Tag Archive | "Ecuadorian government;"

Ecuador Galapagos Problem


Navigation seems to be a problem in the Galapagos.

galapagos

Image of grounded cargo ship that will be scuttled off the Galapagos islands at gcaptain.com

An Ecuador-flagged cargo ship which ran aground last week in the Galápagos Islands will be towed out to sea and scuttled, according to government officials in the Galápagos.

The MV Floreana recently ran aground near San Cristóbal, the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago. This freoighter was carrying cargo and fuel from San Cristóbal to other islands.  This is the third ship to run aground in  the Galápagos in the last year.

The Ecuadorian government declared a National Emergency and the Ecuadorian Air Force flew perishable goods to the islands so there is no shortages.

Haugan Cruise reported that this grounding did not affect their operations, itineraries, or supplies. The Galapagos cruises are  operating normally and as scheduled.

Haugan Cruises is offering the following specials through this summer.

galapagos

galapagos

These are significant savings and Ecuador Living club members can receive 10% to 15% more off these fares.

Gary

Protect Your Savings in Ecuador

Old Accord Creates New Profits – Multi Currency Investments.

Earn more with multi currency stock market breakouts.

Improve Safety – Increase Profits

Learn how to improve the safety of your savings and investments by selecting good value and diversified investments in a multi-currency portfolio.

Few decisions are as important to your wealth as the value of the markets and currencies you invest in.  This has been our area of expertise since the 1970s and we have worked with and advised some of the largest currency traders in the world.

Gain Protection First – Against the Dollar’s Purchasing Power Loss.  In 1913 the The Federal Reserve Act created the Federal Reserve Bank to protect the purchasing power of the US dollar, which has since lost about 94% of its purchasing power.  Here is its price compared with gold since 1900.

priced in gold

Dollar chart from pricedingold.com (1)

The Fed has let the dollar lose most of its strength plus has allowed interest rates to fall so low, that safe investments cannot keep pace with the drop in purchasing power.

multi-currency-chart

Chart from Grandfather Economic Report (2)

Many investors have forgotten about the risk of a falling dollar because the greenback has been strong for the past five years.  This temporary dollar strength came after the great recession of 2009 just as there was temporary dollar strength after the great recession of the 1980s.  Then about six years after the recession, an agreement was made by major governments to weaken the dollar.

There was a severe global economic recession affecting much of the developed world in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The United States and Japan exited the recession relatively early, but high unemployment would continue to affect Europe and the UK through to at least 1985.  As a consequence between 1980 and 1985, the US dollar had appreciated by about 50% against the Japanese yen, Deutsche mark, French franc and British pound, the currencies of the next four biggest economies at the time. Then the governments reached an agreement and exchange rate values of the dollar versus the yen declined by 51% from 1985 to 1987.

Now the world is again in the same place.  The recession is over.  Europe is a bit behind in recovery and the dollar is higher than before the recession.

There is no reason for the greenback to be  strong.

The agreement in 1985 was called the Plaza Accord.   Over just two years the greenback dropped nearly 50% versus other major currencies.  The next accord will generate great profits for those who know what to do while it ruins the purchasing power of dollar back investments.

The strong US dollar and low interest rates have created one of the biggest stock and multi currency breakout opportunities in history.  Learn how to create a plan to profit from multi currency shifts ahead.

One reason for the potential gains is that stock markets and currency values are cyclical.  Due to low interest rates created by the 2009 economic downturn, the US and a few other equity markets have risen to some of their highest prices, ever.  These markets offer very poor value now.  The steep valuation creates incredible profit potential but also hides some enormous risks.  Learn how to develop an investing strategy based of earnings, cash flows, dividends and book values to increase potential for profit and reduce the risks.

Next Extra Profit Created by Value Breakouts

Over the history of US equity markets, the  price of overall markets have risen about 9.1 percent, respectively, compounded annually.  Yet over more than a hundred years of stock market activity,  a majority of the profits have come from just a very few dramatic breakouts.

Equity markets are ruled in the short term by emotions that create unpredictable ups and downs.  Numerous fears of defaults, worries of double dip recessions, high unemployment, concerns about fiscal cliffs, hold investors back.  Yet global population growth and advances in production and prosperity are relentless economic fundamentals that increase value.

When fear holds back a a fundamentally rising value, rising profit potential grows.  Values increase as prices stagnate.  Then markets break free and rocket upwards creating wealth, prosperity and growth.

Find out which breakouts are likely to take place next.

Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics. Cycles create recurring profits. Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 years as shown in this graph.

stock-Charts

The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.

Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.  Economic downturns create war.

Here is the war stock cycle.  Military struggles (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War: WWIII) super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.  The military technology shifts to domestic use.  A boom is created that leads to excess.  Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.

Learn how the Cyber War (WWIV) may change the way we live and act and how this will affect currencies and investments.

Learn:

* How to easily buy global currencies, shares and bonds.

* Trading down and the benefits of investing in real estate in Small Town USA.  We will share why this breakout value is special and why we have been recommending good value real estate in this area since 2009.

* What’s up with gold and silver?  One session looks at my current position on gold and silver and asset protection.  We review the state of the precious metal markets and potential problems ahead for US dollars.  Learn how low interest rates eliminate  opportunity costs of diversification in precious metals and foreign currencies.

* How to improve safety and increase profit with leverage and staying power.  The seminar reveals Warren Buffett’s value investing strategy from research published at Yale University’s website.  This research shows that the stocks Buffet chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price-to-book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios), but his big, extra profits come from leverage and staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio, as all value portfolios, has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.

keppler asset management chart

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

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

Learn how much leverage to use.  Leverage is like medicine, the key is dose.  Buffett leverages his portfolio at a ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1.  This rate of expansion by the way is called the “Golden Ratio”.  It is a mathematical formula that controls the growth of most natural things; trees, the shape of leaves, the spiral of shells, as well as the way economies and societies grow.

We’ll sum the strategy, how to leverage cheap, safe, quality stocks and for what period of time based on your circumstances.

Learn to plan in a way so you never run out of money.  The seminar also has a session on the importance of having and sticking to a plan.  See how success is dependent on conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk.  Learn a three point strategy based on my 50 (almost) years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

Enjoy investing more with slow, worry free, good value investing.  Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  These are major foundations of the Behavior Gap, a trait exhibited by most investors, that causes them to underperform any market they choose.  The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.  The losses created by this gap grow when investors trade short term under stress.

Learn how to put meaning into your investing by creating profitable strategies that combine good value investments with unique, personal goals.

Learn how to span the behavior gap.  Behavior gaps are among the biggest reasons why so many investors fail.  Human evolution makes fear the second most powerful motivator.  (Greed is the third.)  Fear creates investment losses due to behavior gaps.  Fear motivates us more strongly than desire.  By nature investors are risk adverse, when they should embrace risk.  Purpose is the most powerful motivator,  stronger than fear and greed.  One powerful way to overcome the behavior gap is to invest with a purpose.

Combine your needs and capabilities with the secrets and the math of our good value model portfolio.

Share ideas about my good value portfolio.  My personal investment portfolio comes from a continual analysis of international stock markets and a comparison of their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.

Markets included in this portfolio are:

• Norway
• Australia
• Hong Kong
• Japan
• Singapore
• United Kingdom
• Taiwan
• South Korea
• China

These markets have been chosen based on four pillars of valuation.

• Absolute Valuation
• Relative Valuation
• Current versus Historic Valuation
• Current Relative versus Relative Historic Valuation

Learn how to use Country ETFs to easily construct a diversified, risk-controlled, equally weighted representative country portfolios in all of these good value countries.

To achieve this goal my portfolio consists of Country Index ETFs that track an index of shares in a specific country.  These country ETFs provide diversification into a basket of equities in the good value countries.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.  A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any stock in that country is an attractive investment, so you do not have to pick and choose shares.  You can invest in the index which is like investing in all the shares in the index.  All you have to do is invest in an ETF that in turn invests passively in all the shares of the index.

Learn the results of a $80,000 share purchase cost test that found the least expensive way to invest in good value.  The keys to this portfolio are good value, low cost, minimal fuss and bother.  Plus a great savings of time.  Trading is minimal, usually not more than one or two shares are bought or sold in a year.  I wanted to find the very least expensive way to create and hold this portfolio so I performed a test.

The Test for Low Cost Trading

Research put every part of this portfolio in place, except knowing the best, easiest and least expensive way to buy.  A search for an optimal way to buy and hold boiled down to two methods.  One tactic to test was to use a unique online broker that appeared to offer the lowest cost deal.  The other approach was to use a community bank in Smalltown USA.  The small town bank that I use looks after my 401K trust account and their service is first class.  The benefit of small banks is that they still treat us as a human beings (instead of a number) and when we need, it’s easy to go right to the top to answer a question or get a problem resolved.  There are no call centers and the bank and the person looking after my account is just around the corner.

I created a test to see which offered the least expensive service.

Working with my banker in Smalltown USA,  I created two accounts, one at the online broker and the other at the bank. I placed $40,000 in each.

I set up the order for the country ETFs online, while my trust manager set up orders for the identical amounts of the same shares in his system.  Then we got on the phone, coordinated our timing and on a count of three each pushed the button “BUY”.

The results of this test  show how you can gain on any purchase of country ETFs.

In this special offer, you can get this online seminar FREE when you subscribe to our Personal investing Course.

Save $468.90 If You Act Now

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.  Plus you receive FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More”, the $39.95 report “Silver Dip 2017” and our latest $297 online seminar for a total savings of $468.90.

ecuador-seminar

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the Value Investing Seminar right away. 

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

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

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

Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip 2017” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.

Your subscription will be charged $299 a year from now, but you can cancel at any time.

Gary

 

Gary

(1) Dollar chart from pricedingold.com

(2) Grandfather Economic Report

 

Ecuador FARC Thoughts


Numerous readers have forwarded a spammed email they have read about the FARC, drugs and Iran in Ecuador.

The email leads to a report entitled  “Ecuador at Risk: Drugs, Thugs, Guerrillas and the Citizens Revolution”

I won’t comment much on the email or the report itself since it seems quite slanted, aimed more at alarming than informing and…  lacking in balance… completeness and fact.  However, I have added the url for the report at the end of this message if you wish to read it.

But readers have concerns so let’s take a look and start with the FARC.

I am perhaps more familiar with the impact of the FARC in the Amazon… than most, because the FARC directly affected us.

A number of  years ago Merri and  I invested in opening an Amazon Jungle Lodge  at the request of a small group of Amazonians.

We built the lodge to help a small community of Amazonians who wanted tourism rather than oil revenues to support them.  I managed to take just one group to the lodge.   Then we lost our entire investment when it was rumored that the FARC was in that area.   Learn more about that journey at Amazon trips.

Yet my opinion is that this problem with the Farc is minor and strictly limited to remote parts of the Ecuador Colombia Amazon border.

My opinions on the FARC and Iran are below, but since I am no expert on military and security affairs I asked over a dozen of my friends and contacts across Ecuador for their opinions and any facts they could garner on this subject.

I have replies from Cuenca, the coast, the Amazon, Cotacachi, and Guayaquil that we’ll share.

The first reply was from a US expat who lives in Cuenca. He wrote:

Hi Gary – I haven’t been able to find anything locally about the veracity of this article. Have you found anything through your contacts down here?

The fact that this friend could not find anything is telling in itself.  The reality as far as daily life is concerned… the FARC in Ecuador are a non event. I am reminded of a similar situation in Thailand in the late 1960s and early 1970s… the years I lived and worked all over Asia.  Everyone knew that there was a war going on and that it was not safe around the border because the Viet Cong used to cross it freely. The solution was… we avoided the border.  Heck it took a real effort to get to the border anyway. Forget it!  Life went on… busy… happy…. safe… except the crazy Bangkok traffic created enormous risks.

Plus this article about Ecuador and the FARC seemed especially badly timing since the FARC have been so seriously weakened as a force.  There are even realistic hopes they will soon disband as evidenced in a Reuters article “Catholic Church seeks talks with Colombia rebels”.

Here is an excerpt: BOGOTA (Reuters) – A Roman Catholic Church official on Friday proposed a meeting in Europe with Colombia’s main guerrilla leader to discuss handover of hostages and possible negotiations to end Latin America’s oldest insurgency.  Previous attempts to bring the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, to the table have failed over conditions for the release of the captives it holds in jungle camps and demands that the rebels end hostilities before talks begin.  Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon said the plan to seek talks with the FARC was approved by President Alvaro Uribe, whose U.S.-backed army offensive has battered the guerrilla group to its weakest level in decades.

This site has also shared information in the past about the Colombian bombing of the FARC inside Ecuador territory at Ecuador Border Tensions

Plus we have looked at potential benefits of Iran Ecuador relations at  Ecuador Iran.

Drugs?  Drugs are everywhere… globally. My experience has been that there are far more drugs being created near our homes in North Carolina and Florida than anywhere expats live in Ecuador.

Shortly after arriving at our new home near Mt. Dora, Florida… a police officer explained that another small town in central Florida is named the meth capital of Florida.

A December 2009 WFTV.com article entitled “Lake County Deputies Busting More Meth Labs” outlines the problem.

This story says: LAKE COUNTY, Fla — The number of meth labs busted in Lake County nearly doubled this year because deputies say they are cracking down on the problem.  In 2009, Lake County’s drug unit dismantled 54 methamphetamine labs compared to just 24 in 2008.  Investigators say the higher number of busts is a good sign their efforts are working.  “In Lake County, the sheriff’s office has devised a team that does nothing but concentrate its efforts on the meth labs,” said Sgt. Glen Hall with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  Investigators believe the poor economy and easy access to meth ingredients cause meth labs to pop up across the country.”

The area around our home in North Carolina may be even worse.

A 2004 map from North Carolina’s  State Bureau of Investigation shows that the counties around our house were among the  worst (Ashe county yellow and Wautauga County red) in the state.

ecuador-crime

A 2004 article in the Mountain Times “Four Meth Labs Found Over The Last Month In Ashe” confirms this problem when it says:  Several meth labs have been found over the past few weeks bringing the total for Ashe County up to approximately 10 labs, compared to only two labs found last year at this time, according to Detective Chris Miller of the Ashe County Sheriff’s Department.

News in the area suggests that  the problem had not disappeared by 2008. Here’s an excerpt from a July 2008 article in the Jefferson Post:  Sheriff James Williams believes he started making good on his promise to clean up drugs in Ashe County when his office conducted an investigation that nabbed 15 suspects who were charged with possession of various illicit drugs including marijuana, opium, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

At the conclusion of the day, investigators believed that the operation was a success as it conveyed a clear message to drug users and distributors that they better sleep with one eye open because the sheriff’s office would be looking for them.

The year of 2008 proved to be an especially busy year for deputies and Sheriff Williams. Earlier in March, an investigation led by the sheriff’s offices in Ashe and Wilkes counties resulted in the region’s largest methamphetamine seizure and bust.

Ashe and Wautauga Counties are not the only ones with this problem.   A July 2009 article at Methlabhomes.com entitled “North Carolina Meth Labs are rising” says:  Meth labs in North Carolina are increasing. In fact, drug enforcement agents have already made 102 meth lab busts statewide so far this year. That is a 52% increase over this same time last year.

What should we expect… these wonderful mountains in North Carolina have a wild streak and have always been famous for the creation of illicit substances. Before drugs the big problem was moonshine.

The story of Thunder Road came from moonshining as a way of life in the Blue Ridge and Appalachians. Moonshiners turned corn mash into “mountain dew”. They built cars to outrun the revenuers that influenced the rural south and were the roots of stock car racing and NASCAR.

This problem by the way has not disappeared either.  Last October, an hour and half away from us in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, State Alcohol Law Enforcement agents (the revenuers) seized 929 gallons of moonshine in a still bust… the biggest haul in memory.  Wow that’s a lot of ethanol!

So to say Ecuador has a drug problem would normally stifle a yawn. In this case the reaction is more because Ecuador is tough on drugs.  They do not execute drug dealers as they do in Singapore, but Ecuador is the only country I know that checks you for drugs when you enter AND exit the country.

I am sure there is a drug problem… like everywhere, but I have never seen anyone using drugs in Ecuador.

As you will see below…others who live in Ecuador agree.

Here is reply to my question about this article from an Ecuadorian  businessman in Quito.

Gary here are a few of my thoughts on these problems:

The FARC has indeed increased its presence in the Colombian-Ecuadorian border, but you can’t really claim that Ecuador is allowing that to happen (if they freely cross the border it means that Colombia is responsible as well). The border is pretty much in the Amazon, meaning that anyone could easily cross between the trees. The Ecuadorian government received criticism that it was allowing the FARC to come in and out with no resistance so the military presence in the region has increased. Now Ecuadorian military units patrol the border at day and night.

There is no exact number on how many drug labs there are in the Amazon, but the Ecuadorian government has destroyed many of them in the past years, and they burned thousands of tons of drugs.

The government also created a special commission to go over the drug related accusations that it was facing after Raul Reyes was killed by a Colombian bombing in Ecuadorian territory. The commission found that there were ties between some government former employees and members of irregular groups, but found that the government was not in direct contact neither with the FARC or any other “irregular group” (they don’t call them terrorists).

The conclusion was that few bad apples actually were talking to the FARC, but they claimed that it was for humanitarian reasons. Non of the implicated former employees are in jail right now and the commission is just that, so whatever they found is just for common knowledge.

The Ecuadorian police has confiscated and arrested hundreds of people this past years fighting drug traffic. It seems at times that the Ecuadorian government on the other hand is not that committed to that, but then again there is no proof or at least, not proof that will be legally strong enough to arrest any government employee or former employee.

So people can claim that the Ecuadorian government is suspicious of  being permissive toward the FARC, but since many arrests have been made and also we still collaborate with the US in fighting drug related issues, Ecuador had it’ s ATPDA renew for one more year, meaning that the US government still believes that Ecuador is fighting along it’ s side.

However there are issues out there that are not conclusive and lead to believe that some connection may be between government employees and the FARC. Things are even more complicated since the FARC also said that they had nothing to do with the Ecuadorian government, and the computes seized in several occasions by Colombia have no conclusive information either.

Bottom line, there is a feeling that something fishy is going on mainly because the FARC is a leftist movement and this is a leftist government, so ideology plays a big role, linking several government ex-funtionaries to FARC related issues. But there is also a big military presence in the border taking over the security and occasional fights that ended up in FARC members being killed by the ecuadorian military. Also the police captures hundreds of drug related people and thousands of tones of drugs each year.

My personal thought is that the government is not collaborating with the FARC but some people that it has relations with are. And it seems not to be that upfront in going after it’ s former members on trials leaving that sour taste that is somehow involve, which I don’t think it is.

The hard thing is to prove that this is actually happening, and it particularly hard because our judiciary system is deficient, so yes we are suspicious but there is nothing conclusive and the commission that I told you about found no friendly government policies toward the FARC, it found few people that had ties, but then again unless the Ecuadorian judicial system indicts any of them, it is just talk, it won’t be true unless someone proofs it in court.

So I think that unless the US government issues a statement accusing Ecuador of wrongdoing, we will still enjoy the ATPDA and we will still be considered to be a friend of the USA as well.

About the ties with the Iranian Central Bank I think it may be more out of desperation since Correa talked nasty about the IMF and other international financial institutions and renegotiated our foreign debt as illegal, taking a big chunk in discounts. This means that no one will lend money to Ecuador.

My opinion is that Ecuador is a wonderful country. It has some political problems yes. It has some drug problems yes. It has some economic problems yes.  What country does not?   On the plus side, the wonderful weather, excellent soil and agricultural background of the culture means there is always plenty of food.  The strong indigenous roots allows for a more natural lifestyle and the friendly nature of the people of Ecuador means that any turmoil is likely to remain peaceful.

Read more thoughts from readers about Ecuador, drugs and the FARC here

and at FARC in Ecuador

Gary

Join Merri and me plus nine other speakers and contacts this February  at a seminar that shares ways to invest, do business and live in Ecuador or globally February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $3,500.  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $3,500 Enroll here

International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190

Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.

Read Catholic Church seeks talks with Colombia rebels

The email report entitled  “Ecuador at Risk: Drugs, Thugs, Guerrillas and the Citizens Revolution” is at http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.221/pub_detail.asp

Ecuador Residence & Triple Protection


Ecuador residence may be good idea for many… but I do not recommend investing everything in Ecuador.

Our recent article Ecuador and the US dollar outlined how I am short the US  dollar via dollar loans and hold euros, emerging currencies and Ecuador real estate.

ecuador-sunrise

The sunshine always shines somewhere.  Sunrise from our condo in Cotacachi.

After reading this, one might wonder why such a spread?

The first book I wrote in the 1970s was “Passport to International Profit”… not “Passport to Ecuador Profit”… not “Passport to US Profit”… not “Passport to European Profit”.

The core message in “Passport to International Profit” was become a one man multinational with a six point command posture which is to:

Live in one country
Bank in a second country
Invest in many countries
Earn in two or more countries
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country
Take a second residence

Let’s take this one step further. To have a fulfilling six point lifestyle posture:

Live in one country you love.
Bank in a second country that is safe and that you really enjoy.
Invest in many countries you would like to explore or feel good about.
Earn in two or more countries you would like to explore or feel good about.
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country that best fits your circumstances.
Take a second residence in a place where you love and want to be.

Merri and I have followed this advice throughout our business career.

ecuador-sunrise

The sun always shines in more than once place.  Sunset from our apartment in San Clemente Ecuador.

We have always had a place in the US…  always in small towns by the way… Naples Florida when it was a small fishing village… Murphy and Lansing North Carolina and now Mt. Dora Florida.

A recent article Smalltown USA Revisted said: Finally we get to revisit Smalltown USA. As Merri and I begin our 42nd year of international investing and business seminars and publishing, we gain great comfort and enthusiasm from the  feel of how our efforts in this last seven year cycle progressed. 

First we are excited that in this upcoming seven years we can expand our focus on Small town USA as well as global investing and Ecuador.

I doubt things will get so bad in the US that Merri and I would not want to live there anymore.

ecuador-sunrise

Follow the sun.  Sunrise from our Blue Ridge North Carolina house.

I have options because I am diversified. Yet the options fit my particular lifestyle and do not cost me anything if events where I live, as expected turn out positive.

The US is central to our family.  Our new home in Florida was chosen in part because it is near our eldest grandson who we feel at age seven can benefit from quality time with us.  The US is a country we love and know and as US citizens we have certain rights even if they have greatly diminished.  Plus the US can be a great place to be.

ecuador-sunrise

Follow your sun. Lake County Florida sunset… our newest home.

However Ecuador is wonderful as well. Ecuador is 3 hours and 45 minutes from the US and we enjoy being in Ecuador for many reasons.

Ecuador gives us great weather in the winter and we love the people and the place. Ecuador is not a bunghole we have chosen because  we dislike or fear some other place.  Ecuador is a place we love.

I doubt that things will get so bad in Ecuador that we will not want to live there.  I doubt even more that things will get so bad in BOTH Ecuador and the US that Merri and I could not stay.

There is always something we do not know, sooo…  just in case, here is a photo from my passport.  This is the stamp you get when you are allowed to reside permanently in the UK.

I can always live in the UK and from there, because of European regulations,  I can pretty well live anywhere in the European Union.

Life in Europe would be our third choice.

ecuador-sunrise

The sun does shine in England… as evidenced by this shot our son Jake took near his home in Bristol.

This also fits into our lifestyle.  Merri and I have both lived there for years. We are both multi lingual… me a bit, Merri more than me.  She can get by in Spanish, German or French.  We have children who live in England and expect to have grandchildren living there some day.

Yet if Europe is our third choice…why are euros our first choice currency that is so overweighted in our portfolio?

We do not have to invest in the country where we live.  I believe that the huge US debt and deficits will drag the US dollar down.   I have even less confidence in the Ecuadorian government’s fiscal capability.

Here is the interesting part of my currency choice. I do not particularly like the euro either.

So why so many euros?

The euro to me is the best of several bad choices.

As shown above. The euro represents the biggest economy in the world.  This is one reason for the choice.  The alternatives are BRIC currencies (Brazil, Russia, India and China).  They are represented (and are likely to increase) in the emerging portion of my portfolio.   But I cannot gain enough confidence in these countries to go beyond a 25% weighting.

So the euro wins by default.

I also like the fuddled aspect of European politics… as I do Ecuadorian politics.  Both have so many diverse interests pulling in opposite directions that the political process is slowed.

No government action seems to be much better than efficient bad activity such as we have seen in the US.

We live in a time of incredible opportunity and freedom. There are probably dozens of places where each of us could enjoy living, investing and doing business.  There is no need to look for the one perfect place.  In fact, such a Utopia probably does not exist.

There are however many places like Smalltown USA, Ecuador and Smalltown Europe where one can enjoy living full or part time and gain lifestyle diversification.

Also do not look for the perfect place to live, or the one and only business to do or the best investment of all forever.   Our circumstances and countries, institutions and relations change.

Diversification gives us a greater ability to change too.

The greatest asset for diversification is the ability to earn wherever you live and to keep your investments safe.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business as well as this multi currency service.

A clear mind and sound body is also a vital tool for embracing change which is why we have added an optional, extra day (at no added cost) to our upcoming International Investing and Business course. The one day Quantum wealth workshop looks at how to gain super thinking and better health to assist in making wiser investing and business decisions.

We hope you will join us.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Gary

How We Can Serve You

How to Have Real Safety

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There are only three reasons why we should invest.  We invest for income.  We invest to resell our investments for more than we had invested.  We invest to make our world a better place.

We should not invest for fun, excitement or to get rich quick, or in a panic due to market corrections.

This is why the core Pi model portfolio (that forms the bulk of my own equity portfolio) consists of 19 shares and this position has not changed in over two years.  During these two years we have been steadily accumulating the same 19 shares and have not traded once.

The portfolio has done well in 2017, up 22.6%, better than the DJI Index.

motif

However one or even two year’s performance is not enough data to create a safe strategy.

The good value portfolio above is based entirely on good value financial information and mathematically based safety programs developed around models that date back 91 and 24 years.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets developed combining my 50 years of investing experience with study of the mathematical market value analysis of Keppler Asset Management and the mathematical trend analysis of Tradestops.com.

In my opinion, Keppler is one of the best market statisticians in the world.  Numerous very large fund managers, such as State Street Global Advisers, use his analysis to manage over $2.5 billion of funds.

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler who continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each major stock market’s history.

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Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.

Michael is a brilliant mathematician.  We have tracked his analysis for over 20 years.   He continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each stock market’s history.  From this, he develops his Good Value Stock Market Strategy and rates each market as a Buy, Neutral or Sell market.  His analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.  Keppler’s strategy is to diversify into an equally weighted portfolio of the MSCI Indices of each BUY market.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.

A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any stock in that country is an attractive investment, so you do not have to spend hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.  Investing in the index is like investing in all the shares in the index.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

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

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

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

Here is the Pifolio I personally use.

70% is diversified into Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) developed markets: Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

30% of the Pifolio is invested in Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The Pifolio consists of iShares ETFs that invested in each of the MSCI indicies of the good value BUY markets.

For example, the iShares MSCI Australia (symbol EWA) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Australia Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Australian Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. This ETF is non-diversified outside of Australia.

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

Pi uses math to reveal the best value markets then protects its positions using more math created by Richard Smith founder and CEO of Tradestops.com to track each share’s trend.

We use Smith’s  algorithms that calculate momentum of the good value markets.

dr richard smith

The Stock State Indicators at Tradestops.com act as a full life-cycle measure that indicates the health of each stock. They are designed to tell you at a glance exactly where any stock stands relative to Dr. Smith’s proprietary algorithms.

Kepppler’s analysis shows the value of markets.  The SSI signal indicates the current trend of each stock (performing well, or in a period of correction, or stopped out).

The SSI tells you one of five things:

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Akey component of the Stock State Indicator (SSI) system is momentum based on the latest 521 days of trading.  A stock changes from red to green in the SSI system only after it has already gone up a healthy amount and has started a solid uptrend.

How SSI Alerts Are Triggered

If the position has already moved more than its Volatility Quotient below a recent high, the SSI Stop Loss will trigger.  This is an indicator that the position has corrected more than what is normal for this stock.  It means to take caution.

Below is an example of how SSIs work.  This example shows the Developed Market Pifolio that we track at Tradestops.com.

tradestops

Equal Weight Good Value Developed Market Pifolio.

At the time this example was copied, all the ETFs in the Developed Market Pifolio (above) currently had a green SSI.

We do not know when the US market will fall.  We only do know that it will.  We also do not know if, when the US market corrects, global markets will follow or rise instead.

The fact that the Pifilios are invested in good value markets reduces long term risk.

Additional protection is added by using trailing stops based on the 521 day momentum of each stock in the Pifolio.

Take for example the graph below from our Tradestops account that shows the iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF.  This ETF had a green SSI and a Volatility Index (VQ) of 13.26%.  This means the share can move 13.26% before there is a trend shift.

tradestops

iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (Symbol EWU)

Pi purchased the share at$31.26 and in this example the share was $34.43 and rising.  Tradestop’s algorithms suggested that if the price drops to $31.69 its momentum would have stopped and it would have shifted into trading sideways.   The stop loss price is currently $29.86.  If EWU continues to rise, both the yellow warning and the stop loss price will rise as well.

When the US stock market bull ends, know one knows for sure how long or how severe the correction will be.

When the bear arrives, what will happen to global and especially good value markets?

No  one knows the answer to this question.

What we do know is that the equally weighted, good value market Pifolios have the greatest potential long term and that math based trailing stops can be used to protect against a secular global stock market correction when it comes.

My fifty years of global investing experience helps take advantage of numerous long term cycles that are part of the universal math that affects all investments.

What you get when you subscribe to Pi.

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

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

Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets).  This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.

You also receive two special reports.

In the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said:  Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.  The two conditions are in place again!

30 years ago, the US dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  The trends are so clear that I have created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.”   This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of  Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

This report sells for $29.95 but in this special offer, you receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Plus get the $39.95 report “The Platinum Dip 2018” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the last two years.  The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).   The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80, compared to a ratio of 230 only two years before.

In September 2015, I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a silver speculation, leveraged with a British pound loan, that could increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The tactics described in that report generated 62.48% profit in just nine months.

I have updated this report and added how to use the Dip Strategy with platinum.   The “Platinum Dip 2018” report shares the latest in a series of long term lessons gained through 40 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  I released the 2015 report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80.  The ratio has corrected and that profit has been taken and now a new precious metals dip has emerged.

I have prepared a new special report “Platinum Dip 2018” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.

You also learn from the Value Investing Seminar, our premier course, that we have been conducting for over 30 years.  Tens of thousands of delegates have paid up to $999 to attend.  Now you can join the seminar online FREE in this special offer.

This three day course is available in sessions that are 10 to 20 minutes long for easy, convenient learning.   You can listen to each session any time and as often as you desire.

The sooner you hear what I have to say about current markets, the better you’ll be able to cash in on perhaps the best investing opportunity since 1982.

seminars

Tens of thousands have paid up to $999 to attend.

In 2018 I celebrate my 52nd anniversary in the investing business and 50th year of writing about global investing.  Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades.  This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.

Stock and currency markets are cyclical.  These cycles create extra profit for value investors who invest when everyone else has the markets wrong.  One special seminar session looks at how to spot value from cycles.  Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics.  Cycles create recurring profits.  Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 to 20 years as shown in this graph.

stock-Charts

The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.

Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.  Economic downturns can create war.

The chart above shows the war – stock market cycle.  Military struggles (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War: WW III) super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.  The military technology shifts to domestic use.  A boom is created that leads to excess.  Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.

Details in the online seminar include:

* How to easily buy global currencies, shares and bonds.

* Trading down and the benefits of investing in real estate in Small Town USA.  We will share why this breakout value is special and why we have been recommending good value real estate in this area since 2009.

* What’s up with gold and silver?  One session looks at my current position on gold and silver and asset protection.  We review the state of the precious metal markets and potential problems ahead for US dollars.  Learn how low interest rates eliminate  opportunity costs of diversification in precious metals and foreign currencies.

* How to improve safety and increase profit with leverage and staying power.  The seminar reveals Warren Buffett’s value investing strategy from research published at Yale University’s website.  This research shows that the stocks Buffet chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price-to-book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios). His big, extra profits come from leverage and staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio, as all value portfolios, has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.

keppler asset management chart

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

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

Learn how much leverage to use.  Leverage is like medicine, the key is dose.  The best ratio is normally 1.6 to 1.  We’ll sum up the strategy; how to leverage cheap, safe, quality stocks and for what period of time based on the times and each individual’s circumstances.

Learn to plan in a way so you never run out of money.  The seminar also has a session on the importance of having and sticking to a plan.  See how success is dependent on conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk.  Learn a three point strategy based on my 50 years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

The online seminar also reveals  the results of a $80,000 share purchase cost test that found the least expensive way to invest in good value.  The keys to this portfolio are good value, low cost, minimal fuss and bother.  Plus a great savings of time.  Trading is minimal, usually not more than one or two shares are bought or sold in a year.  I wanted to find the very least expensive way to create and hold this portfolio so I performed this test.

I have good news about the cost of the seminar as well.   For almost three decades the seminar fee has been $799 for one or $999 for a couple. Tens of thousands paid this price, but online the seminar is $297.

In this special offer, you can get this online seminar FREE when you subscribe to our Personal investing Course.

Save $468.90 If You Act Now

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.  Plus you receive FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More”, the $39.95 report “Silver Dip 2017” and our latest $297 online seminar for a total savings of $468.90.

ecuador-seminar

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the Value Investing Seminar right away. 

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

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

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

Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Platinum Dip 2018” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.

Gary

Cuenca Real Estate


Cuenca Real Estate

The Cuenca real estate market grows.

Cuenca-real-estate

Real Estate in Cuenca has wonderful architecture. Here is Cuenca’s Main Square.

Even the daily press is catching on to Cuenca and Ecuador real estate.

An article “House Hunting in … Ecuador” by Lisa Keys recently appeared in the New York Times.

Here are excerpts from that article: A THREE-BEDROOM, 3000-SQUARE-FOOT HILLTOP HOME IN CUENCA
$220,000  This rustic home — made from local bamboo, hardwood, river rock and tile — was built two years ago by a local architect. It sits on a third of an acre in the Cuenca, a Unesco world heritage site about 300 miles south of Quito.

The front door is inlaid with the local wood, called chanul. An open living room/dining area has mountain views, as well as a stone fireplace, exposed hardwood beams and posts, and a brick ceiling. Off the dining area is a 96-square-foot terrace. The eat-in kitchen has granite countertops; off the kitchen is a maid’s suite. The master bedroom is on this level, along with a second bedroom; both bedrooms have en-suite baths.

A brick-and-bamboo staircase leads upstairs to a sitting area and another bedroom, which has a sloped ceiling and a 36-square-foot terrace. The lower level has a workshop and a storage room.

The house is off an unpaved road in the Rio Amarillo neighborhood, in the foothills of the Cajas Mountains. The area, until recently very rural, is morphing into a suburban neighborhood with large homes, according to David Morrill, the home’s listing agent.

Colonial buildings, art galleries, museums and concert sites are about six miles away in Cuenca. A shopping center as well as Cuenca’s indigenous market is four miles away; the airport, with numerous daily flights to the international airports in Guayaquil and Quito, is eight miles away.

MARKET OVERVIEW

Though predominantly a local real estate market, Cuenca is becoming increasingly popular with American expatriates, particularly retirees, said Mr. Morrill, a partner at Cuenca Real Estate. They are attracted to the relative affordability, he said.

In spite of the global economic downturn, home prices in Cuenca continue to rise, in part, because of they are relatively low to begin with. Condos sell for around $700 a square meter ($56 to $65 a square foot); new construction is $850 a square meter ($79 a square foot), Mr. Morrill said. Single-family homes are $300 to $500 a square meter ($28 to $46 a square foot); new construction is approximately $500 a square meter ($46 a square foot), he added. The house featured here is more expensive than the average, at $73 a square foot, because of its unique design and expensive building materials.

North American buyers are not the only reason for the uptick.

There are some great things about Cuenca like…

Cuenca-real-estate

The agriculture that surrounds Cuenca. Here is an organic farm in the San Joachin area of Cuenca.

One of Cuenca’s public markets.

Cuenca-real-estate

Here a Cuenca flower vendor in one Cuenca’s many public markets.

Cuenca-real-estate

Cuenca has many parks. Here is Parque de Paraiso which has walking and biking trails.

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Four rivers flow through Cuenca.

Cuenca-real-estate

Yet there are more forces pushing Cuenca’s and Ecuador’s real estate market.

An article from entitled “$600 Million Earmarked by Government for New Housing projects” World Assurance Group Inc.” says: Nov 02, 2009,  World Assurance Group Focuses on Central America in Conjunction With a New Ecuadorian Housing Mandate . World Assurance Group (PINKSHEETS: WDAS) announced today that the Ecuadorian Government has recently announced substantial policies aimed to increase new home buyers in Ecuador.  New home buyers will be allowed a $ 3,960 bonus given by the Housing Ministry for a new house they purchase. It seeks to expand such support to $ 5,000 for homes with a value of up to $ 60,000.

WDAS had announced on Oct 22, 2009 that its subsidiary ANAV Holdings Corporation signed a proposal to enter into a purchase agreement for an 8.5% participating interest in a 15 hectare private housing community located at one of the leading ports in Latin America with Premier Developments. The project’s first phase is in full production and has already sold 20% of the 207 homes. The entire project including phase two will be an estimated 500 home development. Currently these homes sell for $40,000 – $80,000 price range.

Low prices…  great natural resources… colonial charm… every facility a city can possess… but not too many people are all helping Cuenca real estate grab attention.  All of this will help the Cuenca real estate market to grow.

Gary

See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

See more on Cuenca real estate  at “Cuenca Real Estate

Gary

Join us in Ecuador or Florida or Both. See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

Join us at our upcoming courses and tours.

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour $499 Couple  $749

Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749
Jan. 21-22     Coastal Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $749
Jan. 23-24    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida $749 Couple $999

Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour      $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

6 seminars courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,999

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

$600 Million Earmarked by Government for New Housing projects

www.marketwire.com/press-release/World-Assurance-Group-Inc-1069068.html

Ecuador Amazon Problem


Many readers sent me an article from Agora Financial entitled “The Chevron Witch Trial: The Changing Face of Resource Nationalism” about the Ecuador Amazon problem and the ensuing Chevron lawsuit.

See why these Ecuador export tour delegates are creating earning potential and doing some environmental good.

ecuador-flower-exports

Many readers sent me notes similar to this: Gary, I wondered if you’d seen this and were familiar with the case, given your knowledge of and interest in Ecuador?  It sounds pretty scary and doesn’t reflect well on Ecuadorian justice and its authorities, if it’s true. You might want to comment in one of your messages as I assume other of your readers have also seen this matter reported. Regards

The recent article seemed to blame the Ecuadorian government for the problem and has some good points.

Here is a portion of that article:

Ecuador-legal-system

As mentioned the article had some valid points.

However…

We are very familiar with this story which is very, very old news going back into the 1970s.

We have lived with the Amazonians and spent quite a lot of time with the shamans there. Here I am with a Sierra Sion healer.

In fact we built a camp to help a small community of Amazonians who wanted tourism rather than oil revenues to support them.  We lost the entire investment when the FARC invaded that area.   Learn more about our Amazon trips and the Amazon village.

So I see the plight of the Amazonians as well.

I drive a car fueled with gas. I heat my home with electricity and use electricity that may come from diesel fueled generators and buy products delivered from abroad brought to me on ships propelled by their fossil fueled oil bunkers.

So there are two sides to this story.   Quite correctly the emails I have received are, half from this type of article and half from the environmentalists and humanitarians who say Chevron has cheated the poor natives of the Amazon.

See information on the other side from Amnesty International entitled Chevron (CVX) in the Amazon  Oil Rights or Human Rights? Texaco’s legacy, Chevron’s responsibility

Newsweek wrote a good article about this Amazon lawsuit over a year ago that has a balanced view.

If you Google the phrase “amazon chevron lawsuit” you’ll see dozens of articles about this… looking at both sides of the picture.

Plus there are many who argue that this has nothing to do with Chevron or Ecuador but the US legal system that encourages attorneys to file lawsuits like this.

One article “The Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit: It’s all about the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin says:  Sure it is. The 48 so-called plaintiffs or the 30,000 indigenous people we hear so much about in the media aren’t the financial beneficiaries in the law suit. The money goes to the Amazon Defense Coalition (ADC) and the law firm of Kohn, Swift & Graft.

So who is the culprit… the oil companies?  The Ecuador government?  The lawyers or we the people who use fossil fuels?

Our hearts personally go out to the poor people of the Amazon who are slowly being destroyed by civilization.

Yet we see the business view and we do like a warm home and to travel by car.

Plus if it were not for resource exploration and extraction many, many more people would be poor.

Yes, business does exploit.

There is a similar tales of bad exploitation in the part of Ecuador where we live, not with Chevron but with Ascendant Copper Company.

And another with Mitsubishi Mining.

This is because we the consumer buy their product.

Now another dilemma has bubbled up… with pharmaceuticals.

An October 17 Associated press article “Ecuador’s Correa plans to bypass drug patents” says:  President Rafael Correa says he is preparing to override a host of drug patents to provide lower-priced generic medications in Ecuador.  Correa says Ecuador will seek “compulsory licenses” from companies to produce medications considered indispensable.  Under World Trade Organization rules, countries can issue “compulsory licenses” to disregard patent rights, but only after negotiating with the patent owners and paying adequate compensation. Governments can skip the negotiating by declaring a public health emergency.  Correa says access to medicine is a human right and his decision is motivated by “the philosophy of 21st century socialism.”

When I recently noticed this I was really pretty happy to see this.

Merri and  do not use pharmaceuticals ourselves but recognize the importance they play in many people’s lives.  I consider a lot pf pharmaceutical marketing one of the biggest con games in this generation… makes Madoff pale in comparison.

It is hard for me to have sympathy for this industry as I believe that many pharmaceuticals are bilking the US public.

Already many of our readers come to Ecuador to get their prescriptions at a quarter the US cost.  This hopefully will allow this to continue or do even more.

However…

Where does it end?  If patent law loses its validity what incentive will anyone have to risk investing in new inventions and ideas?

So what can we… the little guy do?

There is not much we can do…  but if we all take some small steps, these rivulets become streams that can turn into torrents that do create change.

In Merri’s and my case, we created a small foundation Land of the Sun (LOTS) to help the environment and the poor of Ecuador.   The foundation rejuvenated the hotel Meson de las Flores which now provides a nice number of jobs at above average wages.  Our 2009 project was helping the Village of Topo above Cotacachi with its infrastructure, school and water system.  Also, LOTS sends a dozen children to school and university in our area…including the first university student from Topo.  In the past, we brought water to indigenous villages and an 80,000 gallon reservoir, schools, reforested 250,000 trees and etc….all off the Avenue of the Volcanoes.

LOTS promotes Ecuador flowers… those grown in green plantations certified by Veriflora.

We promote the ideas of having an internet business that sells exports from Ecuador to help stimulate the Ecuador economy… and to help North Americans who find they need new avenues of income.

Here are delegates at our most recent Ecuador export tour…

ecuador-flower-exports

learning…

ecuador-flower-exports

how to conduct…

ecuador-flower-exports

an Ecuador flower party.

In another way we were early advocates of green investing in the mid 2000s through our Spottingtrends.com site and mutilicurrencyinvesting.com where we launched our Green Portfolio Study in 2006.

This is one reason why we focus on green investing and business ideas.
See https://www.garyascott.com/2008/04/01/2064.html

Here perhaps is the most important message.  Self interest is nature’s way of making sure every sentient being remains alive.  Only we human’s  have an imagination to understand the risks of ungoverned expansion.   All other life forms, given the chance will grow themselves out of existence.

Due to the conflict of our vision and this natural self serving impulse, we know that consumers will tend buy what seems most comfortable to them in the short term.

We know that big business will often take advantage of this fact and exploit, without conscious, resources to serve this impulse.

This conflict creates huge problems.  Huge problems create great opportunity… so look for small ways you can serve yourself now and help the future.

Let the big guys fiddle around with their battles while we each do the best we can… trying to make positive environmental and humanitarian statements and changes through the way we live enjoying earning, investing and living in the sun each day.

Gary

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010.   Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emailed courses free.

Our multi seminar-tour discounts have grown!

See the 2010 winter schedule below.

2 seminar courses & tours

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 $2,499

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour ($499) Couple $749
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Feb. 15-16   Travel to Quito and Andes
Feb  17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

The greatest asset of all is the ability to labor at what you love wherever you live. This brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business

This course can help you create your own internet business.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course, at no added cost, as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times..

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in all our seminars or tours for any one month, October, November or December, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Here is another Ecuador export delegate at Hilana. Learn about and see more Hilana export products below.

Internet-export-idea

Investing in Chaos


Many recent messages have looked at living, business and investing in chaos during times of turmoil and change.

investing-in-chaos

Ecuador at times may seem chaotic.

Chaos is caused by transition from one wave of productive technology to another.

Investors and businesses who understand this have an enormous advantage because they know to look for the next wave.

In a moment, we’ll look at the potential for chaos in Ecuador.

First, let’s look at some positive chaos that could ruin some basic utilities but also create millions (maybe billions) for some businesses and investors.

The industrial revolution has been a time of continual chaos.  There was a time of turmoil when mankind shifted from steam technology to the internal combustion engine. Investors who had been big in railroads (but were smart) shifted to investing in automobiles and trucking and bus lines.

Then chaos came again when the jet engine made the airplane a more effective form of transportation than long distance.  Bus travel and smart investors shifted from Greyhound into airline shares.

In the information era; the PC, Internet (and Microsoft) became the major carrier of mankind and investors who saw this potential once again jumped ahead of the pack.

Where do we go next?

One new wave of technology may come in a product we all take for granted…. creating what I would call the independence era. Let’s just look at the break through.

A forward looking reader sent me the Utah Daily Herald article “New battery could change world, one house at a time” by Randy Wright.

Here is an excerpt:  On a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.  — a new generation of deep-storage battery that’s small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America’s antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices.

The convergence of these two key technologies — solar power and deep-storage batteries — has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

With small-scale electrical generation taking place at millions of individual homes — as opposed to today’s large-scale power generation from a handful of giant power plants — there would be less worry about what’s called “point failure” on the grid. That’s when a single component gets knocked out and shuts off power to a whole region. California-style rolling blackouts would be history.

The threat of terrorism has heightened the worry. But wide distribution of batteries in homes would virtually eliminate it.

Inside Ceramatec’s wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions — electrically charged particles — back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It’s amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it’s both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn’t want your kids around one of these.

The essence of Ceramatec’s breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery’s life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in. Five kilowatts over four hours — how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That’s a pretty exciting place to live.

And then you recharge. With a projected 3,650 discharge/recharge cycles — one per day for a decade — you leave the next-best battery in the dust. Deep-cycling lead/acid batteries like the ones used in RVs are only good for a few hundred cycles, so they’re kaput in a year or so.

How do you recharge? By tapping your solar panels or windmills. It’s just like plugging in your cell phone or iPod, only you plug in your house.

A small three-bedroom home in Provo might average, say, 18 kWh of electric consumption per day in the summer — that’s 1,000 watts for 18 hours. A much larger home, say five bedrooms in the Grandview area, might average 80 kWh, according to Provo Power. Either way, a supplement of 20 to 40 kWh per day is substantial. If you could produce that much power in a day — for example through solar cells on the roof — your power bills would plummet.

“Batteries and PV are about to merge,” said MIT’s Nocera, using the shorthand for “photovoltaics” or solar power. “First Solar is now saying that it takes $1 a peak watt to manufacture, and another 80 cents for installation. So they’re saying that you can get PV for under $2 a watt. That’s a reduction of cost by a factor of four. Only a few years ago, it was $8. If CoorsTek and Ceramatec come up with a good battery, the market will develop quickly.”

The long-term impact of home electric generation for a power company’s business model could be huge. After all, you can’t stay in business if nobody’s paying for power. Exactly how that will play out remains to be seen.

This technology is new to me… but seems breathtaking and loaded with opportunity.  Please send any thoughts, ideas, information or opinions you have.

Before you invest though, remember the golden rules of investing.

1. Money isn’t everything
2. Work only with people you like
3. Buy businesses, not stocks
4. Invest only in what you understand
5. Don’t over diversify
6. Keep looking for new opportunities
7. Buy businesses you plan to keep for life
8. Look for businesses that are available at a good price
9. Do what you like

Potential Ecuador Chaos

investing-in-chaos

The people of Ecuador are friendly and happy.

There is some potential for change in Ecuador that could benefit those moving and investing there.

First, let’s look at the cause of the turmoil.  A recent message entitled Investing Internationally shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to take back a number of radio and TV frequencies stations. We promised to stay tuned to what happens and share observations and opinions from trusted sources in Ecuador about this.

Since that time, the Western press has published even more bad sounding news.

A recent AP article entitled “Ecuador Wants Citizen Committees To Defend Gov’t” said:  QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador wants to create local citizen committees that would defend the government and its “revolution” — sparking criticism that the president aims to control opponents in a system reminiscent of Cuba or Venezuela.

Citizen Participation Minister Doris Soliz told Ecuador TV on Thursday that local citizen groups are needed to defend against coups like the one that recently deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, or against outside agitators, noting U.S. military plans to use Colombian bases.

Other articles covered lots of rhetoric from Venezuela’s President about winds of war in the area (Chavez’s commenting on the announcement that the US would place military in Colombia).

Since the daily press distort, dramatize and magnify the negative; here are more comments from Ecuadorian business people with this comments.

Dear Gary: Sorry for the delay in my reply.  Correa is an unpredictable president.  On one hand he tries to emulate everything Chavez has done in Venezuela.  It is clear that Chavez gave him millions to finance his political campaigns and now he is obligated to do whatever Chavez wants.

On the other hand, he knows how far he can push the people of Ecuador.  If he is not careful, he can end up like Zelaya in Honduras.  I see strong confrontations coming if he tries to close radio and TV stations like Chavez did.

As you say in your reports.  We all need to be diversified in order to avoid problems in one place and not have anywhere to go in thing go bad.  I do believe the Ecuadorians are not as passive as the Venezuelans, and if Correa pushes too far he will find out. Let’s wait and see.

I agree with this reader. Ecuadorians are an independent people, and I have watched them (peacefully) oust a number of Presidents who abused their power.

Here is another opinion from one of my many sources.

Gary,  My comments are just some personal opinions and for that reason I prefer that I not receive any credit.   There is some noise going around that Correa wants to have “block leaders” who will report back to the government of any dissent. You can imagine what this means. Stifling dissent. It is a time to be careful and hope the Ecuadorian military remains faithful to the people of Ecuador. While there are so many needs and opportunities in Ecuador to be attended to, one could ask why does the president feel it is necessary to be out speaking of “winds of war blowing” against Colombia?
Anyway, it all comes with the territory of being in the Latin governmental world I suspect.  If the leaders were just humble people looking to improve the lot of their people instead of being megalomaniacs hell bent on being Castro or Hitler, life would be easier for all.

investing-in-chaos

Here are children in a parade in Cotacachi.

Readers should note that it was not Correa, Ecuador’s president who made the comment about Winds of War but Chavez of Venezuela. A lot of press makes it sound like Correa is much more closely aligned with Chavez than I believe he is.  Good or bad, I do believe that Correa is his own man and is pretty independent.

Here is another comment by an Ecuadorian with a great political and historical background.

Thanks for asking.  Correa. He is all right.  His big problem is being too young.  There is
a proverb in Spanish “mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo”.  (
The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil). That is Correa’s problem.  He is not old enough.  Velasco Ibarra who was president five times, was very much like Correa, when he was young. When he grew older he became much more sedated.

Again I agree with this. Everything I have seen has led me to feel that Correa has many good intentions and is trying to correct many wrongs and has a big job.  In his youth he may be too ambitious and impatient.  Time, inertia and politics should correct a lot of that!

Here are more comments.

He usually talks too much.  He talks every Saturday for 3 or 4 hours continuously.  It is not highly recommendable to quote him or mention his speech. Sometimes he just changes his mind. Or does not follow what he mentioned in the previous weekend.

That could describe more than one politician!

I have met the President a couple of times. He actually stopped next to us on the street at 9pm at night and met our son and was very sincere and asked what we thought about how things were here in Ecuador.  He is very headstrong, but I think that he is a very intelligent guy and he knows how to negociate  and what it is going to take for Ecuador to become a stable economy and that is with foreign investment and tourism.

Again this is the way I see it as well.

This is from a Quito businessman:

Dear Gary:  Many thanks for sharing the concerns some of your readers have about President Correa. I get some emails on the subject too.  I should start by saying that I am no fan of President Correa,  far from it. I don’t particularly like his discourse as if from the union trenches of the 60s and 70s.

Some of his economic policies seem to go counter current and his relative closeness with Chavez is a blemish.

Nonetheless, there are merits too, amongst which is great effort in improving education and health care. Also, in attempting to fix some wrongs and distortions we’ve had on several fronts.

In spite of Correa’s antics, Ecuador continues to offer, and perhaps more so than ever, rather remarkable opportunities for real estate investors, visitors and expats.

Let me explain:

The new, fresh-out-of-the-oven, Ecuadorian Constitution states, following with the tradition of the previous one, that foreigners have exactly the same rights as Ecuadorians under the law.

Furthermore, private property is protected under the law as one of the main pillars of our economy. Confiscation is prohibited and eminent domain (expropriation) situations are extremely rare, much less so than what they would be in Miami, London or Toronto for that matter.

While some people may believe that Correa is not particularly pro foreign investment, the reality is that Ecuador, just as the next country, needs investment to prosper and, hence, the President is very welcoming of it, he just demands responsible practices.

While the pitfalls of politics-as-usual and nationalistic grandstanding in Ecuador, can and does preclude some major investments from coming in (picture hydroelectric, oil exploration, etc), for most of us, of your readers Gary, this should not be a problem.

Regarding the Government’s stance towards foreigners coming to Ecuador and investing here, something quite nice and reassuring happened to me recently, which is telling about how reality differs from perception.

Here’s the story:

While working in the concept for a coastal development with international capitals and geared mostly towards foreigners, we realized that better government planning and zoning was needed in the area if we were to spread our wings the fullest.

I decided to call the Production Ministry, which is a high level coordination entity on top of many other ministries in Ecuador to see if they could perhaps give us some light as to getting some better zoning for the area.

I was immediately transferred to the head authority in charge of foreign investments in Ecuador and in a few hours was meeting with him along with other officers from the ministry he had called in.
They were not only incredibly welcoming of our ideas and concepts but asked us to create with them a road map not only for planning and zoning, but for infrastructure, education of the local community, and much more.

They have let me know that they are ready to lend a hand as needed and that when the time comes, once we have things down on a plan we can meet with the secretary of the ministry and even President Correa for further vision.

What is the reason for this incredible support? Well, that they are really pro investments and that when you want to do the right thing, doors become open.

On the subject of visas, something that concerns many foreigners, I can say that the President has prompted a very open regime for foreigners to come to Ecuador. However, some changes in the procedures are driving some of us nuts. We just have to adapt.

In any case, you can expect to get a resident visa in Ecuador in 3 to 6 weeks in most cases. The new director of Migration is quite a gentleman and very open and understanding. It’s a pleasure to work with him.

With regards to some radios being closed, this is something the President declared as a possibility on grounds that some radio frequencies had been granted with irregularities according to an audit. While the audit may be correct, President Correa does have a bitter quarrel with the press and his fixation with it is over the top now.

Getting back to real estate; I’d like to add that foreigners have been investing and buying real estate in Ecuador for some time, and that this is a trend that is seemingly quite on the rise.

I am seeing the start of a major wave here.

Ecuador has excellent real estate opportunities and values and the current international crisis where former “safe havens” have been shattered is making this truth about Ecuadorian real estate all the more compelling.

Investors into Ecuadorian real estate ought to buy soundly into capital preservation and important appreciation potential.

As final thoughts, given the current financial problems the world is seeing, the violence in Mexico fending off tourists and investors… the bursting of the real estate bubbles throughout, the baby-boomers coming of age with individuals lusting for active living with quality of life to boot, Ecuador is starting to make some tremendous sense to many.

Our President may be a bit of a showman (to put it somehow), granted; and we as a nation have a ways to go into maturity; we are rough around the edges, but we may have among the warmest, most welcoming people on earth, and no development can buy that.

We have good infrastructure and low cost of living. Those who see beyond the perception should be able to get in early on the trend, ride this major wave and make the best out of it.

These are good points… especially this one… the government may be talking one way or the other… but look at how it is acting. In this case it appears that the government is pro tourism… pro investment and is welcoming residents from abroad.

Here is one final comment.

Gary, I don’t get involved in my host country’s internal politics.  I am however a strong believer in the Open Society and the value of ideas meeting arguments, so I guess I would prefer more media outlets to fewer.  By the by, Ecuadorians I know say this is the first time they feel they cannot express freely what they feel about their government, for fear of repression.

These are two key points also. I do not get involved in politics anywhere.  My feeling is that time is better spent adapting to whatever the politicians do rather than joining into the political fray. Reality is that if you do business fair and well, whatever the political system is you’ll be welcome.  The second point is about freedom of speech.

I recall feeling fear like this recently when talking to my son over the phone. I was about to make a joke about a certain president and decided not to thinking… I had better not joke about this.  The problem was I was in the US… not Ecuador.

The great technology that has created such great access to information has destroyed our privacy as well…everywhere.

My new real estate acquisitions are in Ecuador . Recent messages have looked at the importance of seeing reality. People write often asking if it‘s safe in Ecuador. I was thinking of the reality of this as Merri and I concluded a long Ecuador morning walk. The birds were singing, roosters crowing in the distance and we saw two very young children, a girl of maybe six or seven and her little brother maybe four or five walking alone through the village on their way to school. This is so typical in Ecuador.

I wondered how many children of that age in North America are allowed to walk alone through town as they are in Ecuador.

investing-in-chaos

More Cotacachi children in a parade.

You see young girls like this (maybe eleven or twelve) walking around night and day. This is not because Ecuadorian parents are careless. It is because there is a great deal of safety in Ecuador .

Here are a few facts I know.

#1: The Ecuador constitution protects landownership of citizens regardless of citizenship. No local government can take land by eminent domain for economic development.

#2: No Ecuador children have been shot in school.

#3: Ecuador schools do not require metal detectors.

#4: No Ecuador police force has used a “no knock” search warrant to break down a door and then shoot an innocent 80+ year old resident 50 times.

#5: We do not worry in Ecuador about being sued if someone spills hot coffee on themselves at our hotel. By the way our coffee is hot here.

#6: Ecuadorian doctors do not have to shut down their practices because of malpractice insurance costs.

#7: Parents in Ecuador are not at risk of having their child diagnosed as having ADD and being forced to give them Ritalin. Read http://www.ritalindeath.com/ if you want to have your heart rendered over the weekend.

investing-in-chaos

There is a deep culture in Ecuador.

Back in early 2007, a potential real estate buyer visited me about buying a $93,000 house in Otavalo. As we enjoyed a “cuppa tea” and visited I could see he loved the house but was really worried about loss of property due to Ecuador’s constitutional reform.

My view was that the reform was unlikely to reduce individual land rights. As we can see above, the opposite took place. the constitution strengthened property protection.  Ecuador’s base of wealth has always been individual land ownership.

Then I pointed out to this potential buyer that his  real bigger risk was buying a similar three bedroom house in England. A similar house would cost him between $400,000 and a million dollars. The risk of losing $93,000 in value when the overheated English real estate market dips seemed greater to me than the chances of losing $93,000 in Ecuador because a house would taken due to constitutional change.

Prices were way overblown in England.  This was exactly what happened.  Real estate crashed in England while real estate prices in Ecuador have remained strong.

Plus Ecuador offers the benefits of $1.40 a gallon gas, lovely weather, sweet people, no capital gains tax on real estate sales, very inexpensive but good medical and dental help, ridiculously low property tax, almost no tort liability, inexpensive cost of living, low crime and better food.

In the west, the cost of living is so high that many people can barely move!

So where is it safe to live? I think when Merri and I are really realistic, we feel that there are many aspects of safety in Ecuador.

Many of us feel many changes in our homelands that are not good. If you do, don’t despair, the sun always shines somewhere as it did here in Cotacachi, Ecuador. Here’s the sun coming up!

Merri and I always practice diversification…in asset class as well as geographically.  We are over weighted in Ecuador so we are voting with our money that the chaos here will create more opportunity than trouble.

See more about Ecuador diversification here.

Change and chaos are parts of the rhythm of life.  The never ending evolution created by time and space creates turmoil but also opportunity.

We hope the chaos in your life brings only good to you.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth in chaos.

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 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.

See details of the two seminars below.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Amazingly helpful, amazingly timely … thank you for this !

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + 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 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 for two.

Read the entire article New battery could change world, one house at a time

Investing Internationally


Investing internationally with thought about reflexivity can improve your wealth.

See three thoughts below that can help bring you everlasting wealth.

#1: George Soros’ thoughts on international investment reflexivity and how the power of thought affects investing and business internationally.

#2:  More on Ecuador’s government’s plan to take over a number of  TV and radio frequencies.

#3: An update on international emerging market values…

International Investments & Reflexivity

Investing internationally can bring everlasting wealth if your logic can adapt and focus in new and meaningful ways.  One way to focus your investing logic is by understanding reflexivity.

The term reflexivity was coined by George Soros.   His thinking on investment markets can help investors because the philosophy has proven success.

Part one of his book “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” shows how we as investors and as a society need to think outside the box.  This section of the book makes seven points:

Point #1: Understanding world is inherently imperfect because we are part of the world.

Point #2: There are two functions in our thought… understanding the world … cognitive thought and having impact and taking advantage of the world… manipulative thought.

Point #3:  These two functions counteract one another. Manipulation requires intentions and predictions which are not fact.  So our beliefs and expectations can hinder our ability to see fact.

Soros writes in this book: “Take the stock market as an example People buy and sell stocks in anticipation of future stock prices, but those prices are contingent on the investors’ expectations. These expectations cannot qualify as knowledge.

Point #4:  Supply and demand are not independent of people’s expectations.  This means that the element of uncertainty cannot be be eliminated. Yet market theory that rules most investing and most government intervention in markets ignores this fact.

Point #5:  Social events have a different structure from natural phenomena.  Natural phenomena has a causal chain that connects one event directly to the next.  Human affairs include participant’s views. These views affect the causal effect and the participant’s views which creates self reinforcing loops.

Point #6: Natural events happen. Participants can affect what happens next with their decisions but cannot base their decisions on true knowledge because their decisions alter the truth.

Point #7:  At times reflexivity makes the abnormal normal.

Soros’ philosophy is supported by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known exactly.  The more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. It is impossible to measure both position and velocity of a microscopic particle with any degree of accuracy or certainty. This is not only a statement about the limitations of a researcher’s ability to measure particular quantities of a system, it is a statement about the nature of the system itself… the fact that the act of measuring anything alters the very thing being measured.

This would make it seem that we cannot really gain an understanding of what will happen with any international investment or business.   This is true.

However there are ways we can come closer to understanding… because we are a part of nature, which by definition makes us part of and in touch with everything.

Access to this infinite knowledge is via our more subtle brain waves.

Access to these waves can come in many forms.

Soros claims to have many ways to access this greater knowledge but in his book his son wrote:  My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, at least half of this is bullshit. I mean you know the reason he changes his position in the market is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning sign.

Some would call it intuition, instinct, gut feeling and perhaps these are just ways of describing getting in touch with a deeper, non linear, infinite field of intelligence that all receive but few tune in.

We cannot define infinity and logical thought by definition must be linear.

Final decisions should be rational and should come from our logic… but logic by its nature must be focused on a very narrow path.  This means we need a way to let our intuition tell us when we need to shift the focus of our logic on a new path outside the box.

One way the yatchaks (means to know) of the Andes and wise people everywhere is to look for signs of nature.

One term used for these signs is totems.  For example, my totem is the Heron.

So let’s ask what in the heck do Herons have to do with international investments?

The answer is nothing and yet everything…

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Here is an explanation about totems from Speaker for the Animals:

Heron – Aggressive – Self-Reliance – Self Determination  Heron links two worlds: the waters of life—the Unconscious, and the air—the realm of the conscious mind. He feeds on fishes, which symbolize the treasures of the Unconscious mind: spiritual nourishment for the Seeker. Yet he is also a creature of the Earth, so he is a grounding influence for people who spend too much time in their minds and who are called to ‘fish’ in the waters of the unconscious.

The legs of Heron are long to “stand” the deep waters of the Unconscious: the Waters of Lethe bring sleepiness and unconsciousness if one is not awake, aware and wary. Heron is a solitary fisher; if you call upon Heron to be your own totem, you must be able to stand alone as you seek, for there is no one to call on should you step into too-deep waters.

Heron’s strength for those of us who spend too much time ‘in our minds’ is that he brings one down to Earth. With Heron as your guide, he will bring you to ground to explore life here in the physical instead of just daydreaming or losing oneself in one’s imagination or dreams.

We’re unconventional, hearing our own inner drummer. We don’t worry about ‘keeping up with the Jones’s, doing what others do, believing what others believe, valuing what others value. If there is a weakness, it is that Heron works too hard at its fishing because he is a superb ‘stalker.’ He spends long hours standing and watching for a movement in the water, and needs sometimes to ‘loosen up’ and spend more time playing, courting lady herons or just snoozing in the Sun.

Most people, as Ted Andrews says in his book Animal Speak, would never choose to live this way: “It is not a structured way, and does not have a stability or security to it. It is though, just a matter of perspective. There is security in heron medicine, for it gives the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way doesn’t work, then another will.”

Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance. This is a valuable character trait in these times of conformity and homogenization of values. Heron people can stand alone, listen to their own inner wisdom, and go their own way when everyone else is conforming to society’s commands. In this way, they build their own ways to be as well as choose their own way of doing. They are individuals first.

Herons are active in my life and I have painted one (inspired by Audobon’s Heron) that hangs in the entrance to our house.

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So when the Great Blue Heron that lives on Little Horse Creek flew from our high mountain bog right over this morning, I dug out my copy of Animal Speak.

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I rethought my business and investments in contrast to the symbolism of the heron.  This never happens without my coming up with some worthy thought.  Today it related to a partnership I was looking into.  I reread Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance.

This started me rethinking if Merri and I really want a partner. This started me looking at the business in a very different way.

Ecuador shamans and yatchaks use this process extensively and call it shape shifting. They place themselves in the spirit of their totem and this forces them to think about whatever subject they are concerned with in a different way… thinking like a heron or eagle or condor definitely puts you out of the box!

I did not come to any conclusions about my business decisions because I saw a heron.  The fact I saw a heron caused me to sit down and use my logic to rethink my plans in a different way.

Learn more about how to improve your thought process here.

Ecuador Radio and TV

On the subject of Ecuador, a previous message shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to seize a number of radio and TV stations and promised to stay tuned to what happens.  I have asked many of my trusted sources in Ecuador for their opinions which we’ll share in various messages.  Here are two from businessmen in Ecuador.

The first contributor was quite negative when he wrote:  The first thing to take into account is that he is actually proposing control over the press not only within the countries but at a international
level. What he is saying is that countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others, should create an international committee that will oversee what the media is saying about the governments.

Ecuador is following the Venezuelan model, so if you see that Chávez is pushing for a new legislation that control the media and whatever content they have that may “threaten” the nation security, Ecuador will follow that soon. Below is what Venezuela is doing, they actually want to sensor the information that the media exposes meaning that if who oversees the media thinks that this or that information is “bad” for the country, the media or the anchor will actually face justice and may even go to jail for at least four years. They closed 32 radio stations and 2 tv stations.

Rafael Correa, the President, said that his team was about to revoke some radio frequencies depending on the outcome of a report that his government is finishing. This will mean that whatever happens will be done in the next weeks. Critics claim that this was not done on a technical level but on a political one, opening the door for the government to possibly revoke the frequencies of radio stations or TV stations that oppose the government.   On this matter nothing is sure yet, but Conartel, which oversees the media, actually punished a TV station, Teleamazonas, that opposes the government.  The fines were applied to that TV station one time, by law the second time they must close for about 90 days and the third time they must close forever. They censored the Simpsons also from that TV station and there was a public outcry because Conartel and the government threaten to punish them.  We figure that since he started a new period, things will start to happen in the coming weeks, so far nothing is concrete yet.

He was not totally negative though and added: One thing although is that the government is not talking about taking over TV stations or radio stations, but revoking the frequencies. But take this into account, the government actually took over some private TV stations, they got them as part of a debt that Filanbanco, a bank, had with the government back in the crisis of 1999. This appears to be a separate thing. On the same takeover they got two TV stations plus a newspaper El Telégrafo.

The second contributor feels good about this new and wrote:  Hi Gary,  I have lived here full time for over 9 years and have seen the corruption and I believe that Correa’s intentions are more good than bad. I believe that many things that he does for a good reason while he is working on removing corruption are turned into bad press by the opposition. The same opposition that stole from the people of Ecuador throughout history, and want to regain control and steal from them again. I think that the Wall Street Journal article you wrote about says a lot. It says to me that he is going through the licenses one by one to find out if the licenses were granted illegally through corruption and payoffs. If they were granted legally, no problem…..and if they weren’t we are going to suspend the license and you will have a chance to prove that you obtained it legally.  A year or so ago, two television stations were taken over, with the same uproar in the press. But the truth is that they were taken over because the owners of those two stations were the owners of one of the banks that went under when they took all of the depositors money and went to Miami to live happily ever after. Well, Correa went after their assets ( a first for a president to go after someone like this) and some of those assets were the two tv stations. So we need to look past what the press says as many of them are owned by this type of opposition. I see Correa in a similar boat that President Vicente Fox of Mexico was in a few years ago, when His party was elected after over 100 years of severe corruption by the ruling party and he wanted to remove that corruption. He was also fought along the way by the opposition that wanted the power back to again steal from the people. It is a very difficult job that Correa has ahead of him, and I hope that he can succeed and become possibly the best president that Ecuador has ever had.  Regards.

We’ll be providing a full report on the radio and TV position to our Ecuador Living subscribers

Emerging Markets Update

We’ll share more comments about international investments in Ecuador in upcoming messages… but let’s use our logic here to look some more at international investments in all emerging markets.

One problem many investors have when using non linear approaches to international investments is that they forget the final logical step…. which is to come back and end in the logical mode.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should just ignore what is in the box. We want to use our logic to reflect on “in-the-box-stuff” in different ways.  If we do not know what’s in the box then we won’t know when we are out of the box.   Boxes exist for a reason.  At times the box.. assuming the box is the norm… but Soros says “is abnormal.”    We need to conclude if the box is normal or abnormal which dictates that we do examine what’s in the box.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should abandon logic.

So I may sit down and rethink everything… or something I am doing when I see a heron… but I add that to my traditional logical thought.

This is one reason why we regularly review Michael Keppler’s major and emerging market value analysis.  Kepler is a statistical genius and guru…. very institutional… logical mathematical .

What I search for are strokes of intuition supported by such logic.

This morning for example their were three crows grazing our front yard.

Stock market investors sometimes refer to three crows as a pattern of successive declining stock prices over three days often identified by overlapping candlestick patterns. Three crows are often seen as a warning of a period of powerful selling pressure on the stock market.

This does not mean I rushed out and sold all my shares. It does mean I looked at logical data like Keppler’s value analysis to see if the logic supports the intuition.

Here is an excerpt from our last multi currency portfolios update that shows Keppler’s mathematical logic.

Emerging Markets equities recorded their highest ever quarterly return. In the second quarter 2009, the MSCI Emerging Markets Total Return Index gained 34.7 % in US dollars and 27.5 % in euros.

This brings the year-to-date total return of the global Emerging Markets benchmark to 36 % in US dollars and 34.8 % in euros.

All markets covered here were up last quarter. Hungary (+69.7 %), India (+59.8 %) and Turkey (+56.6 %) had the most impressive returns.

Peru (+11.2 %), Israel (+15.8 %) and Morocco (+19.6 %) came in at the bottom of the performance range with what would be very desirable double-digit returns under normal circumstances.

In the second quarter 2009, the Emerging Markets Top Value Model Portfolio, which invests according to the Top Value Strategy and assumes index returns for each national market included in the strategy, gained 45.5 % in US dollars and 37.7 % in euros, outperforming the benchmark by 10.8 percentage points in US dollars and by 10.2  percentage points in euros.

There were two changes in our performance ratings last quarter: Korea was downgraded to “Sell” from “Neutral” and Brazil was upgraded to “Buy” from “Sell”.

The Top Value Model Portfolio now contains the eight “buy” rated markets: Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey at equal weights.

It is unusual for a market to rise all the way from sell to buy as Brazil did this quarter. This is in keeping with our thoughts on Brazil Distortion Thoughts published in  April and June.

You can see the password protected pages and full emerging markets update and a warning about these values as a Multi Currency Portfolio subscriber.

Whether you plan to have international investments, an international business or non at all, it will become increasingly  important to think outside the box as change accelerates and new social and economic paradigms are required.  Whether you use backaches, gut feel, hunches, totems or meditation and prayer… new ways to focus your logic an help you have everlasting wealth.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, 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.

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 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.

See details of the two seminar below.

international-investments-seminar

Thomas Fischer teaching at our IBEZ seminar.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

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

international-investing

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador tiles are one great product attract many international businesses.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course: Thanks so much.  I have been following the advice in your Multi Currency Course/International Investing monthly and have added selected suggested funds from your lists which are available in my Fidelity IRA.  Even though my transactions are in SMALL amounts for stock and ETFs I am almost back up to the total invested amount prior to the stock market dive of last year.   Your emails have given incentive to keep diversified investments when I know other people are selling out.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + 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 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 for two.

See the entire explanation of herons at speakerfortheanimals

Retire & Earn Abroad


Here is another reason to Retire and & Earn Abroad.

Yesterday’s message on lifestyle and Ecuador diversification was really backed up by Uncle Sam quickly!

Whether you retire in Ecuador or anywhere outside your home.. you want diversification. See why below!

retire-in-ecuador

One benefit of retiring in Ecuador is that it can help the poor there.

Yesterday’s article worried about weather change being called a threat to national security and wondered if this concept could further erode human rights.

I never imagined the very next day we would have even more concern… yet an article by James Risen in the New York Times entitled:  “U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban” must give us pause.

Here is an excerpt:  WASHINGTON — Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed, reflecting a major shift in American counternarcotics strategy in Afghanistan, according to a Congressional study to be released this week.

United States Marines on a recent raid in Helmand Province. Under a new policy, drug traffickers are subject to being killed.

United States military commanders have told Congress that they are convinced that the policy is legal under the military’s rules of engagement and international law. They also said the move is an essential part of their new plan to disrupt the flow of drug money that is helping finance the Taliban insurgency.

retire-in-ecuador

Part of our work at Meson de las Flores was to continue a policy at our hotel to feed the poor. We always keep a pot of nutritious stew on the stove and our less fortunate are welcome any time of the day.  Above is one of our regular guests.

The problem is that the erosion of rights creeps upon us in small steps… like income tax. When to raise revenue to fund the Civil War, an income tax was introduced in the United States with the Revenue Act of 1861. It was a flat rate tax of 3% on annual income above $800.

When the idea was contested on concerns that the tax, once established, would grow, one Congressman stated that there was no way the population would let the tax ever be higher than 3%.   Yet a year later  flat tax this was replaced with a graduated tax of 3-5% on income above $600 in the Revenue Act of 1862.

This act made tax temporary ending in 1866.  Regretfully, perhaps, in 1866, income tax collections reached their highest point ever, over $310 million.  This made the tax popular and today we can see the effects of the small steps… one freedom eroded at a time.

So where does the legal right to kill drug dealers lead?  If it is legal to kill Afghan drug dealers to disrupt the flow of drug money that finance insurgency, what about drug dealers in Mexico that are financing insurgency in the US?  Can we kill them too?  If so, how about if we catch them in the US, can we kill them there?   If so what if they are US citizens or residents?  Can we still kill them?  Can the army become involved… in the name of national security?  Do they have to check a person’s passport before they shoot the drone at them?

These are tough calls, but somehow making it legal for the army to kill non combatants seems like a small step in the wrong direction.

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Merri and I visiting a village that our foundation supports… helping the old and supporting the young by improving their school.  This is a fulfilling retirement activity.

Yet loss of rights is not the only reason we might want to live or retire in Ecuador or elsewhere, full or part time, for diversification.

The rising cost of living makes it difficult to retire in the West.  Plus though taxes are rising… benefits for those who retire are not.

A recent BBC article “Pension age could rise further” shows how the rot in England has grown. An excerpt says:  The state pension retirement age could be increased further, the UK’s pensions regulator has told the BBC.

David Norgrove said rising life expectancy meant millions of people would “undoubtedly” have to wait longer in future to draw a state pension.

People will not save as much for retirement as in the past, with many people “frightened” to do so, he said.

The state pension age is due to rise to 68, and Pensions Minister Angela Eagle said there were no plans to raise that.

Currently, the state pension age is 60 for women and 65 for men, but four years ago Lord Turner published a report calling for it to rise to 68 for everyone by 2044.

But Mr Norgrove said he thought it would end up higher.

Mr Norgrove said: “People are going to have to work longer, partly because we’re not going, as a nation, to save as much for retirement as we did in the past.” He added: “The government’s recent legislation is increasing the state retirement age progressively to 68. I think it will end up higher than that.”

retire-in-ecuador

Part of our program is to get readers who retire in Ecuador involved helping the poor.  We also offer roses and donate the proceeds to help people like this charming woman.  See more about her, and how the roses help, here.

Another reason to retire in Ecuador is that business opportunity seems to be rising there as it falls in the north.

A recent USA Today article. “Business bankruptcies up 240% since 2006”, by Christine Dugas outlines a US retirement and lifestyle problem.  Here is an excerpt of that article:

Entrepreneurship and new small businesses are supposed to lead us out of the recession, just as they have in prior downturns, right?  Sure.

Your neighbor’s grand idea will persuade a bank to lend her start-up money; she’ll open for business in six weeks; and money will immediately flow from customers to her to her employees. Taxes will be paid, and the national economic engine will hum effortlessly in no time. If only.

Today shows a different reality: Commercial bankruptcies are surging. Fewer people are starting small businesses, and firms already open are struggling under changing consumer habits, a lack of funding options and tougher bankruptcy laws. If a nationwide trend seen since January holds true, more than 300 businesses will file for bankruptcy today alone.

The first five months of this year have shown a 52% increase in the total number of commercial bankruptcy filings (36,106) compared with the same period last year (23,829), according to the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records. On average thus far in 2009, some 350 commercial enterprises file for bankruptcy daily an increase of 240% from 2006, the first year after the bankruptcy law was changed.

Major corporate failures, like GM and Chrysler, flash across front pages and websites. But the vast majority of commercial bankruptcies, which are not separated by size of firm by data keepers, are filed by entrepreneurs and small-business owners, says Robert Lawless, professor of law at University of Illinois.

Troubling for the economy, say Lawless and Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, is the double-whammy of fewer start-ups and increasing bankruptcies.

“In the past, small-business formation increased in a recession because people had self-employment thrust upon them,” he says. “One avenue out of economic hard times self-employment has become less attractive, because the bankruptcy law is less forgiving” and there are fewer options for those entrepreneurs to get bank loans or to find funding elsewhere.

Small business is considered the backbone of the economy. In the past, new businesses led economic recoveries, McCracken says. Small businesses  those with fewer than 500 employees  make up half of the gross domestic product and account for most job growth.

Problems from the devastated housing market, overall recession and suffering major industries all funnel down to small businesses, especially those that supply the troubled corporations.

Household spending cutbacks reach far, too. Dual-income families who are now single-income may no longer need or be able to afford child care, so many of those services are going out of business, says Lester Thompson, a bankruptcy lawyer in Dayton. Sporting goods stores and lawn-mowing services also have struggled.

Small-business bankruptcy filings jumped the most in the Los Angeles and Chicago metro areas, according to Equifax. But even smaller areas of the country are experiencing a big increase.

Many small businesses owe so much money to creditors that there is no future. Such owners often file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut their businesses for good.

The credit crunch is a major contributor to the rise in filings.

Loan dollar volume from the U.S. Small Business Administration has increased 35% since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed on Feb. 17, according to the SBA. Even so, a National Federation of Independent Business trend report states that in May the percentage of business owners reporting that loans are harder to get rose to 16%, the highest reading since the 1980-82 recession.

With that reality, and loath to dip into their retirement savings, struggling small-business owners have few options other than bankruptcy. When the bankruptcy law changed in 2005 it was mostly aimed at curbing abuse of personal bankruptcy filing. But it also singled out small businesses for harsher treatment, and those changes did not apply to larger corporations, Lawless says.

Bankruptcy is still the only option for many small-business owners who are hanging by a thread.

This is why the idea of living or retiring in Ecuador or elsewhere, at least part time,  for diversification and global earning potential makes sense because opportunity is growing elsewhere.

retire-in-ecuador

Nothing makes our retirement problems diminish faster than helping those who have even greater needs.

An excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article “Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index Up” by Mercedes Alvaro says: QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index, measured by Deloitte and Touche, surged 5% in May to 93.2 points, compared with May 2008, the company said in its monthly report.

Deloitte said the index recovered by 31% in May against April, returning to the levels registered during the last quarter of 2008.

The Index’ recovery is largely due to the waning perception among executives of a deterioration of the country’s economic and political conditions, it said.

Deloitte found that 45% of those surveyed are less optimistic about the economy compared with April, while 52% perceive no change.

The slow but steady increase in oil prices and the revival of the global economy are grounds for expecting that the economy in Ecuador could improve by year’s end or in early 2010.

Questioned about the performance of their businesses, 34% said they had lower sales compared to the previous months and 39% reported revenues down on the same period of last year.

The survey found 20% reported a reduction in their workforce compared to the previous month.

Around 57% of the business leaders surveyed said that the country’s socio-economic situation makes it difficult to attract foreign investment.

Blue-ridge-mountains

We should help our neighbors at home as well. This is why we are developing environmentally sensitive, sustainable programs to encourage value-added, employment in the Blue Ridge as well.

I have written many times about the benefits of retiring in Small Town USA for lifestyle diversification as well. See more on lifestyle diversification at Inspired to Retire

We can see below why diversification remains important even if we retire in Ecuador.

Just because we want to live or retire in Ecuador does not mean that Ecuador does not have its own creeping erosion of rights problems as well.  An August 3 news.Yahoo article says: Correa: Ecuador to take over radio, TV stations.  QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says “many” radio and TV frequencies will revert to state control due to what he’s calling irregularities.  The president has been at war with Ecuador’s news media since taking office in January 2007. He has called TV stations and newspapers corrupt and mediocre, and twice fined an opposition broadcaster.  Correa did not specify Monday what sort of abuses or irregularities broadcasters have committed. Nor did he name any alleged offenders.

An August 5th update on this matter in the Wall Street Journal says: Ecuador Govt Braces For Reaction To Radio, TV Takeovers

QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s government is expecting “strong reactions” to a report that will determine which television and radio stations will revert to state control.

Antonio Garcia, chairman of Ecuador’s National Radio and Television Board, said Wednesday that a report will be issued next week on which stations the government will take over.

President Rafael Correa’s government has alleged that a number of stations received their broadcasting concessions illegitimately and said that “many” would revert to state hands.

Correa’s announcement came on the heels of the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Ecuadorian president’s close ally, shutting down 34 privately-owned radio stations last weekend.

An initial report by an Ecuadorian government commission last year found that 236 of 1,637 frequencies had obtained their concessions illegally.

Garcia brushed off what he called “alarmist accounts” that all radio and television stations will revert to state control and that the government is looking at them on a case-by-case basis.”

He said that some media outlets, however, are “trying to misinform” viewers and listeners.

We’ll stay tuned to what happens with this takeover  at our Ecuador Living  Service.

The greatest asset for diversification is the ability to earn wherever you live and to keep your investments safe.

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 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.

See details of the two seminar below.

Here is Thomas Fischer talking with seminar delegates at a recent international investing course that I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Management.

retire-in-ecuador

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

retire-in-ecuador

Seminar delegates visiting Otavalo market looking for Ecuador export ideas.

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 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 for two.

Learn more about the power of  Ecuador export ideas

See WSJ article Ecuador’s government braces for reaction

See NYT article U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban

Ecuador Risk


Ecuador has risks.

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

ecuador-risk

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.

ecuador-risk

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 Amazon Herbal Tour


Ecuador’s Amazon is rich in herbs  as you’ll learn on our Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour, May 22-24, 2009.

Enroll here $399.  Enroll here for a couple $499

Studying Ecuador herbs is fun.

You see them regularly in Native Ecuador markets are ancient rites of human endeavor. Meetings like this one high in the Ecuador Andes have taken place almost since civilization began as have imports and exports. I closed my eyes and felt the energy, the deep, inner excitement that marketplaces bring and how they thrill. Such wonderful agitation! Ecuadorian men and women, different religions, cultures and ages. People from near and far. Explosions of color. Mutterings and hawking in Quichua, Spanish, and occasional English working their babble of exchange. Ecuadorian babies bobbing on mother’s backs, children working, playing and racing among the stalls. Adults serious in their cares. Explosions of sights, smells and sounds create this purposeful cacophony true to only one mission, to trade and sell, import, export!

Exploring the markets is a great way to see Amazon herbs but the best way to know them is to actually visit the marker.

So for years we have been helping readers go to the Amazon and learn how they are actually grown.

Alberto Verdezoto (a long term friend and guide as well as an expert on herbal medicine from the Amazon) will guide a tour to the Amazon and the Flora Sana finca this May.

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Here is Alberto leading one of our tours.

You could not be in better hands.  Alberto was in the Ecuador travel business for more than 10 years and has been working in the Amazon with herbs for many years. He is the distributor for the Flora Sana Amazon products.

Here is Alberto (left) leading our staff at International Living’s Ecuador seminar in March.

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Alberto helped develop  the entire line of organic Amazon health products to export from Ecuador under the “Flora Sana” (Flower Healing) brand.

Ecuador Herbal Products

Stimusan Herb Pack
Dulcamara Cream
Dulcamara Liquid
Dulcamara Shampoo
Dulcamara Soap
Sweet Sleep
Sangria Drago
Organic Chocolate

There are many more Ecuador export products in the Flora Sana line.

We are working with Alberto to obtain dealers for these products.

This line has special interest in the health food supplement field. Take the Dulcamaras range for example.

Merri and I have enormous energy vitality and enthusiasm, running the farm and our publishing business. Many are amazed at what we get done. At a time when many are thinking retirement, we feel we are just getting started. Plus despite our heavy work load and travel schedule we seem to be getting younger…yet this is a time when many of our friends are rapidly deteriorating both in energy and appearance.

We feel that one reason is that we regularly take the Dulcamaras food supplement which is a pure Amazonian plant extract. When we began using this product years ago, one MD told us that he used this plant extract to help his cancer patients. The doctor explained that Dulcamaras is not a cancer cure but so enhances the immune system that many patients cure themselves. He explained that many of his patients also used Dulcamaras to enhance their vitality and that it has anti-aging qualities that could be enjoyed.

We decided to try it ourselves. After a couple of days we felt tiredness but then found ourselves feeling more energy. My weight started dropping. Muscle mass and skin tone built though we did not add any new exercises.

We began sharing Dulcamaras extract years ago with a few of our friends and heard back similar stories from those who were well. From others we heard incredible stories.

We read a medical study from the University of Miami Medical School entitled “INDUCTION OF CASPASE-MEDIATED APOPTOSIS AND INHIBITION OF PROSTATE TUMOR GROWTH AND METASTASIS BY A PLANT EXTRACT”.

The study was done by Deven S. Dandekar1*, Vinata B. Lokeshwar1, Edwin Cevallos. 2, and Bal L. Lokeshwar1. 1Dept. of Urology and Sylvester Cancer Center, Univ. of Miami, Miami, Fl. 2Tumor Institute, Quito, Ecuador. *d.dandekar@miami.edu

The study began “INTRODUCTION: Most cancer drugs are derived from plants and many more are yet to be discovered (1). An orally active, aqueous plant extract (Dulcamara sp) was tested for its anti-tumor properties on prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.”

The conclusion of that study was that the Dulcamaras extract tested was a potent orally active anti-neoplastic agent, which primarily affects caspase-mediated apoptosis and inhibits metastasis by inhibition of hyaluronidase, an ECM-degrading enzyme implicated in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis.

We saw one friend with Lymphoma have a miraculous cure in 18 days. Another who was quadriplegic with MS had such a recovery that she can now stand alone. But mostly the stories were about feeling better, having more energy, sex drive, clearer mind, strength, endurance and feeling and looking younger.

Dulcamaras has great potential to be of assistance in diseases in which the immune system is implicated as a contributing factor. The medical doctor in Ecuador has gathered data which indicates possible value in conditions of over active and under active immune system such as AIDS, Allergic States, Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Hepatitis, and Lupus like diseases.

We do not believe that Dulcamaras is a panacea and it is not intended to diagnosis, treat or cure any condition nor should it be viewed as a substitute for orthodox medical treatments. But it is a powerful plant-derived nutritional supplement which may safely be used for longevity, more energy and better health plus as a complementary treatment to assist the body’s natural healing processes.

Here is more about Ecuador Dulcamaras Export Opportunity.

Common names: Donkey Ears, Life Plant.

Scientific Name: Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri Raym.-Hamet & H. Perrier

Synonym: Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri

Family: Crassulaceae

Origin of the Plant:

Kalanchoe or Bryophyllum gastonis bonnieri is originated from Madagascar . It was known and used as a medicine by the ancient Egyptians. The plant was brought to the Amazon during the time of the rubber boom at the end of the 19th century.

The Dulcamara plants used to make Flora Sana natural products are organically grown in their gardens located on the left bank of the Puyo river, next to the Amazonian town of Puyo, the capital of the Pastaza province, in Ecuador. A plant takes 6 to 8 months to mature and be ready for harvest.

The plant is then used to make tinctures and creams.

The Flora Sana Dulcamara Tincture is used here in Ecuador for inflammation of prostate, tumor in ovaries, uterus, brain, kidneys, breast, cysts, leukemia, kidney and gall stones, hemorrhoids, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis, depressed immune system. Of course it cannot be exported from Ecuador or offered in other countries for these purposes unless it has been approved by relevant authorities.

There has been a study at University of Miami Medical School on the effects of this plant. See http://www.med.miami.edu/mnbws/Dandekar106.html

The Dulcamara Cream is created by blending pure dulcamara water extract with a base cream imported from France. The cream has protective, nourishing and moisturizing properties. A small quantity of essential oil of lavender is added to complement its nutritional properties and therapeutic uses, especially for acne, allergies, burns, diaper rash, and general skin care. The cream can be applied on the face and to all body parts.

The cream is used in Ecuador for burns, allergies, varicose veins and ulcers, diabetic, baldness, warts, vitiligo, acne, pimple, blackhead, wrinkles, hemorrhoids, psoriasis, diaper rash, dermatitis and general skin care. Again this cannot be exported form Ecuador or offered in other countries for these specific purposes.

This is just one of many herbs you’ll learn about because Alberto also works with CORPEI, the Ecuadorian government organization dedicated to developing export opportunities for handicrafters up to big organizations. They approached Alberto to see if he wanted to be involved in an international project to promote the development of businesses and organizations involved with producing and marketing natural products from the Andes and Amazon.

The tour fee does not included air travel, food or accommodations.

You can enroll in the May 22-24 Ecuador Amazon Herbal tour here.

Enroll here $399.  Enroll here for a couple $499

You can join one or two Ecuador real estate tours before the Amazon 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.

Sign up for two or three of the May 2009 tours and gain a discount plus attend any of the IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web course 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.