Tag Archive | "Chile"

International Investing Trick


Here is a global diversification trick that may do well in the likely global economic scenario ahead. Buy good value shares internationally as markets dive during the summer dip.

In a moment we’ll look at some Ecuador health ideas… first the investing trick.

Global equity markets have been in a bear market rally for six months but are now hitting the summer blues due to seasonality.

Share prices will probably drop now. Chances are there will be a strong global equity slump at least through October 2009.

This will create extra value in equity markets and provide good opportunity to pick up high value long term.

The bear market is likely to carry on until 2012-13, but good value shares acquired during dips are more likely to spike early and have extra potential after the bear ends.

Now through October 2009 could be a good time to invest in high value shares for long term appreciation.

But which shares… in which markets?

One way to approach this is to look for extra value created by inefficiencies in markets…to find markets where the values are best.

Statistically this is the best way to be absolutely sure of the best long term returns.

There are numerous investment managers who use very strict valuation criteria (usually based on dividend yields, cash flow, price earnings) to spot the best value markets.  They then try to apply similar criteria to select good value shares in the good value market.

The next goal is to decide how much should be weighted in major market and how much in emerging markets.

Here is a comparison of the Morgan Stanley Major Market versus Emerging Market indices.

The MSCI World Index is a market capitalization weighted index that measures the equity market performance of developed markets.  It includes 23 developed market country indices : Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index includes Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

Major                            Emerging
15 years    4.10%                   5.41%
10 years  -3.85%                   9.11%
5 years    -2.77%                  11.16%
3 years   -10.81%              -00.17%
1 year      -20.81%             -27.53%
3 mos.      14.30%               27.53%

Regardless of the time frame observed,  the emerging equities almost always seriously outperformed major markets… but as a class they also dropped further in the 2008 downturn.

Here is a year-on-year comparison for the past five years.

Major                   Emerging
2003  10.74%           29.63%
2004    6.46%           16.51%
2005   26.17%           54.41%

2006     7.40%          18.23%

2007     -1.66%         25.71%
2008   -50.30%      -37.64%
2009      5.39%         34.79%  3 months

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

However before becoming too aggressive in over weighting emerging markets, we have to keep in mind two thoughts.

First economic thought. The last 15 years has been a catch-up era when the investing world caught on to the idea that emerging markets offered great opportunity.

Second economic thought. A great deal of emerging growth came from debt financed exports to the developed world. This leaves emerging economies holding huge amounts of debt for customers who may not be able to repay the debt nor continue to buy the same volume of goods as before.

The easiest way for investors to invest in good value during dips is via a value mutual fund.

You can select a value major market fund, a value emerging market fund or a value diversified fund.

The benefit of a value diversified fund is that the professional manager decides how much to weight in emerging and major markets.

For example I just sent a lesson to our multi currency subscribers that showed a US traded international diversified value fund that has risen 36.08% in the past quarter ending June 30, 2009.  This fund is 86% in major markets and 14% in emerging markets.

Learn how to read about this fund as a multi currency subscriber.

The most valuable asset we can have in tough economic times is good health. This is why we studied Ecuador health ideas at our June tour.

Cotacachi is considered sacred by the shamans… a place of wonderful mountains that ring the valley.  This is Mt. Cotacachi to the west.

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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The first afternoon of the tour we visited La Mirage Spa and the Shamana Estella.

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She began a theme that the many shamans we visited confirmed.   She said that the three keys to better health, increased longevity, more energy and fulfillment are good nutrition, proper exercise and good sleep.

The purpose of the Ecuador shamanic tour is to learn ways to unlock this healthy  combination in a natural low cost way!

The second day we joined Clemencia, the Shamana of Zuleta and drove 15 minutes from our hotel Meson de las Flores to Otavalo market where we visited the local food market…

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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Here is the shamana speaking to the group with Merri and Mauricio translating.

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We learned the importance of the herbs to make good teas that hydrate the body are cedron, chamomile and lemon verbena.

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We learned how other herbs relax such as chamomile and valerian root. Plus we were told to boil lettuce in milk as a prebedtime drink for better sleep.

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On the other hand, tea from cinnamon, paprika, cloves and ginger help reduce sluggishness in digestion and to speed the system when we need to be fired up.

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You can read this entire report as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

Gary

We hope you’ll join us and enjoy Ecuador’s or North Carolina’s beauty soon.

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Ecuador Risk


Ecuador has risks.

As does everywhere.  In fact our world has more risk then ever before.

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Are quiet Ecuador streets like this Cotacachi avenue at risk?

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The young Ecuadorian children who go to school early, alone don’t seem to feel much risk.  Yet?

Change creates risk and we live in an era of increasingly rapid change.

Those who welcome this fact are those who have the best chance of success. ahead.

This is the era of rapid change… the era of  extra risk.  The current time period within this era is of accelerated change and risk.

This is an important message about how to manage risk in Ecuador or anywhere.

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Even young children play alone in the Cotacachi Ecuador streets without much risk

Yet we must always take care.

Take for example the US travel advisory for Ecuador… read  without perspective. Ecuador risk would seem high.

Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Ecuador:

SAFETY AND SECURITY: The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to the northern border region of Ecuador, to include areas in the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana and Carchi, northern Esmeraldas, and southern Esmeraldas, south of Atacames.  U.S. government personnel are under limitations with respect to traveling alone and over-nighting in these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist organizations.

CRIME:  Crime is a serious problem in Ecuador, and visitors should be alert and cautious.  Non-violent crime is common: hundreds of Americans are robbed every year in Ecuador.   Incidents of rape have increased, even in well-traveled tourists areas and when the victims traveled in groups for safety. Shootings, kidnappings, and carjackings are still relatively rare, but American citizens have been victimized by those crimes.  The Ecuadorian government has increased police patrols in tourist areas, but travelers should remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant control of personal belongings.

Criminals sometimes use incapacitating drugs such as scopolamine on unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them.  These so-called date rape drugs are put into drinks in order to drug the unsuspecting victim.  This drug can render the victim disoriented and can cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems.  Never allow a stranger to “buy” you a drink and never leave your drink unattended.  Several American citizens have reported thefts of property following ingestion of such substances.

Does Ecuador sound risky?

Ecuador sounds risky until you read the travel advisory for Italy.  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Italy:

Some travelers are victims of rape and beatings.  There are incidents of drinks laced with drugs being used by criminals to rob, and in some cases, assault tourists.  Many of these incidents occur in the vicinity of Rome’s Termini train station and at major tourist centers such as Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona, as well as in Florence and Naples.  Criminals using this tactic “befriend” a traveler at a train station, bus stop, restaurant, café or bar in tourist areas, then eventually offer a drink laced with a sleeping drug.  When the tourist falls asleep, criminals steal the traveler’s valuables.  There are also instances where the victim is assaulted, either physically or sexually.

Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities.  Clients of Internet cafes in major cities are also targeted.  Tourists who have tried to resist petty thieves on motor scooters have suffered broken arms and collarbones.

The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian Law Enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices.

Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south.  They occasionally resort to violence to intimidate or to settle disputes.

Italy could seem risky as well until you read the travel advisory for Spain .  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Spain.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:     Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents.  Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity.  Spain’s proximity to North Africa makes it vulnerable to attack from Al Qaeda terrorists in the Maghreb region.  Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, in March 2004, Islamist extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries.  Spanish authorities tried the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators in February 2007 and convicted in October 2007.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain.  ETA has historically avoided targeting foreigners, directing their attacks against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets as well as attempts to disrupt transportation and daily life. However, foreigners have been killed or injured collaterally in ETA attacks.  Two examples of this are the Barajas Airport bombing in December 2006, in which two Ecuadorian nationals were killed and the bombing at the University of Navarre in October 2008, in which 17 students were injured including one American student.  In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. The risk of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” in event of an ETA action is a concern for foreign visitors and tourists.  U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas.  Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of pick-pocketing, mugging and occasional violent attacks, some of which require the victim to seek medical attention.  Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk.  Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATMs.

Thieves often work in teams of two or more people.  In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplices perform the robbery.   Spanish authorities warn of the availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy.  Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

We could go on… in Europe…  in Asia… or anywhere.

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Parents in Cotacachi Ecuador do not feel much risk when they let their children play in the parks.

Mostly, places are not the cause of risk.  The causes of risk  are within,  our awareness, our actions, our  patterns and habits.

If one becomes aware of change and adapts accordingly… there is no risk.  There is opportunity instead.

Early adapters are called risk takers.   They are not.

Real risk takers are those who do not  adapt because…  we know…  there is change.

The real risk is living by OLD rules in a NEW world.

The real risk is believing in General Motors for example… because it is the biggest… oldest… so it must be safest.

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Young lovers in Ecuador can meet safely in out of the way places.

The world is new every day and each day, some old rule no longer works.

The old rules used to say that the Western world was safe… and the emerging world riskier.   The old rules said that the Western world had low crime…  the emerging world had high crime.

Yet look at excerpts of a recent New York Times article entitled “Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid” by Solomon Moore (See a link to the entire article below) says:

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance, based on state and federal data. Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending, which quadrupled in the past two decades, according to the report Monday by the Pew Center on the States, the first breakdown of spending in confinement and supervision in the past seven years.

This suggests that the US has quite a lot of risk… both in crime and health.

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Ecuador people are by nature, caring, friendly and warm.

Sometimes I get letters like the one below from readers who have been victims of crime in Ecuador.  This reader lost her computer and camera when she forgot them in the business lounge at the Radisson hotel in Quito.

Dear Gary,  Can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and had them sent by Federal Express to me.  I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen, for the items they were not able to send me  (camera and cellular phone) I was reimbursed via bank transfer. I still can’t believe it.  This was a good ending and so unexpected.  send you all love, and good thoughts. Laura

New rules about risk are being written every day and our daughter Francesca shared some thoughts on this when she recently visited us here.

Fran is quite a traveler.  Here early studies were in England… Gloucestershire and Birmingham.  Then she spent more for more than a year in Spain and Costa Rica, and moved to Naples and Delray, Florida which were bases for her to  manage real estate tours in Argentina, Belize, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay.

She worked for several years doing human rights training in Geneva, Switzerland before returning to get her Masters degree at London School of Economics.

Then  she worked in London for the Crown Agents where she was assigned
as a project manager and consultant to governments in Nigeria,  Peru, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

She has worked the last several years  as a development planning, monitoring & evaluation consultant in Swaziland and is returning there now on a contract with the United Nations.

As a young, single woman (now married) she has had to be aware of risks traveling everywhere from Florida to London to Lagos.

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Here I am with Francesca on her wedding day.

Fran & Sam rode to their reception in Richmond Park on a bicycle built for tow.

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Riding a bike through London traffic… now that is risky!

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Here are some common sense thoughts that Francesca shares about living with risk.

Living with Risk by Francesca Scott

We’re living in risky times; from the economic collapse, to swine flu, to erratic weather conditions.  It sometimes surprises me when people ask me if I’m not worried about living in Swaziland (my current home), because, they say, Africa is such a dangerous place.  I figure that when I return to London, my risk of being attacked in a terrorist attack skyrockets.  And I am still dumbfounded by the fact that children are screened for guns at schools in the United States.  By the way in England for the first time screening for knives has begun in some inner-city London schools.

The issue of risk came to mind recently, when I was visiting my Grandma. One evening over dinner, the discussion turned to the security situation in Swaziland, and I mused that in certain ways I feel safer in Swaziland than I do in parts of London. My Grandma commented that gangs were increasingly becoming a problem in Portland, her home city, and that she didn’t feel that safe these days.  The next day, as we stopped at the local bank, I was surprised by the thick wall of bullet proof glass completely separating the staff from the general public. They don’t have that in banks in London, or in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital city.

I began thinking about how easily we adapt to different risks within our local environments. In many countries, one would be crazy not to have bars on lower windows. In central London, I hold my bag very close to my chest – I value my purse and cell phone too much. My mother-in-law, who lives in Australia, actually leaves her keys in her car when she stops at a store to pick up groceries (gasp!).  Sadly, I doubt that will last for much longer.   So does my Dad in NC.  They have a policy on the farm that all keys remain in all vehicles…just in case someone needs to jump in one!

Each country has a different risk profile, from pick-pockets, to pollution, to drug barons.  I am not saying that Swaziland does not have its dangers – my house has been broken into several times, and I drive much more defensively than I would in the US or the UK (mostly to avoid wayward cows that have drifted onto the road).  The important thing is to be fully informed about the risks.  This might sound obvious, but sometimes people are scared off by unfamiliar risks or misinformation.

It’s also worth remembering that there are often a variety of ways to mitigate those risks through effective prevention methods, so long as you know the rules. Most of us are guilty of exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk as a result of ignorance at one time or other, and are lucky that we’ve lived to tell the tell. I was threatened at knife point by a drug addict in a park in Spain, when I lived there as a student.  When I recounted my story to my Spanish roommate, she told me that I was a fool to be in that park in the first place, ‘…didn’t you know that it’s the favorite haunt for heroine addicts in the city?’  Well, no, obviously I didn’t know at that time, but it was a valuable lesson for me about the importance of knowing the rules.

I must admit to being a little scared before I went to Swaziland.  After all, it’s in one of the poorest parts of the world, and only three hours drive from Johannesburg, a gang-ridden, violent city. I also couldn’t shake off all those awful images of Africa I’ve seen on the evening news. I told myself that I would try it out for six months (I figured I could survive for that length of time in an underground bunker living off tinned corned beef and bottled water if it was that bad), and make a decision from there about whether or not it was for me. Two-and-a-half years later, I still thoroughly enjoy living here and am very glad that I resisted my initial anxieties.

For those considering buying property, or even moving to Ecuador, or any other country – developed, developing or downright poverty stricken for that matter – I would recommend to take the time to become fully informed about the types of risks you might face.  You can find out a lot from the internet and books, but it would be a shame to be scared off by some of what you read or by the well intentioned comments of a neighbor who hasn’t ever lived away from their home town.

Everyone comes from a different starting point, and everyone has a different risk threshold.

Also, the dramatic stories tend to be more interesting to tell.  While reading around can certainly offer you a variety of different and valuable viewpoints, it’s also important to talk to people who have lived in the country. Locals can be an invaluable source of information, while ex-pats may be more appreciative of the kinds of risks unanticipated by a foreigner, risks that may seem glaringly obvious to a local. Also, find out what you can do to mitigate those risks. Often you can reduce your exposure significantly using the appropriate precautions. If you think that the benefits outweigh those risks, then go down and check out the country for yourself.  That’s the only way you can really know if the level of risk is one that you could tolerate.

It might be that the risks are in some countries and in some places, in fact, just too high, pushing you beyond your comfort zone, or that the restrictions necessary to reduce your risks would make you feel stressed and claustrophobic. It’s no fun lying restless at night at night because you’re worried over a break-in, even though you have an alarm, or resent the lack of privacy from having a guard permanently outside your house. If you’re looking for the exact replica of your own community, with the same level of risk, and a Starbucks around the corner thank you very much, then somewhere like an emerging country really may not be for you. There will inevitably be new and different risks in poorer countries, some to which you, as a foreigner, could be at much higher risk than a local.

But take a moment to reflect on the risks that you face in your daily environment back home, and you might find that such risks are relative. While some risks will be new when you move abroad, you will also leave some behind. Therefore, before making any decision of moving to a country other than your own, I recommend making sure that you are informed by the reality on the ground, not some misconception fed by the media or well-intentioned homebodies. Only with that information can you gauge whether you’ll be comfortable with the type and level of risk you might face. For an adventurous soul, you may well find that the benefits of living in a new culture, the fun of exploring a foreign terrain, make everything worthwhile.

Risk assessment is a vital part of survival and success in today’s world.

This has always been true so always consider risk… but when you evaluate danger… don’t  just look at the places where you will be.   Review your thinking, your habits and patterns to see how you can turn risk into opportunity.

Gary

Join us here at our hotel Meson de las Flores.  Learn more turning risk into opportunity at our courses and tours.

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June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

See the entire article Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html

Ecuador Wills


Ecuador wills do not work if challenged.

We’ll look at some important information about Ecuador wills and Ecuador’s legal system in a moment.

Plus see below how asset protection benefits in the LLC you use may have changed.

Here is a group of indigenous farmers that our foundation Land of the Sun (LOTS) is helping.  They created a mingo (working circle) to clean out their water system that feeds a school that LOTS is helping to renovate.  Merri and I and some friends visited to check on their progress.

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Everyone works, men…

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women…

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young…

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and old.

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Well… not everyone works.

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But everyone gets involved in helping. Here is our hotel manager Franklin Sandoval conferring with the head of the village.

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I mentioned our foundation here  because it helps us gained fulfillment in our business, plus creates tax and asset protection benefits plus is part of our estate planning to make sure that the people of Ecuador are helped even after we pass.

Making sure that your assets held abroad are protected and properly conveyed in your estate requires extra planning.

Yet many Ecuador Living subscribers have been buying real estate or are moving to Ecuador without giving thought to the added complexity in their estate plans and other legal requirements.

I strongly suggest that you review you entire estate with both a local and Ecuadorian attorney. Here are some excerpts from an Ecuador Living report on why.

The Western world operates on two systems of law, the civil law of ancient Rome, and the common law of England.  These two systems have a lot in common, yet in many important areas they differ.

These differences can create legal conflicts in contracts, wills, trusts, parental rights and even residency.

The passing of wealth to heirs for example is one area that differs.

Few people coming from North America (which operates under a British common Law system), understand that US, Canadian or Ecuador wills do not work in Ecuador if challenged.

Many legal systems have evolved from The Roman civil code.  The Napoleonic Code is the French version, established under Napoléon I in 1804.  The Napoleonic code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system though. The Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis was reated in Bavaria arund 1756).  The Allgemeines Landrecht formed in Prussia, around 1794.  The West Galician Code,  began in part of Austria around 1797.

Many of the civil codes in Latin America are based on an original work derived from the French code and Castillan law.  Chile was the first to accept this type of legal system in 1855.  Ecuador followed in 1858.  El Salvador,  Venezuela,  Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Panama are other countries with a legal system based on this foundation.

In this Ecuador legal system, the will is called the testament and allows the testor to direct the disposal, in whole or in part, of their property, upon death.   The testor retains the right to revoke the provisions in the testament anytime during his or her life.

However there is a difference in common and civil law as to what is a person’s property is.   In most civil codes, the wife automatically owns half of all property unless otherwise  stipulated in a formal way. The children own the other half.  Period. A will cannot supersede this fact.

If a person’s will leaves all of his or her property to his or her spouse, the will works fine UNLESS the children contest the will. If they do the testament will not be valid.

This can create complications in simple circumstances.  If the circumstances become complicated… for example children from two or more marriages… then problems could mount.  There is even a concern in my mind that a surviving spouse could lose investor residency status if the inheritance falls below required minimums.    A spouse could lose residency and a house!

In a common law country a person can write a will on a scrap of paper, throw it in a drawer (not advised) and that may be enough.  Though it also might not.  In a civil code jurisdiction such a will definitely will not work!

So if you create a will in Ecuador and then write another later… be sure to make the change official. Otherwise the new will may not work.

In a common law legal system wills do not have to be recorded and often the act of writing a new will allows the new document to supersede the old.

Ecuador’s Act reforming the Civil Code, of August 17, 1989 updated a number of areas relating to  covers relationships between a children and their parents, marriage, divorce, the status of wives, marital property and marital agreements.

Having an attorney to help you with estate planning in every country where you hold property makes sense…  especially if  two of the countries have different legal systems.

The US attorney we use is our friend (and trustee of LOTS) Joe Cox.

Joe’s firms specializes in cross border tax and estate planning, asset protection and real estate.

He provides an incredible system called The Strategic Snapshot which is an easy to use, color coded visualization of a person’s structures, corporate entities, estate plan and assets. We use the snap shot and have found it incredibly useful in seeing how everything from a legal point of view should fit.

You can ask Joe about the Strategic Snapshot at  jcox@coxnici.com.

Joe’s law firm also provides an excellent estate planning newsletter that I read regularly.

A recent letter at his archive shows how and says:

Conversion to Manager-Managed LLC Format

Many individuals concerned with asset protection have formed a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) in an effort to protect their assets. In fact, most people do not know that Florida was the second state in the United States to draft LLC legislation (dating back to 1982). Most LLCs we see in our daily practice have been formed as member-managed LLCs, that is, when the members (i.e., owners) of the LLC control and manage the LLC as well. However, due to recent changes in the law regarding LLCs, we are now recommending that any Member-Managed LLC be converted into a Manager-Managed LLC format.

The intent of this recommendation is to increase the creditor protection of the LLC should the Member be involved in a lawsuit.

For example; under a Member-Managed LLC, if a creditor of the Member is able to obtain the LLC membership units (by court order, for example), the creditor could obtain management rights and make decisions for the LLC. At least one recent court ruling (from Colorado) makes this result a possibility. However, under a Manager-Managed LLC format, the Manager retains control of the management of the assets held by the LLC even if someone else “controlled” the LLC membership units.

In a Manager-Managed LLC, an elected Manager (pursuant to the Operating Agreement) manages the LLC. Note, that an existing member can act as the initial Manager of the LLC, and an independent Manager can be elected at a later time, if desired. Under a Manager-Managed LLC format, if a member was successfully sued, and the creditor obtained the member’s LLC membership units, the Manager could withhold distributions from all Members and the creditor would receive nothing. This result could deter a potential creditor from filing an unjustified or otherwise frivolous claim.


Plus Joe’s website offers an easy to use internet questionaire. See Questionaire.

We live in a complicated world often made more frustrating by the legal system.  Legal systems are problematic enough when one lives and resides in one country.   Difficulties can compound when living and or holding assets in two countries or more… especially if both legal systems…common and civil become involved.  So get an attorney and get advice so you, your spouse and your heirs never find your results uncivil.

The text above is an excerpt from a more complete report sent to Ecuador Living subscribers that describes Ecuador legal system, how to create wills there and provides legal contacts in the US, Canada and Ecuador that can help.

Learn how to subscribe here.

Regards,

Gary

Join us in Ecuador at a 2009 course or tour.

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17. $499 Enroll here.   $749 For a couple.

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21.  $499 Enroll here.  $749 For a couple.

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24.  $399 Enroll here. $499 For a couple.

Take Two for One. Attend any of the three international business & investing courses below and select any one of the tours above free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

Sign up for our three May 2009 tours and attend any of the IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web seminar above FREE.

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

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Learn about our July 2009 Ecuador export tour 2-4-1 deal here.

See our full 2009 schedule here.

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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

Ecuador Quinoa Recipe


Ecuador quinoa recipes are a specialty of our chef, Santiago, at our hotel Meson de las Flores.

Here is Santiago with a quinoa cake he often bakes to welcome our course delegates to Ecuador.

ecuador-quinoa-treat

Santiago and Meson will be on Ecuador’s national TV March 9th.

Ecuador’s rich soil, 365 a days of sun adds to the nutrition of the food grown here.

Ecuador-quioa-recipe

Quinoa is one Andean food, a high protein grain…the only complete vegetable protein. Here is quinoa in the field…

ecuador-quinoa-recipe

and harvested.

Ecuador-quioa-recipe

Quinoa is a high protein replacement for rice or most cooked cereals.

Nicki Goff, a good friend, neighbor of ours in Cotacachi and  a graduate of our publishing course, just wrote about quinoa.

First, she wrote this:

Gary, Your writing course is being put to good use! I’ve articles on ezinearticles.com as well as hubpages so far, trying to make one post
per day. My plans are to continue writing, with a blog in the near
future focused on all aspects of healthy diet.

I loved reading this.  You can get this writing course free when you subscribe to our internet course, Tangled Web.  Learn how to enroll here

See how to have the $299 Tangled Web course free also below.

Here are excerpts from Nicki’s Quinoa article.

Introduction to Quinoa

Quinoa (keen-wah) has its origins in the high upper Andes. The Incas credited quinoa with medicinal and magical properties, and held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as “chisaya mama” or “mother of all grains”. The Inca emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using ‘golden implements’. It has been in continuous cultivation in Colombia. Ecuador. Peru, Bolivia. Chile and Argentina for over 6000 years. Both the seeds and the young leaves can be used as food.

During the European conquest of South America quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as “food for Indians,” and its cultivation and use was actively suppressed, due to its status within indigenous ceremonies. Today, it is returning to commercial favor as a grain in these countries, although it still shares first place with corn as the primary indigenous grain.

Quinoa is close to being a perfect food source in the balance of nutrition it provides. Not a grain but a seed, quinoa is related to the leafy vegetables, Swiss chard and spinach.

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein – 12% to 18%, one of the best sources of complete protein in the vegetable kingdom. Quinoa is a source of all essential amino acids, including the amino acid lysine which helps the body produce protein. Lysine also helps the body process the protein in the quinoa and in other foods. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products.

Quinoa is a great source of B vitamins, potassium and riboflavin. It’s also a good source of zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin E and fiber.

Mango Quinoa Salad

This is my all-time favourite quinoa recipe. It serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish.

* 1 cup quinoa
* 2 cups water
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 mango
* 1/2 cup cucumber
* 1/4 cup blanched almonds
* 2 tablespoon roasted pumpkin seeds

Dressing:

* 1 teaspoon Ghee (clarified butter)
* 1 teaspoon turmeric
* 1 lime or half a lemon, juiced
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash quinoa and boil in water for 10 minutes, Let sit until quinoa absorbs all the water. Fluff with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.

Peel the mango and cut into cubes. Dice the cucumber, and add to mango along with the almonds and pumpkin seeds.

To make the dressing, heat Ghee in a small pan and fry with turmeric for 30 seconds, then let it cool. Add the lemon or lime juice. Mix in olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Add the cooled quinoa to the mango mixture, pour the dressing over the salad, and toss.

Chilean Quinoa Tabouleh

* 2 cups Quinoa
* 4 cups water
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 2 tsp minced garlic
* 1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked
* 1 cup finely chopped red onion
* 4 plum tomatoes cut into (1/2-dice)
* 1 cup diced (1/2 inch) cucumbers
* 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice

Place Quinoa in a medium-sized pan, add the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. The Quinoa should be translucent. Remove from heat and fluff it with a fork. Transfer the Quinoa to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the quinoa with the salt and pepper and stir, folding from underneath the grains. Fold in 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the oil. Gently fold in the cilantro and garlic. Toss the avocado with remaining tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Fold the corn, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado into the Quinoa. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve at room temperature within 2 hours of preparation. Serves 8 to 10.

You can read Nicki’s entire article on quinoa with more recipes including Quinoa Salad Pita Pockets and Crunchy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cookies.

Quinoa is also great with fruit and we have just about every kind here in Ecuador.

Ecuador-quioa-recipe

Almost all of the time most fruits are really ripe…

Ecuador-quioa-recipe

These are some shots I took at the daily Cotacachi market.  I large bag of pears is $1.

Ecuador-quioa-recipe

These huge, syrupy mangos maybe 25 cents each.

Ecuador-quioa-recipe

Huge papays $1.

Ecuador-quioa-recipe

and tropical fruits I cannot even name…but…

Ecuador-quinoa-recipe

each is fresh, ripe and delicious.

I think many of our delegates come here just to eat!

Until next message, may all of your food be healthy and a treat!

Join us in Cotacachi or the coast for our March or June tour.

Enjoy the holidays festivities in March.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

March 16-19 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

On the import-export course we’ll look at hundreds of Ecuador crafts.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

We’ll visit properties for sale like this excellent hotel with huge gardens in central Otavalo.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

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

We’ll enjoy numerous shamanic ceremonies.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

On the real estate tours you’ll see property available nowhere else because sellers come to us first since we charge no commissions.  Here is one of the Vistaazul condo blocks.  totally purchased by our readers at a rock bottom price because they were sold without commission.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

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

We have great social times n our tours as well.  Delegates love sharing with one another. Here is one of our groups enjoying a coffee break in the courtyard of Meson de las Flores.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

Future 2009 Ecuador courses:

Get our web based course FREE if you join us in Ecuador this March or June.

This new course entitled “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Internet Business” is available at $299.

This is a bargain. Merri and I have been traveling and doing international business for 41 years. We have had a web based business for over ten years. You can share everything we have learned for just $299.

However if you sign up for any three of our in person courses below, you can have The Tangled Web course free.

Enroll here $299

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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

Bahia Ecuador Real Estate


Bahia Ecuador is Ecuador’s best kept secret.

A message entitled Manta Real Estate in Ecuador looked at why Manta makes investing north of this port city a good investment.

Manta may be a great place to invest…but Bahia is a great place to be!

This picture at tripadvisor.com shows one reason why. Here is Bahia, Ecuador.

bahia-Ecuador

The full name of the city is Bahia de Caraquez. This is a town that makes living on this part of Ecuador’s coast a great place to be.

Wonderful Ecuador sunsets are here.

Bahia-Ecuador-sunset

Yet as you will see below, there is much much more…here in Bahia, Ecuador.

Merri and I have for the last 25 years (since we left London) always lived in an out of the way place, two hours or so from an international airport and a half hour to a nice city.

When we moved to Naples, Florida 25 years ago it was a sleepy village…no WalMart…no Office or Home Depot etc. We were two hours from Miami International Airport and half an hour to Ft Myers. We would drive to Ft. Myers once ever two weeks or so to get supplies and then scoot back to the quiet life.

Now we are in the Blue Ridge…nothing is here but fields and forests! We drive a half hour to West Jefferson once a week to get groceries, the Farmer’s Market and if we have to go for office supplies that’s another 45 minutes. Then we zip back into the hills. Greensboro or Charlotte airports are a bit over two hours away.

Our home in Cotacachi, Ecuador is two hours from Quito International Airport and half an hour to the City of Ibarra.

So it was no surprise when I started calculating travel times from our new home in San Clemente in Manabi Province on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast.

We are 45 minutes to Manta. Add a check in and a 30 minute flight. This gobbles up two hours and gets us to Quito International Airport.

A half hour north of San Clemente is the town of Bahia de Caraquez one of Ecuador’s sleepers! It is one of Ecuador’s nicest cities that very few people know.

Bahia, first of all is clean. It became Ecuador’s first Ecocity in the late 1990s as a positive response to two disasters that hit this city of about 25,000 residents.

Two natural disasters fell upon Bahia right in a row. First, in 1997 the “El Niño” phenomenon caused torrents of rain, flooding and washed out miles of road in to and from Bahia. Then a year later in August 1998, a strong earthquake (magnitude of seven) created a huge amount of destruction,

In a kindness that evolution brings, Bahía had to completely reconstruct itself.

With Japanese help and funding, plus many wealthy Ecuadorians (one of Ecuador’s more successful presidents came from Bahia so it is well known in wealthy circles) Bahía rebuilt as an ecological area. The governing authorities made an official declaration of this fact. Since this time, the city has planned its development within the sustainable principals of an Ecocity.

Bahía is a Pacific coastal city located on a peninsula about an hour and 15 minutes north of Manta and is bordered by the Chone River.

Here is a shot taken on one of our coastal real etsate tours over the Chone Estuary.

Bahia-Ecuador-Chone-River

Over the last decade Bahia has become one of the country’s most attractive resort areas due to its beauty, cleanliness and access to the major cities of Quito (five hours by car) and Guayaquil (four hours by car).

Bahia’s year round population is estimated at 25,000 with a substantial increase during the summer,

There are also two very important reasons why Bahia real estate values may now rise fast.

First, a new highway is being built between Quito and the coast. This construction is taking much longer than it should and costing way more than budget..but eventually it will be complete and one more concrete freeway will be able to whisk from Quito to Bahia.

Second, some day there will be a bridge across the Chone. Bahia sits on an isthmus between the Pacific Ocean and the huge estuary of the Chone River. If you are traveling from the south up the coast in a northwards direction, you are stopped at the Chone. The drive onwards moves down the Chone for a couple of hours just to get back to the coast north of the estuary north. Here is a group of our real estate tour delegates looking across the Chone.
Bahia-Ecuador-Chone-River-Sailing-

This map shows it all.

bahia-map

The only way to cross the Chone at this time is via ferry. There are usually two car ferries. This is the Pacific Coast Highway running from Columbia all the way down to Peru and Chile so cars, buses and trucks use them.

Big trucks are loaded, first followed by the cars. These ferries also take foot passengers and are free.

Bahia-Ecuador-Ferry

There are also passenger ferries that continually go back and forth costing about 30 cents for the trip.

However, at times it can take up to two hours to get on a car ferry.

So a bridge across the Chone would be invaluable and is in the process.

John Papski, our man on the coast, recently visited Bahia and President Correa there.

Bahia-Ecuaor-President

Here is President Correa in Bahia.

John helped me complete a two part Bahia report that is now available to our Ecuador Living subscribers.

You can learn how to subscribe here

Until next message may all your secrets be as good as Bahia!

Gary

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

Our September 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour has two spaces left
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

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

We still have space in November.

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

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

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

International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun Part II


International investing and business have proven themselves over the past 40 years to be profitable. And even more than the profits are the broadened horizons, fulfillment and fun!

Yesterday’s message International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun looked at why International investing and business should be a fun filled process…not a dull boring set of numbers.

One reason for this is that those who live a fulfilled, involved fun existence are likely to be healthier…with less need for expensive pharmaceuticals and medical treatment.

This makes life better plus can save huge amounts of cash.

This is likely to become even more important in the years ahead for those who live in much of the Western world.   Existing medical systems are already filled with problems.  Inflation and aging populations will make the problems even worse.

At the turn of the decade, The World Health Organization analyzed the world’s health systems. The WHO used five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states.

The five performance indicators were:

* Fairness of financial contribution.  While private health expenses in industrial countries now average only some 25 percent because of universal health coverage (except in the United States, where it is 56%), in India, families typically pay 80 percent of their health care costs as “out-of- pocket” expenses when they receive health care.

* Overall Level of Health.

* Distribution of Health in the Populations:  the average level – goodness – and the smallest feasible differences among individuals and groups – fairness.

* Responsiveness: respect for persons including dignity, confidentiality and autonomy of individuals and families to decide about their own health as well as prompt attention and access to social support networks during care, quality of basic amenities and choice of provider.

* Distribution of Financing.

The study revealed that U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries.  The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th.  Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.

Here is the WHO ranking.

1         France
2         Italy
3         San Marino
4         Andorra
5         Malta
6         Singapore
7         Spain
8         Oman
9         Austria
10       Japan
11       Norway
12       Portugal
13       Monaco
14       Greece
15       Iceland
16       Luxembourg
17       Netherlands
18       United  Kingdom
19       Ireland
20       Switzerland
21       Belgium
22       Colombia
23       Sweden
24       Cyprus
25       Germany
26       Saudi Arabia
27       United  Arab  Emirates
28       Israel
29       Morocco
30       Canada
31       Finland
32       Australia
33       Chile
34       Denmark
35       Dominica
36       Costa Rica
37       United  States  of  America
38       Slovenia
39       Cuba

Most of the readership of this site live in countries where the medical system is not even in the top 15 countries!

This means that many of us, (especially us boomers now in our 60s), may want to rely on a good lifestyle to keep our health…not the medical system.

The cost of this medical system is another reason we want to have independence
rather than reliance on government funded programs.  We’ll see why next message.

Until then, may your international investing and business be good…and fun!

Gary

Learn about our next International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador