Tag Archive | "Switzerland"

Ecuador Sunday in Manta


Ecuador Sunday’s in Manta can be wonderfully civilized even from your own $49,000 sea view condo…as you will see below.

Manta is Ecuador’s fastest growing city…has been for years.

As an international port there are parts of the town that are rough. FOR EXAMPLE, STAY AWAY FROM THE TUNA FACTORIES IN NORTH MANTA…PHEW!

Yet at its center Manta is quite civilized, everything evolving around the Oro Verde Hotel.

Oro Verdes are great! The first hotel we ever visited in Ecuador was the Oro Verde Guayaquil. I loved it! Though sadly I have been told that Oro Verde Cuenca filled in the beautiful lake that wrapped around it. They turned it into parking.

I guess Big Yellow Taxi’s go there now…remember the lament.

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot

A pity about that in Cuenca…but the Oro Verde Manta is still great….especially on Sunday morns.

manta-condo-for-sale

They have a killer breakfast buffet and the restaurant has wonderful sea views. Yet the Oro Verde Manta is special for Merri and me for another reason…

manta-condo-for-sale

Cinnamon rolls and…

manta-condo-for-sale

croissants.

Merri and I lived in England and Europe for over a decade…spent a lot of time in Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy. We picked up some bad habits…like European bread and for me dark roasted coffee.

We take care with our nutrition, so we limit our access to these potential sins…but on Sunday mornings we allow ourselves to let go! We’ll eat croissants if we can find good ones.

This makes the Oro Verde Manta special because overall bread in Ecuador sucks. I love the food in Cotacachi except the bread. I dare you to find a croissant that a Frenchman would spit on.

The Manta Oro Verde has some of the best croissants, pan au chocolat and cinnamon rolls in the world! We live 40 minutes north in San Clemente and even though we are no longer city folk, we just might drive all the way.

For those who want to be in the city there is an easer solution…buy a condo in Manta. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and form.

Here is one at the low end we visited on our last coastal real estate tour.

manta-condo-for-sale

This is a few blocks off the beach…but very walkable to the water.

All tile and clean almost to sterility.

manta-condo-for-sale

The sitting-dining area has an ocean view…no balconies though.

manta-condo-for-sale

The bedroom…

manta-condo-for-sale

has a shot of the ocean as well.

manta-condo-for-sale

The kitchen is efficient and compact.

manta-condo-for-sale

as is the washer and dryer.

manta-condo-for-sale

Plus there are plenty of closets.

manta-condo-for-sale

We met the couple who live in the penthouse above…nice people…Americans who work in New York from Manta via broadband.

All in all this is a nice unit, I am guessing about 750 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in a good part of town. The asking price is $49,000…fully furnished…all appliances included.

I have just sent a Manta condo report with more details and broker contacts to our Ecuador Living subscribers. You can find our how to subscribe here.

Until next message, may your Sundays go really well.

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.

Ecuador-real-estate-advertising

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.

Manta-Condo

The patio has this view.

manta-condo tags

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Here is a long shot of Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-condos

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Multi Currency Bank Risk


Multi currency investing and multi currency banks reduce risk.

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

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

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

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

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

However, recently one Danish Bank had problems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The article says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next message, may you be happy too.

Gary

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

International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina

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

farm colors

Thomas Fisher speaking to our delegates at the farm.

seminar-roses

orange-roses

multi-currency-meeting

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

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

multi-currency-meeting-in-autumn

Multi Currency Strategy Emerging


Multi currency strategy emerging markets are worth review now. Recent multi currency messages entitled Multi Currency USA and Multi Currency Global looked at the importance of multi currency investments in Europe, Japan and the US.

We continue the multi currency review in this message looking at Jyske Bank’s multi currency strategic review of the biggest emerging market, China. Jyske says:

Seen in the light of a major slowdown in economic growth, Chinese exports will come under heavy fire in the coming months. Given a weaker export sector, and presumably also weaker investments in the private sector as well as slower activity in domestic property-related activities, we anticipate a moderate slowdown in economic growth. By Chinese standards, moderate still means economic growth above 8%, and for the rest of the year, the growth rate will presumably be around 9%, i.e. a growth rate just below 10% for 2008.

International investors have been concerned that the Chinese government would react too slowly to growth risks and that this would send up the risk of a serious setback (i.e. GDP growth rates much lower than 8%). Such fear seems to be out of place, based on the demand figures for July. Foreign trade, retail trade and fixed investments beat expectations although industrial activity is gearing down marginally.

The Chinese authorities have traditionally introduced macro-economic policies supporting economic growth, including an expansionary fiscal policy, monetary-policy easing etc. to avoid a hard landing. We also expect that this will happen this time if growth seems to be too slow. The authorities have recently raised the tax benefit on exports and eased up the tight management of corporate loans in the financial sector.

On the domestic front, the trend in consumer demand is still impressive: July’s 23.3% growth in retail sales was higher than expected. This happened although consumers are squeezed by higher food prices, the solid correction in the Chinese equity market and a slowdown in the real-estate market (although the impact from the two last-mentioned factors was reflected in lower sales figures for cars, furniture and building materials).

With prospects of a moderate slowdown in industrial activity in the coming quarters, the growth in Chinese demand for many important commodities will presumably slow down. Recent data indicate that this trend has already set in: for instance crude-oil imports dropped back by 2.1% m/m in July and by 8.7% in June whereas iron ore imports dropped by 4.2% and 3.5% in these two months.

This suggests that investors are more worried about China than they should be. Chinese growth looks dimmed, but by most financial measures even this dimmer light is bright compared to economics in most countries. The fundamental economic fact is that China is the most populated nation on earth racing into middle class capitalism.

Equity investors may have over reacted and oversold the Chinese market.

In August, the LA Times wrote:

SHANGHAI — Many Chinese investors had hoped the Olympics would give a boost to their nation’s sagging stock market. So far, just the opposite has happened. The benchmark Shanghai composite index tumbled 5.3% on Monday, falling for the sixth time in seven trading sessions. The index has plunged 15% since the Beijing Games opened Aug. 8, and it now stands at 2,320 — down 56% since the start of the year, making it one of the worst performers in the world.

Since then the market has not rallied.

The Guardian wrote yesterday (Sept. 8, 2008): The main Shanghai index <.SSEC> shed 2 percent on Monday, touching a fresh 20-month low, despite a rally elsewhere in Asia triggered by the takeover of the two firms.

The U.S. Treasury’s takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is good news in the short term for China, the biggest holder of the giant mortgage lenders’ debt, but Beijing’s huge U.S. exposure still poses a serious risk, a prominent government researcher said on Monday.

The Shanghai stock market is down 67% in less than a year. Yet as Jyske noted above, foreign trade, retail trade and fixed investments are beating expectations.

This is the type of multi currency distortion we look for as value investors.

This does not mean we should jump headlong into Chinese shares.

China according to the analysis of Michael Keppler remains one of the low value markets. Keppler’s sell candidates are China , Egypt , India , Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco.

Market timing rarely works. Value investing is far more effective and based on value alone, it apears to be too soon to jump in the Chinese market in a broad way.

However we can start reviewing Chinese opportunities looking for specific values.

One share to check is Hyflux Water. Hyflux is a Singapote company that provides water services in China. Keppler ranks Singapore as a low value major market along with Austria , Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.S.A, but Hyflux may offer good value now.

I first wrote about Hyflux in 2004.

We invested $51,000 in our Model Green Portfolio last November. This investment has dropped to $40,193.

We are reviewing Hyflux now in our Multi Currency Portfolio Course.

Gary

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

International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina

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

farm colors

Thomas Fisher speaking to our  delegates at the farm.

seminar-roses

orange-roses

multi-currency-meeting

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

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

multi-currency-meeting-in-autumn

Multi Currency Investing Value in Change


Multi currency investing in change creates opportunity if you stick to value as well.

We have a great rooster here at the farm.   Beautiful.

Blue-Ridge-rooster

So now we also have some new chicks!

Blue-ridge-chick

What fun!

Watching them started me thinking about multi currency investing cycles and evolution.

If we look, we can see mankind and our multi currency, global economy evolve in ways that make sense.

Yet the shift are often hard to see.

On a recent trip Merri and I were stuck next to a TV (we do not have this at the farm) and the show was called Mad Men…about ad men in the 50s.  The smoking everywhere, three martini lunches, incredible sexual harassment, gender, religious and racial bias.

Wow, consider how much we have progressed!  Perfection now? No.  Better than before…I think so and we are making progress.

How can we spot, and position ourselves for change?

The economic doldrums of today will create the life styles of tomorrow. High rising costs of energy…food and essentials are creating a more spiritual world.

People are learning to look within for their fulfillment rather than relying on the shopping cart of the material market place to bring them joy.

They are more likely to spend more time in their church, mosque, synagogue or other place of religious worship than in Wal Mart.

Is this bad?

They may enjoy more friends, family and their social community.  Perhaps spend more time hiking and in nature or contemplating…slowing down to enjoy life more.

Think, if nothing, else of the environmental good.

How do we prepare our lives, our business, our finances for this new way?

During the 40 years I have been investing abroad, I have observed seven golden investing trends.

#1: 1970s Gold & Silver.

#2: Japan , Germany , Switzerland , England , Australia and Hong Kong .

#3: 1980s. The Tigers, Taiwan , Singapore Malaysia and South Korea , & Turkey .

#4: Early 1990s. South America (which led me to Ecuador).

#5: Late 1990s and 2000s. China , India and Eastern Europe .

#6: Invest in Real Estate Throughout.

#7: Bet Against the US Dollar Throughout

Now an eighth powerful green trend is in force.

How do we tap into this new economic wave?

Good value investments in water, alternate energy and environmental salvation offer incredible opportunity…if you maintain a good sense of value.

Like with all huge shifts, there will be scams and over priced investments.

An article by Alex Williams entitled, “That Buzz in Your Ear May Be Green Noise” touches on this when it says:

“DESPITE the expense and the occasional back strain, Mary Burnham, a public relations consultant in San Francisco, felt good about the decision she made a few years ago to buy milk — organic, of course — only in heavy, reusable glass bottles. For the sake of the environment, she dutifully lugged them back and forth from the grocery store every week. Cutting out disposable paper cartons, she reasoned, meant saving trees and reducing waste.

“Or not. A friend, also a committed environmentalist, recently started questioning her good deed. ‘His argument was that paper cartons are compostable and lightweight and use less energy and water than the heavy bottles, which must be transported back to a plant to be cleaned and reused,’ she said. “I have no idea which is better, or how to find out.”

“Ms. Burnham, 35, recycles religiously, orders weekly from a community-supported farm, buys eco-friendly cleaning products and carries groceries in a canvas bag. But she admits to information overload on the environment — from friends, advice columns, news media, even government-issued reports. Much of the advice is conflicting.

“To say that you are confused and a little fed up with the often contradictory messages out there on how to live lightly on the earth is definitely not cool,” she said in an e-mail message. “But, heck, I’ll come out and say it. I’m a little overwhelmed.”

“She is, in other words, a victim of ‘green noise’ — static caused by urgent, sometimes vexing or even contradictory information played at too high a volume for too long.”

Green is good but as mankind learns and evolves, there will be plenty of spin. There will be more than enough turmoil and confusion about what is best and what will succeed.

The true guide that can guide you through the noise that is created during new economic waves is value.

For example investments in wind power make sense. T.  Boone Pickens has just announced that he will make a huge investment in wind power.

An NPR article said: “After decades investing in oil, T. Boone Pickens is now pouring billions of dollars into what he calls America’s biggest wind farm. Pickens envisions putting up 2,500 turbines in Texas to generate 4,000 megawatts of energy — enough to power 1.3 million homes.

“Pickens says America is living with oil prices of more than $140 per barrel and gasoline topping $4 per gallon because it didn’t plan for its energy future.

“The mistake was made because we didn’t have the leadership that stepped up and said, ‘We cannot continue to import foreign oil,'” Pickens tells Steve Inskeep.

“Wind currently generates a relatively small percentage of the nation’s power, with most coming from coal, nuclear and natural gas.

“Pickens says he would like to use more wind for power generation and shift natural gas for use as a transportation fuel.

“We’ve got plenty of natural gas,” he says. “That’s the beauty of it. Natural gas is cleaner, it’s cheaper, it’s abundant and it’s domestic.”

“He notes that the United States, with just 4 percent of the world’s population, uses 25 percent of the world’s oil supply — most of it imported.

“Pickens says he wants the government to extend a production tax credit for wind power for a period long enough to encourage investment in the technology.

“The federal government recently issued a report forecasting that 20 percent of U.S. power generation could come from wind energy by the year 2030. Pickens says that’s too long from now — he’ll be 102 years old.

“This has to happen quicker than that,” he says. “We’ll be broke if you wait for this to all take place by 2030.”

Wind investments may be good, but not all wind investments all the time. Yet not all wind investments may be good.

Jyske Bank recently placed a sell recommendation on one of the most successful recent shares we have tracked, Vestas, the wind and turbine maker. See why here.

Green is good now. Paying too much for an investment, regardless of its color is never good.   Even when you ride the wave always keep your eye on value.

Learn more about how to spot good value investments at

Until next message may all you values always be good.

Gary

Join us, stay at our farm and learn about intuitive investing for Susan Rotman’s business intuition course.
Or join me with Jyske Global Asset Management to learn more about value investing.

International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

America Leads the Way


America Leads the way…sadly often in the wrong direction.

Though my name is Scott, I like so many Americans am also Irish, thanks to my Grandma McGee.  In fact though she lived in Oregon for more than sixty years, she never became a US citizen.

Yet I have done nothing about this and remain only a US citizen…nor do I intend to.  First, it’s a lot of work registering that Irish citizenship…getting all the documents together and such.  Yet there are other reasons…we’ll see in a moment.

In a recent discussion with a friend, who was also a dual national,  I learned that he gave up his American citizenship.

His reasons were good but for many this does not make sense.  The second reason I remain in the US…this is one of the countries I know my way around best.  I have friends and family and a terrific support system developed here.

The number one rule for good investing and business is to do what you love. Rule #2 is to do or invest in what you know.

I love the US, this magnificent country and the wonderful people so the US is a good place for me to be.

Too few people who leave the US think of this personal aspect.  They become so caught up in high taxation or the bad parts of this nation’s evolution and want to leave. I do not blame them but recommend that they are sure they know where they are going before they irrevocably leave the US.

While recently visiting friends in Seattle, I was talking with their cleaning lady and her daughter from the Czech Republic.  They told me how they had moved to America to be in the land of the free and to live the American dream.  Now they are going back for better opportunity in Eastern Europe.  Plus they feel they will have more freedom there.

For the Czech couple, this may make sense.  They know the Czech Republic and have more friends, family and support back in their original home.

This is a pretty bad commentary on America where opportunity used to be so good that to was worth giving up the old for the new.

Now maybe it’s not.  So many freedoms have been lost in America.   So many new regulations have been been born.  Life is now so complicated.  America is  burdened with an overworked tort system, a failing health and insurance system and monumental federal debt that has and continues to destroy the dollar.

Many Americans feel stifled.  Many fear things will get even worse.

There can be tax benefits to moving abroad (though new tax laws tax those who leave and any gifts they give to Americans before they leave).  It is certainly easier to open a bank account abroad if you are not a US citizen, plus if one has immigrated, a citizenship elsewhere can make life in one’s new country easier and better as well.

Plus I know from living abroad for decades how one feels out from under the eye “Big Brother”, once you live in another country.

Despite these facts, (this may seem strange for me, as one of the first proponents of being a one man multi national), I have no plans to abandon my US citizenship….nor my residence in the US.

This is a well informed choice.  I have lived for many years in Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as the US….so my choice is based on experience.

This global lifestyle has confirmed one important fact….every country has its great good points and its flaws.

If I know and like the US, have children and grandchildren here…why move?
Why spend the time and resources to make a switch?

I see nothing wrong with changing citizenships, especially for those who earn and live abroad, but except in certain cases, I wonder if the benefits are worth the effort?

Instead I devote my efforts to maintaining flexibility and utilizing options.

To me flexibility in earning and asset allocation are more important than citizenship because change is taking place everywhere.  I would rather be a US citizen and have one or two other places to go if everything goes south here, than abandon one of the places I know best, for somewhere new that could have negative changes as well.

America has problems but regrettably as the world’s biggest economy leads the way for other nations to follow.

Take federal deficit spending as an example. For many years it was easy to invest out of the US dollar. The American government was a spendthrift going deeper and deeper into a more of debt.  Other industrial, nations, especially Germany and Japan were much more fiscally prudent.  The the Japanese and German’s learned from the US how to borrow massively every time the economy slowed.

There is a great erosion of freedom in other countries also not just the US.

Let’s look at some specifics.

A July 2 USA Today article entitled “IRS gets OK to request UBS information” says:

“A federal judge in Miami authorized the Internal Revenue Service to request information from UBS about U.S. taxpayers who may be using Swiss bank accounts to evade federal income taxes,” the Justice Department said Tuesday.

“The so-called John Doe summons is used to obtain information about possible tax fraud by people whose identities are unknown. The judge granted the government’s request for a court order a day after it made what a Justice Department spokesman called an unprecedented request for the records. The order ‘directs UBS to produce records identifying U.S. taxpayers with accounts at UBS in Switzerland who elected to have their accounts remain hidden from the IRS,’ the Justice Department said in a statement.”

To me this is a horrible breach of law. How can UBS know if a taxpayer has their account hidden from the IRS?

Yet the US is not alone. Take the UK as an example. I love England was resident there for a decade in this nation and was resident there for many years…but the wonderful freedoms of the Common Law have been eroding just ike in the US.

A recent article at Telegraph.com entitled “Safety deposit box raids yield £1bn of drugs, cash and guns” by Richard Edwards, says:

“Police have seized a potential £1 billion ‘treasure trove’ of cash, drugs and guns in an unprecedented raid on concrete vaults holding 7,000 safety deposit boxes.
Police officers close Park Street in Mayfair before raiding Park Lane Safe Deposit in connection with suspected money laundering operations.”

“Members of the public who have innocently and legally stored their valuables were ‘inevitably’ going to get swept up in the disruption, it was predicted. Police said they could use a freephone number – 0800 030 4613 – to claim back their goods.”

In both cases, innocent parties who have done nothing illegal nor even irregular are going to be inconvenienced at the least.

Let’s look at Canada in another example. Many Canadians are in a fuss over the proposed C-51 laws.  WWW.stop c51 warns Canadians that Bill C-51 will allow government agents to:

* Enter private property without a warrant                    Section 23 (4)
* Confiscate your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 a
* Dispose of your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 c
* Seize your bank accounts without a warrant                     Section 23 (2)
* Levy fines of up to $5,000,000.00 / 2 years in jail per offense. Section 31.1
* Allow laws to be created in Canada, behind closed doors, with the assistance of foreign governments, industrial and trade organizations     Section 30.7
* Allow ‘Crack house style’ of enforcement on natural health providers
Section 23.1″
Plus the site warns more losses of freedom.

There is a government site that says this law will not create these problems but one wonders.  When income tax was first introduced in the US, it was promised it would never rise beyond 2%!

America has enormous tort problems. Every US business worries about lawsuits,
but before you move to France to escape this problem read this article:

“A French court on Monday ordered the online auction giant eBay to pay 38.6 million euros, or $61 million, in damages to the French luxury goods company LVMH, in the latest round in a long-running legal battle over the sale of counterfeit goods on the Internet.

“LVMH, a maker of high-end leather goods, perfumes and other fashion and luxury products, successfully challenged eBay for a second time in the French court, arguing that 90 percent of the Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfumes sold on eBay are fakes.

“The court ruled that eBay, which earns a commission on the sales, was not doing enough to stamp out counterfeit sales.”

Change is everywhere.  We should always look for a balance in our living, earning and investing, that fits our lifestyle and circumstances.  We should seek flexibility and options…but remember that problems are everywhere.

Thank God for problems.  Problems are a sign of evolution and problems create opportunity.  Who wants to live in a land without opportunity?

The problems we see from eroding freedoms are not dilemmas unique to the USA.
They are problems of increased populations all trying to do and have more.  Life seems more complicated today because it is more complicated in some ways.

The more moving parts a machine has…the more likely it will break.   Our social systems have more and more people moving faster and governments working to do just that-govern. One definition of govern is: “manipulate b: to control the speed of (as a machine) especially by automatic means.”

Wherever you live…work…earn look for the problems and figure out the opportunity. If part of that opportunity comes in the form of a new residence or citizenship…that’s great. Go for it…yet realize that this is not the best solution for everyone.

Until next message, may all your freedom come from within and all your problems be good.

Gary

Learn ways to increase your earnings options though international business.

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Or Join our Ecuador Import Export Tour this October.

Here is what a reader recently wrote about this course:

“We are now generating business from our Ecuador site www.retire-in-ecuador.com. People are responding to go and live in Ecuador. Our imports from Ecuador are also going well. We have only been trading for 6 weeks, and some customers (gift shops) have re-ordered four times. We only need 100 like them and we will have a sustainable business. We are currently establishing about 10 new customers per week, and are in the process of appointing agents for the other states. We will soon have an “Andes Artisans” site operating www.andes-artisans.com. So keep an eye out.”

International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun Part II


International investing and business have proven themselves over the past 40 years to be profitable. And even more than the profits are the broadened horizons, fulfillment and fun!

Yesterday’s message International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun looked at why International investing and business should be a fun filled process…not a dull boring set of numbers.

One reason for this is that those who live a fulfilled, involved fun existence are likely to be healthier…with less need for expensive pharmaceuticals and medical treatment.

This makes life better plus can save huge amounts of cash.

This is likely to become even more important in the years ahead for those who live in much of the Western world.   Existing medical systems are already filled with problems.  Inflation and aging populations will make the problems even worse.

At the turn of the decade, The World Health Organization analyzed the world’s health systems. The WHO used five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states.

The five performance indicators were:

* Fairness of financial contribution.  While private health expenses in industrial countries now average only some 25 percent because of universal health coverage (except in the United States, where it is 56%), in India, families typically pay 80 percent of their health care costs as “out-of- pocket” expenses when they receive health care.

* Overall Level of Health.

* Distribution of Health in the Populations:  the average level – goodness – and the smallest feasible differences among individuals and groups – fairness.

* Responsiveness: respect for persons including dignity, confidentiality and autonomy of individuals and families to decide about their own health as well as prompt attention and access to social support networks during care, quality of basic amenities and choice of provider.

* Distribution of Financing.

The study revealed that U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries.  The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th.  Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.

Here is the WHO ranking.

1         France
2         Italy
3         San Marino
4         Andorra
5         Malta
6         Singapore
7         Spain
8         Oman
9         Austria
10       Japan
11       Norway
12       Portugal
13       Monaco
14       Greece
15       Iceland
16       Luxembourg
17       Netherlands
18       United  Kingdom
19       Ireland
20       Switzerland
21       Belgium
22       Colombia
23       Sweden
24       Cyprus
25       Germany
26       Saudi Arabia
27       United  Arab  Emirates
28       Israel
29       Morocco
30       Canada
31       Finland
32       Australia
33       Chile
34       Denmark
35       Dominica
36       Costa Rica
37       United  States  of  America
38       Slovenia
39       Cuba

Most of the readership of this site live in countries where the medical system is not even in the top 15 countries!

This means that many of us, (especially us boomers now in our 60s), may want to rely on a good lifestyle to keep our health…not the medical system.

The cost of this medical system is another reason we want to have independence
rather than reliance on government funded programs.  We’ll see why next message.

Until then, may your international investing and business be good…and fun!

Gary

Learn about our next International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador