Tag Archive | "Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation;"

Survival With Joy


We all have fears of survival.  The best path to it is joy.

There’s a lot of change taking place… globally and at home.   Often our very existence seems threatened.   Take pensions as an example.  Yesterday’s New York Times article “Thought Secure, Pooled Pensions Teeter and Fall” by Mary Williams Walsh tells how millions of Americans are being threatened with pension loss because of trouble in multiemployer plans, previously the safest part of the pension world.   Multiemployer pensions are not only backed by federal insurance, but they also were thought to be even more secure as many big employers protect one another.   Now they are at risk and might pull the government’s pension protection down.

The article says: Today, the aging of the work force, the decline of unions, deregulation and two big stock crashes have taken a grievous toll on multiemployer pensions, which cover 10 million Americans. Dozens of multiemployer plans have already failed, and some giant ones are teetering — including, notably, the Teamsters’ Central States pension plan, with more than 400,000 members. “Unless Congress acts — and acts very soon — many plans will fail, more than one million people will lose their pensions, and thousands of small businesses will be handed bills they can’t pay,” said Joshua Gotbaum, executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal insurer that pays benefits to people whose company pension plans fail. “If Congress allows the P.B.G.C. to get the money and the authority it needs to do its job, then these plans can be preserved,” he added. “If not, the P.B.G.C. will run out of money, too, and multiemployer pensioners will get virtually nothing. (1)

Risk from changes like this are one reason we need pinnacle careers.   Pinnacle careers protect our survival by giving us a way to earn through service.  Pinnacle careers are about more than survival.  They give meaning to our survival.  Pinnacle careers make life more than survival.  They are the most important career in our lives.  They fulfill us and serve our community large or small in an optimal way.

Pinnacle careers are destiny careers.  They are a reason we are here.  They are the culmination of  our experience and lead us to happiness as they sweep away the worries of survival.   Pinnacle careers lead us with joy rather than drive us with fear.

Pinnacle careers require wisdom, energy and balance. We need clear thinking, strong feelings and good physical health.

Here is a tip that can help you find and achieve your pinnacle career.   Use music related muscle memory to be smarter, more intuitive and healthier.

ecuador shaman

Andean shamanic healers wear white. So do Andean musicians.

ecuador musicians

This is because the most ancient cultures understand how music unlocks greater intelligence and helps maintain natural health.

Music can improve our thinking, memory and health with enhanced muscle memory.

What is muscle memory? Muscle memory is the ability for your muscles to remember a series of movements.  When you catch a tossed ball, you’re relying on your muscle memory.   When you play a musical instrument your muscles go back into their memory banks and execute all the movements that you have practiced.  This is the root of our thinking and memory. Why is muscle memory important? The key to muscle memory is that all parts of your mind/body are connected.  We are like a bar stool.  If you move it by pulling the leg, the entire stool moves.  Or you can grab the seat of the stool and pull.  The legs follow.

Muscle memory creates automaticity, the ability to do things without using our brain’s power on the details.

We use automaticity when we walk, ride a bike, drive a car or talk in our native tongue.  For example we can walk and talk, ride a bike or drive a car and talk at the same time without specifically thinking about the process.

We can also use music to create success habits that are automatic.

When we think logically, our muscles follow.  When we act based on emotion, the muscles follow.  When our muscles move, the mind and heart as well.

Numerous scientific tests have shown that listening to certain types of music also improves memory and mental effectiveness.  An experiment published in the journal Nature tells how an experiment by scientists at the University of California at Irvine showed how listening to classical music could improve memory.  These scientists had college students listen for 10 minutes to either:  Mozart’s sonata for two pianos in D major a relaxation tape OR silence. Immediately after listening to these selections, students took a spatial reasoning test. The results showed that the students’ scores improved after listening to the Mozart tape compared to either the relaxation tape or silence. (2)

Here are seven tips with seven tips to gaining automaticity and muscle memory success habits.

We live for more than survival and are privileged in this era to have technology that can help us create a pinnacle career.

Music that develops muscle memory and automaticity in success habits can enhance survival with joy instead of fear.

Gary

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 

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Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.

All I need is my laptop.

That’s all you need too… a laptop to be free!

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from writing.

Another benefit is income.   Writing has brought me both our farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example of earning potential is my friend Hugh Howey.   He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.

Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations.  In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

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David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within the first three months for a full refund . 

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a quarter of update lessons $79.   Click Here.

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a full year of update lessons $299.  Click Here.      

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” that you will receive on MP3.

 

(1)  The New York Times article “Thought Secure, Pooled Pensions Teeter and Fall”

(2) “Music and Memory and Intelligence

Cotacachi Real Estate Protection


Cotacachi real estate protection and more.

Recent messages have looked at the growth potential of Ecuador real estate.

We have been at this area in Cotacachi where this dirt road is being paved…seeing its rapid progress.

cotacachi-real-estate

We’ll see more of the progress below. First  let’s look more at the process of  how I search for Cotacachi real estate… or actually property anywhere.

The principle of the search is vital because many people who thought of retiring will not be able to do so.  Those on fixed incomes are always those who fare worst during economic upheavals.

The US dollar is at considerable risk due to high US debt.  So too is Social Security.

In addition corporate pension are not looking good.  In the late 1990s our messages voiced a lot of concern about how corporate pensions were dramatically
underfunded.

Then the stock market recovery in the mid 2000s eased this problem.  2002 was  a low point for America’s pension funds.  The top 500 corporations had a combined  pension deficit exceeding $200 billion.   Thanks to a boom in the global economy  which allowed catch up contributions and strong stock market gains, this combined deficit turned into a combined surplus of $60 billion by the end of 2007.

The 2008 market and economic crash destroyed this surplus. It is estimated that the combined pensions of these same 500 company pensions have lost almost $265 billion in 2008.  The estimates are that 200 of these 500 pension funds are now less than 80 percent funded. They have less than 80 cents for every dollar of benefits promised.

The puts corporations between a rock and  hard spot. because The Pension Protection Act of 2006, passed due to a string of big corporate bankruptcies and pension failures in the early 2000s forces companies to fund pensions on a regular schedule.

The funded ratio s important because the 2006 law forces companies to bring their plans up to 100 percent funding in seven years, starting in 2008. They have to be t 92 percent funded this year, 94 percent next year etc.  That’s the rock.

The hard spot.  There are tow. The pensions values are way down due to stock market collapse and profits are now low or non existent.

Companies are asking Congress to excuse them from having to replenish the required amounts now and this is likely to happen.  The business reality is you cannot extract blood from a turnip nor make a corporation to pay money it does not have into a pension.

Forcing pension funding on man corporations will simply push the firms into bankruptcy.

Some firms will be bankrupt anyway and the federal government will have to insure their plans through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  This insurance is limited so people can lose benefits.  Yet even the limited benefits are more than America can afford. This puts added pressure on the greenback thus reducing purchasing power of the pensions even more.

Yet what is the choice?  If companies are required to put new money into pensions they will not have the cash to keep business going.

This is  a serious concern for some firms like NCR Corporation, I.B.M., Rockwell Collins, the ITT Corporation, Northrop Grumman and the Pactiv Corporation.  Their pension obligations are five or six times larger than their next biggest liability.

In short pensions are millstones dragging these corporations down.  How can these firms grow and prosper in today’s competitive atmosphere when a huge chunk of their income is sucked into pension obligations rather than growth?

The bottom line…pensions lose.  History suggests they always have. Logic says they always will.

So what does one do?

#1:  Most important… stay fit… body and mind. You’ll have to keep earning your keep and you cannot do this without energy.  Do not just rely on the expensive pharmaceutical solutions either. This is why our upcoming courses have a health element.  See Beyond Logic.

#2: Diversify currencies. Usually the way pensions are ruined is through currency destruction rather than non payment.. Social Security and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will make sure you get exactly the dollars promised.  the only problem us that the dollars will by less.  Maybe much less.

#3: Diversify in global shares. History shows this is always the best long term investment.

Here is an excerpt from yesterday’s multi currency lesson on why diversifying into global shares now makes sense.

“We have not seen anything like this since the end of the 40s: dividend yields of 5 percent and more, while 10-year US government bonds offer yields of only 2.5 percent!

Will investors be emotionally able to take advantage of the stock market crash of 2008, or will recent losses make them succumb to a bear market psychology? Are there lessons to be learned from historical parallels to today’s markets?

Book value growth is the most important component of long-term stock market returns. It comprises not only the annual earnings growth but also the change in value of a company’s net assets. If the valuation of a stock does not change, book value growth and stock price performance are identical. However, as a rule, stock prices fluctuate much more strongly than the underlying book values due to changes in valuation.


The irrational investor comes into play here, driving prices up during times of euphoria or, as is currently the case, driving prices down during times of pessimism.


As a result, the first decade of the new millennium threatens to provide a negative return — during the first nine years, the return was  – 1.7 percent per year!
This would make it the first decade with negative nominal total returns after the quasi zero return for US stocks in the 30s.

Low valuations and a lack of investment alternatives

Interestingly, these negative returns have yet to reflect poor fundamentals: Over the past nine years, the companies included in the MSCI USA Index had an average annual earnings growth of 4.4 percent, cash flow growth of 6.7 percent, and dividend growth of 6.6 percent.

The decline in stock prices since the end of 1999 is due to valuations falling 50 percent over the same period. Therefore, the problem of low total returns is rooted in the past:

In December 1999, investors were willing to pay 31 times earnings and 5.8 times book value for US stocks included in the MSCI USA Index.

Today’s price/earnings ratio is 13.5 and the price to book value ratio is
1.7. These are not yet bargain valuations in absolute terms. What makes stocks attractive today is the lack of investment alternatives.

In other words, it is mainly opportunity costs, in particular the low yields of fixed-income securities, that make stocks interesting investments today.
The current price/earnings ratio of the MSCI USA Index of 13.5 implies an earnings yield of 7.4 percent (100/13.5). Even if one assumes the depression scenario of the 30s, i.e. flat stock prices over 10 years, and assumes that corporate earnings will shrink 1.5 percent per year on average for the next 10 years, the earnings yield of the MSCI USA Index would still be 6.5 percent at the end of 2018 — 2.6 times higher than today’s 10-year US government bond yields. Such a drastic earnings decline would correspond to the average drop in earnings of the companies contained in the S&P 500 Index during the decade of the depression ending in 1939 — a scenario that is overly pessimistic in my view.

Favorable outlook for US stocks

A more realistic assumption would be for book value to grow in the order of 6 to 8 percent over  the next 10 years. Based on this expectation, the Dow Jones Industrials Index stands a good chance of exceeding, over the next 10 years, its previous high of 14,164.53 reached on October 9, 2007.

From the year-end 2008 level of 8,776.39, this would require an average annual price return of only 4.9 percent (which is below the historical average), with a dividend yield of  currently 3 percent per annum thrown into the bargain.
The risk of losing money with US stocks over the next 10 years is therefore minimal from today’s perspective, while it is a certainty that investors will not earn more than 2.5 percent per annum with US government bonds over the next 10 years.

You can read this entire lesson and Keppler’s entire conclusion as a multi currency portfolio course subscriber.

#4: Diversify in real estate. History shows this is always the second best investment.

#5: Diversify residences and lifestyles… globally if you can.This is why Merri and I live in North Carolina and Ecuador. Each place has some problems and risks…but we have options as events unfold.

Remember globalization is really the way humanity should evolve.  The concept of nations, borders, superior races, cultures and creeds are fictions of the global imagination and liabilities we have inherited from our past.   Modern technology means we should deal with whoever…anywhere in the world serves us best.

As the world has evolved we have progressed but bad times hinder this type of growth. This creates opportunity if we stay focused on reality. Invest in globalization. Sell that which hinders globalization short!

Match your living to your investing.  Go where you choose. I like Ecuador for its sweet people, great weather, natural beauty, fresh food and low cost living. North Carolina offers small town USA benefits were we can enjoy nature and if necessary even feed ourselves in the worst times.  This is why Merri and I are in Ecuador. We love the lifestyle and the real estate opportunity. 

We also love the progress here in Cotacachi.  Here is that paved road today.

cotacachi-real-estate

They have turned the road and a great deal of the cross street is cobbled now as well.

cotacachi-real-estate

This work is done by sweet, humble people who just get to work and get the job done.   There is no crew of four, with one working and three standing round, here.cotacachi-real-estate

Learn more about Ecuador as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

#6: Hold some commodities as insurance.
We’ll probably never need it…but it makes us feel better. I keep more than enough gold socked away and expect my children will inherit it. So far it has been my worst investment over the last 30 years until I add in the value of sleeping well at night instead of worrying…”am I guessing wrong”!

#7: Remember that every day of life is a gift!
We do not need big cars, loads of shopping and new things and expensive materialism to be happy.  Turn your passion into profit and do what you love.  The prospect of working, serving and being useful beyond this age that society has determined we can be and should retire should be fun and exciting.

I look forward to sharing this excitement with you.

Gary

Join us in Cotacachi this February.

Feb 9-11 Beyond Logic Keys to More Wealth & Better Health

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura 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