Tag Archive | "France"

Ecuador Beach Restaurants


Ecuador beach restaurants offer wonderful variety, excellent food and really low prices.

Sunday lunch is great, so here are some of the wonderful Ecuador beach restaurants where you might find Merri and me enjoying a Sunday meal.

In Manta for a quick bite we visit the Oro Verde cafe.  The Oro Verde hotel is in the center of Manta.

ecuador-beach-restuarants

Bread and pastry, as a general rule, are not Ecuador’s best specialties. Not true at the Oro Verde!  Merri and I have lived in many countries including places with great pastry such as France, Germany, Austria, Swiaterland and Italy.

The Oro Verde has pastries as good as any we have ever enjoyed. The Sundays papers and these pastries go well together.

ecuador-beach-restuarants

Sadly the Oro Verde coffee is the terrible, machine made Nestecafe cappuccino.  I put up with it though to enjoy the croissants and especially delicious cinnamon rolls.

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For good… quickly served, fresh, no frills seafood we visit Manta’s  beach and…

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the Oh Mar restaurant.

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A great seafood meal is about $6… or for something special… like this lobster for $12.

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Moving north to Crucita… we enjoy the cafe at the top of Balsamaraqua gated community.

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Open and airy, you can spend a Sunday afternoon enjoying this incredible view.

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Further north is San Clemente where we live and stay at Vistazul.

Here restaurants range from the high quality restaurant at Palmazul…

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where a Sunday dinner can run $17… but with a view.

Right on the beach…

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for special occasions and fine dining Palmazul is the place.

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When feeling more casual we amble a couple blocks to the Submarine beach restaurant…

ecuador-beach-restuarants really on the beach.

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Where a meal is $4 to $5. You cannot beat the location.

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Here we are with our friends Bob and Barbara Humphrey…

ecuador-beach-restuarants and Ma

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After a great seafood meal we stroll two blocks back to Palmazul on this beach.

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One really excellent, evening restaurant on the San Clemente beach…right next to Vistazul is Gabriel  Graziani’s  tiny beach shack restaurant.

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He serves delicious pizza and lazagna.

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in his hand made oven.

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He collects all the fresh ingredients and makes the food while you are there.

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Gabriel is the real deal when it comes to  Italian Pizza. See him preparing at  our You Tube

Further north is Bahia and there are several great places there starting with Casa Ceibo.

ecuador-beach-restuarants Elegant but pricey…by Ecuadorian standards.

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Well worth it once in awhile.

For snacks the cafe in la Piedre hotel cannot be beat…here I am with Kjetil Haugan as we overlook the Chone Estuary on a warm breezy afternoon.

ecuador-beach-restuarants

If you like value and seafood, this part of Ecuador from Manta to Bahia will serve you well.

Until next message may you enjoy your Sunday meal.

Gary

Join us in Cotacachi and on Ecuador Coast in March.

Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  Here is a special offer on this new course.

You can enroll in this special course for $299. However if you sign up for our three courses in March 2009, I will send it to you free. You save $299.

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

March 16-19 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Bob Shane will be at our March courses and will be available to provide health balancing.

Get our web based course FREE if you join us in Ecuador this March.

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

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

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Global Asset Strategy Seminar

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Oct. 9-11     IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

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

.

Cotacachi Spa Day


If you plan on visiting Cotacachi Ecuador add a day for a Cotacachi Spa day.

The spa life is amazing in Cotacachi … for one reason … La Mirage…and now… they have made it better with a remarkable spa day…that provides three treatments in a day at an incredibly low cost.

La Mirage is a Relais and Chateaux spa and has a variety of treatments… 17 to be exact.

For example here is the Amazon treatment.

Cotacachi Spa

Each room is a separate suite filled with antiques and with its own fireplace. Each is hidden and tucked into the gardens.

Even though we own our own hotel we send many of our guests to stay there.

We try to send all out guests to use the La Mirage Cotacachi spa…especially now that they have a Cotacachi spa day.  Our guests are raving about it.

Take for example how La Mirage describes just one of its treatments:

“Cofan Spiritual Ritual of the Amazon

“Inspired by the Indigenous Inhabitants of Ecuador’s Amazon and their use of native plants of the rain forest.

“The sounds and smells are combined in such a way that at the end of the ritual your body and spirit are in harmony and ready to experience this ritual of life.

“First you enjoy a tub infused with guayusa and ishpingo leaves, both plants found only in the Amazon.

“These essences are known by the Amazon people for their stimulating qualities. They are used in their rituals to heal the inner organs.

“In addition the ritual adds mineral salts, lemon grass and essential oils.

“The body is exfoliated with the guayusa and ishpingo leaves while in the tub.

“Then you are given a 50 minute full body massage using more special oils and techniques with various sizes of bamboo sticks. This 90 minute treatment costs $65.”

“The soak and massage are performed in a chamber especially designed to enhance the spirit and sound of the Amazon,”

I tried this treatment myself.  Wow. You start when you step from a  tub built in the Amazon cave with a – hidden – deep – in – the – rain – forest atmosphere. The room, from the huge Amazonian carpet hung in a wondrous frame to the drooping vines and bamboo has a vague moodiness. You really do feel Amazonized … forest lost … surrounded in gold tinted warmth … camp fired in a deep mysterious woods.

I hope these photos share at least part of the secret – cave – in – the jungle feel I felt, warm, oiled, hidden and secure.

Enter into … the Amazon.

Here is the carpet.

Cotacachi Spa

The massage therapist awaits you for an immersion in the sacred plant oils … guayusa and ishpingo.

Cotacachi Spa

Guayusa, native to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, is in the holly family, related to Yerba Mate and Yaupon Holly. The leaves have the highest caffeine content of any known plant. When immersed, in addition to the stimulating effects on the skin, the essence enhances dream recall.

Ishpingo is the Quichua word for a type of native Ecuadorian Cinnamon tree found only in a small region of Amazonian Ecuador. The oil is an anti oxidant with antibacterial and antifungal activity.

The oils from these plants blend in the hot water to create a buttery, waxy feel…the aroma being akin to exotic cinnamon and spearmint … a delight that prepares and transports you into the deep forest feel.

Cotacachi Spa

The oils create a stimulation … dream like quality, while they cleanse the body and skin.

Then it’s time to enter your inner sanctum … the massage room.

Cotacachi Spa

The massage comes in two parts, beginning with the head and face while wrapped in heat … the Amazon sweat!

Then comes the full body massage given with Bamboo rollers, sacred music of the Andes and a crackling fire.

Imagine this would be just one of three treatments you would have in a day.

Here is the deal

You visit the spa and can use its swimming pool, exercise machines, steam bath, and rose petal covered jacuzzi for the entire day plus take

one 25 minute treatment.

one 50 minute treatment and

one 90 minute treatment.

One treatment offered is called Lavender Luxury. Another the the Ecuadorian Volcanic Clay Bath.

The lavender treat begins with a 20 minute soak in hot water and lavender (grown at La Mirage) then a lavender herbal wrap and finished with an hour long lavender massage.

You can also enjoy the exquisitely beautiful round meditation room with a roaring eucalyptus fire. Wow.

La Miarge also has a grape massage.

Grape massages fall under the category of Vinotherapy, the practice of using wine by-products for spa therapy.   This practice originated at the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Martillac, a town in the Bordeaux region of France. During a visit to the chateau, Joseph Vercauteren, a local pharmacology professor, was appalled to see the winery throwing out tons of seeds and skins from grape crushings. At the time, he was patenting a process using grape seed oil for skin care products. The professor’s visit led the Cathiard family to build a hotel, restaurant, spa and a line of skincare products”. They have even opened Spa Caudalie, a member-only spa in Las Vegas.

This must be good because whydontyou.com says “Les Sources de Caudalie’s Vinotherapy Spa was voted the number one European Hotel Spa in the 2004 Condé Nast Readers Spa Awards. Treatments combine the soothing nature of hydrotherapy with the anti-oxidant properties of grapes.

The spa is often filled with dignitaries. The Queen of Spain stayed there.

One day I saw four US Senators and actor Kevin Bacon visiting… all at once.

Another favorite of mine is… the Chocolate massage…. which in my opinion this is much better than actors and politicians.  This treatment lasts 100 minutes and begins with several face and skin scrubs. The skin is our largest eliminative and most absorbing organ so this beginning clears away the old and prepares the skin to absorb the nutrients and anti oxidants in the chocolate.

Then the face is coated in a chocolate soufflé foam. Chocoholics beware! The smell drove me to consume my Christmas given bag of chocolate when I got back to the hotel. As the foam sits, the body is then painted in chocolate and put in a hot body wrap. As you soak in the warm chocolate the masseuse massages the head scalp and face. Finally all this is removed and ends with a full body massage. I came out glowing…though as mentioned craving chocolate!

You pay only $125.00 plus 22% service and tax for all three treatments.

A selection of low calorie food can be prepared and served poolside (extra).

You can learn more about Cotacachi Spa here.

Call 593 02915-237 or  593 o2915 077 to reserve.

or email mirage1@mirage.com.ec

Until next message, may all your massages be good.

Gary

Visit Cotacachi, La Mirage and attend our  Ecuador Export Tour and our North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349.    Save $149 on couple

Join us at many seminars and tours in Ecuador, Florida or  North Carolina… in 2010.

See details about each of our seminar and tours below… then see our December special that allows you to attend them all FREE.

For International Investing and Business.

For Super Thinking + Spanish

For Ecuador Shamanic Tour

For Ecuador Export

For North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi

For Manta & Mid Coast

For Quito & Mindo

For Salinas & South Coast

For Cuenca

Join us all year long… seminars and tours in North Carolina Florida and Ecuador.   Gain discounts by attending multiple seminars tours.

We just added four South coast Ecuador tours that can help you gain extra savings with a multi tour pack.

These extra tours create a dilemma for me. See how below.

Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

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

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

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

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

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

These four new south coast tours and our six pack tour price create a bit of a crisis here.

As you can see above a six pack costs $3,099.  This is already a really low price for a tour that last up to 21 days (under $150 a day).

But as you will see below, our International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend up to 56 courses and tours in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

Which would you choose… 6 courses and tours for $3,099 or those same 6 courses and tours plus 50 more for $2,999?

“Duh,” I said when this was pointed out to me.

So our only solution is to raise the International Club membership to $3,500… still a terrific deal… but $501 more than before.

Save $37,457…plus $501.  I will not raise the International club fee until January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999.

International Club 2010

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

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

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

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

Join us in February or March.

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

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

Cotacachi Mayor’s House


Recent messages looked at how Merri and I search for Cotacachi real estate.

The road paving we have been tracking is now done.

cotacachi-real-estate

In two directions…

cotacachi-real-estate

in less than two weeks.

We keep our eyes open every day and the search pays off.

Today, near Primavera II condos…

cotacachi-real-estate

Around the corner from Cotacachi’s Mayor’s house (which is for sale) …

cotacachi-real-estate

we spotted two old houses for sale.  This one is $25,000.

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and this, $36,000.

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These fixer uppers have huge lots, in the center of the village. They may be real sleepers.  We’ll see as we’ll inspect them on our Imbaburra real estate tour that begins tomorrow.

You can gain Cotacachi real estate information and Ecuador real estate contacts as an Ecuador Living subscriber. See details here.

Speaking of sleepers, this excerpt from today’s password protected multi currency course shows why European shares may be sleepers as well.

Here is the excerpt:

This multi currency update has three portions. First we see anther inflation indicator. Second we update our search for value. Third we end with some answers to questions from lesson one of our new updated primer course.

Recent inflationary events include the support by US authorities of Bank of America with a guarantee of liquidity and capital. B of A faces losses of up to $118 billion dollars.

The government gets shares in the bank worth $20 billion.  In other words the government stumps up about $88 billion (that it does not have).  This is inflation.

Citibank in trouble as well.

Jyske Global Asset Management wrote in its last market update three days ago:

Fears of further credit losses and rumours of another large US bank being nationalized dragged the international stock market down this week. The New Year rally last week is already forgotten, and investors are anticipating new lows in 2009.

Citigroup Inc. posted an $8.29 billion loss, only a few days after the announcement of their plans to sell the control of Smith Barney to rival Morgan Stanley.

Sales at U.S. retailers dropped in December for the sixth consecutive month (first time since 1992) and the most in three years.

S&P cut Greece’s long-term credit rating to A- with a stable outlook, due to its public and private debt and the budget deficit. The downgrade makes Greece the lowest rated country in the Euro zone.

Market participators are now speculating whether a Euro exit may become an option for some members of the Euro-bloc, analysts view Greece as the weakest economy within the Euro zone.

The European Central Bank (ECB) Thursday cut the Euro zone interest rate to the lowest level in more than 3 years.

As expected the main policy rate was cut by a half percentage point to 2%. The Danish Central bank followed the ECB with an even bigger cut of 75 basis pts to 3%.

#1: Falling interest rates are indicators for increased activity in share markets.

#2: Combine this with the fact that stock funds saw huge redemptions in 2008.

#3: Add in the next fact that international equity funds were among the most redeemed losing about a fourth of their total assets in 2008.

U.S. stock funds only had redemptions of about 10% of their assets.  Bond funds on the other hand experienced positive flows in 2008.

This increases my enthusiasm for international shares…especially in Europe.

Low interest rates plus markets that are oversold plus inflation all bode well for shares.

There are four ways to fight inflation; real estate, your own business, commodities and equities.   So depressed international equities in an atmosphere of low interest rates spells opportunity.

These three factors are the elements that create value because value investors are generally bucking the trend.

This is why last year my biggest equity position was in the Jyske Invest European Equity fund.  I picked a fund that was invested mostly in markets that Michael Keppler of Keppler Asset Mangement viewed as having the best value.

Keppler has changed some of his rankings this month so let’s review the change and see if my position still makes sense.

Let’s look at the geographical breakdown of the Jyske Invest European Equities fund I hold now.

This fund has departed quite a lot from the synchronicity it enjoyed with Keppler’s top values when I invested two years ago.  The fund’s portfolio is spread here now:

UK  24%
Germany 16%
Switzerland 13%
France 12%
Spain 7%
Netherlands 4.5%
Sweden 4%
Spain 4%
Finland 3%
Italy      2%
Greece 2%
Denmark 1.5%
Norway 1.5%
Luxembourg .5%
Ireland  0.5%
Austria 0.5%

The fund’s managers report says:

There are prospects of uncertainty in 2009. The world economy is struggling
and the optimism has turned into pessimism. Central banks and  governments have been busy introducing rescue packages and  interest-rate cuts. The help has been offered, but is it sufficient and when will it begin to show an effect? We
expect that 2009 will bring wide swings in the equity market. A lasting upturn is not likely to be just around  the corner. We are still looking at a longer period characterised by uncertainty before the optimists outnumber the pessimists.

For the fund we prefer cheap shares with prospects of earnings growth. That type of shares has historically yielded the best returns.

Though this fund no longer has the same value synchronicity with Keppler that it previously had, I’ll continue to hold this as I plan to increase my equity position. I can balance this fund’s holdings to better match Keppler’s rankings by adding Hong Kong, Singapore, Italian and other funds or ETFs.

You can learn more about Keppler’s market updates and the ETFs we use in our multi currency portfolio as a multi currency susbcriber.

Until next update, good global investing

Gary

Join Merri, me and Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management at OUR INTERNATIONAL INVESTING & BUSINESS COURSE IN ECUADOR. We review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio plus investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

Gary

Your own business is a  good way to secure purchasing power. This is why Merri, our webmaster and I decided to create a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  There is a special offer on this new course that expired to the general public last Tuesday…but is still available to you.  See the offer here.

Get this course FREE if you join us in Ecuador this February.

Feb 9-11 Beyond Logic Keys to More Wealth & Better Health

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura 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

Or join Merri, me and Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management, July 24-26, 2009 in North Carolina for International Investing and Business Made EZ

Ecuador Bond Default


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

This time I believe he will.

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

Ecuador-bond-default

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

Ecuador-bond-default

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

Ecuador-bond-default

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

Ecuador-bond-default

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

Ecuador-bond-default

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Currency   Bond                Country             Yield

EUR     8.5  24/09/2012     BRAZIL             7.49%

EUR     7.375 03/02/2015   BRAZIL            8.38%

EUR     11.5   31/05/2011   COLOMBIA      8.17%

EUR     5.375 10/06/2013   MEXICO           7.28%

EUR         7.5  14/10/2014  PERU               9.02%

USD        10.25 17/06/2013 BRAZIL           6.24%

USD     8.25 22/12/2014      COLOMBIA     7.42%

USD     9.875  06/02/2015    PERU             7.57%

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The answer is yes and no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bloomberg article goes on to say:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

ecuador-real-estate-risk

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

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ecuador Sunday in Manta


Ecuador Sunday’s in Manta can be wonderfully civilized even from your own $49,000 sea view condo…as you will see below.

Manta is Ecuador’s fastest growing city…has been for years.

As an international port there are parts of the town that are rough. FOR EXAMPLE, STAY AWAY FROM THE TUNA FACTORIES IN NORTH MANTA…PHEW!

Yet at its center Manta is quite civilized, everything evolving around the Oro Verde Hotel.

Oro Verdes are great! The first hotel we ever visited in Ecuador was the Oro Verde Guayaquil. I loved it! Though sadly I have been told that Oro Verde Cuenca filled in the beautiful lake that wrapped around it. They turned it into parking.

I guess Big Yellow Taxi’s go there now…remember the lament.

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot

A pity about that in Cuenca…but the Oro Verde Manta is still great….especially on Sunday morns.

manta-condo-for-sale

They have a killer breakfast buffet and the restaurant has wonderful sea views. Yet the Oro Verde Manta is special for Merri and me for another reason…

manta-condo-for-sale

Cinnamon rolls and…

manta-condo-for-sale

croissants.

Merri and I lived in England and Europe for over a decade…spent a lot of time in Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy. We picked up some bad habits…like European bread and for me dark roasted coffee.

We take care with our nutrition, so we limit our access to these potential sins…but on Sunday mornings we allow ourselves to let go! We’ll eat croissants if we can find good ones.

This makes the Oro Verde Manta special because overall bread in Ecuador sucks. I love the food in Cotacachi except the bread. I dare you to find a croissant that a Frenchman would spit on.

The Manta Oro Verde has some of the best croissants, pan au chocolat and cinnamon rolls in the world! We live 40 minutes north in San Clemente and even though we are no longer city folk, we just might drive all the way.

For those who want to be in the city there is an easer solution…buy a condo in Manta. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and form.

Here is one at the low end we visited on our last coastal real estate tour.

manta-condo-for-sale

This is a few blocks off the beach…but very walkable to the water.

All tile and clean almost to sterility.

manta-condo-for-sale

The sitting-dining area has an ocean view…no balconies though.

manta-condo-for-sale

The bedroom…

manta-condo-for-sale

has a shot of the ocean as well.

manta-condo-for-sale

The kitchen is efficient and compact.

manta-condo-for-sale

as is the washer and dryer.

manta-condo-for-sale

Plus there are plenty of closets.

manta-condo-for-sale

We met the couple who live in the penthouse above…nice people…Americans who work in New York from Manta via broadband.

All in all this is a nice unit, I am guessing about 750 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in a good part of town. The asking price is $49,000…fully furnished…all appliances included.

I have just sent a Manta condo report with more details and broker contacts to our Ecuador Living subscribers. You can find our how to subscribe here.

Until next message, may your Sundays go really well.

Gary

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

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.

Ecuador-real-estate-advertising

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.

Manta-Condo

The patio has this view.

manta-condo tags

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Here is a long shot of Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-condos

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

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

Ecuador Crime


Ecuador crime & safety.

A reader just sent me this note about Ecuador crime.

Hi Gary, My husband & I have been reading everything you’ve sent on Ecuador & it sounds ideal. We were all excited about it as a prospect to move from the US to until we saw the US State Dept. website & what they
had to say about crime, rape, robbery & disease! It sounds awful. Have you seen it & what would you say in regards to? Thanks.

This is a good question that affects us all.

I replied:

I have written numerous times about risk during any travel because we all increase our risk when we go places we do not know. There are places of great risk in Ecuador as there in in New York, Seattle, Miami, LA or any city anywhere in the world. Yet people in these cities live fine because they know where to go and where not to go.


The State department correctly focuses on the most negative part of any country and they should. However there are vast parts of Ecuador that have been perfectly safe for us. This is a huge part of our service helping our readers know where readers have ad journeys and where they have not. Merri and I have taken several thousand people to Ecuador without a single violent crime. Where we live, we feel safe being out any time. Children are seen day and night playing, walking…on their own…without fear. I would let my grandchildren go more places in Cotacachi Ecuador than in the suburbia of Rockwood Oregon where I grew up.

However everyone has to make their own decision about the realities of risk.

Ecuador people are generally happy like these girls in Cotacachi.

ecuador-indigenous-girls

Ecuadorians are not violent people by nature. Even the worst reports suggest this.

Ecuadorians are friendly people.

Ecuador-friendly-people

The Overseas Security Advisory Organization wrote in their 2008 rpeort about Ecuador crime entitled “Overall Crime and Safety Situation”.

The criminal threat for Quito and Guayaquil is rated “critical” by the U.S. Department of State. Non-violent crime is the most common problem encountered in Ecuador, but police statistics show a significant increase in violent crimes. Reports of murders, rapes, kidnappings, carjackings, armed assaults, and burglaries are becoming more frequent throughout the country. The U.S. Mission to Ecuador personnel and other American citizens are routinely victimized by crime. The Regional Security Officer (RSO) continues to receive numerous incident reports from U.S. Mission personnel and American citizens detailing criminal acts committed against them, their families, and friends. Police reports show that in more and more cases, criminals are using some sort of weapon in the commission of their crime.

Children play safely in the streets night and day in Cotacachi.

ecuador-safe-children

The Overseas Security Advisory Organization report goes on to say:

Fortunately in the majority of these cases, the weapon is used for intimidation purposes only, with the result being that cooperative victims are seldom injured. Gratuitous violence is generally rare throughout the country, but is becoming more common in the larger cities, especially in Guayaquil.

Public transportation and tourist areas are still the locations with the highest crime rates, although the RSO office receives incident reports from different locations throughout the country. The RSO office recommends that visitors bear in mind that crime can impact anyone, anywhere, at any time, and thus should exercise normal security precautions throughout the country.

Observations/Trends

Ecuador is considered a critical crime country and hundreds of Americans are robbed each year. Weapons are readily available and criminals are frequently armed.

Ecuadorian people are not violent.

ecuador-happy-people

The Overseas Security Advisory Organization report adds:

Violence is rare as long as the victim cooperates. There is no evidence to suggest that Americans are singled out for crime, but some Western foreigners are perceived to be wealthy, causing them to be targeted by criminals. In two of the incidents, the victims were approached by perpetrators who used improvised schemes to approach the victims. This tactic is increasingly common, meaning that visitors should be wary of all requests for assistance

I wish I could report that Ecuador is crime free. Even more I wish that the world was crime free. Even more I wish I could report that crime in the USA and around the world was diminishing.

This is not the case.  Crime is growing in many places.

A recent USA Today article pointed out growing crime problems in America’s suburbia. It said:

Suburban neighborhoods are becoming refuges for those outpriced in gentrifying inner-cities.

Devastated by the subprime mortgage crisis, hundreds of homes have been foreclosed and thousands of residents have been forced to move, leaving in their wake a not-so-pleasant path of empty houses, unkempt lawns, vacant strip malls, graffiti-sprayed desolate sidewalks and even increased crime.

Many homeowners not only cut their own grass but also trim the yards of vacant homes on their streets, hoping to deter gangs and criminals from moving in.

Other residents discovered that with some of the empty houses, it wasn’t what was growing outside that was the problem. busted several pot homes with vast crops of marijuana growing from floor to ceiling.

The white picket fence of an American dream has faded into a seemingly hopeless suburban nightmare.

Tomorrow’s message looks at how these shifts in suburbia creates opportunity.

The point in today’s message is that crime is everywhere. in Ecuador as well as the US.

Ecuador crime has some positive aspects.

Ecuador crime typically is not violent. See the worst 50 countries for murder. Mexico is 6th, Costa Rica 19th, The US – 24th, Finland – 30th, Portugal – 33rd, Malaysia – 34th, South Korea – 38th, France – 40th, Australia – 43rd, Canada – 44th, Italy – 47th, Spain – 48th, Germany 49th.

Ecuador is not in the top 50. Statistically your odds of being murdered are higher in all the countries above.

Metals detectors are not required at Ecuador schools.

There have been no shopping center shootings!

Yet here is the decision everyone must make. Do you want to travel or not? When you visit unfamiliar places you increase your risk of being a crime victim.

To reduce risks when you travel see ten safety rules

We hope to help you avoid crime in Ecuador by taking you to places full fo color fun and laughter like this parade in Cotatacahi.

Ecuador-fun-people

Gary

Learn how to learn more about Ecuador her

Join us Oct 14-18 for our Ecuador Import Export Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-import-and-export-tour

Visit Ecuador markets.

Ecuador-vendor

We still have space in our November courses and tours.

Nov 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour

Small Business Couples


Small business couples can fight inflation, enhance their relationship and have fun.

Couples can defy the laws of math because one plus one can equal more than two in a small business.

Merri and I, and millions of other couples that have a small business they share, have proven this again and again.

I believe that one reason we enjoy success in our internet business is that we answer most of our email personally. This means our readers pretty much reach Merri or me direct. We are able to do this because we share the tasks we get to perform in our business.

This message looks at one more great benefit that comes from having your own small business…enjoying your partners…married or not.

From a practical point of view, two people, working together well get, more than double energy. They can gain synergy (super energy) when their efforts compliment each other.

So perhaps you should look at your partner or the idea of having a partner and ask, “how could we gain from running a business together”?

Here is an unrehearsed (Merri and I did not know it was being taken) photo taken last year by a delegate at one of our courses on the farm. Merri and I were headed to the seminar hall to start a day of conducting a course.

small-business-couples-North Carolina

Last week one of our delegates at the Susan Rotman Business Intuition Course sent this note.

“Dear Gary & Merri, When we first spoke at your place Gary I said that I couldn’t keep up with all of your writings and that you must “have a lot of time”. I now know that we both have the exact same amount of time in a given day and that you CHOOSE to spend some of yours writing. That’s a wonderful thing and fits you well. I also believe that you are one of the better speakers that I have ever heard. I got a tremendous lift from your conference and truly enjoyed almost every participant.

One of the most powerful things that I got though was watching you and Merri interact. You have the utmost respect for one another. In the midst of a working environment your marriage shows up as kind, patient, peaceful, easy and exudes a palpable love. It is a great example and I aspire to do better at creating the same in my own marriage. Thank you for this and for all you did to create a great workshop experience.”

The fact is that Merri and I truly enjoy one another’s company. Having a business where we work together makes our lives better. We get more time together and are able to more closely share our passions and goals. Working together as a small business couple has reaped many rewards. Here we are at a small cottage given to us by an Andean indigenous community after our efforts secured a community water supply for the village. What a thrill!

small-business-couple-Latacunga

Many other couples are making this same thrilling discovery.

A recent MSNBC article by Jason Del Rey entitled “Couples that work together, stay together?” explains how increased numbers of spouses are enjoying benefits of sharing a professional passion. The story tells about a couple who after moving in together moved to Atlanta and both found new jobs. The article says: “The money was good and their careers seemed to be on track. But something was suffering as a result: their happiness. They never saw each other — maybe an hour or two in the evenings so they quit their jobs and used the wife’s experience in pottery and charged $23,000 on credit cards, to open a pottery studio.”

Later they sold this business and started another offering franchise locations. They now have more than 30 franchise locations throughout seven states, with sales of $12 million in 2007.

They realized that they would rather work harder and work for themselves and be able to see each other.

The article states that “According to the National Federation of Independent Business, there were approximately 1.2 million husband-and wife-owned small businesses nationwide in 2003, the most recent year for which the group has data. Anecdotally, family-business experts say that number has only continued to climb.”

The article also points out that wives are getting more involved and now are more entrepreneurial.

Here we are hiking arund a crater lake near our colonial in in Cotacachi

small-business-couple-cotacachi

Another article at Money.cnn says:

“Glenn Muske, an Oklahoma State University professor who has spent the past six years studying the topic, estimates that 3 million of the 22 million U.S. small businesses in 2000 were couple-owned. He doesn’t expect updated figures until late spring, but he and other experts believe that further growth has occured in the past half-decade.

“What has triggered this transformation? Turns out that mom and pop shops have changed in large part because Mom now often has as much education as Pop (if not more), and she’s determined to use it.

“Women now hold 59 percent of all college degrees, and are moving rapidly into traditionally male-dominated fields, such as engineering and computer science, that prepare them to launch scalable companies, as opposed to the stereotypical home-based catering business.”

Some of the positive comments in this article include how they treasure the advantages of their arrangement. When you have to explain to your business partner that you need to reschedule a meeting because your child is in a play, it’s a lot easier when that child is also your partner’s.

Merri and I have found that running our small business as a couple has helped our family a lot. All five children worked for us beginning at age seen or eight. They provided a great, motivated labor force and
learned the value of work as well. Though they are now grown, they all still contribute! Here is a shot the kids took of Merri and me on a business get together at the Pacific.

small-business-couple-oregon-coast

The article includes:

“What’s more, running a business adds another dimension to the relationship and deepens it. Many couples say it’s like raising a child of a different sort.

“A couple creates a haven for children

“Couples love sharing firsts, first-ever client, first really large contract – the shared memories. Running a business together is partly a savvy economic move and partly a lifestyle one,” says Gwen Martin.

“Men and women are seeking work-family balance, and they have more control of their time as owners. Who better to join forces with, they say, than someone you trust professionally and personally – someone you’ve been bouncing ideas off anyway? The potentially favored status of majority-woman-owned businesses by government and corporations assigning contracts is an additional incentive.

“While innovation in information technology has helped propel growth in small business as a whole, it has especially encouraged couple-owned firms to grow more distinctive and competitive. And it has opened opportunities in a stunning variety of new fields that engage the interest of curious, educated, well-traveled married entrepreneurs.

“The e-commerce technology developed in the past ten years has enabled us to grow, because small companies like ours can actually afford it,” says Jessica Kogan, 34, who with her husband launched Cameron Hughes Wine, a San Francisco-based discounter of high-quality surplus vintages. “It’s allowed us to build a customer base outside California.”

“Technology has also encouraged couples to outsource many of their manufacturing and back-office functions, create complex products and services, and adopt a global perspective.

“Kathy Marshack, author of Entrepreneurial Couples: Making It Work at Work and at Home, says, “Husband and wife teams are investigating different markets all over the world.”

“In other words, they’re not simply serving pinot noir in a restaurant or selling it in a wine shop, but importing barrels of it from France, outsourcing the bottling, and selling it to retailers such as Costco. Which is precisely what Kogan and her husband, Cameron Hughes, 36, have done.”

Our small business has created a lot of adventure. Here we are with a shama deep in the rain forests of the Llanganatis where vast amounts of Inca gold are rumored to be buried.

small-business-couple-llnganatis

There are of course negatives with every positive as the article concludes when it says:

“Sophisticated businesses and lofty goals can, of course, bring high stress levels – and in a husband-and-wife-owned business, you can’t come home and complain about your business partner.”

Inflation, currency instability and economic shifts are everywhere. For many this spells disaster. For those who adapt, the greater the problem, the bigger the opportunity.

Spouses, couples living together, even friends may want to ask, “can we adapt better together”?

One way to adapt to rapid change and move ahead is to magnify your efforts. Defy the math! Let one and one equal three, four or more with you own small couples business.

Gary

We offer two emailed courses to help you (and perhaps your partner) start a small business.

International Business Made EZ

Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher

We provide a generous discount to all couples who sign up together for our seminar at our courses

Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour
September 17-20 and November 12-15, 2008 – $599 for one. $849 for a couple.

Our Coastal tours are conducted from Palmazul. Here I am working a Palmazul. Merri’s not pictured because she took the shot.

tranquil-work-at-sea

But after we relax on the beach.

small-business-couple-on-Ecuador-Coast

Our Andean courses below are conducted at our colonial inn El Meson de las Flores. Here we are in the inn’s court yard working as a couple.

tranquil-work-hotel

Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course
September 23 to 27, 2008 – $799 for one. $999 for a couple.

Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour
September 28-29, 2008 and November 10-11, 2008.
$499 for one. $749 for a couple.

International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina October 3-5, 2008 – $749 for one. $999 for a couple.

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course October 14-18
$999 for one, $1,499 for a couple

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
November 7-9, 2008
$749 for one. $999 for a couple.

See discounts for couples attending more than one course.

Economic Labyrinth


Follow the money three words that form an economic labyrinth and have the potential to destroy the world.

Actually those words create an economic maze not a labyrinth.

Labyrinths are often confused with mazes, but a maze is a  puzzle that confuses the path and direction; Labyrinths have only a single path to the center that are unambiguous ways to the center and back. Labyrinths are not designed to be difficult to navigate.

The Western economic model of working mainly for money to have lots of things and to eventually retire is flawed.

So too is the social concept that having more is better.

The combination of these flaws have hurt the environment…perhaps badly…not to mention our social order.

Now the entire concept is falling apart because bigger is not better.

Correcting this will create some fortunes for those who see ahead.

Environmental investing is one area that is and will continue to prosper.

Shifting China and the US to European/Japanese conceptual models of “smaller is better” will help as well.

A July 7, 2008 USA Today article entitled “New cars will skimp on fuel but not on amenities” by Sharon Silke Carty gives an example when it says: “Automakers are working as fast as they can to meet a new consumer landscape: Buyers want not just fuel-efficient cars but also the same amenities they had in their hulking SUVs.

“It’s a change from how most cars have been set up in the USA.

“If gas prices stay high and demand remains strong for smaller engines, auto executives say the U.S. market will start looking more like Europe’s, where what is considered a small car here is seen as a family sedan.

“People are starting to look at their four-cylinder cars like they did their luxury cars, with leather seats and creature comforts,” says Mike DiGiovanni, General Motors’ executive director of global market analysis. ‘Think about this: The price of fuel in Europe is $7 a gallon, and the industry has survived nicely with smaller vehicles that are loaded up.'”

Automakers that shift fastest to this euro model will clean up.

One way to prosper is to look at how crowded Europe and even more crowded Japan deal with the different supply and demand. The US, Canada, Australia and China all have learned to squander having huge natural resources and space.

No more.

However there is another flaw in the relation to work, fulfillment and living. The idea of having the biggest house on the bloc and “he who has the most toys wins” isn’t working so well anymore.

Bonsai is an example, a Chinese invention that became big in Japan…perfect for limited resources and space.

The Japanese rock or Zen garden, often small, containing sand, gravel, rocks, and occasionally grass and/or other natural elements, with the sea symbolized not by water but by sand raked in patterns that suggest rippling water. Compare this with the large water consuming grass lawn requiring plenty of gasoline to mow.

The Japanese tea ceremony is another…lots of pleasure from limited resource expenditure.

Global shifts in resource supply and demand are creating new lifestyles via economic crisis that will bring a post consumer society.

This shift will be easier than most realize because it is human nature to feel best when working with a sense of purpose. Current shifts are so profound that societies will have to live more purposeful lives.

We try to watch for, adapt to and reflect these shifts in everything we do in our work, play, business and social interactions.

Yet it is not always easy to change after 61 years of doing things one way!

This is why we are busy here at the farm making a number of changes. One was to enhance our labyrinth.

The history of labyrinths dates back into the mists of time, but their religious and spiritual aspects became most noted during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries when many Christian gothic cathedrals installed them in England, Italy and France.

Labyrinths help connect the spiritual side of consciousness in a physical way.

Walking or tracing a labyrinth unites the physical with the spiritual. It brings the inner spiritual life into the outer physical world. We operate in a more holistic way when these inner and outer worlds are united.

Labyrinths represent an easy to follow series of twists and turns from the outer to the inner and back..200% of life, in spirit and material wealth.

Environmentally speaking, labyrinths are great places for exercise as well. They provide the longest amount of walking in the smallest possible space.

We have had a seven circuit classic labyrinth carved in one of our upper, hidden meadows for a numbers of years, but it had grown a bit worn and the meadow overgrown

So Richard and I jumped in my 22 year old Suzuki Samari and headed to the meadow.

samari

We cleaned up.

old labyrinth

Then we called our friend of decades, Chuck Hunner, a master labyrinth builder who had laid out this labyrinth in the first place.

Chuck drove up from his home in Asheville and the three of us enhanced this labyrinth…a lot…including with another good and essential friend John (Deere) putting a heavy stelae in the center.

stellae

The labyrinth is beginning to look better!

labyrinth-taking-shape

You can see the entire process and many pictures of our Merrily Farms Labyrinth being created in Chuck’s Labyrinth Journal.

Chuck is a craftsman with 38 years of experience making art with his hands. For the last 10 years he’s made labyrinths.

His ‘career’ in labyrinth making started when Richard Anderson taught him to
scratch the labyrinth pattern on the beach. The first time Chuck walked into
the pattern he immediately felt the same effect that 15 minutes of deep
meditation gave him.

He makes labyrinths because he knows that they can influence the way people think and feel…this has been for hundreds of years. Walking a labyrinth automatically balances and enhances the way we think. Labyrinth walkers report feeling calm, clear headed and focused. Some experience a catharsis moving old emotions out so that they can see new solutions to the confines of their past. Breakthroughs are almost automatic.

Chuck says he loves labyrinths because they free up his own creative process. A long walk in this small space gets the creative juices flowing and allows new ideas to bubble up into awareness. Ideas come and make life better.

Man working with the environment. Logic uniting with intuition. Work becoming part of play.

There is huge change coming. The change is good. Understanding and adapting to it can help bring profits and help make life better as well.

Gary

Join us and stay at our farm. Enjoy the mountain cool and summer views as you learn.

Or sit at our waterfall.

waterfall

Walk the labyrinth with us during Susan Rotman’s business intuition course.

Or walk the Labyrinth during the splendor of the Blue Ridge leaf change as you learn at our October 3-5, International Business and Investing Made EZ North Carlolina Course.
Labyrinths…lots of walk…little space…uniting the mind, body and emotion. They are springing up all over the US …another sign of how the Western world is changing.

You can see many permanent labyrinths in hospitals, churches and schools near you. Chuck Hunner has helped create many. Try a long walk in a small space.

Labyrinths are another sign of how Western concepts are changing.

Here is a list of Labyrinths that Chuck as worked on in the past few years.

Yanney Park, Kearney, Nebraska
Memphis, Tennessee Cancer Survivors’ Park
Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, Utah.
Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, California.
Trinity United Methodist Church, Ruston, Louisiana.
Labyrinth at Bright School, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois
First United Methodist Church of Ventura, California
First Presbyterian Church, Livermore, California
Central Park Labyrinth, Burlington, Ontario,Canada.
University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
All Saints Cemetery, Salina, Kansas.
Boone Medical Center, Columbia, Missouri..
Church of the Good Shepard, Augusta, Georgia.
Maxey-Gregg Cancer Survivor Park, Columbia, South Carolina.
Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara, California.
St. Dominics, Houston, Texas.
Danville Labyrinth Project, Danville, Kentucky.
Kanuga Conference Center near Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Dolores, Colorado – Sophia Retreat Center

See pictures of these labyrinths

America Leads the Way


America Leads the way…sadly often in the wrong direction.

Though my name is Scott, I like so many Americans am also Irish, thanks to my Grandma McGee.  In fact though she lived in Oregon for more than sixty years, she never became a US citizen.

Yet I have done nothing about this and remain only a US citizen…nor do I intend to.  First, it’s a lot of work registering that Irish citizenship…getting all the documents together and such.  Yet there are other reasons…we’ll see in a moment.

In a recent discussion with a friend, who was also a dual national,  I learned that he gave up his American citizenship.

His reasons were good but for many this does not make sense.  The second reason I remain in the US…this is one of the countries I know my way around best.  I have friends and family and a terrific support system developed here.

The number one rule for good investing and business is to do what you love. Rule #2 is to do or invest in what you know.

I love the US, this magnificent country and the wonderful people so the US is a good place for me to be.

Too few people who leave the US think of this personal aspect.  They become so caught up in high taxation or the bad parts of this nation’s evolution and want to leave. I do not blame them but recommend that they are sure they know where they are going before they irrevocably leave the US.

While recently visiting friends in Seattle, I was talking with their cleaning lady and her daughter from the Czech Republic.  They told me how they had moved to America to be in the land of the free and to live the American dream.  Now they are going back for better opportunity in Eastern Europe.  Plus they feel they will have more freedom there.

For the Czech couple, this may make sense.  They know the Czech Republic and have more friends, family and support back in their original home.

This is a pretty bad commentary on America where opportunity used to be so good that to was worth giving up the old for the new.

Now maybe it’s not.  So many freedoms have been lost in America.   So many new regulations have been been born.  Life is now so complicated.  America is  burdened with an overworked tort system, a failing health and insurance system and monumental federal debt that has and continues to destroy the dollar.

Many Americans feel stifled.  Many fear things will get even worse.

There can be tax benefits to moving abroad (though new tax laws tax those who leave and any gifts they give to Americans before they leave).  It is certainly easier to open a bank account abroad if you are not a US citizen, plus if one has immigrated, a citizenship elsewhere can make life in one’s new country easier and better as well.

Plus I know from living abroad for decades how one feels out from under the eye “Big Brother”, once you live in another country.

Despite these facts, (this may seem strange for me, as one of the first proponents of being a one man multi national), I have no plans to abandon my US citizenship….nor my residence in the US.

This is a well informed choice.  I have lived for many years in Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as the US….so my choice is based on experience.

This global lifestyle has confirmed one important fact….every country has its great good points and its flaws.

If I know and like the US, have children and grandchildren here…why move?
Why spend the time and resources to make a switch?

I see nothing wrong with changing citizenships, especially for those who earn and live abroad, but except in certain cases, I wonder if the benefits are worth the effort?

Instead I devote my efforts to maintaining flexibility and utilizing options.

To me flexibility in earning and asset allocation are more important than citizenship because change is taking place everywhere.  I would rather be a US citizen and have one or two other places to go if everything goes south here, than abandon one of the places I know best, for somewhere new that could have negative changes as well.

America has problems but regrettably as the world’s biggest economy leads the way for other nations to follow.

Take federal deficit spending as an example. For many years it was easy to invest out of the US dollar. The American government was a spendthrift going deeper and deeper into a more of debt.  Other industrial, nations, especially Germany and Japan were much more fiscally prudent.  The the Japanese and German’s learned from the US how to borrow massively every time the economy slowed.

There is a great erosion of freedom in other countries also not just the US.

Let’s look at some specifics.

A July 2 USA Today article entitled “IRS gets OK to request UBS information” says:

“A federal judge in Miami authorized the Internal Revenue Service to request information from UBS about U.S. taxpayers who may be using Swiss bank accounts to evade federal income taxes,” the Justice Department said Tuesday.

“The so-called John Doe summons is used to obtain information about possible tax fraud by people whose identities are unknown. The judge granted the government’s request for a court order a day after it made what a Justice Department spokesman called an unprecedented request for the records. The order ‘directs UBS to produce records identifying U.S. taxpayers with accounts at UBS in Switzerland who elected to have their accounts remain hidden from the IRS,’ the Justice Department said in a statement.”

To me this is a horrible breach of law. How can UBS know if a taxpayer has their account hidden from the IRS?

Yet the US is not alone. Take the UK as an example. I love England was resident there for a decade in this nation and was resident there for many years…but the wonderful freedoms of the Common Law have been eroding just ike in the US.

A recent article at Telegraph.com entitled “Safety deposit box raids yield £1bn of drugs, cash and guns” by Richard Edwards, says:

“Police have seized a potential £1 billion ‘treasure trove’ of cash, drugs and guns in an unprecedented raid on concrete vaults holding 7,000 safety deposit boxes.
Police officers close Park Street in Mayfair before raiding Park Lane Safe Deposit in connection with suspected money laundering operations.”

“Members of the public who have innocently and legally stored their valuables were ‘inevitably’ going to get swept up in the disruption, it was predicted. Police said they could use a freephone number – 0800 030 4613 – to claim back their goods.”

In both cases, innocent parties who have done nothing illegal nor even irregular are going to be inconvenienced at the least.

Let’s look at Canada in another example. Many Canadians are in a fuss over the proposed C-51 laws.  WWW.stop c51 warns Canadians that Bill C-51 will allow government agents to:

* Enter private property without a warrant                    Section 23 (4)
* Confiscate your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 a
* Dispose of your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 c
* Seize your bank accounts without a warrant                     Section 23 (2)
* Levy fines of up to $5,000,000.00 / 2 years in jail per offense. Section 31.1
* Allow laws to be created in Canada, behind closed doors, with the assistance of foreign governments, industrial and trade organizations     Section 30.7
* Allow ‘Crack house style’ of enforcement on natural health providers
Section 23.1″
Plus the site warns more losses of freedom.

There is a government site that says this law will not create these problems but one wonders.  When income tax was first introduced in the US, it was promised it would never rise beyond 2%!

America has enormous tort problems. Every US business worries about lawsuits,
but before you move to France to escape this problem read this article:

“A French court on Monday ordered the online auction giant eBay to pay 38.6 million euros, or $61 million, in damages to the French luxury goods company LVMH, in the latest round in a long-running legal battle over the sale of counterfeit goods on the Internet.

“LVMH, a maker of high-end leather goods, perfumes and other fashion and luxury products, successfully challenged eBay for a second time in the French court, arguing that 90 percent of the Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfumes sold on eBay are fakes.

“The court ruled that eBay, which earns a commission on the sales, was not doing enough to stamp out counterfeit sales.”

Change is everywhere.  We should always look for a balance in our living, earning and investing, that fits our lifestyle and circumstances.  We should seek flexibility and options…but remember that problems are everywhere.

Thank God for problems.  Problems are a sign of evolution and problems create opportunity.  Who wants to live in a land without opportunity?

The problems we see from eroding freedoms are not dilemmas unique to the USA.
They are problems of increased populations all trying to do and have more.  Life seems more complicated today because it is more complicated in some ways.

The more moving parts a machine has…the more likely it will break.   Our social systems have more and more people moving faster and governments working to do just that-govern. One definition of govern is: “manipulate b: to control the speed of (as a machine) especially by automatic means.”

Wherever you live…work…earn look for the problems and figure out the opportunity. If part of that opportunity comes in the form of a new residence or citizenship…that’s great. Go for it…yet realize that this is not the best solution for everyone.

Until next message, may all your freedom come from within and all your problems be good.

Gary

Learn ways to increase your earnings options though international business.

Join us on the farm.

farm pond

Enjoy our deep woods hot tub.

Little horse Creek hot tub

Join us and stay at our farm for Susan Rotman’s business intuition course.

farm-view

Enjoy the mountain cool and summer views as you learn.

See more about the farm

Study our online correspondence courses:

International Business Made EZ

“Self Fulfilled”, my Self Publishing Course

Or Join our Ecuador Import Export Tour this October.

Here is what a reader recently wrote about this course:

“We are now generating business from our Ecuador site www.retire-in-ecuador.com. People are responding to go and live in Ecuador. Our imports from Ecuador are also going well. We have only been trading for 6 weeks, and some customers (gift shops) have re-ordered four times. We only need 100 like them and we will have a sustainable business. We are currently establishing about 10 new customers per week, and are in the process of appointing agents for the other states. We will soon have an “Andes Artisans” site operating www.andes-artisans.com. So keep an eye out.”

International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun Part II


International investing and business have proven themselves over the past 40 years to be profitable. And even more than the profits are the broadened horizons, fulfillment and fun!

Yesterday’s message International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun looked at why International investing and business should be a fun filled process…not a dull boring set of numbers.

One reason for this is that those who live a fulfilled, involved fun existence are likely to be healthier…with less need for expensive pharmaceuticals and medical treatment.

This makes life better plus can save huge amounts of cash.

This is likely to become even more important in the years ahead for those who live in much of the Western world.   Existing medical systems are already filled with problems.  Inflation and aging populations will make the problems even worse.

At the turn of the decade, The World Health Organization analyzed the world’s health systems. The WHO used five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states.

The five performance indicators were:

* Fairness of financial contribution.  While private health expenses in industrial countries now average only some 25 percent because of universal health coverage (except in the United States, where it is 56%), in India, families typically pay 80 percent of their health care costs as “out-of- pocket” expenses when they receive health care.

* Overall Level of Health.

* Distribution of Health in the Populations:  the average level – goodness – and the smallest feasible differences among individuals and groups – fairness.

* Responsiveness: respect for persons including dignity, confidentiality and autonomy of individuals and families to decide about their own health as well as prompt attention and access to social support networks during care, quality of basic amenities and choice of provider.

* Distribution of Financing.

The study revealed that U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries.  The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th.  Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.

Here is the WHO ranking.

1         France
2         Italy
3         San Marino
4         Andorra
5         Malta
6         Singapore
7         Spain
8         Oman
9         Austria
10       Japan
11       Norway
12       Portugal
13       Monaco
14       Greece
15       Iceland
16       Luxembourg
17       Netherlands
18       United  Kingdom
19       Ireland
20       Switzerland
21       Belgium
22       Colombia
23       Sweden
24       Cyprus
25       Germany
26       Saudi Arabia
27       United  Arab  Emirates
28       Israel
29       Morocco
30       Canada
31       Finland
32       Australia
33       Chile
34       Denmark
35       Dominica
36       Costa Rica
37       United  States  of  America
38       Slovenia
39       Cuba

Most of the readership of this site live in countries where the medical system is not even in the top 15 countries!

This means that many of us, (especially us boomers now in our 60s), may want to rely on a good lifestyle to keep our health…not the medical system.

The cost of this medical system is another reason we want to have independence
rather than reliance on government funded programs.  We’ll see why next message.

Until then, may your international investing and business be good…and fun!

Gary

Learn about our next International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador