Tag Archive | "Korea"

Investing Internationally


Investing internationally with thought about reflexivity can improve your wealth.

See three thoughts below that can help bring you everlasting wealth.

#1: George Soros’ thoughts on international investment reflexivity and how the power of thought affects investing and business internationally.

#2:  More on Ecuador’s government’s plan to take over a number of  TV and radio frequencies.

#3: An update on international emerging market values…

International Investments & Reflexivity

Investing internationally can bring everlasting wealth if your logic can adapt and focus in new and meaningful ways.  One way to focus your investing logic is by understanding reflexivity.

The term reflexivity was coined by George Soros.   His thinking on investment markets can help investors because the philosophy has proven success.

Part one of his book “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” shows how we as investors and as a society need to think outside the box.  This section of the book makes seven points:

Point #1: Understanding world is inherently imperfect because we are part of the world.

Point #2: There are two functions in our thought… understanding the world … cognitive thought and having impact and taking advantage of the world… manipulative thought.

Point #3:  These two functions counteract one another. Manipulation requires intentions and predictions which are not fact.  So our beliefs and expectations can hinder our ability to see fact.

Soros writes in this book: “Take the stock market as an example People buy and sell stocks in anticipation of future stock prices, but those prices are contingent on the investors’ expectations. These expectations cannot qualify as knowledge.

Point #4:  Supply and demand are not independent of people’s expectations.  This means that the element of uncertainty cannot be be eliminated. Yet market theory that rules most investing and most government intervention in markets ignores this fact.

Point #5:  Social events have a different structure from natural phenomena.  Natural phenomena has a causal chain that connects one event directly to the next.  Human affairs include participant’s views. These views affect the causal effect and the participant’s views which creates self reinforcing loops.

Point #6: Natural events happen. Participants can affect what happens next with their decisions but cannot base their decisions on true knowledge because their decisions alter the truth.

Point #7:  At times reflexivity makes the abnormal normal.

Soros’ philosophy is supported by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known exactly.  The more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. It is impossible to measure both position and velocity of a microscopic particle with any degree of accuracy or certainty. This is not only a statement about the limitations of a researcher’s ability to measure particular quantities of a system, it is a statement about the nature of the system itself… the fact that the act of measuring anything alters the very thing being measured.

This would make it seem that we cannot really gain an understanding of what will happen with any international investment or business.   This is true.

However there are ways we can come closer to understanding… because we are a part of nature, which by definition makes us part of and in touch with everything.

Access to this infinite knowledge is via our more subtle brain waves.

Access to these waves can come in many forms.

Soros claims to have many ways to access this greater knowledge but in his book his son wrote:  My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, at least half of this is bullshit. I mean you know the reason he changes his position in the market is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning sign.

Some would call it intuition, instinct, gut feeling and perhaps these are just ways of describing getting in touch with a deeper, non linear, infinite field of intelligence that all receive but few tune in.

We cannot define infinity and logical thought by definition must be linear.

Final decisions should be rational and should come from our logic… but logic by its nature must be focused on a very narrow path.  This means we need a way to let our intuition tell us when we need to shift the focus of our logic on a new path outside the box.

One way the yatchaks (means to know) of the Andes and wise people everywhere is to look for signs of nature.

One term used for these signs is totems.  For example, my totem is the Heron.

So let’s ask what in the heck do Herons have to do with international investments?

The answer is nothing and yet everything…

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Here is an explanation about totems from Speaker for the Animals:

Heron – Aggressive – Self-Reliance – Self Determination  Heron links two worlds: the waters of life—the Unconscious, and the air—the realm of the conscious mind. He feeds on fishes, which symbolize the treasures of the Unconscious mind: spiritual nourishment for the Seeker. Yet he is also a creature of the Earth, so he is a grounding influence for people who spend too much time in their minds and who are called to ‘fish’ in the waters of the unconscious.

The legs of Heron are long to “stand” the deep waters of the Unconscious: the Waters of Lethe bring sleepiness and unconsciousness if one is not awake, aware and wary. Heron is a solitary fisher; if you call upon Heron to be your own totem, you must be able to stand alone as you seek, for there is no one to call on should you step into too-deep waters.

Heron’s strength for those of us who spend too much time ‘in our minds’ is that he brings one down to Earth. With Heron as your guide, he will bring you to ground to explore life here in the physical instead of just daydreaming or losing oneself in one’s imagination or dreams.

We’re unconventional, hearing our own inner drummer. We don’t worry about ‘keeping up with the Jones’s, doing what others do, believing what others believe, valuing what others value. If there is a weakness, it is that Heron works too hard at its fishing because he is a superb ‘stalker.’ He spends long hours standing and watching for a movement in the water, and needs sometimes to ‘loosen up’ and spend more time playing, courting lady herons or just snoozing in the Sun.

Most people, as Ted Andrews says in his book Animal Speak, would never choose to live this way: “It is not a structured way, and does not have a stability or security to it. It is though, just a matter of perspective. There is security in heron medicine, for it gives the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way doesn’t work, then another will.”

Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance. This is a valuable character trait in these times of conformity and homogenization of values. Heron people can stand alone, listen to their own inner wisdom, and go their own way when everyone else is conforming to society’s commands. In this way, they build their own ways to be as well as choose their own way of doing. They are individuals first.

Herons are active in my life and I have painted one (inspired by Audobon’s Heron) that hangs in the entrance to our house.

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So when the Great Blue Heron that lives on Little Horse Creek flew from our high mountain bog right over this morning, I dug out my copy of Animal Speak.

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I rethought my business and investments in contrast to the symbolism of the heron.  This never happens without my coming up with some worthy thought.  Today it related to a partnership I was looking into.  I reread Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance.

This started me rethinking if Merri and I really want a partner. This started me looking at the business in a very different way.

Ecuador shamans and yatchaks use this process extensively and call it shape shifting. They place themselves in the spirit of their totem and this forces them to think about whatever subject they are concerned with in a different way… thinking like a heron or eagle or condor definitely puts you out of the box!

I did not come to any conclusions about my business decisions because I saw a heron.  The fact I saw a heron caused me to sit down and use my logic to rethink my plans in a different way.

Learn more about how to improve your thought process here.

Ecuador Radio and TV

On the subject of Ecuador, a previous message shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to seize a number of radio and TV stations and promised to stay tuned to what happens.  I have asked many of my trusted sources in Ecuador for their opinions which we’ll share in various messages.  Here are two from businessmen in Ecuador.

The first contributor was quite negative when he wrote:  The first thing to take into account is that he is actually proposing control over the press not only within the countries but at a international
level. What he is saying is that countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others, should create an international committee that will oversee what the media is saying about the governments.

Ecuador is following the Venezuelan model, so if you see that Chávez is pushing for a new legislation that control the media and whatever content they have that may “threaten” the nation security, Ecuador will follow that soon. Below is what Venezuela is doing, they actually want to sensor the information that the media exposes meaning that if who oversees the media thinks that this or that information is “bad” for the country, the media or the anchor will actually face justice and may even go to jail for at least four years. They closed 32 radio stations and 2 tv stations.

Rafael Correa, the President, said that his team was about to revoke some radio frequencies depending on the outcome of a report that his government is finishing. This will mean that whatever happens will be done in the next weeks. Critics claim that this was not done on a technical level but on a political one, opening the door for the government to possibly revoke the frequencies of radio stations or TV stations that oppose the government.   On this matter nothing is sure yet, but Conartel, which oversees the media, actually punished a TV station, Teleamazonas, that opposes the government.  The fines were applied to that TV station one time, by law the second time they must close for about 90 days and the third time they must close forever. They censored the Simpsons also from that TV station and there was a public outcry because Conartel and the government threaten to punish them.  We figure that since he started a new period, things will start to happen in the coming weeks, so far nothing is concrete yet.

He was not totally negative though and added: One thing although is that the government is not talking about taking over TV stations or radio stations, but revoking the frequencies. But take this into account, the government actually took over some private TV stations, they got them as part of a debt that Filanbanco, a bank, had with the government back in the crisis of 1999. This appears to be a separate thing. On the same takeover they got two TV stations plus a newspaper El Telégrafo.

The second contributor feels good about this new and wrote:  Hi Gary,  I have lived here full time for over 9 years and have seen the corruption and I believe that Correa’s intentions are more good than bad. I believe that many things that he does for a good reason while he is working on removing corruption are turned into bad press by the opposition. The same opposition that stole from the people of Ecuador throughout history, and want to regain control and steal from them again. I think that the Wall Street Journal article you wrote about says a lot. It says to me that he is going through the licenses one by one to find out if the licenses were granted illegally through corruption and payoffs. If they were granted legally, no problem…..and if they weren’t we are going to suspend the license and you will have a chance to prove that you obtained it legally.  A year or so ago, two television stations were taken over, with the same uproar in the press. But the truth is that they were taken over because the owners of those two stations were the owners of one of the banks that went under when they took all of the depositors money and went to Miami to live happily ever after. Well, Correa went after their assets ( a first for a president to go after someone like this) and some of those assets were the two tv stations. So we need to look past what the press says as many of them are owned by this type of opposition. I see Correa in a similar boat that President Vicente Fox of Mexico was in a few years ago, when His party was elected after over 100 years of severe corruption by the ruling party and he wanted to remove that corruption. He was also fought along the way by the opposition that wanted the power back to again steal from the people. It is a very difficult job that Correa has ahead of him, and I hope that he can succeed and become possibly the best president that Ecuador has ever had.  Regards.

We’ll be providing a full report on the radio and TV position to our Ecuador Living subscribers

Emerging Markets Update

We’ll share more comments about international investments in Ecuador in upcoming messages… but let’s use our logic here to look some more at international investments in all emerging markets.

One problem many investors have when using non linear approaches to international investments is that they forget the final logical step…. which is to come back and end in the logical mode.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should just ignore what is in the box. We want to use our logic to reflect on “in-the-box-stuff” in different ways.  If we do not know what’s in the box then we won’t know when we are out of the box.   Boxes exist for a reason.  At times the box.. assuming the box is the norm… but Soros says “is abnormal.”    We need to conclude if the box is normal or abnormal which dictates that we do examine what’s in the box.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should abandon logic.

So I may sit down and rethink everything… or something I am doing when I see a heron… but I add that to my traditional logical thought.

This is one reason why we regularly review Michael Keppler’s major and emerging market value analysis.  Kepler is a statistical genius and guru…. very institutional… logical mathematical .

What I search for are strokes of intuition supported by such logic.

This morning for example their were three crows grazing our front yard.

Stock market investors sometimes refer to three crows as a pattern of successive declining stock prices over three days often identified by overlapping candlestick patterns. Three crows are often seen as a warning of a period of powerful selling pressure on the stock market.

This does not mean I rushed out and sold all my shares. It does mean I looked at logical data like Keppler’s value analysis to see if the logic supports the intuition.

Here is an excerpt from our last multi currency portfolios update that shows Keppler’s mathematical logic.

Emerging Markets equities recorded their highest ever quarterly return. In the second quarter 2009, the MSCI Emerging Markets Total Return Index gained 34.7 % in US dollars and 27.5 % in euros.

This brings the year-to-date total return of the global Emerging Markets benchmark to 36 % in US dollars and 34.8 % in euros.

All markets covered here were up last quarter. Hungary (+69.7 %), India (+59.8 %) and Turkey (+56.6 %) had the most impressive returns.

Peru (+11.2 %), Israel (+15.8 %) and Morocco (+19.6 %) came in at the bottom of the performance range with what would be very desirable double-digit returns under normal circumstances.

In the second quarter 2009, the Emerging Markets Top Value Model Portfolio, which invests according to the Top Value Strategy and assumes index returns for each national market included in the strategy, gained 45.5 % in US dollars and 37.7 % in euros, outperforming the benchmark by 10.8 percentage points in US dollars and by 10.2  percentage points in euros.

There were two changes in our performance ratings last quarter: Korea was downgraded to “Sell” from “Neutral” and Brazil was upgraded to “Buy” from “Sell”.

The Top Value Model Portfolio now contains the eight “buy” rated markets: Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey at equal weights.

It is unusual for a market to rise all the way from sell to buy as Brazil did this quarter. This is in keeping with our thoughts on Brazil Distortion Thoughts published in  April and June.

You can see the password protected pages and full emerging markets update and a warning about these values as a Multi Currency Portfolio subscriber.

Whether you plan to have international investments, an international business or non at all, it will become increasingly  important to think outside the box as change accelerates and new social and economic paradigms are required.  Whether you use backaches, gut feel, hunches, totems or meditation and prayer… new ways to focus your logic an help you have everlasting wealth.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.

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

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

See details of the two seminar below.

international-investments-seminar

Thomas Fischer teaching at our IBEZ seminar.

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 $300.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

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

international-investing

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador tiles are one great product attract many international businesses.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course: Thanks so much.  I have been following the advice in your Multi Currency Course/International Investing monthly and have added selected suggested funds from your lists which are available in my Fidelity IRA.  Even though my transactions are in SMALL amounts for stock and ETFs I am almost back up to the total invested amount prior to the stock market dive of last year.   Your emails have given incentive to keep diversified investments when I know other people are selling out.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + 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 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 for two.

See the entire explanation of herons at speakerfortheanimals

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.

International Investing & Business Index


Making international investing and business decisions based around an index of happiness can add depth to your international investment and business decisions.

Understanding what will happen globally is important to everyone’s decision making process on where to do business… where to invest and where to live.

We’ll see below that Ecuador is high on NEF’s (New Economics Foundation) Happiness Index (more on the index in a moment)… but this index is about much more than Ecuador.

This index is about the world… the future…. prosperity and poverty… life and death.  We should know it… especially because it is quite hard to believe.

You’ll see below why:

* Seemingly poor countries may have an advantage in the years ahead.

* The richest countries may not be the best places to invest or start a business.

* How to use new techniques to see what the future may bring socially and economically.

NEF is an independent think-and-do tank that tries to analyze real economic well-being.  NEF’s aim is to improve the world’s quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environmental and social issues.

NEF says:  NEF’s report, the Happy Planet Index: An index of human well-being and environmental impact, published in association with Friends of the Earth, moves beyond crude ratings of nations according to national income, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to produce a more accurate picture of the progress of nations based on the amount of the Earth’s resources they use, and the length and happiness of people’s lives.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) strips the view of the economy back to its absolute basics: what we put in (resources), and what comes out (human lives of different length and happiness). The resulting Index of the 178 nations for which data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go.  In terms of delivering long and meaningful lives within the Earth’s environmental limits – all nations could do better.  No country achieves an overall ‘high’ score on the Index, and no country does well on all three indicators.

This index is important because everyone is increasingly faced with complicated problems, parts of which are unknown or unreachable.

This index is worth sharing because as I read it,  my first thought was “nonsense.”

Who would have placed the nations of Guyana, Bosnia, Georgia  and Romania above the UK for happiness?  Yet  Guyana is 63rd in the index. the UK 74th.

Here is 63 to 74 on the happiness index.

63. Guyana
64. Belgium
65. Bosnia and Herzegovina
66. Slovenia
67. Israel
68. Korea
69. Italy
70. Romania
71. France
72. Georgia
73. Slovakia
74. United Kingdom

Guyana happier than France and the UK?

I wanted to reject it.

Then it made me begin to realize… the somewhat disturbing fact that as far as potential for happiness goes, Americans are almost at the bottom of this international index… along with the British and most Europeans.

Reading this index made me realize that we cannot use old standards of the past to analyze what will happen in the future.

About the time of this thought, a page from an old John Sanford novel, “The Hanged Man’s Song” came to light.

The prime person in this fiction is a computer hacker… a very logical, scientific thinking person… but who also from time to time uses a totally unscientific way to process information… tarot cards.

The story says:

So I got the cards out, my tarot cards.  I’m not exactly a scientist – I was trained as an engineer-but I have studied the philosophy of science and I’m a true believer.  The tarot as a predictive system is superstitious nonsense. The deck is useful as a gaming device, though and that’s how I use it.

Like this: we are forced to deal with complicated problems, when some facets of the problem are unknown or unreachable, we deal with them in terms of our past experience. That’s almost inescapable. But approaches that are useful with some problems don’t work with others. The tarot deck, when used as a gaming system, pushes you outside past experience and encourages you to think of new ways to deal with it.

Say for example, you are involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were dealing with, the opposition,consisted of five men and a women. You begin doing the tarot spreads and see a number of indications of female influence.

This does not mean that the deck correctly predicts female influence in the transaction, but suggests that you should sit back and think about the woman on the other side, who might otherwise seem to be just another functionary. Why is she there? What specific influences does she have? Is there a way to approach her that would help the deal?

This has nothing to do with supernatural-it’s simply a human way, and a fairly subtle way to game a problem.

This started me looking at the index more.

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Sustainability and cost of happiness are a part of the index. This is why we grow some of our own crops at our farm… like the lettuce we harvest around our backyard pool.

The Happiness Index pushes us beyond our past experience.  This international index does challenge mainstream thinking.

Imagine Haiti is 41st on the list.  Denmark 105th.

99. Uruguay
100. Ghana
101. Latvia
102. Australia
103. New Zealand
104. Belarus
105. Denmark

That started me thinking for sure.

NEF is composed of some very intelligent people so their approach does have  logic. NEF calls it a new global measure of progress, the ‘Happy Planet Index’.

The NEF logic factors in the short and long term cost of happiness.

Mainstream thinking uses measurements like growth of GDP… but ignores the relativity involved. If GDP rises 10% this is considered good.  Traditional thinkers do not ask what is the cost of this growth to our environment. How much will we, our children and grandchildren have to pay in the future for this current growth?

Nor does the mainstream paradigm compare the happiness efficiency of a nation.

The NEF Happiness Index takes into account whether a culture is using more than its fair share of the Earth’s resources.

This creates a new international ranking of environmental impact and well-being and reveals a very different picture of the wealth, and poverty of nations.

Environmental Efficiency

NEF’s view is that Happiness Efficiency is a phrase and concept worth knowing and using in consideration of the overall (long and short term) success of a nation.

We all know the benefits of efficiency. Now we have a way to measure a really important long term efficiency.  We could call it the “cost per smile” or “laughter earning ratio”.

This really makes sense because it is the inherent nature of all living things to strive for happiness and satisfaction and avoid stress.  If the population of a nation needs to do and spend a lot to attain it… that nation is likely to have economic problems due to its lack of efficiency compared to other nations.

NEF’s index combines environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which countries provide long and happy lives.

The results are surprising, even shocking.

The index shows a very different hierarchy of success than we normally assume.

For example, the US is a disappointing 114th in happiness ranking behind  countries like Mongolia, Malawi and Chad.

106. Mongolia
107. Malawi
108. Russia
109. Chad
110. Lebanon
111. Macedonia
112. Congo
113. Madagascar
114. United States of America

NEF’s report also says:

“It is clear that no single nation listed in the Happy Planet Index has got everything right. But the Index does reveal patterns that show how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means. The challenge is – can we learn the lessons and apply them? Governments the world over have been concentrating on the targets for too long. If you have the wrong map, you are unlikely to reach your destination”, says Nic Marks, head of NWF’s Centre for well-being.

The HPI shows that high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being (life-satisfaction).  This suggests that it is possible to produce high levels of well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources.

The report also shows that a culture can have a long, happy life with a small environmental impact.   America and Germany have similar life satisfaction and life expectancy. Germany’s Ecological Ecological footprint is barely half that in America.   This means that Germany is twice as efficient as the USA at generating happy long lives based on the resources they consume.

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Sustainability is important for long term happiness which is why we bought a farm with lots of spring fed water, like this stream that flows in our backyard.

How can we use this index in business and investing?

I am not sure how accurate this index is or how important it will be.  Accuracy is not all that important though because, if nothing else, this index is a thought process put together by intelligent people that can help us see and think outside the box… something we always need to do.

We must always ask, what comes next?  This index might help us answer this question by adding one more small light that reflects of what might be in the days ahead.  Now we can see better how a country is doing now plus how the cost of the current success may affect the future.

Thinking outside the box is almost always a criteria for long term success. For those who believe this, NEF’s Happiness Index will help make them happy!

Ecuador is 25th on the index.  See the top 25 countries on the index and more about Ecuador’s Index here

Gary

Join us July 24-26 in the cool Blue Ridge during the hot summer and save $299.

We hope you’ll share our beautiful lifestyle in the cool Blue Ridge with us this summer. July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

Merri and I love our life in the Blue Ridge… the rushing streams and..

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cool, green forest.

We invite delegates to the farm for lunch and we’ll take a walk through the woods with delegates who would like to…

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enjoy nature and the views.

We’ll have a wine tasting of Blue Ridge organic wines. Here are delegates at the tasting last year.

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I have just sent our multi currency email course subscribers a report on coffee related shares that now have a strong upward trend.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Read the NEF  report at www.neweconomics.org/gen/m1_i1_aboutushome.aspx

Global Investing and Ecuador


My global investing and business began 41 years ago May 2, 1968 and eventually led me to Ecuador.

My background as son of a zoo keeper did not leave me prepared.

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Here is a newspaper clipping of my sister Sandra and me feeding a baby lion we kept at home… one of many lions and tigers we raised.

Let me share 41 years of multi currency investing and a couple of important facts I learned that may help you… including what’s happening with the swine flu in Ecuador.

I arrived in Hong Kong in the night, the tropical air so soft it was a velvet mist.   Thick evening scents in the fragrant harbor and mellow insects purrings in rhythm with the cacophony of the great city!  What a an exotic adventure.

Kai Tak was Hong Kong’s airport then and being American born and bred, I knew nothing about investing aboard.

That was my first airplane trip, first time out of Oregon. Portland to Vancouver, Tokyo to Hong Kong.  I melted in my heavy woolen blazer, was weary and afraid but excited too. An incredible global investing journey had begun… and continues to this day.

Here I was, 21 years old.

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Here is the first stamp in that first passport. That stamp you might say was my first international investment.

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That first stamp makes a point by the way about how to enter and initially work or invest in a country.  That first stamp was issued May 2, 1968 and allowed me to stay in Hong Kong until June 2, 1968.

I worked in Hong Kong for quite some time on tourist stamps… coming in for a month at a time.   I was developing sales teams in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines at the same time so a month was plenty of time before I exited.

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Here is one of my first sales teams… this one in Hong Kong led by John So Kwok Kee (far left – you can guess which one I am).

I built teams from the north in Japan down through Thailand.  One of the salesmen we worked with in Thailand, Brian Tracy, returned later to Canada and has had great success in the sales education field.

Starting a business, investigation or residence with a tourist visa is a pretty good idea. This is usually the easiest, most efficient, practical way to begin so you can be sure what you are doing and how you’ll develop a more permanent stay if you want one.  In many cases… such as mine… a permanent tourist system is simply the easiest and best.

I began my business in Hong Kong this way and for years I also lived and worked in England on tourist stamps before obtaining my permanent residence there.

A reader recently sent me this note about Ecuador tourist visas.

“Gary, When I was staying at the Hotel, someone mentioned that you do not
have a residential visa for Ecuador.  Is this correct?  How do you
spend as much time in the country as you do?”

Here is my rely:

“I spend less than 6 months a year in Ecuador.

“We have heard from others who come stay for 90 days, leave for just a day or two (especially just over the border in Peru or Colombia)  and come right back that there are difficulties.

“Our experience is that every time we come to Ecuador we are given a 90
day visa.  However we do not stress this system. For example we may stay 70 days and then be away for weeks or even a month or so.  Then return for 20 days or so.. then leave for another month etc.   The immigration officers look carefully at the total number of days by the end of the year and to help them, I keep a list of each day we have arrived and departed and the page number in our passport… so they can efficiently see we have not been in more than 180 days the maximum allowed on a T-3 tourist visa).

Be careful not to overstay. One reader reported that having done so he was denied entrance upon his return and were not allowed to return to Ecuador for one year.

We have a full report on Ecuador visas and an immigration attorney who helps our Ecuador Living subscribers.

I am also preparing a report for Ecuador Living subscribers to answer this question from a reader yesterday.

“Hi Gary, Wonderful timing, we had tickets to fly from Guadalajara to Quito yesterday, but were stymied by the fact that Ecuador (and Peru) are refusing passengers from Mexico.  We understand Ecuador’s borders  will be closed for a month to non-residents flying in from Mexico.

We had thought about flying back to the States and then flying to Ecuador, but an electronic scan of our passports would show we’d been in Mexico and we’re not sure what would happen.  Any insights?   Thanks!

You can obtain these reports and answers as an Ecuador Living subscriber. Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Back to Hong Kong.  I began there selling US mutual funds.

When arriving there 41 years ago there is no way I could have known how exciting the next decades would be, how much information, facts, figures, ideas and insights on how to invest globally would be gained. Had I known the mistakes to be made I would probably have run!

Then I moved east again to England and Europe… trying many things.

Thankfully all the trials, tortures and errors were mitigated by much fun and an earnest endeavor to live right and learn.

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Here is a newspaper clipping of me  with a business partner in my London office on Artillery Row selling square inches of Graceland… not really a very good idea.

Later I imported Rolls Royces and Bentleys from England to the US… a better idea.

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One goal at this site is to share basics of global investing and living an international life learned over these 41 years. Global investing has changed so much during this time and is changing even faster now.  I am continually forced to rearrange my thinking strategy and tactics at a faster pace.

We offered health courses at our North Carolina farm. Here I am with our son, Jake, with one tactic we taught… a morning dip in a cold creek after exercise… yes that is snow on the banks and no… this not surprisingly did not sell very well either.

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Our food as medicine courses taught by Merri in her teaching kitchen at the farm had better attendance!

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For almost 15 years now we have been conducting courses in Ecuador. Here I am this year in the meeting room at the Cotacachi museum next to Meson de las Flores on an Ecuador export tour.

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This continual evolution has helped Merri and me, our readers and our income continually grow… through good times and bad.

Yesterday April 2009 for example ended with anoter record month for our internet sales.  Our 2009 sales (April month on month) were up 48.01% over April 2008, which in turn were up 24.04% over April 2007 sales.

Our sales in the first four months of 2009 were up 81.75% over Jan through April 2008 which was up 26.20% over 2007.  Learn how to develop an internet business that can grow like this here.

The reason we have survived and progressed amidst this never ending update is that the little stuff shifts and evolves, but the fundamentals remain immutable.

Investing globally is not a panacea, but expanded horizons are. Life is a trip and we have an entire globe to enjoy the ride.

Two years ago on May 2, 2007, I wrote:

History suggests that this is a time when chances are increased for panic and sudden drops in investment markets. Investors who have proven themselves nervous short term thinkers are highly leveraged, in thin, over purchased markets that are easily sinkable boats treading the dangerous waters of May though October when tradition says the currents will most likely be treacherous and surrounded with lots of storms.

Now, that this risk has proven true, history also suggests that we have a once in a life time opportunity.

The way to cash in on this incredible opportunity is the same way I suggested avoiding the collapse two years ago. I wrote then: “One way to get good international investments is to take a long term, expansive international view.”

My first trip abroad 41 years ago was significant because 1968 was the beginning of a new era for world stock markets. When I arrived in Hong Kong the world of investing was dominated by Wall Street. That was about to end. 1968 was the year when the Hong Kong Stock Market began to explode upwards along with Tokyo’s market. What a ride!

The Heng Seng Index was then 100 and rose to 18,000. Anyone who steadily committed money to this market then made a fortune.

I can sum up my investment basic investing and advice in seven sentences.

#1: 1970s. Invest in real estate, gold, silver Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

#2: 1980s. Invest in real estate, the Tigers, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore Malaysia and South Korea as well.

#3: 1990s. Invest in real estate South America (which led me to Ecuador).

#4: 2000s. Invest real estate, China, India and emerging markets including Ecuador real estate.

#5: Always have an expansive view.

#6: Use stop losses during peaks.

#7: Have an international investment view. Never overextend. Don’t trade too much, just hang on.

This philosophy has reaped millions for Merri and me. Had we been more expansive, we would have an extra $20 million or so.  However our conservative approach to business and investing also protected us during the recent melt down of 2007 and 2008.

This may be time to begin taking advantage of the recovery. Panic is subsiding but values are still high. The huge excesses of the US and other government’s will at some stage begin to seriously erode the purchasing power of currencies.

I remain highly diversified from a currency point of view.  Here is my current currency breakdown in my liquid portfolio that represents 43% of my total portfolio.

An excerpt from a recent Multicurrencyinvesting.com lesson explains why when I wrote about the currency distribution of investments:

Here is my currency distribution:

Danish kroner    24%
Euro                     24%
British Pound      8%
US Dollar            12%
Canadian Dollar 3%
Norway kroner   4%
NZ Dollar             3%
Sweden kroner    7%
Brazil real             3%
Hungary Forint   6%
Turkey Try            6%

With more than a third of my liquid position in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian kroner, my Scandinavian  position is seriously over weighted in terms of global market size.

One reason is because these are such small countries located on the sea.  This means that their histories are composed of  travel and trade.

A nation’s heritage reflects in the value of its currency strength. This fact helped me answer this question from a reader.

“Gary, Will  future strength in DKK be bad for equities denominated in that currency?”

Here is my reply.

Most of the Danish companies you would buy are global companies.

Because Denmark is such a small market any large Danish company is doing most of its business out of Denmark  so a lot of their success depends on the type of business business and where the company actually manufactures and sells its products.

Plus look at the margins built into the product.

One benefit in Scandinavia is their very highly educated population. A recent Time magazine article shows that Finland (not Scandinavian but Baltic and Finland’s currency is the euro – otherwise I would have Finmark in my portfolio as well) ranked number one for educational performance of 15 year olds in math. Denmark was number 10, Sweden number 15 and Norway number 23… all ahead of the US (number 25).

Finland was number one for reading performance of 15 years olds as well.  Sweden number seven, Norway number 10 and Denmark number 16. The US was number 15.

This means that the products produced in these nations will tend to be high value.

For example, Novo Norsk makes insulin.  I suspect that the margins are substantially high.

Ditto for novozymes that makes enztymes for environmental purification.  These are firms where there is likely to be a great deal of value added into their product.

Vestas, makes wind turbines. and may be more affected by a strong kroner if they do a lot of manufacturing in Denmark but are having and sales in the US and especially if their competitors manufacture in the US or other countries where the currency is weak.

I am updating the value of major and emerging markets now at multicurrencyinvesting.com and will be revaluing our green and Danish portfolios in upcoming lessons.  You can subscribe to our Multi Currency Portfolios Course here.

I have increased my Ecuador real estate to 22% of my total property.  The balance is in US property and I am looking to add more US property now in Florida and or Savannah.

If you have real estate in central Florida or Savannah that you would like to swap for real estate in Ecuador… let me know.

I have held a high cash position for over a year but now agree with Warren Buffet who recently wrote about business and opportunity:

Clinging to cash equivalents or long-term government bonds at present yields is almost certainly a terrible policy if continued for long. Holders of these instruments, of course, have felt increasingly comfortable – in fact, almost smug – in following this policy as financial turmoil has mounted. They regard their judgment confirmed when they hear commentators proclaim “cash is king,” even though that wonderful cash is earning close to nothing and will surely find its purchasing power eroded over time.

Now is the time to convert cash into investments that will appreciate with the loss of cash’s loss of purchasing power… stocks… commodities… real estate or your own business.

This leaves all of us with a lot to do after 41 years of a global life.

I feel healthier and more energetic then 41 years ago.   Maybe I am not wiser… but I am more experienced and seem in a better position then when I took that first trip.

Merri and I look forward to the next 41 years… and we look forward to sharing them with you!

Gary

This is the schedule of Gary our 2009 Ecuador information tours, courses and seminars.

May 16-17 Ecuador Coastal Tour

May 20-21 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

May 22-24. Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

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

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 Crafts – After the Fall


Ecuador crafts can provide opportunity for three reasons we’ll review here.

Ecuador crafts people are excellent in the crafts business. they start and learn early on.

Ecuador-Crafts

Merri and I have returned to our North Carolina farm for spring planting.  The local wisdom is that lettuce, radishes, potatoes and  onions should be planted on Good Friday. Everything else goes in on Mother’s Day.

Things change slowly here in the mountains except the seasons.   Spring really does jump out quickly here.

One day the branches are bare. Next day there is a distinctive red blush as the buds have popped out seemingly overnight. You can see the red tinge in this shot I took from my office window yesterday.

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Saturday all we had in the lawn was green. Easter the dandelions were there.

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This makes me happy.   My favorites are the dandelion salad and the dandelion quinoa pancakes that Merri cooks for breakfast… topped with one of the great blue eggs that our hens lay.

Here’s my morning collection sitting on the kitchen counter…waiting!

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While out collecting those eggs a thought about change… the change that’s going on… in the Western world… in the entire world, popped into my mind.

Here is the thought.

Change comes suddenly… like the spring. One moment it’s not.  Then suddenly it is.  Yet really change isn’t sudden. The forces that created the dandelions and the tree buds have been at work for quite some time.  The physical manifestation that we see only seems sudden because we do not see the subtle shifts that are happening everyday that bring this explosion of apparent change.

Take for example, yesterday’s message that showed how America’s debt has been growing and the US dollar falling since 1969.

A further look at the graph from that message… with this new thought in mind… shows how the change really began in the 1940s… because since then… America has almost always been at war… the occupation… Korea… VietNam… the Cold War…  Iraq… twice.  Afganistan.

This huge cost… plus others (such as Social Security) have created continual change… though it may seem that we are just seeing the big shift now. deficit chart I have studied this change for 40 years. Just understanding the greenback’s fall has been enough to prosper… but this new thought crystallized an error.

I have been studying the fall of the Roman Empire to see what I could learn from the past about our change now.

Here is the error.  I should have been studying who succeeded… and how after the fall.

I will now study this and suspect here are a few of the rules that the Italians who thrived and prospered post Post Roman Empire.

#1: They accepted the change and did not bury their heads in the sand.

#2: They saw the change as an opportunity… and grasped it.

#3: They moved to or already were in safe places out of any battle zones.

#4: They did not display their wealth (the Latin habit to this day is to live within walled courtyards- modest outside- luxurious within).

#5: They took risks based on fundamental distortions created by those who did not embrace change.

#6: They were frugal.

#7: They were independent.

This type of thinking shows why Ecuador crafts make sense from a business point of view.

Shigra handbags made from agauve fibers and natural dyes.

Ecuador-Crafts

One way we can see change is in an article from Time Magzine entitled “Here’s to the Death of Broadcast” by James Poniewozik.  The article says:

When ER goes off the air April 2, we will say goodbye to more than the medical staffers who have lived, loved and been tragically killed off for sweeps over the years. We will also say goodbye to the era of broadcast TV it represented: the era of big shows, big audiences and big money.

In 1994, when ER debuted, NBC, CBS and ABC ruled TV. The fourth network, Fox, had no top-20 shows. Cable was flourishing but was hardly a threat. Only a handful of dorks (like me) were using “graphical user interfaces” like Netscape to look at something called the World Wide Web.

Fifteen years later, the networks are, as the TV docs say, crashing. In the 1994-95 season, 43% of U.S. households, on average, watched the Big Four at a given moment in prime time. Now it’s 27%.

Programmers and cultural critics are warning of the end of the mass-media era, when shows from I Love Lucy to Seinfeld joined tens of millions of Americans in a common experience.

Shigras in Otavalo Ecuador crafts market:

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As we shift from the era of broadcast to broadband, we’ll no longer have an entire population mesmerized by the same performers, programs and modes of thought.  Smaller unique businesses with quality products such as organic Ecuador crafts produced by individual crafts people will thrive.

Ecuador crafts include some great art like these religious reproductions.
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More Ecuador crafts and art we view on our Ecuador export tours.

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Colorful art in bowls…

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Ecuador crafts and art in woodwork.

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Ecuador crafts and art in textiles.

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Ecuador purses and rugs.

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Ecuador crafts are perfect products positioned to sell well in the broadband era ahead… organic… authentic…colorful… exotic…useful and meaningful.

One does not have to be crafty to prosper from change… but many can prosper from more hand made crafts… from Ecuador or anywhere in the world.

Until next message, may you prosper from change.

Gary

In Ecuador we offer two 2-4-1 tours this May and June.

Economic downturn?

Yesterday’s New York Times article entitled “Jobless Rate Hits 8.5%; 663,000 Jobs Lost” said:

The unemployment rate reached its highest level in a quarter-century after 663,000 jobs were lost in March, the 15th consecutive month of job losses.

Yet our Ecuador and other businesses are expanding so fast that I can barely keep up. More and more readers are wanting to know… “How do you increase affluence like this when so many are losing it?”

This created the 2-4-1 concept that offers a special opportunity for you.

I cannot be in two places at once but I can make to possible for you to gain all the information I know and see what I am talking about for yourself by visiting Ecuador.

For example we have three Ecuador tours scheduled for May 2009.

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24

Merri and I will not be on these three tours and we do want to meet you. So to make sure we can meet, we will let you attend these either one of the May real estate tours free if you enroll in one of our three International Made EZ  courses, in July, October or November.

You get two courses for the price of one.  Enroll in any of these courses that Merri and I will conduct below and choose either May real estate tour free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

There is no need to  hurry either. If you are not sure about attending two tours,  sign up and attend the real tour now… then we’ll knock the tour fee off our IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web course fee later.

You can also still take advantage three course discount as well.

For example, if you choose to attend all three of the May tours… both real estate and the Amazon herbal tours, then you can attend our July, October or November course free.

You can see some options below.

These three May 2009 Ecuador real estate tours are hosted by Alberto Verdezoto (a long term friend and guide as well as an expert on herbal medicine from the Amazon) and our staff.

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Here is Alberto leading our last real estate tour on the coast.

You could not be in better hands.  Alberto was in the Ecuador travel business for more than 10 years and has been our main real estate researcher for three years. He has helped us find most of the good Ecuador property deals and is doubly helpful because he bargains down the price!

Here is Alberto (left) leading our staff at International Living’s Ecuador seminar in March.

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On the coastal real estate tour,  you’ll see these houses near the beach for $19,500.

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Here is an interior shot.

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Plus on the Imbabura – Cotacachi real estate tour we’ll see these excellent houses.

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with these views and…

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with top quality finish.

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Plus on the Imbaburra – Cotacachi real estate tour we’ll look at (unless it has sold) a really well organized 12 acre avocado farm just minutes from Ibarra.  The owner has returned to Loja.  Here is the entrance.

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the main  house.

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inside living room and…

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kitchen.

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Here are both houses from the rear and…

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the back garden.

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Here, in front of the houses, is the fruit… the cash generator.

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The avocados are flowering for their first crop.

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We are told they will offer a $50,000 a year income after two years… $25,000 potential this year. (Be sure to check this out as we are not avocado farmers so cannot discern the truth.)

Asking price with these two houses, land and crops is $260,000.

You can enroll in one, two or three of these courses below

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17. $499 Enroll here.   $749 For a couple.

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21.  $499 Enroll here.  $749 For a couple.

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24.  $399 Enroll here. $499 For a couple.

Take Two for One. Attend any of the three courses below and select any one of the tours above free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

Or sign up for two or three of the May 2009 tours and attend any of the IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web FREE.

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.

Learn about our July 2009 Ecuador export tour 2-4-1 deal here.

You can read the entire article “Here’s to the Death of Broadcast” at
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1887840,00.html

Multi Currency Paths of Opportunity


Multi currency paths of opportunity come in totally unique ways.

For example I have been looking for multi currency investments in Asian currencies.

The path that has led me to a Malaysian share has included a combination of experience, alertness, intuition, our own specific knowledge and contacts and good luck.

A circuitous multi currency route led me to shares in PureCircle a Malaysian company traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Pure Circle sells Stevia to Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola.

Let’s look at how I came to see potential in these shares in the hopes that studying my approach will help yu understand the process better so you can adapt the process to better fit your individual circumstances.

First, this path (to PureCircle) began because I have known about for Stevia for quite some time.

I wrote about it at this site in an article entitled Three Foundations of Health in the Fall in September 2002.

Second I know that blood sugar problems and diabetes are huge Western problems. Problems create opportunity. This is why we looked at the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk that specializes in insulin in June (2008). Plus again in another June article Multi Currency Equity Investments.

I also know that the natural health industry is growing. I wrote about this as early as July 2003 at Healthy Investing=Wealth #7

That is the past me…some ideas I believe in. Ideas that create convictions…that could help me invest

Then there is chance…in this case an article I wrote two weeks ago that mentions stevia. The article is entitled Protein Blackberry Pie Recipe

Plus there are my unique contacts…in this case my friend and London stock broker Barrie Martin. He wrote:

“Gary, Your cobbler recipe prompts me to send you details of a new war in the soft drinks industry over Stevia. Kind Regards Barrie”

Barrie included an August 6, 2008 article by Sarah Hills entitled “PureCircle could be winner in Pepsi v Coca-Cola stevia wars”

The article says:

“As both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola gear up to launch beverages sweetened with stevia, it could be that their common supplier, PureCircle, is the real winner in the race to be first to market.

PureCircle, a Malaysian company has just signed long-term contracts to supply PepsiCo and its partner the Whole Earth Sweetener Company with its all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener, Reb-A, under the PureVia brand. In addition, it has been granted an exclusive license to market Reb-A as PureVia as long as there is no conflict of interest, according to Peter Milsted, sales and marketing director at PureCircle.

This is on top of PureCircle’s contract to supply Cargill, which teamed up with Coca-Cola to develop their own stevia-derived product called Truvia in response to strong consumer demand for low-calorie products.
The beverage giants are preparing to launch drinks sweetened with stevia, which is permitted for sale in the US as a dietary supplement on the basis of its low glycemic index, but is yet to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in beverages.

However, Milsted told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “We are absolutely assuming that this product will be free to use in the USA from here on in.

“We supply high purity Reb-A both to Cargill and to PepsiCo. We started off with an exclusive contact with Cargill. That ended a few weeks ago. We have extended the contract for a further length of time on a non-exclusive basis.

He explained that it had been the company’s strategy initial to be a “market maker as oppose to being part of somebody’s supply chain”.

Milsted said that Cargill was happy to accept the change in contract as long as it was assured of continued supply, which reflected PureCircle’s ability to “supply consistently and at serious volumes”.

Likewise, he claimed that PepsiCo was happy for PureVia to be exploited as widely as it can, as long as it wasn’t used in areas of competition, such as similar drinks.

And he predicts that other companies will follow their lead and use Reb-A as a sweetener.

Milsted said: “We aim to carry on and make the investments that we have made already in our supply chain and are continuing to make, and that they lead to large contracts with large suppliers.

“We are talking pretty much with every food and beverage manufacturer that anybody has every heard of and the interest is strong and genuine.”

Supply volumes

In November PureCircle said it would float on London’s AIM in a bid to raise $50m to expand Reb-A (Rebaudioside-A) sweetener production and secure an advantage in anticipation of an explosion in demand.
The company said at the time that global annual consumption of sugar and all other sweeteners was an estimated 150m tonnes. PureCircle’s Reb-A accounted for just 0.2 per cent of this volume (0.3m tonnes).

The company owned a 55 per cent stake in a subsidiary called Ganzhou Julong, which is involved in large-scale stevia plantation and production of crude extracts. PureCircle believed its capacity for crude stevia extraction was the largest in the world at 1000 tonnes of crude extract are produced per annum.

By the end of this year it predicted that it would increase this to 3000 tonnes per annum.

Stevia market

Reb-A is the sweetest, purest part of the leaf from the South American stevia plant, which is approximately 200 times as sweet as sugar.

The US market for stevia is estimated to be worth about $60m, a figure analysts say could triple if FDA GRAS is granted. Currently the biggest markets for stevia are Japan and Korea.

Whole Earth, a subsidiary of Merisant Company, has submitted a notification and supporting scientific data to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that PureVia is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in beverages, foods and tabletop sweeteners.

The US’s largest supplier of stevia, Wisdom Natural Brands, announced in June that it is launching the natural sweetener beyond the dietary supplements aisle for the first time, after having self-affirmed its version of stevia – Sweet Leaf – as GRAS. It said at the time that the ingredient will be available in a soda or food products by the year’s end.

Coca-Cola and Cargill also recently published science backing their ingredient, Truvia.

Last week PepsiCo told FoodNavigator-USA.com that it would prefer to wait for FDA approval before bringing PureVia to consumers in the United States. But it will debut in a new nutritionally enhanced PepsiCo beverage called SoBe Life, to be launched in Latin America, starting with Peru next month. It will then be rolled out globally.

There you have it…ideas about health…ideas about the future of health and natural health…a friend who is a stock broker and an article about blackberry pie. These ideas are all magnified by the marketing powers of Coke and Pepsi.

The entire natural health industry has failed to mae stevia a public name. These two soft drink manufacturers can.

This is not a formula you will find in any book on investing.

This is a unique path that has led me to consider a share.

We will all have unique paths that lead us to investments we can consider.

We cannot and should not buy them all. So at this stage we have the good value test to conduct.

Remember what we look for are shares of:

#1: Well managed companies.

#2: In growth industries.

#3: Available at a good value.

#4: With rising earnings.

#5: That have captured the attention of the market (ie price is already on the rise).

You can gain a good value evaluation of the PureCircle shares as a Multi Currency Portfolios Course subscriber.

Gary

Join me with Jyske Global Asset Management to learn more about value investing.

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