Tag Archive | "International Monetary Fund;"

How to Make Money in the Multi Currency Era


The US and Ecuador property market offers a rare opportunity to make money in this multi currency era. Here is an excerpt from a recent multi currency update.

Two economic forces have come together to create extra special profits.

I know because the same  combination occurred in London during the late 1970s and allowed me to increase an investment eleven times in two years by buying property then.

Earlier in 1970 I had lived in London, England for a year, then moved to Hong Kong. During that time I also maintained a home outside of San Francisco, California.

This was a time of great inflation. My homes in California and in Hong Kong appreciated greatly. In the mid 1970s, when I moved from Hong Kong back to London, I noticed that London real estate was priced about the same as it had been in 1970. This puzzled me. Why had London property prices remained flat despite inflation?

On investigation, I learned that there had been a huge real estate crash in 1970 which continued to dampen real estate prices six years later despite the rampant global inflation. I felt this was a great distortion as European property prices had risen, but London prices had not. Yet London offered the best utility as the center of the English speaking world. This, to my way of thinking, created a huge distortion.

It’s late 1976. Britain faced  a sterling crisis. In less than two years the pound has fallen from $2.40 to $1.60. Investors had no faith in the British economy, or the government that ran it. The government’s budget was a mess.  Investors  were ditching the pound.

The plummeting pound pushed the economy to breaking point. Prime Minister Callaghan, in desperation borrowed as much as possible, £2.3 billion from the IMF.

At that time, the British pound collapsed to its lowest level ever (a pound per dollar for a short time) so the distortion widened. This meant in US dollar terms London property had dropped almost 50% while property in other major cities of the western world had increased in price by three or four times.

london-house

The house I bought was right next door and very similar to this house in Bedford Park, London W4.

This house in West London was 34,000 pounds, 9,000 pounds down (then $9,000).   I took a mortgage for 25,000 pounds ($25,000).  I lived in the house and three years later the pound had recovered to 2.2 dollars per pound plus London real estate had caught up with property in other major western centers. I sold the house for 115,000 pounds or $253,000 a profit of $244,000 on a $9,000 investment.

Now it’s the US dollar that is very low.

You will have seen articles something like the the September 7, 2009 Bloomberg article “Weak Dollar? Currency, at 10-Year Low, May Fall More” by Bo Nielsen.

An excerpt says: Anyone who says the dollar is weak after it fetched a record-low $1.3681 against the euro and the fewest pence against the pound in 25 years is expressing a euphemism.

The currency may decline at least another 10 percent by the end of 2008, say Jay Bryson, an economist at Wachovia Corp., and Kenneth Rogoff, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. The dollar has only fallen 3.4 percent in the past two years to a 10-year low, according to a Federal Reserve index that weighs trade with 38 countries including China, Mexico, Canada and countries in Europe. It tumbled 30 percent in the three years ended 1988.

“Dollar weakness will be broad-based and could last for years,” said Bryson, a global economist at Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia who previously analyzed currencies at the Federal Reserve.

Investors are dumping dollars, lured by higher returns elsewhere. The U.S. will grow more slowly than Europe for the first time since 2001 and Japan for the first time in 16 years, the IMF forecasts. The difference in yield between 10-year German bonds and Treasuries has shrunk to the smallest since 2004.

Those who read this site regularly or subscribe to our multi currency course know that I reported my personal portfolio and recommended getting out of the US dollar in February 2009. See that recommendation here.

I showed that my portfolio was 86% out of the greenback.

My liquid portfolio currency allocation was reported as Brazilian real  4%,
 Denmark kroner  33%
,  euro 31%
, British pound 10%
, Turkey lira 8%
, US$ 14%.

I also mentioned in February that I was going to start buying Florida real estate.

So Merri and I began looking and in our research found that there appears to be a hole in the market for Central Florida property selling in the million to $750,000 range.  There seems to be no buyers at all. We have been watching prices tumble hundreds of thousands.

We are viewing one property next week that started at $800K+. It just dropped $100,000 last week from $395,000 and is now down to $295,000.

This is about a 25% drop in that house’s price in six months. That’s pretty good!

Now look at what this means in depreciated dollar terms.

dollar-chart

Here is a chart of the euro to US dollar from yahoo.finance.com from February 2009 to September 10, 2009 when this was written.

In February a US dollar bought .80 euro so that house at $395,ooo cost 319,200 euro.  Now a US dollar buys about .68 euro so this house at $295,000 costs about 200,000 euro.

That is a drop in that house price of 37% in six months in terms of euro. That’s even better!

Here is the magic in this hidden, built-in profit.  For most of the market, the profit is hidden.  Most investors are not comparing currencies and real estate prices.  Yet these distortions will filter through. Eventually European investors…. or those like me who are holding currencies other than dollars will see this distortion and cash in.

I, and now you, just have an advantage because we are always looking at both markets… currency and real estate.

Ecuador Real Estate Cheaper as Well

This also creates better value on Ecuador real estate. Take for example one penthouse property I am selling at $139,000.

This is a perfect property for those who want peace… quiet…and instant access to miles of empty, warm Pacific beach.

ecuador beach rentals

This two room, top floor penthouse is at Palmazul and includes use of the the swimming pool, tennis courts… and spa.   You can dine here, one floor below.

ecuador beach rentals

The units are fully equipped… kitchen…

Ecuador beach rentals

with full size fridge.

Living room…

Ecuador beach rentals with a view…

Ecuador beach rentals leading…

Ecuador beach rentals to large private balconies…

Ecuador beach rentals with these views…

ecuador beach rentals

and sunsets to kill for.

ecuador beach rentals

Long walks on the beach… you can amble at low tide for ten miles and not see a soul.

ecuador-seminars

Luxury bathrooms with bathtub…

Ecuador beach rentals

and a king size bed with view and caressed by the ocean breeze.

Ecuador beach rentals

This unit would have cost 111,000 euro in February. Now the price has dropped to 94,500 euro… just from the dollar’s fall.

The US and Ecuador property markets offers a rare opportunity to make extra profit now because of hidden added value from the US dollar’s fall. History suggests that real estate is a real asset so its price rises as the currency its counted in falls.

These corrections take time because most property owners do not calculate their property in multi currency terms.  Those of us who watch this can gain extra profit now.

The article above is an excerpt from a recent Multi Currency update. Learn more about multi currency investing. Subscribe to our multi currency course.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn globally in many currencies.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business. This can help you create your own internet business.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course at no added cost as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times.

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November all three courses, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Join us with Jyske Bank and my webmaster David Cross in West Jefferson North Carolina. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

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

Or head south to Ecuador!

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Join us with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management in Ecuador. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in the mountains and at the sea. Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emailed courses free.

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

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

Read the entire articles:

Weak Dollar? Currency, at 10-Year Low, May Fall More

Dollar Is Near Lowest in Almost Year as Borrowing Costs Plunge

Florida Ecuador Connect


Here is an important Florida Ecuador Connection.

Back in 2000 everything in Ecuador looked really bleak.  The country ran out of gas. All the banks shut down. here were demonstrations in the street.  A huge part of the population fled the country.

What an opportunity!

Having lived again and again in places where problems create opportunity… I look for trouble!   I began my business career  in Hong Kong in 1968.  There were communist riots and bombs being set off in the streets. The Chinese army was massed on the border. Life went on. We all figured out the fastest route to the British and American war ships in the harbor for a quick exit. We watched out for boxes in the street. Then we just got busy with life.  Those who stuck around and bought property and businesses made absolute fortunes.

Then I moved to London, a much quieter, safer, steadier place was expected.   Yet there were huge problems there.  The IRA started setting off bombs in the subway and around town.  They even shot some mortar shells at #10 Downing Street!  Ted Heath caused a general strike and the pound sank to $1 per pound!  The IMF was even needed to offer  economic support to bolster the pound.    I gathered my pennies and bought London real estate at the very bottom.  Those who joined me made fortunes once again.

Then during the 1980s US recession I jumped in again buying Naples, Florida real estate  that over the next 20 years skyrocketed… until it was so high… we exited. Proudly (lucky really) we sold our last condos in Naples in April 2007… just before the market began to crash.

The profits on these went immediately into more Ecuador property.

“Life goes on” is also a financial message.

If you have been in despair about our economy, you might be wondering if things can ever revive. Yes, they can and will! Life and business will be a little different, but mankind carries on. Living in the United States we’ll have to be a little more cautious but the western world will survive. Economies will continue to grow in an up and down way as they have for hundreds of years.

Once you believe this… you see troubled places with delight.

So when everything headed south and the economy tanked, I could not wait to get started in Ecuador. Merri and I created an an active Ecuador business, plus began buying property.   We bought a 962 acre hacienda, condos in the mountains, a house, a hotel, a four story office building plus condos and apartments on the beach.

This is why I am slathering over Florida.   Previous messages at this site have looked at our quest to buy Florida property again.

As I read the recent New York Times article by Michael F. McElroy “After Century of Growth, Tide Turns in Florida” I was reminded why. Here is an excerpt:  HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The smiling couple barreling ahead on the cover of Liberty magazine in 1926 knew exactly where to go. “Florida or Bust,” said the white paint on the car doors. “Four wheels, no brakes.  So it has been for a century, as Florida welcomed thousands of newcomers every week, year after year, becoming the nation’s fourth-most-populous state with about 16 million people in 2000.

Imagine the shock, then, to discover that traffic is now heading the other way. That’s right, the Sunshine State is shrinking.  Choked by a record level of foreclosures and unemployment, along with a helping of disillusionment, the state’s population declined by 58,000 people from April 2008 to April 2009, according to the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Except for the years around World Wars I and II, it was the state’s first population loss since at least 1900.
“It’s dramatic,” said Stanley K. Smith, an economics professor at the University of Florida who compiled the report. “You have a state that was booming and has been a leader in population growth for the last 100 years that suddenly has seen a substantial shift.”

The loss is more than a data point. Growth gave Florida its notorious flip-flop and flower-print swagger. Life could be carefree under the sun because, as a famous state tourism advertisement put it in 1986,

“The rules are different here.”

But what if they are not? Or if those Florida rules — an approach that made growth paramount in the state’s sales pitch, self-image and revenue structure — no longer apply?

“It’s got to be a real psychological blow,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who predicted that census data in December would confirm the findings. “I don’t know if you can take a whole state to a psychiatrist, but the whole Florida economy was based on migration flows.”
Recall what once passed for normal. Florida grew from 2.8 million people in 1950 to 6.9 million in 1970, and by about three million people each decade after that. Even during stagflation in the ’70s, Florida added about 200,000 people a year. More recently, from 2004 to 2006, Florida added about 1,100 people a day, as housing construction’s proportion of the state economy grew to twice the national average.

Now consider Broward County in 2009. The county, between Miami and Palm Beach, was one of the first areas to shrink — losing 21,117 people from April 2007 to April 2009, according to University of Florida data — and its experience offers a glimpse of what could be on the way elsewhere.

Now, we are selling several Ecuador properties to plow back into the “Sunshine State.”

I believe in Florida for one of the same reasons I believe in Ecuador… sunshine… warm weather in the winter.  This is the Florida-Ecuador connection.

I also believe in Ecuador as one of the closest to Florida, practical, low cost places to live with something even better…year round great weather!

Anyone interested in buying Ecuador property, let me know… I bought at really low prices so have some excellent real estate for sale at c0mpetitive prices.

Also if you have Florida property for sale let me know also… in the Central Florida area. (We are not returning to South Florida.)  I am looking….buying and may even swap.

Most investors traditionally run from bad times! But this very fact creates value investing opportunity. Few times has a real estate market been as badly hit as in Florida.   Ecuador real estate continues to appreciate as gringos leave the US and head for points south…but this part of the US south offers great potential now as well.

Regards,

Gary

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

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

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

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

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

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Read here the entire article After Century of Growth, Tide Turns in Florida

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.