Tag Archive | "El Salvador"

Ecuador Wills


Ecuador wills do not work if challenged.

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

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

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

Ecuador-wills

Everyone works, men…

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women…

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young…

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and old.

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Well… not everyone works.

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

Ecuador-wills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A recent letter at his archive shows how and says:

Conversion to Manager-Managed LLC Format

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Learn how to subscribe here.

Regards,

Gary

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See our full 2009 schedule here.

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
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July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
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Ecuador Economic Worries


A number of readers have sent questions about Ecuador economic worries. One regular Ecuador economic worry I receive is that Ecuador will stop using the US dollar as its currency.

There is little doubt that Ecuador’s economy is in a mess.

Which economy is not?

We’ll look at this Ecuador economic worry in a moment, but to put this worry into perspective, may I share some other economic worries at the same time… plus post some photos from our friend, Dennis Goff… such as this shot from a boutique hotel in Manta, Ecuador where you can stay for $52 a night.

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These pictures were taken by our friend Dennis Goff and they make an important point.

Dennis is a friend and a professional photographer.

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He and his wife, Nicki, live part time in Ecuador and often join us on our tours where he helps us by providing some really great shots.

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All the photos here were taken by Dennis…

Ecuador has economic worries, yes, but are they worse than the economic worries in Europe or the US?   The photos show that while we worry we can be in paradise on a shoestring budget.

For example, Dennis took this shot of a four floor Bahia, Ecuador house on our latest Ecuador coastal real estate tour…  just $95,000 asking.

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The four floors run up a hill…  over 3,000 square feet with these…

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views.  Here are our real estate tour delegates viewing this house.

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I wonder if  the Western  economic and social system will do well if the current economic downturn continues?

Global economic problems are not likely to disappear soon and they are everywhere!

Excerpts from the New York Times March 20, 2009 article “New Deficit Forecast Casts Shadow on Obama Agenda”  by Jackie Calmes shows how disturbed America’s economy is when it says:

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office placed a new hurdle in front of President Obama’s agenda on Friday, calculating that the White House’s tax and spending plans would create deficits totaling $2.3 trillion more than the president’s budget projected for the next decade.

Senator Kent Conrad said the budget office analysis confirmed the need for adjustments.

The difference largely reflects the administration’s more optimistic forecasts of economic growth through 2019.

The budget office figures, which will guide Congress as it takes up Mr. Obama’s proposals in earnest next week, were worse than Democratic leaders expected and further complicated their job of achieving the president’s priorities on health care, energy policy and much more.

Moderate Democrats from competitive districts and states have already expressed nervousness about some of Mr. Obama’s plans, especially as Republicans have grown increasingly emboldened to stay on the attack.

Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said the new report “confirms that under the president’s plan, our debt will increase to shocking levels that are simply unsustainable and will devastate future economic opportunities for our children and grandchildren.

I fear that anyone looking for a perfect place, with honest, intelligent politicians, a great economy, perfect law and order and a low cost of living will have a long search.

At least while searching for economic stability in Ecuador, you can enjoy perfect weather, friendly people and incredible values.

Ecuador’s economy is oil dependent which creates economic problems if oil prices remain low.

Yet Ecuador has many other resources and for gringos it offers amazing value.

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Where else could you live on a beach like this… with great weather for $79,000… including…

ecuador-economic-ideas membership in this club house… with spa, pool, luxury dining and tennis on the beach?

Lower oil prices have reduced Ecuador revenues. Remittances from Ecuador workers abroad have dropped and foreign investments have fallen due to the rising dollar and Ecuador’s decision to default on its bonds.

Because the U.S. dollar is Ecuador’s currency, it doesn’t print its own money. This keeps politicians who would like to turn on the printing machine from doing so.

This is why Ecuador dollarized in the first place.  Dollarization worked an economic wonder.  Inflation fell from over 70% to below 5% in 2001.

But extra income from oil set the government on the wrong course… just as the high 1998 tax revenues in the US set America’s government on a spending spree at exactly the wrong time.

Now a severe trade deficit caused by the strong dollar is draining Ecuador of dollars.  The dollar has risen versus currencies in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, etc. This makes goods in Ecuador cost more and thus they are harder to export.

Ecuador’s government has reacted by creating high import taxes to slow down imports. This has caused the cost of living to rise in Ecuador.

Excerpts from a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Ecuador May Have to Drop Dollar, Credit Suisse Says” by Lester Pimentel helps explains why:

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Ecuador’s banking system strains and plunging foreign-exchange reserves may force the South American country to drop the dollar as its currency, Credit Suisse Group AG said.

“Mounting pressures on the banking system could potentially harm the fiscal accounts further and could force the government to de-dollarize the economy, in spite of its wish to continue to defend the use of the dollar as the country’s currency,” Diego Sasson, a Credit Suisse analyst in New York, wrote in a report published yesterday.

“Ecuador won’t abandon use of the dollar to offset plunging oil revenue and worker remittances from abroad,” President Rafael Correa said today in an interview with the Unimax television network. The country adopted the dollar in 2000 to help curb inflation after the sucre tumbled 73 percent against the dollar and the government defaulted on $6.5 billion of foreign debt.

Ecuador’s use of the dollar gives Correa no outlet for providing credit to the economy as access to foreign financing dries up and revenue from oil sales slides. Crude, which has dropped 65 percent from a July record, accounts for 60 percent of Ecuador’s exports.

The country’s foreign reserves declined 5 percent to $3.31 billion in the week ended March 13, the lowest since June 2007, the country’s central bank said in a report on its Web site March 16. Reserves have plunged 47 percent from $6.5 billion in September as the global recession eroded demand for oil exports and the country defaulted for the second time this decade.

Yet despite the rising costs you can still enjoy a hotel like this for as little as…

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$85 a night, which is what…

ecuador-economic-ideas delegates at our recent coastal tour paid.

The Ecuador economic worry is that dropping the US dollar could cause an economic collapse that would somehow destabilize the country.

Perhaps.

But those who are concerned about Ecuador economics may not have thought the problem and resultant social economic reactions all the way through.

Perhaps they have not lived and invested abroad for 41 years as Merri and I have.

Generally I look for places with social or economic worries  to invest. The economic worries are almost always overblown which creates extra value like…

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this one bedroom condo ($75,000 asking) in Manta.

I started my business career in Hong Kong when bombs were being set off by terrorists.  I saw how the fear created by those bombs built fortunes for those who did not over react.

If Ecuador eliminates the dollar as its currency, chances are that the cost of living in Ecuador for those who earn dollars… such as those living on social security and or pensions, will drop.

In other words, if Ecuador returns to the sucre life gets better for the gringos whose income is generated from abroad.

Delegates on our most recent Ecuador coastal real estate tour bought lots in this gated community for $17,500.

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This is assuming that a collapse does not create too much social unrest.

Fortunately we have some recent Ecuador economic history upon which to reflect.  In 1999 Ecuador’s economy came to a grinding halt.   All the banks shut.  Ecuador ran out of gas. Millions emigrated to Spain, Italy and the US.

Were there riots? No.  Murders?  No. Mayhem? No. Social disintegration? No.  A breakdown of law and order? No.

My reaction to that 1999 crisis.

I bought 962 acres of Ecuador real estate.

Ecuador is a pretty good place to be in times of economic collapse.

Prices are low now. beauty is high.  This Manta condo offers…

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three bedroom units at $130,000 asking.

There is always plenty of food.  Ecuador’s people are happy, friendly and industrious. They have never learned to expect much from their government. They have never learned to rely much on the purchasing power of paper money or Ecuador’s banks.

We are living in a time of global change and turmoil.

My belief is that those who ignore or try to avoid this fact will have a hard time.

Those who embrace change and adapt will have greater than average opportunity.

See more on this thinking at Ecuador Perceptions and International Investments in Fear.

Here is another shot of the Manta condo that Dennis took on our last Ecuador coastal real estate tour.

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Remember the following rules of investing:

#1: Markets are efficient in the long run but financial markets are not effective short term due to human behavior.

#2: To attain higher growth you must either increase risk or trust luck.

#3: Invest in inexpensive equities or real estate that is paying a reasonable dividend or rent.

The economic cleansing we are enduring has not changed any of the rules above but has made it easier to find good inexpensive shares and real estate.

For example this Bahia condo on the 7th floor has over 1,000 square feet, 2 bedrooms 2.5 baths with views from all rooms.   The balcony looks over the peninsula of Bahia, and the Pacific Ocean.  Yet…

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the asking price is only $81,000.

There are three important facts that investors need to remember:

#1: Do not care too much about day to day volatility.
#2: Care more about strategy.
#3: Avoid short term buying and selling.  Spend time analyzing and forecasting instead.

The condo above is near this shot.

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Here are rules for gaining in a market crisis.

#1: Turn on the auto pilot and normally add to your position.
#2: Do not panic.
#3: Do not let feelings influence you too much.
#4: Do not count on extraordinary returns. Be realistic.
#5: Add some restructuring stories to your portfolio
#6: Know that a period of low returns will be followed by a period of high returns.
#7: Do not underexpose yourself for the long term.

Here is another scene near the Bahia condo.

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Ecuador may or may not leave the US dollar behind.

If it does, I expect real estate values to move just as they did before Ecuador dollarized. Hotel rooms were quoted in dollars and changed daily as the sucre fell.

Real estate was bought and sold in sucre but the price changed each day as the sucre fell.

Ecuador real estate is a global commodity just like oil.  The price will adjust to a falling currency… which is why Ecuadorians always invest in real estate instead of bonds, shares or bank accounts.

We can choose to worry or not….about Ecuador’s economics… or those in the US, Europe or anywhere. We live in a global economy.

We can also choose where to be when we worry.  Ecuador offers  many reasons why it’s a good place to be during these times of change.

Until next message, may all your changes be good.

Gary

If you plan to join us at six or more seminars and tours in Ecuador, Florida or  North Carolina in 2010 you can save as an International Club member

See details about each of our seminar and tours below… then see our December special that allows you to attend as many of these courses you like at a huge savings.

For International Investing and Business.

For Super Thinking + Spanish

For Ecuador Shamanic Tour

For Ecuador Export

For North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi

For Manta & Mid Coast

For Quito & Mindo

For Salinas & South Coast

For Cuenca

You gain 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

But our 2009 International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 56 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 in January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501.

International Club 2010

Attend our 56 investment, business, Spanish, real estate and export, courses and tours in 2010 with one small enrollment fee.

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

Here are the 56 courses and tours you can attend free. Plus there is even one more savings you will see below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura 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, Fl.
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
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour

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 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)

May  13-14     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May  22-23    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  28-29    South Coast real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

June 24         Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27    International Investing and Business North Carolina  ( $749 or couple $999)
June 28-29   Travel to Ecuador and Andes
June 30-Jy 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
July 3-4          Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
July 6-7          Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
July 9-10        Cuenca Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)

Sept.   3-6      Ecuador Export Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept.   8-9      Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 11-12     Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 14-15     Cuenca Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 17-18     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept 20-21      South Coast Real Estate tour ($499 or couple $749)

Oct.    7          Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10     International Investing & Business North Carolina ($749 or couple $999)
Oct.   11-12    Travel to Quito and Andes
Oct.  13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 22-23     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Nov.    4-7        Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Nov.    8-9       Travel to Quito and Andes
Nov. 10-11       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 13-14      Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 16-17      Quito-Mindo Real Estate  ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 19-20     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov  22-23      South Coast Real Estate Tour (($499 or couple $749)

Dec.   3-5       Ecuador Shamanic Mingo  ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.   7-8       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.  10-11    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 13-14     Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 16-17      Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth $40,947.

You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses is shown below.

Arrival dates are always one or two days earlier. Please double check with us before booking flights.

I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses which are valued at $40,947!

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

You may well wonder why I would make such an offer and ask why the cost is so low? Let me answer this question frankly and from the heart.

First, it helps us do a better job for you. We feel greatly enriched when we can really help our clients improve their lives. We have learned through years of experience the best way to do this is to meet with you regularly. We can best help you learn how to improve your health and wealth through continual expansion of knowledge.

Second, we gain enormous fulfillment from the many friendships we form through the years. Our friends have enriched our lives tremendously. Let me explain this in more detail.

As a member, you will be part of our international family that meets intensively over the next year to examine ways we can make our lives better. Our goal is beyond just having money. Our goal is to have quantum wealth… good health… wealth and fulfillment through service.

Though I give all course delegates my very best, I cannot help but to do a better job for those who come again and again. As we meet often; your particular wants, needs and desires become clear, and it is easier for me to point you in the right direction.

Another phenomenon is that repeat delegates help each other! They get to know one another, help each other learn, share their insights, make contacts and gain more wealth.

Out associates in Ecuador, are experienced business people who live or work and conduct our real estate and export courses.  They can also act as your local backup for the business.

Lifestyle for Two. There is more! I have learned at my courses that many repeat delegates were couples.

We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO!  You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)

Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

Multi Currency Bank Safety


Multi currency bank safety has become a big concern in these troubled times. Trust has been eradicated from the system which leaves investors wondering more about risk.

Today is my 62nd birthday and I would like to thank you for sharing the day with me.

I will do almost anything to learn ways to help you. Here’s proof of the pudding.

Ecuador-Healing-Springs

This may look like I slipped and fell in the mud.

Actually I was trying out a little known volcanic pool near our home on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. The clay is said to purify and heal. Here I am in that pool with the natives!

Ecuador-healing-mud

Imagine this. I can now collect Social Security. I will, but this decision has nothing to do with retirement. See why and how my decision can help your wealth at Multi Currency Diversification.

Merri’s and my health, energy and vitality are good. We love what we do. Why not keep on going especially in these fun filled, challenging times of incredible opportunity?  But to take advantage of the opportunity we have to be sure we are not wiped out in the current volatility.

So let’s look at bank safety and since we share so much about Ecuador at this site, let’s look at Ecuador’s banks first.

Then we let’s look at the five safest banking countries in the world.

No bank can have a better credit rating than the country it is in!  Instead of looking at banks, Ecuador as a nation has a B3 Moody’s rating, CCC Fitch rating and B- from Standard & Poor’s. These ratings are somewhere between “highly speculative” and “substantial risk.” No matter how you cut it…the credit agencies are all saying “do not leave a lot of money laying around in Ecuador”. We just finished a lesson on what all the credit ratings mean in our multi currency course.

This is probably not an issue for most multi currency investors because they cannot even have an Ecuador bank account. We continually research to get answers to questions from our Ecuador Living subscribers.

One subscriber recently asked if non residents can open Ecuadorian bank accounts. Here is a reply from our attorney.

“We’ve spoken to quite a few banks about the subject lately and they all
require that the foreigners be residents for them to open a bank account
(checking account). Some banks, however, will allow non residents in the
process of obtaining residency to open a savings account. I will check with
some other banks but this does seem to be a general policy among them.”

If you have questions about Ecuador subscribe to Ecuador Living. We do our best to answer them.

Merri and I do not have a bank account in Ecuador. This has nothing to do with residency or bank safety. Our basic asset protection banking philosophy, which I originally published in the 1970s in my first book “Passport to International Profit,” is even more valid today than it was over 30 years ago. This is:

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

Since Merri and I live the most in Ecuador and the US, we do most of our banking elsewhere.

We use our ATM card to live on when in Ecuador. Our bank in Cotacachi is here.

ecuador-bank

In this Cotacachi square.

ecuador-square

So where should a multi currency investor do the majority of his or her banking? Multi currency investors do not want to hold a good multi currency basket of investments in a bad bank…or even worse in a country where banks are unsafe.

A recent message Economic Safety in Troubled Times showed one way to gain US dollar bank safety in North Dakota.

There is even more safety a bit further north. Canada it appears may be one of the safest places to bank. Canada has many wonderful sites and scenes such as this British Columbia shot taken by our friend Dennis Goff.

High Energy Sunrise

Dennis by the way has a great web site about Ecuador at www.e-quator.net

I am really glad to see this and explain why in a moment. First, let’s review Canada and bank safety.

Canada has great bank safety according to a Yahoo Canada article entitled “Canada rated world’s soundest bank system” by Rob Taylor says: Canada has the world’s soundest banking system, closely followed by Sweden, Luxembourg and Australia, a survey by the World Economic Forum has found as financial crisis and bank failures shake world markets.

But Britain, which once ranked in the top five, has slipped to 44th place behind El Salvador and Peru, after a 50 billion pound ($86.5 billion) pledge this week by the government to bolster bank balance sheets.

The United States, where some of Wall Street’s biggest financial names have collapsed in recent weeks, rated only 40, just behind Germany at 39, and smaller states such as Barbados, Estonia and even Namibia, in southern Africa.

The article listed the top five safest countries as:

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

Singapore was 13th and Switzerland 16th.

The current economic correction has reduced bank safety but there is another reason to be a multi currency investor. The current bailout will create inflation and currency corrections…including further weakening of the US dollar.

This leaves investors with three options:

Multi Currency Option #1: Earn more.

Multi Currency Option #2: Hold assets in other currencies.

Multi Currency Option#3: Live where life is good but costs are low.

This is why the focus of our three sites have these focuses, #1: to help develop small international businesses; #2: invest in many currencies and #3: live in Ecuador.

Our fourth focus is on natural health.

We enjoy Ecuador because life is good there. Prices are low and there are many natural health benefits.

However there are some risk…not in banking, not from Ecuador’s government and not from crime or civial unrest. The most realistic risk is from lack of experience in a new found place.

Earlier in this message I mentioned Dennis Goff’s new blog at www.e-quator.net. The blog features the Wall & Madison business run by Bob Lofgren and Deborah Nance. Dennis, Bob and Deborah are all long term readers who have become friends with Merri and me over the years.

Bob & Deborah were among the first readers to move to the San Miguel gated community. Here is a group of our real estate tour delegates visiting San Miguel.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-visit

There are some very wonderful homes here. I helped one of my readers sell his recently for $85,000.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-house

Here is a typical San Miguel Home.

Let me say right here, that I have nothing financially to do with San Miguel in any way. I live nearby and most of the houses and lots in San Miguel are owned by readers. Otherwise I am not involved.

Bob & Debroah have started a business to help San Miguel owners because of a problem Deborah described in this note to me.

Gary, As you know, who you trust down here makes all the difference in the world. What should be one of the best experiences of your life can turn out to be a nightmare if you work with the wrong people. There are westerners here who came to Ecuador late in life with no money to make their fortunes before it is too late, and will tell a buyer anything to make the sale. Our attorney has examined contracts from two developers and says they won’t hold up in court. One contract was taken before a judge and pronounced completely useless. Being foreigners, buyers have very little legal recourse if they get hooked by one of these people.

Robert and I are not wealthy people, but we have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of our lives. Given the spectacular scenery, clean air and water, abundance of healthy food and sweet people, we certainly feel rich living here. Many people will attest that after talking with Robert and being very excited to buy and build, Robert will tell them there is no land rush, and to go home and think about it and be sure buying in San Miguel is what they really want to do. We care a lot more about our souls than our pocketbooks. We started Wall and Madison, not to make our fortunes, but to be of service and to do things right. Just yesterday two women from New Zealand were here. They told Robert that they had traveled all over the country, and the construction here at San Miguel is the best they had seen in Ecuador. Unfortunately, even the Ecuadorian builders who are honest often have no idea of Western standards.

Robert and I have spent a great deal of time and gone to a great effort, along with our attorney, to see that Wall and Madison is entirely legal and above board. Ecuador doesn’t exactly make it easy to comply with the law. Perhaps that is why most developers don’t. It really is a buyer beware situation down here. So I am glad that you are willing to feature Wall and Madison with your readers. I can promise you that we won’t let you down.”

You can learn more at www.e-quator.net

Safety appears to be more important in troubled times…but really finding safety with the banks, the people and currencies you deal with is ALWAYS important.

This is why multi currency safety is as important as bank safety. Investors who do not have multi currency diversification can end up holding assets in a safe bank but with a worthless currency. Do not miss tomorrow’s message as it reviews my multi currency diversification now.

Gary

Join Merri, me and Jyske Global Asset Management at one of our courses. We review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and natural awakenings to health and wealth with investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

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

We’ll look at potential of real estate for sale on this lake.

Ecuador-lake-sites

and the value of Ecuador homes at San Miguel and Prima Vera II.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel

Primavera II $46,500 condos.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condos

We’ll review review potential on Ecuador’s coast.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Salt or fresh water

Ecuador real estate for sale

Join me with the staff of Jyske Global Asset Mangement in Naples Florida to learn more about where in the world to invest now.  Learn how to attend this course free and save $499 to $750.

Until next message good global investing!

Gary

One of the best ways to prosper in this downturn is with your own internet business. You can enroll in our email internet course here for $299. However if you sign up for all three courses in June or later in 2009, I’ll send it free. You save $299. Learn more here

Get our web based course FREE if you join us in Ecuador. Learn more here.

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

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Florida Investment Course

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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

Ecuador Living Benefit


Ecuador living offers many benefits, one being that it stimulates the sluggish Ecuadorian economy. However, all of human existence is one of polarity.  Black must have white, positive needs negative and money always brings a rising price.

Ecuador-hotel-staff

Take Eduardo and Consuelo, who work at our Ecuador Hotel El Meson de las Flores. The hotel was in receivership and empty when our foundation Land of the Sun bought it to help stimulate the economy in this part of the Ecuador countryside.  By bringing people we have helped save their jobs.

A reader raised a good question about this though when he wrote:

“Gary, I’ve received your email newsletter for about six months now.  I have been interested in real estate in Ecuador for about a year.  I’ve been to Ecuador twice in the past year, and am going again July 1.  On the one hand I understand your enthusiasm for Ecuador, but on the other I wonder how pushing Ecuador real estate will impact the local population?  Obviously if you are a property holder, it’s a good thing; but if you’re not, but hope to be, outside money could push many locals out of the market.  Is this creating any kind of animosity toward outsiders?  I’d appreciate your insight on this.  I am an economist with a focus on international finance, so I enjoy all aspects of your writings.  Regards.”

This has been a never ending story since the beginning of time..everywhere, neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, county to county and country to country.

So far the majority of Ecuadorians love us….as much or more as our neighbors here in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains.

Most Ecuadorians cannot afford property because the locals were pushed out of the market by the Spanish about 500 years ago…just as American natives in the US were pushed out by the English, Germans, Irish, Scots, Italians, Chinese and others who arrived here.

Our arrival in Ecuador creates jobs, hope and a chance that many more Ecuadorians will be able to own their own land.

However the problem goes beyond just a few investors arriving from the US, Canada, Span, Italy and many from Colombia and Peru.   This is a time of transition for Ecuador with the final phase of the colonial hierarchal system near its end.  Whether the locals in Ecuador like it or not…just as people in many other countries do not like it, we all live in a global economy.   Many Americans did not like selling so much property to the Japanese in the 1980s.  They will gripe now as Europeans buy big chunks of Florida.  The Floridians will gripe. Yet they will sell, take the money and move to North Carolina…where the North Carolinians will gripe about the inflow of Floridians.

Prices will equalize anywhere there is a distortion, locally…nationally or globally.

Water gushes down. Air rushes into vacuums.  Money flows towards good value.

We see this in the United States with gas prices rising to $4 a gallon.  This is not as bad as in Europe where gas runs $7 or $8 a gallon….but it is still a shock to those of us who can remember…(yes it’s true) gas at 19.9 cents a gallon.

Gas is a global commodity. Americans have to pay the going rate.

Ecuador property is a global commodity…in an ever growing global economy.

I am a full blooded American…born and raised in the USA…as you can get.

Today, I am wearing all American clothes beginning with my American Converse tennis shoes (made in China), my American Wrangler jeans (made in Mexico), my American Fruit of the Loom underwear (made in El Salvador) and my American Van Heusen shirt (made in Bangladesh).  So even if I stayed in America, unless I plan on running around shoeless and naked, I will encroach on people in other countries…pushing up property prices for factories…that create jobs…help feed families…and create pollution. Positive…negative…positive…this never ends.

My first book “Passport to International Profit” was published in the early 1970s and included a chapter on “border blindness.”  This chapter looked at how political borders are illusions that support hidden agendas for the few who encourage them.  Borders  are transcended by almost all human emotions. Get a pretty Italian and handsome Irishman together and they will fall in love. Put a Mexican with a cheaper tomato next to a hungry Canadian and the Canadian will get out his loonies and buy the tomato. Put an Englishman and Frenchman in a sinking ship and they will both bail water.

The market place of humanity tramples borders. The deepest nature of our existence supports free trade and free movement of all to anywhere in the world.

Since that book was written…modern communications and transportation have made all of this even more true.   For example at Cotacachi communications see how broadband has changed the way we can live in Cotacachi.

We are, at the deepest level of our being, all citizens of the world.  It is logical and correct that we trade with those who serve us best…whether they bring products to us (like the tomatoes, shirts, shoes, pants and even underwear) or we go to the product (real estate abroad).

I have found that if one treats people with fairness and respect, these courtesies will be returned.  This was as true when we moved from Florida to Ashe County, North Carolina…where Floridians are called “Floridiots” by many locals…because they pay too much for the land and drive prices beyond the local abilities.

I know we are loved by our friends and staff in Ecuador.   Cotacachi Ecuador Hospitality shows how they treated Merri on Mother’s Day.

We are loved up here in North Carolina as well…not because we are Americans or Floridians or because we are red, white or black, Christians, Muslims or Jews, but because of how we act with our friends, neighbors and business associates.

When you treat people right…you become known as a friend not a nationality.

We are loved because we try to treat people with care, respect and fairness.  We bring in money and bring them work.

Few economies, local or national can isolate themselves from the global economy and enjoy a high material standard of living.

Ask the people of Mynmar if you do not believe this.

What a grand experiment (though I do not see it happening) would be for
mankind to eliminate all borders, customs, immigrations and nationalities for a decade.  My bet is we would never go back.

In Ecuador I do not see a resentment problem…but let’s allow the people of Ecuador have ther say. A leaflet has been posted on buildings and telephone poles all around San Clemente, the small village where Merri and I have bought our beach condos.  This was not put up by us..nor by the developer of the condo where we are buying.  This was written by locals in San Clemente.

I asked John Papski, our man on Ecuador’s beach, to translate it.   Here is what the Ecuadorians are saying about our arrival in their small fishing village with a five star spa hotel and a 61 unit luxury condo development  that will change the village’s life forever.

TRANSLATION

“Ecuador has a population of 13 million (2008 )and 3 million that live abroad (23% ).  Parents have immigrated leaving their children; people left for lack of work, pessimistic views of the future without opportunities, corruption, globalization and neo-liberalist practices have contributed to a disappearance of opportunity for individual, family and social development.

“San Clemente has an approximate population of 4500. There is a need for 600 new jobs per year for the youth but nature and the sea does not allow sufficient funds for welfare, health and studies.

“However, tourism is one of the few chances left for Ecuador and its youth.

“The marvelous beaches of San Clemente attract people that travel many hours, save and borrow money so they and their families can spend on food, lodging, water, beer, sun lotions, repellents, handcrafts and return home broke but content knowing that health, welfare, lust for life, relaxed has prepared them to continue the hard fight in the city.They have integrated with nature with the immense help of the sea and its marvelous sounds and movements, with the wonder of the beach and hills that surround, wonder of tranquil people, amiable and service orientated to all visitors with humanity, smiles,assistance and hospitality.

“Our visitors dream during their happy stay of a swift return to our beach or perhaps remain here forever. The beach tourists do not come to Rocafuerte or Charapoto (nearby towns ). They come to San Clemente.

“Bahia apartment owners come to us because they know our beach is a great treasure with fantastic potential of nature, not enclosed in sad cement but green, blue, orange living nature. Look after nature as we care for ourselves and defend the future of our youth.”

There you have it, a local view of what they think of us.

So far I believe we are more than welcome.  I hope that Merri and I and all we bring along have the wisdom to be with the wonderful people of Ecuador in a way so they are not just happy that we come…but that they also want us to stay.

I invite you to join us in the wonderful adventure and as human beings who are citizens of the world!

Gary

See dates for our other Ecuador courses and tours:

Coastal Real Estate Tour

Pool, tennis court and beach at Palmazul where we stay on our coastal tours.

Ecuador-beach-hotel

Beach at Palmazul.

Ecuador-beach-property

Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Courtyard at Ecuador hotel El Meson de las Flores where we conduct our Spanish Courses, Imbabura Real Estate Tours, Shamanic Mingos and Import Export  tours.

Ecuador-hotel-courtyard

Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Ecuador Shaman Mingo Tour

Ecuador Import Export Course

See discounts for attending more than one course.