Tag Archive | "producer"

Ecuador Demonstrations


There were some Ecuador demonstrations last week.

ecuador-demonstrations

This and the AP photos below by Dolores Ochoa show Ecuador protesters blocking the Pan Am Highway. See excerpts of the related article below.

Merri and I are used to these Ecuador protests as they are part of life in Ecuador. Though we have not seen any Ecuador demonstrations for several years,  they represent a good part of the Ecuadorian way and I am proud of how the  people exercise their democratic rights…. peacefully… but effectively.

The French use demonstrations as well and remember France is where many of the current ideals of democracy as we know them and processes that helped the industrial revolution really begin.

Yet the French leave cars flipped and shops burned. Remember what they did to some of their royalty!  In Ecuador violence is rarely the case.

ecuador-protests

Part of Ecuador’s political problems are created because the majority of the population are very poor… and poorly educated… but they are gaining.  This is Maria…  excited to be headed on her first day to university to study tourism management through a scholarship provided by our foundation, Land of the Sun.

Merri and I have been in the midst of several Ecuador demonstrations.  Our first protest party took place many years ago in the 1990s.  We had to get a friend from Latacunga, (one of the most active places for demonstrations), to Quito airport.

There is a “moving through Ecuador road blocks art” that we learned.

ecuador-protests

Ecuadorians are by nature friendly and easy going. Violence is rare… in their protests, crime or politics. These girls attend the Topo Grande school that Land of the Sun foundation is assisting.

In that first protest adventure we were with a yatchak… in his car… a four wheel drive. This meant that  a lot of the demonstration avoidance tactics came in the form of driving down railway tracks, through football fields and for quite some distance on the grassy path that formerly was the Incan trail.

Eventually however one meets a roadblock.  On that trip the yatchak did most of the work. As gringos we stayed in the car and let the yatchak do the talking.  Most road blocks are more like street parties… the blockers only half serious. There are generally two types of demonstrators… those with a real gripe and the majority who see the demonstration as a sort of fun time.

If you meet up with the party types… usually a dollar or two is a sufficient consideration to be able to move on IF one approaches the road block correctly… never with pushiness or aggression.

If one meets up with those who have a true grievance… the process is more difficult but usually  an earnest listen to their complaint… a murmur of agreement, some sympathy and an explanation of why you need to pass through, with perhaps a dollar or two will open the block.

In that first trip, the taxi drivers had the complaint… so they were the hardest nuts to crack… but the yatchak never failed.  Gentle words… appreciation for their plight and explanation of our own problems always opened the gates.

That trip to the airport took much longer than normal… one does not rush through these events… but we were able to help our friend board his plane on time.

Our second Ecuador demonstration trip took place on the day before one of our seminars in Ecuador.  Talk about terrible timing!

We always met delegates when they arrive at the airport the day before the seminar so we needed to travel from Cotacachi to Quito.  Normally we would make the two hour trip via the Pan American highway.  But Otavalo is another major, strong point for demonstrations.

We have developed a network of friends across the country so we knew that the Pan American was tightly closed.

So we headed down the back roads with an intrepid taxi driver who knew the ropes.

At each road block I would lay down in the back seat, close my eyes and groan.  Owh owh owh.

Merri, looking as pathetic as possible, rambled on “Me esposa necesita un hospital”.

The taxi driver requested clearance to the “hospital” and offered a few dollar for the favor.

This worked half way to Quito.  However there are some road blocks that just cannot be passed.  We found such a place where one group had dug a large pit through the road.

ecuador-demonstrations

Another AP photo shows how some road blocks cannot circumnavigated.

Here I experienced a major recovery from my illness, grabbed our suitcase and we walk through the burning tires… NOT LOOKING ANYONE IN THE EYE.

The only hangup came when our hound dog Ma became tangled in the wires from burned tires. On the other side of the road farmers awaited with their pickups.   For $20, they were willing to give us a lift into town. The normal two hour journey turned into six…. but we were there, smiling when our delegates arrived.

The demonstrations (as with those last week) lasted only a day and we accompanied our delegates on the bus back to Cotacachi next day on the Pan American highway.  No one really suffered.

In short Ecuador demonstrations can range from kinda fun to frustrating… but rarely dangerous… as long as one takes their time, remains passive and avoids getting involved.   These Ecuador demonstrations, are in my opinion, a good part of Ecuador’s democratic process.

I expected political tensions to tighten in January… but they seem to be winding up sooner.

Here is my thinking why there will be more political turmoil in the months ahead.

Part of Ecuador’s political problem began over 500 years ago when the Spanish began colonizing the area that is now Ecuador. The system favored a few at the expense of the majority and has remained that way.

Today the majority of the population is indigenous….but historically have had little political power and they have the smallest portion of wealth and income. Here is a resident of the village of Topo Grande.

ecuador-protests

Slowly they have become increasingly organized and must be considered as a political power that now determines elections.  Yet due to the fact that they still remain among the poorest sector of the population, they also understand the global economy the least.

Almost every Ecuador president, since Merri and I began living in Ecuador, has been elected in part by making promises to poor people, like this lady above, that could not be kept.

President Correa is included in this definition and had two added benefits… his ability to speak Quichua (the indigenous language) and high oil prices when he entered office.

Oil revenues provide the major part of the government’s income and the high prices allowed Correa to keep many of his promises in his first years in office.

Then oil prices dropped and the government began cutting back.

This put so much pressure on the government income that in July 2009 it sold a billion dollars of oil to the Chinese.

An excerpt from a Reuter’s article entitled “Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador ties” explains as it says:  QUITO (Reuters) – Oil-hungry China is moving to strengthen ties with OPEC member Ecuador, part of a global trend in which the Asian giant is providing billions of dollars in financing to producer nations to guarantee energy supplies.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the country will receive $1 billion as advance payment for future oil sales to China. Ecuador sends most of its oil to the United States, and is trying to diversify its market.

Details remained unclear on Monday. But China, the world’s second biggest petroleum consumer after the United States, is striving to cement better ties with resource-rich Ecuador.
Chinese company Sinohydro is bidding for a contract with Ecuador to build a $2 billion hydroelectric plant in the country.

In addition, the leftist Ecuadorean government says it is in talks with Chinese companies interested in investing in the Manta air base, which the U.S. Army is due to leave in September. Ecuador wants to build a commercial airport in Manta.

According to the Chinese customs office, China imported 326,000 tonnes of crude oil from Ecuador in the first four months of 2009.

Ecuador is the fifth largest producer of crude oil in South America after Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. It produced 486,000 barrels of crude oil a day in May.

Impoverished Ecuador faces a liquidity crunch due to low oil prices. The government’s recent debt default has shut the country off from the international capital markets.

Here is how one sharp Ecuador businessman explained the problem to me.

The government took payment now on 30% of its future oil, beginning next January to balance the current budget. How will it balance its budget next year with only 70% of its oil?

This leaves the Ecuador government only two options… higher gas prices… a factor beyond its control… or a cut back which means breaking more election promises.

That’s why it made sense to me that demonstrations would start next year not now.

However I was wrong. On hearing of the demonstrations I wrote to a network of friends and contacts across the country to get people’s opinions. Here are some of the replies I received.

Business person from Manta:

Dear Gary, Today Sunday the indigenas stared to make groups in different places of Guayaquil  and especially Quito. It Iooks like they want to make strikes tomorrow and to close main roads especially in highlands areas.   Until this moment everybody is quiet and nobody worries over  that situation.  The people are asking for solutions to water problems and something more.,

I think we have to see what happens tomorrow and hope that there is nothing more than a one day demonstration.

The Real Estate Tour in Manta was very good yesterday.  The people were very nice and it looks like two couples and two men are planning to stay in Manta to see more properties.

Demonstrations have been brewing and are now taking place on two fronts.

One of them regards schoolteachers that are part of a much politicized association called UNE (Union Nacional de Educadores – or National Teachers Association) who opposes the widely celebrated regime effort to bring higher quality to public schooling via teacher examination and training.

UNE appears to be divided in this and the government is gaining ground in this legitimate endeavor.

The other front regards mostly the indigenous population (also somewhat divided), who opposes the draft for the new Water Law, claiming that it will “privatize” water, something that has no grounds.

They say that they have not been taken into account in drafting it and that it has elements for the privatization of water. Please note that the indigenous peoples of Ecuador are very dependent on natural water sources for their livelihood.

The indigenous population is adept at closing-off highways in very disruptive demonstrations.

So far it seems that the demonstrations have been mostly mild but it’s hard to tell if they will flare-up big time.

The indigenous people also oppose the new mining law on environmental grounds. The general public believes this new mining law is important as it provides environmental safeguards but also allows the exploitation of our mineral riches under a better framework. There are always tradeoffs of course.

President Correa’s Government keeps a very high level of support amongst the population and has been extremely able to defuse situations like this, even though it has had a confrontational stance.

Change brings discomfort and demonstrations are part of our culture. I hope and trust they fade away amidst inclusive dialogue.

It seems that by Tuesday the demonstrations were defused. The biggest supporters have lifted their demonstrations in order to start a dialogue process.

Some fringe groups still remain protesting but for the most the demonstrations should be over now.  Best regards,

Business Person from Puerto Viejo

Hi Gary, Sorry I could not get back to you before.

As you probably know already, demonstrations have been going on this week.  There  are several groups such as teachers (UNE), indigenous people (CONAIE), high school and university students and other small groups who have gotten together protesting against different things they consider that violate or diminish their rights:  all of them have in common their opposition to the government, although the majority of them were part of the government in the past .

Each of the group is protesting against a particular law that is about to pass in the congress:  CONAIE  are against Ley del Agua or a law which regulates water and that in their opinion privatizes the water.  UNE or the teachers are against a new law of secondary and elementary education and also against some regulations that will reduce their salaries.  Students are also against  the law of university education which will not allow to have private universities in the future.  Of course political parties are also involved in these demonstrations.

CONAIE is now splitt and having talks with the government so I do not expect their strike to be as strong as in the past.  UNE  or the teachers are the ones that seem to be stronger and they are right now in their third week of protest.

Please let me know if you need more information or comments on these issues.

Kind regards,

Vilcabamba Teacher:

How are you?  I just read a little about this problem in my Country.  You know I feel sad about it because the only people who suffer the consequences are the students, right now the public schools and some universities are closed, students are in their homes.

UNE (national union of teachers) is protesting for 3 reasons:

1) The Ministerio de Education did some kind of administrative process against the teachers who did not do a test (I do not what kind of test) before, this administrative process could cause a teacher to be fired, so, UNE do not accept this process.

2) Also UNE protests about the new reforms in the law that reduce 1.5% of their salary.

3) UNE protests because a new law says that school´s authorities should get a commission of service without a salary.  Regards

Quito Businessman

Hi Gary,  There are 2 ways to read into this:

1.  Correa is trying to clean up the mess that Ecuador’s education system has grown into over the years, with UNE, the main teachers’ association becoming a by-product of the left wing political party MPD.  He has run into opposition and this has lead to the UNE’s strike which started last week.

He is also trying to put some order into the way water rights are distributed and managed in the country, thus angering CONAIE (whom he no longer needs as a political support base because through the same CONAIE and Pachakutik he has gained direct access to the indigenous people by providing them housing, infrastructure, etc.).

Now it turns out that the UNE strike will tie into the CONAIE demonstrations, and things could turn nasty next week.

2.  Correa has become obsessed with his power, and as such is trying to get control of every aspect of Ecuadorians’ life, including education, the use of land and water, the economy in general and of the production and industrial sector (taxing importers out of business in order to support local industry).  In doing so, he has alienated many of his former allies and has made worst enemies of his former foes.  This is unsustainable in the long run and the first signs that his government is heading into severe difficulties are starting to appear.  As you are aware, Correa has a very aggressive political style, criticizing his opponents and trying to make anyone who does not support him look bad and ridicule.  This has its cost and now Correa may be starting to pay the price.

Frankly speaking, I do not know how serious that is.  The main support of Correa’s “Citizens Revolution” has been the poor people.  If they start to turn against him, I do not think he will fare very well.  On the other hand, these demonstrations may just be caused by a minority of UNE and CONAIE, in which case, they will pass and it will be business as usual in Ecuador.   It is hard to tell at this time, but one thing that is for sure is that people are starting to run out of patience with respect to Correa.  We will have a clearer picture by next Monday, because it will be possible to gauge how strong and successful CONAIE’s closing of roads turns out to be.  Best,

Loja Businessman:

University and high school teachers have been protesting the elimination of a 1.5% payment and a couple of other issues. These protests began last week.

This is normal in Ecuador particularly by the union involved. They like to do this in the beginning of the school year.

The police are involved which makes this more serious, but I don’t know how serious.

Guayaquil businessman:

Gary, I do not see it so bad.

Ambato Investor:

By the way, from reading the article, it is not so against the Correa-Government.  Nonetheless, there has been some small protests in Ambato as well.

Coastal Businessman

Gary, thanks..I am in San Clemente and no demonstrations here!

The students and the teachers have always spent most of the time demonstrating..but of course the government thought they would avoid demonstrations against them with the “peoples revolution” slogan..

The indigenous people seem to want to march again against the new mining law and the governments intent to start big scale mining operations to improve finances..

I do not think any of these demonstrations will be even close in size to what they used to be during previous governments..basically because all these movements supported the government and it’s policy and many still do..They also lack the charismatic leaders they once had.

Regards,

This last comment seems to be supported by excerpts of an Associated Press article entitled “Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws”: The Associated Press  QUITO, Ecuador — Hundreds of Indians blocked Ecuador’s Pan American highway in several provinces Monday with rocks, tree trunks and burning tires to protest new water, mining and oil laws.

Their leaders suspended the protest late Monday, saying the government had promised to talk about their objections.

The Indians contend the proposed the laws threaten their lands and will privatize water resources. Leftist President Rafael Correa disputes that view, and the ruling party-controlled legislature has been expected to approve the laws.

Monday’s protests on the main national highway paled in comparison to protests that ousted Ecuadorean presidents in 2000 and 2005.

ecuador-demonstrations

Third AP photo from this article.

Things are improving. Ecuador’s indigenous are getting richer and better educated.

ecuador-protests

Enrique is one of the excellent Cotacachi indigenous builders who is developing homes in Cotacachi. He is among a growing sector of hard working, highly successful and dependable indigenous businesses that help form a strong, integrated  middle class in Ecuador.  Be sure see to see some of Enrique’s houses at this site next week.

Ecuador demonstrations are a part of Ecuador’s democratic process.  Since moving to Ecuador I have seen many presidents comes and many go… very few serving their full term… a process I like better than having a bad president last.    President Correa has enjoyed a time without Ecuador protests because of high oil prices and his willingness to default on Ecuador bonds.  That former decision is now biting him back… along with low oil prices… so more and more are saying… “throw the bum out”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this at home?

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.

ecuador-seminars

Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

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.

ecuador-exports

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 textiles like these I photographed in Otavalo are popular.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course:  Gary & Merri –
I know why I get a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling when I see your two names in the ‘From’ column of my emails!  I sincerely hope that others are getting that same satisfaction.  Thank you both again for the help and assistance in getting to Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

“Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador tieswww.reuters.com/article/GCA-Oil/idUSTRE56C6FF20090713

www.thestate.com/world/story/962859.html?RSS=untracked
Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws

Electric Investments


Yesterday’s message looked at high voltage investments ideas.

In a moment we’ll see an Ecuador income idea.

First, here are some more electric thoughts about investing in energy.

wind-turbine

Investments in alternate energy can be profitable.  For example in 2006 we introduced the idea of investing in the Vestas Wind Turbine company.  The chart below from finance.yahoo.uk shows that this share has done really well… up four times even after the great 2008 correction.

Vestas-shares

Jyske can buy the VESTAS WIND ADR (VWDRY) of this share for US investors by the way.  Here is a chart from finance.yahoo.com of the ADR since it was introduced.

wind-turbine-chart

Jyske Bank currently has a buy recommendation with the current price of 378.50 Danish kroner  and a target price of 550 Danish kroner. Jyske considers this a HIGH RISK share and says:  Thanks to its market share of about 23% in 2007, Vestas Wind Systems is the world’s largest producer of wind turbines. The company began its production of wind turbines in 1979, and was listed on the stock exchange in 1998. Today Vestas produces and sells wind turbines in sizes from 850 kW to 3.0 MW. The company’s vision is to turn wind into an energy source equal to oil and gas.

They believe the shares are available at an attractive valuation. The company’s streamlining will continue to the benefit the earnings margins and despite the financial crisis, Vestas is facing high growth past 2009, and the management is experienced and strong.

You can get more details from Thomas Fischer at Jyske Global Asset Management at fischer@jgam.com (US investors) or Rene Mathys at Jyske Bank (non US investors) at mathys@jbpb.dk

Yet we must understand that not all alternate energy investments will go well.  See what I mean here.

Of course one malfunction does not mean much… this was just a dramatization… pointing out that we have to invest in a future…that we cannot truly see.

What can we do?

First, we can understand that we may not know the technology but we can know the trends.  Part of the future is in the here and now and we can pick up these trends.

Here are seven trends we can use to reflect upon when looking at new ideas for the future.

Trend #1: The rate of change will increase. This is self evident. Change is speeding up… so new products will not remain “in” as long.  This means bigger is not better. Ian Pierson, a futurist whom I know and respect, said that the value of a company is its idea… less its size and experience.  Fast and small have an advantage now.

Trend #2: The rate of private consumption will grow. From 1884 to 1995 private consumption just about doubled, but increased 25% in the past ten years. This means that the amount of money spent per person will continue to grow. This also means that the amount of discretionary income per person is growing.  There will be more people producing more.

Trend #3: There will be more automation. In the process of automation, mankind supplements muscles first, brains second and feelings third.

Trend #4: Age, gender and wealth are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Trend #5: There will be a shift of attitude from our brain to heart.

Trend #6: Families will turn more and more of their responsibilities to the market place.

Trend #7: The growth in markets will be for stories, not products.

When looking at new technology… run it past this list.  This will not tell you if the technology is best… but may help you understand if the product fits the trends.

Take electric cars as an example.

We have been thinking about electricity here at the farm for some time as we have great hydro potential.

Mark Owen has been helping us research this and sent us this note about electric cars.

Electric Car Idea

Those readers who were able to get to the final paragraphs of my Electric Bicycle article might remember that I myself wondered what the Electric Bike Industry might lead to. I questioned how the industry could become more mainstream, how could it address safety concerns, convenience, and of course speed. I also pondered the question: “Two wheels or Three?”

Aptera answers “Three.”

electric-car

Aptera

After completing the article I researched a new electric “car” named the Aptera Typ-2e. This is an extraordinary vehicle on many accounts. The reason I italicized the word car when describing this vehicle is that it will be considered a motorcycle by the US government. It has three wheels, two in front, one in back. The cockpit is teardrop shaped cocoon with airbags, two comfy-looking seats, and a very sophisticated dashboard. Many have said the interior of the cockpit makes it seem like you are in a small airplane.

I have seen this car featured by videographers, and it is purported to have extraordinary acceleration and top speed. Please visit the Aptera Forum for the latest specifications sheets

I am sure it will be faster, safer, and more convenient than my electric bike.

It will cost a little more, though. Aptera reports they will be delivering the first of their vehicles in October of 2009, for an estimated cost of between $25,000.00 and $40,000. This vehicle is by far my favorite of all the electrics You may see the Aptera and 26 other electric cars reviewed here

If any reader has access to the Aptera, please invite me for a test drive, no matter where you are.

Maybe in a few years, when Aptera gets their initial “bugs” worked out, and the price slides down a bit due to enhanced production, you will see me and my daughter grinning behind the wheel of one of these cars.

This car differs a lot from the Fisker Karma we reviewed in yesterday’s post.

Will people buy the stylish Karma or the more functional Aptera?

Each of these technologies may help a bit.  Some solar… some wind… hydro… better batteries and such plus most importantly energy use reduction.

Perhaps micro production and savings will be the in thing instead just as the PC overwhelmed the mainframe computer.

Mark for example has been looking at micro wind power for us.  Wind energy is normal considered expensive… but Mark shows here that it does not need to be.  He writes:

Gary, I was at the farm a couple of times this winter. I went to the top and felt the consistency and strength of the wind up there. I have done lots of research on the cost-effectiveness of installing a windmill system. These pre-made windmill systems are expensive. Even with consistent wind, it takes a long time for a windmill system to pay back its initial investment costs.

I researched making our own windmill. It will be easy and cost eight cents on the dollar. I have already purchased a 33 foot aluminum sailboat mast. It is quite strong and will handle a medium-sized windmill. I would like to purchase the remaining components. The motor would cost about $200.00 (motor/generator, they are both the same thing). I would also like to purchase a fan blade kit. I think after the initial purchase, I will be able to manufacture our own fan blades. I will produce a template from the purchased blades, then manufacture future blade systems from the template. I think I can purchase the blade kit for another $100.

Perhaps the way of we receive, store and use energy will evolve into many inexpensive, small devices each saving a bit… as PCs and then lap tops and now hand helped devices have altered the way we receive and transmit information.   

We can see a bit of this at Neuton Power.  I have used a Neuton Electric lawn mower for five or six years and finally the battery died.  When I called to get a new one, I discovered they also have electric weed eaters, chain saws, hedge trimmers, blowers and power carts. The rep explained that when they introduced their weed eater they were overwhelmed with 1,500 orders.

I have mine on back order. It will take months for them to fill demand… so electric replacing gas is in… perhaps for now in small ways… but watch for this trend to grow.

Here is another nifty idea that saves energy and could create a business opportunity in Ecuador… the solar or sun oven.

sun-oven

Sun ovens cook with the sun… no electricity… fossil fuel, wood, charcoal or any pollution are required.   This may offer a  business opportunity in Ecuador or anywhere sunny.  Learn more about solar ovens here.

Whether the savings are large…

wind-turbine

Worlds-Largest-Wind-Turbine-Generator

or small…

energy-saver

Neuton electric weed eater.

Investing in alternate energy is wise for the future.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which 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.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Thank you for your inspiration and information outlining foreign banking and retirement.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome for planning the steps to evaluate the early stages of living abroad.

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

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 Investment Gains


Our latest International Investment & Business Seminar here in Ashe County,  North Carolina  looked at International Investment gains that were up 14% in the first six months of this year.

When these seminars begin… there is always a hint of excitement.   Thomas Fisher has flown in from Denmark. Our webmaster, David Cross, has arrived from Oregon and delegates have come from all over the world.

We’ll look at some of the international investments we view (including Ecuador opportunity) but let’s also allow some of the delegates to tell you how they felt about this seminar.

One delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Merri and David,  Thanks for a great weekend.  As a new club member, I’m looking forward to the next time that we can spend some time together and to reading “Ecuador Living”.  Sincerely,

When our North Carolina international investing and business seminars begin, I rise at dawn on the farm and then…

international-investment-seminar

we drive into West Jefferson where we conduct the seminar.

We are casual at our international investment seminars but serious.

international-investment-seminar

Many delegates make international investing and business… even lifestyle decisions based on the economic updates we share, so I and our other speakers, Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management, our webmaster David Cross and Merri have spent enormous time getting prepared.

This year our July North Carolina course was conducted at at the Ashe County Arts Center in West Jefferson.

The Arts Center is housed in a historic WPA building featuring a gallery so we share our information amidst local art and crafts, statuary and exhibits from over four-dozen artists.  Here is some of the art we saw.

international-investing-seminar

The seminar began with a historical review that led us to three places to invest now.

#1: Multi Currency Sandwich in value markets, emerging markets and wellness.

#2: The environment.

#3: Real Estate in the US and Ecuador.

Plus we saw why many of us would need our own business.

The first historical fundamental we covered was a way to predict where markets might go next.  We saw for example that the Dow has moved in approximate 15-17 year up and down cycles for over 100 years.

We viewed how the Dow appears to be in the 10th year of a 15 to 17 year down cycle that began in 1999.  We compared the last two years of this cycle, with the equivalent period in the 1968 to 1982 bear cycle.

We saw an amazing 93% correlation between then and now.

The chart below from Moore Research compares the Dow from 1976 through 1978 to the Dow of the last 18 months. The Blue line is what happened in the equivalent period in the 1970s to now.

global-trends

Here is what another delegate wrote about this seminar:

Hello Merri & Gary,  Now that I am back home and settled into the normal routine, it’s time to drop you a line to say how much my brother Rick and I enjoyed attending the conference last weekend.   Experiencing the beauty of Ashe County and the pleasant disposition of the people who live there contributed to the picture of the place that you paint via the letters and photos sent out to your readers.  Not only was the information presented there of great value, but Rick and I found that all of the other participants we met are great people indeed, just as you’ve mentioned.  Your ability to attract like-minded souls is a service in itself, and one that provides lessons we can all strive to emulate going forward.

Thank you again for providing the opportunity of meeting you both in person; I will begin to make use of the information to enhance my own life and look forward to seeing you both again some day.  Best wishes.

Then we looked at the multi currency sandwich and how you can currently borrow US dollars at 3% to invest the loan in higher yielding shares and bonds.  Pound loans are 4%.

We also saw how the British pound was a potentially undervalued currency versus the US dollar.

We looked at how Jyske Global Asset management’s Low Risk Portfolio with a 100% loan rose 11.4% since 2009 or at 23% per annum pace.

Then we reviewed an 18% six month profit with 4.75% ISS Capital 2010 bond (or growth at 36% per annum pace).

We reviewed a  7.25% Bombardier 2016 bond. that offered a longer duration and higher spread of 3.5%.

This led us to a multi currency sandwich with $100,000 invested and $50,000 US$ loan at 3% and $50,000 loan in British pounds at 4%.

The $200,000 was invested $100,000 in US the 7.5% dollar bond above.  $50,000 was invested in a Pound denominated bond issued by Hungary due 2016 and yielding 10%.  $50,000 was invested in British shares because Britain is one of the best valued major markets at this time.

Here is what another delegate shared about the seminar:

Merri, My wife  and I would like to thank you and Gary for a wonderful course. We thoroughly enjoyed all the information presented by Gary, Thomas and David. And we thank you for your hospitality with having us to your lovely “piece of paradise” in Lansing. The lunch was delicious and your presentation of import/export items was quite interesting.  We look forward to visiting Ecuador in September of 2010. And we look forward to visiting and staying at your hotel in Cotacatchi.

We then reveiwed the best and worst value equity markets around the world and saw that the best valued major markets are now Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and the UK.

Here is what another delegate had to say about this seminar.

Hi Gary & Merri,  I thoroughly enjoyed the time you so graciously allowed me to attend at your seminar and am not surprised, in the least, that you are getting rave reviews.  You and Merri make such a wonderful team offering these seminars with professionalism and charm, and here in Ashe County, with a unique local flavor.  We all thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting acquainted with many of your delegates.  As it was last year as well, many of the people you attract with your seminars are well traveled, interesting and very personable.  Thank you for your friendship and generosity,

In another session we looked at the importance of investing in the environment. We saw three ways to gain from sustainability changes ahead.

#1: Adaptation.  Investing in solutions to health problems is an example. Poor food produced in our central food system creates blood sugar problems, so Novo Norsk a Danish company that is the largest producer of insulin makes sense.

#2: Mitigation.  Cleaning up the mess humanity offers profit especially with water. Hyflux, a Singapore company, and Kurita Water, a Japanese firm, both have potential in this field.

#3: Structural Change.   Vestas Wind Turbines is a Danish company and is the largest maker of wind turbines to produce energy.

Here is what anther delegates sent to Merri and me about this seminar:

As a retiree who saw her retirement sustain considerable loss due to the economy, I found the information you presented during the three days to be extremely helpful and showed a plausible way for me to have some recovery.  Besides all of the relevant information, your emphasis on honesty and the importance of not to be deceptive was reassuring.  The bottom line is, that what gave real value to the information we were receiving and what made us feel comfortable was, that we felt you, Thomas and David were all people of good character.  Something that is very important to us.  Thank you, Gary and Merri, for providing a wonderful Seminar. Sincere regards.

On Saturday evening we drove to Lansing and looked at how small businesses can grow as we visited the New River Winery for a wine tasting. The winery is housed in another old WPA building which originally was the Lansing school.

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Here is Haskell McGuire one of New River founders showing us the winery.

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New River’s flagship wines are Bohemia Red and Bohemia White. These were followed by the introduction of signature wines, Back Porch Blueberry.  New River now has several new wines in production including:  Pinot Blanc, Viogner, Hellbender Red, Lansing School White, Big Laurel Blush, and Seyval.

The winery started small and is growing by leaps and bounds. Vineyards and wineries are one of the fastest growing business sectors in North Carolina.

Here is an unedited quite from another delegate:

Dear Gary and Merri:  We so enjoyed attending the IBEZ Seminar this past weekend in Jefferson, NC.  We loved the high country area, the nice people we met and particularly enjoyed the visit and tour of the New River Winery.  We were lucky to sit at a table with four utterly charming southern women, one of whom was Haskell’s wife.  We had a long drive home on Sunday and were sad that we had to leave and not be able to join you and our group for lunch at your farm and sad that we missed Merri’s cooking.  We hope someday in the future we may have the opportunity to visit your property as we heard it is quite beautiful.

Then we began the international business sessions of the course and David began teaching how to use the internet in business.

We started by looking at a Time Magazine quote which said:

Throw away your briefcase: you’re not going to office. You can kiss benefits goodbye. Your new boss won’t look much like your old one. There’s no longer a ladder, and you may never get to retire, but there’s a world of opportunity if you figure out a new path.

On Sunday we continued the course at our farm. Everyone was invited up to the house for lunch.

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We did a review of Ecuador export products.

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Like this leather coat and these baby alpaca sweaters.

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Another delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Just a quick note to tell you again how much I enjoyed the seminar and seeing your lovely farm.  I spoke to you briefly about deciding that I wanted the web course instead of mult-currency.  Thank you for sending me that instead of the multi-currency.  It may be two weeks, but I am starting to work on that site.  I know from life experience that it is always better to focus on what you want to create instead of what you don’t want. So thank you for the buzz of creativity that you, David, and others from the  group inspired.  I am also interested in featuring the dulcamaras product on my site, along with testimonials.  You mentioned a contact for that product.  I would appreciate that information also. Smiles.

Here is some Ecuador art that evolved from drum making.

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Delegates came up with many marketing and…

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Business ideas.

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plus we had fun.

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Next time this course will be in October.  This view…

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will look like…

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this!

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As the guests leave… in the dusk… there is always a moment of sadness.  New friends made.  Interesting ideas shared and now we are moving apart.

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Yet we’ll be back together again next seminar.

This delegate expressed it well when she wrote:

Thank you again for a truly life changing and life enhancing weekend. And we also wish your loved ones a speedy recovery and good health. Best regards.

We hope you will join us for our International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina this October or in Ecuador in November like this delegate who wrote:

Hi Gary,  It was wonderful to meet you and Merri at the IBEZ Conference this past weekend!  You both are so warm and caring and have a genuine desire to help the people of Ecuador and others to build a successful business.

The classes were very insightful and jam packed with information and suggestions on how to start your very own web based business. You and David, your webmaster, presented the information in an easy to understand format that even computer dummies like me could understand.

The multi currency investing portion of the class presented by you and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management were very interesting and educational.  It opened our eyes to new avenues of investing that we didn’t have a clue about before.

We also very much enjoyed the Import and Export portion of the class.  The items from Ecuador that you and Merri shared with us were very beautiful.  I especially loved the bird art and would be very interested in importing some of these to sell.  I am also interested in jewelry, leather goods, and the shawls like Fran was wearing in class (they were enhanced with the leather collar and leather applique).  I think that custom made leather goods that are stamped, as you and Merri suggested, have good income potentials. We would like to thank you and Merri for opening up your beautiful home to the class on Sunday afternoon and feeding us such a delicious lunch.  This was the perfect ending to three days of fun and sharing of ideals and suggestions on how to make money from investing in property and multi currency to building a successful web site business and Importing/Exporting from Ecuador for profit.  Thank you and Merri so much for everything.  We look forward to attending additional conferences.  Take care and hope to see you again soon.

Gary

Join Merri me and Thomas Fischer of JGAM and our webmaster David Cross in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free. Save $299.

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

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.

Another delegate wrote:

Hi Gary, Just looked at your website for the first time and couldn’t hardly stop reading all the fantastic topics and the wealth of information you provide.  One of the best website’s I’ve experienced.  Don’t know why I haven’t looked at it sooner but am very happy I finally got to it.  I read as many articles as I could in one sitting with limited time this morning and am anxious to get back to read more.  Your life experiences and expertise is fascinating.  It’s amazing how close your philosophy about life, work, investing, family, etc. parallels my own.  I suppose international living, broad experiences with other cultures, diverse business experiences, etc., culminate in a certain way we view the world.  Anyway, thanks for sharing so much excellent philosophy and expertise.

Clean Green Income


Here is a way to earn income, that is clean and green.

This is the sixth message in this series on Ecuador and business opportunity. See the first message at Ecuador organic cheese and wine. The second article in the series is at Ecuador organic wine and cheese II and Ecuador wine & Cheese III and Ecuador and Green Business and Internet business ideas and Multi Currency Debt.

Clean up your wealth with disinfectants.

Previous messages looked at a wonderful organic cleaner that I have used for more than a decade and how to earn income world wide as a distributor of this product.

You can see what I wrote about this organic cleaner below.

First let me introduce you to a new idea.

Recently I co hosted a great financial seminar with Jyske Global Asset Management in Naples Florida.

The delegates at this seminar…

multi-currency-debt

had a great time and talked among themselves about many investing and business ideas.

One idea presented to me by a delegate was a business opportunity as a distributor for a new organic disinfectant based on silver.

I learned a life saving lesson about the disinfecting power of silver  from a great teacher decades ago.   Silver is a germ killing element so powerful that the establishment has been trying to stop us from getting in on the act. Perhaps there is too much money at stake in antibiotics and other such expensive medicine to allow this simple, inexpensive germ killer to remain in the market.

But in this era of strange diseases in which we now live, it is imperative that we learn how to protect ourselves naturally from infection and disease.

Let me explain how I first learn about this powerful natural antibiotic from a grade school teacher!

Al Hoffman was his name. He was great. Mr. Hoffman taught music at Rockwood grade school in the 50s and 60s.  He was almost a myth, sending so many talented musicians on to the local high school.

How would I have guessed that a lesson he taught me then, might save lives now.

You know me as an economist, writer, adventurer, wacky philosopher, can’t-help-it traveler and two bit farmer.  But I bet you did not know that I am also a musician.

But I am (or rather was).  I started with the trumpet, but being a fat kid moved onto the tuba (fat boys always played the tuba for some reason) and I wasn’t bad. I made the metro league honor band and loved playing symphonies and musicals, plus marching was great, except the Portland Rose Parade, mile upon mile on a hot day with a heavy Sousaphone.  That was a bit too much.

Then when I moved to Hong Kong and switched to the baritone and played with a Dixiland band in a Kowloon jazz club (just for fun).

My traveling days made hauling the brass hard, so I switched to the flute.

I took lessons from the principal flutist of the Hong Kong philharmonic, but now haven’t played for years. This is a great regret from working too much, but I promise myself I’ll get back to it.

One thing I have not lost though is a lesson taught to me by Al Hoffman my first music teacher. He taught me about the cleansing power of silver the first day we met.

We were trying out for various instruments and he gave us each a trombone to blow. After I blew on it my neighbor (who eventually went for the clarinet) Tommy Barrett was handed the same trombone and was asked to blow as well. He looked at the mouth piece where my lips had just rested and said yuck, “dog lips have touched this” or something like that.

Funny how some pictures stick in your mind for over fifty years.

I see Tommy looking at that tainted mouth piece as plain as if it were yesterday. He asked what he was supposed to do to clean off that mouth piece.

Then Mr Hoffman gave Tommy the word and me a lesson that stuck for life.

“Germs can’t live on silver. It kills them the second they touch it. Just blow. Don’t worry about the germs.”

Later in life I remembered this message when I first learned about colloidal silver.

Colloidal silver is made up of tiny microscopic particles of pure silver in water that when taken kills germs safely and rapidly.

With colloidal silver you reduce the chances of catching bugs, viruses, bacteria and the lot.

Good bye colds, flu and the rest.

The stuff is so darn potent that drug manufacturers are scared to death. They have even worked on the government to try and shut the stuff down. But they have not totally succeeded because you can easily make the stuff yourself and many people swear by it.

Now it appears that there is a new disinfectant based around silver.

The delegates in Naples who introduced this idea to me is Mark Lord and Mark just sent me this note.

Gary, It was a pleasure seeing you and Merri again and hearing about some of the current topics of global importance at the Jyske conference. The conference was great, including the speakers, the facility, and the food. Mary and I made several new, like minded, friends and many thanks for inviting your MCI subscribers to attend at such a great rate.

On Sunday,  just before Mary and I had to dash off to the airport, I briefly introduced you to our exciting new hard surface disinfectant Allclear. This product has proven and documented efficacy (achieving difficult and expensive EPA registration) with a wide range of range of viruses, bacteria and fungus and in most cases kills quicker and more effectively than commonly accepted disinfectants. Allclear has the lowest toxicity rating possible to achieve from EPA (level IV) and is safe for children’s toys and sensitive areas without requiring a wipe up or rinse. It also has 24 hour residual kill, which is a truly needed and unique attribute. Allclear recently has gotten clearance from EPA to claim that it is in compliance with CDC guidelines for control of Swine Flu.

The above is just a quick outline of the many unique and needed attributes about Allclear and, although it uses silver ions as its main active ingredient , it is different from other silver products some of which have been used for centuries. For more information I directed you to our web site www.allcleartoday.com

I have included above some background information on the product and if you have any questions or would like a sample please let me know.  Best regards,

Mark Lord

This is the type of new product that can offer great green opportunity in the US, Ecuador or abroad.

You can get more information from Mark Lord by emailing him at archer59@msn.com

I have not used this product nor do I have any additional information about it. I am not involved in any financial way and you should use all normal business precautions and make sure you do your due diligence.

You may gain some ideas on how to sell products like this via the internet from our course on how to create an internet business.

Learn how to enroll in our emailed internet business course here.

Anther green product that has great international distribution potential is the organic cleaner Ted’s Stuff.

We take this organic cleaner to our Cotacachi hotel every time we visit because Our staff work to keep our hotel Meson de las Flores spick & span.

Cotacachi Organic Cleaner

This is one reason why the 180 year old colonial building looks so great.

Merri and I also give credit to the entire staff.  Most have worked here for decades and they love the hotel. They honor its history and work hard to keep it looking first class.  Especially our maids, Rosita De las Torres and ….

Cotacachi-Organic-Cleaner

Rosita Molena

Cotacachi-Organic-Cleaner

not only clean, but put great love, care and attention into making Meson look like a home that our guests will return to again and again.

We do all we can to help Cotacachi be organic because organic cleaners are important to the environment and our bodies.

The cleaner I use on myself, in our house, pur garden and take to our Cotacachi hotel… I call Ted’s Stuff.

Since we are lured into having many poisons in our homes and establishments, I look at everything.   I am always suspicious of cleaners..

For example, “Softsoap Antibacterial Soap” a brand of liquid hand soap manufactured by Colgate Palmolive. Check the label of this soap and you will read the words. “Proven to eliminate the dirt and germs your family encounters. Contains light moisturizer to leave your hands feeling soft. GENTLE ENOUGH FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. As with any soap avoid contact with eyes.”

What does this really mean. How can we find out what this stuff is really like?

There is a way.

Every product shipped in the USA has to have an OSHA regulated form called a “Materials Safety Data Sheet”. This form is meant to protect workers shipping and handling products. You can find the real story behind a products toxicity by looking up the “MSDS.”    Take for example the Softsoap MSDS.

Get ready to cringe. The “MSDS” on this chemical based formula that is “gentle enough for the whole family” states under the general controls section “Avoid contact with skin and eyes.” It warns workers to wear rubber gloves while using this and such. How this warning is mysteriously converted into gentleness on the store shelves is beyond me, but you can see the “MSDS” for yourself.

Though it is doubtful that Softsoap alone will be really harmful to our health, we must wonder how many other things that are pushed on us as safe and gentle when they really are not. How many of these light toxins does our body have to deal with every day? How many of our allergies, diseases and imbalances are created by this continual bombardment of chemicals that do not kill, but each take their little tolls.

We have all heard of “death by a thousand cuts”.   Is our society suffering “sickness by a thousand minimal exposures”?

Merri and I have been away from the farm, its pure spring water and the fresh clean air and we feel the difference.

We must all be aware of our surroundings and take care. There is a saying that “Man can accomplish the impossible, but cannot overcome the inconvenient”. We have walked the moon and sent humanity’s imprint to Mars and beyond. Yet we cannot overcome the multitude of tiny toxicities that bombard us each and every day. This a true challenge. Everywhere we are, everywhere we go, poisons have been made easy to consume.

This is why I sent the reply below to a reader who wrote:

“Gary, organic biodegradable cleaner is nothing new…Watkins has been selling for years. You should be above shilling for these types! Anyone on the Internet can go to Google and debunk the hustlers…”

I agree with this reader that there are many scams in the name of organic, pure, all natural, and such stuff. In fact this why I have been recommending Ted’s stuff and my reply to this reader says it all.

“Ted’s Stuff is a product I have been using myself for many years and the difference is that it works so well. I feel it an obligation to let people know about the enormous danger that we all face and how our environment is being damaged.

Merri and I both feel that perhaps just to stop pollution at the lowest level may help people gain added years and added vitality to their lives.

You can learn more about distributing or using this leaner from the producer Ted Tidwell at tedtid7@yahoo.com

Until next message may your wealth get others to be green with envy!

Gary

Join us at an upcoming July and October North Carolina seminars. We have invited our  web master to speak on the future of  internet business and will have extended sessions on how to develop an internet business.

Learn more about these July 24-26  and Oct. 9-11 courses at IBEZ North Carolina