Tag Archive | "Bloomberg;"

Contrast the 50 Wealthiest

The greatest riches are waiting in contrasts, distortions and trends.

My 50+ years of global investing and business have been based on looking for distortions that can lead to new trends.

For example in the 1970s I saw that London real estate prices remained low while US and European property skyrocketed.  Then in the early 1980s I saw that Miami, Ft Lauderdale and Palm beach real estate was high compared to Naples Florida (and that Naples had the better beaches).  Then when Naples property went crazy, I saw Ecuador prices at stupidly low levels compared to Florida.

I invested, wrote about these distortions and the trends they would create. Plus Merri and I took thousands of readers to these places.

Those examples are just a fraction of the imbalances we have spotted and invested in over the past five decades as the world’s hierarchy has tried to gain a better equilibrium after WWII.

Gains have been made, but the Bloomberg article. ” The 50 Richest Americans Are Worth as Much as the Poorest 165 Million” (1) suggests that we have a long way to go.

The article says: A look at U.S. wealth data through the first half of 2020 shows stark disparities by race, age and class.

The 50 richest Americans now hold almost as much wealth as half of the U.S., as Covid-19 transforms the economy in ways that have disproportionately rewarded a small class of billionaires.

wealth disparity

The articles reveals some astounding contrasts!

For example recent data from the U.S. Federal Reserve, through the first half of 2020, shows that the top 1% of Americans have a combined net worth of $34.2 trillion, while the poorest 50% — about 165 million people — hold just $2.08 trillion, just 1.9% of all household wealth.

wealth disparity

There is another incredible figure revealed in the article.  This shows one of the worst distortions in the United States that I don’t even think this has even been fit into the national dialogue yet.

The article says: The Fed data also show that the Millennial generation, born between 1981 and 1996, control just 4.6% of U.S. wealth even though they are the largest in the workforce with 72 million members.

Like the country as a whole, young Americans’ wealth is concentrated in just a few hands. Three Millennials — Facebook Inc. co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, along with Walmart Inc. heir Lukas Walton — personally control one out of every $40 held by their generational cohort.

I am just astounded that the older generations in our nation, (the U.S.) can expect the younger generations, that we now need to support our socio-economic structure, can do without sharing our wealth more equally.  The fact that just three Millennials control 2.5%  of that cohort’s wealth seems simply unbelievable.

This is not just an American story.  The wealth distortion seems to be growing everywhere.

Excerpts from a New Yorker article by Yuvaal Harari, author of “Sapiens” and “Homo Deuce” posted at the Linn-Benton College website (2) can help us understand how this global distortion is widening.

Harari wrote: The Liberal Story says that if we only liberalize and globalize our political and economic systems, we will produce paradise on earth, or at least peace and prosperity for all.

The plot line of this story, however, began to lose credibility starting with the 2008 global financial crisis. People who, in the nineteen-nineties and two-thousands, expected that playing by the rules would allow them to rise and flourish suddenly began to fear that they had been duped, and that the system did not work for them. The Arab Spring has turned into an Islamic Winter; authoritarian regimes in Moscow, Ankara, and Jerusalem are abandoning liberal-democratic values in favor of chauvinistic nationalism and religious extremism; and even in the liberal strongholds of Western Europe people are having second thoughts. Now the tidal wave of disillusionment is making its way to the very country that has pushed the Liberal Story to the rest of the planet, sometimes at gunpoint—the United States.

Why are people losing faith in the Liberal Story? One explanation is that this story has indeed been a sham, and that, instead of peace and prosperity, the liberal prescription has produced little more than violence and poverty. This, however, is easily refuted. From a historical perspective, it seems evident that humankind is actually enjoying the most peaceful and prosperous era ever. In the early twenty-first century, for the first time in history, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from epidemics; and more people commit suicide than are killed by war, crime, and terrorism put together.  During the latter part of the twentieth century, each generation—whether in Houston, Shanghai, Istanbul, or São Paulo—enjoyed better education, superior health care, and larger real incomes than its parents. In coming decades, however, owing to a combination of ecological meltdown and technological disruption, the younger generation might be lucky to just stay in place. As people lose faith in the system’s ability to fulfill their expectations, they become disillusioned even amid unprecedented peace and prosperity.

Wealth inequities are causing disruption globally.

We see the results of the growing division between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong,  in US cities like  Portland, Oregon and Chicago.  China and the Middle East suffers from these distortions as does Russia and it former Soviet neighbors.

The reason given for the disruptions are numerous.  Dig through the verbal dross and you’ll see the same root… a disparity of wealth and opportunity.

The image from a recent article about Russia’s difficulties show we humans react when forced into too much unfairness.

Here’s what happens when too many have not much left to lose.

wealth disparity


In this image lays a real power that has come through again and again when the top of a hierarchy (the ones who say “let them eat cake”) fail to heed the true power of pent up frustration, poverty and unfulfilled expectations.

If we, as a global society do not distribute our wealth more fairly, we can expect increased turmoil and even revolution.

I hate seeing the divisions, the arguments, the bias that is spread through social media and the news.  The growth and hostility of these divisions do not lead to peaceful, productive solutions.

Yet I keep asking, what can I do that will help and that will preserve my wealth in a win-win way.

Positive answers are elusive, but one fact about investing remains… the stock market is one of the best ways to maintain wealth.

The Bloomberg article mentioned above clarified this fact: Another key reason for the wealth disparity is that the vast majority of Americans aren’t benefiting from rising stock prices. The bottom 90%’s exposure to the stock market has been dropping for almost two decades. Since peaking at 21.4% in 2002, upper middle class Americans have seen a 10 percentage point decline in their equity interest in companies. A similar pattern is seen among the bottom half.

The wealthiest 1% own more than 50% of the equity in corporations and in mutual fund shares, the Fed data show. The next 9% of the wealthiest own more than a third of equity positions — meaning that the top 10% of Americans hold more than 88% of shares.

My simple solution is to make as much money as I can by paying much more than the minimum to those who help in the process.

Some might call my approach excessive generosity.  If so, those who say this fail to understand that a castle built on the bones of the builders, will never stand strong.

Work hard, be productive, earn by resoling contrasts and distortions and share your success with those involved.

The more we can help the public invest in stock markets everywhere… the better we can maintain our purchasing power and help increase everyone’s wealth.

So if you don’t invest in shares, consider doing so.  You can learn a safe way to own equities globally, with the best long term chances of fair returns below.


Coronavirus and the Stock Market Round Two

Coronavirus and the stock market.  Round Two is coming.

This virus and the market faced off in the spring.  The market won.  As the chart below shows, after a huge March 2020 collapse,the DJIA is almost back to its December 2019 level.


The market’s back up, but history suggests that we’ll see volatility in the ten years ahead.

Here is a chart of the Dow Jones Index for the past three decades.  The .dotcom bubble burst just before the beginning of the 2000 decade.


The market then went nowhere from 2000 to 2014.   Finally it started reaching new high levels.

Such decades long sideways movement after a severe correction is nothing new in the stock market.

So everything’s in order… except the pandemic.  The ravages of the coronavirus dramatically increase the unknown and this uncertainty is the greatest purveyor  of weakness that a stock market can have.

Such delays have profound implications for older generations who may need to cash in equities for income.  How do we maximize the return on your savings and investments during this extremely dangerous time?

For the past five years, my strategy, to protect against the next stock market crash and yet gain income and appreciation from rising share prices is to invest in an equally weighted portfolio of the value based country ETFs.

We track 46 stock markets around the world in our Purposeful Investing Course (Pi) to determine which markets offer the best value so we can be in a perfect position to take advantage of stock market corrections all over the world.

Since no one knows what the future will bring, investing in value makes the most long term sense.

Our Purposeful Investing Course (Pi) teaches an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.

Sticking to math based stock market value and country ETFs eliminates the need for hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.   Investing in an index is like investing in all the major shares of the market.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

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

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

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

Here is the Pifolio I personally held at the beginning of 2019.  Now I am updating my plan to decide when it’s best to invest more.

70% is diversified into developed markets: Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.

30% of the Pifolio is invested in emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

iShares Country ETFs make it easy to invest in each of the good value markets.

The ETFs provide incredible diversification for safety.  For example, the iShares MSCI  Japan (symbol EWJ) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Japan Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Tokyo Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. This ETF is non-diversified outside of Japan so an investment in the ETF is an investment in hundreds of different Japanese shares.

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

There is an iShares country ETF for almost every market.

You can create your own good value strategy.

I would like to send you, on a no risk basis, a 130 page basic training course that teaches the good value strategy I use.   I call this strategy Purposeful Investing (Pi).  You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.

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

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

You also receive a 100+ page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets).  This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.

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

Those five decades of experience have taught me several incredibly valuable lessons.

The first lesson is that there is always something we do not know.

The second lesson is that stock market booms and busts always eventually return to value.

Third, the only sure way to succeed is to use time not timing.

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

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

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $299, but during the pandemic to introduce you to this online course  I am knocking $124.50 off the subscription.


Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report and access to all the updates of the past two years.

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

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know in the first two months for a full no fuss full refund.

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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have cut the subscription to $174.50.  You save $124.50!

Then because this global recovery is going to take years, we’ll maintain your subscription at just $99 a year rather than $299.  Your subscription will be autorenewed in 2021 at $99, though you can cancel at any time.

Click here to subscribe to Pi at the discounted rate of $174.50

Subscribe to Pi today and you get a year’s subscription to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.



(1) www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-08/top-50-richest-people-in-the-us-are-worth-as-much-as-poorest-165-million

(2) cf.linnbenton.edu/artcom/social_science/clarkd/upload/Does%20Trump%27s%20Rise%20Mean%20Liberalisms%20End.pdf

Gain Longevity & Efficiency

Each year around this time, I send my children a longevity gift, something that can make natural, good health more affordable.

I do this in part because good maintaining health has become as much a financial issue, as it is one of health care.  Have you ever known someone with a health problem where their concerns about correcting the problem were as much financial as medical?

A recent New York Times article, “The health care plan Trump voters really want gets to the crux of the matter.”

They have no strong ideological views about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, or future directions for health policy. What they want are pragmatic solutions to their insurance problems. The very last thing they want is higher out-of-pocket costs.

Of course, this fact goes beyond Trump voters.  Almost all Americans want more pragmatic, affordable, efficient health care.

One man in Pennsylvania with Type 1 diabetes reported making frequent trips to Eastern Europe to purchase insulin at one-tenth the cost he paid here.

There you have it.  The US Congress debated health care for eight years and now are looking at undoing everything they accomplished.  This may be good or bad, but what’s terrible for sure is that Congress has done little about the real problem?  The US health care system is really disease management using pharmaceuticals.  The drugs that are dispensed so widely in the US cost much more than anywhere else.  The exact same drug in the US may cost double what it costs in Canada, four times as much as in Ecuador and apparently, for insulin at least, ten times what it costs in Eastern Europe.

The sad fact is that the US health care system (aka Disease Management) is really inefficient.

This year I sent each of my children Paula Garbourg’s book, “Secret of the Ring Muscles” because the ring muscles stimulate all other muscles.  If the ring muscles are out of shape, exercise is less effective and any type of health care intervention is less effective.

Sometimes simply restoring the healthy function of ring muscles eliminates health imbalances totally.

Ring muscle exercises are the ultimate multi-tasking tool for attaining good natural health.  Ring muscles can be exercised while laying in bed, while driving, watching TV or reading a book.  There are no contraindications.  They require no equipment and they are free.  In other words, ring muscle exercises are really efficient ways to attain and maintain natural health.

These exercises come from Israel which is not surprising because in a Bloomberg survey of 48 countries, Israel’s health system was ranked fourth in the world, in terms of efficiency.

Israel was also ranked sixth-healthiest country in the world by Bloomberg rankings and ranked eighth in terms of life expectancy.

When Bloomberg looked at health care efficiency, countries were ranked based on three criteria: life expectancy; relative per capita cost of health care (percentage of GDP per capita); and the absolute per capita cost of health care (expenditures covering preventive and curative services, family planning, nutrition and emergency aid).

Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan took the top three spots in the rankings. Israel came next.  The UK came in 14th, Canada 17th, Iran 45th, and the US — behind Iran — in 46th position for health care efficiency.

Israel’s life expectancy is 81.8 years, and health care costs per capita were calculated at $2,426.  Americans have a life expectancy of 78.6 years and spend $8,608 in health care costs per capita.

Israel’s system also focuses on health care rather than disease management, which means that Israelis have more natural health energy and positive outlooks with less medication.  The reflection of this fact is that the survey showed that Israelis have one of the longest retirements in the world, almost 18 years.

Part of this health care efficiency is due to the fact that the Israeli health system includes the ring muscle techniques.

But what can one do?  Fly to Israel to become healthy?  Fortunately now  there is a better solution.  I have found a way to bring this Israeli health care idea to you.

I have been using the ring muscle exercises for about 25 years and have recommended Paula Garbourg’s book “Secret of the Ring Muscles” many times.

This year I am delighted to be working closely with the family of the author (the Garbourgs and the Garbourg Institute) to spread the word about the importance of the Ring Muscles on health.

See how you can have a personal Ring Muscle consultation from Tel Aviv below.


Improved Health With a Simple Chewing Technique

I am introducing a new program because for decades I have recommended the book “Secret of the Ring Muscles” which teaches how to use these ring muscles.  One of the powerful techniques is simply chewing in a special way.

For 2017 we have increased our ability to help you with ring muscle exercises.


Last week I had a Skype consultation with Haya Garbourg of the Garbourg Institute in Tel Aviv.  Haya is the daughter-in-law of Paula Garbourg founder of the Garbourg Institute and creator of the Paula Method of Ring Muscle Exercise.   These exercises are used and accepted by every HMO in Israel.

Here is a list of problems that the Paula Method’ has been know to resolve and is used in Israel:

  • Orthopedic problems – postural problems, back pain, scoliosis, kyphosis, neck pain and back, knee pain , joint pain, arthritis.
  • Digestive problems – constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel, hemorrhoids, fistula, incontinence age , prolapsed rectum, indigestion.
  • Urinary System problems – incontinence, frequency and urgency of urination, irritable bladder, bedwetting, prolapsed bladder, prostate.
  • Reproductive system problems – strengthening the pelvic floor, prolapsed of the uterus, prolapsed vagina, menstrual pain, irregular cycle, and Ginismos… problems with sexual function.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth – childbirth classes, childbirth function rehabilitation after birth.
    Rehabilitation – after accidents and surgery, paralysis, stroke, Bell’s palsy.
  • Degenerative diseases – such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease.
  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Problems of the vocal cords – hoarseness, warts.
  • Stress – trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder.
  • Children – wetting problems, ADHD, evolution of different problems , cerebral palsy.

In Israel, it is easy to learn and use the Paula Method of Natural Health.  There are over 100 certified practitioners of the Paula Method in Israel and every HMO accepts this method as a health care modality.

Regretfully there are no Paula Method practitioners elsewhere in the world.

As part of a Longevity & Natural Health Program, I would like to invite you to have a personal one-on-one Skype session with Haya Garbourg who is now head of the Garbourg Institute.

The consultation will give you a clearer view and help you in starting a complete ring muscle exercise program.

I have put together this 2017 Longevity & Natural Health Program to help you have more energy, stamina and good natural health this upcoming year.

The total program includes the book and accompanying CD, “The Secret of the Ring Muscles,” my three Shamanic Natural Health Reports and a personal Skype consultation with Haya Garbourg.

In the consultation, you’ll do one-on-one practice with Haya because every person has a different constitution and every body reacts differently to the various exercises.  Haya will ask questions about your overall condition, will teach you some exercises and observe via the internet so she can help you achieve the best results in the shortest time.

All you need is high speed Internet connection and a computer with a webcam. The sessions are around 45 minutes time enough so you can learn and try exercises that you can use regularly.

A recent discovery made it possible for me to create this Longevity & Natural Health Program. 

ring muscle book

I found “Secret of the Ring Muscles” by Paula Garbourg decades ago and loved the benefits of the Paula Method Ring Muscle Exercises.  I have recommended the book again and again at my site.

Our ring (involuntary) muscles are ultimately responsible for putting all our other muscles and all our organs of the body to work.  If the ring muscles are out of balance, then it is enormously hard to keep the skeleton, muscles and organs in good health.  When all ring muscles work in harmony, our body is healthy.   When we activate our ring muscles we create a chain reaction throughout the body so the ring muscles, organs and skeletal system work together for better natural health.

Now Everyone Can Get “The Secret of the Ring Muscles”.

I have shared this information at my health seminars for years and know that it brings great results but have not said much about the book “The Secret of the Ring Muscles” in recent years because it was not available except at really high prices.  The supply was limited and prices rose very high.

Even today if you look at Amazon.com the price for this book ranges up to $220.36.  That price, by the way, is worth it.  The knowledge is perhaps more important and more encompassing to your health than any other you have ever received.  However, fortunately I have now found a far less expensive way for you to get this vital information.

ring muscle

I just took a look at Amazon and the used copies of  “Secret of the Ring Muscle” are selling for up to $220.36.

Now in our Longevity & Natural Health Program you can get the book, a CD by Haya Garbourg and a full, personal consultation with Haya Garbourg for far less than this price.  My three Shamanic natural health reports are included. These three reports are about:

#1: Nutrition

#2: Purification

#3: Exercise

I have drafted three reports on how to improve our natural health based on 40 years and millions of miles of travel to meet with natural healers from around the globe.  Merri and I have invested thousands of hours into learning the skills of health self-reliance and resilience, identifying the best foods and combinations and sifting through loads of seeming contradictions to get to the facts about “Do it yourself” longevity and natural health.

Imagine… never worrying about what we eat ever again and reducing the risks of hospitalization and health care’s outrageous costs!

The first report “Sunski” (Quechua for EAT) shows a way to eat that strengthens and purifies as it stops adding toxicity from eating.  Sunski is a delicious, healthy “self defined” cleansing process.  One lesson in Sunski shows how to correct a simple mistake that most of the Western population makes which increases the chances of adding and retaining weight by 84%.

“Sunski” combines lessons about healthy eating that we learned from years of working with Ayurvedic health masters and then living for years with the Ecuador Taita Yatchak and his apprentices.

A few of the life balancing nutritional tips include how to:

#1: Eat a balance of fat, carbohydrates and protein.

#2: Eat combinations of food for ideal digestion.

#3: Eat clean organic food prepared and served by happy, joyful people.

#4: Eat in good spirits at the right times of day.

#5: Chew in the correct way.

#6: Eat purifying and satisfying meals.

#7:  Adapt eating habits that are suited to individual specific makeup and lifestyle and why such individualized nutrition is better than any specific set plan.

The second report, “Smooth Moves for Longevity” is about inner exercises that make you healthier.   Smooth Moves combines lessons that Merri and I have learned about smooth and easy exercise starting with the ring muscles, while living and working with natural healers from around the world over the past 45 years.

The third report, “Improving Natural Health through Purification” reviews shows simple, easy ways that natural healers around the world helps remove toxins from the body.

Our 2017 Longevity & Natural Health Program includes all three natural health reports, the book “Secret of the Ring Muscles” (and CD) and a personal, private consultation with Haya Garbourg via Skype.

Order  this entire program including the personal consultation for only $139.99 (plus $10 shipping for the book and CD or $20, outside the USA).

To order, click below.

2017 Longevity & Natural Health Program $139.99 +$10 shipping

2017 Longevity & Natural Health Program  $139.99 +$20 shipping (outside USA)



What R U Going 2 Do? – Part Two

What are you going to do to live a long life and what if you live long?

Let’s look at ways to be productive and beat inflation because chances are that you will… live long… and well.

An excerpt from  June 29, 2011 USA Today article entitled “Americans aren’t hitting their prime till after 65 by Janice Lloyd shows why when  it says : Whether you are a twenty something, Gen Xer or Baby Boomer, the older crew has an edge on you, new research shows.

A sweeping poll looking at American attitudes, health and behaviors concludes that people over 65 consistently have a higher degree of well-being than any other age group. At the bottom: those 45 to 64.

The findings are based on more than 1 million surveys since 2008. Healthways works with health care professionals to help people thrive and to allow officials to track health and wellness by congressional districts.

“Improve well-being, and productivity goes up and health care costs come down,” says Ben Leedle, president of Healthways.

If younger people can change, the benefits could be huge, he says.

Wellness I: Get active

What does wellness look like to Healthways? Multiple behaviors, such as smiling and laughing, having access to learn new things and — no surprise here — eating well and getting plenty of exercise. The older group outscored all groups in healthy behaviors, including not smoking.

The article also points out that the second key to longevity and wellness is to give back.

There are few ways to give back that are as satisfying and meaningful and balanced as a good micro business… one that service a customer and is fulfilling to you.  That business can also help fight the ravages of inflation and eliminate worries that the purchasing powers of pensions and Social Security will be enough.

A good, fun business not only enhances income but serves the community, can be enjoyable and increases longevity.

A Bloomberg Businessweek article entitled “Live Long and Prosper. Seriously” confirms this when it says:   Ahhhh, retirement. It sounds enticing, with its promise of freedom from the daily grind. But think carefully before trading employment for a poolside retreat.


There’s growing evidence that people who work during the years typically spent in retirement live longer, healthier, and more independent lives than those who do not.

“There’s a strong argument for continuing to work throughout life,” says Dr. Jochanan Stessman, head of the geriatric and rehabilitation department of Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem and co-author of a study that links work to greater health and longevity.

This is why we have been shifting the focus of this site to help readers wean themselves off wages and fixed income onto their own micro businesses that are mobile and elastic (income that can expand with inflation).

One area where we have added a focus is on having an events (seminars, tours, conferences, exhibitions, etc.) business. Such businesses can be satisfying, really fun and really, really profitable.  We know. Few people have conducted more seminars and tours than Merri and I have.

You know something due to your life experiences and where you are and where you want to be, you know something (you might not even recognize this at first) that is of great value to others.  One of the best ways to share that unique knowledge that you possess is with an Events business.  These Events might be an hour or two lecture, they might be just for an evening, half day, a full day or much longer.

As you will see below our optimum events is three days long.  See how long the optimal time your event might be!

We have created a new course and include an excerpt from Lesson Three that may help you design your own seminar or tour business.

Event – Full Business

How to Profit Conducting Seminars, Workshops & Tours

Lesson #3:  Packaging Your Events


Merri and I have conducted… sponsored and participated in hundreds of events big…




mobile and…



Most of these events were packaged in very similar ways.

Ecuador’s dawn, day break in faintest hue… skies washed in a purple/coral patina. Mountains and valley take form in a rising  dawn as the city wakes.


This is early morning at Hotel Quito.  Merri and I are about to begin our smallest seminar.  Delegates? Two.  This really really low attendance was early October, 2001 just three weeks after 911.  Cancellations began the day after the airplanes hit… but the low attendance was also related to poor packaging.  See why below.

Lesson One defined various types of events ranging from seminars, workshops, conventions to tours.

This lesson reviews how to package events… in other words design events so they are most attractive… price and time wise… for potential delegates.

When you develop an event there are seven factors that need to be taken into account.

#1: The problem the event solves.

#2: The potential delegates who have this problem.

#3: How much interest these potential delegates have in solving the problem.

#4: How much money the potential delegates have to spend solving the problem.

#5: How much time the potential delegates have to solve the problem.

#6: When the delegates have the time to spend.

#7: Where the delegates can attend the event.

Packaging involves pulling all seven of these factors together in the the most balanced way with your abilities and desires.

We have readers often write “I want to attend your seminar, but cannot afford it.”  We always give a scholarship or two.

We have some write “I want to attend but cannot make it for three days”. We have split our courses into three parts so can invite them for a day and a half.  Others write “I cannot attend  in June.. it’s my … (child’s graduation… spouse’s birthday…  daughter’s wedding… etc.).  We have most of our events three times year so offer a different date… or offer a recording of a seminar.

All of this is part of packaging that we have learned over 30 years of conducting events.

Three Day Solution

This lesson looks at how we work around three day events.  Three days has turned out for our business to be the optimal package in terms of maximizing price and easing attendance.

Your events may be one hour… an evening… half or full day… even weekend. Ours are generally a three day long weekend and we find that every day we stretch beyond three… the greater the chance of a poor attendance.

However packaging is all about you… and your delegates.  Your events should be packaged for both.

Ten Day Error

Our October 2001 event in Quito was a ten day health seminar where we traveled around Ecuador looking at natural health secrets.  No doubt 911 killed attendance… but the 10 day length had already diminished signups and one Murphy’s law of events is  “if signups are slow… last minute cancellations will be high”.

In the end every US delegate cancelled. We had one delegate from Australia and one from New Zealand.  Fortunately our business is solid enough that we conduct events as much for the satisfaction as for the bucks. So we conducted it anyway… and had a great time though we certainly did not make any profits.  Others would have cancelled the event, but there you have it. The two delegates were thrilled with all the personal attention we were able to give them.

There is no doubt in my mind that the long stay hindered sign ups to begin and being away for such a long time during the stress of 911 was a final nail in the minds of US delegates.

Let’s see why three days has such an optimal touch for our events.

Lesson Two looked at how my first events were two hour affairs in Hong Kong… getting people together so I could pitch US mutual funds and later real estate in Fiji.   My goal was to avoid delays in traffic.

Later after I switched my thinking and began selling the idea from selling American mutual funds in Hong Kong to selling Hong Kong and other overseas mutual funds in America. I moved from Hong Kong to London which offered the best sources of data for global mutual funds.

This created a dilemma… me in England… delegates in America.   There was a large ocean between us.

That ocean was a bigger obstacle than Hong Kong traffic so I began conducting one day events.  Four times a year I would fly to the USA… conduct a one day on the East coast…. travel a day… conduct a one day in the Middle and then a day later on the West coast.  A typical schedule was Monday… New York seminar. Tuesday fly. Wednesday Chicago seminar. Thrusday fly. Friday San Francisco seminar.   Whew! I still get tired just thinking about it.

This packaging was exhausting… but at that stage… was a fit for the situation… I thought.   Had I tried a three day in each place, that would have put me on the road for two weeks at a time.  Pretty long for a small one man business and three kids.  Secondly… at that time,  I did not think I could get delegates to attend for three days.  That thinking, I was to discover was wrong… but that’s a story for another lesson as well.

The point is the packaging I had at that time was a free one day 9am to 5pm seminar… coffee and donuts included.

This packaging was wrong. let me explain why.

End of Excerpt

Two forces are about to collide… inflation and extended longevity. This collision can be a blessing or a curse.  Your own micro business can help make sure that your longevity is good and… blessed.


As change accelerates the information business grows. This is why self publishing and events businesses go hand in hand.  See how to create both businesses so you can earn wherever you are at any age.  Click here for details.

Read USA Today’s:  Americans aren’t hitting their prime till after 65
Read Businessweek’s: Live Long and Prosper. Seriously

Ecuador Organic & Green

Ecuador, organic & green ideas can create wealth in the new economic era.

I’l say more on Ecuador organic gardens in a moment.  First, let’s look at organic and green ideas north of Ecuador in the USA and elsewhere.


A recent message mentioned that we have enhanced our strategic alliance with Jyske Bank by co hosting a international investing course with Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) at the Naples Beach Club.  The shot above was taken of the Naples Beach Club golf course.

Each day Merri and I strolled down the beach from the hotel to the Naples pier.


During the day we talked with delegates attending the seminar.  My speeches looked at some great opportunities for investing in green ideas.

Herein lies the rub.

Golf courses… beaches surrounded by commerce… the opulence of Naples is about as far from green as can be… yet this is what attracts so many of the bucks!

This series shows how the big economic problems today create big, new opportunities.

The greatest asset we can have in the economic era ahead is an ability to serve… to produce a product or service that adapts to new ways of living as they unfold.

One of these new ways will be green.

Merri and I left Naples (our home for more than 20 years) because it had transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a glittering metropolis. This was not us.  The lifestyle there is complex now and hard to sustain.

Though our global travel for 41 years leaves us with a terrible carbon footprint and makes us look like jet setters, Merri and I are basically simple, recluse home bodies,  happier weeding our garden and watching our sunflowers sprout, than flying off to a grand metropolis.

I usually work here on the front porch…


watching my grapes, raspberries, squash, tomatoes and…


sunflowers that…


by late summer will look like this.


Merri and I are such common people… so like, so many our age… that usually whatever we like, many millions of others like as well.  We count on this fact in our investing. We feel for what we like, knowing there is a market for that feeling.    This has paid us, over the years, well.

During the current economic transformation green may suffer… but in the end  humanity cannot ignore the problem of sustainability.  This means that green investments may offer special value now.

Here are excerpts from a recent Times special report entitled “It will Pay to Save the Planet”:

It’s no secret that U.S. workers are in trouble, with the unemployment rate at 8.9% and rising. At the same time, the world faces a long-term climate crisis. But what if there is a way to solve both problems with one policy? A number of environmentalists and economists believe that by implementing a comprehensive energy program, we can not only avert the worst consequences of climate change but also create millions of new jobs — green jobs — in the U.S. “We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural havoc, or we can create jobs preventing its worst effects,” President Barack Obama said recently. “We know the right choice.”  According to a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, there are already more than 750,000 green jobs in the U.S.

Environmental advocates say that with the right policies, those job figures could swell. The Mayors’ report predicts that for the next three decades, green employment could provide up to 10% of all job growth.

Because the environment creates a huge problem… there is also great opportunity in the thoughts behind this series.

Now imagine this… a guy sitting deep in the North Carolina woods reporting about Ecuador to tens of  thousands of people in a flash. We gave up our print publishing business and moved to places where we mostly walk rather than drive… built a super insulated natural house all to make our lifestyle and business greener.

You can do this too… if you wish or something of this sort… something that interests you.  There are so many green ideas and opportunities.

Many of these organic… green ideas are in Ecuador.

Here are a few ways suggested in previous messages that you can earn income that are greener than the norm.

Ecuador green roses.  See Ecuador Flower Income.


Here is a recent  order of green Ecuador roses we received at our home.

This idea helps create employment in Ecuador…  encourages green agriculture… reduces pollution for floral distribution and encourages community interaction.

Ecuador exports.  See Ecuador Export Tour.


A silver & ceramic Ecuador export.

This idea encourages a shift from lots of factory manufactured stuff to quality, natural, hand made crafts.


My internet business allows me to be very green in Ecuador and North Carolina. Here I am with my Macbook amidst tall locust trees on the farm.

See how to start an internet business at Web Business Course.


Few ideas will totally reduce our carbon footprint.  Yet we can consume less when we work from home and deliver electronic rather than physical products.  When we void commuting we reduce travel, road wear and use less gas.  We pollute less.

More Green Investing Ideas.  See Green Multi Currency Portfolios Now


I talked about green investing with these speakers at the Naples seminar.  Left to right: Samuel Rachlin,  Rich Checkan, Steve Blumenthal, Joe Cox, John Mauldin, Gary Scott, Lars Stouge. Thomas Fischer Moderating.

Our multi currency course has been tracking green portfolios for years. The green portfolio we have tracked for years include:

Vestas:  Danish Wind Turbine manufacturers.

Q Cells AG: German Solar Panel Makers.

Kurita Water: Japanese Water Purification Company.

Hyflux: Singapore Water Purification Firm.

NonoZymes: Danish Enzymes Manufacturer.

Seche Enviroment: French Environmental Porducts Firm.

I reviewed this green portfolio with my Jyske Global Asset Management adviser,  Anders Nielsen.  Here I am with  Anders at the Naples seminar.


He recently wrote that Jyske recommends some of the green shares in our green portfolios now and said:

Jyske Bank has a buy on NovoZymes, with a target price of 515 Danish kroner (the current quote is 417.00 DKK).

Jyske Bank has a buy on Vestas, with a target price of 495 Dansih kroner (current quote is 399 DKK).

Jyske Bank does not have recommendations on the rest of the companies, but Anders passed on recommendations from other analysts from the Bloomberg system.

Seche Environnement:  16 analyst follow the company. 6 buy, 5 hold and 5 sell. The average price target is 45.94 Euro (the current quote 49.58).

Kurita water Industry:  12 analyst follow the company, 8 Buy, 2 hold and 2 sell. The average target price is 2,275  yen (the current quote 2,570).

Q-cells AG:  41 analyst follow the company, 7 buy, 13 hold and 21 sell. Average target price 17.56 Euro (The current quote 17.26).

Hyflux Ltd:  8 analyst follow the company, 5 buy, 3 hold and 0 sell, Average target price 2.21 (Current quote 1,77).

You can see a more complete report n this as a multi currency subscriber.

One, two or none of these ideas may be right for you.  Others may not. We cannot be sure which shares will rise.   We can be sure that rapid change is here and that green and sustainable products are vital to humanity’s future!

Great opportunity is also here and a big part of this opportunity will be in the field of environmental and social sustainability.  I look forward to sharing this opportunity with you so we can make other green with envy!


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

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


Thomas Fisher speaking to our delegates at the farm.




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

Save up to $249! Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ seminar here

We offer two emailed courses, one on how to be a multi currency investor, the other on how to have your own international web business.

We enhance these courses with regular international investing and business seminars that I conduct in coordination with Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management.

If you enroll in our July 24 to 26 International investing and business seminar by July 1, 2009 you can have one of these two emailed courses free and save p to $249.

Delegates gain a lot by talking with each other at these courses. Here are delegates at our Naples course.


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

Our North Carolina courses in 2009 will be conducted in the new…

ecuador-wine and cheese

West Jefferson Hampton Inn.

Save $249!   Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


Large second floor veranda with ocean views.


Beautiful flowered front yard.


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

Ecuador Bond Failure

Ecuador bond failure may create profits in two ways.

See below how an Ecuador bond failure might make properties like this hotel (for sale right now) worth more.


Many readers have sent me a link to the Bloomberg which says: “Ecuador May Default on $30 Million Interest Payment (Update2)” by Lester Pimentel and Daniel Cancel.

There are two important points we can spot by studying this article…one about global investing…the other about living abroad.

First, let me make one other point, the most important point of all. However you invest…wherever you live, do something you love.

For example, here I am working hard leading our latest Ecuador real estate tour. We are looking at a “hotel” for sale by the sea.


Do you think I am worried about how I am going to retire?

Work hard but enjoy the process! We love looking at places like this Ecuador “hotel” for sale.

The asking price?

You won’t believe it when you see it below.


The key is to invest in stuff you find interesting…and fun. Find a way to earn and smell the roses at the same time. In this case we are, as we inspect the hotel we smell the bougainvillea and hibiscus.

More on the hotel and price in a moment. Here is point one…about global investing.

The Bloomberg article about Ecuador bond defaults says:

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) — Ecuador said it may default on a $30 million interest payment as a tumble in oil erodes export receipts, putting President Rafael Correa on the verge of fulfilling a two-year-old threat to repudiate the country’s debt.

Correa will use the 30-day grace period on the bond payment, which is due tomorrow, to analyze legal opinions, Finance Minister Maria Elsa Viteri said at a news conference in Quito.

Ecuador’s finances have come under strain as oil, which accounts for 60 percent of the country’s exports, has plunged 61 percent from a record high in July to $57.23 a barrel.

Ecuador, which last defaulted in 1999, needs an oil price of $95 to cover all the spending in its budget and a price of $76 to avoid depleting its $6.3 billion of foreign reserves, according to Barclays Capital Inc.

“They are burning reserves,” said Eduardo Levy-Yeyati, an emerging-markets analyst at Barclays. “The question is whether they will keep paying if oil prices don’t recover.”

Ecuador’s foreign debt totaled $10 billion as of September, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. That’s equal to less than 25 percent of its $44 billion annual gross domestic product.

Correa, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, won a landslide victory in November 2006 after promising to rewrite the constitution and boost spending on the poor. He said in September that he’d suspend debt payments before trimming spending on education and health care.

Correa has done this once before in February 2007. He said he would miss a $135 million bond interest payment but then made it.

Before that payment was made, on February 12, I wrote about buying these bonds:

The point is this speculation may be a good value because the premium you are paid to take the risk is higher than need be.

Readers who read this and bought this bond then (before the payment was made) earned 20% over night.

This time the risk premium is even more! I believe there are two reasons for the current higher potential return.

First, Ecuador is more likely to default this time than last. Correa is under more pressure to fulfill promises he has made now than he was two years ago. He had just started office then. Now he is mid term and people expect him to deliver. He may decide to spend the money on education, etc. instead.

Second, bond markets and especially emerging bond markets have been hit by a huge dose of panic. All bonds are priced lower than normal.

The bond issue in question is a $510 million bond maturing in 2012. Prices for this bond have plunged as low as 14 cents on the dollar. At this price, the bond yields over 100%.

Imagine this. If you were to buy this bond now and Ecuador does not default, each year for over three years, you double your original investment. A $50,000 investment might earn over $150,000 of income during the three years. Then you get your $50,000 back.

ON THE DOWN SIDE though Standard & Poor’s has cut the country’s rating three levels today to CCC-. This translates to basket case. If Ecuador does default, you could end up making no profit and perhaps losing part of your original investment…though it is unlikely you would lose it all.

Point #2:

A reader sent this note “Gary–with Ecuador defaulting on its debt–why would one want to invest in Ecuador?”

This reader has probably never lived abroad and does not understand that living conditions can get better when you live in a country where economic conditions are down. Prices are 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. Ecuador did default on its bonds then.

So what? All this meant was that food, clothing, shelter, staff, everything local cost about 1/8th as much as it had. 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.

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.

I have lived through law and order breakdowns before, first time…when living in Hong Kong. Poverty created riots and bombs in the streets there in the late 1960s.

That was not fun.

Mind you, Hong Kong real estate prices went on to rise higher than almost anywhere in the world. Those troubled times were among the best for buying real estate…ever.

I saw problems with bombs in public places when I lived in London as well. In February 1991 the provisional IRA managed to actually launch mortars from a van 250 yards from the Prime Minister’s home at Number 10 Downing Street. One shell landed behind the residence and blew out the windows of the war office.

Closer to home, the bathroom door of Merri’s and my London house was jarred off its hinges when an explosive device was used to start a raid on the Iranian Embassy in 1980 after it had been taken over by Iranian Arab separatists. The embassy in South Kensington was near our house .

Did this ruin London?  London real estate prices have since risen to be among the highest in the world and Londoner’s standards of living have skyrocketed.

Problems create opportunity! Economic trouble in a country can create opportunity for those who have money to spend and invest.

Another worry that people have is that the Ecuadorian government will nationalize or confiscate property. There is little history to support this and such a seizure would make little sense.

Such concerns ignore the fact that there are all types of confiscation taking place everywhere…at every level…even in the good old USA.

One family at my last course told me how, for decades, they had been buying property to build low cost housing. They have prepared many of the properties so they followed the zoning ordinances so they could build. Now the municipality has changed rules so they can no longer build.

Taxes are increased. New rules are added and fines levied for non compliance of new zoning ordinances. Costs and problems have risen so dramatically that these developers have had to abandon some of their property to the municipality. After foreclosure the municipality has built the same low cost housing…but obviously less efficiently.

The argument here is not that Ecuador is better than the USA or England or Hong Kong, etc.

The argument here is not that Ecuador has no risk.

The two points are that the perception of risk may be overblown and the premium for taking the risk is high as well.

Plus Ecuador is a great place to be…especially in the winter.

Risk is everywhere.

Ask not, “Where is there no risk?”

Ask instead. “How much is the real risk and how much am I paid to take it?”

Find interesting (for yourself) investments that pay high risk premiums.

Find delightful places where YOU want to be where the cost of living is too low.

Until next message, good global investing and Ecuador living.


This brings us back to where we started working hard…looking at this hotel for sale. Nine bathrooms, about 15 bedroms.


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


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

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

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


Large second floor veranda with ocean views.


Beautiful flowered front yard.


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

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