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Investing Internationally


Investing internationally with thought about reflexivity can improve your wealth.

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

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

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

#3: An update on international emerging market values…

International Investments & Reflexivity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Access to these waves can come in many forms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The answer is nothing and yet everything…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about how to improve your thought process here.

Ecuador Radio and TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emerging Markets Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

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

See details of the two seminar below.

international-investments-seminar

Thomas Fischer teaching at our IBEZ seminar.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

international-investing

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

See the entire explanation of herons at speakerfortheanimals

International Investing Trick


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But which shares… in which markets?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

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

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

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

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

2006     7.40%          18.23%

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

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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

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

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

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

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

Cotacachi Real Estate Upgrades


Cotacachi real estate upgrades  can create extra profit. Here are thoughts about thought from readers around the world and we hope that this helps your international investing.

Yesterday’s message, a thought on thought was about change  and upgrades and readers sent an overwhelming response from all over the world. We’ll look at that in a moment, but here is another shot of the Barro Viejo renovation and upgrades in Cotacachi. We’ll see what a magnificent job they did on the indoor swimming pool later in this message. First…

Change.

See more of this Cotacachi real estate at Cotacachi real estate rejuvenation.

This message shared a theory about how seven year cycles may change the way we process information in each cycle. This is vital stuff. Nothing affects our wealth, health and happiness as much as the way we process information.

Some readers found the theory helpful. For example, one reader from Alabama shared this idea:

Gary,

Your messages are resonating with me — especially this one. It explains so much of my spiritual searching since ‘rewiring’ from my Orthodontic practice 3 years ago. And I can’t wait to meet Blaine Watson for perhaps a further explanation of where I am headed. Thank you so much for your newsletter and see you soon for the celebration at El Meson and the course.

Others were confused. One reader from California shared this:

Gary,

Great thinking on thoughts. Hmmm. So, 7 x 7 = 49. 7×9 = 63. So even with 9 Chakras, emerging every 7 years that only takes us to 63. Then you shift to 2 year 50 cycle thoughts. Add in a couple of Chakras at 7 years each you get 114 not 119. First 50 plus second 50 = 100 + 2 seven year Chakra cycles and we get 114. Even if we repeat the 7 Chakra cycles, that is 7×7 (2) = 98 + the 8th and 9th = 112. Huh? So why do none of these formulas add up to what you are saying.??? What am I missing here? Love reading you thoughts. Just looking for clarity.

Hopefully my reply clarified the confusion and yours if you have as much as I do. I wrote:

There are nine chakras in Andean thinking . Nine X 7 years gets us to age 63. This is pretty close to what we call retirement age.

The second eight 7 year cycles takes us another 56 years and makes us 119 years of age. That’s pretty close to 120 which is about the length Vedic Astrology suggest we should live. Perhaps then we enter the second ninth chakra stage (the ninth chakra relates to the ultimate being). In this stage, perhaps if we have advanced as much as we should, we easily join with the ultimate being. A theory? Guess we only really know when we reach 120!

This still leaves a 13 year gap between the age 63 retirement and the age 50 retirement mentioned in Leviticus.

Another reader from England makes a suggestion about this and writes:

Hello Gary, I have a couple of thoughts. At the time Leviticus was written, 50 could have been a very great age. Most of the text (return to your property: ashes to ashes?; you shall not sow, reap, or harvest; take only what the land provides–could this all be an indication that you are soon to be returning to those already departed and that you shall contribute to the land once again.) suggests this as a possible meaning.

I’ve spend most of my professional life with those at least a generation older than me. I often encounter a resignation to the way things are, however bad. I realize that I’ve made a couple of jumps of thought here but my professional experience suggests that we do start to let go. Perhaps with greater longevity expectations, 50 is the age where we really realize that we’ll ‘never be President’ or attain goals once thought possible. I have definitely changed in the last few years (53 now) and realize that we are meant to be obsolescent and that the vigor of youth is NECESSARY to accommodate an ever changing environment. This is not to say that we at this age are incapable, only that we are less likely to embrace much of the new perhaps because we’ve seen the old tricks before (think politics) and really don’t want to jump thru the same hoops. As an independent entrepreneur, you have had different experiences/expectations than many (also a case of think or swim?) so I probably only speak for a minority.

In any case, thanks for a good article. The idea of advancing up the chakras (from base desires to enlightenment) is surely an idea that has merit, especially when the idea of higher purpose is not a mainstream concern. Your reader in London.

Another reader from Japan also outlined where there could be a one year gap in our thinking.

Hi Gary, Interesting e-mail. As an editor and sub-editor, I couldn’t help noticing this:

“What does appear in many religions and philosophies is a major shift at age 50.

“You shall have the trumpet sounded throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty . . .”

No sir, that is at age 49. When you started your second year of life, you were one year old. When you started your 50th, you were 49. And to “hallow the fiftieth year” — that must be the sounding of the trumpets to greet its arrival. (Damn — just for the moment I can’t think of the musical term for a short passage which announces a change and a new direction.) So, you could argue that this too fits the seven-year cycle. Seven squared, in fact. Best wishes from a dull and drizzly Tokyo

Others just outlined how they changed in life during different seven year cycles. One reader from South Carolina shared this thought.

Dear Gary, From age 21 to 28, I lived mostly on an old sailboat (I have already written you about this). Maybe I can help with age 28. At that age, or perhaps late 27, I returned to the U.S. and visited all of my college friends. I had not been in a motor car for years, and I immediately smelled their stink. I got serious about my life and applied to Emory for medical school. My friends, all in fear of age 30, started drinking, doing drugs (more than they had before). At least five of them either dropped girl friends or divorced wives. Actually, I think it was more people than this. Several were killed in motorcycle accidents. Some died in Vietnam , although I don’t remember the precise age I was when this occurred because in many cases it took me years to find out. Hope my experience helps with age 28. I remember that Winston Churchill wrote that his twenties were the “best years of my life” Cordially Yours.

Here is an important point I believe that this reader stumbled across. Modern Western society is so youth oriented and so materialistic that it surrounds and bombards us with the idea that success relates to production and consumption and how much stuff we have and how many things we do and places we go. Western doctrine is all about the outward stroke. Thus inward urgings are met with resistance at every level. Those who start shifting within have zero support. They feel out of odds with society, out of odds with everything they have been told and out of odds with the flow of everything surrounding them. This creates enormous tension when our correct natural path gets out of odds with the way everyone tells us we should be. This could be what causes this phenomenon, when people go off the deep end and do something crazy, so often called the seven year itch.

This reader from Poland gave some great food for thought.

Dear Gary, Allow me to share few of my experiences regarding life circles. I agree with you that the life shifts every 7 years. In my case generally there is a small shift every 7 years and a bigger one every 14 years. I seem to have some in-between periods, where there is a lot of shift.

At 21/22, I officially moved away from Poland to Japan . At 29 my mother passed away – she was a very strict lady. Her death freed me to start walking my path. In the 7th year of my procedure I managed to get Japanese passport.

After studying, for 14 years, what I thought, at that time, to be spirituality, I made a 180 turn and jumped into business world.

After working for 7 years in a top Japanese company, I was delegated to Central Europe (Poland and Czech Rep.). Again after 7 years in Central Europe, I am going back to Japan . The result of these 14 years? I seem to have finally developed my own model for business that should allow me to become self-employed.

Next year I will turn 50. A really huge transition seems to be happening.

During the last 7 years, I was working to finally understand spirituality. I was differentiating everyday life from spirituality. This is the idea I heard from my birth for over 30 years. At 49, I finally accepted that the highest spirituality is to live everyday life, but live it with full consciousness. Every move, every thought, every emotion, every deed is to come from the spirituality within.

Our education is teaching us to look outside for spirituality. This actually is the biggest mistake. The real spirituality is within us. So-called “Heaven” is not somewhere in the stars. To get there flying to the stars, would take as long as all satellites or spacecrafts need to travel. Far too long.

The surprising thing is: when we start focusing inward, not only within ourselves, but when we go with our mind and spirituality into Earth, there is a shortcut to the Moon, Sun and Stars.

I am developing a coaching system for discovering the Inner Strength (Peace) within. The system is called WaKiDo.

At present I have a short sabbatical, in favor of first developing a more tangible subject. At my 50th birthday, I would love to be able to announce becoming self-employed.

In my case, I didn’t develop chakra by chakra. (By the way, There are far more charkas then 9, but this is not the important subject.) In my case the top chakra was overactive for 49 years. Finally at 50, I seem to be reaching the overall balance.

It might seem to negate your theory that after 50 people tend to move away from pure money making, into more spiritual side of work. Actually it does not. Spirituality that I was taught was a special, holy, world detached state of mind that did not really recognize holiness of the everyday life. If we talk about this kind of outside spirituality, then yes this understanding would contradict your theory.

Best regards,

I am sorry if this reader misunderstood my thoughts on detachment in the second seven year cycle. Merri and I are well into our second cycle and getting busier every year. But the business is not about the financial bottom line any more. I could not agree more that our work everyday life and work can be our holiness and especially agree with this reader’s comment:

At 49, I finally accepted that the highest spirituality is to live everyday life, but live it with full consciousness. Every move, every thought, every emotion, every deed is to come from the spirituality within.

I could not have said it better!

Until next message, may all you deeds come from great wisdom within.

Gary

You can see Cotacachi property like this on our next Cotacachi real estate Ecuador information tour.

Here is that swimming pool and another shot of the Barro Viejo renovation just down the street from our hotel.

Plus here is the Barro Viejo team with the owners of this renovation who so kindly allowed our group to tromp through their beautiful home.