Tag Archive | "Greece"

Cotacachi Olympics


Last year our Ecuador Living website introduced the Cotacachi Olympics.

The way to solve many of the world’s social and economic woes is to help youth worldwide gain confidence to learn skills that will make them productive.   Increased affluence in poor places is far more effective than vast armies in providing global security.

We aim our business and the activities of our foundation towards creating employment and improving education.

This is why we support the Cotacachi Olympics  program started by our friend, Jorge Quilumbaqui, to promote the ability of the Ecuador Indigenous to help themselves.

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Jorge Quilumbaqui at his latest real estate project. Primavera IV is in the background.

Jorge started off as a laborer but now is considered to be one of the indigenous elders in Cotacachi, an example to younger generations of how to prosper in what, years ago, was a difficult environment.

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Here’s Jorge, second from left, with Cotacachi’s former mayor Auki, standing with some of the medal winners from last year’s event. (The past mayor next to Jorge is wearing the white hat.)

Jorge hasn’t forgotten his roots though and employs dozens and dozens of builders in his various projects as well as local girls in his hotel in Cotacachi, Sumak Huasi.

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Our friend and reader Dave Wharton was Australia’s Pentathalon entrant in the Sydney Olympics.  He sent down his Olympic torch for the second Cotacachi Olympics.  Here is Dave with the torch.

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Dave sent this note to the Cotacachi Olympians:

GREETINGS FROM AUSTRALIA.
REMEMBER THE LEGENDARY CHASQUI MESSENGERS!!

In 2000 I ran with this TORCH,which carried the flame that started the Olympics in Sydney. There were many torches but only one flame that transferred from torch to torch all the way from Athens in Greece to Sydney in Australia.

In 2003  I brought the TORCH to Ecuador and runners carried it from the Mayan Ruins at Ruminchico outside Quito to Vilcabamba de Loja. Along the way many runners joined us in helping to revive the memory and spirit of the famous CHASQUI runners who came centuries before.  The run was organized by Oswaldo Munoz of  Nuevo Mundo Expeditions in Quito.

I wish Jorge Quilumbaci,Officials and Competitors success in running your MINI OLYMPICS and hope to visit you one day.

CHASQUI DAVE WHARTON
AUSTRALIA

This introduction was translated and read in Spanish and Quichua to the young Cotacachi Olympiads.

Chasqui runners were the main form of communication for the Inca Kings. The Incas did not discover the wheel and lacked a writing system but they set up a relay system for delivering information along the Capac Yan (Inca Trail). Only the swiftest athletes were chosen, usually running 2 miles at a time often covering 200 miles in under 24 hours.

We hope this contribution will further inspire the youth of the Andes onto great things.

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Some of the children, in good humor and ready to compete!

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Both boys and girls competed and the joy expressed as they competed, won and lost in good spirits was a pure pleasure to watch.

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Congratulations, Cotacachi on a second successful Olympics.

Gary

We hope we can help you attain Olympian success in business and life as well.  This is why we developed our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

I am willing to give you this $299 course free when you attend either our our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October or November in Ecuador.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free.

We look at many funky export ideas in these three courses.

For example when decoratng our latest rental unit we created wall art with these Otavalo scarves.

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All it took was the scarves, a stick and a bit of wood.

We visit Otavalo on our Ecuador export tours.

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There is so much…

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style. This is the entrance to the Plazas de los Ponchos in Otavalo.

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There is so much wonderful design….

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colors…

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textures and…

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uses from ponchos to…

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hammocks to…

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sweaters to…

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art and handicrafts to…

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reed furniture… musical instruments and rugs… mats, that the experience stimulates funky business ideas.

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

Or join us in Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

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

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

International Investing Trick


Here is a global diversification trick that may do well in the likely global economic scenario ahead. Buy good value shares internationally as markets dive during the summer dip.

In a moment we’ll look at some Ecuador health ideas… first the investing trick.

Global equity markets have been in a bear market rally for six months but are now hitting the summer blues due to seasonality.

Share prices will probably drop now. Chances are there will be a strong global equity slump at least through October 2009.

This will create extra value in equity markets and provide good opportunity to pick up high value long term.

The bear market is likely to carry on until 2012-13, but good value shares acquired during dips are more likely to spike early and have extra potential after the bear ends.

Now through October 2009 could be a good time to invest in high value shares for long term appreciation.

But which shares… in which markets?

One way to approach this is to look for extra value created by inefficiencies in markets…to find markets where the values are best.

Statistically this is the best way to be absolutely sure of the best long term returns.

There are numerous investment managers who use very strict valuation criteria (usually based on dividend yields, cash flow, price earnings) to spot the best value markets.  They then try to apply similar criteria to select good value shares in the good value market.

The next goal is to decide how much should be weighted in major market and how much in emerging markets.

Here is a comparison of the Morgan Stanley Major Market versus Emerging Market indices.

The MSCI World Index is a market capitalization weighted index that measures the equity market performance of developed markets.  It includes 23 developed market country indices : Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index includes Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

Major                            Emerging
15 years    4.10%                   5.41%
10 years  -3.85%                   9.11%
5 years    -2.77%                  11.16%
3 years   -10.81%              -00.17%
1 year      -20.81%             -27.53%
3 mos.      14.30%               27.53%

Regardless of the time frame observed,  the emerging equities almost always seriously outperformed major markets… but as a class they also dropped further in the 2008 downturn.

Here is a year-on-year comparison for the past five years.

Major                   Emerging
2003  10.74%           29.63%
2004    6.46%           16.51%
2005   26.17%           54.41%

2006     7.40%          18.23%

2007     -1.66%         25.71%
2008   -50.30%      -37.64%
2009      5.39%         34.79%  3 months

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

However before becoming too aggressive in over weighting emerging markets, we have to keep in mind two thoughts.

First economic thought. The last 15 years has been a catch-up era when the investing world caught on to the idea that emerging markets offered great opportunity.

Second economic thought. A great deal of emerging growth came from debt financed exports to the developed world. This leaves emerging economies holding huge amounts of debt for customers who may not be able to repay the debt nor continue to buy the same volume of goods as before.

The easiest way for investors to invest in good value during dips is via a value mutual fund.

You can select a value major market fund, a value emerging market fund or a value diversified fund.

The benefit of a value diversified fund is that the professional manager decides how much to weight in emerging and major markets.

For example I just sent a lesson to our multi currency subscribers that showed a US traded international diversified value fund that has risen 36.08% in the past quarter ending June 30, 2009.  This fund is 86% in major markets and 14% in emerging markets.

Learn how to read about this fund as a multi currency subscriber.

The most valuable asset we can have in tough economic times is good health. This is why we studied Ecuador health ideas at our June tour.

Cotacachi is considered sacred by the shamans… a place of wonderful mountains that ring the valley.  This is Mt. Cotacachi to the west.

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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The first afternoon of the tour we visited La Mirage Spa and the Shamana Estella.

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She began a theme that the many shamans we visited confirmed.   She said that the three keys to better health, increased longevity, more energy and fulfillment are good nutrition, proper exercise and good sleep.

The purpose of the Ecuador shamanic tour is to learn ways to unlock this healthy  combination in a natural low cost way!

The second day we joined Clemencia, the Shamana of Zuleta and drove 15 minutes from our hotel Meson de las Flores to Otavalo market where we visited the local food market…

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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Here is the shamana speaking to the group with Merri and Mauricio translating.

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We learned the importance of the herbs to make good teas that hydrate the body are cedron, chamomile and lemon verbena.

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We learned how other herbs relax such as chamomile and valerian root. Plus we were told to boil lettuce in milk as a prebedtime drink for better sleep.

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On the other hand, tea from cinnamon, paprika, cloves and ginger help reduce sluggishness in digestion and to speed the system when we need to be fired up.

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You can read this entire report as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

Gary

We hope you’ll join us and enjoy Ecuador’s or North Carolina’s beauty soon.

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Ecuador & Global Business Curves


Ecuador & Global Business Curves

Ecuador and global business ideas are important because the economic downturn has thrown many curves at most investment and business plans.

For years my advice to young people who have asked me for a good way to earn in a business has been to buy a fixer upper… fix it, live in it for two years and sell it on.  Then do this again and again.

US tax law allows for an exemption of $250,000 on one’s residence  ($500,000 for couple filing jointly).  Where else can you earn up to $250,000 a year tax free?

I double checked with my friend and tax attorney Joe Cox to make sure this exemption still works.   He replied:

Gary:  You are correct.  One or two projects at a time will not make them a
“developer”.   If they have too many projects, at the same time, they can become a developer and would be subject to ordinary income tax.   There is a $500,000 exemption.  There is  capital gain tax on excess.  This is still lower than ordinary income tax which maybe is going to 39.5%.   Joe

There are some excellent additional tax benefits for those who conduct genuine business abroad.  You can read details in my “International Business Made EZ” course which comes free with our “Tangled Web… How to Have a Web Business” course.  See how to get this course at the end of this message.

My advice to retirees who wish to live in Ecuador is live on your pension and overseas income which is not taxed in Ecuador. Then if you need extra income buy, fix up and sell a bit of Ecuador real estate.  This is tax free income as well… if like in the US you are not involved in too many projects… and become a developer.

For example, on our last real estate tour we saw these houses in Otavalo… brand new.  This Ecuador real estate ranges between $65,000 and $95,000 for very nice houses overlooking Otavalo.  New import regulations in Ecuador and inflation mean that like in the US new homes will cost substantially more.

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The house we visited was 3.5 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms, two dens, living, dining and kitchen areas plus small back yard. The one we saw was of a very high standard,  about 2,300 square feet and had a $95,000 asking price.

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Here is our group inspecting the kitchen. There are also great views.

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This is the type of Ecuador house you could buy and live in, or rent, then sell for a profit in a couple of years. I suspect that if this is your residence there would not be US tax (up to $250,000 or $500,000 for a couple filing jointly) either.

You can get direct tax advice about this the US tax law and benefits of an overseas business from Joe Cox at JCOX@COXNICI.COM

In addition we recommend that everyone become involved in a business that they have a passion for. Here is an example of a reader who moved to Cuenca Ecuador and is doing just this.  He sent me this note. 

Hi Gary,

The last two days of columns about Ecuador and the dollar have been extremely informative and I believe accurate.  That is not just because I agree with you.

We are doing very well in Cuenca.  We have recently become 40% non-operating partners of the local CURVES franchise which went into the black in its first month.

Next month sees the opening of VILLA NOVA INN, located on Avenue Third of December on the city side of the Tomebamba River.  It is about 20 yards  from SAKURA SUSHI, the best Japanese restaurant in Cuenca, perhaps in all of Ecuador.   This is  a new 12 bedroom hostal in which we are 25% non-operating partners that will open next month.

VILLA NOVA INN will have two suites w. cable TV, 9 double/single rooms, and 1 dormitory w. 4 bunk beds.  Prices will range from $8 a night for a bunk bed to $45 a night for a suite.  There will be cable TV and high-speed Internet in the lobby.  The entire hostal overlooks the Rio Tomebamba and has a large outdoor deck with tables overlooking the river.  Breakfast is included in the price of the room or bunk.

You can get more information on the inn from Fernanda Cueva at fercuevav@hotmail.com

These small cash generating businesses along with fully paid for condos in Cuenca and Puerto Gaviota, an adequate amount of gold & silver coins and bullion, and government secured US pension funds make us feel very secure and capable of handling whatever the present financial/economic crisis throws at us.

Like you, I believe that Ecuador is actually one of the few ideal places in the world that will handle this crisis with relative ease and grace.  To support that belief we are looking for additional small local business investments.

All this investment activity helps support our South American Fund for Enlightenment which in addition to supporting students in Ibarra has just completed its first significant project in Cuenca.  We recently completed the delivery of 12 new full sized computers to Escuela Adbdon Calderon.  The computers with 17″ flat screen monitors were assembled by skilled local labor right here in Cuenca.  The project which cost just over $5,000 was a wonderful joint effort by contributors from the United States along with ex-pats and locals here in Cuenca.

The Fund is now working to raise the final $1,500 which will supply the Escuela with a much needed copier and projector plus a couple of printers which H-P locally will toss into the mix.  We hope to finish this aspect of the project before we take off to spend the summer cruising the Greek Isles, driving around Greece and Italy and finally spending most of July and August in our condo in Puerto Gaviota.

All the best to both you and Merri.

Turn your passion into profit… earn extra income… become independent… and do more then just make money…do some extra good as the reader above is.

The four ways to profit in this economic downturn are to:

#1: Invest in shares.
#2: Invest in real estate.
#3: Invest in commodities.
#4: Invest in your own business.

This reader and his wife are doing all four recommendations.

Here is one more point about Cuenca. After a decade of searching, Merri and I settled on Cotacachi and San Clemente as the places where we would live and focus.   However, many want a more urban atmosphere and the city we find our delegates like most is Cuenca.

Cuenca is a forty minute flight south of Quito and there are to 2 to 3 flights a day, although no late evening flights. It is some 8 to 12 hours south of Quito driving depending on the state of the roads. It is a beautiful drive that Merri and I have taken many many times. For many years, Cuenca was isolated from the rest of the country so it has followed its own course all these years, which gives it a unique flavor. Here is Cuenca.

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Cuenca (the actual full name is Santa Ana de los cuatro ríos de Cuenca) is the third most populous city in Ecuador and is the capital of the Azuay Province.

It sits at about 8,000 feet altitude and is a most beautiful small city. The center of Cuenca  is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site because of its may historical buildings.

The readers above purchased a spacious and modern condo in Cuenca within walking distance to the historic colonial city center.

Cuenca condo building

They bought their Cuenca condo pre-construction three years ago and I expect have seen a nice rise in their property value.   They upgraded their condo from the original specifications, adding hardwood floors and fittings and extra lighting.

Cuenca condo living room

Cuenca condo hardwood finishes

Their 1,690 square foot condo only cost $84,800 with the extras pushed the price to around $90,000.

Cuenca condo studio

There are great  views and…

View from Cuenca condo

spacious…

Cuenca condo master bedroom

rooms.

Cuenca condo kitchen

A great boutique hotel in Cuenca is the Boutique Hotel Mansion Alcazar.

Boutique Hotel Mansion Alcazar is a beautiful sample of the unparalleled Ecuadorian Republican luxury style. The 19th-century house was restored to its original splendor and has been designed to be a home for visitors staying in the city for business or for pleasure.

The hotel looks a lot like our hotel Meson de las Flores from the outside.  Here is Meson.

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Here is Boutique Hotel Mansion Alcazar.

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But Boutique Hotel Mansion Alcazar is much more luxurious inside.

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This is true luxury.

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Our good friend of over a dozen years, Jorge Espinosa (one of the owners of the Relais & Chateaux La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa) used his talents to renovate this charming hotel.

Ecuador Living subscribers can enjoy a discount. More details on how to subscribe are here.

The global economy may throw you some curves… but there are ways to hit economic home runs anyway. We look forward to sharing ideas for profits in this new economic paradigm with you.

Gary

To help you learn how to earn income anywhere,  I am making a special offer that ends tonight, April 3 at midnight. (I extended this deadline due to our web site crash).

You can have the “The Tangled Webs We Weave”…our course on how to have a Web Based  Business… FREE..

I launched this course earlier this year and am making a special offer…that gives you this course free…and more.

Now you can learn everything that I do to create income and have fun and fulfillment in a web based micro business.  Here is a  special offer.

This new course entitled “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Internet Business” is available at $299.

This is a bargain. Merri and I have been traveling and doing international business for 41 years. We have had a web based business for over ten years. You can share everything we have learned.

However when you sign up for Tangled Web in March 2009, I’ll include two of my other emailed courses, How to be a Self Publisher and International Business Made EZ  FREE as well.

PLUS…

My webmaster is joining Merri and me at our two North Carolina courses this year for our first Tangled Web seminars.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

If you have ordered Tangled Web, I will reduce any of these course fees by $299!

In all you receive the emailed “Tangled Web” course, International Business Made EZ” and “How to be a Self Publisher”,  FREE when you enroll in either the July, October or November seminar.

Enroll here $299

or enroll for any of the three courses above. I’ll send all three emailed courses free right away.

We provide our standard, full guarantee. Enroll.  Try the course for 30 days. If not satisfied we’ll give you an immediate, full… no fuss refund.  This offer expires at midnight April 3, 2009.

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.

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In two directions…

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in less than two weeks.

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

Today, near Primavera II condos…

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

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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

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

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