Tag Archive | "the Financial Times;"

Retire in Ecuador – Beat Inflation


A good reason to retire in Ecuador or away from your home is to beat inflation.

Yesterday’s message looked at reason why inflation is not a problem now… but it will be… probably in a serious way.

See below three ways to beat inflation.

First… live or retire in Ecuador or any country where the cost of living is low.

These nice houses in Cotacachi were offered at $49,000.  That beats inflation when you retire in Ecuador.

retire in ecuador

Costs are low. This fixer upper in Cotacachi has an asking price of $30,000 with…

retire in ecuador

a huge yard filled with mature fruit trees and…

retire in ecuador

this view.

Second, invest in land or commodities.

A long time friend Steve Rosberg whom I first met when he was my banker in Ecuador recently sent me this note as he operates a timber plantation and real estate development in Argentina.

Gary, During our visit to New York two weeks ago, a friend and former colleague from my banker days pointed out that Latin America had been the perfect training ground to succeed in the current investment environment. I agree 100%.

In case there was any doubt, California’s  issuance of IOU’s to settle short term debt was the final confirmation, and was rapidly followed up by other corollary events, such as banks stating that these could not be accepted as deposits. This would be obvious to anybody thinking about it, but apparently, most people weren’t.

Those IOUs are a different ‘currency.’ They are a currency which you will see more of in the future, as the issuer (the CA government) is still running deficit budgets, and no new voluntary lenders are rushing in to fund them.

Decidedly a  scenario familiar to those of us who have been through a number of LatAm crises. If an Argentine president tried to pass those IOU’s off, nobody would be foolish enough to take them in the first place, and the international press would ridicule the plan as another example of LatAm fiscal impropriety.

Meanwhile, the debate seems to rage between “Are we going deeper into recession? Are we going into high inflation? Are we going into stagflation?”

The answer is yes, absolutely!

How do we position our portfolios to make the best of this without taking on more downside risk?

This is the crux of why we have developed our business as we have:

– to have growth even if there is recession (the trees keep growing, the vineyard too),
– to have value even if there is high inflation (timberland, vineyard, hotel, all real, appreciating assets that will both protect the real value of your initial investment from inflation’s erosion and generate cash flows that will also increase in this scenario),
– to have current revenue originating in the sustainable production of real assets,
– to do so in environmentally responsible ways, and
– to enjoy what we are investing in.

In short, what you want now for the long run.

We continue to believe that debt free assets producing real commodities and generating solid returns are the antidote to portfolios stricken by the poor performance of supposedly safe, “mainstream” assets, and will continue to be so going forward.

Yes, we’re from Argentina, that means we’ve been preparing for these markets for decades. Our customers didn’t lose money last year-they made it.

Visit our website and write back for more information, it’s always our pleasure to be in touch with you.

With best wishes, Steve Rosberg  www.ushay.com

Third, invest in commodity based equities.

The excerpt below is from our Multi Currency course and shows why global inflation is a problem.

A recent article in the Economist showed that the US deficit could be three trillion dollars in 2010.   Half of this would come from borrowed funds.  Normally this would cause the US dllar to fall versus other currencies.

A free fall in purchasing power of all currencies is also more likely than in previous recessions (1970s and 1980s), because then, the US overspent but other major governments, especially Germany and Japan, were still conservative and fiscally prudent.

This is no longer true. West Germany unhinged fiscal common sense when it absorbed Eastern Germany.

Excerpts from a May 14, 2009 article in the Financial Times entitled “Germany set to suffer record deficit” by Bertrand Benoit says:

The German government will record its biggest post-war budget deficit this year as the economic crisis sends tax revenues plummeting, Peer Steinbrück, finance minister, said on Thursday.

Mr Steinbrück admitted the federal deficit would exceed €50bn in 2009 and rise to €90bn next year, more than twice the previous record of €40bn set in 1996 as Germany was absorbing the huge cost of its unification. In contrast, the federal deficit last year was only €11.9bn..

Germany and Japan have both been hit especially hard by this recession because their economies have been so dependent on exports and global trade.

Germany has a huge amount of short-time working and its exports have fallen dramatically.  Like almost everywhere, government income is dropping as spending is on the rise.

If the German economy were to continue to shrink at its current pace, it will be a 20% smaller by the end of 2009.

This means Germany remains in default (as does France, Italy and Spain) of the three per cent limit in the EU stability pact.

All eurozone countries, but especially those with larger deficits, such as Italy and Spain, face a similar problem…  rising costs… aging populations… growing pension and health costs while faced with reduced income.

Asia Troubled As Well

This year, Japan suffered its first annual trade deficit in nearly three decades and business has slowed dramatically there. Global demand for Japanese products plummeted in 2008 and exports were down 16% in the year to March 2009 compared to 2008.

Hong Kong’s economy gives a glimpse into China’s economic soul and here business also contracted at the fastest rate since the Asian financial crisis.

The first three months of 2009 had the biggest drop in more than half a century.

The Hong Kong government predicted that GDP would contract by up to 6.5 per cent in 2009.  Total exports dropped 22.7 per cent in the first three months of 2009 compared with the previous year – the biggest drop since 1954. Overall investment fell by 12.6 per cent and private consumption by 5.5 per cent. The unemployment rate also rose to a 38-month high of 5.2 per cent in the first quarter.

Huge Economic Problems

Huge economic problems create huge investment opportunity and one of the greatest problems facing the world is that education has not evolved as fast as democracy.  Too many poorly educated voters expect their government to do more than they can… or should.  The voter’s desires and expectations are ill informed and generally incorrect… yet their vote is as powerful as an educated one.

This forces politicians to act (spend) more than they have.  This tends to create inflation.   This rather predictable fact has become increasingly global so choosing a strong currency becomes increasingly hard.  Most currencies are at risk to inflation.

This is why stocks, commodities, real estate and your own business makes so much sense now.   There is a caveat.  Always invest in good value in these things.

This is why my attention was really captured when I read about the ALTIS Global Resources Fund.

This is a fund that invests in commodity backed equities and is advised by value guru Michael Keppler.

If you are a new reader learn about Keppler Asset management here.

This creates a powerful combination for opportunity.  The figures below support this.

Michael Keppler recent sent me this note:

Gary, Attached please find the latest Fact Sheet and Performance Review (as of April 30, 2009) for the ALTIS Fund Global Resources, a global sector fund we advise, which was featured in an e-fund journal report of May 4, 2009 as one of the “top 10 natural resource equity funds” based on its 5-year Sharpe Ratio calculated by Lipper.

This fund seeks long-term growth of capital by investing primarily in equity securities issued by companies located anywhere in the world with business operations in the energy, natural resources and precious metals sectors.

You can learn more about this share and read this entire multi currency report as a subscriber to our multi currency course.

Economic fundamentals suggest that the price for ending the current recession will be inflation.

Three ways to fight inflation are retire in Ecuador or some other country with a low cost of living or to invest in real estate, commodities or commodity based investments.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about how to fight inflation and retire in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

Ecuador Capital Gains Tax


Ecuador Capital Gains Tax

Ecuador capital gains tax is not due on occasional property sale profits.

This is another Ecuador earning idea… fixing up properties… like this.

This can be profitable. Plus these profits can be tax efficient as well.

In Ecuador there is no capital gains tax on the occasional sale of real estate… so you can take a property like this…

Cotacachi condos

fix it t look like this…

Cotacachi-condos

and sell it without incurring income or tax tax liability in Ecuador.

You may still incur tax liability in your country of residence or citizenship. For example if you are a US citizen you may have US capital gains or Alternative Minimum Tax liability.

This is why it is of utmost importance that you consult a tax attorney on such matters.

In fact it now more important than ever to have legal advice (US citizens at least) when you bank and do business abroad.

For year’s we have advised readers of the advantages of investing, business opportunity and banking opportunities abroad.

The main benefit is greater opportunity.  This is the era of the global economy and those who invest globally have the greatest opportunity. This is the story we have been preaching for 41 years this May.

For example right now the US property market is quite slow. Ecuador’s market is strong.

Banking abroad provides access to more experienced global investment knowledge and the ability to execute global investments and business more efficiently.

Another benefit is added asset protection.

I regularly get notes like this from readers who are professionals and in business…

“Gary, I continue to be bothered by an unjust lawsuit that is actually  extortion.  The legal fees are crazy. Such is the legal system now that even when you are totally innocent, you lose even if you win.”

When you invest and do business globally, assets held correctly abroad are safer from seizure via civil action.

However, we have also continually warned of the great risk of doing global investing and business  without good legal advice. Monday’s message looked at the importance of making sure that you use overseas banks in the correct way.

An excerpt from a recent article in the Financial Times entitled “Swiss agree to relax bank secrecy rules” points out the importance of this advice.

The article says:

BERNE, March 13 – Switzerland agreed on Friday to relax its strict bank secrecy rules and co-operate more on tax evasion in a last-ditch attempt to fend off a global crackdown on tax havens that is rattling the offshore banking industry.

In a landmark statement, the Swiss government said it would embrace standards for tax cooperation and exchange of information set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, meaning more information on suspected tax evaders will be shared with other countries.

”Banking secrecy does not protect tax crimes. International cooperation on taxes has become more important given the globalisation of financial markets and in particular against the background of the financial crisis,” Swiss president and finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz told a news conference.

A decision on Thursday by tiny offshore rivals Liechtenstein and Andorra to adopt more tax co-operation has put even more pressure on Berne.

It comes on the heels of moves by other centres, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Jersey and the Isle of Man, to open up.”

An article in the New York Times outlines the focus importance that taxing authorities have placed on tax havens.  The article was about how US President Barrack Obama acted as a mediator during a recent tense meeting between The French President Sarkozy and Chinese President Hu who were arguing about tax havens during the Group of 20 meetings.

The article said:

“Mr. Sarkozy wanted the big communiqué produced by the Group of 20 to endorse naming and shaming global tax havens, maybe even including Hong Kong and Macao, which are under China’s sovereignty. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Hu was having none of it. He appeared angry that Mr. Sarkozy was effectively accusing China of lax regulation, and that the French leader was asking China to endorse sanctions issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of wealthy nations that Beijing has yet to join.

According to accounts provided by White House officials and corroborated by European and other officials also in the room, Mr. Obama escorted both men, one at a time, to a corner of the room, to judge the dispute. How about replacing the word “recognize,” Mr. Obama suggested, with the word “note?”

The result: “The era of banking secrecy is over,” the final communiqué said. “We note that the O.E.C.D. has today published a list of countries assessed by the Global Forum against the international standard for exchange of tax information.” Hong Kong and Macao did not appear on the list.

In other words, be global by all means… but make sure you have a local attorney who helps you do everything legally and correct.

The attorney I use is Joe Cox.  You can reach Joe at jcox@coxnici.com.

Learn more about Joe Cox here.

Back to the fixer uppers.

If a person spends time in Ecuador  and stays alert, they’ll see many incredible fixer upper bargains.

Just over a year ago, Merri and I bought the four story office building shown above.   We began cleaning it up an converting two floors into condos.

I could sell these for double what I paid… and still have the two downstairs floors… though they are not for sale.

Construction costs are low. Local craftsmen are handy.  They’ll do things you ask.  So we can afford to use great tiles in the kitchen but keep costs down.

This was the third floor… the kitchen especially…

was a mess.

Here is the third floor now.

ecuador-banks

This if fully furnished with…

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one bedroom and …

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office/den (or second bedroom)  and…

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balcony.   The kitchen now…

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looks great.  The hardwood cabinets had not been installed when I took this shot.

This was the 4th floor, before…

now let’s head up the stairs and see  it after.

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This is a loft studio with…

ecuador-banks

great light and an open feel with…

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full dining area and…

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kitchen.

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These floors are among the highest points in the village and views from both units are the best around.  Morning’s give…

the sunrise over Mt. Imbabura.

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Evenings offer sunset in the east on Mt. Cotacachi.

ecuador-banks

Views are great at night with the village alight.

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and you can see the entire village…

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and both mountains during the day.

Where we had huge walls we said…”How about windows with a view?”.   The builder  figured out what height was needed to see Mt. Cotacachi and simply knocked the window openings in the walls. Then he built hardwood window surrounds that frame this view.

ecuador-banks

The bathroom includes a full tiled bathtub and spa shower like this.

ecuador-hotel-savings

The king size sleeping nook has this view also and is fully curtained…

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with full hardwood closets.

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These units are available for rental on a three, six or 12 month lease by the way.

Fixing up has property provided Merri and me with sopme nice extra profit… that is totally tax free in Ecuador. Though our last Ecuador fixer upper profits did create some US tax liability.

In these times of change the best ways to gain opportunity are with real estate, commodities, stocks and your own business.  For those who want to live full or part time in Ecuador and earn extra tax efficient profits, that avoid Ecuador capital gains, consider buying and fixing up Ecuador property.

Gary

Join us in Ecuador.

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17. $499 Enroll here.   $749 For a couple.

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21.  $499 Enroll here.  $749 For a couple.

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24.  $399 Enroll here. $499 For a couple.

Take Two for One. Attend any of the three international business & investing courses below and select any one of the tours above free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

Sign up for our three May 2009 tours and attend any of the IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web seminar above FREE.

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.

Learn about our July 2009 Ecuador export tour 2-4-1 deal here.

See our full 2009 schedule here.


Financial Experience, Skill and


Financial common sense is important no matter how much financial skill and financial experience one has.

This is one reason I enjoy working with Jyske Bank.  They apply great doses of common sense.

When the sub prime loan scandal shook the global financial industry Jyske had very little exposure.

When  New York financier Bernard Madoff  generated a fraud of $50bn, I was surprised to see how many major banks and investment managers were duped for billions!   How can  experienced, supposedly skilled investors and money majors, do something so dumb.

I knew that Jyske Bank would be better than this…but I  had to ask Jyske if they had invested with Madoff.

Here is their reply.

“We did not have any exposure however some of the other big banks did (Danske bank and Nordea) also a big Danish pension company.

When someone can make 10-15 percent every year without a losing year it
should raise some questions! I always say if it is to good to be true ..it is!

This is why my confidence in Jyske as the main bank that protects my wealth has grown over the past two decades.

Those who were ripped off were not yokels. Look at this list of institutions that internet news says  lost a billion dollars or more.  I am excluding a host of banks and huge investors who lost hundreds of millions.  These firms should have known better.

Spain’s Banco Santander, which owns Abbey and Alliance and Leicester, said its hedge fund unit invested nearly 4 Billion of client funds with Bernard Madoff.

Fairfield Greenwich Group  invested $7.5 Billion.

GMAC chairman Jacob Ezra Merkin’s Ascot Partners  invested most of its $1.8 Billion.

HSBC is reported by the Financial Times to have a potential exposure of about One Billion dollas.

Kingate Management Ltd  invested $3.5 Billion dollars.

Again and again I have observed Jyske sidestepping financial debacles while their competitors lose through the smple lack of  finacial common sense.

My hat is off to the management of Jyske Bank for avoiding Madoff.   Often the pressures of competition lure investment maagers and banks toward great deals that seem too good to be true.  Jyske was not sucked in…beause of their good common sense.

Gary

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

Jyske Gobal Asset Management will join us Feb. 13-15 for our course International Business & Investing Made EZ

Join us and then stay on for a real estate tour Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

We’ll view this hotel if it has not sold. It has a huge front porch.

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Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

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Beautiful flowered front yard.

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The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. If you subscribe, you can have this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

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
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

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.