Tag Archive | "energy investors;"

Oil Opportunity


In 2015 two items will be in the news again and again,  Russia and the price of oil.  Each presents some fabulous opportunity as distortions created by fear create extra value.

oil chart

Chart “How much does it cost to produce crude oil and natural gas?  (From US Energy Information Administration (1))

As the 2015 news unfolds, there are three factors about oil and Russia, plus many other countries, to keep in mind.

#1: The price of oil versus uplift cost in the various oil producing countries.

#2: The price of oil.

#3:  The price of oil for oil producing countries to balance their budget.  This is a really important point because oil extraction when oil is selling at 60 dollars a barrel can be profitable in many countries (such as Russia), but not create sufficient revenue in countries where the political process and government are financed by oil sales.

For example Ecuador, OPEC’s smallest producer needs about an $80 dollar a barrel oil price to balance its fiscal 2015 budget.  Ecuador has crude-oil reserves of 8.8 billion barrels and crude-oil production of a half million barrels a day which is a tiny 0.6% of total world production and 1.7% of OPEC’s production.

Russia, as shown below produces oil at about $8 a barrel overall, but needs a crude price of $100 to balance the nation’s budget.   Price of oil compared to production costs is less important than price of oil compared to budget deficits.   Keep this in mind as plunging oil prices create contrasts and distortions that equate to value and opportunity.

oil chart

Chart from Economist “Black Gold Deficits” (1) Click on image to enlarge.

Here are some definitions you’ll want to know in the year ahead.   This will help all of us to understand the news.

#1: Lifting costs are the costs of oil and gas wells and related equipment and facilities to bring oil and gas to the surface.

#2: Finding costs are exploring for and developing reserves of oil and gas and the costs to buy or lease oil and gas reserves.

#3:  Upstream cost (also called Capex) and it is the total cost to produce crude oil and natural gas including lifting and finding costs.

#4:  A brownfield is an oil or gas field that has proven production.

#5: A greenfield project is a completely undeveloped area of possible production.

#6: BOE is Barrel of Oil Equivalent.

We can see how opportunity will develop in an article “These countries are getting killed by cheap oil by Jesse Solomon” (2)  Bolds are mine in all the excerpts below.

Here is an excerpt:  The price is not right for many oil rich nations. That’s bad news for Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among others. They need the black stuff to trade at far loftier levels in order to balance their budgets.

Iran’s budget, for example, is built on oil at $135 dollars per barrel, according to data from Deutsche Bank and Thomson Reuters compiled by DoubleLine Capital.  Russia has oil budgeted at $100, while Saudi Arabia will break even at $95 per barrel.

OPEC’s idea is to try to knock out U.S. shale producers by driving prices lower than they can afford.  That way Saudi Arabia, the cartel’s biggest exporter, can keep its market share in the U.S.  But the damage to its fellow oil exporters could be severe.  In Russia, for example, the ruble is plummeting.  Iraq is already having trouble fighting ISIS, and lower oil prices won’t help.  Libya is in chaos. Venezuela’s economy, already on life support, depends on oil for 95 percent of its export revenue. 

An Analysis by EY (Ernst Young) US upstream cost prices and the unconventional treadmill (4) say:  As was reported in our US reserves studies, US upstream oil and gas spending has been increasing rapidly with the onset of the so-called “shale” or “unconventional revolution,” beginning in the middle of the last decade.  We can also use the related reported data to estimate costs on a full-cycle basis, noting that notional full-cycle costs have surged (along with global oil prices) from an average of around US$20 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) before 2004 to more than US$60 per BOE as of 2013.  As shown in Figure 1, apart from the distortions related to the global financial collapse in 2009, notional full-cycle costs have averaged over US$60 per BOE since 2008.

oil chart

Chart of US costs from EY Analysis.

The Bakken Magazine (5) says:  The evolving Bakken story has just added a new, utterly complex twist. Crude prices—economically advantageous for the shale oil industry in the past five years—have fallen. Few, if any, can predict when the price bottom will be reached or what falling crude prices will mean to the Bakken shale play.  And, although many have tried, few, if any, can offer an acceptable prediction on what falling crude prices will mean to the Bakken shale play.

Gazprombank Research Department writes in Oil and Gas Weekly (6) says:   Lifting costs and upstream capex of Russian oil companies vs international peers:

Russian oil and gas companies the production of oil in Russia remains cheaper.  Thus, average lifting costs per BOE $5.8 /boe for Russian oil and gas companies over the past three years, while lifting costs averaged $9.9 BOE.

The same is true for upstream capex per BOE. 2013 the average ratio for Russian oil companies stood at $ 7.6 /BOE, which is less than one quarter the level of Developed Market majors ($34.5/BOE) and less than one third the level of Emerging Market oil companies  ($25.5/BOE).

The reasons are much higher rates of onshore production at brownfields in the overall production structure.  As the depletion of currently producing major fields continues in Russia lifting costs and upstream capex increases at approximately the same rates as globally.

oil chart

Oil cost chart from Gazprom Oil & Gas Weekly

How to take advantage of the situation.  One way is to cash in on fear.  An example comes in a recommendation from Eric Roseman at ENR Asset Management.  Here is an excerpt of a note that Eric sent me: Gary, This is a special bulletin that deserves your full attention.  With crude oil prices crashing more than 40% since June, the entire energy-related infrastructure, including oil drilling, exploration and development, has been threatened.  The entire energy space has plunged since November with the latest leg falling off a cliff this month as oil continues its relentless decline, now at $55/barrel this morning for West Texas crude and $59 for Brent oil — compounded by a financial crisis in Russia as the ruble tanks.  Crude oil now trades at its lowest price since 2009.  The market fears a sustained price war where OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, refuses to cut production while American shale producers flood the market at the same time.  This game of ‘chicken’ will end badly for the shale sector, if oil continues to slide.  I think Saudi Arabia is trying to put the American shale companies out of business.  Already, bond prices for shale companies – responsible for about 20% of all high-yield debt financing over the last four years – are suffering from big redemptions from investors as cash-flow continues to threaten operations for the most marginal producers.  We now foresee a wave of defaults by the most leveraged U.S. shale companies with oil prices at these low levels.

Although the bear market in oil is bad news for energy investors, it’s very bullish for refiners, or companies that refine and sell gasoline, diesel and other distillate fuels.

One of the sector’s true mavens is Tom O’Malley, who has spent more than 30 years in the business specializing in taking troubled refiners and turning their economic fortunes around. He’s made millions for his investors.

Today, Mr. O’Malley is the CEO of small-cap company, PBF Energy (NYSE-PBF). The company went public about three years ago and trades 35% below its all-time high and 20% off its 52-week high.  The stock trades at just 6.3 times trailing earnings, 1.37 times book-value and yields 4.6% in annual dividends.  This is a great value-and-growth story.  With crude oil prices in the basement, growth investors should be accumulating a well-managed company like PBR Energy now.

My advice is to buy PBF Energy at market at Jyske Bank and place a 20% stop-loss on your entry price.  This is the best time since the financial crisis in 2008-2009 to buy refiners.

I will provide an in-depth analysis of PBR Energy in the January issue of Advisory Extra.  Regards, Eric

oil chart

PBF Energy Two Year chart at www.finance.yahoo.com

Click here for the ENR Asset Managers

For more information contact Thomas Fischer at Thomas@enrasset.com

Reaction to oil prices may reflect political rather than market concerns.  These reactions may be illogical and as the Bakken Magazine article stated: Although many have tried, few, if any, can offer an acceptable prediction on what falling crude prices will mean.  This creates fertile ground for distortions that create value opportunity.  We’ll watch for these situations and share what we find.

Gary

Global Earnings Seminar

How to Have Peace & Profit in 2019

There are still ways to reduce stress.

Prolonged exposure to stress is the # 1 root of death and disease in our modern world.

Stress can ruin your health and wealth… in many ways.

Daily stress has been magnified because we no control, no way out of the current global political and economic mess.  The news makes current problems feel like things are getting worse.

This downwards spiral leads to health problems, heart disease, hypertension, impaired immune function, infertility, and mental illness.

The health problems lead to economic problems from loss of income, poor investment decisions and high disease management costs.

farm

farm

Yet there is a way back.

I was reminded of this once when I made a horrible mistake.

The supposed error?  Letting my mind wander six decades back to an hour I spent with a girl.

Learn from this near disaster, seven most powerful sources of wealth, health, security and fulfillment in this era.

The girl was pretty and blond.  Terry was her name. My imagination spanned decades returning to my Oregon roots seeing her as if she were there.

We were 11 or 12 and had known each other since we started Rockwood grade school.  Just buddies, our non-romantic friendship lasted 12 years, from first grade till high school’s end.  Then she went off to Pepperdine College in California.  I started traveling the world.  Never saw her again.  I hope her life has gone well.  But until that reflection I’d never thought much of Terry in so many years.

What could have been the tragic error was letting that memory touch my heart.  Two kids, walking on a crisp, Pacific Northwest autumnal afternoon.

We walked down a sun filled, pine needle covered, dirt path.  Huge, fat, green Douglas firs lined the road.  Traffic was no problem, not many cars.  Crossing Stark Street we turned left, hiking three blocks to 182nd.  There we passed an old clapboard candy store.  I can still hear the wooden sidewalk of that store slap beneath my feet, felt the soggy planks sag and smelled astringent pitch from the fir trees.  Then we turned right, up 182nd for about a mile.  There was Terry’s house.

I carried on, walking through a big field, waist high grass turned straw brown by an early frost.  There were dozens of paths made by who knows what.  Animals perhaps or countless generations of other kids walking home alone from school.  I chose one following it to another wood of tall, rough-barked fir.  Crossing one more field, I climbed a rock wall, struggled through a barbed wire fence (my Mom hated that fence ripping my jeans).  I was home!

Sweet simplicity, that dream.  Two kids holding hands, walking on a dirt trail under a crisp, but blue, sunny sky.  Pure innocence.

My tragic error was looking back.  I returned to Rockwood, Oregon with Merri and my kids to show them this part of their roots.  Following the route, Terry and I had walked were the candy store, grange hall, old wooden buildings and their home spun honesty and charm.

Instead we found six lanes of fast, frantic traffic and road rage.  McDonalds, KFC, strip shopping centers.  The car radio blared warnings of local gangs and drive-by-shootings.

Beauty, innocence, sweet simplicity, replaced by drive ins and drive bys.  Gangs and drive-by shootings replacing a tender walk in the sun.

Good bye memories, good bye.

How can our kids walk in places like this?  How can we return to those old feeling of security and comfort?

How can any of us possibly keep pace in this world that’s moving so fast?

Then something inside snapped.

“There has to be an answer for honest, hard working folks to enjoy the wonderful opportunities of today and regain what we’ve lost over the past forty years”, I swore to myself.

How can we keep up, without having such a fast paced life we turn into machines?  Where do we find time for God, family, charity, and our friends?  How can we rediscover those sun filled, pine needle covered, dirt paths we want to walk?

“There has to be places that are still innocent and pure”, I thought.  “There has to be a way of life that does not pound us with stress”.

This thinking led me to begin reviewing the thousands of economic and business experiences I have shared with readers over the decades.

This started a search for a simpler way of life and a better place to earn and protect our wealth.

By digging, asking and observing, traveling and talking to investors and investment managers all over the world I found that there are true paths to real security in the here and now.  That knowledge helped me develop courses on how to have natural health, everlasting wealth and purposeful investments.

This knowledge helped Merri and me invest in stocks and real estate all over the world.  It helped us find and develop our farms in North Carolina and Florida into sanctuaries.

That almost error led us to create an entire portfolio of information on how to keep pace, get ahead, enjoy our modern society but, to enjoy life wherever you choose without having to move too fast.

This is why I am making a special “Let’s get our lives back” offer.

“What would you think in the last 30 seconds of your life if you were the richest man in the world but were unhappy?”

This quote is from the opening slide of our Value Investing Seminar, “How to Secure Your Future With a Value Breakout Plan”.   This a vital question because few investors think about the value of comfort and happiness.  Yet the truth is, those who are comfortable and happy with their investments are most likely to succeed financially.

Without comfort, no matter how much money a person has, they are more likely to lose it or kill themselves with stress from worry.

There is a way to have the perfect form of financial security.

Let’s call it the perfect pension.  To help understand how to build an unshakable economic platform, here is Part One of the report, The Pruppie Factor.

The Pruppie Factor – Seven Steps to Comfortable Living & Profits.

“May you live in interesting times”.  That’s a Chinese curse that seems to have been cast on our modern world.  We can enjoy comfort and profits in the year ahead despite this fact.

Become a Pruppie.  Integrate your earning with your investing and enjoy peak living, everlasting wealth and natural health with PIEC Investing in the year ahead.

Before we look at what PIEC means, let’s delve into Pruppieism, the new economic and social realism.  Pruppies expect everything to expand.  They take advantage of every new benefit and technology they can.  Pruppies enjoy using the fruits of our ancestor’s deliberations and labors to earn in this advanced technological world.  They also engage in activity that they love that would sustain them in case society and the incredibly intricate weave of our global economy and society should fail.

Pruppies are prepared in case everything, everywhere, or at least everything relating to their income and savings fails and the fabric that surrounds their lives disintegrates into an unknown veil.  Yet a Pruppie’s preparation is not a sacrifice, but a joy as you will see.

Hope springs eternal and it should.  One of the key themes in my first book, Passport to International Profit, (published in the 1970s) was “The Sun Always Shines Somewhere”.  This thought has been in and remains a foundation of everything I do.

Sometimes this sunshine is hard to see because the press always focuses on doom and gloom.  Current news often makes the world seem about to end.  We cannot blame the press. Bad news sells.  The majority seem to want to worry instead of learn about all that’s good.  This does not make doom and gloom right.  This is why the majority are also the rich portion of the population, but bad news is an economic fact for the press.

Yet despite all the negative headlines, we have lived through the Cold War and MAD, Y2K, GridX II, the Peak Oil Crisis, the recession of the 1970s, 1980s 2007, etc. etc. etc.  Chicken Little is always out there, selling the falling sky.  Don’t buy into this story!

History suggests that there will always be opportunity.  The sun always shines somewhere.

Brexit, global warming and the American political process are examples of how the press gravitates to negative news.   The press  make anything and just about everything seem negative.  This can blind us to the positive realities ahead, if we let it.

Don’t.

Expect that the world will remain standing and look for opportunity instead!

Our wealth and economic opportunity is pushed by supply and demand.  We are part of a growing global population.  New technology makes more people, as a whole, more productive every day.  The world has increasingly larger markets creating more supply in increasingly efficient ways.

This reality increases everyone’s wealth.  Yes there is a lot of bad news in many places.  There is inequality.  There is crime.  There is war and hate and injustice.   Despite these negatives there is even more that is positive.  Opportunity grows.

Pruppies tap into and use every bit of the good news they can.  They have a plan B if everything goes wrong, but Plan B is based on something a Pruppie wants to do we love, not just a shelter from bad news.

At the end of this report, you’ll find a special offer that can help you integrate earning and investing for the ultimate form of profit and safety.

Imagine this example of Pruppism.  The Tiffany lamp casts an amber glow, rich, ivory and warm in the grey gloom of early dusk.  The gold knobbed mahogany desk, its deep patina waxed and smooth, shines with reflections of ancient leather Chesterfields stuffed full, but rumpled with age and of maritime shots that hang in brass frames on the wall. The room speaks of settled tradition, the kind that might never end.  But thoughts instead are on the demise of the business that has supported this room.

The late Jim Slater of Slater Walker, a British industrial conglomerate turned bank in the 1970s was in that room.  I recall his bank’s collapse well as I was living in Hong Kong and Slater Walker was a huge going concern in what was a British colony in those days.  The Slater Walker crash was big news that unsettled the entire British banking system at the time.

Slater, the founder, had been a really high roller, using every modern banking tactic available including buying many assets with cheap loans.  Then in the mid 1970s banking crisis interest rates skyrocketed and his bank was unable to refinance its debt.  The company failed and Slater had to resign.  Numerous charges were brought against him and he spent considerable time defending what he had done.

In the end he was only fined a nominal sum but despite this, his banking career was well and truly dead.

However he had already moved on.

He wrote about this in his autobiography, “Return To Go”.  He had always had a hobby making puppet shows and telling stories to his children, so instead of banking, he turned his passion into profit and wrote some children’s books.  His first effort sold a respectable 35,000 copies.  His next a monster series for younger children, became a huge hit.

He had also maintained a hobby of salmon fishing so again turned his passion into profit by creating a business that bought up fishing rights and resold them as time-shares.  He had quite a success.

Some day a catastrophe beyond our control could redirect the course of our lives.  We might lose a job, learn that our pension won’t pay or that our dollars won’t buy as much as they must.

Though Jim Slater was a banker, outside economic forces beyond his control caused his business disaster.  Yet he had options because he had been doing things he loved that were not related to his banking, but could become useful income generators in difficult time.

I do not know if Slater understood Pruppism but that’s what he was practicing.

Pruppism is a positive realism based on the knowledge that much of our lives are directed by events that we do not know or expect and could not change them even if we did.  There is always something we do not know and that’s okay.

Years ago I was speaking at an investing seminar in Marbella Spain.  One of the speakers was a brilliant strategist, Johan Peter Paludan, of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies.  This institute has a large interdisciplinary staff with expertise in economics, political science, ethnography, psychology, engineering, PR and sociology.  They identify and analyze global trends that influence the future.  Paludan was speaking of these trends and answering questions that delegates had about the world’s economic future.

One delegate asked what to do if there was a global nuclear exchange.  Paludan replied that the results of some events are so unpredictable that it is not worth trying to plan for them.

This thought has stuck with me for decades because it helped me realize that no matter how cautious, how defensive and careful we are, there are events that we cannot even imagine that can turn our lives upside down, for the good or bad.  With this in mind my wife Merri and I have created a lifestyle where we turn our passions into profit but in a way that whatever happens we are likely to be in a position to spot the positive and the opportunity.

A PIEC Experience

Pruppies gain the benefits of PIEC wealth.  PIEC is an acronym for “Personal Income Earning Corridor”.  PIEC income and wealth come from doing what you do for love, rather than just the money.

Traditionally people get jobs to create income.  They work to live and support their lifestyle while attempting to spend less than they earn.  They hope, that maybe the savings will bring, sometime in the future, a lifestyle of doing something enjoyable without work.

Pruppies reverse the priorities.  Instead of working for money to save and invest, they focus their prime effort on doing something they enjoy right now.  Then they learn how to enjoy the effort in some profitable way.  They learn to create “Avenues of Abundance” that combine lifestyle with the necessary task of accumulating wealth.

If economic circumstances tie them to an existing income effort, they create hobbies that are income producers of the future.

For example, if a Pruppie loves golf; instead of working six days a week, 50 weeks a year just to golf on Sundays and during short vacations, instead he or she will create a business in some aspect of the golfing trade.

In another example, a client of mine, who loved animals became a vet.  But he learned that the vet’s lifestyle was not one he enjoyed.  He wanted to travel and move around, which is difficult for a professional who needs to stay at his office and build a practice.  So he built a business that prepares special animal foods for race horses.  Now he travels globally visiting horse breeders and makes much more money as well.

Pruppies combine money with time, energy and desires.  They generate income doing something desired.  Desire and fulfillment become at least as, if not more, important as the money.

#1: Do What You Love!

The reason PIECs work well is that when we love to do something, we do it better, for longer and with greater enthusiasm.

Effort, determination and tenacity are wealth building attributes that cannot fail.  Yet Pruppism does not mean we should suddenly abandon our jobs and try becoming golf pros, when we have never been able to break 100.  Smart Pruppies start small and gradually expand into their passion.

For example, as a writer and lecturer, I was never fully satisfied sitting behind a desk or standing on a podium all day long, even though I was making over a million bucks a year. I’m the physical, outdoors type and yearned for exercise and the wilds of the deep woods. “What good’s the money if this isn’t fun?” I often asked myself.

Rather than quit writing and teaching, I looked for ways to combine these professions with the outdoor life.  Through research I learned that many city folk like myself yearn to be in the primitive outdoors.  So I bought an isolated farm high in the Blue Ridge Mountains and an Andean plantation high in Ecuador where I developed seminar centers with charming but simple dwellings, set in rustic surroundings, with clean water and pure air.  Now I live in nature so after I finish the writing or talking, I can walk in the woods or take my axe and chop firewood or something physical.  I’ve combined my writing with physical work and have blended the life I want, with my readers’ needs in a way that makes great financial sense.

We built a series of cabins in the wild that bring more profits than most stocks or bonds could ever return.

The process took six years to shift. Now we have been at this for nearly two decades and we are far from finished.  But while doing what we love, who cares? This is one of the great benefits of PIEC investing. We can slow down and enjoy the work instead of always rushing ahead, looking for something more.

Those who work nine to five can start PIEC businesses part time if they are too uneasy to quit their jobs. Others, who like myself, already have a business can slowly shift their product or service in a sensible way and let it evolve toward their PIEC.

But where do we start?

There is a seven step process we can all use whether we have our own careers, a business or even if we are retired (PIEC investing is especially good for retired folks who have found the supposed good life flat or financially short).

The first step is to get a clear idea or vision of our dream.  This is sometimes harder to achieve than it seems.  We are so deluged with false ideals from Washington, Wall Street, Madison Avenue, etc. that we have to stop and really take stock.  What do we sincerely want?

There is a very practical economic reason to look inwards for wealth.  Warren Buffet recommends that we only invest in what we understand. What can we understand better than ourselves?

This inner search will lead us to an ideal that begins the second step which is gaining enthusiasm.  How can we be anything but enthusiastic about finally fulfilling our deepest dreams?  The enthusiasm leads to the third step; gaining an education.

We need to find out everything we can about our idea.  To succeed we must take the third step and become real experts in the product or service we offer.

Fourth, this educational process allows us to develop an intelligent, focused business plan we can act upon and the action is the fifth step which brings us the experience. Experience gives us the sixth step, a financial loss or profit.  We always profit in increased knowledge which creates the seventh step, more ideas.

Then the entire cycle starts all over again: Idea, Enthusiasm, Education, Action, Experience, Financial Profit and New Ideas.

This is a way to keep adding new opportunities into our lives.  Business is rarely static. It is an ever evolving process instead.

This seven step cycle may take days, weeks, months or years, but the moment you begin you’ll start moving into an avenue of affluence where you love your work so though money isn’t your main goal it comes more easily.

#2: Do what you love, but also be of service.  Do something for others that is meaningful and important to you.

We all have a purpose in life and when we are filling it, we feel fulfilled.  Wealth and fulfillment is the goal.  Fulfillment is important because of the law of diminishing returns.  A 2008 study that analyzed Gallup surveys of 450,000 Americans suggested that day-to-day contentment improves until income hits around $75,000 per annum.  After that, more money just brings more stuff, with far less gain in happiness.  Income beyond $75,000 does not do much for a person’s daily mood.

This is a pretty general study and regional differences in costs, inflation and life circumstances will create many fluctuations from this norm, but the point is when money is the main goal, the better you get, the harder it will be to gain satisfaction.

Giving, on the other hand, never has limitations, especially when the giving helps complete a purpose that is part of our destiny.

This is true in business and investing.  A study of investors for example found that investors with socially responsible ideals gained the best returns.  A dual goal of profit and achieving some social benefit provides a purpose beyond returns.  This brings comfort and determination to the investments and the added stick-to-it-ness helps increase profits.

The study helped define three aspects of investing that are generally ignored, purpose and habits.

Purpose.  Purpose requires some soul-searching questions about what we each want our life to be.  This purpose is more important than the investment goal.  The purpose of the money we have becomes more important than the amount in the portfolio.

Habits.  Habits come next because we need to create habits and routines that keep us on the path of our unique purpose.  The marketplace does all it can to distract us from our goals.  There is an endless stream of news, rumor, conjecture, facts figures, ideas and tactics generated by every part of every stock market aimed at getting us to act in ways that benefit the agenda of others.

Good habits help us avoid being distracted from what we are meant and want to do.  Good habits muffle the noise of Madison Avenue, the spin from Washington DC and the hidden agendas of big business.  These are among the most powerful ways to increase wealth.  Having greater fulfillment as well as more wealth is a bonus that Pruppies call “Everlasting Wealth”.

#3: Integrate your earning and investing. 

Long term success in business and investing are determined by control and comfort.

Comfort comes from feeling in control, but since there is always something we do not know, real comfort comes from knowing that we are serving a valuable purpose, the best we can, regardless of how events unfold.

Real comfort helps maintain determination, dedication and enthusiasm, all among the most vital parts in the process of succeeding in investing and business.

Our own business increases comfort because a business is simply an investment that gives us more control due to the addition of our own time and energy. 

A Personal Income Earning Corridor (PIEC) begin with a main income generator that we control.  For some this is a job with a salary.  For others it is a pension. For many it is their own business using the concepts of SNAP (Small Niche Area Publishing).

Here’s why self publishing offers such great potential.

Sam Walton… or is it Warren Buffet?  Self publishing is based on three cherished beliefs that two of the wealthiest people in the world, Sam Walton and Warren Buffet, shared.

Buffet and Walton shared several cherished business beliefs that you can gain from a special writing and publishing business that is at its very beginning stage.

Cherished Belief #1:  Small is Beautiful.  Both Sam Walton (Bentonville, Arkansas) and Warren Buffet (Omaha, Nebraska) chose America’s heartland away from the big cities as their homes.  What’s more, Walton chose to do business in these small places as well… building the largest retail operation in the world almost entirely in small towns.

Warren Buffet believes that potential in small towns offers special value.  He believes this so strongly that he has been buying newspapers in small towns.

Over the last few years Berkshire Hathaway purchased 63 small and mid-sized daily and weekly newspapers throughout the United States.

He plans to buy more and says: “I like buying individual papers at the right prices.” 

Buffet stated that Berkshire is not buying big newspapers or more newspaper shares. He is sticking with small publications because he believes in the value of local communities.

Cherished Belief #2:  Community Orientation.

Buffet is not buying big publications but is grabbing up small community focused publications.

His bet is that publications focused on local communities can withstand the shift of readers and advertisers to the Internet.

The individual papers can be really small as 10,000 circulation with tiny staffs.

He said no one has stopped reading “half-way through a story that was about them or their neighbors.”

He also noted, “Berkshire buys for keeps. I’d rather buy newspapers myself directly,” and is seeking papers that publish in cities and towns with a “Sense of  Community.”

From this vision WalMart remains committed not just to expanding the businesses but to improving the communities.

You can enjoy all these benefits through Self publishingbecause small communities can be places, ideas or ideas within places.

The factors that makes publications like this successful are its common interests.  Common interest can be focused on a geographical area or a niche idea that targets a niche of a larger market.  For example, the market for truckers is quite large, but trackers that look after their health is a much smaller niche.  One benefit of SNAP publishing is it surrounds you with people who have a common interest, so your readers are like-minded souls.

Cherished Belief #3:  Seek Good Value.

Sam Walton built one of the largest fortunes in the world… with the simple goals of providing great value and great customer service.  Warren Buffett’s belief is that the essence of value investing is buying stocks at less than their intrinsic value.  The discount is called the “Margin of Safety”.

Both Buffet and Walton shared a vision that small towns ignored by the mainstream offered good value.  You can tap into extra profit potential as a SNAP publisher who helps a small community.

Knowing BOTH successful niche magazine publishers and internet marketing geniuses is important for a reason that Buffet outlined to his publishers when he purchased their papers.  Buffet believes that small newspapers will change and that they serve an important purpose.  He said, “Papers must rethink the industry’s initial response to the Internet as focus on continuing to maintain a strong sense of community“.

His bet is that publications focused on local communities can withstand the shift of readers and advertisers to the Internet.  Buffet has said that giving news away free online is “unsustainable” and has sought papers that publish in cities and towns with a “sense of community.

We have never seen this need for a sense of community as we do know because community creates trust.  As the world has expanded on big is better, the public has lost trust.  We no longer trust big business, big government, big hospitals, big banks, etc.  Yet publications offer nothing if they do not have the reader’s trust.  Internet publishing on the big scale has reduced trust.  Anyone can say anything on the internet and thus internet information is highly suspect.  Publishers who use a small niche to create trust have an advantage.

To begin this introduction let me add one more point and outline the value of what I am about to offer.  A SNAP publication may eventually require $5,000, $10,000 or even $15,000 in start up costs but can make up to $11,835 a month… or more.  That’s value… plain and simple.

Join The International Club for all of 2018 NOW.  Learn how to wrote and publish.  Save $418.78.

Club members start by receiving seven workshops and courses on how to earn everywhere with home micro businesses.  We call this our “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”.   The program contains a series of courses and reports that show ways to earn and be free. These courses and reports are:

  • The course “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Self Publish”
  • The course “Event-Full – How to Earn Conducting Seminars and Tours”
  • The course “International Business Made EZ”
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”

Club members also learn ways to be be healthier and have more energy.   I have created three natural health reports about:

#1: Nutrition

#2: Purification

#3: Exercise

Recent news about Social Security, pensions and health care shows that the US government has excessive debt today and that we as individuals need tactics to make sure, when governments, pensions and insurers weasel out of their promises, that we can take care of ourselves.

One big broken promise is Social Security and Medicare.  The most recent Social Security trustee report shows that the programs will begin to spend more than they earn within just three or four years.   The Medicare hospital-insurance trust fund, could use all its reserves by 2028.  They face insolvency over the next 20 years because Social Security runs totally out of money by 2034.

My three natural health reports help learn ways to be happier, healthier and avoid much of the Western disease management (aka healthcare) expense.

Each report is available for $19.95.  However you’ll receive all three FREE as club member and save $59.85.

Next, club members participate in an intensive program called the Purposeful Investing Course (Pi).  The purpose of Pi is finding value investments that increase safety and profit.  Learn Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing.

Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  These destroyers of wealth can create a Behavior Gap, that causes investors to underperform in any market good or bad. The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.  Pi helps create profitable strategies that avoid losses from this gap.

Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of numerous Model Portfolios, called Pifolio.

We combine the research of several brilliant mathematicians and money managers with my years of investing experience.

There are no secrets about this portfolio except that these mathematicians ignore the stories from economic news (often created by someone with vested interests) and is based mainly on good math that reveals the truth through financial news.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets using my 50 years of global experience and my study of the analysis of four mathematical investing geniuses (and friends).

This is a complete and continual study of what to do about the movement of international major and emerging stock markets.  I want to share this study throughout the next year with you.

This analysis forms the basis of a Good Value Stock Market Strategy.  The analysis is rational, mathematical and does not worry about short term ups and downs.  This strategy is easy for anyone to follow and use.  Pi reveals the best value markets and provides contacts to managers and analysts and Country Index ETFs so almost anyone can create and follow their own strategy.

The costs are low and this type of ETF is one of the hardest for institutions to cheat.  Expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund.  Little knowledge, time, management or guesswork are required.  The investment is simply a diversified portfolio of good value indices.  Investments in an index are like investments in all the shares of a good value market.

Pi opens insights to numerous long term cycles that most investors miss because they have not been investing long enough to see them.

The Pi subscription is normally $299 per annum but as a club member you receive Pi at no charge and save an additional $299.

There are two more reports I’ll send about the most exciting opportunities 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 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 when you become an International Club member you’ll receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” FREE.

Plus get the $39.99 report, “The Silver Dip 2019” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the past 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 and has remained near this level, compared to a range of the 230s only two years ago.

These two events are a strong sign to invest in precious metals.

I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2019” updated in late 2018.   The report explained the exact conditions you need to make leveraged silver & gold speculations that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The purpose of the report is to share long term lessons about speculating in precious metals gained through 30 years of speculating and investing in gold and silver.

The price of silver may offer special value later in 2019, but the price of platinum is special now.   So I want to send you the report “Platinum Dip 2019”.

Save $418.78… when you become a club member.

Join the International Club and receive:

#1: The $299 “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program including SNAP”.  Free.

#2: The $299 Purposeful investing Course (Pi).   Free.

#3: The $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More”.  Free.

#4: The $39.99 report “Silver Dip 2019”.  Free

#5: The three $19.99 reports “Shamanic Natural Health”.   All three free.

#6: The $39.99 “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere” report.  Free.

#7: Plus updates and other report I release in the year ahead.

These reports, courses and programs would cost $767.78 so the 2018 membership saves $418.78.

The International Club membership is $499. 

To encourage our first 100 members for 2018 to join quickly so we are currently accepting discounted membership at $349. 

Save $418.78.  Join the International Club for $349 and receive all the above online now, plus all reports, course updates and Pi lessons through the rest of 2018 and all of 2019 at no additional fee.

Click here to become a member at the discounted rate of $349

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) HUS Energy Department – How Much Does it Cost to produce Oil and Gas

(2) Black Gold Deficits – The Economist

(3) These countries are getting killed by cheap oil by Jesse Solomon

(4) Upstream costs prices and the unconventional treadmill

(5) The Bakken Magazine

(6) www.gazprombank.ru OIL AND GAS WEEKLY

Ecuador Bond Default


Today, December 15, 2009, we’ll know for sure if Ecuador has defaulted on some of its bonds. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa threatened to do this once before…and did not.

This time I believe he will.

This will be good…for many…because despite the default, Ecuador’s sun will not go away.

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Nor will the beauty of Ecuador’s mountains like this one we climbed.

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Nor will it stop the smiles of Ecuador’s happy people like these potato farmers we met on the hike.

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Nor will the hard working energy of the crafts people in town like Otavalo (shown here) cease.

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Nor the richness of the land like this Intag forest go away.

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Nor will the wonder of the longevity valleys like this Intag plain end.Ecuador-bond-default

Ecuador’s bond default may create profits in two ways….one in the global bond market. The other gain will be in Ecuador.

Many readers have sent me a link to last week’s Bloomberg December 12, 2009 article by Stephan Kueffner which says:

Correa Defaults on Ecuador Bonds, Seeks Restructuring.  Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa halted payment on foreign bonds he calls “illegal” and “illegitimate,” putting the South American country in default for a second time in a decade.

The government won’t make a $30.6 million interest payment by Dec. 15, when a month long grace period expires, Correa told reporters in his office in Guayaquil. The $510 million bonds due in 2012 plunged to 23 cents on the dollar from 31 yesterday and 97.5 cents three months ago.

“I have given the order that interest payments not be made,” Correa said. “The country is in default.”

Though Ecuador is a small country, the size of France, with about 11 million people, its bond default may slow the recovery of the bond market during this global economic downturn.

Latin Bonds already have strong yields.  Look at the high yields on medium term denominated in US euro and US dollars!

Currency   Bond                Country             Yield

EUR     8.5  24/09/2012     BRAZIL             7.49%

EUR     7.375 03/02/2015   BRAZIL            8.38%

EUR     11.5   31/05/2011   COLOMBIA      8.17%

EUR     5.375 10/06/2013   MEXICO           7.28%

EUR         7.5  14/10/2014  PERU               9.02%

USD        10.25 17/06/2013 BRAZIL           6.24%

USD     8.25 22/12/2014      COLOMBIA     7.42%

USD     9.875  06/02/2015    PERU             7.57%

Ecuador owes about $10 billion to bondholders, multilateral lenders and other countries…not a lot by global standards…but  Ecuador’s bond default could cause a ripple down in Latin bonds and create even higher yields.  If so, I’ll buy some today.

The bonds and yields above are from Jyske Bank’s bond list of last Friday. These are indications not recommendations.    You can get up-to-date bond information from:

US investors at Jyske Global Asset Management.  Contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US Investors at Jyske Bank. Contact  Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

The next opportunity is in Ecuador. Many readers have asked questions like:

Ecuador is defaulting on its bonds. Any problems because of this? Is this good or bad?

This is a question much like, “Is the US federal $800 billion bail out, good or bad?”

The answer is yes and no.

First, remember that Ecuador defaulted on bonds once before in 1999.   Everything fell apart. Bank’s shut down. The country ran out of gas.  Times were terrible.

The country remained a great place to live. The cost of living collapsed. Help was easy to get. You could buy real estate for a song. So the answer to “Is this good or bad?” depends on who you are, how much money you have and where it is invested.

The Bloomberg article points out that Correa says of the default:

“I couldn’t allow the continued payment of a debt that by all measures is immoral and illegitimate,” Correa said. “It is now time to bring in justice and dignity.”

A debt commission Correa formed last year said in a 172 page report in November that the global bonds due in 2012 and 2030 “show serious signs of illegality,” including issuance without proper government authorization. Correa invoked the 30- day grace period on the interest payment last month, saying he wanted to analyze the commission’s findings.

Correa, 45, said the government will present a restructuring proposal in coming days. “We want creditors to recoup part of their money,” he said.

Personally I think this is true, but is the wrong approach.  I have long been a defender of Correa.  He is much like Barrack Obama, young, smart, energetic, from a poor background, who worked his way to the top with a mandate made possible by minorities….based on promises that probably cannot be kept.

He is trying to make improvements..but can he?

Obama cannot change the previous American debt and some of that US debt, in my opinion, is as immoral and illegitimate as can be.  If previous Ecuadorian politicians broke the law and created incorrect loans…Correa and the people of Ecuador should punish them.  They should recoup what they can from those people…but to punish lenders will simply stop lenders from lending to Ecuador.   This will hurt the nation, long term, as a whole.

The Bloomberg article goes on to say:

“Ecuador is moving further into isolation,” said Vicente Albornoz, head of the Cordes research institute in Quito. “The hardliners in the government won.”

“Ecuador is a serial defaulter,” said Arturo Porzecanski, an international finance professor at American University in Washington. “They defaulted in the 1980s, 1990s and this decade. A lot of other countries have had one or two defaults, but Ecuador tops them all.”

Correa, who holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has said he will not sacrifice spending on health and education to pay the debt. Ecuador’s foreign obligations are equal to 21 percent of its $44 billion gross domestic product. Argentina’s debt, by comparison, was equivalent to 150 percent of its GDP when it defaulted in 2001, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Oil, which has plunged 67 percent since July amid the global financial crisis, accounts for about 60 percent of Ecuador’s exports. Finance Minister, Maria Elsa Viteri, said on Nov. 18 the country’s fiscal accounts remain “strong and healthy.” Ecuador had $5.65 billion in cash reserves as of Dec. 5, according to the Central Bank.

The default was triggered by the combination of the decline in oil with “a ridiculous ideology,” said Claudio Loser, the former director of the International Monetary fund’s Western Hemisphere department, who now is a scholar at the Inter- American Dialogue. “The financial need wasn’t so great that it was forced to declare a default,” Loser said.

The South American country has defaulted six times since it separated from Gran Colombia in 1830, according to “Debt Defaults and Lessons from a Decade of Crises,” a book published in 2007 by Federico Sturzenegger and Jeromin Zettelmeyer.

“It’s a final blow to external investors, and particularly any energy investors that may have retained interest or had future plans to attempt an investment in Ecuador,” said Enrique Alvarez, head of Latin America fixed-income research at IDEAglobal Inc. in New York.

I believe this default will hurt Ecuador’s overall economy…and help expats who live and invest there in small ways. When economic conditions drop, prices become lower. Labor is easier to find. Everyone is more willing to serve and work hard…if you have money.

Merri and I were living in Ecuador when the sucre collapsed falling from 3,000 sucres per dollar to 24,000 sucres per dollar. This roller coaster reduced the cost of food, clothing, shelter, staff, everything local. Wages were down. Bargains were everywhere!

Merri and I were loved because we stayed. We spent. We provided jobs.

Life can actually be better in hard times…especially if you have your income and investments OUT of the depressed country.

There is a caveat. If conditions deteriorate too far, law and order can break down.  Short term this will make Ecuador’s life better. They won’t have the loan to repay…but long term, as they become more isolated from the global economy, this will hurt.

Ecuadorians are basically friendly, non violent people so I do not have any great concern about this. This is based on experience. I have lived in places where people were not quite as easy going, like Hong Kong in the 1960s when there were riots and bombing in the streets.

My belief if that Ecuador will remain a great place to be…especially for now.

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

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We’ll view this hotel if it has not sold. It has a huge front porch.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. If you subscribe, you can have this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual
transportation.