Tag Archive | "Socioeconomics"

Fixing the Cash Dilemma


Here are some ideas on fixing the cash dilemma we face in this boom era.

Yesterday’s message  Three Equity Warnings, looked at how it is time to consider reducing portfolio weightings in equities and increase them in cash.  One warning was that upper-band implicit three-to-five-year projections of global developed equity growth implies a compound annual total return of 15.8 %, while the lower-band estimate corresponds to a compound annual total return of 4.6 %, well down from projections earlier in 2013.

This message also reviewed how dividend growth has slowed that price/earnings ratio of the Equally Weighted World Index which bottomed in September 2011 at 10.8 has now reached a new 42-month high at 16.4 – up from 14.2 at the beginning of the year.

The message also reviewed where the Western World is in the business economic cycle.

economic cycles

Click on chart to enlarge.

We are exiting the recovery stage where authorities relax money supply and there is high unemployment and high levels of uncertainty when the best place to invest is in shares.

We are entering a boom cycle with rising inflation, falling unemployment and PE multiples expand, where the best place to invest is cash.

Cash? At almost no return? Ugh!

Cash Alternatives

Multi dimensional living helps create cash alternatives.  For example Merri and I love to write.. we love to farm (in a very modest way) and we love to buy  real estate.  We turn all these passions into profit.

Fixing up something you love creates opportunity because it is fun and can be a long or short term investment.

We transformed this garage into a great…

fixer-upper-gary-scott

guest-house

Rental unit.

When you use imagination… a search for value… creativity… and a bit of elbow grease as force multipliers to your cash, you gain five, powerful profitable qualities.

See how you can use these five qualities to beat inflation below.

Merri and I like investing in real estate… but you can use your cash to buy anything that interests you to fix up to create extra value.

This garage… had a guest house that had been almost…

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abandoned.   Now it looks like…

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this.  Outside and…

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in.

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This process fills part of Merri’s and my  creative desires as it

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adds fun and value into out lives.

Inflation Supports Fixing Up

The problem with holding cash in your portfolio is inflation.  Yet when fixing things up, inflation works for you because the cost of new items are rising.

For example, real estate construction costs are not going to fall! Normal inflation and increased demand from emerging markets for cement, steel, timber and other basics assure this. Plus environmental concerns will continue to slow acceleration of supplies as well.

Here is the current fixer upper project we are working on… a lot of work, but we are trying to buy so we’ll have it really nice at approximately $50 per square foot.

fixer upper

New homes cannot be built for anywhere close to this and this house when fixed up will be a lot better than a new home.

More than Real Estate

Do you love…to fix fishing reels, restore art or antiques, fix old cars?  All offer opportunity for buying and fixing.  The added benefit is that fixer uppers offer both short and long term potential.  If I fix a house, I can hold onto it as a rental or roll it over… take a profit and buy another to fix up.

This is true with so many items because the fixing adds enormous value.

Plus when you fix things… you often find some extra bonuses.  One friend of a friend was fixing an old house. They tore down a wall and found $30,000 cash!

We gained a never thought of bonus by fixing our orange grove (with Bio Wash) in the form of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) potential.

The global economic recovery is good for all, but the government interference of keeping interest rates low creates a  dilemma.  Many indicators tell us that equities are losing value.  Bonds with these low rates are bad deals and the big boys are pushing real estate prices up.  Cash is just a darn lousy investment unless you store it to buy something.  This means that we smaller guys have to work harder to find places to put our savings and investments.  One investment that works in this scenario is to use your creativity,  passion and elbow grease as force multipliers by investing in things you love to fix up!

Gary

Learn how to write to sell.

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 

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

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

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

All I need is my laptop.

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

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from writing.

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

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

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

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

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

Writers like High are great inspirations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First some history.

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

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

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

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

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

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

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

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

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

The First P is Passion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is a special offer. 

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

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

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

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

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David Cross

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

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

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

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

David is an essential part of our web based business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus you get more in the program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Food in a Terrorist EMP Crisis


Finding food and water could be a problem in a terrorist EMP crisis.

Tuesday’s message at this site saw seven steps that could help us survive and prosper in a new era that could unfold if there would be a terrorist EMP attack.

#1:  Move well away from the USA…. to an agriculturally based country.  This is one reason Merri and I have been active in Ecuador for nearly 15 years.
#2: Move to Small Town USA.  Our sites have been looking at the benefits of this for years and why we live on an agricultural property.
#3: Create your own source of food & water.
#4: Create a local source of hardened energy and communications.
#5: Keep some gold and or silver on hand.
#6: Know how to take care of your own health.
#7:  Hold some assets outside of North America.

We’ll look at some Ecuador food property below.  First, this message looks at some ideas that can help us improve our odds of having access to food and water in a terrorist EMP crisis wherever we are.

May I share three important points up front?

Point #1: I do not think (or maybe hope) that a crisis of serious magnitude will take place in our lifetime.

Point #2: Yet one could… so I try to be somewhat prepared… without jerking my entire life out of joint.

Point #3:  None of the steps that Merri and I have taken below have anything to do with expecting a terrorist crisis.  One cannot foresee all the consequences of a maximum magnitude terrorist crisis. Trying to do so is inefficient… and wastes time. History suggests that humanity always figures out how to avoid the big terrorist crunch… and/or adapts when the terrorists attack.

Merri and I try to live our life down the path we feel we are led… enjoy it… prepare reasonably and then leave the rest in the hands of God.

Let’s look at what we have done about food and water.   Then recognizing that most of mankind does not or cannot live in places as isolated as ours, we’ll look at some more urban alternatives.

Our North Carolina farm can certainly provide all the food and water a family needs.  Many generations who lived here have proved this fact.

Yet it is our love for this life and the people of the Blue Ridge that brought and keeps us here part of each year…. not security from a terrorist attack.

This is a side benefit that this lifestyle provides us with an independent source of food…. domestic and wild.

On the wild side we see…

know-your-food

wild turkeys in our front yard…

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often.  This is a normal scene that I photographed. There were 15 turkeys in this flock… all cruising across our front yard.

I expect we could have plenty of venison…

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like these deer I photoed in our front yard.  I recently placed my wildlife camera up the hill from the house and…

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in a couple days…

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had pictures of 20 deer or so including this small forked horn. We saw two big bucks, (a big four point and six point) walking together on a recent walk.

Plus the creek is full of trout.  Here are a couple I stuck on one of our cabins.

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We have a pond also…

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that helps us on the domestic side, raising fish and ducks that…

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grow!

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Not to mention our geese.

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We never buy eggs because…

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our chickens lay more than we can eat and the flock…

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grows and…

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grows and grows.

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We have built a new varmint proof (I hope) pen that…

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includes a greenhouse sitting in a sunny spot so the chickens remain warm (and laying) though winter’s cold.

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Speaking of the greenhouse, we can grow greens and vegetables though the winter, plus…

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we have many apples and acres of blackberries, plus a storage place to keep them with our potatoes… plus

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pumpkins and squash and…

funky business

sunflowers grow really well here.  We especially focus on spaghetti squash as it stores through the winter in this potato cellar.

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Water.  Our creek starts at the top of our farm with many springs like this.

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Water is everywhere… pure… clean, seeping and trickling out of the rocks so by the time it reaches the lower part it is…

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this.

If a terrorist attack knocked out all forms of domestic energy, we would not even give up our hot baths since this…

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tub is heated by a wood fire.

We have transportation.

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and raise fish and grow greens in our back yard.

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We were doing all this before Merri and I had a clue about EMPs and the risk of a terrorist attack.

What can one do… if… you do not want to live on a farm?

There are options.

One option is an urban farm. A recent AP article entitled “USDA to Unveil “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative” by Ken Meter provides some clues. Here are excerpts from this article.   As I prepare for five days of announcements next week, when USDA plans to unveil its new “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative, the buzz across my desk is about the potential for urban agriculture.  EPA reminds that brownfield moneys can be used to convert polluted land into working farms in inner-city areas.  I think the potential is enormous, especially in formerly industrial cities, where the big factories are not going to come back, but there are large tracts of vacant land that already have water mains (think irrigation) running under them. Each of these cities spends billions of dollars for food, and can generate significant local income by building the farms and distribution channels needed to cycle that food within city borders. We’ll also need to grow new urban farmers, and tap the excellent skills that many new immigrants already have in growing food.

Did you know that forty-one percent of all U.S. agricultural commodities are sold from farms in metropolitan counties?  Were you aware that 55% of the money made from producing farm commodities was made in metropolitan areas in 2007 ($15.7 billion of $28.7 billion)?  Moreover, Department of Defense studies show that Victory Gardens during World War II produced 40% of all produce consumed by Americans, after two seasons of gardening. This shows the potential for small-scale activity adding up to a big difference.

Gardening can provide food… plus it is good for you.  I believe living on a farm has helped my health.  Walking a lot is good. Working in fresh air can’t be bad.

If you can’t or don’t want to garden… how about participating in Community Assisted Agriculture (CSA)?

Here is an article from the Local Harvest website which I have linked below.

Thinking about signing up for a CSA but want to learn more about the idea before you commit? Read on.  Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. In brief…

Advantages for farmers:

•    Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
•    Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
•    Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

•    Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
•    Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
•    Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
•    Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
•    Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

It’s a simple enough idea, but its impact has been profound. Tens of thousands of families have joined CSAs, and in some areas of the country there is more demand than there are CSA farms to fill it. The government does not track CSAs, so there is no official count of how many CSAs there are in the U.S.. LocalHarvest has the most comprehensive directory of CSA farms, with over 2,500 listed in our grassroots database. In 2008, 557 CSAs signed up with LocalHarvest, and in the first two months of 2009, an additional 300 CSAs joined the site.

The many of you who have, or plan to join us in Ecuador gain added food security because Ecuador is such an agricultural country. See more on this at Ecuador Food.

There are many Ecuador agricultural properties for sale at low prices. Here is an Ecuador avocado farm for sale. Here is the farm house and workers house from the back.

ecuador-tour

Here, in front of the houses, is the fruit… the cash generator.

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The avocados are flowering for their first crop.  See more on this Ecuador avocado farm here

The sky is not falling. Yet it could… because of a terrorist EMP attack.  So it makes sense to find enjoyable, healthy ways to live that also ensure your supply of food and water.

Gary

Let’s share ways and lifestyle alterations that protect as they provide joy, satisfaction, better health and enhanced wealth.

You may not be able to (or want) to move your home abroad or to a rural area.   Yet gardening, even in urban areas,  can be healthy and fun.  Holding some precious metals is probably a good investment anyway.  We should be taking care of our health even when their is no threat of war.

When it comes to holding assets abroad… our multi currency course can help.

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010.   Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emailed courses free.

Our multi seminar-tour discounts have grown!  See the 2010 winter schedule below.  To Enroll click below.

1 real estate tour  $499 Couple $749

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour ($499) Couple $749
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Feb. 15-16   Travel to Quito and Andes
Feb  17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

Learn more about Community Supported Agriculture here