Tag Archive | "Mexico"

Retire & Earn Abroad


Here is another reason to Retire and & Earn Abroad.

Yesterday’s message on lifestyle and Ecuador diversification was really backed up by Uncle Sam quickly!

Whether you retire in Ecuador or anywhere outside your home.. you want diversification. See why below!

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One benefit of retiring in Ecuador is that it can help the poor there.

Yesterday’s article worried about weather change being called a threat to national security and wondered if this concept could further erode human rights.

I never imagined the very next day we would have even more concern… yet an article by James Risen in the New York Times entitled:  “U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban” must give us pause.

Here is an excerpt:  WASHINGTON — Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed, reflecting a major shift in American counternarcotics strategy in Afghanistan, according to a Congressional study to be released this week.

United States Marines on a recent raid in Helmand Province. Under a new policy, drug traffickers are subject to being killed.

United States military commanders have told Congress that they are convinced that the policy is legal under the military’s rules of engagement and international law. They also said the move is an essential part of their new plan to disrupt the flow of drug money that is helping finance the Taliban insurgency.

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Part of our work at Meson de las Flores was to continue a policy at our hotel to feed the poor. We always keep a pot of nutritious stew on the stove and our less fortunate are welcome any time of the day.  Above is one of our regular guests.

The problem is that the erosion of rights creeps upon us in small steps… like income tax. When to raise revenue to fund the Civil War, an income tax was introduced in the United States with the Revenue Act of 1861. It was a flat rate tax of 3% on annual income above $800.

When the idea was contested on concerns that the tax, once established, would grow, one Congressman stated that there was no way the population would let the tax ever be higher than 3%.   Yet a year later  flat tax this was replaced with a graduated tax of 3-5% on income above $600 in the Revenue Act of 1862.

This act made tax temporary ending in 1866.  Regretfully, perhaps, in 1866, income tax collections reached their highest point ever, over $310 million.  This made the tax popular and today we can see the effects of the small steps… one freedom eroded at a time.

So where does the legal right to kill drug dealers lead?  If it is legal to kill Afghan drug dealers to disrupt the flow of drug money that finance insurgency, what about drug dealers in Mexico that are financing insurgency in the US?  Can we kill them too?  If so, how about if we catch them in the US, can we kill them there?   If so what if they are US citizens or residents?  Can we still kill them?  Can the army become involved… in the name of national security?  Do they have to check a person’s passport before they shoot the drone at them?

These are tough calls, but somehow making it legal for the army to kill non combatants seems like a small step in the wrong direction.

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Merri and I visiting a village that our foundation supports… helping the old and supporting the young by improving their school.  This is a fulfilling retirement activity.

Yet loss of rights is not the only reason we might want to live or retire in Ecuador or elsewhere, full or part time, for diversification.

The rising cost of living makes it difficult to retire in the West.  Plus though taxes are rising… benefits for those who retire are not.

A recent BBC article “Pension age could rise further” shows how the rot in England has grown. An excerpt says:  The state pension retirement age could be increased further, the UK’s pensions regulator has told the BBC.

David Norgrove said rising life expectancy meant millions of people would “undoubtedly” have to wait longer in future to draw a state pension.

People will not save as much for retirement as in the past, with many people “frightened” to do so, he said.

The state pension age is due to rise to 68, and Pensions Minister Angela Eagle said there were no plans to raise that.

Currently, the state pension age is 60 for women and 65 for men, but four years ago Lord Turner published a report calling for it to rise to 68 for everyone by 2044.

But Mr Norgrove said he thought it would end up higher.

Mr Norgrove said: “People are going to have to work longer, partly because we’re not going, as a nation, to save as much for retirement as we did in the past.” He added: “The government’s recent legislation is increasing the state retirement age progressively to 68. I think it will end up higher than that.”

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Part of our program is to get readers who retire in Ecuador involved helping the poor.  We also offer roses and donate the proceeds to help people like this charming woman.  See more about her, and how the roses help, here.

Another reason to retire in Ecuador is that business opportunity seems to be rising there as it falls in the north.

A recent USA Today article. “Business bankruptcies up 240% since 2006”, by Christine Dugas outlines a US retirement and lifestyle problem.  Here is an excerpt of that article:

Entrepreneurship and new small businesses are supposed to lead us out of the recession, just as they have in prior downturns, right?  Sure.

Your neighbor’s grand idea will persuade a bank to lend her start-up money; she’ll open for business in six weeks; and money will immediately flow from customers to her to her employees. Taxes will be paid, and the national economic engine will hum effortlessly in no time. If only.

Today shows a different reality: Commercial bankruptcies are surging. Fewer people are starting small businesses, and firms already open are struggling under changing consumer habits, a lack of funding options and tougher bankruptcy laws. If a nationwide trend seen since January holds true, more than 300 businesses will file for bankruptcy today alone.

The first five months of this year have shown a 52% increase in the total number of commercial bankruptcy filings (36,106) compared with the same period last year (23,829), according to the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records. On average thus far in 2009, some 350 commercial enterprises file for bankruptcy daily an increase of 240% from 2006, the first year after the bankruptcy law was changed.

Major corporate failures, like GM and Chrysler, flash across front pages and websites. But the vast majority of commercial bankruptcies, which are not separated by size of firm by data keepers, are filed by entrepreneurs and small-business owners, says Robert Lawless, professor of law at University of Illinois.

Troubling for the economy, say Lawless and Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, is the double-whammy of fewer start-ups and increasing bankruptcies.

“In the past, small-business formation increased in a recession because people had self-employment thrust upon them,” he says. “One avenue out of economic hard times self-employment has become less attractive, because the bankruptcy law is less forgiving” and there are fewer options for those entrepreneurs to get bank loans or to find funding elsewhere.

Small business is considered the backbone of the economy. In the past, new businesses led economic recoveries, McCracken says. Small businesses  those with fewer than 500 employees  make up half of the gross domestic product and account for most job growth.

Problems from the devastated housing market, overall recession and suffering major industries all funnel down to small businesses, especially those that supply the troubled corporations.

Household spending cutbacks reach far, too. Dual-income families who are now single-income may no longer need or be able to afford child care, so many of those services are going out of business, says Lester Thompson, a bankruptcy lawyer in Dayton. Sporting goods stores and lawn-mowing services also have struggled.

Small-business bankruptcy filings jumped the most in the Los Angeles and Chicago metro areas, according to Equifax. But even smaller areas of the country are experiencing a big increase.

Many small businesses owe so much money to creditors that there is no future. Such owners often file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut their businesses for good.

The credit crunch is a major contributor to the rise in filings.

Loan dollar volume from the U.S. Small Business Administration has increased 35% since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed on Feb. 17, according to the SBA. Even so, a National Federation of Independent Business trend report states that in May the percentage of business owners reporting that loans are harder to get rose to 16%, the highest reading since the 1980-82 recession.

With that reality, and loath to dip into their retirement savings, struggling small-business owners have few options other than bankruptcy. When the bankruptcy law changed in 2005 it was mostly aimed at curbing abuse of personal bankruptcy filing. But it also singled out small businesses for harsher treatment, and those changes did not apply to larger corporations, Lawless says.

Bankruptcy is still the only option for many small-business owners who are hanging by a thread.

This is why the idea of living or retiring in Ecuador or elsewhere, at least part time,  for diversification and global earning potential makes sense because opportunity is growing elsewhere.

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Nothing makes our retirement problems diminish faster than helping those who have even greater needs.

An excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article “Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index Up” by Mercedes Alvaro says: QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index, measured by Deloitte and Touche, surged 5% in May to 93.2 points, compared with May 2008, the company said in its monthly report.

Deloitte said the index recovered by 31% in May against April, returning to the levels registered during the last quarter of 2008.

The Index’ recovery is largely due to the waning perception among executives of a deterioration of the country’s economic and political conditions, it said.

Deloitte found that 45% of those surveyed are less optimistic about the economy compared with April, while 52% perceive no change.

The slow but steady increase in oil prices and the revival of the global economy are grounds for expecting that the economy in Ecuador could improve by year’s end or in early 2010.

Questioned about the performance of their businesses, 34% said they had lower sales compared to the previous months and 39% reported revenues down on the same period of last year.

The survey found 20% reported a reduction in their workforce compared to the previous month.

Around 57% of the business leaders surveyed said that the country’s socio-economic situation makes it difficult to attract foreign investment.

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We should help our neighbors at home as well. This is why we are developing environmentally sensitive, sustainable programs to encourage value-added, employment in the Blue Ridge as well.

I have written many times about the benefits of retiring in Small Town USA for lifestyle diversification as well. See more on lifestyle diversification at Inspired to Retire

We can see below why diversification remains important even if we retire in Ecuador.

Just because we want to live or retire in Ecuador does not mean that Ecuador does not have its own creeping erosion of rights problems as well.  An August 3 news.Yahoo article says: Correa: Ecuador to take over radio, TV stations.  QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says “many” radio and TV frequencies will revert to state control due to what he’s calling irregularities.  The president has been at war with Ecuador’s news media since taking office in January 2007. He has called TV stations and newspapers corrupt and mediocre, and twice fined an opposition broadcaster.  Correa did not specify Monday what sort of abuses or irregularities broadcasters have committed. Nor did he name any alleged offenders.

An August 5th update on this matter in the Wall Street Journal says: Ecuador Govt Braces For Reaction To Radio, TV Takeovers

QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s government is expecting “strong reactions” to a report that will determine which television and radio stations will revert to state control.

Antonio Garcia, chairman of Ecuador’s National Radio and Television Board, said Wednesday that a report will be issued next week on which stations the government will take over.

President Rafael Correa’s government has alleged that a number of stations received their broadcasting concessions illegitimately and said that “many” would revert to state hands.

Correa’s announcement came on the heels of the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Ecuadorian president’s close ally, shutting down 34 privately-owned radio stations last weekend.

An initial report by an Ecuadorian government commission last year found that 236 of 1,637 frequencies had obtained their concessions illegally.

Garcia brushed off what he called “alarmist accounts” that all radio and television stations will revert to state control and that the government is looking at them on a case-by-case basis.”

He said that some media outlets, however, are “trying to misinform” viewers and listeners.

We’ll stay tuned to what happens with this takeover  at our Ecuador Living  Service.

The greatest asset for diversification is the ability to earn wherever you live and to keep your investments safe.

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.

Here is Thomas Fischer talking with seminar delegates at a recent international investing course that I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Management.

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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 and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

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Seminar delegates visiting Otavalo market looking for Ecuador export ideas.

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 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.

Learn more about the power of  Ecuador export ideas

See WSJ article Ecuador’s government braces for reaction

See NYT article U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban

International Investing Trick


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But which shares… in which markets?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

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

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

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

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

2006     7.40%          18.23%

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

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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

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

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

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

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

Ecuador & Banking


When living in Cotacachi, Merri and I do not use Ecuador banking. See below why banking globally is better.

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This Cotacachi plaza has one of the village’s two Cathedrals and…

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a bank with an ATM… plus

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a new credit institution with an ATM as well.

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This works just fine for us.

This is an even better idea now that the Ecuador government has created a new wealth reporting regulation. See yesterdays article on Ecuador’s new financial reporting law if you missed this.

For wealth protection we bank mainly with Jyske Global Asset Management… who look after our investments in Denmark, but comply with US regulations.

I have banked abroad for 40 years and this has become increasingly difficult… though there are still ways.

In fact I co hosted Jyske Global Asset Mangement’s (JGAM) first US seminar  last month in Naples, Florida. Here I am with Thomas Fischer of  JGAM. While other banks are dumping Americans, Jyske is working harder to enhance its global service for US investors.

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Since I wrote my first book, Passport to International Profit in the 1970s, my mantra has been to have what I call a “Six Point Command Posture” which is to:

Live in one country
Bank in a second country
Invest in many countries
Earn in two or more countries
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country
Take a second residence

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The seven speaker panel answered questions at the JGAM – Gary Scott seminar.

Since Merri and I reside most of the time in the US and Ecuador, we do as little banking in these countries as possible.

There are some good reasons to have the “Six Point Command Posture”.   You can see why below.  The “Six Point Command Posture” is worthwhile even though recent events remind us that this posture is regretfully more difficult to attain than before.

The British Telegraph newspaper published a recent article entitled Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge.  Excerpts (a link to the entire article is at the end of this message) say:  Banking group drops American customers in UK ahead of costly proposals to stamp out tax evasion.

Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama.

This week American private client account-holders at Lloyds’s received letters informing them of an “important change in policy regarding clients who are resident, domiciled or linked to the United States by property or asset holdings”. They were told the bank had “no choice” but to “cease acting as your investment manager.”

One recipient, who has lived in the UK for over 25 years, said: “After all this time, I’ve suddenly been told I must take my money elsewhere and I don’t understand why. Now I’m scared that other banks won’t take me on either.”

The proposals, which were unveiled in the President’s first budget, have been designed to clamp down on American tax evaders abroad. But bank bosses say that in practice they could be asked to take on the task of collecting American taxes at a cost and legal liability that make servicing the clients inexpedient. The rules have not yet been finalised and are still subject to debate in Congress.

The letters also contained four comprehensive descriptions of the bank’s definition of clients that are affected. These included clients that hold green cards, pay American taxes, are American domiciled or even those where there is “any indication” that a client spent more time in the US than “normal holidays currently or in the past or future.”

There has been a continual erosion of the liberty that US investors  enjoy when banking abroad.

First, the Swiss Banks started limiting what US resident investors could invest in  (in the 1970s). Then the Swiss started dropping US resident investors all together.  Many Canadian financial institutions stopped accepting US resident investors  years ago.

Now the British banks have jumped in and as the article shows… it is not just US residents.  Even US citizens who have lived in England for 25 years are losing their accounts.

Fortunately, since banking abroad is not about reducing tax,  there are still great, safe and proper ways to bank and hold assets abroad.

Merri and I use Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management because they offer an excellent global investment service that conforms to all US rules.

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Lars Stouge President of JGAM speaking at the Naples seminar.

See more on this in a TV interview between Thomas Fischer and me here.

Why Bank Globally?

Some investors mistakenly think that banking abroad reduces tax.  This is not correct and has not been for decades. There are numerous good tax planning ideas, but they work as well with local investments as well as overseas.

The reason to bank abroad is that we live in a global economy.  We are dependent on production from many nations every day.  Even though we do not do so directly we spend many currencies every day.   The ultimate form of financial security is a multi currency existence.

We are multi national spenders so we need to be multi national investors.  We need bankers and investment managers who have international and multi currency experience and expertise.

An excerpt from a recent multi currency question and answer session sent to my multi currency course subscribers explains why and how in more detail:

There are numerous benefits gained by using Jyske. The first benefit is Jyske’s global investing experience, 24 hour trading facilities and their low fee structure.

Jyske Bank has incredible in depth knowledge of markets and have a very broad access to global markets.  Jyske Global Asset Managers (JGAM) not only tap into Jyske Bank for data, but they also use  Morgan Stanley and Bank Credit Analysis for research.  There is rarely an investment question that I cannot get answered at Jyske.

The low fees are also a huge benefit.  I used to hold accounts at 14 banks around the world. Finally I started researching the fees I was paying and bean eliminating the accounts that charged the highest fees.

In the end I was left with Jyske and my London stock broker.  For example Jyske’s fee to buy bonds was one-sixth that was charged by my Swiss banker.

Hidden fees and shaved interest rates, especially those charged when you in exchange currencies, and buy stocks and bonds often chew an investor to pieces.

Plus Jyske has been in the banking business for over 100 years. They have enormous experience and are very conservative.  They were not hit by the sub prime mess. They had no Madoff investments.  I like this type of old fashioned stability.

Jyske is in touch with the pulse of the market. They trade 50 billion dollars of currencies and commodities a day.

Another important aspect gained at Jyske is bank safety. Denmark is ranked as one of the safest countries in the world to bank.

In addition there is great privacy and asset protection. No one that you do not inform can see your account.  Should someone sue you and gain a judgment against you, that judgment is not automatically enforceable in Denmark.   The creditor would have to start a legal action to attain the funds in Denmark and to date this has never happened at Jyske.

Q: Can you explain what type of account the multi currency transactions would be conducted?

A: There are two types of JGAM accounts… managed and advisory.

JGAM can buy any type of investment for Americans in managed accounts… because it is JGAM is making the decision… not the client.  Depending on the size of your account, you can ask Jyske to hold a specific investment in your account and if it makes sense in terms of the execution, diversification and your risk profile, they will do this… but it must be JGAM’s decision.

The managed accounts are available in four risk profiles… low risk… medium…high or speculative.  You can learn more about Jyske’s asset allocation strategy at the JGAM site linked later in this message.

Q: I have residency in Mexico there although I do not claim foreign residency for US tax purposes at this time.

A: Your residence does not matter when it comes to managed accounts.

There is a residential impact for advisory accounts.

If your main residence is outside the US (JGAM will want to see a utility bill as proof of residence), then JGAM can buy any investment without qualification.

If you have an advisory account and your main residence is in the US, then JGAM is restricted to buying qualified (US traded) investments for you.

However you still gain the asset protection and privacy benefits as these US traded assets are held in Denmark.

Q: Do you use a foreign LLC to conduct your business with Jyske Bank?  If so what country is the LLC issued from?

I do not use an LLC for our Jyske accounts. It is much easier to open an account in person.  However our account ownership is part of a plan that takes tax, asset protection and estate planning into account.  Everyone should make their decision on what type of structure and where it is organized based on their own plan that suits their own circumstances.

I highly recommend using a Strategic Asset Snapshot offered by Cox & Nici that  looks at all these variables. Joe Cox the senior partner of this firm has been my tax attorney for about 20 years.

You can get information about their Strategic Asset Snapshot Joe at jcox@coxnici.com

Learn about our Multi Currency Course and how to get this entire session here.

Having a six point command posture has become increasingly important over the  past 40 years as we have increased our involvement in the global economy.  Yet this secure method of living, investing and doing business has also become more difficult to achieve.  The result is that this posture is even more important and more worthwhile.

US investors See Jyske Global Asset Mangement’s new website here.

Non US investors contact Reny Matys at mathys@jbpb.dk

Gary

Save up to $249! Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ seminar here

We offer two emailed courses, one on how to be a multi currency investor, the other on how to have your own international web business.

We enhance these courses with regular international investing and business seminars that I conduct in coordination with Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management.

If you enroll in our July 24 to 26 International investing and business seminar by July 1, 2009 you can have one of these tow emailed courses free and save p to $249.

Delegates gain a lot by talking with each oter at these courses. Here are delegates at our Naples course.

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Join me with Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management and my webmaster David Cross in North Carolina July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

We’ll have a New River wine tasting at Bohemia Gallery as we did last year. here are delegates at that tasting.

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Our North Carolina courses in 2009 will be conducted in the new…

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West Jefferson Hampton Inn.

Save $249!   Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Here is what one reader wrote about our last seminar.

Hi Gary, Just a note to express our appreciation for a great event.  The Naples Beach Hotel provided a comfortable  setting for the gathering. The hotel should be congratulated for the excellent food and service. We enjoyed all of the speakers. I particularly enjoyed John Mauldin. I have followed his writings over the years.  In  1994 we attended several of your seminars, I enrolled in the Multiple Currency Course and opened an account with Jyske Bank.  This activity has provided us with a nice retirement income over the years. With economic disruptions world wide I decided to become reacquainted  with currencies as an investment tool as a consequence of  my very dark view of the USD’s future.  Keep up the good work. My day is always brightened by your daily emails.

Save $249! Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Read the entire Telegraph article: Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge at
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5526129/Lloyds-Bank-hit-by-Obama-tax-purge.html

Ecuador Swine Flu & Brazil Sandwiches


This message looks at Ecuador swine flu and the Brazilian Multi currency sandwich.

The Ecuador swine flu comes…

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second when we see how this weaver and Ecuador’s natural ways can help avoid swine flu.

First, the Brazil multicurrency sandwich.

Investors interested in Ecuador may also be interested in other Latin investments. Those who would like to take risk now, (I am not ready to do this), a US dollar Brazilian real multi currency sandwich makes sense for three reasons.

The first reason is the interest rate differential commonly called positive carry.

You can borrow US dollars at Jyske Bank now for 3.375%.

Brazilian bonds pay 10%.

If you invest $100,000 in Brazilian bonds, you earn $10,000 a year income.  Use those bonds as collateral to borrow $100,000.  Invest this US dollar loan in more Brazilian bonds. Your interest cost is $3,375, your income $10,000.

This increases your total income to $16,625 a year or 16.625% per annum.

Let’s look at what this means on a five year basis. Assume for a moment that you held a Brazilian bond sandwich ($100,000 invested and $100,000 borrowed) for the next five years. You earn 15% per annum to begin.

Let’s assume that the Brazilian real appreciate 10%  versus the US dollar and that the bonds appreciate 1o%. The bonds become worth $240,000. You pay off the loan of $100,000 and have $140,000 plus the $83,125 of interest you have gained over five years.  That is a total return of $123,000 of income and gain returned on $100,000 invested or 24.6%  per annum return.

There are two more reasons why this investment may now make sense.

Learn them and the reason I am not increasing my position in Brazilian bonds in these volatile times (I have these bonds in my portfolio already) yet as a multi currency subscriber.  I posted a message with full details plus including a way to cash in on this distortion through any US stock broker.

Learn how to be a multi currency subscriber here.

Ecuador Swine Flu

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One great thing about Ecuador is the balance of the shamanic wisdom.   I do not think the shamans of Ecuador are very concerned about swine flu.  The ancient knowledge flows with nature’s way and uses nature in every aspect of life balancing out problems of this sort.

Nature and balance are in every part of the ancient ways.  Here for example the weaver pictured earlier shows how yarn is naturally dyed.  A plant creates green.

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A herb is used for red orange and…

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a beetle that lives on cactus creates a natural purple dye, cochineal-in history very rare, very special.

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In places like Cotacachi balanced shamanic knowledge is incorporated in daily life. Here a shaman leads a ceremony in the village plaza.

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The ceremonies attract…

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thousands of participants from the area because this wisdom is still in use.

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Even Ma attends!

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This appears to not be the case at Ecuador’s national level so this Andean nation’s reaction to Swine Flu was abrupt.

When swine flu first appeared, Ecuador declared a national emergency on swine flu… even though there was not have a single case of swine flu reported there.

In late April Ecuador barred foreigners who have been in Mexico from arriving in Ecuador on commercial flights as a precaution against swine flu.  Ecuador also suspended charter flights to and from Mexico to prevent the spread of the virus.   Visitors arriving in Ecuador who have been in Mexico are currently not allowed into Ecuador, although Ecuadorians are allowed to return home, but are closely monitored for flu symptoms.

Now new Ecuador swine flu events have taken place. If you are traveling to Ecuador from the US, I expect for now you’ll be wearing a mask on your flight.

Learn why when you read our entire Ecuador swine flu update as an Ecuador Living subscriber. See details here.

Here is one tip that can help avoid the swine flu anywhere that I believe is more along the lines of Ecuadorian shamanic wisdom.

An Ecuador Living subscriber reader sent me this note.

GARY, HERE’S A TIP THAT CAN SAVE YOU FROM VIRALS OF ALL SORTS:  TAKE A CLEAN COTTON HANKERCHIEF AND PUT ABOUT 6 DROPS OF ESSENTIAL OIL OF HYSSOPS, CLOVE AND ROSEMARY.  ESSENTIAL OILS ARE VERY POTENT ANTI BIOTIC AND ANTI VIRAL/FUNGAL.   EUROPEAN ESSENTIAL OIL RESEARCH IS QUITE CONCLUSIVE ABOUT THIS. MUCH LOVE AND GOOD HEALTH.

This matched up with what Merri and I have learned from Ecuadorian shamans, but I asked our friend Candace Newman, the expert on essential oils, to confirm this.  Here is her reply.

Gary, more and more the health community is definitely acknowledging the antibacterial and antiviral properties of essential oils…. because they are SOOOO needed.

The three below are certainly good ones…there are many.

Some other top ones include: Eucalytpus, Peppermint, Ravintsara, Tea Tree,
Oregano and Thyme.

Keeping a little bottle of the pure essential oil in your pocket as an inhaler is a good idea, and using any combination of these in a mist for misting your face, hands, and air around you is another good idea.

Putting some of these in a room diffuser for the bedroom or office room helps too. It is best to dilute them in a good base oil for rubbing into large areas of the skin like a chest or neck rub. Some of these oils are strong skin irritants. Take care, Candace.

You can the following essential oils  from Candace Newman below.

Tea Tree 10 ml

Peppermint 10 ml

Eucalyptus 10 ml

Lavender 10 ml

Lemon 10 ml

Whether due to shamanic wisdom or Ecuador’s strict restrictions Ecuador swine flu does not look like it will go far.

Gary

Join us at an upcoming Ecuador or North Carolina conference or 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.

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 Beach Property – Jama


Yesterday’s message began a series on Ecuador beach property because I believe there is extra value on the beach now due to  rumors that have scared some buyers away.

Looking beyond the rumor allows us to take advantage of the truism, “Buy on the rumor and sell on the news.”

This provides us with extra opportunity and life on a beautiful beach like this.

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Ecuador beach north of Bahia.

One recent rumor came from a BBC  article entitled “Americas on alert for sea level rise” by James Painter the 
BBC Latin America analyst.

Excerpts of the article say:

Coastal areas in parts of Mexico are among those under threat

Climate change experts in North and South America are increasingly worried by the potentially devastating implications of higher estimates for possible sea level rises.

The Americas have until now been seen as less vulnerable than other parts of the world like low-lying Pacific islands, Vietnam or Bangladesh.

But the increase in the ranges for anticipated sea level rises presented at a meeting of scientists in Copenhagen in March has alarmed observers in the region.

Parts of the Caribbean, Mexico and Ecuador are seen as most at risk. New York City and southern parts of Florida are also thought to be particularly vulnerable.

This sent shivers up the spine of many investors who had been thinking about buying on Ecuador’s coast.   That is because they did not read the entire article.

Further on the article says:

According to a recent World Bank study of more than 80 developing countries, Ecuador features among the top 10 countries likely to be most affected by sea level rise when calculated as a percentage of its GDP.

Argentina, Mexico and Jamaica also appear in the top 10 when measured by the impact of a one-metre rise on agricultural lands.

This makes Ecuador’s beaches to sound vulnerable until you read on where the article says:

New research led by Dr Jianjun Yin at Florida State University suggests that whereas South American coastal cities are not at threat this century from an extra sea level rise caused by Amoc, New York City and the state of Florida are.
The coastal plains around the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador, the country’s main economic hub, are also known to be vulnerable to a combination of sea level rises, storms and sea surges.

A recent study by researchers at Espol, a science institute in Guayaquil, suggested that even a half-metre sea level rise would put the storm drainage system in the southern part of the city under severe strain, possibly causing it to collapse.

The concern about Ecuador’s coast is the rumor.  Here is the news.  Guayaquil… which is inland  is at risk… a huge economic problem yes… but not for the Ecuador beach cities.  Should these rising water problems come true… the coastal cities in Ecuador may become even more important and valuable.

Do not get me wrong… global warming may be a huge problem everywhere… but may not be  a concern in our life times on Ecuador’s coast.  In fact as higher water driving people from Florida and Guayaquil could create opportunity for Ecuador beach property. I have put the address of the entire BBC article at the end of this message.

I am adding a stronger buy signal for Ecuador beach property and this week we are running a series looking at Ecuador beach areas from Salinas to Esmeraldas as shown on an excerpt of this Ecuador map.

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Those who have been reading our messages for any length of time know that I have focused my efforts on the middle portion of Ecuador’s beach from Manta to Bahia in the province of Manabi.

You can see why I consider Manta the key to Ecuador beach growth here.

I checked water levels carefully before buying here. Last year before construction began, there were record rains. Much of Ecuador’s coast looked like this.

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The land where the condos were to be built looked like this.

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Here are the condos there now.

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See why I like these San Clemente beach condos any why I have invested in here.

However there are many other great Ecuador beach areas I would like to share so I asked a few of the many contacts I have made, up and down the coast, to tell us more about the beaches where they are in Ecuador.

Today we look north of San Clemente from Bahia… north with an article by Gary Swenson an American who lives in this area with his family and brother Larry.

Bahia North by Gary Swenson

I have been an adventurer all of my life. Driving race cars all over the world for a living and traveling the Pacific for four years with my sailboat.

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Gary Swenson’s  race car.

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Gary Swenson’s sailboat.

I found Ecuador on that four year Pacific sailing adventure.  I had visited many countries in my work and exercising my passion. The people here made me feel like family. I have been here now for 8 years. We have been investing in North Coastal real estate for 7 of those 8 years, and have close to 30 properties on the beach. Some with a quarter acre, and some with as much as one mile of beachfront.

I have walked close to 50 miles of beachfront myself, searching for the most beautiful pieces, and as a bonus have also found many pre-Colombian artifacts just lying on the beach!

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Treasures found on the beach.

I have concentrated on the North Coast for one main reason, and that is that it is the last area of the coast of Ecuador that was mainly undeveloped, somewhat inaccessible, and the prices affordable. That is all changing right now! Many properties that I have purchased now have new coastal highways and roads being built right past them as they open up this coast. This area is slowly being found out by Ecuadorians, foreign retirees and investors alike.

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New road construction near Bahia.

The President of Ecuador knows that tourism is a big part of the future here and is spending the money necessary to develop the coastal areas.

One of the largest developments in Ecuador is on the North Coast and largely unknown to the rest of the outside world is in Same (pronounced saw may). It is a sleepy tourist town (true for most of the North coast) that wakes up during Ecuadorian holiday times and vacation times for the kids from Quito.

It is only 30 minutes from the Esmeraldes airport. Years ago Esmeraldes was a wild place and somewhat dangerous, but that was years ago. I find it safe and friendly, with better roads and infrastructure that is better than most of the rest of Ecuador.

There are also other well developed areas such as Atacames (pronounced otta-calm-es), Sua (Sue-ah), Pedernales with high rise condos and hotels.

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Then there are hidden gems like, Cojimies with miles of coconut plantations lining the beaches, Mompiche, Estero De Platino and Canoa with great surfing, and Jama/ElMatal for kite boarding, river rafting, and just relaxing if you like.

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More Ecuador beach north of Bahia.

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Sunny and underpopulated.

Bahia De Caraquez with a laid back Mediterranean feel and an international Marina, great schools and theater.

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Bahia.

This coast has great diversity and friendly people where you can walk most beaches any time of the day or night safely. With your choice of miles of virgin beachfront to choose from.

This is paradise!

This North coast also has many mini climates from a dry tropical climate equal to Santa Barbara, California in the spring with no humidity to a more lush semi wet tropical, lush green terrain all year long.

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Lush beaches

There are also a few larger towns with night life, restaurants, hotels and touristy things do do in between the many friendly small towns with just a restaurant and hostel.

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Gary Swenson and his son Archie on the beach.

Here you can find whatever type of beach that you would like to live on. From high banks with a bird’s eye view overlooking miles of coastline while watching the whales and dolphins play in the swells, or fishing, to low lying sandy beaches that you can walk and wiggle your toes in for miles!

Yes, you can find what your heart desires here.

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Gary Swenson fishing.

To get to the Bahia area you fly into Quito and take a short 1/2 hour flight to the Manta airport and then a 1 hour taxi or bus ride to Bahia.

To Esmeraldes it is a half hour flight from Quito. The airport in San Vicente is in the middle of a dispute with the city and is supposed to be resolved this year and restart flights from Quito.

I have eaten at just about every restaurant in Bahia, San Vicente, Canoa, Jama, and others further north and rarely have a bad meal! The average cost of a lunch (almuerzo) including fresh seafood, chicken or meat, small salad, rice, beans, soup of the day, and fruit juice is between $1 and $2, and the food and juice is all fresh! Nothing out of a can here. The population of Bahia and the surrounding areas is around 20,000 but you would never know it as it is a tourist town and only fills on some weekends and holidays.

The weather from San Clemente/Bahia to just north of Pedernales is a dry tropical climate and is similar to the climate of south central California in the spring/early summer. It averages 75 to 80 degrees and very low humidity, and a nice sea breeze for 7 months a year. We have 2 months that they call the rainy season that we have a 1 or 2 hour rain at night maybe twice a week. Very seldom does it rain during the day. This time of the year it averages 80 to 95 degrees and is slightly more humid. Then there is what the locals call summer when the temperatures are 70 to 75 degrees every day and mostly cloudy with a little afternoon sun. It could be true that Ecuador has the best climate in the world!

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Ecuador beach sunset near Jama.

I believe in Ecuador, and the future holds many good things here for the people that have a little adventure in their souls.  Gary Swenson

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Gary Swenson’s family on the beach.

You can learn more about this area from Gary Swenson at www.ecuadorbeachfront.com

or email lswenson@bendcable.com

Gary Swenson and his brother, Larry, own an Ecuador beach development at Coco Beach Village.

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Gary & Larry Swenson’s project.

They have a gated community of 1/4 acre beachfront lots with homes that start at $99,000 with underground utilities, tennis courts, swimming pool, clubhouse.  This is in the friendly Jama/El Matal  community on Ecuador’s beach.

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Your own hammock near Jama.

Until next message, good global investing.

Gary

Our 2-4-1 offer expires in three days.

Join us and visit Ecuador beach property with our 2-4-1 tours this May and July.

See great May Ecuador airfares here.

We have three Ecuador tours scheduled for May and July 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 tours but 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

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.

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.

Our 2-4-1 offer expires at midnight April 30, 2009.

See the entire BBC article Americas on alert for sea level rise at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7977263.stm

Ecuador Shots & Global Comments


Here are some shots of Ecuador and comments from readers about our recent Ecuador Joys & Global Thoughts article.

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Here is a photo taken of a proud Ecuadorian cheese maker.  Our next Imbabura real estate tour will view this organic farm and Swiss cheese factory for sale.

The first reader wrote:

Gary, A fine letter from a daughter that has learned some important things about life at an early age.  Of my three summers in Mexico(1965-70) working on a Peace Corp style project in 18th century mountain life, from those rural  Mexicans I learned what it meant to be an American. Before Mexico I had no context  about the values and way of life that I was living.  I presumed the world thought and lived more or less like we lived.  Jim

This is a great point. To me one of the greatest pleasures from my global lifestyle is a broadened horizon.  The US is such a vast country and huge market, that in the years I lived here, the focus has always been inward.   This seems to restrict many from seeing alternatives and other great ways to live.  Don’t get me wrong. I love the US and enjoy living here.  This is one great way of living… but not THE way of living and certainly not the ONLY way to live.

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This is a shot of Andean musicians who regularly serenade our diners at Meson de las Flores.

Another reader wrote:

Hi Gary,

I really enjoyed Francesca’s message about her experiences in various cultures and countries.  In 1985 I went to Saudi Arabia where I was the only American working at a UN designated Arab Training Center, upon graduating from USC.

It was just the thing I needed to give me the itch for all things international ever since. From there, I saw a good bit of Europe, then I worked for a Japanese electronics trading and assembly company, where I traveled most of Asia. Since then, I have been a self supporting ex-pat. I married my wonderful Filipina wife in the Philippines where I have resided these past 10 years.

She is like me, I like to try almost any type of food offered (well I passed on raw Camel’s milk because I heard it was an almost definite prescription for diarrhea). The wealth of experiences and international friends my wife and I share has provided a perspective I could never have obtained if I had never ventured from Southern California or The States.

So both Francesca’s and your daily messages resonate with me. I found Francesca’s message to be spot-on. I only wish more American’s could experience living outside the box (US)  Cheers!  Jim.

Jim lives in the Philippines… another great place to live especially for those in the Western US.

ecuador-shots Ecuador bamboo ready for construction scaffolding.

I thought this reply from a friend of 50 years (we grew up together in Rockwood, Oregon) who now teaches in China.

Gary,  I challenged my students to examine political incorrectness through humor.  Each of many classes were to ‘turn the tables’ in their humor.  And did they ever.  Here are but a few examples (often I corrected the grammar, but I never changed the meaning or focus).  The form of the jokes are an ‘imagined’ press conference to question China’s actions:

Q:  Do Chinese eat dogs?

A:  Yes. We eat a lot of dogs; and cats,too.  Especially on your “Thanksgiving Day”.  Turkeys are our favorite pets. We regard turkeys as human’s best friends.  In China only the most uneducated eat turkeys.

Q:  Why don’t you clean up the pollution in your air and water?

A:  Why don’t you clean up ‘Love Canal’ and 1000 other sites without closing the offending factories and moving them to China.

Q:  Why do you keep lending money to the USA even in light of the financial crisis?

A:  Why does a dog chase his tail?

Q:  China is becoming strong. Does your government want to take over the world?

A:  Yes, absolutely.  As soon as we become powerful enough, we hope to invade Iraq and Afghanistan; Viet Nam, Panama, Granada, Pakistan and Somalia are also on our wish list.

Q:  Why doesn’t your government give Tibet back to its monks?

A:  We keep Tibet only as a favor to the USA.  The monks want peace through repatriation, that is, equivalently, they want to help the Seminoles take back Florida, the Souix and Cherokee and Iriquois and Nez Perce to take back their homelands.

Q: Are the products made in China very cheap?

A: Yes, but if we were we using black slaves, the price would be even cheaper.

Q: You have 1.4 billion people. Now what do you want to do with it?

A: Find a new planet. Kill the native people there, and move in.

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Ecuador lilies. Learn about Ecuador Mother’s Day lilies here.

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Ecuador has excellent potters and entire pottery villages. Ecuador pottery comes in all shapes and forms. We look at its report potential in our July Ecuador export tour.

Gary

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Delegates enjoying a coffee break at Meson de las Flores on one of our tours.

Join us and visit Ecuador with our April  2-4-1 tours this May and July.

See great May Ecuador airfares  here.

We have three Ecuador tours scheduled for May and July 2009.

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24

ecuador-shots

Delegates viewing San Miguel.

Merri and I will not be on these tours but 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.

ecuador-real-estate

Mansion we’ll view on real estate tour.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

ecuador-real-estate

The real estate tour will view a new listing on this lake.

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.

ecuador-real-estate

Organic wine and Swiss cheese made in Cotacachi and enjoyed by delgates.

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.

cotacachi-green

Roses shown in a presentation on how to export Ecuador roses.

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

Cotacachi Culture


Cotacachi culture offers many opportunities for those of us who live in Cotacachi.

Many readers ask, “what is there to do in Cotacachi?”

There are many wonderful cultural events in Cotacachi such as the Casa Dansa event that our Cotacachi import export course enjoyed last week.

Cotacachi-culture

Dancers and singers were represented from three countries. Mexico, Venezuela and Peru.  This dancer was terrific in his Aztec regalia.

Here was an amazing performer from Peru.

Cotacachi-culture

The Peruvian performance was as close to Chinese opera as anything I have ever seen… once again…

Cotacachi-culture

showing the ancient link between Latin America and Asia.

This was as special event as the coordinators especially welcomed our group and the North American residents of Cotacachi. We are now a large segment of Cotacachi’s population.

Here we are.

Cotacachi-culture

The two hour event was really enjoyed by our delegates once again showing that Cotacachi culture is always offering something for us to do.

Gary

Join us at a course our tour in 2009 in Ecuador, North Carolina or Florida.

Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  Here is a special offer on this new course.

You can enroll in this special course for $299. However if you sign up for three courses in any one month.

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

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
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

The American Dream Goes South at Florida Investment Seminar


I’ll focus on how the American dream is heading south at JGAM’s multi currency seminar in Florida this May.

If looked at one way… the American dream is dead. Let’s ramble through economic history for a moment to see why.

In the early 1980s the US had a challenge… a severe recession from July 1981 to November 1982.  Inflation was high so the Fed  slowed the rate of growth of the money supply and raised interest rates. The federal funds rate rose to 20% by June 1981. The prime interest rate, at the time a highly important economic measure, eventually reached 21.5% in June 1982. Businesses went broke by the drove… 50 percent over the previous year.  Especially hard hit were farmers and real estate developers.

The recession was the most serious recession since the Great Depression.

This was tough but inflation eased and the economy rebounded.  Growth took off again… real growth without bad inflation because the real estate overhang and subsequent bankruptcy of the Savings & Loan industry was dealt with by the Resolution Trust Corporation.

RTC liquidated via auction and a massive sell off to private business, the real estate that had been assets of savings and loan associations that were insolvent.

The US government had the sense then not to try and control these assets.  Entrepreneurs bought the assets for pennies on the dollar and turned the property into viable deals in ways that no government agency ever could.

Japan then had a serious recession and the same opportunity.  There was a real estate and stock bubble in Japan in the 1980s.   Then in 1989 there was a massive withdrawal of confidence. Investment collapsed, causing the Nikkei index to fall more than 60 percent.

The Japanese government however decided that it could provide a fix. the Japanese felt they could not let big Japanese businesses go broke.  Between 1992 and 1995, Japan tried six spending programs totaling 65.5 trillion yen. They cut  taxes in 1994. In 1998 they cut taxes again and launched stimulus packages worth more than 40 trillion yen.,  A year later… another stimulus program. In 2000 11 trillion yen more was spent to stimulate the economy.

Over a decade the Japanese government provided 10 stimulus packages worth more than a 100 trillion yen.   The main result was to ruin the Japanese government’s credit with public debt that exceeds 100 percent of GDP. This is the highest percent of debt of all major nations.

Any other results?  Here is evidence… the main Japanese stock index the Nikkei 225 from 1989 till 2009.  Japanese society is indebted for life and the stock exchange has fallen from over 35,000 to  7,600 in 20 years.

Wow that really worked well… so

power-investing

now the US government has decided to do the same thing.

Last week the government  offered another $30 billion in funds to A.I.G. insurance.  This is the fourth round of aid to the American International Group. The government already owns nearly 80 percent of the insurer’s holding company. How much more can they buy?

This sounds like a good investment since the insurance giant was about to report a $62 billion loss after the government has already given a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion purchase of preferred shares and purchased $50 billion of the company’s toxic assets.

Behind this, the government has invested $50 billion in Citigroup… $45 billion in Bank of America.  The Us auto bailout could cost another 100 billion. More on that in a later message.

This is all taking place as the US economy spirals down at an accelerated pace.

Yet the current administration is basing its spending on calculations that suggest vigorous rates of economic growth in years to come.

They have suggested this economic growth will come in 2010.

I wonder?

There seems to  a disconnect between the Federal projections and fiscal reality.   Current conditions are not yet at the level of the 1980s, when unemployment exceeded 10 percent, but they could be soon.

Moody’s chief economist now places the odds of “a mild depression” at 25 percent. In that view, the unemployment rate would reach 10.5 percent by the end of 2011 — up from 7.6 percent at the end of January — average home prices would fall 20 percent on top of the 27 percent they have plunged already, and losses in the financial system would more than triple, to $3.7 trillion.

Yet President Obama calls this a “once in a generation” opportunity and proposed a 10-year budget that overhauls health care, arrests global warming and expands the federal role in education.

How to pay for it?   Tax more corporations and the wealthiest taxpayers.

Wrong!  Higher tax will simply kill business or drive it abroad.  What a  good idea to chase away the last of the success.

The President said  he would shrink annual deficits.  His explanation is that he will increase revenue from rich individuals and polluting industries, reduce war costs and assume a good rate of economic growth by 2010.

The rich will stop working or leave the US.  The polluters will move to Mexico or China or wherever.   The high rate of economic growth will not appear.  Stopping the war will help… but not enough.

Technology means that politicians can no longer ignore the global market and tax its citizens to death.

Take for example what is happening in Ecuador.  Remittances sent by  Ecuadorians who work abroad fell 22 percent in the last quarter of 2008.

$643.9 million was sent from October to December 2008. This is $181.7 million less than in Oct.to Dec.2007.

A similar drop was experienced in the third quarter of 2008 and is caused by the global financial crisis and especially the economic slowdown in the United States, where it is estimated 1.5 million Ecuadorians live and work.

The U.S. employment rate has crashed especially in manufacturing and construction which employ a large number of Ecuadorians.

The same is true in  Spain – where 600,000 Ecuadorians live. this is the second-leading destination for Ecuadorians.

This means that there are more Ecuadorians to serve for less in Ecuador.  This forces the Ecuador cost of living down down.

So if you are an American who is about to be super taxed… where would you choose to live?  Our farm manager sent us this note recently, “We had 4 inches of snow in China Grove.”

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Would you rather live there and pay more tax or…

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enjoy open air dining as Merri and are doing here in our Cotacachi hotel courtyard with Dan Prescher and Suzan Haskins or…

multi-currency-investing-florida-course

would you rather enjoy a mountain train ride as these…

multi-currency-investing-florida-course new Cotacachi residents are doing…  passing through green mountains  and blue skies.  Getting a sun burn.

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The is the train from Ibarra to Salinas Ecuador.  Would you rather be taxed extra to be in this pool or…

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be here on Ecuador’s coast with tax advantages?

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Which view will the rich prefer?  This in the US or…

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this… especially if this San Clemente Ecuador ocean view costs much, much less?

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Where would I prefer to walk with my hound?  Here in sub zero temperatures or

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here in Cotacachi Ecuador…especially if I am taxed less and the cost of living is much lower and government interference in my life is less?

multi-currency-investing-florida-course

Technology and the global market gives us as individuals enormous power to live where and as we choose that politicians can no longer ignore.

The government’s attitude to increase taxes on those who work hard could turn the existing brain drain from the US into a brain torrent.

In short there are many reasons I see that suggest the economic mess will  last for years in the US,  just as it has in Japan.

Recently, Warren Buffett wrote in his company’s annual report that “the economy will be in shambles, throughout 2009, and, for that matter, probably well beyond.”

This is not the picture we expect of the American dream.  However the picture is not bad for all.  Not all Italians became poor when Rome fell.  Italy is still a great place to live.  There are still millions of Japanese who have thrived over the past 15 years of Japanese recession.  The end of the America dream does not have to be the end of your dream.

In the US we can expect the rich to get richer… the poor poorer.   We can see why from our study of Power Distance Index.  We looked at PDI, and what it is, in a recent message about JGAM’s multi currency seminar.

There is more about Power Distance Index at http://www.clearlycultural.com which says:

Hofstede’s Power Distance Index measures the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders.

For example, Germany has a 35 on the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis. Compared to Arab countries where the power distance is very high (80) and Austria where it very low (11), Germany is somewhat in the middle. Germany does not have a large gap between the wealthy and the poor, but have a strong belief in equality for each citizen. Germans have the opportunity to rise in society.

On the other hand, the power distance in the United States scores a 40 on the cultural scale. The United States exhibits a more unequal distribution of wealth compared to German society. As the years go by it seems that the distance between the ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ grows larger and larger.

The trick then is to not accept the PDI from the lower end. Let me explain.

Excerpts from 2007 article by a Stefan Bach , Giacomo Corneo  and Viktor Steiner at www.voxeu.org entitled German income inequality outlines an idea.  The article says:

Paul Krugman frequently mentions that America’s super rich make the 19th Century wealthy look poor. “We know what John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in Gilded Age America, made in 1894 … $1.25 million, almost 7,000 times the average per capita income in the United States at the time.” Krugman wrote. ”But that makes him a mere piker by modern standards … James Simons, a hedge fund manager, took home $1.7 billion, more than 38,000 times the average income.”

Surely such extremes cannot happen on Continental Europe with its social market economics and social solidarity. The authors of Policy Insight No. 4 shows that although income inequality in Germany is a long way from reaching US proportions, the trend is in that direction. Germany rich are getting richer, and its super-rich are getting super-richer.

In other words as a society progresses, those with power get richer while the majority of  the population become poorer.

Note above that power is determined  from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders.”

Power is an illusion that keeps most investors and business people depressed while a few gain from this social falsification.

The internet destroys this illusion. The web gives us all power!  Today we have as much opportunity as the rich to gain from the changes that this economic correction will bring.

This is why Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  More on this in a moment.

First what you can do as an investor or with your own business.

One answer we saw above is to live in a better lower cost environment like Ecuador.

Another answer is to be a multi currency investor. Despite America’s government spending , the dollar has been gaining, particularly against European currencies. The euro slipped to under $1.26, nearing a two-year low and down from a high of almost $1.60. This is caused as fearful investors jump into 10-year Treasury bonds… which have been shown to be terrible long term investments.   All the US government spending means that the US dollar will fall. But against what?

The euro is not a trustworthy currency now. A March 1, 2009 New York Times article by Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle entitled “Growing Economic Crisis Threatens the Idea of One Europe” explains why.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

The leaders of the European Union gathered Sunday in Brussels in an emergency summit meeting that seemed to highlight the very worries it was designed to calm: that the world economic crisis has unleashed forces threatening to split Europe into rival camps.

With uncertain leadership and few powerful collective institutions, the European Union is struggling with the strains this crisis has inevitably produced among 27 countries with uneven levels of development.

Whether Europe can reach across constituencies to create consensus, however, has been an open, and suddenly pressing, question.

“The European Union will now have to prove whether it is just a fair-weather union or has a real joint political destiny,” said Stefan Kornelius, the foreign editor of the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. “We always said you can’t really have a currency union without a political union, and we don’t have one. There is no joint fiscal policy, no joint tax policy, no joint policy on which industries to subsidize or not. And none of the leaders is strong enough to pull the others out of the mud.”

Thomas Klau, Paris director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, an independent research and advocacy group, said, “This crisis affects the political union that backs the euro and of course the E.U. as a whole, and solidarity is at the heart of the debate.”

“All of that is in doubt if the cornerstone of the E.U. — its internal market, economic union and solidarity — is in question,” said Ronald D. Asmus, a former State Department official who runs the Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund.

If the the euro is a good currency for diversification, which currencies are?

Our multi currency course helps you learn how to diversify into safe currencies.  Our studies currently suggest that the Danish, Swedish, Norwegian kroner and Canadian dollar make sense. For example beginning in March the Swedish kroner hit a new record low. The Eastern European problems are having an adverse impact on the Swedish banks.   Also the Norwegian currency is a good technical buy.

You can join us to understand why these currencies make sense by subscribing to our on line multi currency course.

You can also join us for a currency review at JGAM’s Naples Florida investment course May 29 to 31, 2009.  This course is $499 ($750 for two) but free to those who have subscribed to our on line multi currency course.

Another way you can attend JGAM Florida seminar free is to subscribe to our course on how to have a web based business.   You can enroll in this special course for $299 and attend the JGAM course in Naples free.

Here is a special offer on this course “Tangled Web – How to Have a Web Business“.

Or join us for an upcoming course in North Carolina or Ecuador.

Gary

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
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

Cotacachi Police & Health Services


Cotacachi police are an integral part of the excellent Cotacachi health and safety service.

There are several police stations in Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-health-services

The police are friendly and helpful.

This is refreshing at a time when the police are often aggressive.  One delegate from South Texas told me last month  that just driving in the country, doing nothing wrong, except perhaps having a car with tinted windows.  He was stopped three times.   The stops, he said, “were not pleasant”… the TSA agents were on the verge of being rude… hostile… for no reason. He made the mistake… just once of trying to make a joke and was severely reprimanded by the officer.

Yet this may get worse.

An excerpt from  February 23 New York Times article by Randal C. Archibold entitled, Wave of Drug Violence Is Creeping Into Arizona From Mexico, Officials Say says:

PHOENIX — The raging drug war among cartels in Mexico and their push to expand operations in the United States has led to a wave of kidnappings, shootings and home invasions in Arizona, state and federal officials said at a legislative hearing on Monday.

The drug trade has long brought violence to the state, which serves as a hub as illicit drugs and illegal immigrants are smuggled to the rest of the nation.

Over all, in this city and surrounding Maricopa County, homicides and violent crime decreased last year. But the authorities are sounding an alarm over what they consider changing tactics in border-related crime that bear the marks of the violence in Mexico.

A home invasion here last year was carried out by attackers wielding military-style rifles and dressed in uniforms similar to a Phoenix police tactical unit. The discovery of grenades and other military-style weaponry bound for Mexico is becoming more routine, as is hostage-taking and kidnapping for ransom, law enforcement officials said.

The Phoenix police regularly receive reports involving a border-related kidnapping or hostage-taking in a home.

The Maricopa County attorney’s office said such cases rose to 241 last year from 48 in 2004, though investigators are not sure of the true number because they believe many crimes go unreported.

The violence in Mexico — where more than 6,000 people were killed in the last year in drug-related violence, double the number of the previous year — is “reaching into Arizona, and that is what is really alarming local and state law enforcement,” said Cmdr. Dan Allen of the State Department of Public Safety.

“We are finding home invasion and attacks involving people impersonating law enforcement officers,” Commander Allen told the State Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chairman, Jonathan Paton of the Tucson area, called the hearing. “They are very forceful and aggressive. They are heavily armed, and they threaten, assail, bind and sometimes kill victims.”

Chief David Denlinger of the State Department of Public Safety said that while tactics like home invasions might not be new in the drug trade, “they are getting more prevalent.”

“Border crimes are not just on the border,” Chief Denlinger said, pointing to posters showing weapons, drugs and people who had been held hostage.

This type of problem in the US could increase the forcefulness of the US law enforcement and make contact with the police less pleasant.

The Cotacachi police are not aggressive.

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One guest at our hotel Meson de las Flores wrote about the Cotacachi police that gives a feel of how these law enforcement officers work with what he called “insistent persuasion”.   He wrote:

“Gary, I want to express my appreciation for your gracious hospitality on a recent stay at El Meson de los Flores. It was a relaxing three days.
“There was an incident on the street outside the hotel that might interest you. I was awakened one night by a ruckus on the street. Loud enough to prevent drifting off again I picked up my flashlight to check the time, 2:00 am. It sounded like several men were having an extra good time laughing and talking loudly.

A few minutes later I heard a vehicle approach and red light flashed around the bedroom walls.

I went to the window.

There was a pickup parked on the otherwise empty two lane street headed from my right to left (on the far side of the street to the hotel) opposite my window. The four door police pickup truck with three policemen stopped abreast the first pickup (close to the hotel) only a half vehicle length ahead of the first pickup.

One policeman exited the police truck’s left side standing under my window against the hotel wall watching the action holding a short barreled shotgun at ready.

The other two policemen mixed it up with four clearly smashed Ecuadorians in the middle of the street between the two vehicles. I witnessed the arrest progress.

The uproar increased (three more voices). Shortly the racket lessened. Then three men got into the police truck with two policemen. The third policeman got into the driver’s seat of the first pickup with one arrestee in the passenger’s seat and both vehicles drove off stage left.

I crawled into bed marveling that there had not been a show of force, only insistent persuasion. No swinging night sticks, sitting on the curb or face down on the street, handcuffs, rough shoving or body searches even in the face of resistance. Only patient urging with shotgun backup. Might this incident reflect favorably on the Ecuadorian temperament?”

The Cotacachi police are tolerant as well.

Cotacachi’s system allows for a human touch, for interpretation of the spirit of a regulation that goes beyond the letter of the law. For example the man below stands in one of the main intersections of the village and directs traffic. Dressed in the typical gray cameo of the Ecuador traffic police, he has his whistle, works all day, saves the community the cost of a stop light. He gets the job done. Yet he is not a policeman. He is not employed by anyone. He is handicapped and people just leave him to earn this humble living.  he helps… no harm done… so he is not bothered.

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Until next message may your needs for police be few.

Gary

Join us in Cotacachi.

What others say about joining us.

Hi Gary & Merri,

Just wanted to write and thank you for such a fun, interesting and exciting time in Cotacachi.  From the moment we got there, till we left, we were treated so kindly, and there was never any stress.  Being with you, your staff and the other guests – it felt like a family reunion; like one big family.  The staff were every present, earnest and helpful, and always a friendly word.

What I thought was particularly interesting was the trip we took to the sacred springs of the indigenous.  I experienced a very strong healing, and still feel great.  I’ve had some chronic pain for a long time and it is almost non-existent now.  The shaman (or curandero?) said that the water had strong energy and would change our energy.  It sure did for me! Although I may be the only one, since I didn’t hear anyone else say they had this type of experience.  Also the two courses we took, the Vedic Astrology and the Imbabura Real Estate tour was beyond anything we expected.  PhD Astrologer, Blaine Watson (what an inspired guy!) had a great presentation and took time to address some individuals questions on the particulars of their charts – which was insightful and amazing.  I am so looking forward to have my one-on-one reading on the phone.

The real estate tour was a blast.  Merri was really in her element – she was the “energizer bunny” simulataneously directing the coach driver, the taxi following us, lunch arrangements, all while giving running commentary on the microphone about where we were, what we would be seeing and why certain places did not welcomed foreigners and which places were favorable.  There were low-end, high-end, city and country homes, townhomes, lots and parcels for development.  Her expertise and knowledge of 14 years of living there was very much appreciated  – and the lunches she arranged were really great– and so much fun as a group.

The food at the Meson de las Flores was fabulous, organic, pure, fresh and delicious.  As you have said about other guests, we too managed to lose a little weight in the short time we were there.  I think it was all the walking, the altitude and the low carb, low sugar food you served.  Every meal delicious, and the items for tea and the deserts were wonderful while not very sweet.  Oh, and the fresh juices were heaven!

As I’ve been telling my friends, the best things about Cotacachi were;  the people, the energy, the food, the weather, the quaintness, and the calmness.  The residents were so nice and we had no fears about walking thru the village and plazas at 10:00 at  night, which we did almost every night.

We had a blast and we thank you and your staff for all your efforts.

Very Sincerely,

Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  Here is a special offer on this new course.

You can enroll in this special course for $299. However if you sign up for three courses in any one month.

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

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
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