Tag Archive | "New Zealand"

Ecuador Jobs


Ecuador farming is one way to create your own Ecuador job.

In a moment we’ll see how to diversify globally to beat  inflation and protect your savings. First, let’s look at ways to earn income abroad.

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Ecuador’s land is rich.

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Here is some land recently purchased by a reader just outside Cotacachi… beans and blackberries are grown here.

Many readers write and ask about getting work in Ecuador.  Jobs are scarce, do not pay well. This is why our foundation is devoted to creating employment… but for Ecuadorians not expats moving down.

We do help our readers learn how to earn income abroad with their own business because this helps have work in Ecuador and often enhances employment in Ecuador for Ecuadorians as well.

I was delighted to read this note about earning income from Ecuador farming. The reader shared this:

Hi Gary,  I just wanted to drop you a note making you aware of another idea  we came across to produce some income in Ecuador.

My wife and I have retired in the Cotacachi area ( we live in Ibarra now) and have been looking at some income producing ideas as we are only 52 years old and not ready to sit in out rocking chairs just yet. Believe it or not, we have settled on becoming chicken farmers!

My wife and I have agreed on a partnership with a couple that own a farm. We are putting up the money to fix up a building on their land and turn it into a chicken coop.

We then purchase the chicks at 55 cents each, waterers, feeders, heaters, and feed . Our partners make sure the chickens have water, food, heat, and a good clean environment. We then sell the chickens after raising them for 48 days back to the company we bought them from. They are currently offering 90 cents a pound.

Overall, we are making about $1.00 a chicken every 7 weeks or so. Our chicken coop holds 2400 right now and we plan to build a couple more structures that will hold 14,000.

We never imagined that when we moved here, it was possible we could become chicken farmers. Our friends and family back in the States are in disbelief.  Interesting to say the least!

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Merri and I love our chickens.  We…

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let them roam free. There is something wonderful about collecting the eggs and they are so much better than those available in the store… thick shells…. deep orange yolks.

We helped another reader buy….

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this chicken farm just outside Cotacachi…

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at a very low price.

The greatest asset we can have is the ability to earn anywhere in the world doing what we enjoy. This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

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.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

International Investment Allocations

Jyske Global Asset Management just finished altering their managed portfolios after their late August Investment Committee.

They made the following changes to their managed portfolios:

Their asset allocation exposure remained  the same. They are:

* Neutral on Fixed Income (i.e. bonds and currency positions other than dollar)

* Underweight on Equities

*Overweight on Alternatives and Cash

The gearing on leveraged portfolios has been increased a little to adjust for the deleveraging effect of positive development on the value of portfolios.

Here is what that means. If an investor desires a one times leverage and their portfolio started with $100,000, they added $100,000 so a total $200,000 was invested.  If the portfolio has risen over 15% in the last six months, its value is now about $230,000.  The leverage is now less than one time… so about $20,000 more is borrowed and invested.  This will put the portfolio at $250,000 with a $120,000 loan.

JGAM has also reduced the dollar exposure in their portfolio. They belive as I do that the US dollar is likely to fall versus other currencies.

They have added more Brazilian, Mexican and New Zealand bonds to some portfolios.

They were so underweighted with equities in some portfolios that they added some shares… though they remain underweight.

The new shares added were: Group4 Securicor, Gazprom,  iShares S&P Global Clean Energy and iShares FTSE BRIC 50.

You can see a review of the portfolios and the shardes above as a Multi Currency Course subscriber.

Be sure to see about a new 100 mile per gallon electric car at Jyske’s Financial Friday WebTV here

Send questions about Jyske JGAM and their portfolios to Thomas Fischer (US investors) at fischer@jgam.com or  Rene Mathys (non US investors) at mathys@jbpb.dk

Gary

October & November Ecuador Tours

Here is a recent comment about staying about a seminar at our hotel:  We both thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and really appreciated Mauricio and Alberto’s help, as well as the help from all of the hotel staff.  Cotaccachi truly is a magical place and we feel blessed to have had the opportunity to stay Meson.  We really hope we’re both lucky enough to return in February.

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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


International Investing Trick


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But which shares… in which markets?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

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

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

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

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

2006     7.40%          18.23%

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

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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

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

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

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

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

International Investing & Business Index


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

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

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

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

You’ll see below why:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is 63 to 74 on the happiness index.

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

Guyana happier than France and the UK?

I wanted to reject it.

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

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

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

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

The story says:

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

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

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

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

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

This started me looking at the index more.

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

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

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

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

That started me thinking for sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Environmental Efficiency

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

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

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

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

The results are surprising, even shocking.

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

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

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

NEF’s report also says:

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

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

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

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

How can we use this index in business and investing?

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

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

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

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cool, green forest.

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

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enjoy nature and the views.

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

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

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

Power Distance Index Profits


Power can bring profits in many ways… the first via the Power Distance Index.

I recently wrote in Ecuador shamans and truth how Merri and I have been drawn more and more back to the USA.   We have enjoyed phenomenal success in Ecuador but we are pioneers… Our investments and business are early in and early out. Ecuador is now really well on its way and for us this is not so fun.

We’ll look at how the Power Distance Index makes Ecuador living better.  First more on PDI.

We’ll still enjoy time in Cotacachi and on the Pacific, but we are arranging for others to take over the day to day so we can  head off on a new adventure.

Part of our next horizon is to make our North Carolina farm much more self sustainable and to share what we learn in the process.

Thinking about this leads me to share some other thoughts on power and the Power Distance Index.

One powerful investing and business idea is to invest in countries with a low Power Distance Index (PDI).

Malcom Gladwell explains this in his newest book “Outliers” a book about what makes  success.

One part of the book looks at the importance of the Power Distance Index in each nation.  This is vital information because it explains how countries differ in their approach to dealing with risk and uncertainty.  The ability to handle risk and uncertainty  in changing times is vital.

Here is how the website www.kwintessential.co.uk describes PDI.

The Power Distance Index (PDI) is one of the five intercultural dimensions developed by Hofstede. In short this cultural dimension looks at how much a culture does or does not value hierarchical relationships and respect for authority.

Examples of cultures with high PDI scores include Arabic speaking countries, Russia, India and China. Those with low scores include Japan, Australia and Canada. See a world map of power distance index scores.

So how does this manifest in a culture or country?

In a high power distance cultures the following may be observed:

. Those in authority openly demonstrate their rank.
. Subordinates are not given important work and expect clear guidance from above.
. Subordinates are expected to take the blame for things going wrong.
. The relationship between boss and subordinate is rarely close/personal.
. Politics is prone to totalitarianism.
. Class divisions within society are accepted.

In a low power distance culture:

. Superiors treat subordinates with respect and do not pull rank.
. Subordinates are entrusted with important assignments.
. Blame is either shared or very often accepted by the superior due to it being their responsibility to manage.
. Managers may often socialize with subordinates.
. Liberal democracies are the norm.
. Societies lean more towards egalitarianism.

The Power Distance Index is a measure of the attitude toward hierarchy.  In short the PDI shows how much people overall, in a country, respect authority.

This index is really important in this rapid changing world because authority almost always lags behind reality.  Authority resists required change to adapt in altering conditions.  Countries with a high PDI suffer from change.

For example the US has a low PDI. Russia has a very high PDI.  Thus during the changing 1980s the Soviet Union disintegrated while the US rebounded and thrived.  PDI differences were not the only reasons for this but when a nation’s leadership cannot communicate with its people…  it cannot sense reality as times shift.

On the subject of the 1980s. Many readers are worried about the current economic downturn.  Current conditions are not as poor as during the twin recessions of the 1980s, when unemployment exceeded 10 percent.  This downturn is on track to be worse… but not yet.

Gladwell writes in “Outliers::  In low power index countries, power is something is something in which power holders are almost ashamed and will try to underplay.  In Austria (a low PDI country)  Prime Minister Bruno Kreiskt was known to sometimes take a streetcar to work.

Here are six countries with high PDIs:
Brazil
South Korea
Russia
Mexico
Philippines
Uruguay

Six Countries with low PDIs:
Austria
Denmark
United States
Ireland
Australia
New Zealand

A low PDI can help a country adapt faster and better to change, so look for investments in countries with low PDIs. 

This message is an excerpt from our latest multi currency lesson.  You can read what to do now as a multi currency subscriber. Learn how to subscribe here.

However countries with high PDIs are often better for living.

I was thinking about this one recent morning while visiting Quito.  This is one of the world’s beautiful cities so I rose to watch the dawn.  The day broke in glorious rose patina.

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Like the days ahead…  the view was obscured until the light began…

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to reveal Quito’s beauty.

Ecuador’s Power Distance Index in Ecuador is a bit high. This does not stop a great city from growing. I loked out and saw that there was plenty here.  Riches enough.  All the …

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creature comforts…

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glowing in the daybreak.  Every material thing a person could want…

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As the light spread, i dressed and rode up to the hotel restaurant.

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I’ll looked out at Quito again in the light of day.

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There is amazing wealth here. The hotel restaurant is opulent.

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With amazing views around the city.  yet the prices here are low in part because…

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poor government is created with the help of a high Power distance Index. This  keeps most of the people in Ecuador poor.  This means that we can help bring and spending our money here.   This who do, help Ecuador’s poor and are rewarded with good living at a low price.

This reinforces what I wrote in “Multi Currency Bank Safety

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

On the subject of banking abroad Denmark has the second lowest PDI in the world (Austria is number one) so it is not surprising that for the last 20 years my major bankers have been in Copenhagen and Vienna.  I like the autonomy that investment advisers have in low PDI countries.

This is in my estimation one reason why Jyske Bank (Denmark’s second largest bank) was not caught in the sub prime or Madoff scandals.

Bank’s in countries with a low PDI are more likely to use the wisdom of their entire organization to head off trouble at the pass.

Organizations have enormous wisdom.

The book, “The Wisdom of Crowds, Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies and Societies and Nations” by James Surowiecki tells how potent the wisdom of a group can be.

The book begins by telling how at the annual West of England Fat Stock and Poultry Exhibition in the fall of 1906, a British scientist became interested in a weight judging competition. 800 people, smart, dumb, old, young in all types of professions guessed the weight of two dressed oxen. The correct answer was 1,197 pounds. The scientist’s research found that the collective estimate was incredibly close, 1,198 pounds.

The book suggests that there is an uncanny and generally unconscious collective intelligence at work. The book shows how clouds of birds seem to move in one mind but actually are each acting on their own following four simple rules:

#1) Stay as close to the center as possible.

#2) Stay two body lengths away from your neighbor.

#3) Do not bump into another bird.

#4) If a predator dives at you get out of the way.

The book suggests that rather than crowds being mindless mobs that the many are weirdly smart and effective even when many of the group are average or below in intelligence or experience.

A key point that the article makes is that there is incredible effectiveness in a diversity of individual intelligences and this is why we are sharing ideas about trends at this site. There are thousands of us reading these messages so perhaps our problem solving ability grows to the 4000th power.

However if a high PDI disconnects its leaders from this wisdom… the organization’s wisdom is wasted.

Bank safety is vital now and PDI can count. Here is a wonderful shot taken by our friend Dennis Goff.  Placid… yet most travel accidents… in air and by oat are caused by a high PDI. The Captain does not listen to his crew!

When you travel… wen you bank… when you invest look for low PDI!

High Energy Sunrise

This is why you may want to join me with the staff of Jyske Global Asset Management in Naples Florida to learn more about where in the world to invest now.  Learn how to attend this course free and save $499 to $750.

Until next message good global investing!

Gary

One of the best ways to prosper in this downturn is with your own internet business. You can enroll in our email internet course here for $299. However if you sign up for all three courses in June or later in 2009, I’ll send it free. You save $299. Learn more here

Get our web based course FREE if you join us in Ecuador. Learn more here.

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

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Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Florida Investment Course

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

Multi Currency Bank Risk


Multi currency investing and multi currency banks reduce risk.

During this current credit crisis, it makes sense to pay attention to ways to bank risk as well as investment and multi currency risk.

Eleven US banks have failed in 2008, seven of them since mid July.

Now a Warren Buffett owned insurance company has stopped insuring bank deposits above the federal $100,000 guarantee. This withdrawal of insurance shows that many insurers and bankers are worried about future bank failures.

One of many reasons I have banked with Jyske Bank (beyond the fact that they are multi currency experts) for many years is their strong safety ranking.

I like the fact that Denmark has ranked high in Moody’s and other country ratings as one of the safest countries in which to bank.

However, recently one Danish Bank had problems.

Thomas Fischer at Jyske Bank sent me this note in July 2008:

“Hi Gary, I just want to keep you informed that this morning Roskilde Bank (a Danish regional bank) had to ask the Danish Central Bank for support. It is the 9th largest Danish bank and it has been hit hard as it has been involved in the Danish real estate market. The share dropped 45% this morning. Some other smaller regional banks have seen their share prices falling between 10-20%. Jyske Bank has dropped 1.3% The Central Bank will probably put Roskilde Bank up for sale either the entire bank or parts thereof. The bank will not be allowed to collapse and the clients are thus not going to lose any money but it is obvious not good timing to get a situation like this. Thomas”

Thomas was correct and shortly after the Globe and Mail reported:

COPENHAGEN — Denmark’s central bank unveiled an $896.8-million U.S. bailout of Roskilde Bank acting to confine the negative effect of the struggling bank on the Danish financial system. The central bank stepped in after Roskilde, Denmark’s eighth-largest retail bank by market share, failed to receive any offers after putting itself up for sale in the face of bigger than expected writedowns on real estate loans.

The article outlined that Roskilde was extraordinary as a Danish bank in
that it was heavily exposed to the property sector and that other Danish banks in general were well prepared in a deteriorating Danish economic situation.

The Danish Central Bank had no expectations of any other banks suffering
similarly.

In fact a June 2008 report from Denmark’s National Bank says:

Denmark’s domestic and foreign central-government debt has the highest rating from Standard & Poor’s (AAA), Fitch Ratings (AAA) and Moody’s
(Aaa). Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s affirmed the rating
in September 2007, December 2007 and April 2008 respectively with an
unchanged stable outlook.

Analytical reports and specific ratings on individual government secu-
rities are available on the websites of respectively Standard & Poor’s
(www.standardandpoors.com), Fitch Ratings (www.fitchratings.com) and
Moody’s (www.moodys.com).

Jyske Bank also ranks well on its own and has a stable outlook at this time. unlike most major banks. Here are current rankings:

Bank Rating Outlook
Jyske Bank A+ Stable
Citigroup AA- Negative
Deutsche Bank AA- Negative
Goldman Sachs AA- Negative
JP Morgan Chase AA- Negative
Credit Suisse A+ Negative
Lehman Brothers A Negative
Morgan Stanley A+ Negative
UBS AA- Negative

As can be seen, Jyske Bank is doing well. Jyske is the only bank on the list with a stable outlook. All others are on the watch list for down-grading.

Note that Jyske Bank has the same rating as Morgan Stanley but a better outlook.

Jyske Bank’s rating is better than Lehman (after today probably much better), the same as Credit Suisse and one grade below the others. However, it’s very seldom that S&P give a rating above A+ for a relatively small bank like Jyske Bank. The other banks on the list benefit from their size but this does not tell much about how well they are run.

If you have any questions on how Jyske Bank you can see the bank’s home page www.jyskebank.dk/english and read the latest semi-annual report.

US investors should contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US investors should contact Rene Mathys mathys@jbpb.dk

The thousands of other reasons I like Jyske are the people that work there.

An article at scienceblog.com entitled “Happiness is rising around the world” says that Danes are the happiest people in the world.

The article says:

People in most countries around the world are happier these days, according to newly released data from the World Values Survey based at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

During the past 26 years, the World Values Surveys have asked more than 350,000 people how happy they are, using the same two questions.

Data from representative national surveys conducted from 1981 to 2007 show the happiness index rose in an overwhelming majority of nations studied.

The 2007 wave of the surveys also provides a ranking of 97 nations containing 90 percent of the world’s population. The results indicate that Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Zimbabwe the unhappiest. The United States ranks 16th on the list, immediately after New Zealand.

Economic growth, democratization and rising social tolerance have all contributed to rising happiness, with democratization and rising tolerance having even more impact than economic growth. All of these changes have contributed to providing people with a wider range of choice in how to live their lives—which is a key factor in happiness.

“The results clearly show that the happiest societies are those that allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives,” Inglehart said.

As an example, Inglehart points to the tolerant social norms and democratic political systems in Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada all of which rank among the 10 happiest countries in the world.

In my opinion this happiness shows through at Jyske. Our dealings have always found the staff to be helpful, cheerful and willing to take an extra step to help make us as their customer happy as they are

Until next message, may you be happy too.

Gary

Join me and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management in North Carolina to learn more about economic trends.

International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina

We’ll have lunch at the farm and enjoy the leaf change.

farm colors

Thomas Fisher speaking to our delegates at the farm.

seminar-roses

orange-roses

multi-currency-meeting

Delegates enjoying a private conversation with Thomas Fischer during a coffee break at the farm.

This is the most beautiful time of the year on the Blue Ridge.

multi-currency-meeting-in-autumn

Multi Currency Problems & Solutions


Multi currency investing becomes increasingly harder as increasing numbers of banks abroad refuse to accept US customers. A recent message at this site shared how the large Dutch Bank, ABN Amro, stopped accepting US customers and gave existing US clients 30 days to liquidate their securities.  If you missed this see Multi Currency Investments Easier

multi-currency-meeting-in-autumn

See below how autumnal colors can help you solve multi currency problems.

Now another large Swiss bank has found it too much to deal with aggressive US regulatory tactics and shut down its US business. Here is what a recent Financial Times article entitled “UBS tells unit staff to avoid US visits” by Haig Simonian says:

“UBS has told members of its former private banking team responsible for rich US clients not to travel to America.  The Swiss bank has also made lawyers available to the more than 50 bankers involved, many of whom have left UBS since it decided last November to wind down its cross-border private banking business for US ­customers.  The move follows the recent indictment of one of the unit’s former senior executives, Bradley Birkenfeld, who US authorities have accused of helping a billionaire client evade taxes. Mr Birkenfeld has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have made no public statement on the matter.”

I am very pleased that Jyske Bank, my banker for about 25 years has decided to stand by its American customers. The bank created a wholly owned subsidiary Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) that is registered with the SEC.

The changes, however, create many questions which I would like to answer at this site. Please send your questions.

As a financial publisher, I cannot give independent advice.  I cannot even give you a personal reply nor comment on your specific personal investments or portfolio.  I can, however, answer your questions here in a general way.

Here is the first question received.

JYSKE BANK QUESTION

“What is going on with Jyske Bank and their JGAM program which will make it more difficult to do multi currency sandwiches unless one has invested at least 1 million with the bank.  As I understand it, my portfolio will be managed without my input which does not make me feel comfortable.  What is your take on this?”

JYSKE BANK ANSWER

I have spent hours reviewing how JGAM will work with Thomas Fischer.

First, let me clarify several points…the first being that only Americans will use JGAM.  For non Americans it is business as usual at Jyske.  This will have a pretty big impact on my business since I have so many non US readers.  Our site ranks well for visits in Ecuador, Canada, China, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and Mexico as well as the USA.

This means I’ll have to write everything twice once for us Yanks and once for the rest of the world.

Second, minimums have not changed at all.  For some time the minimum has been $50,000 to open and account and $100,000 is minimum for a multi currency sandwich…not 1 million.

Though JGAM will manage each portfolio on a discretionary basis, the client still has a great deal of input on how they will manage each account.

Jyske has a number of portfolios ranging from low risk – medium risk – high risk and speculative.

These portfolios are then again split into portfolios with and without US securities.

Then the accounts are again split  based on assets under management.

For example, clients with less than $200,000 will have a different diversification than larger accounts.

Every portfolio is monitored and tracked on an individual basis.  There is no specific JGAM portfolio so all investors will have their own regular performance up-date.

The JGAM investment committee will meet once a month deciding on the tactical weight of the asset classes and the underlying investments.

When a client joins, the Jyske account manager will work first to help the client decide on a risk profile. Once this is decided, Jyske will be invested in one of the 16 options above.   Every investor’s portfolio will be designed and will change according to the time of entering the portfolio.

Here are the latest recommendations as of late May 2008 of the speculative NON US dollar portfolio.

Asset type                Recommendation       Tactical weight
Fixed Income                  Underweight                  20
Equities                           Neutral                          60
Alternatives                     Overweight                    20

Cash                                Neutral                            0
Investment                               %
Asset type

FIXED INCOME
USD       7.2% Porsche 01.02.2049                         3%
USD       7.875% Turanalem 02.06.2010                 2%
USD       8.5%  Titan Petrochemicals 18.03.2012    1%
EUR       Var% Bombardier 15.11.2013                     3%
GBP       8.7% Cable & Wireless 06.08.2012             1%
AUD       5.5% Rabobank 27.01.2010                       3%
BRL       12.5% Brazil 15.01.2016                              2%
HUF       6.75% Hungary 12.10.2010                        2%
TRY       15% Intl. Bank Recon 15.07.2009                2%
ISK         8.5% Rikisbref 12.06.2009                         1%
Subtotal                                                                  20%

EQUITIES
CHF                   Novartis                                      4.2%
EUR                   Siemens AG                                 4.2%
EUR                   Adidas AG                                   4.2%
DKK                   Carlsberg A/S                             4.2%
EUR                   EDF Energies Nouvelle                4.2%
DKK                   NKT Holding                               4.2%
DKK                   Neurosearch                               4.2%
EUR                   Bayer AG                                     4.2%
EUR                   L’Oreal                                        4.2%
SEK                    Hennes & Mauritz AB                  4.2%
Latin Equities Mutual Fund       4.0%
Chinese Equities Fund              4.0%
Indian Equities Fund                 4.0%
European Equities Fund             5.0%
Subtotal                                                              60.0%

ALTERNATIVES
USD                    ETFS Crude Oil – CRUD LN         10.0%
USD                    ETFS Aluminium l ALUM LN          5.0%
USD      ETFS Metal Secs Phys. Gold – PHAU LN       5.0%
Subtotal                                                                 20.0%

CASH                                                                       0
TOTAL                                                                 100.0%

This looks like an interesting portfolio, and in future messages we’ll be looking at
the equities in this portfolio.  Plus we will review the other three (high medium and low risk) portfolios.

I believe that Multi currency investing is a must in these times of inflation.   Using international investment managers still has main advantages.  First, this provides some excellent asset protection. This also provides access to more experienced multi currency managers with different points of economic and world view than anywhere in just North America.

This also provides some privacy.

May I add one more word on privacy?  If you are a law abiding citizen then an overseas account gives you as much privacy as you need.  If you break the law and have almost any government looking for your financial data, then no system or structure you use is enough.

I have not touched on this subject for years because this is such old news…but knowing we have many new readers…let me repeat what I shared with readers clear back in the 1990s.  “Bank privacy is dead”.

Here are just a few of my articles at this site in the archives  from the 1990s and early 2000s.  Please read them carefully.
https://www.garyascott.com/privacy/77/
https://www.garyascott.com/privacy/50/
https://www.garyascott.com/privacy/167/
https://www.garyascott.com/privacy/60/
https://www.garyascott.com/privacy/59/

Yet here is one more brand new story….about what is known as the most private place in the world…Liechtenstein.

Here is a direct quote from a February 22, 2008 BBC article entitled
“Liechtenstein fury at German tax snooping”  by Steven Rosenberg

“Liechtenstein also has the reputation of being one of the most secretive tax havens in the world.

“Just ask the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“This financial watchdog says Liechtenstein is one of only three states left on its blacklist of ‘uncooperative tax havens’ (the others are not a million miles away – Monaco and Andorra).

“Liechtenstein this week attacked the authorities in Berlin for buying information on German businessmen clients that have bank accounts in the tiny Alpine principality.

“Germany has launched a tax evasion investigation using the data, which was supplied by an anonymous informant who was reportedly paid 5m euros (£3.75m; $7.3m). “

So I will say this again.  Please for your sake, don’t break the law anywhere…anytime.  This could come back to haunt you in unexpected ways.

Here is an example.  The data the German authorities obtained about accounts in Liechtenstein covered people from around the world…not just Germany…so the Germans began sharing it.

According to my European banking sources, only one European tax authority turned the data down…the Danes.   They believed that since this data had been illegally obtained it should not be used.

One reason I have banked for so many years with Jyske Bank is the same reason why I live half the year in Ecuador.

I like Jyske’s services, their very reasonable fees and their solid banking foundation…but in addition I like the Danes…feel an underlying honesty, sense of fair play and sound judgement.  The have never let me down which is why I am not surprised that they worked for several years setting up this structure so they can continue to serve Americans…when so many other banks have cut us Yanks loose and run.

I expect that the service JGAM will provide is still a work in progress and have noted the people there questioning, adapting and smoothing out a new system.

Everything I have seen to date suggests that I will be happy with this new program
because the people there like I have always seen seem focused on giving a service that is safe, wealth preserving, ground breaking and easy for the customer.

I’ll be adapting our multi currency course to reflect the changes and will keep you informed about new ways we can continue to learn about this mysterious, interesting and profitable world of multi currency investing.

I am not paid a penny for writing this about Jyske Bank and have always been able to write that I keep them as my bank simply because I like them the best of all banks I have used.

I can continue writing this and hope until next message that you find all these qualities with whomever advises you on your finances, savings and wealth.

Gary

You can join me with Thomas Fischer of JGAM at our October 2-5 lifestyle International Investing & Business Made EZ North Carolina

We have selected these dates for our next course because this is traditionally the weekend when the fall colors are best.  We’ll meet here for a meal multi-currency-meeting-place

at our house on the farm.

Here is Thomas Fischer talking with a group at a previous course.

multi-currency-meeting

You can still  make to our June 19-21 Ecuador Shaman Tour

See dates for our Autumn courses and tours:

Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour

Ecuador-beach-meeting

We’ll see properties in this developmet and stay at and walk that beach below.

Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See houses for sale in the San Miguel development
Cotacachi-real-estate-for-sale

like this.

cotacachi-house-for-sale
Learn about this Imbabura real estate for sale at Cotacachi Real Estate at San Miguel

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

See discounts for attending more than one course.