Tag Archive | "United Kingdom"

International Investing Trick


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But which shares… in which markets?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

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

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

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

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

2006     7.40%          18.23%

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

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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

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

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

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

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

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

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

International Investing & Business Index


Making international investing and business decisions based around an index of happiness can add depth to your international investment and business decisions.

Understanding what will happen globally is important to everyone’s decision making process on where to do business… where to invest and where to live.

We’ll see below that Ecuador is high on NEF’s (New Economics Foundation) Happiness Index (more on the index in a moment)… but this index is about much more than Ecuador.

This index is about the world… the future…. prosperity and poverty… life and death.  We should know it… especially because it is quite hard to believe.

You’ll see below why:

* Seemingly poor countries may have an advantage in the years ahead.

* The richest countries may not be the best places to invest or start a business.

* How to use new techniques to see what the future may bring socially and economically.

NEF is an independent think-and-do tank that tries to analyze real economic well-being.  NEF’s aim is to improve the world’s quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environmental and social issues.

NEF says:  NEF’s report, the Happy Planet Index: An index of human well-being and environmental impact, published in association with Friends of the Earth, moves beyond crude ratings of nations according to national income, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to produce a more accurate picture of the progress of nations based on the amount of the Earth’s resources they use, and the length and happiness of people’s lives.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) strips the view of the economy back to its absolute basics: what we put in (resources), and what comes out (human lives of different length and happiness). The resulting Index of the 178 nations for which data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go.  In terms of delivering long and meaningful lives within the Earth’s environmental limits – all nations could do better.  No country achieves an overall ‘high’ score on the Index, and no country does well on all three indicators.

This index is important because everyone is increasingly faced with complicated problems, parts of which are unknown or unreachable.

This index is worth sharing because as I read it,  my first thought was “nonsense.”

Who would have placed the nations of Guyana, Bosnia, Georgia  and Romania above the UK for happiness?  Yet  Guyana is 63rd in the index. the UK 74th.

Here is 63 to 74 on the happiness index.

63. Guyana
64. Belgium
65. Bosnia and Herzegovina
66. Slovenia
67. Israel
68. Korea
69. Italy
70. Romania
71. France
72. Georgia
73. Slovakia
74. United Kingdom

Guyana happier than France and the UK?

I wanted to reject it.

Then it made me begin to realize… the somewhat disturbing fact that as far as potential for happiness goes, Americans are almost at the bottom of this international index… along with the British and most Europeans.

Reading this index made me realize that we cannot use old standards of the past to analyze what will happen in the future.

About the time of this thought, a page from an old John Sanford novel, “The Hanged Man’s Song” came to light.

The prime person in this fiction is a computer hacker… a very logical, scientific thinking person… but who also from time to time uses a totally unscientific way to process information… tarot cards.

The story says:

So I got the cards out, my tarot cards.  I’m not exactly a scientist – I was trained as an engineer-but I have studied the philosophy of science and I’m a true believer.  The tarot as a predictive system is superstitious nonsense. The deck is useful as a gaming device, though and that’s how I use it.

Like this: we are forced to deal with complicated problems, when some facets of the problem are unknown or unreachable, we deal with them in terms of our past experience. That’s almost inescapable. But approaches that are useful with some problems don’t work with others. The tarot deck, when used as a gaming system, pushes you outside past experience and encourages you to think of new ways to deal with it.

Say for example, you are involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were involved in a complicated business transaction and that the group you were dealing with, the opposition,consisted of five men and a women. You begin doing the tarot spreads and see a number of indications of female influence.

This does not mean that the deck correctly predicts female influence in the transaction, but suggests that you should sit back and think about the woman on the other side, who might otherwise seem to be just another functionary. Why is she there? What specific influences does she have? Is there a way to approach her that would help the deal?

This has nothing to do with supernatural-it’s simply a human way, and a fairly subtle way to game a problem.

This started me looking at the index more.

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Sustainability and cost of happiness are a part of the index. This is why we grow some of our own crops at our farm… like the lettuce we harvest around our backyard pool.

The Happiness Index pushes us beyond our past experience.  This international index does challenge mainstream thinking.

Imagine Haiti is 41st on the list.  Denmark 105th.

99. Uruguay
100. Ghana
101. Latvia
102. Australia
103. New Zealand
104. Belarus
105. Denmark

That started me thinking for sure.

NEF is composed of some very intelligent people so their approach does have  logic. NEF calls it a new global measure of progress, the ‘Happy Planet Index’.

The NEF logic factors in the short and long term cost of happiness.

Mainstream thinking uses measurements like growth of GDP… but ignores the relativity involved. If GDP rises 10% this is considered good.  Traditional thinkers do not ask what is the cost of this growth to our environment. How much will we, our children and grandchildren have to pay in the future for this current growth?

Nor does the mainstream paradigm compare the happiness efficiency of a nation.

The NEF Happiness Index takes into account whether a culture is using more than its fair share of the Earth’s resources.

This creates a new international ranking of environmental impact and well-being and reveals a very different picture of the wealth, and poverty of nations.

Environmental Efficiency

NEF’s view is that Happiness Efficiency is a phrase and concept worth knowing and using in consideration of the overall (long and short term) success of a nation.

We all know the benefits of efficiency. Now we have a way to measure a really important long term efficiency.  We could call it the “cost per smile” or “laughter earning ratio”.

This really makes sense because it is the inherent nature of all living things to strive for happiness and satisfaction and avoid stress.  If the population of a nation needs to do and spend a lot to attain it… that nation is likely to have economic problems due to its lack of efficiency compared to other nations.

NEF’s index combines environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which countries provide long and happy lives.

The results are surprising, even shocking.

The index shows a very different hierarchy of success than we normally assume.

For example, the US is a disappointing 114th in happiness ranking behind  countries like Mongolia, Malawi and Chad.

106. Mongolia
107. Malawi
108. Russia
109. Chad
110. Lebanon
111. Macedonia
112. Congo
113. Madagascar
114. United States of America

NEF’s report also says:

“It is clear that no single nation listed in the Happy Planet Index has got everything right. But the Index does reveal patterns that show how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means. The challenge is – can we learn the lessons and apply them? Governments the world over have been concentrating on the targets for too long. If you have the wrong map, you are unlikely to reach your destination”, says Nic Marks, head of NWF’s Centre for well-being.

The HPI shows that high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being (life-satisfaction).  This suggests that it is possible to produce high levels of well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources.

The report also shows that a culture can have a long, happy life with a small environmental impact.   America and Germany have similar life satisfaction and life expectancy. Germany’s Ecological Ecological footprint is barely half that in America.   This means that Germany is twice as efficient as the USA at generating happy long lives based on the resources they consume.

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Sustainability is important for long term happiness which is why we bought a farm with lots of spring fed water, like this stream that flows in our backyard.

How can we use this index in business and investing?

I am not sure how accurate this index is or how important it will be.  Accuracy is not all that important though because, if nothing else, this index is a thought process put together by intelligent people that can help us see and think outside the box… something we always need to do.

We must always ask, what comes next?  This index might help us answer this question by adding one more small light that reflects of what might be in the days ahead.  Now we can see better how a country is doing now plus how the cost of the current success may affect the future.

Thinking outside the box is almost always a criteria for long term success. For those who believe this, NEF’s Happiness Index will help make them happy!

Ecuador is 25th on the index.  See the top 25 countries on the index and more about Ecuador’s Index here

Gary

Join us July 24-26 in the cool Blue Ridge during the hot summer and save $299.

We hope you’ll share our beautiful lifestyle in the cool Blue Ridge with us this summer. July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

Merri and I love our life in the Blue Ridge… the rushing streams and..

investing-course

cool, green forest.

We invite delegates to the farm for lunch and we’ll take a walk through the woods with delegates who would like to…

investing-course

enjoy nature and the views.

We’ll have a wine tasting of Blue Ridge organic wines. Here are delegates at the tasting last year.

investing-course

I have just sent our multi currency email course subscribers a report on coffee related shares that now have a strong upward trend.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Read the NEF  report at www.neweconomics.org/gen/m1_i1_aboutushome.aspx

Wild Health & Profit


Two huge problems we face whether we live in Ecuador, the US, Canada or anywhere are rising costs and a deterioration of global health and health care.

Here is a tip that can improve your health and wealth at the same time.

See how water is proven to improve health and how one person used it to enhance his wealth.

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Wild Pooling?  Good for your health?

Our last message Ecuador Dental Exercise looked at ancient health wisdom suggesting that taking a cold shower or dip in a pool can improve your health.

This thought goes beyond shamanism.

In the Eighties, NASA research confirmed that regular cold water swimming leads to a series of bodily changes called “cold adaptation”, which lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and increases fertility and libido in men and women.

See in the excerpt below from our course Tangled Web – How to Have an Internet Business how one businessman turned his passion for water and disaster into profit.

The Tangled Web course helps earn added income, as you improve your lifestyle, wherever you live because the mantra in our business courses is “Turn Your Passion into Profit.”  Do what you love and figure out how to earn from the process.

We have been stressing this idea since well before we started our internet publishing in the 1990s.

Our son Jake, just finished law school in Britain.  His break before jumping into his new profession has been to join us to work here on the farm. When he arrived he brought the idea of wild swimming… a perfect example of how to turn a passion into profit… using the internet.

Jake told me the story of Wild Swimming as he tested the idea of Wild Pooling… soaking in the creek pools here at the farm.

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The rock pool.

The story he shared was about Daniel Start, an Englishman who led a conservation expedition into New Guinea in 1995.   While in the jungle the entire scientific team were taken hostage by Irian Jaya separatists.

Start and his team were held for over four months and during the military operation that freed them, they saw two of their team hacked to death in front of them by the rebels.  While being held hostage for months they were forced to scavenge for food and live like the native people, their lives constantly at risk.

During this time, Start became a devotee of outdoor swimming as his kidnappers were a riverine tribe.

Upon returning to England he held a passion for swimming and began crossing the country looking for great places to swim.  From this passion grew a book, “Wild Swimming” a  guide arranging 150 swimming sites by region, with a helpful ‘at a glance’ section that groups the swims by themes such as child-friendliness, literary associations and proximity to a cycle route or good pub.

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The bridge pool.

The book has created quite a movement and a web site (a link is below).

A Telegraph article entitled Wild Swimming: A Splashing Time, Naturally

Spring is here and soon it will be warm enough to go to Port Meadow, a huge grassy swathe along a meandering stretch of the Thames in Oxford where we live for a picnic, a paddle and maybe a swim.

It was here, during a late summer swim last year, that I met Daniel Start. He was taking pictures for his book, Wild Swimming, to be launched at the end of the month by Punk Publishing (the imprint responsible for the popular Cool Camping guides). Start was inspired to write about England’s best swimming spots during the baking summer of 2006.

“I was working in an office in London, dreaming about the rivers of my childhood in Herefordshire,” he says. “I was desperate to go swimming on my days off but couldn’t find any information about where to go. So I decided to write about the lost swimming holes of England, where generations of children learnt to swim before public baths existed.”

internet-business-idea The lower falls pool.

There you have it.  A problem… a passion and a profit.

When you create a business in this way it often does more than just make a few dollars.   Start’s books (he has now also written “Wild Swimming on the Coast”) encourage enviromentalism, healthiness for adults and children plus togetherness of family and a return to nature which is needed all over the world.

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The upper falls pool.

Hopefully you will never need to be kidnapped to have a passion… yet know this: There is some desire within you. If you turn it into an internet business, it may do swimmingly well!

Gary

Join us July 24-26 in the cool Blue Ridge during the hot summer and save $299.

We hope you’ll share our beautiful lifestyle in the cool Blue Ridge with us this summer. July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Enjoy the farm and our pools.

internet-business-idea The Cabin pool.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

Merri and I love our life in the Blue Ridge… the rushing streams and..

investing-course

cool, green forest.

We invite delegates to the farm for lunch and we’ll take a walk through the woods with delegates who would like to…

investing-course

enjoy nature and the views.

We’ll have a wine tasting of Blue Ridge organic wines. Here are delegates at the tasting last year.

investing-course

I have just sent our multi currency email course subscribers a report on coffee related shares that now have a strong upward trend.

Enroll in our July 24-26 seminar and I will enroll you in our course Tangled Webs – How to Have an Internet Business free. You save $299.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

The Wild Swimming site is at http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/

Read Wild swimming: A Splashing Time, Naturally
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/3354127/Wild-swimming-a-splashing-time-naturally.html

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Ecuador & Banking


When living in Cotacachi, Merri and I do not use Ecuador banking. See below why banking globally is better.

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This Cotacachi plaza has one of the village’s two Cathedrals and…

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a bank with an ATM… plus

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a new credit institution with an ATM as well.

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This works just fine for us.

This is an even better idea now that the Ecuador government has created a new wealth reporting regulation. See yesterdays article on Ecuador’s new financial reporting law if you missed this.

For wealth protection we bank mainly with Jyske Global Asset Management… who look after our investments in Denmark, but comply with US regulations.

I have banked abroad for 40 years and this has become increasingly difficult… though there are still ways.

In fact I co hosted Jyske Global Asset Mangement’s (JGAM) first US seminar  last month in Naples, Florida. Here I am with Thomas Fischer of  JGAM. While other banks are dumping Americans, Jyske is working harder to enhance its global service for US investors.

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Since I wrote my first book, Passport to International Profit in the 1970s, my mantra has been to have what I call a “Six Point Command Posture” which is to:

Live in one country
Bank in a second country
Invest in many countries
Earn in two or more countries
Use a company incorporated in a fifth country
Take a second residence

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The seven speaker panel answered questions at the JGAM – Gary Scott seminar.

Since Merri and I reside most of the time in the US and Ecuador, we do as little banking in these countries as possible.

There are some good reasons to have the “Six Point Command Posture”.   You can see why below.  The “Six Point Command Posture” is worthwhile even though recent events remind us that this posture is regretfully more difficult to attain than before.

The British Telegraph newspaper published a recent article entitled Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge.  Excerpts (a link to the entire article is at the end of this message) say:  Banking group drops American customers in UK ahead of costly proposals to stamp out tax evasion.

Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama.

This week American private client account-holders at Lloyds’s received letters informing them of an “important change in policy regarding clients who are resident, domiciled or linked to the United States by property or asset holdings”. They were told the bank had “no choice” but to “cease acting as your investment manager.”

One recipient, who has lived in the UK for over 25 years, said: “After all this time, I’ve suddenly been told I must take my money elsewhere and I don’t understand why. Now I’m scared that other banks won’t take me on either.”

The proposals, which were unveiled in the President’s first budget, have been designed to clamp down on American tax evaders abroad. But bank bosses say that in practice they could be asked to take on the task of collecting American taxes at a cost and legal liability that make servicing the clients inexpedient. The rules have not yet been finalised and are still subject to debate in Congress.

The letters also contained four comprehensive descriptions of the bank’s definition of clients that are affected. These included clients that hold green cards, pay American taxes, are American domiciled or even those where there is “any indication” that a client spent more time in the US than “normal holidays currently or in the past or future.”

There has been a continual erosion of the liberty that US investors  enjoy when banking abroad.

First, the Swiss Banks started limiting what US resident investors could invest in  (in the 1970s). Then the Swiss started dropping US resident investors all together.  Many Canadian financial institutions stopped accepting US resident investors  years ago.

Now the British banks have jumped in and as the article shows… it is not just US residents.  Even US citizens who have lived in England for 25 years are losing their accounts.

Fortunately, since banking abroad is not about reducing tax,  there are still great, safe and proper ways to bank and hold assets abroad.

Merri and I use Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management because they offer an excellent global investment service that conforms to all US rules.

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Lars Stouge President of JGAM speaking at the Naples seminar.

See more on this in a TV interview between Thomas Fischer and me here.

Why Bank Globally?

Some investors mistakenly think that banking abroad reduces tax.  This is not correct and has not been for decades. There are numerous good tax planning ideas, but they work as well with local investments as well as overseas.

The reason to bank abroad is that we live in a global economy.  We are dependent on production from many nations every day.  Even though we do not do so directly we spend many currencies every day.   The ultimate form of financial security is a multi currency existence.

We are multi national spenders so we need to be multi national investors.  We need bankers and investment managers who have international and multi currency experience and expertise.

An excerpt from a recent multi currency question and answer session sent to my multi currency course subscribers explains why and how in more detail:

There are numerous benefits gained by using Jyske. The first benefit is Jyske’s global investing experience, 24 hour trading facilities and their low fee structure.

Jyske Bank has incredible in depth knowledge of markets and have a very broad access to global markets.  Jyske Global Asset Managers (JGAM) not only tap into Jyske Bank for data, but they also use  Morgan Stanley and Bank Credit Analysis for research.  There is rarely an investment question that I cannot get answered at Jyske.

The low fees are also a huge benefit.  I used to hold accounts at 14 banks around the world. Finally I started researching the fees I was paying and bean eliminating the accounts that charged the highest fees.

In the end I was left with Jyske and my London stock broker.  For example Jyske’s fee to buy bonds was one-sixth that was charged by my Swiss banker.

Hidden fees and shaved interest rates, especially those charged when you in exchange currencies, and buy stocks and bonds often chew an investor to pieces.

Plus Jyske has been in the banking business for over 100 years. They have enormous experience and are very conservative.  They were not hit by the sub prime mess. They had no Madoff investments.  I like this type of old fashioned stability.

Jyske is in touch with the pulse of the market. They trade 50 billion dollars of currencies and commodities a day.

Another important aspect gained at Jyske is bank safety. Denmark is ranked as one of the safest countries in the world to bank.

In addition there is great privacy and asset protection. No one that you do not inform can see your account.  Should someone sue you and gain a judgment against you, that judgment is not automatically enforceable in Denmark.   The creditor would have to start a legal action to attain the funds in Denmark and to date this has never happened at Jyske.

Q: Can you explain what type of account the multi currency transactions would be conducted?

A: There are two types of JGAM accounts… managed and advisory.

JGAM can buy any type of investment for Americans in managed accounts… because it is JGAM is making the decision… not the client.  Depending on the size of your account, you can ask Jyske to hold a specific investment in your account and if it makes sense in terms of the execution, diversification and your risk profile, they will do this… but it must be JGAM’s decision.

The managed accounts are available in four risk profiles… low risk… medium…high or speculative.  You can learn more about Jyske’s asset allocation strategy at the JGAM site linked later in this message.

Q: I have residency in Mexico there although I do not claim foreign residency for US tax purposes at this time.

A: Your residence does not matter when it comes to managed accounts.

There is a residential impact for advisory accounts.

If your main residence is outside the US (JGAM will want to see a utility bill as proof of residence), then JGAM can buy any investment without qualification.

If you have an advisory account and your main residence is in the US, then JGAM is restricted to buying qualified (US traded) investments for you.

However you still gain the asset protection and privacy benefits as these US traded assets are held in Denmark.

Q: Do you use a foreign LLC to conduct your business with Jyske Bank?  If so what country is the LLC issued from?

I do not use an LLC for our Jyske accounts. It is much easier to open an account in person.  However our account ownership is part of a plan that takes tax, asset protection and estate planning into account.  Everyone should make their decision on what type of structure and where it is organized based on their own plan that suits their own circumstances.

I highly recommend using a Strategic Asset Snapshot offered by Cox & Nici that  looks at all these variables. Joe Cox the senior partner of this firm has been my tax attorney for about 20 years.

You can get information about their Strategic Asset Snapshot Joe at jcox@coxnici.com

Learn about our Multi Currency Course and how to get this entire session here.

Having a six point command posture has become increasingly important over the  past 40 years as we have increased our involvement in the global economy.  Yet this secure method of living, investing and doing business has also become more difficult to achieve.  The result is that this posture is even more important and more worthwhile.

US investors See Jyske Global Asset Mangement’s new website here.

Non US investors contact Reny Matys at mathys@jbpb.dk

Gary

Save up to $249! Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ seminar here

We offer two emailed courses, one on how to be a multi currency investor, the other on how to have your own international web business.

We enhance these courses with regular international investing and business seminars that I conduct in coordination with Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management.

If you enroll in our July 24 to 26 International investing and business seminar by July 1, 2009 you can have one of these tow emailed courses free and save p to $249.

Delegates gain a lot by talking with each oter at these courses. Here are delegates at our Naples course.

bank-privacy

Join me with Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management and my webmaster David Cross in North Carolina July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

We’ll have a New River wine tasting at Bohemia Gallery as we did last year. here are delegates at that tasting.

ecuador-wine-cheese

Our North Carolina courses in 2009 will be conducted in the new…

ecuador-wine and cheese

West Jefferson Hampton Inn.

Save $249!   Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Here is what one reader wrote about our last seminar.

Hi Gary, Just a note to express our appreciation for a great event.  The Naples Beach Hotel provided a comfortable  setting for the gathering. The hotel should be congratulated for the excellent food and service. We enjoyed all of the speakers. I particularly enjoyed John Mauldin. I have followed his writings over the years.  In  1994 we attended several of your seminars, I enrolled in the Multiple Currency Course and opened an account with Jyske Bank.  This activity has provided us with a nice retirement income over the years. With economic disruptions world wide I decided to become reacquainted  with currencies as an investment tool as a consequence of  my very dark view of the USD’s future.  Keep up the good work. My day is always brightened by your daily emails.

Save $249! Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Read the entire Telegraph article: Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge at
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5526129/Lloyds-Bank-hit-by-Obama-tax-purge.html

Beating the Multi Currency Debt


Beating the multi currency debt in the era ahead will be one of the most important financial tasks you have.

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

We are in Cotacachi conducting our Shamanic Mingo tour.  Here is the group visiting the Shamana of Zuleta.

shaman

The shamana.

shaman

These shamanic tours are important because they look at how to alter one’s lifestyle… eat and exercise better… reduce stress and have better health naturally. This is important as I explain in this serious… though I hope light hearted warning.

This series began with this point:

We are enjoying a quantum shift and the way we work, live, invest and do business will never be as before.

Governments globally are trying to slow this needed economic transition and their stimulation efforts will most likely cause the loss of purchasing power in most currencies… global inflation.

The best ways to gain opportunity in this scenario is to own real estate, commodities, stocks and your own business.

The greatest asset we can have in the economic era ahead is an ability to serve… to produce a product or service that adapts to the new ways.

As this series was being written a USA Today article by Dennis Cauchon entitled “Leap in U.S. debt hits taxpayers with 12% more red ink” appeared that underscored perfectly what this series is about.

The old order is done.  Here is an excerpt from this article that explains why:

Taxpayers are on the hook for an extra $55,000 a household to cover rising federal commitments made just in the past year for retirement benefits, the national debt and other government promises, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

I showed these charts in yesterday’s message but am repeating them because they are of such importance.

ecuador-tickets

The 12% rise in red ink in 2008 stems from an explosion of federal borrowing during the recession, plus an aging population driving up the costs of Medicare and Social Security.

That’s the biggest leap in the long-term burden on taxpayers since a Medicare prescription drug benefit was added in 2003.

USA TODAY used federal data to compute all government liabilities, from Treasury bonds to Medicare to military pensions.

Bottom line: The government took on $6.8 trillion in new obligations in 2008, pushing the total owed to a record $63.8 trillion.

Here is the crunch… in the past it was easy to profit from the overspending by Uncle Sam.  All one had to do was invest in ther currencies for the long term. The chart from Grandfather.com come shows how in the 41 years I have been working and investing abroad, the US dollar has fallen versus the Japanese yen, Swiss franc and other major currencies.

multi-currency-debt

The problem is that about 20 years ago other governments caught on!  Now Japan, Germany, England and many other matured countries have huge amounts of debt and large deficits and aging populations as well.

This means that many currencies will lose purchasing power and create rising, global inflation.

One way to combat this is to move to countries with lower costs, younger populations and less social obligation. 

This is why living in Ecuador makes sense.

However the move to a lower cost base country alone may not be enough.

I reiterate.

The greatest asset we can have in the economic era ahead is an ability to serve… to produce a product or service that adapts to the new ways.

Merri and I look forward to sharing how we do this in the years ahead with you.

multi-currency-debt

Here is a shot taken by a delegates of Merri and me at one of our International business and Investing courses as we headed to our seminar center in the Blue Ridge.

Gary

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

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

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

You can read the entire article “Leap in U.S. debt hits taxpayers with 12% more red ink” at www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-05-28-debt_N.htm

Brazil Multi Currency Opportunity


See how my multi currency course subscribers have been able to gain up to 50% in Brazil during 2009.

Many readers at this site know me best as Mr. Ecuador.  However recently some of our subscribers have enjoyed the biggest profits as multi currency investors in Brazil.

Though Merri and I have been investing, living and working in Ecuador for over a dozen years now, our greatest expertise is as multi currency investors as we are in our 41st year.

See below how multi currency investing brought us to Ecuador and how your interest in Ecuador can now bring you a free subscription to our multi currency course as I present a survivors guide to currency and market turmoil.

Those interested in Ecuador do not have to change currencies when they travel here because Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar.

This means they need to learn how to make your money go up as the US dollar and stock markets go up and down…

The US dollar has fallen… badly against major currencies like the yen, euro and Swiss franc for 37 years.  You can see this long term, steady decline of the US dollar in this chart from Grandfather.com.

multi-currency-debt

One reason for this fall is the growing debt in the USA.

Now this debt is even worse. Here is a picture from USA Today that shows how the US public debt  has just grown 12%.

ecuador-tickets

Even minor currencies such as the Colombian peso, and Brazilian real have risen steadily versus the US dollar… 25%, 50% since the early 2000s and more.

Until.. in 2008, the greenback suddenly zoomed up… as stock markets collapsed around the world. Now the dollar is falling again.

Sideways motion like this destroys most investors.

Yet there is a way to earn even in these worst times…by learning how to spot value…that turns turmoil and currency shifts into profit.

This is not just a problem for Americans either. The dollar’s downfall affects currencies all over the world and creates global economic turmoil. For the modern economy to operate in its current fashion some reserve currency is required.

Yet what currency would you choose…the Chinese yuan…the euro…gold, oil? Would you trust your life savings to speculate on that?

Of three things we can be sure.

First, The US dollar will fall more…much more.

Second, there will be confusion. Many…in fact most uninformed investors will lose…a lot.

Third there will be inflation…worldwide due to the excessive spending in the current global financial bailout.

Smart investors who know how to spot value in multi currency portfolios at some of the world’s safest banks have already earned 57%…120% …263% so even with the doom and gloom, they are still ahead.

More important these same investors have learned how to survive through turmoil.

My name is Gary Scott. I have been writing and publishing information about the falling greenback and how to earn from it though international investing for over forty years (since May 1968 to be exact).

Fortunately I stumbled across multi currency investing at an early stage and wrote a book about this clear back in the 1970s when the US dollar was first beginning to erode.

Since that time my books and reports have helped hundreds of thousands of investors find hot areas of value in every decade.

In the 1970s we helped our readers  find investments in gold & silver as well as investments  in the currencies of Japan, Germany, Switzerland, England, Australia and Hong Kong.

In the 1980s, the Tigers, Taiwan, Singapore Malaysia and South Korea, & Turkey were the places where our readers gained value.

The 1990s saw South America (which led me to Ecuador) as the place to invest.

The early 2000s offered great value in China, India and Eastern Europe.

We have helped readers find good value real estate throughout this time, first in Hong Kong, then London, Switzerland,  Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and now Ecuador as well as in Small Town USA.

We have also helped readers bet against the US dollar throughout these decades which as the chart above shows has worked well.

Finally in the early 200os we began helping readers find good value green investments.

I would like to offer you a valuable real time emailed course that teaches how to invest in multi currency portfolios plus how to sometimes use leverage in these portfolios to create extra profits.

Sleepy Safe Portfolios Can Earn Over 100% Per Year

Multi currency investing does not require any fast trading techniques.  Multi currency portfolios are normally slow and sleepy investments…not currency contracts or futures speculations.  Most multi currency positions are aimed with a five year horizon…pretty sleepy compared to people who trade currencies (an entirely different and far riskier technique).  For most of us, slow and sleepy means SAFE!

Yet multi currency portfolios can be really profitable as well.

How sleepy and how safe?

Let’s look first at sleepy.

In 2006 we created an Asian multi currency portfolio consisting of just five award winning mutual funds.

We did not touch the entire portfolio for an entire year. Then after one year we made just five changes…dropping two mutual funds and adding three other mutual funds. Then we did not make another single change. That’s pretty sleepy, choosing a handful of mutual funds and making only five changes in two years.

How safe?

The portfolio was chosen with the help of one of the world’s safest banks and the mutual funds were held at that bank at all times.

Okay. Here is the big question. How profitable?

In the first year (2006) this portfolio rose 114.16%. Then we made the five changes mentioned (two funds dropped and three added). In 2007 this portfolio rose 122.62%. 2008 was a disaster year which we will look at in a moment.  But when your portfolio is over 200% in two years, it takes a lot of disaster to lose.

Suppose we get more specific.

That safe bank is a Danish bank. That’s good because in recent years Denmark has been rated by Standard & Poor’s as one of the safest country in the world in which to bank

The bank is Jyske Bank…well established with a history of over 100 years. Jyske is Denmark ’s second largest bank, with 450,000 clients in Denmark and over 30,000 abroad.

Jyske Bank has over 23 billion euros in assets and also happens to be one of the leading currency traders in the world. The Danes have always been big currency traders because as a small naval country surrounded by England, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany, Norway and other countries…they have always had to deal in many currencies.

This historically gained expertise means that unlike most banks (that trade only eight hours a day) Jyske maintains a 24 hour global currency and commodity dealer service. Many other large banks use Jyske to handle their off hour currency positions. This means that Jyske is huge when it comes to multi currency activity. In fact their turnover reaches $50 billion dollars a day.

Let’s address this issue of safety in more detail. Normally this is a pretty moot point. Right now everyone is concerned. Is a bank safe or not? I like Jyske from a bank safety point of view because there are three bank safety points, from the top down.

Bank Safety Point #1: A recent Yahoo Canada article shows a survey by the World Economic Forum listed five safest countries in which to bank.

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

So Denmark is a safe place to bank. Now let’s look at Jyske Bank’s safety rating.

Bank Safety Point #2: Jyske Bank is Denmark’s second largest bank.
On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating stable rating. This decision came despite the deteriorated economic prospects in Denmark, particularly in respect of the property market.

Bank Safety Point #3: Also on Friday 10 October 2008, the Danish Parliament passed a bill that secured all deposits and unsecured claims against losses in Danish financial institutions.
The rating of the Kingdom of Denmark is Aaa/AAA with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.

That’s safe!

I happen to know Jyske Bank because I began using them (as my bank) over 20 years ago. They are one of the few banks that offers a special multi currency portfolio service for investors from almost anywhere in the world.

I was one of the first writers and publishers to begin writing about multi currency investing. Jyske bank was one of the first banks to offer a multi currency portfolio service…and they were my bank.

Not surprising we got together and have created a strategic alliance that can help you learn how to create multi currency portfolios that suit you.

My multi currency course helps readers learn how to find good value and develop multi currency portfolios that suit their specific circumstances.

Before I explain how you can use this course, let’s look at both the up and down side of these high performing portfolios?

The course provides two levels of education. Part one gives readers an extensive beginner’s guide to developing multi currency portfolios.

Part two is unusual and neat.  Part two educates in real time. We create multi currency portfolios and track them real time.  The education comes from dissecting and discussing the portfolio results.  This is a totally novel way to learn…real time from real portfolios created by some of the best investment managers in the world as these portfolios rise or fall in the market place…in the here and now.

Jyske Bank assists by providing all the portfolio details.   Our symbiotic relationship allows me to combine my experience with this bank’s incredible knowledge, real time capability and expertise so course subscribers can learn in a most practical way from some of the greatest multi currency experts in the world.

Here is our educational performance over the past few years.

We created five portfolios for educational purposes on November 1, 2005. One of the five multi currency portfolios was the Asian Emerging Multi Currency Portfolio. The portfolio started with a $100,000 investment and a $200,000 loan in Japanese yen (more on the loans in a moment).

This gave us $300,000 to invest in this portfolio.

Amount

Currency

Investment

75,000

Rupee

Jyske Invest Indian Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Yuan

Jyske Invest Chinese Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Yen

Jyske Invest Japanese Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Multiple

Jyske Invest Emerging Market Bond Fund

Investments Total Value 300,000.00

Invested $100,000

Loan $200,000 100.00% JPY at 1.63%

Loan cost for one year $3,260.

This portfolio diversified into bonds and equities throughout Asia ..very multi currency.

Chinese yuan, Indian rupee, Japanese yen and more.

Twelve months later the portfolio was worth $417,420. Paying off the loan cost $203,260 leaving $214,160 or $114,160 (114.16% profit) on the $100,000 originally invested.

On November 1, 2006 we made the five changes mentioned above. We dropped the Japanese equities and emerging market bond mutual funds and added an Eastern European, Far Eastern and Turkey equity mutual funds. This is how the rearranged portfolio stood.

Amount

Currency

Investment

75,000

Rupee

Jyske Invest Indian Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

Yuan

Jyske Invest Chinese Equity Mutual Fund

75,000

EUR

Jyske Invest Eastern European Equities

50,000

Asian

Jyske Invest Far Eastern Equities

25,000

Lira

Jyske Invest Turkish Equities

Investments Total Value 300,000.00

Invested $100,000

Loan $200,000 100.00% Czech Koruna at 3.875%

Loan cost for one year $7,750.

As promised this portfolio only had five changes. We swapped the Japanese equity fund for a Eastern European equity fund and dropped the bond fund replacing it with a Far Eastern and Turkey equity fund.

May I, at this point, interject a note about Jyske Invest fund managers. They are a Danish firm and are the investment management affiliate of Jyske Bank. This rock solid organization uses a good value system have been rated #1 by Morningstar. They use this value system to select shares in their mutual funds and we place these funds in our multi currency portfolios because they are strictly regulated by the Danish government and have such an excellent record…because they focus on finding value, not market timing.

So how did this new updated portfolio do? From November 1, 2006 to October 31, 2007 the fund rose in value from $300,000 to $430,370. The loan payoff of $207,750 leaves a profit of $222,620 or a rise of 122.62%.

There you have it, a safe sleepy portfolio created at and held in one of the world’s safest banks. With only three trades in two years the performance has been up 114.16% in year one and up 122.62% in year two.

I am sure that when looking at performance like that you are thinking “how did the other portfolios do?” Good question and your suspicions are correct…some of the other portfolios did not rise this much.

Yet believe it or not some portfolios did even better.

For example the 2007 Green Portfolio consisted of six shares and rose 266.30%!

Here is the exact performance of all five portfolios for the last two years.

2006 Portfolio

US Dollar Long

9.04%

US Dollar Short

10.43%

US Dollar Hedge

11.46%

Emerging Market

42.93%

Asia Emerging Market

114.16%

2007 Portfolios

Dollar Neutral

38.67%

Dollar Short

48.19%

Swiss Samba

53.32%

Asia Emerging Market

122.62%

Green

266.30%

You can imagine with performance like this attracted quite a bit of attention…and it did.  However these high returns are not the important benefit you gain with our multi currency course.

Our course does not recommend nor manage portfolios.  We did not suggest that any single reader invest in any of these portfolios. The portfolios are educational and designed to help readers work with their own investment manager to create their own multi currency portfolio that suits their own special, individual needs.

Our multi currency investment course helps readers learn how to manage their manager… nothing more.

Yet this is incredibly valuable because Jyske Bank can provide a stable and safe institution for those who wish to employ a multi currency strategy.

The course helps guide readers so they can direct any investment adviser or investment manager who understands how to invest in more than one currency.

The course also helps you manage risk. The incredible portfolio performance above was achieved because the portfolios were leveraged using a tactic we call a multi currency sandwich. Investors borrow low and invest in yielding or growth portfolios. The portfolios used loans in Japanese yen and Swiss francs to magnify profits in good times.

The course teaches how these loans can magnify losses in bad times as well.

For example look at the performance of the leveraged portfolios we created to study from November 2007 through September 2008.

2008 Portfolios

Infrastructure Portfolio

-112%

Blue Chip Portfolio

-79%

Danish Health Portfolio

-92%

Asia Emerging Market

-73%

Green

-56%

Leverage in 2008 caused the portfolios to lose badly…in one instance the total portfolio was lost!

The multi currency course is useful because it helps investors not to expect rising markets all the time.

The power of studying markets real time, as they unfold, wards off false expectations.

The course helps subscribers learn how to look ahead and act rather that react (after the fact when it is too late).

The sad fact is…we all have to become multi currency investors.  Trusting your fate to any one currency now can destroy your purchasing power.    Every investor needs to know what to do!

The course helps spot when to leverage good times and when to retract for the bad.  he idea is to cash in when the going is good and then withdraw.

For example in early August 2007…well before the market crash….our study of the market began to show increased risk.  Our first warning lesson said:  “We have enjoyed two years of enormous growth.  Periods of high growth are normally followed by periods of low growth.”

August 17, 2007 a lesson said: “The numbers are close enough that we could be entering the fourth sub cycle down (similar to 1976 to 1978). If so expect a sustained drop in markets for two to three years.”

On September 21, 2007, a lesson said: “equity markets dropped again violently last month. Now these markets have recovered again. Yet this may be a last gasp party.”

An October 14, 2007 lesson stated:  “We never know for sure when an upwards cycle will stall. Fundamentals look good for a bright 2008 in emerging and equity markets, but this can change quickly so to give our readers a better perspective, this year we are reducing leverage and adding a sixth portfolio with no leverage to study”.

The October 15, 2007 lesson reviewed how leveraged investments rise and fell faster than investments without leverage.

The lesson on Oct 26, 2007  saved many investors as it was entitled Leveraged Investments Gone.  Just before markets started to head south this lesson warned: “I have had only about 10% of my portfolio leveraged. Compare this to 200% for the Green Portfolio (which is up 265% this year). Now I have none.

So a lot of my portfolio investments are basically in a multi currency portfolio of bonds…mostly in pounds, Swedish and Danish kroner. The equities I hold are mainly in Europe and I do not leverage equities…especially after markets have risen so much. Periods of high returns are normally followed by periods of low returns. These facts, plus my belief that numerous economic woes are rising and my recollection of Oct 1987 leave me wanting to reduce risk in my equity portfolio. So now I have eliminated all my leverage.”

The next lesson warned again: “Okay it’s time to turn the burner down.”

A November 8, 2007 Black Friday lesson reviewed  all the warnings above again and more.

The course also helps readers find ways to spot unusual distortions that profit even in bad times.

For example  lessons  on April 18 and April 27 2009 looked at the benefit of investing in Brazilian currency bonds.

This lesson led to a quick profit.

Here is an excerpt from our June 12, 2009 lesson:

Based on these ideas and those presented in the April 18 and April 27 lessons we looked at why Brazilian bonds made good sense in the LONG TERM.

Sometimes we get lucky though in the short term… as we have now.

Brazilian bonds have made a sudden jump up!   Those who have invested in them have made as much as 50% (in US dollar terms) this year.

Yet the distortion we’ll review below shows how there is even more dollar denominated profit potential ahead.

Last week the Brazilian central bank lowered key interest rates to 9.25%.  This will likely send the price of  Brazilian real denominated bonds up.

The central bank has stated that there could be more rate cuts, but they will be smaller.

This is positive news plus Brazilian inflation has declined to 5.2% from 5.53% in April 2009.

When you take into account the high interest of the real, the rise in value of bonds and the rise of the real you can see the potential.

Brazilian real bonds have risen nearly 30% since the beginning of the year…  in terms of Euro!

This is where there is another huge distortion.  The real has not risen anywhere near this much versus the dollar.

The charts from finance.yahoo.com below show the distortion.

In the last three months the US dollar has dropped from $1 = 2.30 BRL to $1 = $1.97 (- 14.3%) versus the Brazilian real as this chart shows.

brazil-distortion

In the last three months the euro has dropped from 1 euro = 3.05BRL to 1 euro = 2.60 BRL (-13.5%).   This correlation of the euro and dollar would seem normal except…

brazil-distortion

as the chart below shows, the euro has risen from $1 euro = $1.28 to 1 euro =$1.40 a 9.27% rise versus the US dollar.

brazil-distortion

In addition the Brazilian central bank has had to intervene several times in recent months to avoid the Brazilian real being too strong against the euro.

Traditionally the real has had a strong correlation with the dollar but the recent weakening of the buck versus the dollar has not spilled over into the Brazilian real.

In other words. The real is up against the euro almost 10% more than against the dollar.  This is called a cross rate distortion and means that one of two things is likely to happen.  The dollar will rise versus the euro or  the dollar will fall versus the Brazilian real.

Given the fundamental US fiscal weaknesses that could push the dollar down, I am bullish on the real rising more versus the dollar and this makes me bullish about Brazilian real denominated bonds.

Always remember the basic rule though is to never speculate more than you can afford to lose.   A US dollar – Brazilian real sandwich is worth discussing with your portfolio manager or adviser now but could creates losses as well as profits.

I have not leveraged my Brazilian bond investment. Based on this data I instructed JGAM to increase me Brazilian bond holdings.

If you are using Jyske Bank, and are a non US citizen or resident, or a US citizen living abroad, you can simply have the bank purchase Brazilian bonds and lend you the funds (within the bank’s loan to asset restrictions).   Non US citizens contact Rene Mathys for more details at mathys@jbpb.dk

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

If you are a US citizen resident in the US and have an advisory account with JGAM, they may not be able to buy Brazilian bonds for you.  They could  buy the US traded ETF “The WisdomTree Dreyfus Brazilian Real Fund.” (BZF)

These three lessons (April and June 2009) helped many readers cash in on an unusual value!

I would like to invite you to enroll in our multi currency investment course and to also receive a nine lesson report that covers basics and fundamentals of  multi currency investing.

This nine lesson report has been read by tens of thousands of investors over the years.   This report sells on its own as a survivor’s hand guide to currency turmoil for $79.  I’ll email it to you free when you enroll in our online course.

The course is emailed to you regularly and studies stock, bond and currency markets worldwide, real time, as they unfold.

I believe, from the response of tens of thousands of readers over the last 20 years, that you will gain enormously from the course.

Our course helps you learn  why and where to invest and learn why and how currencies and interest rates rise and or fall.

The initial nine lesson report I’ll email you free also shows how to calculate and manage leveraged risk and how to decide if and when to leverage or not.

Is this course for you?

Everyone needs to know how to have multi currency diversification. But in case this course does not help you, we provide a 30 day “completely satisfied or your money back” guarantee that we have offered our hundreds of thousands of readers for more than 20 years.

Our Multi Currency Educational Service is a mere $175 for a very long and educational year! Won’t you share this exciting world of wealth accumulation with us and our readers around the world? Multi Currency Educational Service

Gary Scott

Multi Currency Portfolios Course. Subscribe

Or enjoy this multi currency course for a year free!  Here is how you can save $175.

We enhance our emailed courses with regular international investing and business seminars that I conduct in coordination with Jyske Bank and Jyske Global Asset Management.

Here I am at our last seminar in Naples Florida (may 2009).

multi-currency-debt

The speakers at the Naples seminar discussed prospects for the economic future.  Left to right: Samuel Rachlin,  Rich Checkan, Steve Blumenthal, Joe Cox, John Mauldin, Gary Scott, Lars Stouge. Thomas Fischer Moderating.

The 115 delegates reported that they really gained from listening to what we had to say and…

brazilian-bond-distortion

talking among themselves during the coffee brakes and at meals.

brazilian-bond-distortion

One benefit of these seminars is talking to an overseas banker.  Here I am at the Naples  seminar  with my Jyske account executive Anders Nielsen.

brazilian-bond-distortion

Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management will join us for the July North Carolina seminar.

I invite you to attend this July course. If you enroll between now and July 1st, I’ll also enroll you in  our emailed multi currency course free. You save $175.

Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Here is Thomas speaking to our delegates at a previous course.

brazilian-bond-distortion

Enroll in our emailed Multi Currency Portfolios Course for $175  here.  Subscribe

Save $175!  Receive the emailed course free when you Enroll in our July 24-26 International Investing and Business Made EZ course here

Here is what a few others from around the world have said about our services and reports on international investing.

“ Gary , I am a long time subscriber in various media, and while cleaning out my files today I found some old ‘Gary A. Scotts World Reports’. In particular, the April 1988 issue provided the info that made me over a million dollars. Just wanted to say a belated ‘thank you’ and please continue the excellent work. Warm regards,”

From an Unknown Reader

“Dear Gary, I would like to give thanks to you for introducing me to Jyske Bank two years ago.

“I have been a long-time client of Merrill Lynch, but am in the process of re-evaluating my relationship with the largest brokerage company in the world. My problem is that when I compare Merrill to Jyske, Jyske outshines Merrill (or other major U.S. brokerage firms) in most categories as follows:

“1) Even though Jyske is much smaller, it has a much more global perspective which is critical in an evermore global investment environment.

“2) In order to maximize their own individual revenue, the brokers at Merrill prefer to outsource the day-to-day management of their accounts to various fund managers and hence, ‘manage the managers’. In contrast, I can call my Account Manager at Jyske and he can discuss every aspect of my account in detail with me.

“3) I attribute this difference in #2 to the fact that Jyske’s employees are not compensation driven, but instead are focused on satisfying their customers. That is why Jyske’s clients stay with the Bank on average for 12 years, which is phenomenal by Wall Street standards.

“4) Jyske’s security is far more stringent than that of Merrill’s. In addition to the standard account code and password, to pass through Jyske’s security one has to enter a Key Card number and also a randomly-generated 4-digit number from said Key Card.

“5) Having an account offshore allows me to sleep better given the anxious times we live in. Since I report the existence of the account and pay all taxes due, I am fully compliant with the law. However, such an account gives me and my family a ‘financial life boat’ should events in our own country ever get out of hand.

“As Dorothy Parker once said, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them THINK’. Jyske is a thinking person’s bank. My only complaint is the time zone difference since I live in California . However, since I am an early riser and my Account Manager is very responsive to my emails, this problem is very small relative to the HUGE benefits.

“Again, many thanks for introducing me to Jyske Bank. Given the ‘dumbing down’ that occurs in the popular media today, your ezine and its recommendations are ever more important. Please continue your good work to enlighten your readership.

“Warm regards,”

C.M. CALIFORNIA Businessman

“I was so overwhelmed with information I received I had to spend several days reading, sorting and filing it! I have decided to move my modest investment capital overseas.”

B.W. MONTREAL CANADA Professor

“Send me your report on safe banks lending at 7% for redeposit at 13% or more.” B.V. ADDIS ABADA ETHIOPIA Economic Commission United Nations

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Ecuador Bars


Ecuador bars are at times functional but also part of the culture.

The recent loss of Air France 447 had more impact on me than I would have thought… somehow recalling the millions of miles I have logged rushing through the dark night… high… comfortable and content…. protected by a sliver of aluminum skin.

I know that flying has risk. My children flew from England to the US for Christmas on the same Pan Am flight one day after the Lockerbie disaster.

Yet over the years memories fade and one forgets that even in the most mundane events there is risk that we can view as dangerous or enlivening.

I am thinking this because  recently we emailed an advertisement about a house for sale on Lake San Pablo near Otavalo and Cotacachi.

We showed pictures…

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of San Pablo Lake and…

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the house for sale.

Ecuador-Lake-Property

This is a 2,895 square foot house on 5.43 acres on San Pablo Lake, Otavalo for sale at $250,000.  To see the ad click on Ecuador lake property for sale.

Many readers wrote and asked me about those windows that were barred.

Apparently many readers asked the sellers about the bars as well since the seller recently sent me this note.

Gary, many have asked me to address the question regarding the bars on the windows.

The bars are there at this time, as no one from the family goes to the Lake House every weekend, as we are in the US, the decision was made to place these bars as we needed to make sure that our absence there will be no trespassing which we have never heard of one.  Although, it is true that in Ecuador insurance companies give a discount to have the bars on the windows, the new owners can remove them if they wish, we have never had a problem of a breaking into the house or the property.  Hope this addresses the matter, and as mentioned these bars can be removed without a problem.

I have more to say.

One of the great parts of living in different cultures is learning and enjoying new ways of life. Global living expands horizons… unless one tries to move expecting or even worse demanding their new home to be just like their old.

When I first moved to Hong Kong in the late 1960s,  I was fresh out of Prudential sales school which included how to dress… suits, ties, blue blazers and gray flannels and such.  It was refreshing to meet multi millionaires who wore robes… to see different ways of living… eating and yes they had bars on the windows there as well.  They also had shotgunned Sikh guards at every bank.

Then I moved to England and traveled and worked throughout Europe. There I discovered the courtyard. Europeans do not display their wealth like Americans do.   This is a culture  where there has been war after war. When people have wealth they hide it inside… conservative… smart.  This is especially true of the Latins… where the invasions and counter invasions have come and gone since Roman times and before.

Latins love the courtyard.  Our hotel Meson de las flores… looks pretty plain outside.

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I love the courtyard as well…

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being outside within…

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an island from the hustle and bustle and crowd.

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Here are delegates at a recent course in our courtyard.

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This building was built in the 1800s… not as a hotel but as a home of one of the wealthy families here.  The downstairs was a stable.  This is the Latin way.

Every way of life has risks of some sort. Big cities have condos with locked doors and doormen.   US suburbs have gated communities…  security systems and private guards.

Here in the deep mountains of North Carolina we are 3/4 of  an hour from the nearest police… a mile or so from our closest neighbor and there are a some people who use drugs and meths.  Last year one of our neighbors was shot and murdered by an employee caught cracking his safe. Then the robber in a panic killed the wife and son as well.

So we have a different security system.

First cameoflauge.  Here is the entrance to our farm…

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nothing fancy… even our office which can be seen from the road…

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was built to look like an old barn. We even put a special finish on when it was new so it looked old.

An invisible target is no target at all.  This is a good piece of advice in all aspects of business investing and life.

Plus if someone were to come at night… we keep a shotgun.  This is the way it is  in the mountains in many houses.  No bars are on the windows because people know there is a risk if they break in.

This is a system that is usual, expected and effective here.  Yet when our children’s friends from England visit they are amazed… all these guns!

Every aspect of life has risk. When you think about it… life would be pretty boring if not.

An international life in Ecuador, Asia, Europe, Africa, city or country brings broadened horizons because this process lets us see different ways that many cultures deal with risk.  Learning all these ways makes us fuller, more balanced and wiser… if we are willing to learn.

Those who blind themselves with desires for the very existence they are leaving however… slow or reduce the joy of this growth process.

Next time you travel… look at the differences you see… not as risk but as opportunities to see new ways that others have adjusted to their histories. Do this and it can lead to a wonderful life where no holds are barred!

Gary

Join us in North Carolina or Ecuador

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Cotacachi Inti Raymi


Inti Raymi is a special festival carried out in this plaza, the center of Cotacachi, Ecuador… just a block from our hotel Meson de las Flores.

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Here is our Cotacachi hotel.

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Here is Cotacachi’s main plaza.

Ecuador’s indigenous population are gentle, sweet, friendly and kind people who are industrious and trustworthy.   However, in Cotacachi for one day of the year, during the second weekend of the Inti Raymi festivities there is an aggressive event that leads to fights and sometimes even death.

Legens dictate that two indigenous communities near Cotacachi, one from La Calera and one from Quiroga have bad blood has existed since Incan times.

The story is that Quiroga had a sacred bull that was stolen by the people of La Calera. They not onlymanaged to steal the bull but killed and ate it!

This is the pretext for what should be ritualistic fights that take place in Cotacachi plaza once a year during the Into Raymi festival.

However part of the legend is that blood must be spilled durng the fight to acquiesce the Gods – otherwise the following year’s harvest will not be good.

The men often wear cowboy chaps made from leather and finished with goat’s hair. The more goat’s hair the better – to lessen the blow as one is kicked by your neighbors – just this one day of the year!”

Here is a shot of the goat hair chaps.

Some years the battle gets carried away and someone dies.

I have read many criticisms about Ecuador’s indigenous people over this…. “so barbaric… so  unsafe!”   “These people should be civilized as we are in the West bicycle helmets, seat belts and all”… I hear.

I shrug this off as I lived for many years in other “civilized” nations… like England in Gloucestershire… where the locals have celebrations based on ancient tradition as well.

Our son Jake just sent this report earlier this week:

Dad,

Me and my mate Fergus went to the cheeserolling today, Here’s a good clip.

I did a quick check on the stats for the day and the result was:

‘This year’s injury toll of 18 was described as “low” by St John Ambulance, and ten of the wounded were not competitors but spectators.

Three cheese-chasers were taken to hospital for treatment – two with suspected spinal injuries and one with a dislocated shoulder. The rest had cuts and bruises.

Six people fainted just watching the event and four other spectators have minor injuries. One of those had fallen out of a tree and was taken slowly down the 100ft slope on a spinal board.’

See the cheeserolling event on BBC here.

Cheers  Jake

A bit of danger and daring might be a good part of the human trial.

I wonder what the real cost of safety and risk elimination might be?

I suspect that the expense is more than the benefit. This is one of the qualities I really enjoy in Ecuador… a little less sanitation… a little more freedom to live as I wish, as a fully informed adult…without so many worries of law suits, rules and regulations.

Gary

Join us at an upcoming Ecuador or North Carolina conference or tour.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Ecuador Risk


Ecuador has risks.

As does everywhere.  In fact our world has more risk then ever before.

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Are quiet Ecuador streets like this Cotacachi avenue at risk?

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The young Ecuadorian children who go to school early, alone don’t seem to feel much risk.  Yet?

Change creates risk and we live in an era of increasingly rapid change.

Those who welcome this fact are those who have the best chance of success. ahead.

This is the era of rapid change… the era of  extra risk.  The current time period within this era is of accelerated change and risk.

This is an important message about how to manage risk in Ecuador or anywhere.

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Even young children play alone in the Cotacachi Ecuador streets without much risk

Yet we must always take care.

Take for example the US travel advisory for Ecuador… read  without perspective. Ecuador risk would seem high.

Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Ecuador:

SAFETY AND SECURITY: The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to the northern border region of Ecuador, to include areas in the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana and Carchi, northern Esmeraldas, and southern Esmeraldas, south of Atacames.  U.S. government personnel are under limitations with respect to traveling alone and over-nighting in these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist organizations.

CRIME:  Crime is a serious problem in Ecuador, and visitors should be alert and cautious.  Non-violent crime is common: hundreds of Americans are robbed every year in Ecuador.   Incidents of rape have increased, even in well-traveled tourists areas and when the victims traveled in groups for safety. Shootings, kidnappings, and carjackings are still relatively rare, but American citizens have been victimized by those crimes.  The Ecuadorian government has increased police patrols in tourist areas, but travelers should remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant control of personal belongings.

Criminals sometimes use incapacitating drugs such as scopolamine on unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them.  These so-called date rape drugs are put into drinks in order to drug the unsuspecting victim.  This drug can render the victim disoriented and can cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems.  Never allow a stranger to “buy” you a drink and never leave your drink unattended.  Several American citizens have reported thefts of property following ingestion of such substances.

Does Ecuador sound risky?

Ecuador sounds risky until you read the travel advisory for Italy.  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Italy:

Some travelers are victims of rape and beatings.  There are incidents of drinks laced with drugs being used by criminals to rob, and in some cases, assault tourists.  Many of these incidents occur in the vicinity of Rome’s Termini train station and at major tourist centers such as Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona, as well as in Florence and Naples.  Criminals using this tactic “befriend” a traveler at a train station, bus stop, restaurant, café or bar in tourist areas, then eventually offer a drink laced with a sleeping drug.  When the tourist falls asleep, criminals steal the traveler’s valuables.  There are also instances where the victim is assaulted, either physically or sexually.

Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities.  Clients of Internet cafes in major cities are also targeted.  Tourists who have tried to resist petty thieves on motor scooters have suffered broken arms and collarbones.

The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian Law Enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices.

Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south.  They occasionally resort to violence to intimidate or to settle disputes.

Italy could seem risky as well until you read the travel advisory for Spain .  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Spain.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:     Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents.  Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity.  Spain’s proximity to North Africa makes it vulnerable to attack from Al Qaeda terrorists in the Maghreb region.  Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, in March 2004, Islamist extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries.  Spanish authorities tried the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators in February 2007 and convicted in October 2007.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain.  ETA has historically avoided targeting foreigners, directing their attacks against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets as well as attempts to disrupt transportation and daily life. However, foreigners have been killed or injured collaterally in ETA attacks.  Two examples of this are the Barajas Airport bombing in December 2006, in which two Ecuadorian nationals were killed and the bombing at the University of Navarre in October 2008, in which 17 students were injured including one American student.  In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. The risk of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” in event of an ETA action is a concern for foreign visitors and tourists.  U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas.  Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of pick-pocketing, mugging and occasional violent attacks, some of which require the victim to seek medical attention.  Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk.  Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATMs.

Thieves often work in teams of two or more people.  In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplices perform the robbery.   Spanish authorities warn of the availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy.  Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

We could go on… in Europe…  in Asia… or anywhere.

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Parents in Cotacachi Ecuador do not feel much risk when they let their children play in the parks.

Mostly, places are not the cause of risk.  The causes of risk  are within,  our awareness, our actions, our  patterns and habits.

If one becomes aware of change and adapts accordingly… there is no risk.  There is opportunity instead.

Early adapters are called risk takers.   They are not.

Real risk takers are those who do not  adapt because…  we know…  there is change.

The real risk is living by OLD rules in a NEW world.

The real risk is believing in General Motors for example… because it is the biggest… oldest… so it must be safest.

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Young lovers in Ecuador can meet safely in out of the way places.

The world is new every day and each day, some old rule no longer works.

The old rules used to say that the Western world was safe… and the emerging world riskier.   The old rules said that the Western world had low crime…  the emerging world had high crime.

Yet look at excerpts of a recent New York Times article entitled “Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid” by Solomon Moore (See a link to the entire article below) says:

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance, based on state and federal data. Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending, which quadrupled in the past two decades, according to the report Monday by the Pew Center on the States, the first breakdown of spending in confinement and supervision in the past seven years.

This suggests that the US has quite a lot of risk… both in crime and health.

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Ecuador people are by nature, caring, friendly and warm.

Sometimes I get letters like the one below from readers who have been victims of crime in Ecuador.  This reader lost her computer and camera when she forgot them in the business lounge at the Radisson hotel in Quito.

Dear Gary,  Can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and had them sent by Federal Express to me.  I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen, for the items they were not able to send me  (camera and cellular phone) I was reimbursed via bank transfer. I still can’t believe it.  This was a good ending and so unexpected.  send you all love, and good thoughts. Laura

New rules about risk are being written every day and our daughter Francesca shared some thoughts on this when she recently visited us here.

Fran is quite a traveler.  Here early studies were in England… Gloucestershire and Birmingham.  Then she spent more for more than a year in Spain and Costa Rica, and moved to Naples and Delray, Florida which were bases for her to  manage real estate tours in Argentina, Belize, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay.

She worked for several years doing human rights training in Geneva, Switzerland before returning to get her Masters degree at London School of Economics.

Then  she worked in London for the Crown Agents where she was assigned
as a project manager and consultant to governments in Nigeria,  Peru, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

She has worked the last several years  as a development planning, monitoring & evaluation consultant in Swaziland and is returning there now on a contract with the United Nations.

As a young, single woman (now married) she has had to be aware of risks traveling everywhere from Florida to London to Lagos.

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Here I am with Francesca on her wedding day.

Fran & Sam rode to their reception in Richmond Park on a bicycle built for tow.

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Riding a bike through London traffic… now that is risky!

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Here are some common sense thoughts that Francesca shares about living with risk.

Living with Risk by Francesca Scott

We’re living in risky times; from the economic collapse, to swine flu, to erratic weather conditions.  It sometimes surprises me when people ask me if I’m not worried about living in Swaziland (my current home), because, they say, Africa is such a dangerous place.  I figure that when I return to London, my risk of being attacked in a terrorist attack skyrockets.  And I am still dumbfounded by the fact that children are screened for guns at schools in the United States.  By the way in England for the first time screening for knives has begun in some inner-city London schools.

The issue of risk came to mind recently, when I was visiting my Grandma. One evening over dinner, the discussion turned to the security situation in Swaziland, and I mused that in certain ways I feel safer in Swaziland than I do in parts of London. My Grandma commented that gangs were increasingly becoming a problem in Portland, her home city, and that she didn’t feel that safe these days.  The next day, as we stopped at the local bank, I was surprised by the thick wall of bullet proof glass completely separating the staff from the general public. They don’t have that in banks in London, or in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital city.

I began thinking about how easily we adapt to different risks within our local environments. In many countries, one would be crazy not to have bars on lower windows. In central London, I hold my bag very close to my chest – I value my purse and cell phone too much. My mother-in-law, who lives in Australia, actually leaves her keys in her car when she stops at a store to pick up groceries (gasp!).  Sadly, I doubt that will last for much longer.   So does my Dad in NC.  They have a policy on the farm that all keys remain in all vehicles…just in case someone needs to jump in one!

Each country has a different risk profile, from pick-pockets, to pollution, to drug barons.  I am not saying that Swaziland does not have its dangers – my house has been broken into several times, and I drive much more defensively than I would in the US or the UK (mostly to avoid wayward cows that have drifted onto the road).  The important thing is to be fully informed about the risks.  This might sound obvious, but sometimes people are scared off by unfamiliar risks or misinformation.

It’s also worth remembering that there are often a variety of ways to mitigate those risks through effective prevention methods, so long as you know the rules. Most of us are guilty of exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk as a result of ignorance at one time or other, and are lucky that we’ve lived to tell the tell. I was threatened at knife point by a drug addict in a park in Spain, when I lived there as a student.  When I recounted my story to my Spanish roommate, she told me that I was a fool to be in that park in the first place, ‘…didn’t you know that it’s the favorite haunt for heroine addicts in the city?’  Well, no, obviously I didn’t know at that time, but it was a valuable lesson for me about the importance of knowing the rules.

I must admit to being a little scared before I went to Swaziland.  After all, it’s in one of the poorest parts of the world, and only three hours drive from Johannesburg, a gang-ridden, violent city. I also couldn’t shake off all those awful images of Africa I’ve seen on the evening news. I told myself that I would try it out for six months (I figured I could survive for that length of time in an underground bunker living off tinned corned beef and bottled water if it was that bad), and make a decision from there about whether or not it was for me. Two-and-a-half years later, I still thoroughly enjoy living here and am very glad that I resisted my initial anxieties.

For those considering buying property, or even moving to Ecuador, or any other country – developed, developing or downright poverty stricken for that matter – I would recommend to take the time to become fully informed about the types of risks you might face.  You can find out a lot from the internet and books, but it would be a shame to be scared off by some of what you read or by the well intentioned comments of a neighbor who hasn’t ever lived away from their home town.

Everyone comes from a different starting point, and everyone has a different risk threshold.

Also, the dramatic stories tend to be more interesting to tell.  While reading around can certainly offer you a variety of different and valuable viewpoints, it’s also important to talk to people who have lived in the country. Locals can be an invaluable source of information, while ex-pats may be more appreciative of the kinds of risks unanticipated by a foreigner, risks that may seem glaringly obvious to a local. Also, find out what you can do to mitigate those risks. Often you can reduce your exposure significantly using the appropriate precautions. If you think that the benefits outweigh those risks, then go down and check out the country for yourself.  That’s the only way you can really know if the level of risk is one that you could tolerate.

It might be that the risks are in some countries and in some places, in fact, just too high, pushing you beyond your comfort zone, or that the restrictions necessary to reduce your risks would make you feel stressed and claustrophobic. It’s no fun lying restless at night at night because you’re worried over a break-in, even though you have an alarm, or resent the lack of privacy from having a guard permanently outside your house. If you’re looking for the exact replica of your own community, with the same level of risk, and a Starbucks around the corner thank you very much, then somewhere like an emerging country really may not be for you. There will inevitably be new and different risks in poorer countries, some to which you, as a foreigner, could be at much higher risk than a local.

But take a moment to reflect on the risks that you face in your daily environment back home, and you might find that such risks are relative. While some risks will be new when you move abroad, you will also leave some behind. Therefore, before making any decision of moving to a country other than your own, I recommend making sure that you are informed by the reality on the ground, not some misconception fed by the media or well-intentioned homebodies. Only with that information can you gauge whether you’ll be comfortable with the type and level of risk you might face. For an adventurous soul, you may well find that the benefits of living in a new culture, the fun of exploring a foreign terrain, make everything worthwhile.

Risk assessment is a vital part of survival and success in today’s world.

This has always been true so always consider risk… but when you evaluate danger… don’t  just look at the places where you will be.   Review your thinking, your habits and patterns to see how you can turn risk into opportunity.

Gary

Join us here at our hotel Meson de las Flores.  Learn more turning risk into opportunity at our courses and tours.

ecuador-risk

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

See the entire article Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html