Tag Archive | "Lance Armstrong"

Ecuador Florida


This message on how Florida and Ecuador connect can help you enjoy everlasting wealth.

See how going from this view in Hong Kong from Bowen Road…

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to this… brought us more than a fortune.

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The leaf change has begun here in the Blue Ridge and autumn’s glorious message can help us improve our investing and business. I explain below.

Yesterday’s message, Ecuador Gold,  was about gold, good value real estate and the power of incorporating a PIEC (Personal Income Earning Corridor) in your life so you can:

1.    Do what you like.
2.    Act beyond money.
3.    Work with like minded souls.

One key to developing this PIEC is to know what you are investing in and… why.

Plato summed it up nicely about 2,500 years ago… investor… “know thyself.”

Take for example, what Merri and I knew about ourselves, as we headed south in our Honda mini van last week to look at over 20 properties in three days… a short list derived from researching hundreds of properties for sale.

Our hound, Ma, was with us… she is very happy about traveling more to Florida and less to Ecuador because she far prefers traveling in the golden rolling cave rather than being eaten (and then regurgitated) by the big, silver bird.

Merri and I were happy knowing that a common denominator between Ecuador and Florida is that each have a lot of sun at times when other places have a lot of cold!

As the autumn’s first frosts were appearing at our mountain home… we enjoyed the 85+ degree sunny weather.

A recent article entitled Ecuador Florida Connection looked at value real estate in both  Ecuador and Florida and evoked this response from a reader:  Gary, I love reading your daily emails. You are right about the many foreclosures in Florida but let me say that those foreclosures are mostly in places that would make you feel like a “gringo in Ecuador”.

I have checked on quite a few but the prices are just coming back down to what they are really worth.  Good luck in your quest !  I am trying to talk my wife into a place in Ecuador which she may warm up to a while.Maybe I can talk her into an inexpensive condo. What do have to offer preferably near the water (Salinas).

I replied: Agreed… but there is also appears to be a hole in the market for Central Fl property in the $1m to $750k range.  There are very few buyers. We have been watching prices tumble hundreds of thousands.  We are viewed one property that started at $800K+. It dropped $100K last week from $395 and is now down to $295K.  This is the sector where we are looking.

This property…

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with this view…

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started at $1.7 million dollars. Then Merri watched online it dropped to $1.2 million…then went to $899,000.  When we looked, it had dropped to $85o,000 and was down to $499,000 when it disappeared from the listing…foreclosed.  It is on a clear spring fed lake, has around 3 acres, all fenced, dock, boat house, large beautiful guest house, barn, pool, high ceilings and even a sauna/workout room AND in an excellent neighborhood near the historic town of Mt. Dora.

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The broker that showed this house to us is Shirley Peacock at Coldwell Banker All Stars  in Mount Dora (There are two CBs in Mt. Dora).  Her email is shirley.peacock@mfr.mlxchange.com whose attitude is to help make a sale, and if it is a foreclosure or a short sale, she has knowledgeable attorneys and doesn’t flinch on these sometimes “difficult” properties.  Usually where there is difficulty, there is profitability.  We have profited by her advice and knowledge and spent a lot of time with her and had a lot of fun looking at one after another beautiful great properties.

Why did we pass so quickly on this house?  It is certainly beautiful, has excellent value and had all the qualities we were looking for…but what it didn’t have for us as much privacy that we long for…but still what a value!

We have a very defined search for good value, Florida real estate that we would like to live in.   We use the Golden Rule of Business Simplicity…  “Our desires represent the desires of many others.”

In short, the Golden Rule of Simplicity means that… “Your Passions Represent Markets.”  Figure out what you love and why and you’ll have good, strong business and investing ideas.

Expanding on this example…Merri and I love living in the sun so we know many others do as well.  This means if we buy real estate in the sun and lakefront… at a good price… there is a good chance we can sell it later for a profit.

So we are looking for places where we would like to live… in the $750,000 to $1,000,000 range where we would like to live.

Yet this is not all.

First we expect to pay much less because of this flat spot in the market. We like to go where no one else is competing.

As we expand on this example we cannot leave out the importance of knowing where one is on the diffusion curve.

To understand this better, let’s look at research on diffusion models.

A well-known diffusion study followed the spread of a new hybrid corn in Iowa in the 1930s. There were 250 farmers in the area that were observed. The goal was to see how fast these farmers accepted and switched to the new hybrid, which was superior in every way to the existing corn that the farmers had been growing.

Though this hybrid cost less gave better, more dependable crops and higher yields, not all the farmers began to use the corn at once.

Only a few farmers started using the hybrid in 1932 and 1933. In 1934 16 more switched. Then in 1935 21 more followed. 1936 saw the highest switching when 61 farmers began using the hybrid. Then there were 46, 36, 14, and 3 that switched, leaving only two of the 254 farmers studied.

In this study, the original few who began using this corn were the Innovators. These are the adventurous people who will always try anything new. Innovators start trends but do not cause the trends to take off. They instead infect the Early Adaptors 16 who in 1934 and 21 in 1935 that began using the hybrid. These are the opinion leaders in the community that will cause the trend to spread. These are people that cause the trend to really spread.

They were followed by the Early Majority (the 36 who switched in 1936), the Late Majority (61 in 1937). Finally they are followed by the Deliberate (46 in 1938 and 36 in 1939), Skeptical Mass (14 in 1940 and 3 in 1941) finally leaving only the Laggards (the two who still had not adapted by 1941).

Whenever looking at your PIEC, ask  “Where am I most comfortable in the diffusion process?”

There is potential and a risk reward balance in every part of the curve. What counts is making sure you are in tune with the diffusion position of any idea that appeals to you .

For example even laggards can find exciting niche opportunities.   In fact some times laggards find themselves turned into innovators… such as the low tech Amish Lehman’s Catalog business.

Merri and I are well aware that we lay somewhere between innovators and early adapters.  We have worked and/or lived on every continent… visited over seventy countries and rarely had a month without a flight somewhere for 40 years.

We warn readers regularly that we are usually early in and early out.

Manx-waterfront

The view in the 1970s from my flat at #5 Bowen Road was something like this… except most of those skyscrapers did not exist!   After I left, real estate appreciated 20 – or 30 times.

We were into real estate in Hong Kong, Isle of Man, London, Naples, Florida and Ecuador when the majority thought the idea was crazy.  We earned nice profits in each place but prices rose dramatically as much as ten times or more after we exited.

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Manx real estate has skyrocketed since we left this wonderful British Isle.  Many of our real estate delegates there made much more than Merri and I did, because they stayed on.  This shot and many more by Jon Wornham can be seen here.

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London house prices, for homes like this, rushed upwards after I sold our Bedford Park, London house for 115,000 pounds. Today, even after the economic downturn, such a house would be in the millions.

Yet Merri and I have done very well and are perfectly happy because there are two ways to move along the evolutionary path of business and investing…. as settlers or as pioneers.

We sold this wonderful Naples, Florida home that…

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was 30 seconds walk to the beach and had a huge… glorious…

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garden. We moved…

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into this beat up, Blue Ridge farm house, with…

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a falling down barn, half burnt house and a most gosh awful 252 acre mess, plus…

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this old tin roofed house… in a really remote part of the Andes with 900+ acres of vine covered land.

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Many (maybe most) of our friends believed we were nuts! (And perhaps we were and are!)

Had we stayed in Hong Kong. Had we stayed in London. Had we stayed in the Isle of Man or in Naples… we might have millions of dollars more.

We spent years redoing, reclaiming, unearthing the treasures here in the Blue Ridge and building our country house which we love during the summer and fall…but not in the winter!

Yet viewing the autumn forest at dawn from our front porch here in the Blue Ridge gives me a greater thrill than any extra bucks.

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I could not be happier because it is important for each of us to know which type of investor and business person we are.

Comfort is one of the most important aspects of successful investing. If we make investments not in keeping with our nature, we will not be comfortable.  Without comfort, we are more likely to second guess ourselves and screw up. Restlessness and worry reduce the joy of affluence and reduce our investing and business effectiveness as well.

All of us need to invest in things that we feel are right to us.

For example when we moved out here to our North Carolina farm, many of our friends in the city thought we had lost our marbles.  Yet we have loved it.   Now that it is fixed up and worth many, many times our cost, we are considering selling part of the farm and reduce our position here.

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We plan to always have some position here… perhaps less than now.

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Lance Armstrong summed this idea up in a Time magazine article when asked about who to listen to about what to do in life when he said: “The important thing is to go around (collect data-get information). Then you really start to weigh your options. Which one feels right? It may not be the right decision, but it’s what makes you feel right.”

Why when we get everything fixed up… do we want to move on? The process… the challenge… the fun of creating, is what fulfills us…. more than the bottom line.   Once we have achieved our goal we like to move on… to the next project.

This understanding is vital to your investing and business.

Know yourself.

Know that ultimately you must make decisions for yourself.  Know that you can’t know everything.

Know that not every decision will bring maximum profit, but if it feels right for you and the process is enjoyable, you improve your odds of success.

Real estate in Ecuador is steady and rising.  Ditto for the Blue Ridge. Ashe Country real estate sales may have slowed but prices have not really faltered here.

We have been investing and creating in both the Blue Ridge and Ecuador for almost 15 years.  We love each place and will continue to enjoy them… but we love the next step as well so we are reducing our presence in each and adding Florida… with of all things… agricultural property… something we have never done.

This is a new challenge we believe makes good business sense… and for us… will be fun.

Next time you plan to invest or start a business… whether in Ecuador, Florida, North Carolina or wherever… think about yourself.  Are you a pioneer or a settler?   Where do you enjoy sitting on the diffusion curve?   Make the most of the entire process… money, fulfillment and fun by developing a PIEC that allows you to do what you like and act beyond money with like minded souls.

Gary

Because the ability to earn wherever you live is vital, we developed our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

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

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

Or join us in Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Living Fear Eclipsed


Living in Ecuador or anywhere abroad requires overcoming fear and change.

Today’s rare solar eclipse comes only every two or three generations and is thought to represent times of change.  There is a need for us to feel positive.

Below we’ll look at change in bond markets and how to retire the the 4.75% ISS Capital 2010 bond sandwich that created an 18% profit since the beginning of 2009.  We’ll see how to change this Multi currency sandwich to a better bond now.

Multi currency investments… retirement in Ecuador or living abroad anywhere… represents change and this can create fear… but when we embrace the change it’s good.

A note sent by a reader asking about really early retirement in Ecuador and change said:

I would like to know how to find out about the government of Ecuador and if it is stable for Americans.  When I read the American Military was moving out and the leaders of Ecuador were friendly to Iran.  Personally, I don’t want to put my money in property that I might have it taken from me later.  At my age, I can not afford that and I don’t want to change to some where the local government does not want Americans.  Can you guide me as to how to find out before we go down?  Thanks

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Ecuador is Land of the Sun so…

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The shamans will be watching the sunrise today and the eclipse.

My experience is that anyone who says they are sure how the politics in a country will turn out is truth challenged… or perhaps is not thinking things through.  Too many factors are involved to really know.

We take risk anywhere we are.  There are risks everywhere… all types… and we can never predict them all.

Germany for example seems like a safe place to be.

Yet a recent article in The Telegraph newspaper said:

A 14-year old German boy was hit in the hand by a pea-sized meteorite that scared the bejeezus out of him and left a scar.

“When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road,” Gerrit Blank said in a newspaper account. Astronomers have analyzed the object and conclude it was indeed a natural object from space.

Who would have guessed?  There are all types of risk wherever we are!

Ecuador is also a land of mountains.

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This is Mt Imbaura view from Cotacachi, Ecuador.  The masculine mountain.

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This is Mt. Cotacachi on the other side of the valley… the feminine mountain.

Here is my reply to the political – legal question about retirement in Ecuador above.

I have written a lot about this over the past two years.

Please see http://www.ecuadorliving.com/2009/06/23/ecuador-iran.html
http://www.ecuadorliving.com/2008/09/30/ecuadors-new-constitution.html
http://www.ecuadorliving.com/2007/09/26/interesting-presidential-facts.html

Having worked and lived on every continent over 41 years…I have learned to have feelings beyond what is read in the daily press.  I hope my actions speak louder than my words.

Since Correa has come to power I have invested almost a million dollars in Ecuador buying condos, buildings and houses.

I do have reservations about the Ecuador government… just as I have reservations about the US government and most governments.

Every country has its problems as does Ecuador… but in my opinion (backed by my actions) one of Ecuador’s problems is not the likelihood of confiscation of small individual properties.

Please see why at

http://www.ecuadorliving.com/2008/10/30/property-confiscation-ecuador.html

One of Ecuador’s problems is not the likelihood of unfair treatment of non Ecuadorian residents.  See why at http://www.garyascott.com/2008/08/04/2271.html and http://www.garyascott.com/2007/03/06/1591.html

One never knows how politics turn out.  I have a good friend who hated US taxes (he made a lot of money) so he gave up his citizenship, moved everything overseas and took citizenship in what everyone would agree is a very civilized and safe country… only to have serious tax problems there. One never knows everything.

In a recent message I wrote that there are seven qualities that can unlock enormous business and investing opportunity now during our times of rapid economic change:

#1: Bravery to accept risk
#2: Flexibility
#3: Resilience
#4: Tenacity
#5: Acceptance
#6: Bird’s eye view
#7: Patience

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Mt. Imbabura close up. We should not make mountains out of molehills. There are…

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mountains enough without creating more.  It is rare by the way to see this much ice on Mt. Cotacachi.  By noon the ice on the mountain is always gone.

A lot of bravery is required to do something like retire in Ecuador or move abroad because most of our backgrounds did not prepare us for such a move.

Our backgrounds did not prepare us for the political evolution in our own country either!

We can research as much as we like (some research is good) but in the end there is always some risk in the new.

Education is learning the rules (what the establishment says is so). Experience is learning the exceptions to the rules (reality). To get experience requires some risk.

See more about Ecuador Retirement risk here.

Mt Cotacachi from

Mt. Cotacachi seen from Meson de las Flores.

I feel that most negative publicity about Ecuador is overblown (as is negative news in the US).   Because Ecuador is more unknown than the US, this bad news helps keep prices low for those of us who take the time to investigate the realities in Ecuador.

How we feel about and react to the news is a very personal matter for every person.

People have personalities that typically break down into seven lifestyles; Innovators, Early Adaptors,  Early Majority, Late Majority, the Deliberate, Skeptical Mass and the Laggards.

Each of these lifestyles has its own benefit. Most important is to know which lifestyle fits you comfortably and to stay in that comfort zone.

If you feel totally comfortable with the US and are not ready to accept the differences in politics between those in elsewhere and the US, you should never do something that leaves you uncomfortable.

Pioneers

My son reminded me yesterday that as the world celebrates this week as the 40th anniversary of the moon landings, it is interesting to remember that of the 12 human beings to have walked on the moon, half of them are of Scottish descent.

This includes the first two to walk on the moon: Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and the first person to drive on the moon, Dave Scott.

Alan Bean was the fourth person to walk on the moon and took and left a piece of the McBean tartan to the moon.  Even the first game to be played on the moon is a Scottish one – Golf!

Many Scots are Pioneers.  I have noted in my 41 years of travel and work globally that almost wherever one goes, they’ll find a Scot there.

So my comfort level in Ecuador as a pioneer who is always heading for a new place may differ from yours.

Change in Bond Sandwiches

I have even found that many North American investors have been uncomfortable investing outside the US…  much less living abroad or taking retirement elsewhere.

This fear has proven unfounded and now even as US CDS are paying 1% or less are even more, Jyske Bank made 18% profit since the beginning of 2009 with a 4.75% ISS Capital 2010 bond multi currency sandwich. That’s profit at a rate of 36% per annum.

Now Jyske has switched the sandwich to a 7.25% Bombardier 2016 bond. The Bombardier bond has a longer duration and also offers an attractive extra yield spread of 350 basis points above the ISS bond plus has a better rating.

Learn about this entire investment as a Multi Currency subscriber.

We are in times of change and this brings increased risk. To turn this risk into opportunity… decide who you are; Innovator, Early Adaptor, Early Majority, Late Majority, the Deliberate, Skeptical Mass or a Laggard.  Then look at the advantages of that lifestyle and enjoy them and your comfort zone.

Whether you want to retire in Ecuador… change residency… live or invest abroad… this understanding and action can help you eclipse your fears.

Gary

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM in North Carolina this July and enroll in our multi currency course free. Save $175.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and early retirement in Ecuador.

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