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Florida Ecuador Connect


Here is an important Florida Ecuador Connection.

Back in 2000 everything in Ecuador looked really bleak.  The country ran out of gas. All the banks shut down. here were demonstrations in the street.  A huge part of the population fled the country.

What an opportunity!

Having lived again and again in places where problems create opportunity… I look for trouble!   I began my business career  in Hong Kong in 1968.  There were communist riots and bombs being set off in the streets. The Chinese army was massed on the border. Life went on. We all figured out the fastest route to the British and American war ships in the harbor for a quick exit. We watched out for boxes in the street. Then we just got busy with life.  Those who stuck around and bought property and businesses made absolute fortunes.

Then I moved to London, a much quieter, safer, steadier place was expected.   Yet there were huge problems there.  The IRA started setting off bombs in the subway and around town.  They even shot some mortar shells at #10 Downing Street!  Ted Heath caused a general strike and the pound sank to $1 per pound!  The IMF was even needed to offer  economic support to bolster the pound.    I gathered my pennies and bought London real estate at the very bottom.  Those who joined me made fortunes once again.

Then during the 1980s US recession I jumped in again buying Naples, Florida real estate  that over the next 20 years skyrocketed… until it was so high… we exited. Proudly (lucky really) we sold our last condos in Naples in April 2007… just before the market began to crash.

The profits on these went immediately into more Ecuador property.

“Life goes on” is also a financial message.

If you have been in despair about our economy, you might be wondering if things can ever revive. Yes, they can and will! Life and business will be a little different, but mankind carries on. Living in the United States we’ll have to be a little more cautious but the western world will survive. Economies will continue to grow in an up and down way as they have for hundreds of years.

Once you believe this… you see troubled places with delight.

So when everything headed south and the economy tanked, I could not wait to get started in Ecuador. Merri and I created an an active Ecuador business, plus began buying property.   We bought a 962 acre hacienda, condos in the mountains, a house, a hotel, a four story office building plus condos and apartments on the beach.

This is why I am slathering over Florida.   Previous messages at this site have looked at our quest to buy Florida property again.

As I read the recent New York Times article by Michael F. McElroy “After Century of Growth, Tide Turns in Florida” I was reminded why. Here is an excerpt:  HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The smiling couple barreling ahead on the cover of Liberty magazine in 1926 knew exactly where to go. “Florida or Bust,” said the white paint on the car doors. “Four wheels, no brakes.  So it has been for a century, as Florida welcomed thousands of newcomers every week, year after year, becoming the nation’s fourth-most-populous state with about 16 million people in 2000.

Imagine the shock, then, to discover that traffic is now heading the other way. That’s right, the Sunshine State is shrinking.  Choked by a record level of foreclosures and unemployment, along with a helping of disillusionment, the state’s population declined by 58,000 people from April 2008 to April 2009, according to the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Except for the years around World Wars I and II, it was the state’s first population loss since at least 1900.
“It’s dramatic,” said Stanley K. Smith, an economics professor at the University of Florida who compiled the report. “You have a state that was booming and has been a leader in population growth for the last 100 years that suddenly has seen a substantial shift.”

The loss is more than a data point. Growth gave Florida its notorious flip-flop and flower-print swagger. Life could be carefree under the sun because, as a famous state tourism advertisement put it in 1986,

“The rules are different here.”

But what if they are not? Or if those Florida rules — an approach that made growth paramount in the state’s sales pitch, self-image and revenue structure — no longer apply?

“It’s got to be a real psychological blow,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who predicted that census data in December would confirm the findings. “I don’t know if you can take a whole state to a psychiatrist, but the whole Florida economy was based on migration flows.”
Recall what once passed for normal. Florida grew from 2.8 million people in 1950 to 6.9 million in 1970, and by about three million people each decade after that. Even during stagflation in the ’70s, Florida added about 200,000 people a year. More recently, from 2004 to 2006, Florida added about 1,100 people a day, as housing construction’s proportion of the state economy grew to twice the national average.

Now consider Broward County in 2009. The county, between Miami and Palm Beach, was one of the first areas to shrink — losing 21,117 people from April 2007 to April 2009, according to University of Florida data — and its experience offers a glimpse of what could be on the way elsewhere.

Now, we are selling several Ecuador properties to plow back into the “Sunshine State.”

I believe in Florida for one of the same reasons I believe in Ecuador… sunshine… warm weather in the winter.  This is the Florida-Ecuador connection.

I also believe in Ecuador as one of the closest to Florida, practical, low cost places to live with something even better…year round great weather!

Anyone interested in buying Ecuador property, let me know… I bought at really low prices so have some excellent real estate for sale at c0mpetitive prices.

Also if you have Florida property for sale let me know also… in the Central Florida area. (We are not returning to South Florida.)  I am looking….buying and may even swap.

Most investors traditionally run from bad times! But this very fact creates value investing opportunity. Few times has a real estate market been as badly hit as in Florida.   Ecuador real estate continues to appreciate as gringos leave the US and head for points south…but this part of the US south offers great potential now as well.

Regards,

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November our “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course” (offered at $299) free.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Thank you for your inspiration and information outlining foreign banking and retirement.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome for planning the steps to evaluate the early stages of living abroad.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us with Jyske. 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.

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

Read here the entire article After Century of Growth, Tide Turns in Florida

Ecuador Perceptions


Ecuador perceptions create opportunity.

What’s in a Word?

What can the perception of a phrase like “communist” or “terrorist” mean for us as investors?

There is opportunity in these words because most people never look beyond
the perception that has been endorsed by the establishment.  They react without  thought about the reality of a situation.

Let me share an example.

Merri and I love nature. We live pretty much in the wild. Our farm in North Carolina  is in an area so remote it is called “The Lost Province”.

Our hacienda in Ecuador is even more remote.

Yet our reclusive lifestyle was not always the case.  After spending my college years in downtown Portland, Oregon, I moved to Hong Kong, one of the most crowded cities in the world.

After moving to San Francisco I finally lived many years in London, one of the largest cities in the world.

London.  What a great city. I loved living there.  This was a really fun place and part of the fun was Ken Livingstone, the mayor at that time. He was so left wing we all called him “Red Ken”.

I mention “Red Ken” because many readers write to me expressing concern about the political stability of Rafael Correa and Ecuador.  The three words most frequently in the writing of these concerns are “populist”, “Chavez” and “left wing.”

Many people fear anything that seems to be left wing.

Ken Livingstone was so far left and such an unconventional and controversial politician that during the Cold War era he sponsored such events such as ‘Babies Against the Bomb’,and declared London a ‘nuclear-free zone’.

He not only was a “communist” but also endorsed terrorists.

Livingstone even extended an official invitation to terrorist leaders of the IRA’s political wing, Sinn Féin.  Britain denied entry to the invitees under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, so Livingstone met them in Northern Ireland instead.  Livingstone said that Britain’s treatment of the Irish over the last 800 years had been worse than Adolf Hitler’s treatment of Jews.

His actions were so left wing that he acquired the nickname ‘Red Ken’ and one British magazine dubbed Livingstone ‘Leninspart’.

Yet during Red Ken, the communist’s reign, London became one of the most affluent cities in the world.

Another example can be seen when I first moved to Hong Kong in 1968.  The Chinese communists were rioting. The first day I arrived in 1968 a British police officer had his leg blown off by a communist bomb.  We were taught at the office how to spot bombs in the street.  The Chinese army was massed at the border. These were the days of the war in Viet Nam and the “communist” threat seemed real to many.  Investors were fleeing Hong Kong left and right. I and a few others stayed.

Those who invested heavily in Hong Kong then, became some of the richest people in the world.

Those who saw the underlying reality and ignored the noise made by political manipulation and the local press made fortunes.

Another example is in Cotacachi.  Merri and I have been investing and living here for years while the mayor there, Auki Tituaña Males is so apparently left wing, there is a huge photo of him and Fidel Castro together on city hall.  That puts some people off!  Fidel Castro a communist!

Yet we have seen this mayor create a social economic system that has transformed the village into one of the nicest areas we know.  Prosperity has grown by leaps and bounds. What has happened over these eight years is remarkable!

Mostly I ignore politicians and the press and look for the deeper fundamentals that drive economics. i know that economics always drives the politics in the long run… not the other way round. Those who rise above and get ahead of political noise are the ones who profit most when the finances shift the politicians.

Places that have brought me the greatest profit are those where the political words and symbols look shaky but the economic fundamentals look good!

Whether Correa, the President of Ecuador is good or bad…I do not know.  A lot of what he says rings true to me…but I have been fooled before.

Will Correa’s actions have an impact on business in Ecuador?  Of course…but my belief is that his influence will not be as bad as many think.   He may even do some  good.

Thus I see bargains that abound in Ecuador because the majority is worrying about the inconsequential words, the noise, the small stuff and most of all the unlikely.  They argue over the scraps and leave the best for the few of us who look deeper.

I have been in Ecuador fourteen years and see little difference in the political noise today than when we arrived. the president then was a mad man (they called him El Loco) changing the constitution. Today we have another President changing the constitution. This President is not so crazy in my opinion.  Is he good? Only time will tell.

I have learned my lesson from London and Hong Kong!  Bring on the words that scare. They create opportunity.

Merri  and I really enjoy living in Ecuador.  When we look through the political noise, we see huge progress in living conditions, sweet non violent people, a wonderful climate…an abundance of sunshine and excellent food.

So we are buying as much real estate there as fast as we can based on our experienced view.

Had we been worry warts for the past 14 years because this or that might have happened we would have missed amazing good fortune…wonderful people…great weather…low cost living…excellent investments…and an amazing lesson that Ecuador’s rich culture has to share.

Of course there are others who are more afraid of George Bush, the US economy, the falling dollar and the American system. There are no guarantees here either.

Our advice on investing and business is to always look first for a place or task you love.  When you find it, go for it!  Take your chances.  Whatever we do, wherever we go, there is risk…so enjoy the process and look for places where fear, due to words and not fundamentals create extra opportunity.  What is within is usually more important than what is without.

We feel as safer or safer in Ecuador as in the US.  Only the future will tell which place will turn out better.  My guess is that both will be great.  I am quite happy with being double lucky but fully accept that no one can predict the future.

However, we expect to invest even more both in Ecuador and the USA. We love both places so we will enjoy the process whatever the outcome.  I look forward to sharing with you what we do and what happens.

That is our perception.

Until next message, may all you perceptions be clear.

Gary

Join us in the cool Blue Ridge while much of the U.S. burns up this summer.  We enjoy cool nights (mid 50s) sleeping under blankets without screens (translation-there are no mosquitoes here). Rarely does it reach 80 during the day and if it does a quick dip in the creek cools us right down. We have farmhouses, cottages, cabins and cottages you can stay in and enjoy. Rockers on the front porch (best for watching fireflies at night and eating sunny breakfasts), quiet pools to chill watermelon, waterfalls in which to soak, horses to chase, chickens and ducks to feed and we would enjoy meeting you.

Everyone who comes wants to come back and right now we can treat you to some fresh blackberry pie!
Cool-mountain-retreat

During breaks in the course join me for a hike in the woods.
We have a space left for you to join us this August 15-17, and learn about intuitive investing at Susan Rotman’s business intuition course.

Or join us October 3-5 for the Blue Ridge leaf change. International Investing and Business Made EZ  North Carolina

autumn-leaf-change

Enjoy the autumn leaf change in October.

Or enjoy one of our courses or tours in Ecuador

Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour

ecuador-beach-restaurant

While others worry about politics our tour groups find opportunity and enjoy wonderful seafood lunches at open air restaurants like this.

Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Ecuador each hammocks

The future cannot be predicted but this is here…now.

Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Ecuador beach house

Here is a house we inspected on our last coastal real estate tour for sale at $25,000.

Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made
EZ Ecuador

See discounts for attending more than
one course.