Tag Archive | "broker"

Ecuador Longevity & Smalltown US Value


Ecuador has many valleys of longevity… but it is more than just the valley that enhances the long lives there. There are at least three longevity secrets.

Because of big value changes, in a moment we’ll look at real estate value in Smalltown USA compared to Ecuador property.

First, the three Ecuador longevity secrets.

Secret #1 is a restricted diet with a reduced caloric intake.

Secret #2 is live with ritual! Those who live extra ordinarily long lives seem to share this common trait. Whatever they do they do in moderation, in a very similar way and with great gusto. For example, if they drink an ounce of whiskey every day, at six o clock, they do not do this at five some days and eight others. They do not have a half ounce one day and two another. They tend to have one ounce at six p.m. every day. This instills discipline, keeps life simple (very important) and allows the body to get used to doing whatever it is it has to do.

Take Chris Mortensen one of the oldest documented men in the 1990s who at 113 said of his weekly cigar, “If you take my weekly cigar away from I am going to die”. The anticipation and ritual of whatever pleasure he received from this was far more life giving than the stress. The world’s oldest documented woman in the 1990s, Jeanne Clement, at age 122 drank cognac and ate a pound of chocolate a week (but never two).

One good ritual is to do EZ exercises that keep all the muscle groups flexible… such as the sun salute.

sun-salute

Here…

sun-salute

are the…

sun-salute

postures…

sun-salute

of…

sun-salute

of…

sun-salute

sun-salute

the…

sun-salute

Sun…

sun-salute

Salute.

sun-salute

You can see another example of the Sun Salute See https://www.garyascott.com/images/sunsalute.jpg

Ecuador shamans also exercise their legs.  One thing  I do when meeting an Ecuador shaman is observe his legs.  My experience is that the most knowledgeable taita yatchaks exercise their legs. They believe them to be man’s root to the earth… channels for the earth energy.

ecuador-shaman

I also notice that they walk barefoot a lot.

This taita yatchak is very elderly but his leg muscles are still highly developed and he is easily walking on rocks.

So…  whenever we can, Merri and I take off the insulation between us and earth and walk barefoot.

ecuador-shamans

An EZ leg exercise taught to me by an Ecuador shaman is called the Llama Walk.

This exercise…

LLama-walk

helps strengthen the legs.

sun-salute

Bend one knee to touch the heel of the other foot, but…

sun-salute

do not perform too many to start.  Otherwise you may have some very sore legs the next day.

Remember start EZ.

Longevity Secret #3 is to remain independent, challenged, active and needed. One of the most important features found in societies where residents are long lived is that old age is revered.

People at age 100, even 110 can still active and working!

I collect stories of long lived people… such as Max Zimmer of Los Angeles who came to the US from Austria in 1911 with only a two dollar bill. At age 103 he still had the same two-dollar bill and had built and still ran a multimillion-dollar business.

This is one reason why Merri and I focus on turning passions into profit!

Having something fun and interesting to do every day that also erases financial worries makes it fun to remain alive.

The greatest asset of all, is the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth. This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

SmallTown USA

Today’s message was posted much later than the norm because all last week we were in Oregon helping my sister and daughter get my mom out of the hospital system where she has been since April.  We were pretty busy taking her to assisted living homes, buying her new furniture and getting her moved from her house of 42 years to her new apartment.  We managed to get this all in and send my message at its normal time, but finally yesterday the Portland-LA-Cincinnati-Tri Cities trip threw us off schedule.

I mention this because I am sure that many of you who love Ecuador (or the idea of living abroad) have many ties (as we do) here in the US.   So it takes time to make your move or the best you can do is to live abroad (as we do) part time.

Though we have always lived a global life,  last February I wrote in an article Ecuador Shamans & Truth, why Merri and I are redirecting some of our focus back to the US from Ecuador.

Never Fear! The US, especially Small Town USA, is a great place to be.   Fortunately we sold all of our Florida property at the top of the market, in March 2007, so since this spring we have been looking to buy back a winter home.

There have been some substantial changes in real estate value since 2007 as you will see  below.

We find that Florida real estate prices are still falling!

Merri writes about this process and one house we have been tracking.

This house is in Winter Haven, Florida.

On the Road again…

For all of you out there who continue to ask, “Bought anything yet in Florida?”…the answer is NO.

We’ve had a few blips on the screen with necessary trips to Oregon for Gary’s mom and courses that we’ve conducted plus our daughter, Francesca, home from Africa for a visit.  Then Jacob, just finishing up law school, came over to NC for the summer.

It’s been a busy time but a good and productive one…but absolutely no time for house hunting.

We really are serious about buying that home on the lake in Florida…and we do have to have it by November.  I’ve been feeling guilty and a little nervous because there was no time to spend on the search.

Today, I finally had a tiny bit of time and jumped right back in.

Here’s what I discovered, of the original 21 we were considering from April, only one is sold or for some reason is off the market….nothing really lost there for sure.

The others have dropped in price since I’ve been looking $50,000, $70,000, $100,000, $300,000 and one a whopping $495,000!

Hey, I ceased berating myself for not spending enough time on this situation.

Here’s one below which we will not be buying as Gary would rather be on a smaller lake rather than this extremely large lake but wow is it beautiful and look at the price!

smalltown-USA

Side view.

We looked at it in April and thought the neighborhood was charming, wonderful for long private walks (Interlaken) and it has a feeling of being a settled neighborhood.  We loved the features of this house with its guest quarters (something high on our list), boat dock, and ambiance.

When I first spotted it, it reminded me of a house that we knew and loved tucked on a hillside in the French Rivieria…charming, low key and so so pretty.  (Actually, I fell in love with this house at its original offering price of $599,000.)

smalltown-USA

Lake view and dock.

It’s in Winter Haven in Central Florida which offers proximity to Tampa Airport (an excellent small airport with kindness and frequent flights) and not too far from Orlando Airport.  The town of Winter Haven is filled with lakes and seems very pleasant.  The county boasts 554 lakes and the famous Chain of Lakes…16 navigable together.  Winter Haven is also 146′ above sea level.  SmallTown USA with less than 25,000 people.

The house is situated on huge corner lot with 13,000 + sq.’ and the house (although not huge) has that wonderful guest quarters!

Here it is…straight out of a James Bond movie…at the new this morning’s price of $369,000 which probably could translate into $299,000.

smalltown-USA

I believe this is good value.

smalltown-USA

View of the lake from one of the patios.

I like the broker a lot, Christiana Bulow, who sent it to me.  She is very good about listening to what you like, and then sending you EVERY single listing in your area of choice that fits your requirements. Also, you can just click on your “Favorites” and she’ll keep those and do exactly what she did this morning, send me one of my Favorites with a Reduced Price!  It’s fun and helpful to just look at each one of them…I saved this one on her easy to use system back in April…also from a distance this helps to learn a lot.

Her service is a concierge service…very unique and interesting…which offers a number of great details including a free moving truck, free termite inspection and a Buyer’s Guarantee.

You can reach Christina Bulow:  Christina-vwbx30547239@centralflhomesnow.com    Her phone # is (863) 207-3929.

smalltown-USA

Maybe you’ll love this one…sorry we do love it and of course Gary loves the price but it’s the wrong situation for us…so I’ll keep looking and report back!  Merri

Here is the change in value we need to consider now. In 2007 the house above would probably have cost a million dollars.  Since 2007 real estate prices in Ecuador have risen as they have dropped in the US.

This is not to say that Ecuador no longer has good real estate value.  More work in finding good prices on Ecuador real estate is required.  For example yesterday’s message South Ecuador Beach Property looks at how to have a beach condo for $35,000.  Yet this is a riskier start up way to own real estate.

This is not to say that Ecuador does not offer a much lower cost of living… better climate… a happier gentler lifestyle… just one must continually examine value… and now Florida real estate prices may be comparable to real estate prices in Ecuador.

Whether you head south to Ecuador or just to Florida we wish you longevity and good value!

Gary

Your own small, global, independent business because this can bring freedom, fulfillment and a longer life.A clear mind and healthy body are vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

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

Here are comments from one group who just conducted a seminar at our hotel in Ecuador wrote about the way we help: Wow.  We had such an amazing time in Ecuador.  That includes me, my colleague Jackie, the instructors, and all of the attendees.  Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and really, we owe it to you and El Meson for making it all run smoothly.  We felt so welcomed and well-treated.  Thank you.I’d also like to say that both Mauricio and Alberto went out of their way to make sure we felt comfortable.  The bus was always there for us when we were to leave, they hopped to it whenever we wanted to plan something, they made suggestions for things to do in town, and were very gracious and pleasing to be around.  Mauricio was particularly helpful when it came to making trips to nearby villages.  He was open and sharing with information about the ceremonies and ways of life of the Kichwa, and always willing to answer questions.  What a privilege for us, and a real delight. I’m hoping we’ll get to stay at Meson again some time. Thanks again.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Changes Affecting Retirement in Ecuador or Anywhere


Retirement in Ecuador… or retirement anywhere is changing.

retirement-in-ecuador

Manta is Ecuador’s largest ocean port.  See about shipping and retirement in Ecuador plus a trick to help you retire in Ecuador or anywhere below.

Those who embrace faster change can make their golden years glitter even more.

Those who use old thought in a new world may suffer.

There is a trick to gaining from change which I’ll explain in a moment.

First, an excerpt from the July 30 USA Today article “Older white males hurt more by this recession” by Dennis Cauchon, shows one example about change affecting retirement.  This change is causing more people to retire in Ecuador but affects everyone… even those who are not ready to retire.

The article says:

Dean Canaris, 56, a quality engineer for a Honda automotive supplier, was laid off in April and out the door in 30 minutes with no severance.

Harry Jackson, 55, an airline pilot and supervisor, lost his job in 2007 and, to his surprise, has found it nearly impossible to get another job.

Mark Montgomery, 53, was let go from an Owens Corning insulation factory in April and can’t afford his $575 monthly mortgage payment.

These men from the Columbus, Ohio, area are the unusual new faces of joblessness in this groundbreaking recession: older men cut loose from employment at the peak of their earning power and work experience.

In previous recessions, veteran workers were largely spared the pain of widespread job cutbacks, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Layoffs tended to be concentrated among younger workers: The younger you were, the more likely you were to get fired. Traditional, bread-winning older males — especially white men — were the least vulnerable.

Not so today. Aging Baby Boomers are suffering a harsh employment bust.

Jobless rates for men and women older than 55 are at their highest level since the Great Depression, government data show. White men over 55 had a record 6.5% unemployment rate in the second quarter, far above the previous post-Depression high of 5.4% in 1983.

Those above 55 also are spending more time than ever between jobs. Older workers spend an average 27 weeks between jobs, about five weeks longer than younger workers.

“When you lose your job after many years, you’re not only looking for a job. You find the nature of employment has changed,” says Deborah Russell, director of workforce issues at AARP, the lobbying group representing people 50 and older.

“People losing jobs are increasingly male and increasingly older.”

The loss of a job for an older worker can erase the dominant income of a middle-class family, wipe out savings as retirement nears and deny aging people health insurance when it’s needed most.

“So many of these men were coasting to retirement, working at good jobs and earning good pay.

“Then, suddenly, it was gone,” says Susan Birie, who runs the government’s Delaware Area Career Center in Delaware, Ohio.

Areas of employment that used to be considered safe are gone or going… never to return.

Our recent International Business & Investing Seminar (IBEZ) in North Carolina explained why this is so.

The industrialization of mankind has moved through five eras each with a new form of power.

Era #1: Water-sail-textiles.
Era #2: Steam-railroad-telegraph.
Era #3: Internal Combustion Engine – Car – Production Line – Petroleum.
Era #4: Jet Engine – Phone – TV – Plastics – Chemicals- Fertilizers.
Era #5: PC – Internet –WWWeb.

In the first stage of each era… markets and the economy boom. New jobs are created. Later in the era, the markets crash… the economy slows and the new wave  in the new era wipes out good jobs from the era past.

The railroad wiped out many safe shipping jobs.

The auto industry wiped out many railroad jobs.

Jet travel eliminated many opportunities originally created by cars.

The internet wipes out many jobs in travel.

These changes bring enormous opportunity for those who adapt. One must invest differently and globally.  This is why half of our IBEZ seminars are about global and why we have a strategic alliance with Jyske Bank to offer a multi currency course.

This is why we also focus half of our IBEZ seminar on how to have a global internet business.

Our goal is to help delegates use the trick so they’ll gain from change.

The trick is what we call JDI… a phrase you have all heard…. Just Do It.

We give our delegates at the course enough basics so they can start a part time internet business.  Then we followed up to get the delegates to get started.

The first week after the course, our delegates received this note from our webmaster, David Cross.

Welcome home.  I hope you had a safe trip back from our North Carolina seminar. It was a pleasure to meet you and share your ideas. We’re going to help you give it wings if you desire using the internet in business.

Let’s get started…

You’ve now got an idea – or an idea of your idea. If you want to bounce your idea of me, please do so.

Let’s begin.

Here’s what to do today – yes, right now!

=====
Step 1: Register your domain name.

http://www.godaddy.com/ is about $10 a year for a .com domain name

Done!

(You can ignore all the additional offers GoDaddy will flood you with.  Just grab your domain).

Look out for another update from me this week. Good business, David

This trick in time of such rapid change is to get started with something small.  Then  learn and evolve.

Our delegates have fun with this as well. Here is one reply David received.

Way ahead of you, David !!!  LOL   But will enjoy receiving your updates ….  My sites have been obtained and are our 2 new ventures. I’ll be focusing on one site first with the import/export of cigars. I already have a name for our newsletter so I can work on getting recognition and good Search Engine hits. I will hopefully be adding other products, such as wine, coffee, chocolate and other “vices” in the near future. Gary, I’m hoping to focus on these additional products coming from Ecuador so any leads would be great.

I was reminded of the importance of taking action by a note sent by a kind reader in Canada that said:

Hi Gary, I’ve been reading Henry Ford’s “My Life and Work,” and this short segment mirrors exactly what you have been saying for years! This might come in handy for one of your daily postings. Cheers!

This segment says:

014
—of—
102
My Life and Work
by Henry Ford

CHAPTER II: WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS (CONT’D)

The automobile business was not on what I would call an honest basis, to say nothing of being, from a manufacturing standpoint, on a scientific basis, but it was no worse than business in general. That was the period, it may be remembered, in which many corporations were being floated and financed.

The bankers, who before then had confined themselves to the railroads, got into industry. My idea was then and still is that if a man did his work well, the price he would get for that work, the profits and all financial matters, would care for themselves and that a business ought to start small and build itself up and out of its earnings.

If there are no earnings then that is a signal to the owner that he is wasting his time and does not belong in that business. I have never found it necessary to change those ideas, but I discovered that this simple formula of doing good work and getting paid for it was supposed to be slow for modern business.

The plan at that time most in favor was to start off with the largest possible capitalization and then sell all the stock and all the bonds that could be sold.

Whatever money happened to be left over after all the stock and bond-selling expenses and promoters, charges and all that, went grudgingly into the foundation of the business.

A good business was not one that did good work and earned a fair profit. A good business was one that would give the opportunity for the floating of a large amount of stocks and bonds at high prices. It was the stocks and bonds, not the work, that mattered. I could not see how a new business or an old business could be expected to be able to charge into its product a great big bond interest and then sell the product at a fair price.

I have never been able to see that.

I have never been able to understand on what theory the original investment of money can be charged against a business. Those men in business who call themselves financiers say that money is “worth” 6 per cent, or 5 per cent, or some other per cent, and that if a business has one hundred thousand dollars invested in it, the man who made the investment is entitled to charge an interest payment on the money, because, if instead of putting that money into the business he had put it into a savings bank or into certain securities, he could have a certain fixed return. Therefore they say that a proper charge against the operating expenses of a business is the interest on this money.  This idea is at the root of many business failures and most service failures.  Money is not worth a particular amount. As money it is not worth anything, for it will do nothing of itself. The only use of money is to buy tools to work with or the product of tools.

Therefore money is worth what it will help you to produce or buy and no more. If a man thinks that his money will earn 5 per cent, or 6 per cent, he ought to place it where he can get that return, but money placed in a business is not a charge on the business–or, rather, should not be.

It ceases to be money and becomes, or should become, an engine of production, and it is therefore worth what it produces–and not a fixed sum according to some scale that has no bearing upon the particular business in which the money has been placed. Any return should come after it has produced, not before.

This reminded me that the best investment… especially in this era where smaller is better… is in our own small business.  We are our greatest asset… but we will earn nothing if we do not act.

Here is what another delegate from our July North Carolina seminar shared.

Gary and Merri…  We truly enjoyed your seminar !!!  Thanks so much for allowing us to come. My brain is still spinning from all of the information and I hope that someday, we will be in the red enough to invest our wealth at Jyske Bank as well. Words cannot express how impressed we both were with the entire presentation. And thank you for sharing your farm with us and the wonderful lunch !!!

This may or may not be your “cup of tea”, but I would love to learn more about how to think BIG, which could maybe be a topic of one of your newsletters. I would value the information and expertise coming from you because you have been so successful. On the way home from your seminar, I thought a lot about how I need to change my thought patterns. I was a single mother of 2 for many years and during those years, I was in survival mode … how to make enough money to raise my kids well and still have enough time to be close to them.

I stumbled into timeshare at the end of the 90’s and was able to fix up my home and become credit card free. But after 5 years and moving up to Director of one of the resorts in Orlando, I left the rat-race of that industry and got back into general Real Estate and built up my print broker business. During  the housing boom, I sold my house and moved to the mountains of NC and continued servicing my printing accounts. That’s when my husband and I opened up his Cigar Shop and my New Age Shop. The Florida housing market crashed and so did my Florida printing clientele. Within the last 2 years, our savings went and up went our debts, like so many of us. Now we’re starting from scratch again !!!

The point: I have always done just enough to “get by” …. I have a difficult time visualizing a bigger picture … a bigger income … bigger wealth … bigger savings … bigger vacations … bigger anything !!!  We are very hard-working but don’t seem to get ahead …. bigger !!!

So if you decide to do a newsletter series on the topic of “thinking BIG”, I think there are a lot of us out there who could use your insight …. hey, this could even make a good “course” subject.  In any case, thanks again, Gary, Merri, David, Thomas and Haskell for your knowledge and inspiration  and I look forward to our continued contact and friendship.  Namaste,

So now we have the answer from one of the biggest thinkers of all Henry Ford.  Become an engine of production and then grow.  Little wonder that ford is the last viable US car maker.

One way to adapt to change is to move to a place where costs are lower…  but living and facilities are good… like Ecuador.

Learn more about our emailed course on how to have an internet business.

We get requests from many planning to retire in Ecuador for information about Ecuador shipping.

Merri and I have never shipped to Ecuador and almost all our readers have found it far less expensive to buy most goods in Ecuador than to ship.

ecuador-banks

For example Ecuador shipping may not make sense for tables.  This hand made dining room set built for us from solid (old) coffee wood ran $420…with 6 chairs.  You cannot beat that with shipping!

I have only had one couple tell me they shipped their goods to Ecuador.  They experienced a lot of problems. The problem was not in Ecuador shipping or Ecuador.  They shipped an entire container and stated they had the DEA in New York tear their stuff apart… break items and leave a big mess.  This is beyond the control of the Ecuador shipper.

ecuador-banks

Appliances are a bit more in Ecuador than in the US… but not enough to warrant Ecuador shipping. A gas stove like this runs between $250 and $380.

Even if we had more Ecuador shipping stories, it would be difficult to give Ecuador shipping recommendations unless we had many shipping referrals because your shipping begins where you are… so much of what you need will be local.

ecuador-banks

A couch set like this can be hand built or purchased “as is” for about $750 for two.

ecuador-banks

Read more about Ecuador shipping here.

So whether you adapt to change in a small or big way… at home in Ecuador or elsewhere abroad… get started. Take baby steps as you think big.

Gary

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

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199

Read the entire USA Today article “Older white males hurt more by this recession

International Investing Clue


A recent New York Times article gives us an international investing clues.

Here is an excerpt:

WASHINGTON — Reacting to the violent swings in oil prices in recent months, federal regulators announced on Tuesday that they were considering new restrictions on “speculative” traders in markets for oil, natural gas and other energy products.

The move is a big departure from the hands-off approach to market regulation of the last two decades. It also highlights a broader shift toward tougher government oversight under President Obama.

When a government becomes heavily involved in commerce we can expect a loss somewhere. In this case the loss will be in the value of the US dollar.

One way to beat a falling dollar is to but real estate.  Merri and I are always searching for more real estate to but in Ecuador… like this. We (and two of our daughters) have six of these units just 133 steps to the beach.

international-investments

History has proven that governments do not run businesses well.

Take for example, the recent US government commercial decision to bailout numerous failed US businesses.

The bailout was the first error.

The idea of profit, loss and accountability is to weed out businesses that are not productive, competitive or are no longer needed due to change.

When governments invest in infrastructure… this can be okay… even productive for a nation as a whole.

When governments interfere in commerce and spend billions on losers… expect little good.

As soon as those current bailouts began… the question of bonuses and high salaries of the bailed out executives arose.  Is it fair for executives of failed companies to get big bonuses?

Of course not.

This is why failed businesses normally go broke… so the executives do not get paid at all.

Since the government provided bailouts… the executives who led the business into disaster are still employed.  They have all this government money and since many of them are by definition, losers…  they’ll use the losing strategy of spending that money in unproductive ways…  like with big, personal bonuses.

That’s wrong… unless the government once again steps in.

But is further involvement right?

The current solution has been to create a pay czar.

The word Czar is derived from the name Caesar and originally an meant Emperor in European medieval times. The word has since been used to define rulers with a rank like a Roman emperor… a title with an imperial connotation like a King.

Most of modern North America and Europe are nations founded on revolutions that struck down people like that, who claimed to be czars and kings.

Why do we now let our government create new ones?

This cannot be good economic news.

The US has war czar Lute, energy czar Browner… and now pay czar Feinberg.

In fact a recent Fox news article entitled “Obama’s Czars Draw Criticism From Both Sides of the Political Aisle” says: By some accounts, Obama has nearly three dozen czars in his administration, managing everything from closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to ending the genocide in Darfur.

So many Czars… all spending US dollars.

Government spending is the least productive type of of expenditure… because Czars  spend taxpayer’s money… not their own.

international-investments

Merri and I are look for more real estate in Florida as well. Values are getting better. One lake front property that was listed at $799,000 two months ago is now offered at $349.

Lots of unproductive spending by a government will cause its currency (in this case the US dollar) to fall.

This is my belief… in the continued long term fall of the US dollar.

If you also believe that the greenback will weaken from current levels, this could be a good time for you to borrow US dollars and invest the loan in other major currencies like the euro, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish kroner, British pound and Canadian, Australian and new Zealand dollars.

You can do this at Jyske Bank or Jyske Global Asset Management.

When using leverage with an advisory account clients living in the US are limited to currencies and US registered securities.

Such investors can use ADRs and ETFs.   These US securities have a collateral value (equities have a 67% value i.e. 2x leverage).  When using US securities JGAM requires a W9.

ETF’s traded on the NYSE can be used as collateral if Jyske bank accepts the paper and allocates an collateral value (normally not a problem but this can depend on liquidity).

US citizens living outside of the US have no limitations whatsoever and can buy any security with leverage as long as the bank has a collataral value associated with the security.

Gary

Merri and I are also looking for more property in Ashe County North Carolina where there is plenty of fresh water.

international-investments

There are several large tracts (40 to 100 acres) near our farm now for sale. A broker up here recently sent me this note.

“I am convinced that someone will make some money on this property. The Bank is eager to sell and will consider all offers.

Also, concerning other properties — right now there are entire subdivisions just sitting there unsold, with roads and underground power in place, that are being offered at steep discounts by developers who need to get out from under their mortgage commitments.

Some of these are river front properties that will be quite valuable in the future.

There are also some larger undeveloped tracts available for pretty good prices compared to two years ago.”

Our 2009 course and tour schedule.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

Ecuador Property Insights


Yesterday’s message looked at insights on patience and value. If  you missed that message click here.

Patience and the never ending quest for value are vital in investing and buying real estate in Ecuador or anywhere.

Value is really hard to understand in the real estate and equity market now because the bubble of 2007 created many false illusions.  This creates the need for even more patience.

The value of a house is twofold… the value of a roof overhead and the value of whatever price it can be resold.

These are unpredictable times.   Basing a potential resale on previous inflated bubble prices can be a great error.

For example,  after months of searching, Merri and I made our first offer for property in Florida.  Our offer is half the seller’s asking price.

This was really hard for me to do, but after looking at everything I had to come in with this price.  Here is the note I sent to the broker with the offer.

We appreciate your help and attach our offer for the property.

In today’s market, value is really hard to determine because of the economic instability and uncertainty of when markets will rebound. History suggests we won’t see a full recovery for six to ten years… but there is no guarantee.   Because our offer is substantially less than the asking price, I have tried to apply some logic looking at this as a value oriented investor.  So here are the seven reasons for our offer price.

First, our main goal is as investors and we expect to buy at good value. Since there is so much uncertainty we will err on the low side rather than take risk.  We are in no hurry and there are plenty of houses we have seen that we could enjoy for our winters.  If this offer does not work we have several more houses we are ready to make an offer on.    A really fair value is an important part of our offer and in this market we expect to get one.

Second, this property is valued at an even lower by eppraisal.com at realestate.yahoo.com.

Third, we offered more than the lowest appraisal.

There are two other higher internet appraisals but we have gone with the lower of the three for the reasons above and below.

Fourth, as you can see at http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Eustis-Florida/
The median sales price in Eustis has dropped over 35% in the last year and there are 496 properties for sale.

This page says:  “Average price per square foot for Eustis FL was $71, a decrease of 45.8% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Eustis FL for Feb 09 to Apr 09 was $122,000 based on 115 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 35.3%, or $66,600, and the number of home sales increased 42%.

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Fifth, we are buying into a market with falling prices so prices may go even lower as you can see in the zillow.com estimate below. This chart estimates the five year value of this house.

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Sixth, we are buying into a market with a large inventory.

There are currently 496 resales and new homes in Eustis according to Trulia, including 299 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process.

All of this means that this property could be hard to sell and that any price rise could be a long period of time away.

Seventh, this offer is more than the current debt the owner holds so though it leaves them with a loss on their purchase price, it does provide a mortgage payoff and leaves them with some cash. Otherwise they could be holding this property, and all the expenses,  for quite some time.  In a year’s time the property could still be unsold with a lower value and the owners would have had to outlay more in cash.

This places the sellers’ (who bought in 2004) position in a better circumstance compared to having invested in the Dow Jones Industrial Index.
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As the chart from finance.yahoo below shows had they invested in the Dow instead of the house in 2004 the index was 10,410 then.  The Dow rose to 14,093 by late 2007.  Had they sold then in 2007 they would have gained a 40% profit. Then within a year the index fell to 6,626, 36% below the 2004 level.  A 36% loss in the Dow instead of real estate their investment would be worse then the loss they will take if they sell at the price I am offering.

This stock market comparison is important. As an investor, I have a choice. I can buy property or equities.  If I buy equities they are about 50% less than they were and they are mostly lower than five years ago. 

Now we will be patient.

Before I made the offer, I reviewed the deal with a close friend who has been a real estate broker and developer for many years.

He wrote something worth reading:

“Gary, As a realtor, I rarely find a fellow realtor who has good appraisal methods. The research and valuation methods you have employed in your study are in the 98th percentile of methods used by professional realtors.

If a seller wants to sell, there are three things that do not affect the selling price: (1)What they paid, (2)What they owe, and (3)What they want. Try to explain this to a seller though.

Please stick to your guns because as you pointed out, this is a buyer’s market. Don’t get emotionally attached.  The key is to be ready to offer on numerous properties. As you evidently are. Sometimes walking away and coming back a few weeks later puts the seller in a different frame of mind. Sometimes another property is waiting around the corner.

It is always a good idea to have a neutral party representing the transaction, if not an agent representing your interests only.

Make sure that you choose the title company, not the selling party. This will avoid many conflicts of interest.  Any deposit money should be held in escrow at that title insurance company. Do not give earnest money to any other party. Never give any money directly to the homeowner, no matter what they might request in the contract. Real estate companies should not hold the deposit money because I have seen them try to get a piece of the leftovers if a transaction fails to close. Oftentimes it is not their fault that a transaction does not close. They figure they have already done their work. They still want their fees. Don’t let that become your problem.

Whoever gets the deposit money, ask them specifically if they have any fees due if the transaction does not close. Ask what those fees are. Neither me nor any of my clients have ever paid a fee if the transaction does not close.

This is good advice when you buy property in the USA, Ecuador or anywhere!

Gary

Join us at an upcoming Ecuador or North Carolina course or tour.

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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it is in a quiet place and it has a garden directly below the house.

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Here are Ecuador real estate tour delegates checking the house.

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We also look at property around Lake Quicocha for sale.

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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

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.