Tag Archive | "Jefferson"

International Investment Gains


Our latest International Investment & Business Seminar here in Ashe County,  North Carolina  looked at International Investment gains that were up 14% in the first six months of this year.

When these seminars begin… there is always a hint of excitement.   Thomas Fisher has flown in from Denmark. Our webmaster, David Cross, has arrived from Oregon and delegates have come from all over the world.

We’ll look at some of the international investments we view (including Ecuador opportunity) but let’s also allow some of the delegates to tell you how they felt about this seminar.

One delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Merri and David,  Thanks for a great weekend.  As a new club member, I’m looking forward to the next time that we can spend some time together and to reading “Ecuador Living”.  Sincerely,

When our North Carolina international investing and business seminars begin, I rise at dawn on the farm and then…

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we drive into West Jefferson where we conduct the seminar.

We are casual at our international investment seminars but serious.

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Many delegates make international investing and business… even lifestyle decisions based on the economic updates we share, so I and our other speakers, Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management, our webmaster David Cross and Merri have spent enormous time getting prepared.

This year our July North Carolina course was conducted at at the Ashe County Arts Center in West Jefferson.

The Arts Center is housed in a historic WPA building featuring a gallery so we share our information amidst local art and crafts, statuary and exhibits from over four-dozen artists.  Here is some of the art we saw.

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The seminar began with a historical review that led us to three places to invest now.

#1: Multi Currency Sandwich in value markets, emerging markets and wellness.

#2: The environment.

#3: Real Estate in the US and Ecuador.

Plus we saw why many of us would need our own business.

The first historical fundamental we covered was a way to predict where markets might go next.  We saw for example that the Dow has moved in approximate 15-17 year up and down cycles for over 100 years.

We viewed how the Dow appears to be in the 10th year of a 15 to 17 year down cycle that began in 1999.  We compared the last two years of this cycle, with the equivalent period in the 1968 to 1982 bear cycle.

We saw an amazing 93% correlation between then and now.

The chart below from Moore Research compares the Dow from 1976 through 1978 to the Dow of the last 18 months. The Blue line is what happened in the equivalent period in the 1970s to now.

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Here is what another delegate wrote about this seminar:

Hello Merri & Gary,  Now that I am back home and settled into the normal routine, it’s time to drop you a line to say how much my brother Rick and I enjoyed attending the conference last weekend.   Experiencing the beauty of Ashe County and the pleasant disposition of the people who live there contributed to the picture of the place that you paint via the letters and photos sent out to your readers.  Not only was the information presented there of great value, but Rick and I found that all of the other participants we met are great people indeed, just as you’ve mentioned.  Your ability to attract like-minded souls is a service in itself, and one that provides lessons we can all strive to emulate going forward.

Thank you again for providing the opportunity of meeting you both in person; I will begin to make use of the information to enhance my own life and look forward to seeing you both again some day.  Best wishes.

Then we looked at the multi currency sandwich and how you can currently borrow US dollars at 3% to invest the loan in higher yielding shares and bonds.  Pound loans are 4%.

We also saw how the British pound was a potentially undervalued currency versus the US dollar.

We looked at how Jyske Global Asset management’s Low Risk Portfolio with a 100% loan rose 11.4% since 2009 or at 23% per annum pace.

Then we reviewed an 18% six month profit with 4.75% ISS Capital 2010 bond (or growth at 36% per annum pace).

We reviewed a  7.25% Bombardier 2016 bond. that offered a longer duration and higher spread of 3.5%.

This led us to a multi currency sandwich with $100,000 invested and $50,000 US$ loan at 3% and $50,000 loan in British pounds at 4%.

The $200,000 was invested $100,000 in US the 7.5% dollar bond above.  $50,000 was invested in a Pound denominated bond issued by Hungary due 2016 and yielding 10%.  $50,000 was invested in British shares because Britain is one of the best valued major markets at this time.

Here is what another delegate shared about the seminar:

Merri, My wife  and I would like to thank you and Gary for a wonderful course. We thoroughly enjoyed all the information presented by Gary, Thomas and David. And we thank you for your hospitality with having us to your lovely “piece of paradise” in Lansing. The lunch was delicious and your presentation of import/export items was quite interesting.  We look forward to visiting Ecuador in September of 2010. And we look forward to visiting and staying at your hotel in Cotacatchi.

We then reveiwed the best and worst value equity markets around the world and saw that the best valued major markets are now Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and the UK.

Here is what another delegate had to say about this seminar.

Hi Gary & Merri,  I thoroughly enjoyed the time you so graciously allowed me to attend at your seminar and am not surprised, in the least, that you are getting rave reviews.  You and Merri make such a wonderful team offering these seminars with professionalism and charm, and here in Ashe County, with a unique local flavor.  We all thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting acquainted with many of your delegates.  As it was last year as well, many of the people you attract with your seminars are well traveled, interesting and very personable.  Thank you for your friendship and generosity,

In another session we looked at the importance of investing in the environment. We saw three ways to gain from sustainability changes ahead.

#1: Adaptation.  Investing in solutions to health problems is an example. Poor food produced in our central food system creates blood sugar problems, so Novo Norsk a Danish company that is the largest producer of insulin makes sense.

#2: Mitigation.  Cleaning up the mess humanity offers profit especially with water. Hyflux, a Singapore company, and Kurita Water, a Japanese firm, both have potential in this field.

#3: Structural Change.   Vestas Wind Turbines is a Danish company and is the largest maker of wind turbines to produce energy.

Here is what anther delegates sent to Merri and me about this seminar:

As a retiree who saw her retirement sustain considerable loss due to the economy, I found the information you presented during the three days to be extremely helpful and showed a plausible way for me to have some recovery.  Besides all of the relevant information, your emphasis on honesty and the importance of not to be deceptive was reassuring.  The bottom line is, that what gave real value to the information we were receiving and what made us feel comfortable was, that we felt you, Thomas and David were all people of good character.  Something that is very important to us.  Thank you, Gary and Merri, for providing a wonderful Seminar. Sincere regards.

On Saturday evening we drove to Lansing and looked at how small businesses can grow as we visited the New River Winery for a wine tasting. The winery is housed in another old WPA building which originally was the Lansing school.

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Here is Haskell McGuire one of New River founders showing us the winery.

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New River’s flagship wines are Bohemia Red and Bohemia White. These were followed by the introduction of signature wines, Back Porch Blueberry.  New River now has several new wines in production including:  Pinot Blanc, Viogner, Hellbender Red, Lansing School White, Big Laurel Blush, and Seyval.

The winery started small and is growing by leaps and bounds. Vineyards and wineries are one of the fastest growing business sectors in North Carolina.

Here is an unedited quite from another delegate:

Dear Gary and Merri:  We so enjoyed attending the IBEZ Seminar this past weekend in Jefferson, NC.  We loved the high country area, the nice people we met and particularly enjoyed the visit and tour of the New River Winery.  We were lucky to sit at a table with four utterly charming southern women, one of whom was Haskell’s wife.  We had a long drive home on Sunday and were sad that we had to leave and not be able to join you and our group for lunch at your farm and sad that we missed Merri’s cooking.  We hope someday in the future we may have the opportunity to visit your property as we heard it is quite beautiful.

Then we began the international business sessions of the course and David began teaching how to use the internet in business.

We started by looking at a Time Magazine quote which said:

Throw away your briefcase: you’re not going to office. You can kiss benefits goodbye. Your new boss won’t look much like your old one. There’s no longer a ladder, and you may never get to retire, but there’s a world of opportunity if you figure out a new path.

On Sunday we continued the course at our farm. Everyone was invited up to the house for lunch.

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We did a review of Ecuador export products.

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Like this leather coat and these baby alpaca sweaters.

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Another delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Just a quick note to tell you again how much I enjoyed the seminar and seeing your lovely farm.  I spoke to you briefly about deciding that I wanted the web course instead of mult-currency.  Thank you for sending me that instead of the multi-currency.  It may be two weeks, but I am starting to work on that site.  I know from life experience that it is always better to focus on what you want to create instead of what you don’t want. So thank you for the buzz of creativity that you, David, and others from the  group inspired.  I am also interested in featuring the dulcamaras product on my site, along with testimonials.  You mentioned a contact for that product.  I would appreciate that information also. Smiles.

Here is some Ecuador art that evolved from drum making.

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Delegates came up with many marketing and…

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Business ideas.

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plus we had fun.

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Next time this course will be in October.  This view…

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will look like…

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this!

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As the guests leave… in the dusk… there is always a moment of sadness.  New friends made.  Interesting ideas shared and now we are moving apart.

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Yet we’ll be back together again next seminar.

This delegate expressed it well when she wrote:

Thank you again for a truly life changing and life enhancing weekend. And we also wish your loved ones a speedy recovery and good health. Best regards.

We hope you will join us for our International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina this October or in Ecuador in November like this delegate who wrote:

Hi Gary,  It was wonderful to meet you and Merri at the IBEZ Conference this past weekend!  You both are so warm and caring and have a genuine desire to help the people of Ecuador and others to build a successful business.

The classes were very insightful and jam packed with information and suggestions on how to start your very own web based business. You and David, your webmaster, presented the information in an easy to understand format that even computer dummies like me could understand.

The multi currency investing portion of the class presented by you and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management were very interesting and educational.  It opened our eyes to new avenues of investing that we didn’t have a clue about before.

We also very much enjoyed the Import and Export portion of the class.  The items from Ecuador that you and Merri shared with us were very beautiful.  I especially loved the bird art and would be very interested in importing some of these to sell.  I am also interested in jewelry, leather goods, and the shawls like Fran was wearing in class (they were enhanced with the leather collar and leather applique).  I think that custom made leather goods that are stamped, as you and Merri suggested, have good income potentials. We would like to thank you and Merri for opening up your beautiful home to the class on Sunday afternoon and feeding us such a delicious lunch.  This was the perfect ending to three days of fun and sharing of ideals and suggestions on how to make money from investing in property and multi currency to building a successful web site business and Importing/Exporting from Ecuador for profit.  Thank you and Merri so much for everything.  We look forward to attending additional conferences.  Take care and hope to see you again soon.

Gary

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM and our webmaster David Cross 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 early retirement in Ecuador at the course.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

Another delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Just looked at your website for the first time and couldn’t hardly stop reading all the fantastic topics and the wealth of information you provide.  One of the best website’s I’ve experienced.  Don’t know why I haven’t looked at it sooner but am very happy I finally got to it.  I read as many articles as I could in one sitting with limited time this morning and am anxious to get back to read more.  Your life experiences and expertise is fascinating.  It’s amazing how close your philosophy about life, work, investing, family, etc. parallels my own.  I suppose international living, broad experiences with other cultures, diverse business experiences, etc., culminate in a certain way we view the world.  Anyway, thanks for sharing so much excellent philosophy and expertise.

Retire in Ecuador – Out of Cities


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

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

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

Dear Gary,

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

My reply was “Mainly grandkids”.

Yet there is much more.

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

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

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

Change alters the value of places.

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

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

Now cities are much more dangerous and crowded and inconvenient.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the key point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Prices as mentioned have already risen.

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

5. Wal Mart built a super store.

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

7. Lowes has open a large DIY store.

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

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

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

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

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

Retire in Ecuador because Ecuador real estate is inexpensive.

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

See why at Ecuador Real Estate is Inexpensive

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

Gary

Our 2009 course and tour schedule.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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