Tag Archive | "Florida"

Ecuador & International Banking Update


Here is an important Ecuador & international banking update created by the wonderful world of mobility in which we live.

Our global mobility provides huge benefits… broadens our horizons and enriches mankind through global trade.   Yet being global also creates some problems… one of them is banking.

This site recently posted a message about Ecuador banks that began with, “I do not trust Ecuador Banks.”

This is not a slight on Ecuador.  This statement is a comment on the realities of trying to maintain control of one’s own wealth in an era where almost all governments are increasing control over money.

The banking article was followed by  another article stressing  the importance of diversification in Ecuador Diversified.

Here is a reminder of the importance of this information.  A couple of years ago I purchased a block of buildings in Ecuador planning to resell them.  I am according to plan selling them now and recently received a payment.

My attorney wrote this to me:

They deposited funds in my account last Wednesday to pay for the condo and asked me to send to you.  There is a 2% tax on money going out of Ecuador which was recently established, plus bank commissions.  I will wait for your instructions  to wire these funds to you.

There previously was a 1% tax but it has now been increased to two percent. This increase is not a big deal but a step in the wrong direction and a reminder that we should never trust any one country, currency or banking system.

I just sent our Ecuador Living subscribers an alert about one more Ecuador banking problem.  Ecuador Living subscribers click here.

Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Hence my mantra to have what I call a “Six Point Command Posture” which is to:

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

Where to Bank

Knowing where to bank is a growing problem… especially for Americans.  Non Americans should read this article any as you’ll see that you are not exempt from this problem either.

Americans are being crushed between a rock and a hard spot.

The Rock. Many US banks will no longer accept Americans residing overseas because they have a foreign address. This has been caused by the US Patriot Act.  Banks have to know their clients so they refuse to accept (or keep) clients with overseas addresses, even Americans who have banked with them for decades, but change their address.  The following banks have been sited as closing accounts with just 30 days notice of long term customers just because they took on a US address: Ameriprise, Bank of America; Bank of New Hampshire; Citibank; Citizens Bank; Edward Jones, St. Louis; E- Trade; Fidelity Investments; INGDirect; JPMorganChase; Morgan Stanley; National City Bank in Riverview, Michigan; Provident Bank, Maryland; Smith Barney; T. Rowe Price; USAA Federal Saving Bank; Vanguard mutual fund; Wachovia; Washington Mutual; Washington Mutual Investment, Spokane; WellsFargo; Zions Direct.

The Hard Spot. At the same time the IRS has created a set of regulations that discourage non US banks from accepting Americans.

Many Swiss and British based banks will no longer accept Americans.

Here’s an excerpt from a 13, June 2009 Telegraph article entitled “Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge” by By Louise Armitstead:   Banking group drops American customers in UK ahead of costly proposals to stamp out tax evasion  Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama.

This week American private client account-holders at Lloyds’s received letters informing them of an “important change in policy regarding clients who are resident, domiciled or linked to the United States by property or asset holdings”. They were told the bank had “no choice” but to “cease acting as your investment manager.”

One letter sent to Bank of Scotland’s portfolio management division, which is now part of Lloyds, said: “The USA has a mature regulatory environment governed by its Securities and Exchange Commission. These regulations mean that we are not licensed to manage portfolios for US clients.”

The letter added: “Unfortunately we cannot offer an equivalent service from within Lloyds Banking Group.” Clients have been advised to transfer their assets.

One recipient, who has lived in the UK for over 25 years, said: “After all this time, I’ve suddenly been told I must take my money elsewhere and I don’t understand why. Now I’m scared that other banks won’t take me on either.”

The Brits are no the only group shedding US account holders.

A July 12, 2009 USA Today article entitled “Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap”  by Kevin McCoy explains how other banks have booted Americans as well.  An excerpt says: The closely watched Justice Department court fight to get the names of 52,000 suspected American tax evaders from Swiss banking giant UBS has prompted some other foreign banks to drop U.S. clients they once welcomed, tax experts said Monday.

Eager to avoid a similar struggle with federal prosecutors, banks including Credit Suisse and HSBC in recent weeks have notified American clients they must close their offshore accounts or transfer them to the institutions’ U.S.-based operations, where tax reporting requirements are far stricter.

“Overall, the international banking community, and particularly the offshore banking community, has been very friendly to American account holders,” said William Sharp, a tax law specialist at the Sharp Kemm law firm in Tampa. “That changed in the past couple of months as a result of the UBS case.”

The Dutch were early in dropping American clients.

ABN AMRO, a huge, Dutch based, international bank gave all clients  with U.S. passports within 30 days notice in 2008 and then closed their accounts because of the  high costs to comply with U.S. regulations.

Expect this problem to get worse! Beginning in 2010 stronger US reporting rules will force even more overseas banks to stop accepting Americans.  They simply cannot afford to fill all the obligations.

Americans should not feel totally alone…nor should non US investors feel totally safe from being shut out of a banking center.

According to the British Times Newspaper, Barclays Bank used the US anti-terror laws to shut down the personal bank accounts of British citizens who were working for Iranian owned businesses.

The bank enforced anti-Iran sanctions under the US Patriot Act.  Accounts of Iranian owned companies that operated completely legally in Britain were shut.  But Barclays went much further. They amazingly shut down accounts of directors of these companies and even more amazing they shut the personal accounts of ordinary staff members, including clerical officers, computer engineers and bank tellers, just because they worked for an Iranian owned company.

Here is an excerpt from a June June 6, 2008 Times of London article entitled, “Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law:”  Barclays began the account closures in February, shortly after reports from industry sources that US Treasury agents had been touring the City of London putting pressure on financial institutions to withdraw from any form of business that might have Iranian links.

One source told The Times that City banks had been warned that they would lose access to the US market if they continued to deal with Iranian businesses. Barclays has extensive business interests in the United States.

Case study: Cast out in the supermarket

Chris was doing the shopping in Tesco when Barclays rang to tell him that his bank account was being closed. Later that evening his wife was told that her Barclays account, which she had held for 25 years, was also being closed.

Chris, 46, works in IT for Bank Saderat, and his wife is in the accounts department of Melli Bank. Both institutions are Iranian-owned. “They said it was because of sanctions but I knew there were no British sanctions on the banks. I asked them if they were responding to US laws and they said they didn’t have to give me a reason,” he said.

The couple opened new accounts with one of Barclays’ rivals but they had difficulty transferring standing orders, especially Chris’s child-support payments. He said: “I know that UK banks are being pressured by America to stop all dealings with Iran but what impact will it have to shut an English bloke’s account with an English bank? The Iranians won’t give a monkey’s. What upsets me is the lack of respect Barclays have for their customers.”

This last comment hit me strongly… the lack of respect many of the big banks have for their clients.

This is one reason I have enjoyed banking with Jyske Bank in Denmark for more than 20 years.  Jyske is big and well managed enough to be very safe, but small enough to provide genuine care and attention to the individual.

This is why I was not surprised that a number of years ago, Jyske made the decision to spend a lot of time, energy and money to comply with US law so they could continue to serve US as well as non US investors around the world.

This shift though has created some confusion. For example a Reader from the Netherlands sent me this note:  Hello Gary, Since beginning of this year we are subscribed to your newsletter. In your articles we read that it is possible to go to Jyske Bank and start doing multi-currency for about 30,000 dollars. We were very enthusiastic about this philosophy and asked the Jyske Bank for information. However we were very surprised when we got information back including the message that we have to start with $150,000 euro. Can you help us and maybe clarify the misunderstanding about this starting amount?  Thank you very much in advance!

The services and minimums required by Jyske Bank Private Bank (JBPB) for non US investors differs from those offered by Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) who serves US investors.

Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) offers Americans managed accounts, advisory accounts and IRA services to US clients.

JGAM’s managed accounts provide Americans with access to international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

There are two levels of managed accounts for US investors:

Mutual Fund Managed Accounts, $50,000 to $200,000.  Accounts from $50-200,000 are mainly  invested in mutual funds and ETF`s in order to get the appropriate diversification.

Individual Investment Managed Accounts from $200,000 up are mainly invested in individual securities as trading costs are not prohibitive for this size of account.

There are two forms of advisory accounts for US investors.

Advisory Accounts for US Residents.  Accounts for US residents are available and provide access to investments in currencies, commodities and US listed securities.

Advisory Accounts for Americans who are resident outside the US.   US citizens who are resident outside the US (proof of residence is required) have access to investments in currencies, commodities and all international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

The minimum required to start an advisory account is $25,000.

Because the minimum annual fee is  $1,000 JGAM recommends an initial deposit of minimum $50,000.

IRA accounts are managed accounts with more conservative investments than those in a normal  managed account.  IRA accounts require a minimum investment of $50,000.

Jyske Bank Private Bank offers the following services to non US investors.

Non US Clients can open accounts with minimum deposit of Euro 150,000 (approximately 220,000 USD), or equivalent in another currency.

JBPB works with six profiles:

Income profile. A low-risk profile, invested in currency accounts (cash) and/or traditional bonds.

Stable profile. A low-risk profile, invested in bonds (incl. high- yielding bonds), a small equity part.

Balanced profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on bonds).

Dynamic profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on equities).

Growth profile. A high-risk profile, invested mainly in equities and a lesser share in bonds.

Aggressive profile. A high-risk profile, invested almost exclusively in equities.

There are six managed strategy funds (available only in Euro) for investors who want managed services with minimum deposits of US$ 220,000. These six funds are based on the principles of asset allocation and match the investment profiles above so all investors can attain risk diversification, risk management with even a limited investment.

There is a full Discretionary Portfolio Management service for investors who want managed services with US$ 350,000 and above. This service is also based on the six strategies above. Jyske Bank will invest and manage the clients portfolio in close cooperation with the Bank´s experts and their network of international partners. These strategies are offered in EUR, USD, GBP, DKK and SEK.

Investors, who do not want managed services, and have accounts of US$ 220,000 or more, can wish to engage in an active dialogue with their advisers and be very involved in the decision-making process. based on the client’s investment profile. They can invest in currency accounts in a large number of currencies, all tradeable equities and bonds, mutual funds and commodities.

Here is one huge feature I like very much about both JBPB and JGAM…  No Jyske employees in  management, advisory services or any employee receives any kind of bonus pay. This eliminates any temptation for hidden agendas to exist.  Employees have no incentive give any advice or take any action that is not in the client’s best interest.

Technology has given great mobility to our wealth. This mobility is good for the individual and the global economy… but governments do not like this as they wish to control our finances.  The tension created by this struggle between the individual and the collective has created a never ending thrust and counter thrust of regulations and adaptions to these rules.  It is harder to maintain a diversified global portfolio than it used to be… but the effort is still worthwhile.

Gary

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

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

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

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

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Read the full articles:

Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge

Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap

Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law

Ecuador Honey Exports


We will look at Ecuador honey exports at our upcoming Ecuador Export Tour.

ecuador-honey

Recent messages about a business opportunity with bee hives and honey evoked this response from one MD who reads our messages: Gary, Hope you and Merri are doing well. I also know of a couple of people who have also started raising bees and producing honey on their farms in addition to crops. They say that it’s relatively easy and the  fresh honey has significantly improved their seasonal allergy-type symptoms. They feel that their immune system is better and generally feel better than before they started on the honey. It also helps to cultivate more bees, and we all know that they can use some help now! Thanks.

There is growing interest in natural, healthy products from around the world.  Honey has an added value because the production of the product is also extremely important to the environment.

This makes Ecuador a special place because it has many types of great honey and excellent bee potential.

One of the new products we will review for export potential at the October export tour is honey. We’ll examine boxes from The Ecuador Honey Company for example.

They merchandise honey in beautiful ways.

See more about the export tour at Ecuador Exports Tour

Let’s look more at Ecuador honey to see if we can imagine any sweet business deals.

ecuador-honey

The Ecuador Honey Company offers  packs of three, four, six and nine bottles of differing types of honey…  honey with whole Macadamia nuts… Honey with crushed Macadamia….Tropical honey… Eucalyptus honey… Blackberry honey… Avocado honey… Strawberry honey and several other tropical fruits honeys such as Ñagcha honey.  Ñagcha is a little yellow wild flower unique to the Ecuadorian Highlands that is harvested from January to May.

You can see samples at the Ecuador Honey site here.

ecuador-honey

MACADAMIA NUTS & HONEY

ecuador-honey

An Ecuador export idea may be as simple as selling for an existing company like the Ecuador honey Company.  Or one may want to do more.  Honey can be marketed in so many ways and Ecuador is an almost ideal place to harvest honey.

Malcolm T. Sanford of the University of Florida in Gainesville wrote in an article published at the Apicultural information and issues, IFAS University of Florida Department of Entomology and Nematology site: In spite of the problems, I still think that if Ecuador isn’t a beekeeping paradise, it comes pretty darn close.

Here are excerpts from his article:  The apicultural bottom line in Ecuador is that American foulbrood is not present, Varroa mites are not treated, pesticides are not a problem, and bees do not usually have to be fed. If colonies die out, they are soon replaced by naturally occurring swarms. Market conditions are such that honey here fetches a better price than on the world export market. Because there is no treatment using either antibiotics or pesticides, the opportunity exists to produce certified organic honey for both the domestic and export market.

Ecuador is not without its problems. Two of its volcanoes continue to erupt causing some dislocation. Its infrastructure leaves much to be desired, especially roads that are in bad shape due to large traffic loads and rains from the El Nino phenomenon. Read the entire article here.

There are numerous websites with information on beekeeping in Ecuador such as:

Beekeeper Association of San Pedro de Vilcabamba

Provincial Beekeepers Association

Riomuchacho organic farm

There are many business opportunities in the world today. Those that enhance health and the environment… such as honey offer extra potential and we hope this thought helps you find a honey of a deal.

Gary

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

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

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

This is why if  you attend either our  North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar or Ecuador Export in October I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free. You save $299.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador’s Got Milk & Honey


Ecuador is the land of milk and honey for less… really.

In a moment we’ll look at some global investing ideas. Or you can skip Ecuador milk and go directly to Global Investment Thought.

First, how about some raw milk?

ecuador-farm

Our hotel Meson de las Flores makes its own ice cream with fresh raw milk from local diaries, plus they…

ecuador-food

make and press their own fresh butter.

Our health is enhanced with raw milk and in Ecuador raw milk is easy to obtain. We get it for the hotel every day. The cost is about 45 cents a quart, delivered fresh daily from the local dairy.

In the US, it’s a task.  To get it in North Carolina, we have to buy it from a friend of a friend who will not say who produces the raw milk.

In Florida I noticed a health food store selling raw milk and raw organic yogurt labeled “for pet use only.”   We used to buy our French salt in a similar way “for deer licks only”!

How sad that informed adults have to play such games to get what is good that they want.

There is very little raw milk sold in America and this is sad as it’s a highly health-promoting food. The government story is that raw milk can carry disease. More to the point pasteurizing milk extends shelf life and makes it easier for big business to be more profitable.

One can become sick from any contaminated food as the nation has learned from meat, spinach and peanut butter all to well.

In California where raw milk can be sold, millions have consumed it without a single person getting sick. During the same period, there were many instances where people became so ill from pasteurized milk they died!

Raw milk provides minerals, beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidolphilus, vitamins and enzymes and in Ayurved is considered one of the best foods there is. Pasteurized non organic milk is viewed as poison as the process changes the structure of the milk proteins and destroys the milk’s beneficial bacteria.

Pasteurized cow’s milk has been associated with intestinal distress, iron-deficiency anemia, allergies, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and more.

ecuador-farming

With so much sun and plenty of rain, the grass is rich, even in Cotacachi at 7,500 feet altitude for…

ecuador-farming

these organic cows.

Raw Milk Delight

One great food made from raw milk was taught to Merri and me by a shaman here in Ecuador. I call it Sun Yogurt. Get raw milk. Boil it. Let it cool. Pour it in a green bottle. Add a bit of yogurt if you wish. Set it in the sun for the day. That night you will have a rich creamy almost custard yogurt! It’s rich and delicious.

In Ecuador we buy fresh, raw milk by the pail full… creamy to make our own butter, ice cream and yogurt.

There is great fresh, non fermented (queso fresco) cheese in the markets.

ecuador-food

Nearby our hotel there is also organic dairy and Swiss cheese factory. Here is the barnyard and…

ecuador-farm

here are their cows.

ecuador-farm

Their equipment.

ecuador-farm

Their cave filled with great Swiss cheese.

Ecuador-milk

We serve this Ecuador cheese at our hotel.

ecuador-farm

Ecuador also has really great honey that creates some export income opportunity… like this honey and Macadamia nuts offered by the Ecuador Honey Company. We”ll look at this in more detail in tomorrow’s message.

ecuador-honey

Learn more about our Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour here

Global Investment Thought

Jyske Global Asset Management’s recent update points out what is becoming obvious… the global economy is picking up.  JGAM said:

*  The Case-Shiller U.S. home price index rose for the second month in a row in June.

* The German IFO business confidence survey came in above expectations, rising for a fifth month in a row.

* Australia’s leading economic indicators continue to suggest a broad recovery over the coming months.

* BCA’s (Bank Credit Analyst) Global Inflation Diffusion Index highlights that most components are falling. Furthermore, inflation typically responds to fluctuations in growth with a 1-1½ year lag, and this time around there is greater slack in the global economy.

In other words, the economy is recovering and inflation is down.

The immediate risks are that traditionally September and October are the most dangerous months for the US stock market.   Signs of a double dip recession coinciding with the traditional market dip could create a new wave of self fulfilling fear.

This will create a good buying opportunity both in equities and real estate.

What’s a Double Dip?

I rarely allow myself to eat ice cream but recently while visiting grand kids, we took them to a Creamery and can attest to the fact that a Sweet Cream and Chocolate double dip on a waffle cone is,  taste wise, pretty darn good.

Double Dips in the global economy do not bode so well, however.

A recession is a time of economic contraction and have always been followed by a return to economic expansion.  However once in awhile when economic distortions that are being sorted out are severe, when the expansion finally starts, it does not continue.   The economy contracts and dips back into recession again.

Economies now are improving globally.  Yet unemployment and foreclosures remain a problem.  Later this year  a second “double dip” recession could return as it did in 1980, then again in  1981-82.

Current conditions are quite different now than in the early 1980s, the 1980-1983 downturn was eventually turned around with major federal spending and a major tax cut.

The period 2007-2010 cannot expect the tax cut which is a shame because Federal spending tends to be less efficient than tax cuts, Federal spending is usually inefficient. Tax cuts stimulate business and inroads into new forms of productivity.

Stock markets tend to do well (as they are now) in the middle of recessions. During the worst of all 1930s depression, the Dow rose 66.7 percent in 1933 and 38.5 percent in 1935. This is because big value oriented investors look ahead.  Eventually economies recover and  grow. This is when value investors cash in.

Yet the poor employment scenario suggests that the equity recovery could be modest.  If this fact teams up with the nervousness acquired in 2008 and the autumnal downward forces… the most likely time for a market set back will be September and October.

With this in mind… values are good now for investors who can afford to buy and ride through another downturn that could last a year or so.

Until next message, may all you life be rich and delicious.

Gary

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

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

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

This is why if  you attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free. You save $299.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Hi Merri, I wanted to thank you once again for your recommendation
 that I try Sol de Vida. I have had time for thirteen treatments but 
now it’s time for me to return home. The people there are wonderful 
and I’m happy to say there has been a dramatic improvement in my
(used-to-be) “bum” leg.  I can now walk much longer distances and
 remain pain free!
 
FYI, Sol de Vida changed to a  new facility near Meson.  

I enjoyed my stay here at Meson and in Cotacachi and hope to return
 sometime soon… thanks again for your assistance!

Join us at a seminar and tour and have a pain reduction treatment at the same time.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Export & Southern Coastal Tour


We have added an October Ecuador southern coastal and a northern Andes real estate tour to our 2009 schedule.

This southern coastal tour will be conducted just before our final Ecuador export tour of the year conducted October 21 to 25.  The Andes real estate tour will be conducted just after the export tour so you can attend all three.

ecuador-exports

We’ll see fine gold encrusted art on the export tour.

Maggie Beesley conducts our export tours and she just sent me this note.

ecuador-exports

Leather products of all types.

Value, Value, Value.  Today’s economy has us all looking for value in everything.  In reading Gary Scott’s emails for the last two weeks, we are all learning about ways to help our dollars to go farther, as well as how and where to get wise values.

ecuador-exports

Wood carving.

October 21st thru October 24th we will be conducting another Import/Export class in Cotacachi, Ecuador.

If you are a reader of International Living, or Gary’s Ecuador Living, you know Ecuador is rated the number one country in the Retirement Index.

What does this mean?

Value is here, prices are incredible, cost of living anyone can afford and wonderful shopping.

Who should come to the class, why you should come, and what you will learn?

ecuador-exports

Botanical art.

In other words…what is this class all about?

•    Creating income
•    Finding those “one of a kind” treasures
•    Having fun doing the above two things

Of course, those are only three things.  You are going to learn to recognize true “finds”….know what your market will buy, and get all these wonderful treasures in your suitcase home safe and sound.

ecuador-exports

Ceramics.

We all know shopping is much different today than it was this time last year.  Last year we were still charging whatever we wanted.  This year we are paying cash for whatever we want.  People never spend as much if paying with cash.  So our mission in class is to find things for your market that are affordable, attractive, AND your people will happily hand over those hard earned dollars still allowing you a nice profit.

As I said this time last year, the main question I was asked “Do you take credit cards?”

I did a Bazaar yesterday and not one person charged anything.  The phrase of the day was “if I can’t pay cash for it, I won’t buy it.”  So right away I know some of the high end items that were selling left and right this time last year aren’t going to be my main sales today.

What have I learned?

Always be prepared to offer less expensive alternatives…not less quality, just more affordable for this cash market we are in.  The Credit Card Machine that was a must last year is an unneeded start up expense to you right now.

Don’t waste your money.  Plus the beauty of cash is that there are no additional charges from your bank to process those charges.  All a little more profit for you.  Yesterday at the Bazaar there were 16 vendors and I was the only one who had a credit card machine, and it sat, meaning at the end of the month, that “sitting” charge will cost me $48.00.

ecuador-exports

Jewelry

ecuador-exports

of many types.

ecuador-exports

Now for this class there is a little homework, but fun homework.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT…..I want each of you to think about what you would buy today?

I am not talking about groceries.

Ladies, is it that “to die for” pair of boots on sale, perhaps a leather purse, maybe a wrap for early fall, or decorations for the December holidays?

Guys, what would you buy today? Boots, new billfold/wallet, leather sports jacket, sweater? Just think about what you would spend your hard earned dollars on.

ecuador-exports

Top quality hand made suits at really low prices. This suit in french wool cost $135.

Your needs and wants are probably what will sell in your market, and that is what we need to look for.

Knowing your market is probably the most important knowledge you will take with you when making those purchases for resale.  Many of you already know about my red cape.  I love my red cape, however up in the Northeast my buyers are a little more conservative and red is not necessarily their first color of choice.

Gary Scott told me all about knowing my market, but I just love red.  I purchased 6 red alpaca capes plus 1 beige,  1 sage, 1 tan, 1 navy, and 2 black.

Yes you guessed it.

The red capes sat for a bit, but the neutral colors sold instantly and I could have sold more.  So I lost sales, and warehoused those 6 red capes until Christmas.  Moral to this story, please know your market.

ecuador-exports

Flowers.

Your SECOND ASSIGNMENT… Please walk around your shopping areas and notice what colors people are wearing. Go into the stores and see what is on display.  Look at every catalogue you get.  What are those colors everyone is looking at?  Purple is huge again in the catalogues and stores, but do you see your market going with the fashion trends?

Look at accessories.

Scarves, jewelry, purses, shawls and make note of the prices.  Accessories have a very high markup, and this is where we can really make our money.

You all have your assignments, so get to work.  In class I want to see pictures you have cut out of catalogues, and let’s see if we can’t find those same items in Ecuador for much better prices.  It is fun!

ecuador-exports

Textiles of…

ecuador-exports

many

ecuador-exports

types.

Look forward to seeing many of you in Ecuador.  By the way, if you haven’t made your flight reservations, there is what I call an “airplane sale” going right now for flights into South America. Grab those lower prices…and you just saved some money.  Maggie Beesley

ecuador-exports

Crafts of all sorts and much… much more.

You can enroll in the Ecuador Export Tour here.

Before Maggie’s Export tour you can join Amy Pinoargote and Mike Sager  for the Ecuador southern coastal tour.

We have been our expanding our focus in Ecuador and now are helping readers look in the southern coastal areas.

Ecuador beach property has always represented incredible value and this expansion means we can help readers see a much larger part of the Ecuador coast.

We are also adding an October northern Andes real estate tour as you will see below.

ecuador-beach-map

Those who have been reading our messages for any length of time know that we have focused our efforts on the middle portion of Ecuador’s beach from Manta to Bahia in the province of Manabi.

However there are many other great Ecuador beach areas that some of you want to visit.

I recently sent readers an article “SEE SALINAS LIKE A LOCAL” by Amy Pinoargote  that said:

Ecuador-beach-salinas

The Salinas Malecon area has long been a favorite destination.

Salinas is one of the favorite in Ecuador for good reasons.  It has beautiful beaches, with calm waters perfect for swimming, water sports, activities or just relaxing.   Along the Malecon, or beachfront promenade, you will find a variety of restaurants, hotels, bars and other attractions.  During the summer season there is even a giant sandcastle.  If you “tip” the sculptor $1, he will take your photo.  However, to really enjoy all that Salinas has to offer, you need to get to know it like a local.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Pose for a photo by the giant sandcastle

Salinas at a Glance

There are two seasons in Ecuador.  Summer runs from December to April and winter from May to November.  The summer in Salinas is usually sunny, with occasional showers.  Daytime temperatures reach the low to mid 80s and nighttime temperatures run in the low 70s.  The winter tends to be overcast to partially sunny, but not rainy.  The winter is actually the drier time of the year and temperatures run about 10 degrees cooler than during the summer.   Because Salinas is semi-arid, it doesn’t experience sticky, tropical humidity.  This makes a comfortable environment for outdoor activities all year long.

As with most beach towns, the dress code in Salinas is casual.  It is perfectly fine to go from beach to restaurant.  Along with your swimsuit, pack plenty of shorts and short sleeved shirts, plus pants and long sleeves if you are visiting in the winter months.   Have a sweater handy, as some days are cooler than others.

Where to Eat

The Salinas area is a prime spot to enjoy fresh fish and seafood, as well as other Ecuadorian specialties.

A great spot to sample those specialties is Delícias de Ecuador, located near the entrance to the Costa de Oro neighborhood on the main road that runs from Salinas to La Libertad.

Prices here are very reasonable.  The daily lunch special or “Almuerzo” includes a soup, entrée and beverage, usually priced at $2.50.

Don’t ask for changes or substitutions on the lunch special; it comes the way it is.  Other options include Seco de Pollo, which is chicken stewed in a tomato-based sauce, and Menestra, lentils or beans served with your choice of grilled chicken, beef or fish.

If a relaxing lunch at the beach, complete with a hammock for a post-meal siesta is your style, drive about 30 minutes north of Salinas to San Pablo.  In this fishing village you will find cabana style restaurants right on the sand, specializing in fresh fish and seafood.

Las Manabas restaurant is one of the best.  If you can’t decide what to order from the extensive menu, try the Chupe de Pescado (fish stew) or Corvina (a mild tasting sea bass), cooked to order.  Most meals run between $3 and $5.

Ecuadorians typically eat a big meal at lunch and a light dinner.

Roca Parilla is the spot to enjoy an Ecuadorian style dinner.  Located a block off the Malecon, it opens at about 6 p.m.  Place your order at the counter, then take your receipt to the grill.  Specialties, which are typically priced from 50 cents to $1 each, include:

Chuzos -shrimp, chicken, beef or sausage grilled on a skewer
Torta de Papa – potato pancake filled with cheese
Torta de Choclo – corn pancake (this one is usually a favorite!)
Muchín – a yucca croquet filled with cheese

No trip to Salinas is complete without a visit to the Cevicherías, casual outdoor eating areas a few blocks off the Malecon that specialize in ceviche.  Shrimp ceviche in a tangy salsa is a good choice.  Shellfish and fish ceviche are also available.  Be aware that the shellfish or fish will not be cooked in the traditional manner.  The citrus juice in the salsa is said to “cook” the fish.  If you have concerns about eating uncooked fish, go with the shrimp version, which is cooked.

Things to See

If you want to browse for souvenirs, visit Mercado de Artesanias, an outdoor flea market in the Chipipe area of Salinas, where you can buy a variety of Ecuadorian handicrafts.

To get a glimpse of days gone by, visit the Museo de Sumpa.  This small, but well thought out museum features exhibits of artifacts from the early residents of the Santa Elena peninsula, including the Las Vegas culture.  It also features a Las Vegas burial site of the “lovers of Sumpa,” mummified remains of two people that appear to have died in an embrace.  You can also tour a cane dwelling typical of those built by the early settlers.

Enjoy a relaxing evening drive a few miles across the Santa Elena peninsula to the Punta Carnero beach, where you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets in Ecuador.  On your way back to Salinas, pass by the Malecon of La Libertad and stop for an evening stroll.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Whether dining, sunsets or beach activities are your idea of a fun time, you will find it in Salinas.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Gerardo & Amy Pinoargote spend their time between their home in Florida and Salinas and together with relatives are building and managing Spondylus II, a small beachfront development in the Costa de Oro area of Salinas, about 2 miles from the Malecon.

This is an area they like due to its privacy, great beach for walking, sunbathing and water sports. Yet it is just a short ride to dining and shopping in the central area.

Spondylus II  is a family business consisting of three towers. Tower A1 is sold out, except for a ground floor ocean front 1000 square foot unit. Several one and two bedroom suites are still available in tower A2, priced from $49,500 to $50,500.

Larger 1300 square foot units are also still available, priced under $110,000. Tower B has just been release for sale and features larger units (1400 – 1500 square feet), in the $120,000 – $135,000 price range.

Spondylus II offers the following amenities… beachfront pool & social area, a workout center, 24 hour security and the Pacific Ocean as a front yard.  All units feature granite kitchen counter tops, tile floors, tile baths, inset ceiling light fixtures and wooden kitchen cabinets.

Now it is possible to see Salinas like a local with Amy and her husband acting as your hosts and guides.

Amy and Gerardo Pinoargote, along with American real estate broker, Mike Sager, will conduct a Ecuador southern coastal real estate tour October 15th through 18th.

On this tour you can get to know Salinas property and the real estate along the beaches north of Salinas.

This is an opportunity to view more than a dozen properties and get tips from experts who are living in this area right now.  You save time, risk and zero in with help from those “in the know”.

The tour makes your real estate investigation efficient and productive but also allows time for relaxing in the evenings and enjoying the beaches.  Plus as you’ll see in a moment could save you thousands should you ever decide to buy in this area.

Here are a few of the properties you’ll see:

•    New 2 bedroom condo located directly on a tranquil beach in popular Salinas… $55,000.

•    3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with ocean views in the most popular complex in Olon…. $100,000.

•    Large house on a ¼ acre lot near Montanita, complete with basketball court, ample parking and caretaker’s cottage that could be a bed & breakfast… $250,000.

The southern coastal tour package includes three nights accommodations:

Thursday, October 15 –  The tour fee includes a room at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.
Friday, October 16 – breakfast, transportation from Guayaquil to Salinas, lunch, Salinas area property viewings, happy hour and night’s stay at Coco’s or similar hotel in Salinas.

Saturday, October 17 – breakfast, Ruta de Sol property viewings (Ballenita to Montanita), lunch, night’s stay at Charo’s or similar hotel in Montanita.

Sunday, October 18 – breakfast, Olon area property viewings, lunch, tour of Salinas , return transportation to Guayaquil, night’s stay at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.

The tour will be limited in size but you can assure a space and save $100 if you reserve by September 1.

If you enroll today, the fee is $499 for one $998 for two.

Tomorrow the tour fee rises to $599 for one and $1,198 for two.

See how to save even more on multiple tours below.

The tour package does not include your flight.  You should plan to fly into Guayaquil on October 15th and depart from there on the 19th.  If you are attending the export and/or Andean tour we’ll help you join other delegates in Quito.

Save 2% on real estate purchase.

We are promoting this tour in cooperation with Gerardo, Amy and Mike and when we promote outside tours, we always ask for the tour operator to give something special to our Ecuador Living subscribers.

In this case,  Amy & Gerardo will provide Ecuador Living subscribers a 2% discount on any  Spondylus II condo purchase. This is possible because we do not accept real estate commissions and ask that the benefit of exposure to our large readership (this message will reach 16,572 readers) be pass onto our Ecuador Living subscribers.

Your tour does not have to end on the southern beach. As mentioned, you can then continue to Quito and Cotacachi for our October 21 to 24 Ecuador export tour.

Still more… Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Finally you can also join our October Imbabura real estate tour October 25-26, where we have also convinced developers and real estate sellers to pass savings along to our tour delegates in the form of  discounts.  For example the Prima Vera condos also offer a 2% discount to buyers from our tours.

Join us for one, two or all three tours.  Reduced tour fees apply for attending two or three tours.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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

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

Gary

Ecuador Longevity & Smalltown US Value


Ecuador has many valleys of longevity… but it is more than just the valley that enhances the long lives there. There are at least three longevity secrets.

Because of big value changes, in a moment we’ll look at real estate value in Smalltown USA compared to Ecuador property.

First, the three Ecuador longevity secrets.

Secret #1 is a restricted diet with a reduced caloric intake.

Secret #2 is live with ritual! Those who live extra ordinarily long lives seem to share this common trait. Whatever they do they do in moderation, in a very similar way and with great gusto. For example, if they drink an ounce of whiskey every day, at six o clock, they do not do this at five some days and eight others. They do not have a half ounce one day and two another. They tend to have one ounce at six p.m. every day. This instills discipline, keeps life simple (very important) and allows the body to get used to doing whatever it is it has to do.

Take Chris Mortensen one of the oldest documented men in the 1990s who at 113 said of his weekly cigar, “If you take my weekly cigar away from I am going to die”. The anticipation and ritual of whatever pleasure he received from this was far more life giving than the stress. The world’s oldest documented woman in the 1990s, Jeanne Clement, at age 122 drank cognac and ate a pound of chocolate a week (but never two).

One good ritual is to do EZ exercises that keep all the muscle groups flexible… such as the sun salute.

sun-salute

Here…

sun-salute

are the…

sun-salute

postures…

sun-salute

of…

sun-salute

of…

sun-salute

sun-salute

the…

sun-salute

Sun…

sun-salute

Salute.

sun-salute

You can see another example of the Sun Salute See https://www.garyascott.com/images/sunsalute.jpg

Ecuador shamans also exercise their legs.  One thing  I do when meeting an Ecuador shaman is observe his legs.  My experience is that the most knowledgeable taita yatchaks exercise their legs. They believe them to be man’s root to the earth… channels for the earth energy.

ecuador-shaman

I also notice that they walk barefoot a lot.

This taita yatchak is very elderly but his leg muscles are still highly developed and he is easily walking on rocks.

So…  whenever we can, Merri and I take off the insulation between us and earth and walk barefoot.

ecuador-shamans

An EZ leg exercise taught to me by an Ecuador shaman is called the Llama Walk.

This exercise…

LLama-walk

helps strengthen the legs.

sun-salute

Bend one knee to touch the heel of the other foot, but…

sun-salute

do not perform too many to start.  Otherwise you may have some very sore legs the next day.

Remember start EZ.

Longevity Secret #3 is to remain independent, challenged, active and needed. One of the most important features found in societies where residents are long lived is that old age is revered.

People at age 100, even 110 can still active and working!

I collect stories of long lived people… such as Max Zimmer of Los Angeles who came to the US from Austria in 1911 with only a two dollar bill. At age 103 he still had the same two-dollar bill and had built and still ran a multimillion-dollar business.

This is one reason why Merri and I focus on turning passions into profit!

Having something fun and interesting to do every day that also erases financial worries makes it fun to remain alive.

The greatest asset of all, is the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth. This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

SmallTown USA

Today’s message was posted much later than the norm because all last week we were in Oregon helping my sister and daughter get my mom out of the hospital system where she has been since April.  We were pretty busy taking her to assisted living homes, buying her new furniture and getting her moved from her house of 42 years to her new apartment.  We managed to get this all in and send my message at its normal time, but finally yesterday the Portland-LA-Cincinnati-Tri Cities trip threw us off schedule.

I mention this because I am sure that many of you who love Ecuador (or the idea of living abroad) have many ties (as we do) here in the US.   So it takes time to make your move or the best you can do is to live abroad (as we do) part time.

Though we have always lived a global life,  last February I wrote in an article Ecuador Shamans & Truth, why Merri and I are redirecting some of our focus back to the US from Ecuador.

Never Fear! The US, especially Small Town USA, is a great place to be.   Fortunately we sold all of our Florida property at the top of the market, in March 2007, so since this spring we have been looking to buy back a winter home.

There have been some substantial changes in real estate value since 2007 as you will see  below.

We find that Florida real estate prices are still falling!

Merri writes about this process and one house we have been tracking.

This house is in Winter Haven, Florida.

On the Road again…

For all of you out there who continue to ask, “Bought anything yet in Florida?”…the answer is NO.

We’ve had a few blips on the screen with necessary trips to Oregon for Gary’s mom and courses that we’ve conducted plus our daughter, Francesca, home from Africa for a visit.  Then Jacob, just finishing up law school, came over to NC for the summer.

It’s been a busy time but a good and productive one…but absolutely no time for house hunting.

We really are serious about buying that home on the lake in Florida…and we do have to have it by November.  I’ve been feeling guilty and a little nervous because there was no time to spend on the search.

Today, I finally had a tiny bit of time and jumped right back in.

Here’s what I discovered, of the original 21 we were considering from April, only one is sold or for some reason is off the market….nothing really lost there for sure.

The others have dropped in price since I’ve been looking $50,000, $70,000, $100,000, $300,000 and one a whopping $495,000!

Hey, I ceased berating myself for not spending enough time on this situation.

Here’s one below which we will not be buying as Gary would rather be on a smaller lake rather than this extremely large lake but wow is it beautiful and look at the price!

smalltown-USA

Side view.

We looked at it in April and thought the neighborhood was charming, wonderful for long private walks (Interlaken) and it has a feeling of being a settled neighborhood.  We loved the features of this house with its guest quarters (something high on our list), boat dock, and ambiance.

When I first spotted it, it reminded me of a house that we knew and loved tucked on a hillside in the French Rivieria…charming, low key and so so pretty.  (Actually, I fell in love with this house at its original offering price of $599,000.)

smalltown-USA

Lake view and dock.

It’s in Winter Haven in Central Florida which offers proximity to Tampa Airport (an excellent small airport with kindness and frequent flights) and not too far from Orlando Airport.  The town of Winter Haven is filled with lakes and seems very pleasant.  The county boasts 554 lakes and the famous Chain of Lakes…16 navigable together.  Winter Haven is also 146′ above sea level.  SmallTown USA with less than 25,000 people.

The house is situated on huge corner lot with 13,000 + sq.’ and the house (although not huge) has that wonderful guest quarters!

Here it is…straight out of a James Bond movie…at the new this morning’s price of $369,000 which probably could translate into $299,000.

smalltown-USA

I believe this is good value.

smalltown-USA

View of the lake from one of the patios.

I like the broker a lot, Christiana Bulow, who sent it to me.  She is very good about listening to what you like, and then sending you EVERY single listing in your area of choice that fits your requirements. Also, you can just click on your “Favorites” and she’ll keep those and do exactly what she did this morning, send me one of my Favorites with a Reduced Price!  It’s fun and helpful to just look at each one of them…I saved this one on her easy to use system back in April…also from a distance this helps to learn a lot.

Her service is a concierge service…very unique and interesting…which offers a number of great details including a free moving truck, free termite inspection and a Buyer’s Guarantee.

You can reach Christina Bulow:  Christina-vwbx30547239@centralflhomesnow.com    Her phone # is (863) 207-3929.

smalltown-USA

Maybe you’ll love this one…sorry we do love it and of course Gary loves the price but it’s the wrong situation for us…so I’ll keep looking and report back!  Merri

Here is the change in value we need to consider now. In 2007 the house above would probably have cost a million dollars.  Since 2007 real estate prices in Ecuador have risen as they have dropped in the US.

This is not to say that Ecuador no longer has good real estate value.  More work in finding good prices on Ecuador real estate is required.  For example yesterday’s message South Ecuador Beach Property looks at how to have a beach condo for $35,000.  Yet this is a riskier start up way to own real estate.

This is not to say that Ecuador does not offer a much lower cost of living… better climate… a happier gentler lifestyle… just one must continually examine value… and now Florida real estate prices may be comparable to real estate prices in Ecuador.

Whether you head south to Ecuador or just to Florida we wish you longevity and good value!

Gary

Your own small, global, independent business because this can bring freedom, fulfillment and a longer life.A clear mind and healthy body are vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

Here are comments from one group who just conducted a seminar at our hotel in Ecuador wrote about the way we help: Wow.  We had such an amazing time in Ecuador.  That includes me, my colleague Jackie, the instructors, and all of the attendees.  Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and really, we owe it to you and El Meson for making it all run smoothly.  We felt so welcomed and well-treated.  Thank you.I’d also like to say that both Mauricio and Alberto went out of their way to make sure we felt comfortable.  The bus was always there for us when we were to leave, they hopped to it whenever we wanted to plan something, they made suggestions for things to do in town, and were very gracious and pleasing to be around.  Mauricio was particularly helpful when it came to making trips to nearby villages.  He was open and sharing with information about the ceremonies and ways of life of the Kichwa, and always willing to answer questions.  What a privilege for us, and a real delight. I’m hoping we’ll get to stay at Meson again some time. Thanks again.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Changes Affecting Retirement in Ecuador or Anywhere


Retirement in Ecuador… or retirement anywhere is changing.

retirement-in-ecuador

Manta is Ecuador’s largest ocean port.  See about shipping and retirement in Ecuador plus a trick to help you retire in Ecuador or anywhere below.

Those who embrace faster change can make their golden years glitter even more.

Those who use old thought in a new world may suffer.

There is a trick to gaining from change which I’ll explain in a moment.

First, an excerpt from the July 30 USA Today article “Older white males hurt more by this recession” by Dennis Cauchon, shows one example about change affecting retirement.  This change is causing more people to retire in Ecuador but affects everyone… even those who are not ready to retire.

The article says:

Dean Canaris, 56, a quality engineer for a Honda automotive supplier, was laid off in April and out the door in 30 minutes with no severance.

Harry Jackson, 55, an airline pilot and supervisor, lost his job in 2007 and, to his surprise, has found it nearly impossible to get another job.

Mark Montgomery, 53, was let go from an Owens Corning insulation factory in April and can’t afford his $575 monthly mortgage payment.

These men from the Columbus, Ohio, area are the unusual new faces of joblessness in this groundbreaking recession: older men cut loose from employment at the peak of their earning power and work experience.

In previous recessions, veteran workers were largely spared the pain of widespread job cutbacks, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Layoffs tended to be concentrated among younger workers: The younger you were, the more likely you were to get fired. Traditional, bread-winning older males — especially white men — were the least vulnerable.

Not so today. Aging Baby Boomers are suffering a harsh employment bust.

Jobless rates for men and women older than 55 are at their highest level since the Great Depression, government data show. White men over 55 had a record 6.5% unemployment rate in the second quarter, far above the previous post-Depression high of 5.4% in 1983.

Those above 55 also are spending more time than ever between jobs. Older workers spend an average 27 weeks between jobs, about five weeks longer than younger workers.

“When you lose your job after many years, you’re not only looking for a job. You find the nature of employment has changed,” says Deborah Russell, director of workforce issues at AARP, the lobbying group representing people 50 and older.

“People losing jobs are increasingly male and increasingly older.”

The loss of a job for an older worker can erase the dominant income of a middle-class family, wipe out savings as retirement nears and deny aging people health insurance when it’s needed most.

“So many of these men were coasting to retirement, working at good jobs and earning good pay.

“Then, suddenly, it was gone,” says Susan Birie, who runs the government’s Delaware Area Career Center in Delaware, Ohio.

Areas of employment that used to be considered safe are gone or going… never to return.

Our recent International Business & Investing Seminar (IBEZ) in North Carolina explained why this is so.

The industrialization of mankind has moved through five eras each with a new form of power.

Era #1: Water-sail-textiles.
Era #2: Steam-railroad-telegraph.
Era #3: Internal Combustion Engine – Car – Production Line – Petroleum.
Era #4: Jet Engine – Phone – TV – Plastics – Chemicals- Fertilizers.
Era #5: PC – Internet –WWWeb.

In the first stage of each era… markets and the economy boom. New jobs are created. Later in the era, the markets crash… the economy slows and the new wave  in the new era wipes out good jobs from the era past.

The railroad wiped out many safe shipping jobs.

The auto industry wiped out many railroad jobs.

Jet travel eliminated many opportunities originally created by cars.

The internet wipes out many jobs in travel.

These changes bring enormous opportunity for those who adapt. One must invest differently and globally.  This is why half of our IBEZ seminars are about global and why we have a strategic alliance with Jyske Bank to offer a multi currency course.

This is why we also focus half of our IBEZ seminar on how to have a global internet business.

Our goal is to help delegates use the trick so they’ll gain from change.

The trick is what we call JDI… a phrase you have all heard…. Just Do It.

We give our delegates at the course enough basics so they can start a part time internet business.  Then we followed up to get the delegates to get started.

The first week after the course, our delegates received this note from our webmaster, David Cross.

Welcome home.  I hope you had a safe trip back from our North Carolina seminar. It was a pleasure to meet you and share your ideas. We’re going to help you give it wings if you desire using the internet in business.

Let’s get started…

You’ve now got an idea – or an idea of your idea. If you want to bounce your idea of me, please do so.

Let’s begin.

Here’s what to do today – yes, right now!

=====
Step 1: Register your domain name.

http://www.godaddy.com/ is about $10 a year for a .com domain name

Done!

(You can ignore all the additional offers GoDaddy will flood you with.  Just grab your domain).

Look out for another update from me this week. Good business, David

This trick in time of such rapid change is to get started with something small.  Then  learn and evolve.

Our delegates have fun with this as well. Here is one reply David received.

Way ahead of you, David !!!  LOL   But will enjoy receiving your updates ….  My sites have been obtained and are our 2 new ventures. I’ll be focusing on one site first with the import/export of cigars. I already have a name for our newsletter so I can work on getting recognition and good Search Engine hits. I will hopefully be adding other products, such as wine, coffee, chocolate and other “vices” in the near future. Gary, I’m hoping to focus on these additional products coming from Ecuador so any leads would be great.

I was reminded of the importance of taking action by a note sent by a kind reader in Canada that said:

Hi Gary, I’ve been reading Henry Ford’s “My Life and Work,” and this short segment mirrors exactly what you have been saying for years! This might come in handy for one of your daily postings. Cheers!

This segment says:

014
—of—
102
My Life and Work
by Henry Ford

CHAPTER II: WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS (CONT’D)

The automobile business was not on what I would call an honest basis, to say nothing of being, from a manufacturing standpoint, on a scientific basis, but it was no worse than business in general. That was the period, it may be remembered, in which many corporations were being floated and financed.

The bankers, who before then had confined themselves to the railroads, got into industry. My idea was then and still is that if a man did his work well, the price he would get for that work, the profits and all financial matters, would care for themselves and that a business ought to start small and build itself up and out of its earnings.

If there are no earnings then that is a signal to the owner that he is wasting his time and does not belong in that business. I have never found it necessary to change those ideas, but I discovered that this simple formula of doing good work and getting paid for it was supposed to be slow for modern business.

The plan at that time most in favor was to start off with the largest possible capitalization and then sell all the stock and all the bonds that could be sold.

Whatever money happened to be left over after all the stock and bond-selling expenses and promoters, charges and all that, went grudgingly into the foundation of the business.

A good business was not one that did good work and earned a fair profit. A good business was one that would give the opportunity for the floating of a large amount of stocks and bonds at high prices. It was the stocks and bonds, not the work, that mattered. I could not see how a new business or an old business could be expected to be able to charge into its product a great big bond interest and then sell the product at a fair price.

I have never been able to see that.

I have never been able to understand on what theory the original investment of money can be charged against a business. Those men in business who call themselves financiers say that money is “worth” 6 per cent, or 5 per cent, or some other per cent, and that if a business has one hundred thousand dollars invested in it, the man who made the investment is entitled to charge an interest payment on the money, because, if instead of putting that money into the business he had put it into a savings bank or into certain securities, he could have a certain fixed return. Therefore they say that a proper charge against the operating expenses of a business is the interest on this money.  This idea is at the root of many business failures and most service failures.  Money is not worth a particular amount. As money it is not worth anything, for it will do nothing of itself. The only use of money is to buy tools to work with or the product of tools.

Therefore money is worth what it will help you to produce or buy and no more. If a man thinks that his money will earn 5 per cent, or 6 per cent, he ought to place it where he can get that return, but money placed in a business is not a charge on the business–or, rather, should not be.

It ceases to be money and becomes, or should become, an engine of production, and it is therefore worth what it produces–and not a fixed sum according to some scale that has no bearing upon the particular business in which the money has been placed. Any return should come after it has produced, not before.

This reminded me that the best investment… especially in this era where smaller is better… is in our own small business.  We are our greatest asset… but we will earn nothing if we do not act.

Here is what another delegate from our July North Carolina seminar shared.

Gary and Merri…  We truly enjoyed your seminar !!!  Thanks so much for allowing us to come. My brain is still spinning from all of the information and I hope that someday, we will be in the red enough to invest our wealth at Jyske Bank as well. Words cannot express how impressed we both were with the entire presentation. And thank you for sharing your farm with us and the wonderful lunch !!!

This may or may not be your “cup of tea”, but I would love to learn more about how to think BIG, which could maybe be a topic of one of your newsletters. I would value the information and expertise coming from you because you have been so successful. On the way home from your seminar, I thought a lot about how I need to change my thought patterns. I was a single mother of 2 for many years and during those years, I was in survival mode … how to make enough money to raise my kids well and still have enough time to be close to them.

I stumbled into timeshare at the end of the 90’s and was able to fix up my home and become credit card free. But after 5 years and moving up to Director of one of the resorts in Orlando, I left the rat-race of that industry and got back into general Real Estate and built up my print broker business. During  the housing boom, I sold my house and moved to the mountains of NC and continued servicing my printing accounts. That’s when my husband and I opened up his Cigar Shop and my New Age Shop. The Florida housing market crashed and so did my Florida printing clientele. Within the last 2 years, our savings went and up went our debts, like so many of us. Now we’re starting from scratch again !!!

The point: I have always done just enough to “get by” …. I have a difficult time visualizing a bigger picture … a bigger income … bigger wealth … bigger savings … bigger vacations … bigger anything !!!  We are very hard-working but don’t seem to get ahead …. bigger !!!

So if you decide to do a newsletter series on the topic of “thinking BIG”, I think there are a lot of us out there who could use your insight …. hey, this could even make a good “course” subject.  In any case, thanks again, Gary, Merri, David, Thomas and Haskell for your knowledge and inspiration  and I look forward to our continued contact and friendship.  Namaste,

So now we have the answer from one of the biggest thinkers of all Henry Ford.  Become an engine of production and then grow.  Little wonder that ford is the last viable US car maker.

One way to adapt to change is to move to a place where costs are lower…  but living and facilities are good… like Ecuador.

Learn more about our emailed course on how to have an internet business.

We get requests from many planning to retire in Ecuador for information about Ecuador shipping.

Merri and I have never shipped to Ecuador and almost all our readers have found it far less expensive to buy most goods in Ecuador than to ship.

ecuador-banks

For example Ecuador shipping may not make sense for tables.  This hand made dining room set built for us from solid (old) coffee wood ran $420…with 6 chairs.  You cannot beat that with shipping!

I have only had one couple tell me they shipped their goods to Ecuador.  They experienced a lot of problems. The problem was not in Ecuador shipping or Ecuador.  They shipped an entire container and stated they had the DEA in New York tear their stuff apart… break items and leave a big mess.  This is beyond the control of the Ecuador shipper.

ecuador-banks

Appliances are a bit more in Ecuador than in the US… but not enough to warrant Ecuador shipping. A gas stove like this runs between $250 and $380.

Even if we had more Ecuador shipping stories, it would be difficult to give Ecuador shipping recommendations unless we had many shipping referrals because your shipping begins where you are… so much of what you need will be local.

ecuador-banks

A couch set like this can be hand built or purchased “as is” for about $750 for two.

ecuador-banks

Read more about Ecuador shipping here.

So whether you adapt to change in a small or big way… at home in Ecuador or elsewhere abroad… get started. Take baby steps as you think big.

Gary

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM and our webmaster David Cross in North Carolina this October.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and early retirement in Ecuador at the course.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

Read the entire USA Today article “Older white males hurt more by this recession

Retire in Ecuador – Out of Cities


Retire in Ecuador… our wherever…out of town because isolated places may be out of the box bargains.

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot from our North Carolina farm.

A reader, wanting to know whether to retire in Ecuador or not sent this note last week:

Dear Gary,

I have noticed that you have mentioned (a few times) that you and Merri are not residents of Ecuador —– and you do not want to become residents. Would you be kind enough to explain what brought you to this decisions? Thank you,

My reply was “Mainly grandkids”.

Yet there is much more.

Merri and I live both in Ecuador and North Carolina because we love the people, the way of life, the land and the value.

We did not choose Ecuador because it is outside the US, nor Ashe county because it is in America.

We chose them because they are both in our opinion great places to be… and they are isolated.

Change alters the value of places.

When I grew up living in the suburbs of Portland Oregon, I could walk miles to school when I was eight.  We let our doors unlocked.

When I was a young man, huge cities were great places to be.  I lived in Hong Kong, San Francisco and London as well as portland… at times walking late at night in many parts of the city alone.  Cities were fun!

Now cities are much more dangerous and crowded and inconvenient.

Traffic from my mom’s suburban Oregon house (the same one for 50 years) to downtown Portland is horrid and she has to double lock all her windows.

Great places bring opportunity and joy in our lifestyles… but great places change and now there are double benefits in Isolation

I have steadily increased my investments in three seemingly isolated places; high in the Ecuador Andes, in a remote Pacific fishing village and in Ashe County North Carolina.

I chose each for the same reasons.  They are isolated but have good internet and reasonable access to a good airport

There are several reasons why change has put a premium on isolation.

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot from our Ecuador Hacienda.

One reason is food.  Ecuador is a small agricultural country and as such, huge national distribution systems are not required to feed the population.  The food is fresher.  Preservatives are not as required.

The residents in the Blue Ridge of Ashe county know how to feed themselves as well.  Our farm is dotted with old homesteads where the dwellers lived mostly off the land… not that long ago… so people here know how to create their own food supply if need be.

The second reason is that the cost of living is still low compared to cities in Ecuador or the US.

The third reason is health.  There are no big factories… the air is fresh… water is quite pure… and you are not surrounded by crowds… increased risk of crime and such.

Plus (fourth) lifestyle benefits are great. No traffic jams… not much traffic noise… far less stress.

Fifth, property prices are low compared to alternatives… yet for the reasons stated above… they offer potential of appreciation as more and more people want to get out of the cities and burbs.

At the beginning of this millennium I recommended investing in Ashe County, North Carolina and did so myself.

In the 10 years since, even with the real estate crash, the price of land in the area has risen five to 10 times. Yet these prices remain low compared to other similar areas.

The small towns in the area are safe, the people friendly.   Life is still good.  People still wave when you drive by.

I can now eat a hearty breakfast in Jefferson, North Carolina (our nearest town of any sort) for under five dollars.   Also when we go out to breakfast we can leave the house unlocked and cars, trucks and jeeps parked with the keys in them.

9/11 changed people’s values. Family, friends and quieter, more peaceful life is more important than before.

Having these fine qualities is harder to achieve in downtown Manhattan or Central Chicago or in the heart of L.A.

Life in America is changing due to the difficult economic and social times. There is a return to simplicity and the value of these small towns and their honest core values will grow.

If the economy suddenly recovers and the world’s economy rises, small towns will still not lose their appeal. The world’s population continues to grow.   People always want what they perceive they have lost… freedom from crowds, traffic jams, pollution and the hassle of city life.   I believe these qualities will grow in value.

Today, the portable computer, internet and cell phone have changed all the rules of real estate. The old maxim is still true that the three most important aspects that affect a properties value are location, location, location, but technology alters which locations will have greater value!

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot of the land around the village where we have our Ecuador hotel.

Take for example, my own career in writing about international investing.

When I began, I had to live in London. This was where all the knowledge and information was held. To give timely advice I had to be there. Then as phone rates dropped and the fax came along, I was able to leave the congested city and move to Naples, Florida, then a sleepy fishing village and still have access to the data I would need. Finally as Naples became crowded, because of the Internet, we were able to move to isolated farms both here and in Ecuador and still have access to any international investment information.

I can call up market details, specific shares, global news, regardless of how remote I am.

retire-in-ecuador-remote

Merri and I have purchased many isolated places.  Here is a shot of the empty beah near our Ecuador beach condos.

Here is the key point.

The primary factor of real estate’s value used to be physical accessibility to many people. This factor is shifting to accessibility of information.

Remote places are gaining a new value if they have access to information.

Ashe county which adjoins Virginia and Tennessee was established and named after Samuel Ashe in 1799. It is often known as the Lost Province because until recently hardly anyone knew of the place.

The county seat is Jefferson and the county has a land area of 426.16 miles but only a population of 22,209 people. This population is wide spread as well. The only towns are Jefferson (1,300 population), West Jefferson (1,002) and Lansing (183).

This is a totally rural area with three commercial crops, Christmas trees, timber and tobacco.

There are several small factories in the county but tourist activities such as canoeing on the new river, scenic drives though Southern Appalachian Wilderness, leaf looking and camping.

Ashe county is isolated but sits almost equidistant from the north and south of the east coast of the United States.  We almost the same distance from Florida and  Maine.

Here are the signs I see that suggest to me that this area will boom:

1. The prices here are a fraction of the counties north and south.

2. The first cappuccino machines have arrived in Jefferson. When we arrived there was nothing like this and it was a dry county.  Now there are smart cafes… wine bars and art gallerys.

3. Prices as mentioned have already risen.

4. The major road from I-77 has being widened to four and even six lanes.

5. Wal Mart built a super store.

6. The first golf course community has been a success in Jefferson.

7. Lowes has open a large DIY store.

There are some other great benefits here. The nearest airports for commercial flights is Tri-Cities Tennessee.   This s one of the easiest airports I have ever checked into…a 15 check in allowee. Parking right at the front door and often the policemen will hel yu haul in your bags.  Yet this regional airport is just over a half hour to Atlanta or Cincinnati.

There is a great college town Boone just 45 minutes away, a chic, resort area, Blowing Rock the same distance and real cities, like Charlotte two hours drive.

Yet as isolated as we are we have great DSL broadband so I am as connected as if I lived in Manhattan.

This makes me more effective than some businesses in the center of major cities, as I avoid the delays from traffic jams, crowds, smog, missed parking places and crowds.

You can take advantage of great isolated places to be by creating an internet business and looking for places like Ashe county north Carolina that are short on people but long on data resources.

Retire in Ecuador because Ecuador real estate is inexpensive.

Merri and I have purchased a lot of Ecuador real estate in remote places as well.

See why at Ecuador Real Estate is Inexpensive

Wherever you plan to retire in Ecuador at home or elsewhere, think about leaving the maddening crowd.  Isolated places may be the bargains of the future.

Gary

Our 2009 course and tour schedule.

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 Tour

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

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

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

International Investing Clue


A recent New York Times article gives us an international investing clues.

Here is an excerpt:

WASHINGTON — Reacting to the violent swings in oil prices in recent months, federal regulators announced on Tuesday that they were considering new restrictions on “speculative” traders in markets for oil, natural gas and other energy products.

The move is a big departure from the hands-off approach to market regulation of the last two decades. It also highlights a broader shift toward tougher government oversight under President Obama.

When a government becomes heavily involved in commerce we can expect a loss somewhere. In this case the loss will be in the value of the US dollar.

One way to beat a falling dollar is to but real estate.  Merri and I are always searching for more real estate to but in Ecuador… like this. We (and two of our daughters) have six of these units just 133 steps to the beach.

international-investments

History has proven that governments do not run businesses well.

Take for example, the recent US government commercial decision to bailout numerous failed US businesses.

The bailout was the first error.

The idea of profit, loss and accountability is to weed out businesses that are not productive, competitive or are no longer needed due to change.

When governments invest in infrastructure… this can be okay… even productive for a nation as a whole.

When governments interfere in commerce and spend billions on losers… expect little good.

As soon as those current bailouts began… the question of bonuses and high salaries of the bailed out executives arose.  Is it fair for executives of failed companies to get big bonuses?

Of course not.

This is why failed businesses normally go broke… so the executives do not get paid at all.

Since the government provided bailouts… the executives who led the business into disaster are still employed.  They have all this government money and since many of them are by definition, losers…  they’ll use the losing strategy of spending that money in unproductive ways…  like with big, personal bonuses.

That’s wrong… unless the government once again steps in.

But is further involvement right?

The current solution has been to create a pay czar.

The word Czar is derived from the name Caesar and originally an meant Emperor in European medieval times. The word has since been used to define rulers with a rank like a Roman emperor… a title with an imperial connotation like a King.

Most of modern North America and Europe are nations founded on revolutions that struck down people like that, who claimed to be czars and kings.

Why do we now let our government create new ones?

This cannot be good economic news.

The US has war czar Lute, energy czar Browner… and now pay czar Feinberg.

In fact a recent Fox news article entitled “Obama’s Czars Draw Criticism From Both Sides of the Political Aisle” says: By some accounts, Obama has nearly three dozen czars in his administration, managing everything from closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to ending the genocide in Darfur.

So many Czars… all spending US dollars.

Government spending is the least productive type of of expenditure… because Czars  spend taxpayer’s money… not their own.

international-investments

Merri and I are look for more real estate in Florida as well. Values are getting better. One lake front property that was listed at $799,000 two months ago is now offered at $349.

Lots of unproductive spending by a government will cause its currency (in this case the US dollar) to fall.

This is my belief… in the continued long term fall of the US dollar.

If you also believe that the greenback will weaken from current levels, this could be a good time for you to borrow US dollars and invest the loan in other major currencies like the euro, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish kroner, British pound and Canadian, Australian and new Zealand dollars.

You can do this at Jyske Bank or Jyske Global Asset Management.

When using leverage with an advisory account clients living in the US are limited to currencies and US registered securities.

Such investors can use ADRs and ETFs.   These US securities have a collateral value (equities have a 67% value i.e. 2x leverage).  When using US securities JGAM requires a W9.

ETF’s traded on the NYSE can be used as collateral if Jyske bank accepts the paper and allocates an collateral value (normally not a problem but this can depend on liquidity).

US citizens living outside of the US have no limitations whatsoever and can buy any security with leverage as long as the bank has a collataral value associated with the security.

Gary

Merri and I are also looking for more property in Ashe County North Carolina where there is plenty of fresh water.

international-investments

There are several large tracts (40 to 100 acres) near our farm now for sale. A broker up here recently sent me this note.

“I am convinced that someone will make some money on this property. The Bank is eager to sell and will consider all offers.

Also, concerning other properties — right now there are entire subdivisions just sitting there unsold, with roads and underground power in place, that are being offered at steep discounts by developers who need to get out from under their mortgage commitments.

Some of these are river front properties that will be quite valuable in the future.

There are also some larger undeveloped tracts available for pretty good prices compared to two years ago.”

Our 2009 course and tour schedule.

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 Tour

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

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

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

Value Investing Diary


Value investing in Ecuador or anywhere is probably the best way that most of us can make good investments.

There are some disciplined investors who do well with short term trading… but most of us do not have the time, inclination or ability to invest this way.

In my case, I find that slower is better. Slow value oriented long term investing may not be dynamic or thrilling… but I still have all the money I had mid 2007.

That is more than a lot of speculators can say.

One problem with value investing is that it requires a lot of work, thought, determination, bravery, conviction and patience.  These qualities are not always easy to maintain long term.

Discipline is vital to multicurrency investing.

This is why I was delighted with what John Mauldin had to say when he spoke at the recent Naples seminar that Merri and I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Managers.

multi-currency-talk

Here is John.  John is a Fort Worth, Texas businessman with over 1.5 million readers to his emailed financial newsletter.

He was Chief Executive Officer of the American Bureau of Economic Research, Inc., a publisher of newsletters and books on various investment topics, from 1982 to 1987. He was one of the founders of Adopting Children Together Inc., the largest adoption support group in Texas. He currently serves on the board of directors of the International Reconciliation Coalition and the International Children’s Relief Fund. He is also a member of the Knights of Malta, and has served on the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Texas.

He is a frequent contributor to numerous publications, and guest on TV and radio shows as well as quoted widely in the press.

Thomas Fischer  had a great interview with John during the seminar which you can see here.

John’s speech was important because discipline is the glue that holds all investing theory together.

I believe that there are basically three types of investors… disciplined long term value seeking investors…  disciplined short term traders… and losers.

Non disciplined investors always lose in the long run.

You can read this entire report as a Multi Currency Subscriber.

More on Value Investing

Merri and I are going through the process now of searching for  and seeking to understand value in Florida real estate.  Merri has been keeping a value investing diary to help us get our bearings on what the real value of property in Florida might be now.

Let’s share that diary here.

On the Road
by Merri Scott

A number of you have written and asked, “What about the house you were buying Florida?   Any luck?  Any ideas?”

Well, yes, we’ve been on the search and off and on the road now since late March.

Have we bought anything?  No.

Have we found anything interesting?  Absolutely.  Lots of things out there.

Have we seen good prices/deals?  Wonderful prices, unbelievable opportunities.

Have we learned anything?  Yes, yes, yes, we have.

First of all, to recap…why are we buying a home in Florida?  Well, there are a lot of reasons…

1)  Late last October last year, up here in the High Country we experienced a real knock down day after day, week after week of heavy snow and extreme weather.  We aren’t used to that…we usually have great weather through October, very decent weather in November and a lot of sun but truly cold in December.  We can live with this.  But what we experienced last year, we certainly don’t want to repeat.

2) We sold all our holdings in Florida just before the bubble burst and we miss a place near our daughter and her family down there.  We are welcome there but we desire to be more a part of their lives and to have a home there.

3) Gary reminds me that real estate is all he feels comfortable with at this point.  “Where else should anyone invest at this time?” he ruminates.

“Why Florida?” you might ask.  We’ll give you all the reasons in other reports on this…but yes, there are a darn lot of good reasons for Florida.

We started out in late March (came home back early from Ecuador) for a reason.

We had this idea that we wanted to buy waterfront property but not beachfront.

Many reasons for this but the main one is that we love water…here in NC we have so many streams, creeks, waterfalls…we are almost surrounded with the delight of all this water and do enjoy it.

We knew that we would have to pay a premium for being on the water, but were willing.

We started out in late March which is near the end of the dry season in Florida…usually winters are dry and as summer starts there are daily rain showers which cool things off and bring a lot of water back into the system.

The only real times we would be in resident would be during the dry season and surely did not want the horror of buying “waterfront” only to find out that the waterfront was way out there somewhere into the distance.  (More or this later).

After all our years of experience in Florida, we also knew that it would be best to look in August at anything in South Florida or anywhere there would be the chance of standing water.  (We experienced this in South Florida years before.)…so we just stuck with our old philosophy, look in March-April for Central Florida and of course we were not looking in South Florida, but if we were look in the late summer.  This way, if we can live with the conditions during those months…then we would be OK.

A lot of you have written, “Haven’t heard from you.  Why haven’t you bought in South Florida?”.  Well, this is not to say, someone else shouldn’t…but we were evacuated 17 times over the years, had a lot of heat distress and high humidity over the years and we just didn’t want to go back there.

How did we choose our area?  Well, we’re still at it!

First of all, we want to be near our family in Lakeland but finally after about 2 weeks of driving around, we decided that we should be north of I-4 and not south.  Why?  Well, we can make it easily in a day’s drive north of I-4 but it gets harder and harder to make it further in one day.  (Despite what some might think about our being travelers, we are not.  We go from one home …with our beloved things in that home…to another.  We don’t do well staying in hotels, motels, resorts of whatever…this is torture to us.)

Having finally realized this parameter, we happily eliminated a lot of territory.

Back on the hunt…we love those sleepy, windy little rivers flowing along the center of the state…nice fishing, tiny docks, not much going on and so so full of nature.

Got out the maps, and started remembering those we loved and plotting!

At this point, we decided against using a realtor because we actually needed more under our belts before we started talking houses.

We have long been in love with the Peace River, the Alafia, the Suwanee, the Withlacoochee and many others, including the larger but beautiful St. Johns.  But of course, we were concerned about flooding in these areas also.
(Little did we know that wasn’t the primary problem!)

The Internet has proven to be fabulous as well as awfully scary.  We haven’t bought real estate for “just ourselves” not for investment in a long time and we had forgotten what that included.

In short order, we found that hey, we didn’t need to worry so much about flooding, as DRAWING OUT WATER.  Many municipalities now have the right to “draw” water from these little as well as large rivers…also found out that even California has bought “water rights” to draw down these rivers and ship the water all the way out there.   YIKES!

We used the Internet and began to find a number of possibilities…taking in mind the water rights.  We were down baby sitting for our kids who were taking a cruise and had some time to look around.  Found THE most delightful house tucked in its own woods on a beloved old friend of ours, the Withlacoochee River.  (No one seemed to have water rights on this one.)  Took our darling grandson there.

Gary had been having a long discussion with him re “natural” and “real”.  He was a bit turned around in his mind about the comparison for instance of Sea World (yes, they do have real animals there) and nature.  We made quite a drive for a 6 year old up to this remote area with this fabulous house. (looked at it from all angles, inside and out, and yes, we COULD live with this one!)

I was beginning to think…wow, this is a bit easy…first house, first area we’ve chosen and a greatly reduced price…we’ll just buy it right now!

Garren and Ma (our hound dog) jumped immediately out of the car with great joy.  A beautiful surrounding, old mature oaks, a real sleepy time down south look with a stunningly beautiful, well designed and built all natural house.  Everyone looking excited and happy!

ecuador-value-investing

Here is Garren at our farm learning about nature and farm safety!

There was a long boardwalk as an entry with some cypress trees (whose feet must be wet) always signifying to us high water in the summers or at least standing water.  We nodded “That’s OK” to each other and proceeded.

Garren leaped up to the front door which opened in a lovely two story lodge like atmosphere…a clerestory window view out, a local mounted bear, turkey and deer…and declared, “This is real nature isn’t it, Poppa?”

We didn’t think the house was quite big enough but the land was good, the setting beautiful, the distance to Lakeland OK, and truly it was a house built in nature with nature.  And it was way way below our budget.

To cap it all, Gary glanced out and saw his dream “Look a wonderful old oak with a rope draped over the river where we can swing out and jump right in!”  Fabulous.

Then we all of us strolled out to the river…and there wasn’t one.  It was a very deep, wide ditch with about 3” of water left.

So very sad.  So very disturbing.

Since then the house has dropped from $77,000…according to the latest listing data.

We thanked our lucky stars that we were looking in early April and not summer when the banks might be full.  And we knew right then that we were going to have to do our homework, and that no, it wasn’t going to be that easy.

I’ll continue next week with amazing finds.

Merri

Because Merri has a lot of experience in real estate and we know a lot about Florida, we thought it might be easy to make this purchase.  She was a licensed Florida real estate broker and her first sale was a $1.4 million on the beach in Ft. Myers… in the late 70s… when a million dollars still meant something.  She went on to hold a NASD license which entitles her to be a stock broker, a syndicator of projects, a developer of large communities, etc.

But were we right?  No. Experience of the past today just isn’t enough.

You have to look, compare and think to find value now.

Tomorrow’s message provides an Ecuador value investing tip and why buyers must beware there.

Until then may all your values be good!

Gary

We hope you’ll join us to learn more business and investing opportunities globally as well as Ecuador.

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

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

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

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

Ecuador Export Tour Update


Here is an Ecuador export tour update that continues our thread on ways to earn globally with small international businesses.

Ecuador-export-tours Our Ecuador export tours visit many Ecuador markets… textiles in Cotacachi and weavings in Peguche, leather in Cotacachi… wood carving in San Antonio de Ibarra. Here is our last group arriving in Otavalo.

This update is provided by Maggie Beesley, a former Ecuador export attendee who now exports regularly from Ecuador.  She will conduct the July 4 Ecuador Export Tour:

Hi Everyone!!!

How many of you are packed?  I stay packed.  July 3rd is right around the corner.  Pack smart, bring a larger suitcase than you need, and be prepared to buy another big one ($8) to get all your treasures home.  We are already saving, aren’t we?

Yesterday, my husband and I returned from Puerto Rico and let me tell you about the prices there!  Wow!  Maybe we should all be taking our treasures to Puerto Rico to sell.  I saw so many things we are going to see in Ecuador and were they ever expensive in Puerto Rico!

Now on to our Import/Export adventures.  On one of our days together (July 8) we’ll visit the town of Otavalo and the market there.  This market is the largest indigenous market in all of South America.  The reason we are going on Wednesday is…not as many shoppers and much better prices than on a Saturday.  We like those better prices, don’t we?  While in Puerto Rico I saw a summer cape which I have bought all over Ecuador for $10.00.  In Puerto Rico, also at a market, that same type of cape was $42.00, and it was not near as pretty as the ones we are going to see in Otavalo.  Do you see the profit there?

I also just finished going through my latest Coldwater Creek Catalog, where they are having a 50% off sale and have some gorgeous earrings on sale now for $35.00 to $40.00.  Folks we are going to see much prettier ones for $5.00 and maybe up to $10.00, plus no sales tax or shipping charges.  The same is true for necklaces, scarves, and purses.  Buy that extra bag in Ecuador for $8.00, which I also saw in Puerto Rico for $40.00 to get home in and more and more of the wonderful savings.

Another day we are going to the Village of Peguche, which is the Village of the Weavers.  There are three things we will want to do in Peguche.

First, we will want to visit El Condor where people will be weaving as we watch a weaving exhibition.

ecuador-export-tour

Weaving at El Condor.

If you have never seen anyone weave on a wooden loom, it is fascinating, very complicated, and can take many days to complete a blanket, or a cape.  A lot of work!  How the people sit there and do this craft for hours on end is beyond me, but they do and the weaving is gorgeous.   Did I mention, the weaving is done with their hands for the pattern and the tightness of the weave is controlled with their feet?  No electricity here, just the rhythm ….clickity-clack,  clickity-clack…which is the sound you hear throughout the village.  We’ll also experience how the natural dyes are made including Cochineal, the rich wine color that only the emperors had in ages past.  (A little secret it is made from crushed up cactus bugs!)

Also in Peguche is an artist, Jose Cotacachi, who does wall hangings.  He exports to the United States and is shown in very high end stores at very high end prices.  You too can do this.  His work is breath taking, and the detail, well you will see what I mean. These sell to high in art galleries also.  Very easy to pack, just roll up your purchases and put them in that extra bag you bought.   Jose will ship to the U.S., but it is much cheaper to buy that $8.00 bag and do it yourself.   Jose actually has three different workshops in Peguche, and we will visit them all.

ecuador-export-tour

Jose Cotacachi at his loom.

ecuador-export-tour

He loves his work.

Depending on time, we’ll determine the next thing we do, so I am just keeping it a secret.  I don’t want to rush anyone in this town.  Every time we go to Peguche, people always want to go back.  I hear too many times, “I wish I had bought that, or I didn’t see that one”.  So on this trip, we are going to try and see it all.

We will go to San Antonio de Ibarra, the Wood Carving town. One of the stores in San Antonio does gold leaf on statues…Some of these statues go to very important places in Europe and it can take a year or more to complete one statue.  Also, one small woodcarver studio (dirt floor) hosts those direct from the Louvre in Paris…bringing pics of their treasures to be copied!

Ecuador-exports

Master Carver Marco Lopez.

Many of the towns in Ecuador are known for a particular craftsmanship. We will be in the heart of the Crafts Trail, just minutes away from the major markets.  Otavalo is the Indigenous Market town, Peguche is the Weaving town, Cotacachi the Leather town and San Antonio is the Wood Carving town. The particular talent… skill of each town is handed down generation to generation, family to family. Should a future generation of young people decide to leave the town and do something completely different the skill could be lost forever.  You know it is going to happen, that is why all the things we see are so precious.

Our first complete day in Cotacachi we are going to meet Roberto the man who grows and exports those wonderful Ecuadorian roses to so many of you in the United States. You have seen the roses in Gary’s emails.  Roberto is going to tell us how to get them, and how to have your own Export business with roses.  (Some past attendees of this course have done quite well selling roses direct from the source.  And, a big thing, Roberto’s roses are all from green plantations…your wedding clients will love this.  We will also be working the entire Leather Street (ArtePiel), which is only a three block stroll from El Meson.  So many stores, both sides of the street, and all just a little bit different.  There is also a small outdoor market we will visit in Cotacachi where I have gotten some great leather items.  This is going to be a “get outside in the sunshine day”, do some walking do some looking, and do some buying.

For all you guys coming along, one of the first stores we will visit is where you get those fabulous leather jackets and coats.  The secret word in this store is…”I know Micky”, or “Micky sent me” which could bring about that extra discount we all want.  I believe Micky will actually be in Cotacachi while we are there so we will all get to meet her and here about her businesses in Florida all from products bought in Ecuador.

To add to your packing list ….things to be sure and bring with you to Ecuador…
Comfortable walking shoes
Sunglasses
Sun protection
Sun hat
and not to be forgotten, your ATM Card!

Do not bring Travelers’ checks, or any checks like that. Do not bring $100 bills (hard to cash).   Cash works, and remember they use our dollar, so there is no converting to another currency!  (This is another great surprise and help…no need to worry about currency fluctuations!)

See you all in July.  Happy traveling!

Maggie

Ecuador-export-tours Our tours show how to earn income globally but are not all business.  Our last group took time to visit Otavalo’s main square and…

Ecuador-export-tours

the Otavalo Cathedral where we…

Ecuador-export-tours

visited and…

Ecuador-export-tours

remembered the riches… plus…

Ecuador-export-tours

met a man who reminded us that when we do business globally we do more than just make money for ourselves.

Ecuador-export-tours

International trade in native crafts helps enrich everyone.

We hope to share this opportunity with you.

Gary

We hope you’ll join us to learn more business and investing opportunities globally as well as Ecuador.

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

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

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

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