

This reader who lives regularly in Cotacachi wrote:

Gary,  As you now I have traveled to Ecuador and the Cotacachi area many times over the last several years; nine times I think. I have always felt safe even during the evening walking about Cotacachi and have never felt threatened there or in Quito or the coastal areas. I always try to be aware of my surroundings and the level of cautions I may consider appropriate as I would anywhere in the world I am traveling, for example, in Quito I usually put my wallet in my front pocket. However, reading the accounts of crime in the area lately, and I appreciate your alert, I felt a little concerned as a North American. In the interest of thoroughness on this topic my alarm is that the message is we are being targeted. This may be obvious. As anywhere the perceived affluent are vulnerable. In this culture we stand out and In this sense we present opportunity and perhaps in the perpetrators mind fair game. I would only say that a common sense realistic awareness of taking precautions in unfamiliar areas in an unfamiliar culture is important. I think that you and Merri provide a real service with up to date information for safe travel and areas to live and lodge in Ecuador. Your tours also provide an excellent environment for safe guided travel.

Since I have had so little trouble with any sort of crime in Ecuador what I tend to recall are the simple unexpected kindnesses which I have encountered.  One time while  shopping at the Otavalo indigenous market unknowingly I dropped a small package only to turn around to see a little indigenous child running up to me tugging at my sleeve with a smile and handing it to me. Another time at the bank in Cotacachi I was  trying to cash a $100 bill – can be difficult as many know due to the fear of counterfeiting from Columbia. There at the bank after waiting in line for an hour only to be refused change due to that I did not have an account or permanent address they said; I left in exasperation. Unknown to me a young woman was observing  and having empathy for my plight had withdrawn an extra 5 twenty dollar bills from her account and rushing down the street to find me offered them to me in exchange for the 100 dollar bill. “De Nada” she said.

These are a few of the experiences of innocent kindness in Ecuador and of the Ecuadorian people that I choose to remember over my fears of crime. Thanks for keeping us aware and informed in our travels and adjustment to new and unfamiliar areas and culture.  Jim

Here is another note from a gringo who is resident in Ecuador.

Gary, I would like to add the following on crime in general in Ecuador. I have spent the past 9 years living in the Mariscal neighborhood of Quito, 6 months each year.  Many consider this a likely neighborhood to encounter crime in Ecuador since there is much tourism, thus many opportunities to rob people who actually have money or valuables on them.  I walk the streets until about 10 PM.

Ecuadorians are gentle peoples: They are not Cali, Caracas or Miami.  The indigenous peoples who inhabit the provinces north of Quito are among the most stable, economically affluent, and culturally integral of any class of people in Ecuador.  Crime is minimal as it is in most small towns in the USA.

Crime in Ecuador tends to be petty thievery, taking a backpack or purse from a cafe, stealing “things” which are left in the open unguarded.  Ecuadorians are not  a “gun culture” as exists in the United States.  It is beyond their imagination that a person would rob and kill another for a pair of tennis shoes.  It is further beyond their imagination that a young person would mass kill his classmates at school, and that the state would continue to allow unlimited access to hand guns and semi automatic weapons.The crime of Ecuador is based more on poverty, although there exists a cultural flaw in many people committing petty theft even when they do not need an item. These events are rarely associated with violence to people.

I’m a street smart kid (63) who grew up in Chicago’s south side and I know that Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, New Orleans, and just about every major and “medium size ” US city is far more dangerous that most any city or neighborhood of the largest cities of Ecuador.  Only 2 cities of Ecuador have any significant crime, Guayaquil and Quito, and then only selective neighborhoods.   Almost all the people I know who have been robbed (6 or 7) in Quito have been men walking home drunk late at night oblivious to using their normal street senses.

Gary, if you do a follow up, feel free to include my comments.

I agree that the Mariscal neighborhood of Quito is one of the riskier areas due to tourism…and that it is not the nature of Ecuadorians to be violent.  We love the people here…the great scenery…the wonderful food…the low prices…the colors like these ice cream vendors in Bahia serving our last coastal real estate tour.

Bahia-Ecuador-workers

Plus we love the warm weather.

This is the final point. I was in a West Jefferson barber shop today and read the local paper.  This is as small town USA as you can get. Nine people were on the front page…all arrested for dealing drugs…cocaine…heroine…meths.  Then Merri saw a real live mountain lion run across our field. Then we visited our neighbor who showed us photos of five bears roaming the neighborhood.  I feel totally safe here and would not hesitate for a moment to invite people to come up (just watch the ice on the road).

So I can live in complete safety here…even though there is crime…in this.

snow

Or go to Cotacachi and San Clemente where the crime may be about the same…more or less…but in this.

Ecuador beach

and this

cotacachi-sun

at about a fourth or fifth the price.

So here is the salesman speaking. “Visit us in Ecuador. You will be glad you did!”

Here is a comment from a delegate at our last course:

Hi Merri:  I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how much myself and all of our “extended family” enjoyed the course that you, Gary, and all of your competent staff put on earlier this month.  I am really just getting my feet back on the ground and I think that we are finally there.

Gary was awesome as we expected and gave me as really a beginning investor many insights and new ideas to think about.  I am speaking for myself, Charles, Jose as well as Rebecca and Betty who joined us after the Galapagos Islands.  You showed me that you are an expert planner and really went  out of your way to accommodate  us especially when we had people coming in at different times.

Francisco stood out as well.  Of course, “our man” Steve the excellent tour guide and all around helpful person.  Last and not least was Ray who also handled so much on the fly and did it well.
Ray really helped with the leaving process.  Also I will keep in touch with him about the possible medical conference I may put on at La Mirage 2010 in August if it comes together…..lots of work and much to work on to make it happen.  We really enjoyed your hotel and the hospitality.  It was  memorable. Thanks so much and we hope to keep in touch and continue with Gary’s newsletters!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Sincerely, Jim

Merri and I hope to serve you in Ecuador this sunny winter.

Gary

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Cotacachi & Bonds


Recent messages looked at the potential profit that Cotacachi fixer uppers can bring. We are converting an office building into condos.

Before.

Cotacachi condos

Now…but not done.

Cotacachi-condos

One great thing about fixing up Ecuador real estate are the low prices. Yesterday for example the doors began to arrive. Great… attractive hardwood…less than $100.

Cotacachi condos

Recent messages also looked at the potential profit that is building in bonds. I have received a number of messages asking for my recommendations.

First let me repeat that now is probably not yet the time to buy the bonds.
As mentioned in a recent email the spreads are so high at this time that you receive a large loss immediately. This is a sign that dealers are very nervous and do not know what to do. For example a bond might be sold for 90 and bought for 80. You immediately lose the spread if you sell.

However on short term bonds that you do not plan to sell this may not matter much.

I have been getting questions from readers asking me to recommend…which bonds.

I cannot make a recommendation for any individual because there are many factors…such as…

How much risk can you tolerate and afford?

When would you need the funds?

Do you want income or capital gains?

We are in uncharted bond territory…hardly ever seen before and you need to look closely at each bond… with your bank or financial adviser to see how how any specific bond may rise or fall.

For example there are numerous DaimerChrysler bonds that have different yields.

Curr Bond Yield
EUR 4.25% 23/01/2009 DAIMLERCHRYS NA 2.82%
EUR 4.25 % 04/10/2011 DAIMLERCHRYS NA 5.88%

USD 6.50% 15/11/2013 DAIMLER FINANCE 12.23%
USD 8.00% 15/06/2010 DAIMLERCHRYS NA 10.82%

Questions to decide are which… why..based on rating and maturity…and do you want to be in the auto industry at all or not. Obama just asked Bush to help the US auto industry.

If so are other auto firms better?

There are many options such as:

EUR 6.25% 24/02/2010 FIAT FIN & TRADE 5.83%
EUR 6.75% 25/05/2011 FIAT FIN & TRADE 6.75%
EUR 5.625% 15/11/2011 FIAT FIN & TRADE 14.22%
EUR 6.625% 15/02/2013 FIAT FIN & TRADE 14.09%
EUR 5.75% 12/01/2009 FORD MOTOR CRED 53.63%
EUR 7.25% 03/07/2013 GENERAL MOTORS 33.66%
EUR 5.75% 27/09/2010 GMAC 39.38%
EUR 5.375% 06/06/2011 GMAC 36.27%
USD 5.8% 12/01/2009 FORD MOTOR CRED 36.93%
USD 7.375% 01/02/2011 FORD MOTOR CRED 35.56%

Finally if you are a US investor, the list is shorter. Some bonds can be owned by US investors…others not. The bonds that are available for US investors are available on a state by state basis. and are only available to residents of some states.

The bonds above come from Jyske Bank’s bond list which is their list of bonds available, not recommendations.

If these bonds are of interest to you, you should contact your account manager. If you do not have an account at Jyske, contact your banker or broker or contact Jyske for more information on how to open an account to buy these bonds…when the time is ready.

A correction in the bond market could create enormous profits and properly chosen have a high risk premium in relation to the risk taken. However there is risk…in everything at this time.

Unless you are a professional bond trader do not try this on your own. Get a professional who has bond experience to help you study the risk reward and timing.

Conditions have created the potential for a really high yield…with reduced risk…when the market turns. You need to study this carefully to be sure that the turning point and specific bonds you choose suits your risk timing parameters.

US investors can get more information from Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management at fischer@jgam.com

Non US investors can get details from Rene Mathys of Jyske Bank at mathys@jbpb.dk

Until next message good investing.

Gary

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

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

We’ll visit the Otavalo markets.

Ecuador-Project

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Cotacachi-meeting

Courses are centered around this open air courtyard in our colonial inn El Meson de las Flores.

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

You are also invited to tag along to the beach where we visit all types of Ecuador beach property for sale. Here is one f our previous tours enjoying a visit to Vistazul condos.

Ecuador-Project

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

Cotacachi Morning


Our Cotacachi Ecuador economic tour continues this morning.

We start the day walking instead of talking…enjoying a hike in the fresh morning air. This is the wet season which means perfect, cool, sunny mornings with afternoon clouds and perhaps later rain.

This confuses many readers. If one looks at the Ecuador weather reports for Quito, Cotacachi and surrounds it seems to rain almost every day. This is true, it rains a bit many days. Thank goodness. Most days it is so sunny and clear and the sun so intense that without those clouds one would really burn. Learn more about this at Ecuador Weather.

I rise about 4:30, try to answer my email etc. before dawn,. Then Merri and I hit the street around 6am. This morning we were in a perfect position to watch the sun rise behind Mt. imbabrura.

ecuador-tours

This seemed appropriate because the course we are conducting is looking at how many opportunities are rising now.

On our way back we passed the local Cotacachi food store, a two story affair with a great mural from the Guayasamín school. This morning it was perfectly framed by Mt. Cotacachi in the background.

ecuador-tour

The 50+ delegates enjoyed breakfast in the hotel.

cotacachi-tours

Cotacachi loves art and there are murals everywhere in village, including in our dining room. Our mural depicts all the famous buildings in the village.

At 9 am we began speaking again. Delegates are getting seated and ready to go.

ecuador-tour

Here is Peter Laub from Jyske Global Asset Management talking about the current economic downturn.

ecuador-tour

One current condition that Peter and I reviewed was the current downturn in bonds around the world.

Some time back we reviewed at this site bonds issued by Bank TuranAlem (BTAS) the second-largest bank in Kazakhstan bank, formed in 1997 as a merger between two government-owned banks. This is a full-service bank with representative offices in Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, China, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Tajikistan and Armenia. The bank’s bonds are rated by Moody’s Ba1 and S&P: BB and it has government backing.

This bank has been offering many bonds in dollars and euro. Now while the bond market is in panic mode the yields are phenomenal.

Their 6.25% 27/09/2011 bond denominated in euro is being sold at 74.22 which creates a yield of 18.14%…in euro.

The bank has bonds in pounds yielding 36.46% and US dollars at 45.25%

You can see some of the bonds and their yields below.

GBP 7.125 21/12/2009 TURANALEM FIN BV 75.00 36.46%

USD 5.434 22/01/2009 TURANALEM FIN BV 92.75 45.25%

USD 7.875 02/06/2010 TURANALEM FIN BV 71.00 33.19%

USD 8.000 24/03/2014 TURANALEM FIN BV 50.49 25.37%

USD 8.5 10/02/2015 TURANALEM FIN BV 52.00 23.52%

Yields like this create an argumet for speculating in such bonds now.

See more about Bank TuranAlem at Multi Currency Investment Secrets.

There are plenty of other dollar, euro and pound bonds with exceptional yields now.
EUR 5.75 12/01/2009 FORD MOTOR CRED 92.52 53.63%

EUR 5.875 08/07/2013 HUTCH WHAM FIN 89.96 8.53%

EUR 8.465 15/05/2013 EUROPCAR GROUPE 43.00 34.10%

EUR 8.25 01/05/2016 NORDIC TEL CO HL 74.00 13.96%

We gave an in depth review of these bonds at the course.

Tomorrow learn about our coffee breaks and quinoa jello!

Until then may your Sunday be as bright as ours.

Gary

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

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

We’ll visit the Otavalo markets.

Ecuador-Project

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Cotacachi-meeting

Courses are centered around this open air courtyard in our colonial inn El Meson de las Flores.

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

You are also invited to tag along to the beach where we visit all types of Ecuador beach property for sale. Here is one f our previous tours enjoying a visit to Vistazul condos.

Ecuador-Project

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

Multi Currency US Banks


Multi currency US banks are hard to find.

The US dollar has revived in the past few weeks. Fundamentals (debt, trade balance and low interest rate compared to inflation) suggest that this makes the current strength of the greenback a useful tool to diversify into other currencies.

Yet it is hard to walk into your local bank and open an account except in greenbacks.

This is a problem everywhere in the US. Most US banks that offer an FDIC guarantee do not offer non dollar accounts.

However one FDIC insured bank that does is Cathay Bank. This bank has Hong Kong roots and began in 1962, to serve the Chinese-American community in the greater Los Angeles area. However they adopted the motto “An Open Door for All” and have expanded rapidly.

Cathay Bank is part of a publicly traded financial institution with stockholder equity of approximately $994 million and total assets of $10.81 billion. Its service network is now in New York, Massachusetts, Washington State and Texas. Overseas it operates in Taipei, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The bank’s website states that it can handle payables and receivables in foreign currency, transfers funds internationally and offers investments in foreign currency including specialized services to help manage foreign exchange exposure.

They offer spot and forward currency contracts and claim that their exchange rates are favorable.

Cathay Bank’s services include:

Foreign Currency Options
Foreign Currency Time Deposits
Multi Currency Call Accounts
Foreign Currency Banknote Exchange
Foreign Currency Travelers Checks

I have not used this bank, but wanted to pass this data on as I know many US investors are looking for ways to use the current dollar strength to invest in other currencies. You can get more data at http://www.cathaybank.com/

Until next message, good global investing to you.

Gary

The first ice appeared on our North Carolina pond this week. Our mallards are complaining! Brrrr!

ice

Merri and I would rather work and play in the Ecuador sun than fight the ice and snow. This is how to enjoy a winter’s breakfast, in our sunny court yard, at El Meson de las Flores with friends.

sun-

Join us at a course in Cotacachi this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

We’ll visit the Otavalo markets.

Cotacachi-beads

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Ecuador-El Meson-Courtyard

Courses are centered around this open air courtyard in our colonial inn El Meson de las Flores.

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Ecuador-Beach-Work

You can even work online (as my friend Steve is doing above) while on the coast.

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

Multi Currency Banks


Multi currency banks are important because the current global financial bailout creates predictable profit opportunities created by multi currency inflation.

Multi currency diversification and investing is needed to take advantage of this opportunity. Investors need multi currency banks or multi currency investment advisers to attain this type of multi currency position.

Yet getting good advisers at a price we can afford has become increasingly difficult. The same governments that create the need for multi currency diversification also hinder our ability to spread wealth beyond their control.

There are numerous reasons why governments do this. Suffice it to say here…this is fact.

Governments in the past used foreign exchange control. Globalization stopped that. Too much money flows across borders that governments cannot control.

Instead governments control their citizen’s wealth in another way now…by regulating banks abroad.

A Swiss bank for example has to comply with US, British, German, Canadian Australian laws, etc. if they accept business from citizens of these countries.

The US is perhaps the most aggressive at imposing this extra territorial jurisdiction…but by know means the only government.

This has been a creeping encroachment on ownership of wealth that has evolved over decades.

One message at this site said:

“Some years ago I wrote about the insidious tactics that the US and other governments have used to erode financial privacy and personal liberty and pointed out that the problem is that the government does not attack the individual but puts the pressure on the overseas financial institutions. The current additional move by the US government to collect tax is just one more small step.”

That message was posted in July 2000. I have been writing about these losses of our financial liberty for decades. This creeping loss of financial freedom is nothing new!

Recently US legal intervention abroad has become so intense, that many good banks will no longer accept US clients. See recent news about this here.

However, smart multi currency investors can still invest abroad if they know what to do. Since I write from experience, as much as I can, rather than research, let’s share what I do.

I mostly use Jyske Bank and London brokers, Smith Williamson, so let’s see what they can do for US and other investors. Then we will look at some other options as well.

Years ago I used 14 banks and brokers spread around the world. This created a lot of confusion, hassle and cost me in banking fees. I began to study the fees and service of each of those banks to whittle the numbers down.

Eventually I eliminated all but these two firms. They gave me the best service I required at what I considered the most reasonable fees.

We’ll look at Smith Williamson and the other options in upcoming messages.

Here we focus on Jyske. I have the bulk of my portfolio there.

First, let’s address the issue of safety. Normally this is a pretty moot point. Right now everyone is concerned. Is a bank safe or not? I like Jyske from a bank safety point of view because there are four bank safety points, from the top down.

Bank Safety Point #1: A recent Yahoo Canada article shows a survey by the World Economic Forum listed five safest countries in which to bank.

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

So Denmark is a safe place to bank. Now let’s look at Jyske Bank’s safety rating.

Bank Safety Point #2: Jyske Bank is Denmark’s second largest bank.

On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating stable rating. This decision came despite the deteriorated economic prospects in Denmark, particularly in respect of the property market.

Bank Safety Point #3: Also on Friday 10 October 2008, the Danish Parliament passed a bill that secured all deposits and unsecured claims against losses in Danish financial institutions. The rating of the Kingdom of Denmark is Aaa/AAA with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.

Bank Safety Point #4: Finally when you invest abroad, most assets you hold are yours, kept in a depository account. These assets would not be lost even if a bank failed.

So what can Jyske Bank do for you?

Here we must divide services…just a bit…between US residents and citizens versus the rest of the world.

Overseas banks,who are not registered with the SEC cannot provide investment advice or buy certain investments for US clients without potentially incurring the wrath of a number of US regulatory agencies.

Jyske overcame this concern by creating a wholly owned, but independent, subsidiary, Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) that is registered with the SEC.

Essentially JGAM can do almost the same for US investors that  Jyske Bank Private Bank (JBPB) can do for non US clients. There are a couple of quirks in this which we will view in a moment.

First, overall, here is what both JGAM and JBPB  can do for non US investors.

They can:

#1: Offer savings and current accounts in dozens of currencies.
#2: Buy and sell seasoned bonds in dozens of currencies.
#3: Buys and sell shares in dozens of exchanges around the world.
#4: Buy and sell commodities around the world.
#5: Trade in numerous guaranteed investments.
#6: Lend in dozens of currencies to hedge or leverage investments.
#7: Provide managed or advisory only accounts.

There are some differences between the US and overseas service.

Here is what Jyske Bank Private Banking (JBPB) provides to non US investors.

Non US Clients can open accounts with U$75,000 or more.

Clients with portfolios of less than $150,000 are serviced by the (JBPB) Investment Service Team and are mainly invested in currency accounts and mutual funds.  Clients are assigned a personal investment adviser, who tailors the mutual fund portfolio to match the clients wishes, needs and requirements.

JBPB works with six profiles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are six managed strategy funds for investors who want managed services with US$75,000 to US$350,000. These six funds are based on the principles of asset allocation and match the investment profiles above so all investors can attain risk diversification, risk management with even a limited investment.

There is a full Discretionary Portfolio Management service for investors who want managed services with US$350,000 and above. This service is also based on the six strategies above.   These strategies are offered in EUR, USD, GBP, DKK and SEK.

Investors, who do not want managed services, and have accounts of US$150,000 or more, can wish to engage in an active have an active dialogue with their adviser and be very involved in the decision-making process. based on the clients investment profile.   They can invest in currency accounts in a large number of currencies, all tradeable equities and bonds, mutual funds and commodities.

Here is what JGAM can do for US investors.

JGAM offers its Managed Accounts (Discretionary Portfolio Management) services to U.S. citizens for as little as $50,000. Each investor has a personal portfolio manager who reviews the personal needs, goals, and risk tolerances and helps create an investment strategy.

Then the portfolio manager writes an agreement outlining how you would like your investments managed. After that, the manager fully manages the portfolio and can act independently within the terms established with the investor.

Once again this managed service is not available for non US investors.

Some investors (like me) want to make their own investment decisions. They can choose an advisory account.

Here is a quirk though. Due to investment regulations, JGAM can buy US advisory clients currencies, commodities, seasoned bonds and US registered securities. They cannot buy overseas non US registered shares.

This imposes a small limitation for advisory investors who want to buy overseas shares that are not traded on a US exchange.

However, since there are thousands of ADRs traded on the New York and American stock exchanges as well as NASDAQ this is not a great limitation.

For example, in the Green Portfolio we track there are five shares. Three of them, Vestas Wind Systems, Kurita Water purification and Seche Environment can be purchased as ADRS.

The codes are: Vestas: VWDRTY
Seche: SECVY
Kurita: KTWTY

There are thousands of these ADRS so the universe is not small.

We just sent out Multi Currency courses subscribers three BUY NOW ADRs to consider now. You can learn about these ADRs when you subscribe to our multi currency course.

Subscribe here.

Here are the quirks.

Jyske managers can buy overseas shares for US investors who have a managed account. If a US investor has an advisory account then ADRs must be used.

Non US investors can buy overseas shares but cannot have a managed account unless they have $250,000 minimum (versus $50,000 minimum for US investors).

Weird? Why?

Jyske has spent years and millions in legal fees to comply with the various regulations. Whoever thought government regulations would turn out to be anything but weird? This is how the rules work and keep in mind there are dual government regulations involved. Jyske has to comply with both US, Danish and in some cases a third set of requirements.

Minimums

Inflation creates a problem for banks…a higher cost of providing good staff. This has forced many banks to raise minimum accounts. Jyske has taken a clever approach and set up graduated levels of service so they can still afford to serve even small investors.

This means that US investors can start an advisory account for as little as $25,000.  Non US investors require $75,000.

Few, if any, overseas investment banks have minimums lower than this. Recently one banker was explaining that due diligence regulations now require five hours of account manager time just to open a simple account.

Managed accounts for US investors requires  a $50,000 minimum. ($250,000 minimum for non US investors). ($75,000 for non US investors).

Investors who want riskier borrow low – deposit high leverage to create multi currency sandwiches need a minimum of $100,000 invested in an accounts so they can get sufficient diversification.

US accounts of $200,000 receive a premium-level service and accounts exceeding $1 million, receive the highest level of personalized service with the added ability to include hedge funds if desired.

For more details on how to buy multi currency investments at Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management contact:

US investors contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US investors contact Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

Protecting purchasing power from inflation will be the concern of most investors in the immediate years ahead. Multi currency diversification will be required. Multi currency banks are important because the global financial bailout creates predictable profit opportunities through multi currency diversification.

Gary

Merri and I love our farm in North Carolina…the rich green bursting in spring.

multi-currency-spring

Lush ripeness in the summer.

Fwd: multi-currency-summer

And colors that burst forth in fall.

multi-currency-autumn

But yesterday the winds whispered in this snow this to me…

multi-currency-snow

“Go South”…”Go South”…so soon…

These are the places I’ll be.

multi-currency-snow

In Ecuador in the mountains…in the sun and on the sea.

multi-currency-beach

Join us in the sun at one of our courses in Cotacachi Ecuador or on the beach this winter.

Learn more about economic safety this November. Join Merri, me, Steve, Kjetil Haugan or Thor Anderson of Vistazul and Peter Vestbirk Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management in Cotacachi Ecuador. We’ll review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

Nov 7-9 2008 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

See the wonderful balconies in the Primavera condos at for sale at $46,000 in Cotacachi.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condo-interior

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

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Then travel to the coast. Enjoy the Vistazul swimming pool on Ecuador’s Pacific.

Picture 9

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

Enjoy Ecuador’s music.

Ecuador-music

Enjoy flowers and beauty.

Ecuador-flowers

Enjoy the friendly staff at our hotel.

international-club

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

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

Multi Currency Bank Safety


Multi currency bank safety has become a big concern in these troubled times. Trust has been eradicated from the system which leaves investors wondering more about risk.

Today is my 62nd birthday and I would like to thank you for sharing the day with me.

I will do almost anything to learn ways to help you. Here’s proof of the pudding.

Ecuador-Healing-Springs

This may look like I slipped and fell in the mud.

Actually I was trying out a little known volcanic pool near our home on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. The clay is said to purify and heal. Here I am in that pool with the natives!

Ecuador-healing-mud

Imagine this. I can now collect Social Security. I will, but this decision has nothing to do with retirement. See why and how my decision can help your wealth at Multi Currency Diversification.

Merri’s and my health, energy and vitality are good. We love what we do. Why not keep on going especially in these fun filled, challenging times of incredible opportunity?  But to take advantage of the opportunity we have to be sure we are not wiped out in the current volatility.

So let’s look at bank safety and since we share so much about Ecuador at this site, let’s look at Ecuador’s banks first.

Then we let’s look at the five safest banking countries in the world.

No bank can have a better credit rating than the country it is in!  Instead of looking at banks, Ecuador as a nation has a B3 Moody’s rating, CCC Fitch rating and B- from Standard & Poor’s. These ratings are somewhere between “highly speculative” and “substantial risk.” No matter how you cut it…the credit agencies are all saying “do not leave a lot of money laying around in Ecuador”. We just finished a lesson on what all the credit ratings mean in our multi currency course.

This is probably not an issue for most multi currency investors because they cannot even have an Ecuador bank account. We continually research to get answers to questions from our Ecuador Living subscribers.

One subscriber recently asked if non residents can open Ecuadorian bank accounts. Here is a reply from our attorney.

“We’ve spoken to quite a few banks about the subject lately and they all
require that the foreigners be residents for them to open a bank account
(checking account). Some banks, however, will allow non residents in the
process of obtaining residency to open a savings account. I will check with
some other banks but this does seem to be a general policy among them.”

If you have questions about Ecuador subscribe to Ecuador Living. We do our best to answer them.

Merri and I do not have a bank account in Ecuador. This has nothing to do with residency or bank safety. Our basic asset protection banking philosophy, which I originally published in the 1970s in my first book “Passport to International Profit,” is even more valid today than it was over 30 years ago. This is:

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

Since Merri and I live the most in Ecuador and the US, we do most of our banking elsewhere.

We use our ATM card to live on when in Ecuador. Our bank in Cotacachi is here.

ecuador-bank

In this Cotacachi square.

ecuador-square

So where should a multi currency investor do the majority of his or her banking? Multi currency investors do not want to hold a good multi currency basket of investments in a bad bank…or even worse in a country where banks are unsafe.

A recent message Economic Safety in Troubled Times showed one way to gain US dollar bank safety in North Dakota.

There is even more safety a bit further north. Canada it appears may be one of the safest places to bank. Canada has many wonderful sites and scenes such as this British Columbia shot taken by our friend Dennis Goff.

High Energy Sunrise

Dennis by the way has a great web site about Ecuador at www.e-quator.net

I am really glad to see this and explain why in a moment. First, let’s review Canada and bank safety.

Canada has great bank safety according to a Yahoo Canada article entitled “Canada rated world’s soundest bank system” by Rob Taylor says: Canada has the world’s soundest banking system, closely followed by Sweden, Luxembourg and Australia, a survey by the World Economic Forum has found as financial crisis and bank failures shake world markets.

But Britain, which once ranked in the top five, has slipped to 44th place behind El Salvador and Peru, after a 50 billion pound ($86.5 billion) pledge this week by the government to bolster bank balance sheets.

The United States, where some of Wall Street’s biggest financial names have collapsed in recent weeks, rated only 40, just behind Germany at 39, and smaller states such as Barbados, Estonia and even Namibia, in southern Africa.

The article listed the top five safest countries as:

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

Singapore was 13th and Switzerland 16th.

The current economic correction has reduced bank safety but there is another reason to be a multi currency investor. The current bailout will create inflation and currency corrections…including further weakening of the US dollar.

This leaves investors with three options:

Multi Currency Option #1: Earn more.

Multi Currency Option #2: Hold assets in other currencies.

Multi Currency Option#3: Live where life is good but costs are low.

This is why the focus of our three sites have these focuses, #1: to help develop small international businesses; #2: invest in many currencies and #3: live in Ecuador.

Our fourth focus is on natural health.

We enjoy Ecuador because life is good there. Prices are low and there are many natural health benefits.

However there are some risk…not in banking, not from Ecuador’s government and not from crime or civial unrest. The most realistic risk is from lack of experience in a new found place.

Earlier in this message I mentioned Dennis Goff’s new blog at www.e-quator.net. The blog features the Wall & Madison business run by Bob Lofgren and Deborah Nance. Dennis, Bob and Deborah are all long term readers who have become friends with Merri and me over the years.

Bob & Deborah were among the first readers to move to the San Miguel gated community. Here is a group of our real estate tour delegates visiting San Miguel.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-visit

There are some very wonderful homes here. I helped one of my readers sell his recently for $85,000.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-house

Here is a typical San Miguel Home.

Let me say right here, that I have nothing financially to do with San Miguel in any way. I live nearby and most of the houses and lots in San Miguel are owned by readers. Otherwise I am not involved.

Bob & Debroah have started a business to help San Miguel owners because of a problem Deborah described in this note to me.

Gary, As you know, who you trust down here makes all the difference in the world. What should be one of the best experiences of your life can turn out to be a nightmare if you work with the wrong people. There are westerners here who came to Ecuador late in life with no money to make their fortunes before it is too late, and will tell a buyer anything to make the sale. Our attorney has examined contracts from two developers and says they won’t hold up in court. One contract was taken before a judge and pronounced completely useless. Being foreigners, buyers have very little legal recourse if they get hooked by one of these people.

Robert and I are not wealthy people, but we have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of our lives. Given the spectacular scenery, clean air and water, abundance of healthy food and sweet people, we certainly feel rich living here. Many people will attest that after talking with Robert and being very excited to buy and build, Robert will tell them there is no land rush, and to go home and think about it and be sure buying in San Miguel is what they really want to do. We care a lot more about our souls than our pocketbooks. We started Wall and Madison, not to make our fortunes, but to be of service and to do things right. Just yesterday two women from New Zealand were here. They told Robert that they had traveled all over the country, and the construction here at San Miguel is the best they had seen in Ecuador. Unfortunately, even the Ecuadorian builders who are honest often have no idea of Western standards.

Robert and I have spent a great deal of time and gone to a great effort, along with our attorney, to see that Wall and Madison is entirely legal and above board. Ecuador doesn’t exactly make it easy to comply with the law. Perhaps that is why most developers don’t. It really is a buyer beware situation down here. So I am glad that you are willing to feature Wall and Madison with your readers. I can promise you that we won’t let you down.”

You can learn more at www.e-quator.net

Safety appears to be more important in troubled times…but really finding safety with the banks, the people and currencies you deal with is ALWAYS important.

This is why 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. Do not miss tomorrow’s message as it reviews my multi currency diversification now.

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 natural awakenings to health and wealth with 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

We’ll look at potential of real estate for sale on this lake.

Ecuador-lake-sites

and the value of Ecuador homes at San Miguel and Prima Vera II.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel

Primavera II $46,500 condos.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condos

We’ll review review potential on Ecuador’s coast.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Salt or fresh water

Ecuador real estate for sale

Join me with the staff of Jyske Global Asset Mangement in Naples Florida to learn more about where in the world to invest now.  Learn how to attend this course free and save $499 to $750.

Until next message good global investing!

Gary

One of the best ways to prosper in this downturn is with your own internet business. You can enroll in our email internet course here for $299. However if you sign up for all three courses in June or later in 2009, I’ll send it free. You save $299. Learn more here

Get our web based course FREE if you join us in Ecuador. Learn more here.

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

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Florida Investment Course

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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

Multi Currency Seasoned Bond Yields


Multi currency seasoned bond yields offer special potential now.

One benefit of being aged 62, with 40+ years of global investing under the belt is that it is easier to spot rare opportunities that only come once in awhile, simply because I have experienced them before.

Current events in the multi currency seasoned bond market remind me of the last great credit crunch in the 1970s when you could earn high yields on multi currency bonds.

First, a quick primer on investing in seasoned multi currency bonds. A seasoned bond is a loan that was issued over six months ago. When that bond was issued, a currency, maturity date and (depending on the prevailing current interest rates at time of issue), an interest rate is set.

Take the US dollar GMAC Bond 6.875% 15/09/2011 as an example.

This means that General Motors Acceptance Corp. borrowed US dollars and promised to pay 6.875% interest until September 15, 2011 when it will repay the loan.

The bond, again depending on current interest rates and the credit rating of the company, was issued either at par or at a premium or discount.

If the bond was sold at par to begin, investors who invested $10,000 bought a $10,000 bond. If it was sold at a discount they paid less than $10,000 for a $10,000 bond. If there was a premium, investors paid more than $10,000.

Interest however is usually paid semi annually on $10,000 (though it can be quarterly or annually) so every six months (March and Sept.) the investor has received $343.75 (half the $687.50 which is 6.875% of $10,000).

This bond is seasoned because it is now offered for sale in the bond market…just like a share is sold on the stock market. However it is the interest rate, rather than potential dividend, that sets its fundamental price.

This GMAC bond above, as of September 2008, had three years until it matures (meaning when the $10,000 is paid back). Interest of $687.50 (6.875%) will be paid each year so this bond is worth in total $2,062 (6.875% interest) plus $10,000 (repaid in three years) or $12,062 over the three years. If interest rates rise to 7.5%, then the bond is worth less because a new bond offering 7.5% would be worth $12,250. The seasoned bond example would fundamentally be worth $188 less than a 7.5% bond. All other things being equal, the example seasoned bond above would sell at a discount price of about 99.

In other words, a new investor would only be willing to pay $9,900 for a $10,000 bond because $9,900 at 7.5% creates $742.50 a year of interest or $2,222.75. So the discount
makes up for the lower interest of 6.875% versus 7.500%.

That is the fundamental that drives bond prices…but just like shares, the market then has opinions based on the credit rating on how much interest rates will change, etc.
These opinions are based on the number of years to maturity, expected interest rate change and expected credit worthiness of the borrower. Just like shares on a stock market, bonds on the bond market are usually bought and sold for more or less than they are fundamentally worth based on a buyers and sellers differing opinion.

The same rule that applies to share markets applies to bond markets. “In the long term markets are efficient and can be trusted because they are ruled by fundamentals. In the short term, markets are unpredictable because they are ruled by human emotion.”

Right now bond markets appear similar where they were in the 1970s (when I made a killing by buying good quality bonds). It appears that the human emotion of fear has caused bonds to be oversold.

For example that US dollar 6.875% 15/09/2011 GMAC bond we used as an example above was for sale yesterday at 34.00. In other words an investor could have bought a $10,000 bond for $3,400. This created a yield potential of 54.27%. Investors would get back $12,062 over three years for an investment of $3,400. They nearly quadruple their money in three years.

This bond was used as an example but this lesson does not recommend this bond which has a junk bond credit rating.
The reason for this huge discount is that GMAC may not be able to repay the $10,000 in three years. Investors may lose part or all of their investment . Buying this bond is a speculation. Most of us should leave it to the gamblers and pros.

However, wise investments are available in better quality discounted seasoned bonds.

The current credit crisis has the corporate-bond market spiraling down. Corporate
bonds with low credit rating (like the GMAC above) have dropped by massive amounts. But also more secure, safer corporate bonds with a higher rating have been hit hard as well and are available at big discounts.

The spread on European euro denominated BB- rated corporate bonds has, for instance, increased sevenfold compared to the spread in the spring of 2007.

The euro spread is the extra interest earned above what a top quality major market government bond Such bonds are considered a baseline of safety. Risk premium is measured by how much more a bond will yield than these safest bonds.

The chart below shows that in 2007 investors could earn 3% more than the safest bonds. Now they can earn 7% more.

multi-currency-bond-spread

This large sell-off in reasonably safe bonds is due to investors’ search for liquidity. This falling price on these better credit corporate bonds creates a golden opportunity for long-term investors.

Take for example, a Gazprom bond denominated in euro with a 7.8% coupon (interest rate) that matures 27-09-2010 (September 27, 2010). This bond in the energy sector has a A3 / BBB but is selling at the discounted price of 97.50 which creates a 9.2% yield or 6.03% over the safety baseline.

All investments have risk…now more so than in most times. The key to good investing is to make sure you are paid an adequate premium for taking the risk.

As we look at examples above and below, remember that rates change continually so earnings an investor can actually make, may be more or less depending on rates at the time of investment.

In the Gazprom example above, a €9,750 investment on September 27, 2008 returns €11,840 over two years. €1,840 in interest and €10,000 in maturity September 27, 2010.

Let’s now look at a US dollar example of a Gazprom bond.

The 7.93% June 28, 2013 Gazprom issue is offered at the discounted price of 82.25. his creates a yield of 13.08% which is a premium of 10.64% over a US Treasury bond. Investors would pay $8,225 for the $10,000 bond in this example. The bond would then pay $793.30 per annum interest through June 2013. In 4.5 years this is a total interest earning of $3,600. Plus the bond, at maturity returns $10,000 or a total return. This creates a total return of $13,600 on the $8,225 investment. Over the four and a half years the total profit is $5,375 on $8,225 invested or 65.34% (about 14.52% per annum).

This is an excellent return for investment grade bonds.

In addition investors with $100,000 to invest can create a multi currency sandwich by borrowing up to one time the investment. US dollar loan interest is in the 4% range.

Imagine the example of an investor who invests $100,000 in December 2008, (used to make the calculation an easier 4.5 years, Dec. 2008 to June 2013) plus borrows $100,000 and invests the entire $200,000 into bonds of this type.

Assuming this same discount prevailed at that time, $200,000 would buy about $242,000 of such bonds at the discounted $82.25 price. The total interest earned from the bonds from now to June 2013 would be about $86,350 minus an interest cost of $18,000. This leaves $68,350 of net interest earned.

Plus of course $242,000 is paid back at bond maturity. The loan repayment would be $100,000 leaving $142,000. The total earnings on the original $100,000 invested would be $68,350 plus $142,000. The investor gets $210,350. This is a total net profit of $110,350 above the original $100,000 invested. This is a 110.35% total return or about 24.52% per annum over the 4.5 years.

There is no currency risk in the loan because it is in US dollars and the investment is in dollars as well.

What are the risks?

One risk is that the interest rate on the loan could rise. In this case you would normally just sell bonds to pay off the loan if the interest rate of your loan rose higher than your yield.

However there is another risk…normally one so remote we would barely mention it. With such short term bonds the capital value of good and even medium risk borrowers would hardly ever fall, unless there was some special corporate misfortune. Never would we expect all investment grade bonds to lose much capital value.

These are not normal times though. This is why we may never see such a guaranteed profit potential with such a low risk again.

However in the short term, if liquidity continues to tighten the yield on such bonds could rise even more and their capital value fall further. Be sure to review your liquidity needs with your investment advisor. You do not want to be caught having to sell at the wrong time. Plus if you leverage though a loan…never leverage more than you can afford to lose.

In a real time situation investors would also normally diversify into more than one bond for greater portfolio stability.

I have been sending my Multi Currency Course subscribers a seven chapter report about the bond potential now. This report contains a review of many bond recommendations. You can have this report as a multi currency subscriber. Learn more about how to subscribe to our multi currency course.

You can invest in the bonds mentioned above via Jyske Bank (American investors can use Jyske Global Asset Management JGAM).

I just finished a long meeting with Thomas Fischer at JGAM to review the updated services that JGAM. JGAM now has an advisory service so US investors can invest in multi currency seasoned bonds. Based on what I learned about the new services Jyske offers Americans, I am personally investing $1 million in a new program to help my multi currency course subscribers understand how to use these services.

You learn how to use this million dollar program when you subscribe to our multi currency course.

Jyske Bank’s Safety Rating

Jyske Bank is Denmark’s second largest bank and I have worked with them for over 20 years. They are my main bankers and investment advisors and have in depth multi currency investment experience.

On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating stable rating. The affirmation of the ratings reflects Jyske Bank’s strong domestic retail and commercial banking franchise, current good asset quality, strong capitalization, and strong risk management. This decision came despite the deteriorated economic prospects in Denmark, particularly in respect of the property market.

New Danish Government Bank Guarantee

Also on Friday 10 October 2008, Jyske confirmed that it had no exposure to Iceland debt. In addition the Danish Parliament passed a bill that secured all deposits and unsecured claims against losses in Danish financial institutions. The agreement was designed to reassure both depositors and the banking community. It is up to each bank to decide to join the new guarantee scheme. Jyske Bank announced that it will join the new government guarantee scheme. During the two-year programme, banks cannot issue dividends, make share buy-backs or establish or renew share option schemes for managers. The rating of the Kingdom of Denmark is Aaa/AAA with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.

For more details on how to buy multi currency seasoned bonds at Jyske bank aand JGAM contact:

US investors contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US investors contact Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

Until next message, may your multi currency investing bond with high profits.

Gary

There is great beauty here in the Blue Ridge as the leaf change begins to take hold. Here is my front yard view now.

multi-currency-purpose

The salmons and gold mean its time to think SOUTH, WARM and SUNNY. This will be my Cotacachi Ecuador view soon.

Join Merri, me, Steve, Kjetil Haugan and Peter Conradsen of Jyske Global Asset Management in Cotacachi Ecuador. We’ll review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio, seasoned bonds and investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

Our delegates have a great time as they learn. Here is last week’s group enjoying an organic wine and cheese reception after the course at Bohemia Gallery and Cafe in West Jefferson North Carolina.

multi-currency-seminar-delegates

Nov 7-9 2008 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. See wonderful condos like this for sale at $46,000 in Cotacachi.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condos

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

Then travel to the coast. See Vistazul condos like this for $89,000.

Ecuador-beach-condo

With this clubhouse view.

Picture 9

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