Tag Archive | "Venezuela;"

Ecuador Currency


Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar.

When Merri and I first arrived in Ecuador the currency was the sucre and it took 3,000 sucre to buy one dollar.  About five years after we arrived the sucre had dropped to about 8,000 sucres to buy a US dollar.  Then a decade ago the Ecuadorian economy went into self destruct and the sucre collapsed all the way to 25,000 sucres per dollar.

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The dollar still goes a long way in Ecuador. You can still buy beach condos like this for under $24,000.

This created incredible real estate bargains.  I began buying Ecuador real estate which is one reason I can sell Ecuador real estate now at below the market and still make a decent profit.

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Large fixer upper houses like this in the Andes can still sell for less than $29,000.

However getting out of the sucre into the greenback was in a way like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire…. because since then the US dollar has dropped a lot in value compared to other currencies such as the euro.  Excerpts from our latest Multi Currency portfolio report show this fact.  Here is what that message said:

Since we are beginning a new decade it makes sense to look back a decade at the past multi currency action.

A reader just sent this note:  Dear Gary, I am worried by the breaking news that the “Bolivarian Alliance” is creating its own currency.

The news says:   “Countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) agreed to introduce regional common currency, the SUCRE…”During the ALBA summit on Dec. 13 (In Cuba), nine member countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela announced the introduction of new virtual currency in January 2010.”  Thanks.

These countries have been announcing this type of stuff for quite some time.

You can see a 2007 article I wrote about this at Ecuador Currency Opportunity.

Announcements by governments are easy.  Actions not so much so.  Getting all these countries to actually do something together is not such an easy task.  Not much has happened from the 2007 announcement and I do not expect much to happen from the 2009 announcement.

Most of the countries above face enormous social and economic challenges in the decade ahead.  Keeping their own currency stable will be hard enough.  Creating a new one easy… but maintaining it hard.  Getting all these nations to work together to create one currency seems pretty unlikely.

The European Union and euro whose nations enjoyed  much greater economic success and stronger political stability, than the nations above took decades to create. The euro was driven by a real fear… a repeat of WW I and WWII.   Yet the euro has taken many decades to form.

Should we expect quick action for a union by Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela? Remain watchful but do not expect anything too soon.

A better way to answer the US dollar dilemma  is to invest in the best value BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and speculate on the ups and downs of their value.

Here are excerpts from a recent Multi Currency Update I sent to our multi currency portfolio subscribers.

BRIC currencies make sense because these countries are still viewed as emerging markets… but they now are major economies.

Together, these four countries generate approximately 27% of the world´s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The BRIC economies are also growing faster than in the Western world.  The average annual GDP growth of a BRIC nation was greater than 7% before the recession, as compared to approximately 2% for a G-7 nation.

The future growth of the global economy depends largely on the BRIC economies continuing growth.

The simplest way to invest in BRIC economies is with a BRIC ETF like iShares MSCI BRIC Index Fund. This ETF tracks the MSCI BRIC Index and invests in about 260 different companies in these four countries.  Invest and leave the investment alone for long term growth.

Jyske Global Asset Management recommends BRIC allocation as below :

If you have a Low Risk profile                  : up to 5%
If you have a Medium Risk profile          : up to 10%
If you have a High Risk profile                : up to 15%

A more complicated but potentially more profitable approach is to weight your investments more heavily in the good value BRIC countries and sell shares in the BRICS with poor value.

Heavier speculation  could buy the good value BRICS and short the low value BRICS.

For example you can see below why right now may be a good time to sell investments in India and invest in China.

Learn how to read this entire update on why to sell these BRICS now as a Multi Currency subscriber.

A March 2009 report entitled “Ecuador Economic Worries” shows why the dollar’s fate is not so important to Ecuador when it says:

A number of readers have sent questions about Ecuador economic worries. One regular Ecuador economic worry I receive is that Ecuador will stop using the US dollar as its currency.

There is little doubt that Ecuador’s economy is in a mess.

Which economy is not?

We’ll look at this Ecuador economic worry in a moment, but to put this worry into perspective, may I share some other economic worries at the same time… plus post some photos from our friend, Dennis Goff… such as this shot from a boutique hotel in Manta, Ecuador where you can stay for $52 a night.

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Ecuador has economic worries, yes, but are they worse than the economic worries in Europe or the US?   The photos show that while we worry we can be in paradise on a shoestring budget.

Read the entire article Ecuador Economic Worries here.

Learn more about BRICS. Join Merri and me along with Thomas Fischer and my portfolio manager, Anders Nielsen, at our February 11-14 IBEZ seminar.

Learn more at  Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

Gary

If you plan to join us at six or more seminars and tours in Ecuador, Florida or  North Carolina in 2010 you can save as an International Club member.

See details about each of our seminar and tours below… then see our December special that allows you to attend as many of these courses you like at a huge savings.

For International Investing and Business.

For Super Thinking + Spanish

For Ecuador Shamanic Tour

For Ecuador Export

For North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi

For Manta & Mid Coast

For Quito & Mindo

For Salinas & South Coast

For Cuenca

You gain discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours.

Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

But our 2009 International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 56 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 in January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501.

International Club 2010

Attend our 56 investment, business, Spanish, real estate and export, courses and tours in 2010 with one small enrollment fee.

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

Here are the 56 courses and tours you can attend free. Plus there is even one more savings you will see below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

May  13-14     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May  22-23    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  28-29    South Coast real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

June 24         Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27    International Investing and Business North Carolina  ( $749 or couple $999)
June 28-29   Travel to Ecuador and Andes
June 30-Jy 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
July 3-4          Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
July 6-7          Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
July 9-10        Cuenca Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)

Sept.   3-6      Ecuador Export Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept.   8-9      Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 11-12     Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 14-15     Cuenca Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 17-18     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept 20-21      South Coast Real Estate tour ($499 or couple $749)

Oct.    7          Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10     International Investing & Business North Carolina ($749 or couple $999)
Oct.   11-12    Travel to Quito and Andes
Oct.  13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 22-23     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Nov.    4-7        Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Nov.    8-9       Travel to Quito and Andes
Nov. 10-11       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 13-14      Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 16-17      Quito-Mindo Real Estate  ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 19-20     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov  22-23      South Coast Real Estate Tour (($499 or couple $749)

Dec.   3-5       Ecuador Shamanic Mingo  ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.   7-8       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.  10-11    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 13-14     Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 16-17      Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth $40,947.

You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses is shown below.

Arrival dates are always one or two days earlier. Please double check with us before booking flights.

I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses which are valued at $40,947!

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

You may well wonder why I would make such an offer and ask why the cost is so low? Let me answer this question frankly and from the heart.

First, it helps us do a better job for you. We feel greatly enriched when we can really help our clients improve their lives. We have learned through years of experience the best way to do this is to meet with you regularly. We can best help you learn how to improve your health and wealth through continual expansion of knowledge.

Second, we gain enormous fulfillment from the many friendships we form through the years. Our friends have enriched our lives tremendously. Let me explain this in more detail.

As a member, you will be part of our international family that meets intensively over the next year to examine ways we can make our lives better. Our goal is beyond just having money. Our goal is to have quantum wealth… good health… wealth and fulfillment through service.

Though I give all course delegates my very best, I cannot help but to do a better job for those who come again and again. As we meet often; your particular wants, needs and desires become clear, and it is easier for me to point you in the right direction.

Another phenomenon is that repeat delegates help each other! They get to know one another, help each other learn, share their insights, make contacts and gain more wealth.

Out associates in Ecuador, are experienced business people who live or work and conduct our real estate and export courses.  They can also act as your local backup for the business.

Lifestyle for Two. There is more! I have learned at my courses that many repeat delegates were couples.

We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO!  You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)

Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

Ecuador Golf Course for Sale


This 9-hole Ecuador golf course is for sale.

See more on Ecuador golf

This is a small business opportunity, a 21.39 acre estate with an executive golf course, pitching and putting, 6 greens on a 5 acre area.  It has six cabins plus a two bedroom, one bathroom house.

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This property was one the market at one time at a price that was too high… $1.6 million dollars.

Now the owner has adjusted it down to a realistic price  $860,000 in his offer below… but I believe he will take less as he offered us a commission which we explained we do not take.  Use this fact… that you are coming to him without a brokerage cost… if you get into a negotiation.

Here is what the owner sent

Rancho Totoral Hostería & Laguna Golf Course

Business & Promotion

NAME:       RANCHO TOTORAL HOSTERIA & LAGUNA GOLF COURSE.

OFFERS:
•    A 85,574.01 m2 Lot (21.39 acres approximately)
•    An executive golf course, pitching and putting, 6 greens in a 2 hectares (5 acres) area, with a sprinkle irrigation system; 3” water pump with a 10 H.P. diesel motor.  The irrigation water supply is from the property reservoir. (Off season)
•    The right to have 15 hours 40 minutes of irrigation water.
•    BENYE 254 –Tractor.
•    CARONI 3 blades LAWNMOWER (rough cut).
•    TORO REELMASTER FRAME 7 blades reel to cut fairways.
•    MOTOCULTOR BCS 745- 3blades LAWNMOWER to cut prior greens grass and to aerate the golf course.
•    TORO GREENMASTER 1000- to cut greens extra fine.
•    GROOMING REEL – attaches to the GREENMASTER to make vertical cuts to the greens.
•    A 1.000 liter tank to fumigate (2 wheel axis, rim 15) with a 3.5 H.P.  BRIGGS STRATTON gas motor and a 1.5” pump.
•    WAGON (2 wheel axis rim15).
•    REPAIR WORKSHOP with a variety of maintenance tools.

HOSTERIA:
•    6 LODGE CABINS (31 m2 or 333,56  sq2), each one in excellent conditions, color T.V., wall to wall carpet, balcony with lagoon and mountains view, unique garden bathrooms. Two double beds in each room.
•    RESTAURANT/CAFETERIA- max capacity 60 guests, bar, lounge, direct TV service, restrooms, lobby and kitchen in an area of 269 m2 (2,894  sq2).  All restaurant and kitchen items included.
•    PATIO area- roof, includes a clay oven and a laundry room
(47 m2 /505,72 sq2).
•    CLEAR ROOF TERRACE PATIO (120 m2 / 1,291.2 sq2).
•    HOSTERIA  MAIN ENTRANCE with an electric gate.
•    MAYTAG Washer and Dryer.
•    RESERVOIR CISTERN of 16 m3 for drinking water.
•    HOUSE on 2nd story includes: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, living room and a loft (147 m2 / 1,582.72 sq2)
•    LAGOON ACCESS with a 64m  shore.
•    Wonderful gardens and cobbled paving paths.

VALUE OF PROPERTY, CONSTRUCTION, EQUIPMENT AND MACHINARY.

•    A 85,574 m2 Lot (21,39 acres) based on Municipal appraisel.
•    Six available cabins (186 m2 / 2,001.36 sq2  approximately).
•    Restaurant, Restrooms, lounge with DTV, front desk lobby, and kitchen (269 m2 / 2,894 sq2 ).  includes restaurant supplies for 100 guests.
•    A 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment on second story and a loft on the third floor.
•    Outdoor lounge, a clay oven, and worhshop (47 m2 / 505.72 sq2 )
•    translucid roof terrace patio (120 m2 / 1,291.20 sq2).
•    pressure Water pump,  maytag washer and dryer.
•    cistern (16m3) drinking water reservoir.
•    cobbled paving paths, gardens, and electric gates.
•    executive golf course (pitching and putting, 6 greens,
(off season )
•    golf course  machinary:
•    BENYE 254 –Tractor.
•    CARONI 3 blades LAWNMOWER (rough cut).
•    TORO REELMASTER FRAME 7 blades reel to cut fairways.
•    MOTOCULTOR BCS 745- 3blades LAWNMOWER to cut prior greens grass and to aerate the golf course.
•    TORO GREENMASTER 1000- to cut greens extra fine.
•    GROOMING REEL – attaches to the GREENMASTER to make vertical cuts to the greens.
•    A 1.000 liter tank to fumigate (2 wheel axis, rim 15) with a 3.5 H.P.  BRIGGS STRATTON gas motor and a 1.5” pump.
•    WAGON (2 wheel axis rim15).
•    REPAIR WORKSHOP with a variety of maintenance tools.

ASKING PRICE   $ 860.000,00.-

Contact

EDUARDO VILLALOBOS
RANCHO TOTORAL HOSTERIA & LAGUNA GOLF COURSE
rtotoral@imbanet.net
www.ranchototoralhosteria.com
P.O. BOX 10-01-224  Ibarra
Telefax: (593-06- 2955-544)
Cell:  094805605

Here is more on this Ecuador golf course for sale.

The lake in question is Laguna Yaguarcocha, just five minutes north of the city of Ibarra and a little more than half hour drive along main highways north from Cotacachi.

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There is a ridge which runs between the lake and the city of Ibarra and from a local lookout point you get the view of the lake above and also the city below.

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The property is called Rancho Totoral.

Here’s a picture from just last Sunday of our Imbabura real estate group eating lunch on the newly constructed patio. By the way, Eduardo the owner, tells me the architect designed roof over the patio cost just $8,000 to put up last summer.

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Last Sunday, just as all our delegates were finishing lunch I strolled over to Eduardo and asked if he wanted to present his project. He has about 22 acres in total and had been thinking of building some townhouses with a local constructor. To my complete surprise he said, “..well actually me and Patricia (his wife) have decided to sell the whole property”.

Suddenly I found myself with unexpected news to convey to the group. As we strolled out on to the grounds, one delegate, a successful internet company owner, said “let me guess – $1.8 million” and I said close ” but the asking price is $1.6 million”.

Of course, not all of us have that kind of money but if that price sounds a little high, bare in mind that just bare land around this desirable lake is selling at $10 per square meter and Eduardo’s price is only for the land and buildings – he’s asking $18 per square meter for thousands of square meters of construction and a 9 hole functioning golf course with the business thrown in. Here’s a shot of one of the fairways below with the lake and mountains in the background.

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The altitude here is just under 7,000 feet and as such the climate is warm with only the slightest hint of an early morning chill. Here is the 44 seat restaurant below and the building it’s inside. (The patio can seat a further 100 people).

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This area has a perfect climate around the lake and not surprisingly the lake is a weekend trip destination not just for Ibarra’s inhabitants but also folks from Quito and even further away. Here’s a couple of early morning shots of the lake as I arrived yesterday with the early morning mist just about burned off.

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Laguna Yaguarcocha is also the site for Formula 3 races around a fast circuit and previously the races were run on the road that runs clean around the lake. Paragliding is a popular early morning sport, launch yourself of a nearby hill and glide serenely over the lake just as this guy was doing yesterday morning. Snow capped Cotacachi volcano was easily visible through the trees in the distance this clear morning.

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Here are some shots of the road outside Rancho Totoral and also the entrance to the property and the driveway down to the restaurant and house, one think I like about this property is the mature gardens and tremendous variety of plants and trees.

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Patricia and her daughter in-law relaxing outside the house

The golf course itself is the only one in the country north of Quito. You can go round and round the course all day long for $25. It’s pretty much a pitch and put course although I can assure you that wouldn’t be the case for me! Mind you if I owned this property I’d be out walking this property every morning just as I did with Eduardo yesterday morning.

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Irrigation.

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The bar and kitchen.

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More cabin shots.

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Lake Yahuarcocha.

Here are a couple of shots of the course.

There is wonderful club house.

Lush Gardens

And some charming guest cottages on the first tee. We’ll visit them again next course. Hope you’ll join us there.

There is a race track that wraps around Yaguarcocha Lake.

One wonderful thing about owning Ecuador real estate is that there is just about everything in this area from hot springs, to glorious mountains to great fishing to wild cloud forest preserves to golf to Formula 3 car racing.

Several delegates recently went to the races at lake Yaguarcocha. You can see some shots of the race below.

Start of the Ecuador real estate races at Yaguarcoacha

French participate in Ecuador real estate races at Yaguarcoacha

Winner at Ecuador real estate races at Yaguarcoacha

Last April, 2006 it was announced that Latin America motor sport took a big step forward by introducing the PanAm GP Series races. This is a brand new racing series that makes a significant impact on racing in Central and South America.

This series includes races in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama and the United States at Homestead in Miami. There is extensive TV coverage on the Fox network.

Although Merri and I are not fans, for those that like this type of sport there are many kinds of races from Formula 3 to motor bikes to souped up go carts here that add one more business dimension to this land.

Whether you want real estate in America, Ecuador or anywhere in the world, look for distortions. They offer value that can improve your lifestyle and increase your wealth.

Here are more pictures.

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On our last real estate tour.

ECUADOR-PROPERTY

Landscaping and…

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the cabanas from…

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far and…

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Here is

ECUADOR-PROPERTY

the entrance and restaurant.

ECUADOR-PROPERTY

Contact

EDUARDO VILLALOBOS
RANCHO TOTORAL HOSTERIA & LAGUNA GOLF COURSE
rtotoral@imbanet.net
www.ranchototoralhosteria.com
P.O. BOX 10-01-224  Ibarra
Telefax: (593-06- 2955-544)
Cell:  094805605

Gary

See this property on our real estate tour. Enroll here. .

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 Demonstrations


There were some Ecuador demonstrations last week.

ecuador-demonstrations

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

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

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

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ecuador-demonstrations

Another AP photo shows how some road blocks cannot circumnavigated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

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

Then oil prices dropped and the government began cutting back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business person from Manta:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Person from Puerto Viejo

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards,

Vilcabamba Teacher:

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

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

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

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

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

Quito Businessman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loja Businessman:

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

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

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

Guayaquil businessman:

Gary, I do not see it so bad.

Ambato Investor:

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

Coastal Businessman

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

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

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

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

Regards,

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

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

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

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

ecuador-demonstrations

Third AP photo from this article.

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

ecuador-protests

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

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

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

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two seminar below.

ecuador-seminars

Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

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

ecuador-exports

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador textiles like these I photographed in Otavalo are popular.

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

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

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

Investing in Chaos


Many recent messages have looked at living, business and investing in chaos during times of turmoil and change.

investing-in-chaos

Ecuador at times may seem chaotic.

Chaos is caused by transition from one wave of productive technology to another.

Investors and businesses who understand this have an enormous advantage because they know to look for the next wave.

In a moment, we’ll look at the potential for chaos in Ecuador.

First, let’s look at some positive chaos that could ruin some basic utilities but also create millions (maybe billions) for some businesses and investors.

The industrial revolution has been a time of continual chaos.  There was a time of turmoil when mankind shifted from steam technology to the internal combustion engine. Investors who had been big in railroads (but were smart) shifted to investing in automobiles and trucking and bus lines.

Then chaos came again when the jet engine made the airplane a more effective form of transportation than long distance.  Bus travel and smart investors shifted from Greyhound into airline shares.

In the information era; the PC, Internet (and Microsoft) became the major carrier of mankind and investors who saw this potential once again jumped ahead of the pack.

Where do we go next?

One new wave of technology may come in a product we all take for granted…. creating what I would call the independence era. Let’s just look at the break through.

A forward looking reader sent me the Utah Daily Herald article “New battery could change world, one house at a time” by Randy Wright.

Here is an excerpt:  On a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.  — a new generation of deep-storage battery that’s small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America’s antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices.

The convergence of these two key technologies — solar power and deep-storage batteries — has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

With small-scale electrical generation taking place at millions of individual homes — as opposed to today’s large-scale power generation from a handful of giant power plants — there would be less worry about what’s called “point failure” on the grid. That’s when a single component gets knocked out and shuts off power to a whole region. California-style rolling blackouts would be history.

The threat of terrorism has heightened the worry. But wide distribution of batteries in homes would virtually eliminate it.

Inside Ceramatec’s wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions — electrically charged particles — back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It’s amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it’s both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn’t want your kids around one of these.

The essence of Ceramatec’s breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery’s life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in. Five kilowatts over four hours — how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That’s a pretty exciting place to live.

And then you recharge. With a projected 3,650 discharge/recharge cycles — one per day for a decade — you leave the next-best battery in the dust. Deep-cycling lead/acid batteries like the ones used in RVs are only good for a few hundred cycles, so they’re kaput in a year or so.

How do you recharge? By tapping your solar panels or windmills. It’s just like plugging in your cell phone or iPod, only you plug in your house.

A small three-bedroom home in Provo might average, say, 18 kWh of electric consumption per day in the summer — that’s 1,000 watts for 18 hours. A much larger home, say five bedrooms in the Grandview area, might average 80 kWh, according to Provo Power. Either way, a supplement of 20 to 40 kWh per day is substantial. If you could produce that much power in a day — for example through solar cells on the roof — your power bills would plummet.

“Batteries and PV are about to merge,” said MIT’s Nocera, using the shorthand for “photovoltaics” or solar power. “First Solar is now saying that it takes $1 a peak watt to manufacture, and another 80 cents for installation. So they’re saying that you can get PV for under $2 a watt. That’s a reduction of cost by a factor of four. Only a few years ago, it was $8. If CoorsTek and Ceramatec come up with a good battery, the market will develop quickly.”

The long-term impact of home electric generation for a power company’s business model could be huge. After all, you can’t stay in business if nobody’s paying for power. Exactly how that will play out remains to be seen.

This technology is new to me… but seems breathtaking and loaded with opportunity.  Please send any thoughts, ideas, information or opinions you have.

Before you invest though, remember the golden rules of investing.

1. Money isn’t everything
2. Work only with people you like
3. Buy businesses, not stocks
4. Invest only in what you understand
5. Don’t over diversify
6. Keep looking for new opportunities
7. Buy businesses you plan to keep for life
8. Look for businesses that are available at a good price
9. Do what you like

Potential Ecuador Chaos

investing-in-chaos

The people of Ecuador are friendly and happy.

There is some potential for change in Ecuador that could benefit those moving and investing there.

First, let’s look at the cause of the turmoil.  A recent message entitled Investing Internationally shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to take back a number of radio and TV frequencies stations. We promised to stay tuned to what happens and share observations and opinions from trusted sources in Ecuador about this.

Since that time, the Western press has published even more bad sounding news.

A recent AP article entitled “Ecuador Wants Citizen Committees To Defend Gov’t” said:  QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador wants to create local citizen committees that would defend the government and its “revolution” — sparking criticism that the president aims to control opponents in a system reminiscent of Cuba or Venezuela.

Citizen Participation Minister Doris Soliz told Ecuador TV on Thursday that local citizen groups are needed to defend against coups like the one that recently deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, or against outside agitators, noting U.S. military plans to use Colombian bases.

Other articles covered lots of rhetoric from Venezuela’s President about winds of war in the area (Chavez’s commenting on the announcement that the US would place military in Colombia).

Since the daily press distort, dramatize and magnify the negative; here are more comments from Ecuadorian business people with this comments.

Dear Gary: Sorry for the delay in my reply.  Correa is an unpredictable president.  On one hand he tries to emulate everything Chavez has done in Venezuela.  It is clear that Chavez gave him millions to finance his political campaigns and now he is obligated to do whatever Chavez wants.

On the other hand, he knows how far he can push the people of Ecuador.  If he is not careful, he can end up like Zelaya in Honduras.  I see strong confrontations coming if he tries to close radio and TV stations like Chavez did.

As you say in your reports.  We all need to be diversified in order to avoid problems in one place and not have anywhere to go in thing go bad.  I do believe the Ecuadorians are not as passive as the Venezuelans, and if Correa pushes too far he will find out. Let’s wait and see.

I agree with this reader. Ecuadorians are an independent people, and I have watched them (peacefully) oust a number of Presidents who abused their power.

Here is another opinion from one of my many sources.

Gary,  My comments are just some personal opinions and for that reason I prefer that I not receive any credit.   There is some noise going around that Correa wants to have “block leaders” who will report back to the government of any dissent. You can imagine what this means. Stifling dissent. It is a time to be careful and hope the Ecuadorian military remains faithful to the people of Ecuador. While there are so many needs and opportunities in Ecuador to be attended to, one could ask why does the president feel it is necessary to be out speaking of “winds of war blowing” against Colombia?
Anyway, it all comes with the territory of being in the Latin governmental world I suspect.  If the leaders were just humble people looking to improve the lot of their people instead of being megalomaniacs hell bent on being Castro or Hitler, life would be easier for all.

investing-in-chaos

Here are children in a parade in Cotacachi.

Readers should note that it was not Correa, Ecuador’s president who made the comment about Winds of War but Chavez of Venezuela. A lot of press makes it sound like Correa is much more closely aligned with Chavez than I believe he is.  Good or bad, I do believe that Correa is his own man and is pretty independent.

Here is another comment by an Ecuadorian with a great political and historical background.

Thanks for asking.  Correa. He is all right.  His big problem is being too young.  There is
a proverb in Spanish “mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo”.  (
The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil). That is Correa’s problem.  He is not old enough.  Velasco Ibarra who was president five times, was very much like Correa, when he was young. When he grew older he became much more sedated.

Again I agree with this. Everything I have seen has led me to feel that Correa has many good intentions and is trying to correct many wrongs and has a big job.  In his youth he may be too ambitious and impatient.  Time, inertia and politics should correct a lot of that!

Here are more comments.

He usually talks too much.  He talks every Saturday for 3 or 4 hours continuously.  It is not highly recommendable to quote him or mention his speech. Sometimes he just changes his mind. Or does not follow what he mentioned in the previous weekend.

That could describe more than one politician!

I have met the President a couple of times. He actually stopped next to us on the street at 9pm at night and met our son and was very sincere and asked what we thought about how things were here in Ecuador.  He is very headstrong, but I think that he is a very intelligent guy and he knows how to negociate  and what it is going to take for Ecuador to become a stable economy and that is with foreign investment and tourism.

Again this is the way I see it as well.

This is from a Quito businessman:

Dear Gary:  Many thanks for sharing the concerns some of your readers have about President Correa. I get some emails on the subject too.  I should start by saying that I am no fan of President Correa,  far from it. I don’t particularly like his discourse as if from the union trenches of the 60s and 70s.

Some of his economic policies seem to go counter current and his relative closeness with Chavez is a blemish.

Nonetheless, there are merits too, amongst which is great effort in improving education and health care. Also, in attempting to fix some wrongs and distortions we’ve had on several fronts.

In spite of Correa’s antics, Ecuador continues to offer, and perhaps more so than ever, rather remarkable opportunities for real estate investors, visitors and expats.

Let me explain:

The new, fresh-out-of-the-oven, Ecuadorian Constitution states, following with the tradition of the previous one, that foreigners have exactly the same rights as Ecuadorians under the law.

Furthermore, private property is protected under the law as one of the main pillars of our economy. Confiscation is prohibited and eminent domain (expropriation) situations are extremely rare, much less so than what they would be in Miami, London or Toronto for that matter.

While some people may believe that Correa is not particularly pro foreign investment, the reality is that Ecuador, just as the next country, needs investment to prosper and, hence, the President is very welcoming of it, he just demands responsible practices.

While the pitfalls of politics-as-usual and nationalistic grandstanding in Ecuador, can and does preclude some major investments from coming in (picture hydroelectric, oil exploration, etc), for most of us, of your readers Gary, this should not be a problem.

Regarding the Government’s stance towards foreigners coming to Ecuador and investing here, something quite nice and reassuring happened to me recently, which is telling about how reality differs from perception.

Here’s the story:

While working in the concept for a coastal development with international capitals and geared mostly towards foreigners, we realized that better government planning and zoning was needed in the area if we were to spread our wings the fullest.

I decided to call the Production Ministry, which is a high level coordination entity on top of many other ministries in Ecuador to see if they could perhaps give us some light as to getting some better zoning for the area.

I was immediately transferred to the head authority in charge of foreign investments in Ecuador and in a few hours was meeting with him along with other officers from the ministry he had called in.
They were not only incredibly welcoming of our ideas and concepts but asked us to create with them a road map not only for planning and zoning, but for infrastructure, education of the local community, and much more.

They have let me know that they are ready to lend a hand as needed and that when the time comes, once we have things down on a plan we can meet with the secretary of the ministry and even President Correa for further vision.

What is the reason for this incredible support? Well, that they are really pro investments and that when you want to do the right thing, doors become open.

On the subject of visas, something that concerns many foreigners, I can say that the President has prompted a very open regime for foreigners to come to Ecuador. However, some changes in the procedures are driving some of us nuts. We just have to adapt.

In any case, you can expect to get a resident visa in Ecuador in 3 to 6 weeks in most cases. The new director of Migration is quite a gentleman and very open and understanding. It’s a pleasure to work with him.

With regards to some radios being closed, this is something the President declared as a possibility on grounds that some radio frequencies had been granted with irregularities according to an audit. While the audit may be correct, President Correa does have a bitter quarrel with the press and his fixation with it is over the top now.

Getting back to real estate; I’d like to add that foreigners have been investing and buying real estate in Ecuador for some time, and that this is a trend that is seemingly quite on the rise.

I am seeing the start of a major wave here.

Ecuador has excellent real estate opportunities and values and the current international crisis where former “safe havens” have been shattered is making this truth about Ecuadorian real estate all the more compelling.

Investors into Ecuadorian real estate ought to buy soundly into capital preservation and important appreciation potential.

As final thoughts, given the current financial problems the world is seeing, the violence in Mexico fending off tourists and investors… the bursting of the real estate bubbles throughout, the baby-boomers coming of age with individuals lusting for active living with quality of life to boot, Ecuador is starting to make some tremendous sense to many.

Our President may be a bit of a showman (to put it somehow), granted; and we as a nation have a ways to go into maturity; we are rough around the edges, but we may have among the warmest, most welcoming people on earth, and no development can buy that.

We have good infrastructure and low cost of living. Those who see beyond the perception should be able to get in early on the trend, ride this major wave and make the best out of it.

These are good points… especially this one… the government may be talking one way or the other… but look at how it is acting. In this case it appears that the government is pro tourism… pro investment and is welcoming residents from abroad.

Here is one final comment.

Gary, I don’t get involved in my host country’s internal politics.  I am however a strong believer in the Open Society and the value of ideas meeting arguments, so I guess I would prefer more media outlets to fewer.  By the by, Ecuadorians I know say this is the first time they feel they cannot express freely what they feel about their government, for fear of repression.

These are two key points also. I do not get involved in politics anywhere.  My feeling is that time is better spent adapting to whatever the politicians do rather than joining into the political fray. Reality is that if you do business fair and well, whatever the political system is you’ll be welcome.  The second point is about freedom of speech.

I recall feeling fear like this recently when talking to my son over the phone. I was about to make a joke about a certain president and decided not to thinking… I had better not joke about this.  The problem was I was in the US… not Ecuador.

The great technology that has created such great access to information has destroyed our privacy as well…everywhere.

My new real estate acquisitions are in Ecuador . Recent messages have looked at the importance of seeing reality. People write often asking if it‘s safe in Ecuador. I was thinking of the reality of this as Merri and I concluded a long Ecuador morning walk. The birds were singing, roosters crowing in the distance and we saw two very young children, a girl of maybe six or seven and her little brother maybe four or five walking alone through the village on their way to school. This is so typical in Ecuador.

I wondered how many children of that age in North America are allowed to walk alone through town as they are in Ecuador.

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More Cotacachi children in a parade.

You see young girls like this (maybe eleven or twelve) walking around night and day. This is not because Ecuadorian parents are careless. It is because there is a great deal of safety in Ecuador .

Here are a few facts I know.

#1: The Ecuador constitution protects landownership of citizens regardless of citizenship. No local government can take land by eminent domain for economic development.

#2: No Ecuador children have been shot in school.

#3: Ecuador schools do not require metal detectors.

#4: No Ecuador police force has used a “no knock” search warrant to break down a door and then shoot an innocent 80+ year old resident 50 times.

#5: We do not worry in Ecuador about being sued if someone spills hot coffee on themselves at our hotel. By the way our coffee is hot here.

#6: Ecuadorian doctors do not have to shut down their practices because of malpractice insurance costs.

#7: Parents in Ecuador are not at risk of having their child diagnosed as having ADD and being forced to give them Ritalin. Read http://www.ritalindeath.com/ if you want to have your heart rendered over the weekend.

investing-in-chaos

There is a deep culture in Ecuador.

Back in early 2007, a potential real estate buyer visited me about buying a $93,000 house in Otavalo. As we enjoyed a “cuppa tea” and visited I could see he loved the house but was really worried about loss of property due to Ecuador’s constitutional reform.

My view was that the reform was unlikely to reduce individual land rights. As we can see above, the opposite took place. the constitution strengthened property protection.  Ecuador’s base of wealth has always been individual land ownership.

Then I pointed out to this potential buyer that his  real bigger risk was buying a similar three bedroom house in England. A similar house would cost him between $400,000 and a million dollars. The risk of losing $93,000 in value when the overheated English real estate market dips seemed greater to me than the chances of losing $93,000 in Ecuador because a house would taken due to constitutional change.

Prices were way overblown in England.  This was exactly what happened.  Real estate crashed in England while real estate prices in Ecuador have remained strong.

Plus Ecuador offers the benefits of $1.40 a gallon gas, lovely weather, sweet people, no capital gains tax on real estate sales, very inexpensive but good medical and dental help, ridiculously low property tax, almost no tort liability, inexpensive cost of living, low crime and better food.

In the west, the cost of living is so high that many people can barely move!

So where is it safe to live? I think when Merri and I are really realistic, we feel that there are many aspects of safety in Ecuador.

Many of us feel many changes in our homelands that are not good. If you do, don’t despair, the sun always shines somewhere as it did here in Cotacachi, Ecuador. Here’s the sun coming up!

Merri and I always practice diversification…in asset class as well as geographically.  We are over weighted in Ecuador so we are voting with our money that the chaos here will create more opportunity than trouble.

See more about Ecuador diversification here.

Change and chaos are parts of the rhythm of life.  The never ending evolution created by time and space creates turmoil but also opportunity.

We hope the chaos in your life brings only good to you.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth in chaos.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two seminars below.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Amazingly helpful, amazingly timely … thank you for this !

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + 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 Seminar
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Read the entire article New battery could change world, one house at a time

Investing Internationally


Investing internationally with thought about reflexivity can improve your wealth.

See three thoughts below that can help bring you everlasting wealth.

#1: George Soros’ thoughts on international investment reflexivity and how the power of thought affects investing and business internationally.

#2:  More on Ecuador’s government’s plan to take over a number of  TV and radio frequencies.

#3: An update on international emerging market values…

International Investments & Reflexivity

Investing internationally can bring everlasting wealth if your logic can adapt and focus in new and meaningful ways.  One way to focus your investing logic is by understanding reflexivity.

The term reflexivity was coined by George Soros.   His thinking on investment markets can help investors because the philosophy has proven success.

Part one of his book “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” shows how we as investors and as a society need to think outside the box.  This section of the book makes seven points:

Point #1: Understanding world is inherently imperfect because we are part of the world.

Point #2: There are two functions in our thought… understanding the world … cognitive thought and having impact and taking advantage of the world… manipulative thought.

Point #3:  These two functions counteract one another. Manipulation requires intentions and predictions which are not fact.  So our beliefs and expectations can hinder our ability to see fact.

Soros writes in this book: “Take the stock market as an example People buy and sell stocks in anticipation of future stock prices, but those prices are contingent on the investors’ expectations. These expectations cannot qualify as knowledge.

Point #4:  Supply and demand are not independent of people’s expectations.  This means that the element of uncertainty cannot be be eliminated. Yet market theory that rules most investing and most government intervention in markets ignores this fact.

Point #5:  Social events have a different structure from natural phenomena.  Natural phenomena has a causal chain that connects one event directly to the next.  Human affairs include participant’s views. These views affect the causal effect and the participant’s views which creates self reinforcing loops.

Point #6: Natural events happen. Participants can affect what happens next with their decisions but cannot base their decisions on true knowledge because their decisions alter the truth.

Point #7:  At times reflexivity makes the abnormal normal.

Soros’ philosophy is supported by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known exactly.  The more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. It is impossible to measure both position and velocity of a microscopic particle with any degree of accuracy or certainty. This is not only a statement about the limitations of a researcher’s ability to measure particular quantities of a system, it is a statement about the nature of the system itself… the fact that the act of measuring anything alters the very thing being measured.

This would make it seem that we cannot really gain an understanding of what will happen with any international investment or business.   This is true.

However there are ways we can come closer to understanding… because we are a part of nature, which by definition makes us part of and in touch with everything.

Access to this infinite knowledge is via our more subtle brain waves.

Access to these waves can come in many forms.

Soros claims to have many ways to access this greater knowledge but in his book his son wrote:  My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, at least half of this is bullshit. I mean you know the reason he changes his position in the market is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning sign.

Some would call it intuition, instinct, gut feeling and perhaps these are just ways of describing getting in touch with a deeper, non linear, infinite field of intelligence that all receive but few tune in.

We cannot define infinity and logical thought by definition must be linear.

Final decisions should be rational and should come from our logic… but logic by its nature must be focused on a very narrow path.  This means we need a way to let our intuition tell us when we need to shift the focus of our logic on a new path outside the box.

One way the yatchaks (means to know) of the Andes and wise people everywhere is to look for signs of nature.

One term used for these signs is totems.  For example, my totem is the Heron.

So let’s ask what in the heck do Herons have to do with international investments?

The answer is nothing and yet everything…

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Here is an explanation about totems from Speaker for the Animals:

Heron – Aggressive – Self-Reliance – Self Determination  Heron links two worlds: the waters of life—the Unconscious, and the air—the realm of the conscious mind. He feeds on fishes, which symbolize the treasures of the Unconscious mind: spiritual nourishment for the Seeker. Yet he is also a creature of the Earth, so he is a grounding influence for people who spend too much time in their minds and who are called to ‘fish’ in the waters of the unconscious.

The legs of Heron are long to “stand” the deep waters of the Unconscious: the Waters of Lethe bring sleepiness and unconsciousness if one is not awake, aware and wary. Heron is a solitary fisher; if you call upon Heron to be your own totem, you must be able to stand alone as you seek, for there is no one to call on should you step into too-deep waters.

Heron’s strength for those of us who spend too much time ‘in our minds’ is that he brings one down to Earth. With Heron as your guide, he will bring you to ground to explore life here in the physical instead of just daydreaming or losing oneself in one’s imagination or dreams.

We’re unconventional, hearing our own inner drummer. We don’t worry about ‘keeping up with the Jones’s, doing what others do, believing what others believe, valuing what others value. If there is a weakness, it is that Heron works too hard at its fishing because he is a superb ‘stalker.’ He spends long hours standing and watching for a movement in the water, and needs sometimes to ‘loosen up’ and spend more time playing, courting lady herons or just snoozing in the Sun.

Most people, as Ted Andrews says in his book Animal Speak, would never choose to live this way: “It is not a structured way, and does not have a stability or security to it. It is though, just a matter of perspective. There is security in heron medicine, for it gives the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way doesn’t work, then another will.”

Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance. This is a valuable character trait in these times of conformity and homogenization of values. Heron people can stand alone, listen to their own inner wisdom, and go their own way when everyone else is conforming to society’s commands. In this way, they build their own ways to be as well as choose their own way of doing. They are individuals first.

Herons are active in my life and I have painted one (inspired by Audobon’s Heron) that hangs in the entrance to our house.

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So when the Great Blue Heron that lives on Little Horse Creek flew from our high mountain bog right over this morning, I dug out my copy of Animal Speak.

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I rethought my business and investments in contrast to the symbolism of the heron.  This never happens without my coming up with some worthy thought.  Today it related to a partnership I was looking into.  I reread Solitary in nature, Heron people follow their own path. They learn self-reliance.

This started me rethinking if Merri and I really want a partner. This started me looking at the business in a very different way.

Ecuador shamans and yatchaks use this process extensively and call it shape shifting. They place themselves in the spirit of their totem and this forces them to think about whatever subject they are concerned with in a different way… thinking like a heron or eagle or condor definitely puts you out of the box!

I did not come to any conclusions about my business decisions because I saw a heron.  The fact I saw a heron caused me to sit down and use my logic to rethink my plans in a different way.

Learn more about how to improve your thought process here.

Ecuador Radio and TV

On the subject of Ecuador, a previous message shared news about the Ecuadorian government’s plan to seize a number of radio and TV stations and promised to stay tuned to what happens.  I have asked many of my trusted sources in Ecuador for their opinions which we’ll share in various messages.  Here are two from businessmen in Ecuador.

The first contributor was quite negative when he wrote:  The first thing to take into account is that he is actually proposing control over the press not only within the countries but at a international
level. What he is saying is that countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others, should create an international committee that will oversee what the media is saying about the governments.

Ecuador is following the Venezuelan model, so if you see that Chávez is pushing for a new legislation that control the media and whatever content they have that may “threaten” the nation security, Ecuador will follow that soon. Below is what Venezuela is doing, they actually want to sensor the information that the media exposes meaning that if who oversees the media thinks that this or that information is “bad” for the country, the media or the anchor will actually face justice and may even go to jail for at least four years. They closed 32 radio stations and 2 tv stations.

Rafael Correa, the President, said that his team was about to revoke some radio frequencies depending on the outcome of a report that his government is finishing. This will mean that whatever happens will be done in the next weeks. Critics claim that this was not done on a technical level but on a political one, opening the door for the government to possibly revoke the frequencies of radio stations or TV stations that oppose the government.   On this matter nothing is sure yet, but Conartel, which oversees the media, actually punished a TV station, Teleamazonas, that opposes the government.  The fines were applied to that TV station one time, by law the second time they must close for about 90 days and the third time they must close forever. They censored the Simpsons also from that TV station and there was a public outcry because Conartel and the government threaten to punish them.  We figure that since he started a new period, things will start to happen in the coming weeks, so far nothing is concrete yet.

He was not totally negative though and added: One thing although is that the government is not talking about taking over TV stations or radio stations, but revoking the frequencies. But take this into account, the government actually took over some private TV stations, they got them as part of a debt that Filanbanco, a bank, had with the government back in the crisis of 1999. This appears to be a separate thing. On the same takeover they got two TV stations plus a newspaper El Telégrafo.

The second contributor feels good about this new and wrote:  Hi Gary,  I have lived here full time for over 9 years and have seen the corruption and I believe that Correa’s intentions are more good than bad. I believe that many things that he does for a good reason while he is working on removing corruption are turned into bad press by the opposition. The same opposition that stole from the people of Ecuador throughout history, and want to regain control and steal from them again. I think that the Wall Street Journal article you wrote about says a lot. It says to me that he is going through the licenses one by one to find out if the licenses were granted illegally through corruption and payoffs. If they were granted legally, no problem…..and if they weren’t we are going to suspend the license and you will have a chance to prove that you obtained it legally.  A year or so ago, two television stations were taken over, with the same uproar in the press. But the truth is that they were taken over because the owners of those two stations were the owners of one of the banks that went under when they took all of the depositors money and went to Miami to live happily ever after. Well, Correa went after their assets ( a first for a president to go after someone like this) and some of those assets were the two tv stations. So we need to look past what the press says as many of them are owned by this type of opposition. I see Correa in a similar boat that President Vicente Fox of Mexico was in a few years ago, when His party was elected after over 100 years of severe corruption by the ruling party and he wanted to remove that corruption. He was also fought along the way by the opposition that wanted the power back to again steal from the people. It is a very difficult job that Correa has ahead of him, and I hope that he can succeed and become possibly the best president that Ecuador has ever had.  Regards.

We’ll be providing a full report on the radio and TV position to our Ecuador Living subscribers

Emerging Markets Update

We’ll share more comments about international investments in Ecuador in upcoming messages… but let’s use our logic here to look some more at international investments in all emerging markets.

One problem many investors have when using non linear approaches to international investments is that they forget the final logical step…. which is to come back and end in the logical mode.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should just ignore what is in the box. We want to use our logic to reflect on “in-the-box-stuff” in different ways.  If we do not know what’s in the box then we won’t know when we are out of the box.   Boxes exist for a reason.  At times the box.. assuming the box is the norm… but Soros says “is abnormal.”    We need to conclude if the box is normal or abnormal which dictates that we do examine what’s in the box.

Thinking outside the box does not mean we should abandon logic.

So I may sit down and rethink everything… or something I am doing when I see a heron… but I add that to my traditional logical thought.

This is one reason why we regularly review Michael Keppler’s major and emerging market value analysis.  Kepler is a statistical genius and guru…. very institutional… logical mathematical .

What I search for are strokes of intuition supported by such logic.

This morning for example their were three crows grazing our front yard.

Stock market investors sometimes refer to three crows as a pattern of successive declining stock prices over three days often identified by overlapping candlestick patterns. Three crows are often seen as a warning of a period of powerful selling pressure on the stock market.

This does not mean I rushed out and sold all my shares. It does mean I looked at logical data like Keppler’s value analysis to see if the logic supports the intuition.

Here is an excerpt from our last multi currency portfolios update that shows Keppler’s mathematical logic.

Emerging Markets equities recorded their highest ever quarterly return. In the second quarter 2009, the MSCI Emerging Markets Total Return Index gained 34.7 % in US dollars and 27.5 % in euros.

This brings the year-to-date total return of the global Emerging Markets benchmark to 36 % in US dollars and 34.8 % in euros.

All markets covered here were up last quarter. Hungary (+69.7 %), India (+59.8 %) and Turkey (+56.6 %) had the most impressive returns.

Peru (+11.2 %), Israel (+15.8 %) and Morocco (+19.6 %) came in at the bottom of the performance range with what would be very desirable double-digit returns under normal circumstances.

In the second quarter 2009, the Emerging Markets Top Value Model Portfolio, which invests according to the Top Value Strategy and assumes index returns for each national market included in the strategy, gained 45.5 % in US dollars and 37.7 % in euros, outperforming the benchmark by 10.8 percentage points in US dollars and by 10.2  percentage points in euros.

There were two changes in our performance ratings last quarter: Korea was downgraded to “Sell” from “Neutral” and Brazil was upgraded to “Buy” from “Sell”.

The Top Value Model Portfolio now contains the eight “buy” rated markets: Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey at equal weights.

It is unusual for a market to rise all the way from sell to buy as Brazil did this quarter. This is in keeping with our thoughts on Brazil Distortion Thoughts published in  April and June.

You can see the password protected pages and full emerging markets update and a warning about these values as a Multi Currency Portfolio subscriber.

Whether you plan to have international investments, an international business or non at all, it will become increasingly  important to think outside the box as change accelerates and new social and economic paradigms are required.  Whether you use backaches, gut feel, hunches, totems or meditation and prayer… new ways to focus your logic an help you have everlasting wealth.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two seminar below.

international-investments-seminar

Thomas Fischer teaching at our IBEZ seminar.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

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

international-investing

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador tiles are one great product attract many international businesses.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course: Thanks so much.  I have been following the advice in your Multi Currency Course/International Investing monthly and have added selected suggested funds from your lists which are available in my Fidelity IRA.  Even though my transactions are in SMALL amounts for stock and ETFs I am almost back up to the total invested amount prior to the stock market dive of last year.   Your emails have given incentive to keep diversified investments when I know other people are selling out.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + 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 Seminar
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

See the entire explanation of herons at speakerfortheanimals

Retire & Earn Abroad


Here is another reason to Retire and & Earn Abroad.

Yesterday’s message on lifestyle and Ecuador diversification was really backed up by Uncle Sam quickly!

Whether you retire in Ecuador or anywhere outside your home.. you want diversification. See why below!

retire-in-ecuador

One benefit of retiring in Ecuador is that it can help the poor there.

Yesterday’s article worried about weather change being called a threat to national security and wondered if this concept could further erode human rights.

I never imagined the very next day we would have even more concern… yet an article by James Risen in the New York Times entitled:  “U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban” must give us pause.

Here is an excerpt:  WASHINGTON — Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed, reflecting a major shift in American counternarcotics strategy in Afghanistan, according to a Congressional study to be released this week.

United States Marines on a recent raid in Helmand Province. Under a new policy, drug traffickers are subject to being killed.

United States military commanders have told Congress that they are convinced that the policy is legal under the military’s rules of engagement and international law. They also said the move is an essential part of their new plan to disrupt the flow of drug money that is helping finance the Taliban insurgency.

retire-in-ecuador

Part of our work at Meson de las Flores was to continue a policy at our hotel to feed the poor. We always keep a pot of nutritious stew on the stove and our less fortunate are welcome any time of the day.  Above is one of our regular guests.

The problem is that the erosion of rights creeps upon us in small steps… like income tax. When to raise revenue to fund the Civil War, an income tax was introduced in the United States with the Revenue Act of 1861. It was a flat rate tax of 3% on annual income above $800.

When the idea was contested on concerns that the tax, once established, would grow, one Congressman stated that there was no way the population would let the tax ever be higher than 3%.   Yet a year later  flat tax this was replaced with a graduated tax of 3-5% on income above $600 in the Revenue Act of 1862.

This act made tax temporary ending in 1866.  Regretfully, perhaps, in 1866, income tax collections reached their highest point ever, over $310 million.  This made the tax popular and today we can see the effects of the small steps… one freedom eroded at a time.

So where does the legal right to kill drug dealers lead?  If it is legal to kill Afghan drug dealers to disrupt the flow of drug money that finance insurgency, what about drug dealers in Mexico that are financing insurgency in the US?  Can we kill them too?  If so, how about if we catch them in the US, can we kill them there?   If so what if they are US citizens or residents?  Can we still kill them?  Can the army become involved… in the name of national security?  Do they have to check a person’s passport before they shoot the drone at them?

These are tough calls, but somehow making it legal for the army to kill non combatants seems like a small step in the wrong direction.

retire-in-ecuador

Merri and I visiting a village that our foundation supports… helping the old and supporting the young by improving their school.  This is a fulfilling retirement activity.

Yet loss of rights is not the only reason we might want to live or retire in Ecuador or elsewhere, full or part time, for diversification.

The rising cost of living makes it difficult to retire in the West.  Plus though taxes are rising… benefits for those who retire are not.

A recent BBC article “Pension age could rise further” shows how the rot in England has grown. An excerpt says:  The state pension retirement age could be increased further, the UK’s pensions regulator has told the BBC.

David Norgrove said rising life expectancy meant millions of people would “undoubtedly” have to wait longer in future to draw a state pension.

People will not save as much for retirement as in the past, with many people “frightened” to do so, he said.

The state pension age is due to rise to 68, and Pensions Minister Angela Eagle said there were no plans to raise that.

Currently, the state pension age is 60 for women and 65 for men, but four years ago Lord Turner published a report calling for it to rise to 68 for everyone by 2044.

But Mr Norgrove said he thought it would end up higher.

Mr Norgrove said: “People are going to have to work longer, partly because we’re not going, as a nation, to save as much for retirement as we did in the past.” He added: “The government’s recent legislation is increasing the state retirement age progressively to 68. I think it will end up higher than that.”

retire-in-ecuador

Part of our program is to get readers who retire in Ecuador involved helping the poor.  We also offer roses and donate the proceeds to help people like this charming woman.  See more about her, and how the roses help, here.

Another reason to retire in Ecuador is that business opportunity seems to be rising there as it falls in the north.

A recent USA Today article. “Business bankruptcies up 240% since 2006”, by Christine Dugas outlines a US retirement and lifestyle problem.  Here is an excerpt of that article:

Entrepreneurship and new small businesses are supposed to lead us out of the recession, just as they have in prior downturns, right?  Sure.

Your neighbor’s grand idea will persuade a bank to lend her start-up money; she’ll open for business in six weeks; and money will immediately flow from customers to her to her employees. Taxes will be paid, and the national economic engine will hum effortlessly in no time. If only.

Today shows a different reality: Commercial bankruptcies are surging. Fewer people are starting small businesses, and firms already open are struggling under changing consumer habits, a lack of funding options and tougher bankruptcy laws. If a nationwide trend seen since January holds true, more than 300 businesses will file for bankruptcy today alone.

The first five months of this year have shown a 52% increase in the total number of commercial bankruptcy filings (36,106) compared with the same period last year (23,829), according to the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records. On average thus far in 2009, some 350 commercial enterprises file for bankruptcy daily an increase of 240% from 2006, the first year after the bankruptcy law was changed.

Major corporate failures, like GM and Chrysler, flash across front pages and websites. But the vast majority of commercial bankruptcies, which are not separated by size of firm by data keepers, are filed by entrepreneurs and small-business owners, says Robert Lawless, professor of law at University of Illinois.

Troubling for the economy, say Lawless and Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, is the double-whammy of fewer start-ups and increasing bankruptcies.

“In the past, small-business formation increased in a recession because people had self-employment thrust upon them,” he says. “One avenue out of economic hard times self-employment has become less attractive, because the bankruptcy law is less forgiving” and there are fewer options for those entrepreneurs to get bank loans or to find funding elsewhere.

Small business is considered the backbone of the economy. In the past, new businesses led economic recoveries, McCracken says. Small businesses  those with fewer than 500 employees  make up half of the gross domestic product and account for most job growth.

Problems from the devastated housing market, overall recession and suffering major industries all funnel down to small businesses, especially those that supply the troubled corporations.

Household spending cutbacks reach far, too. Dual-income families who are now single-income may no longer need or be able to afford child care, so many of those services are going out of business, says Lester Thompson, a bankruptcy lawyer in Dayton. Sporting goods stores and lawn-mowing services also have struggled.

Small-business bankruptcy filings jumped the most in the Los Angeles and Chicago metro areas, according to Equifax. But even smaller areas of the country are experiencing a big increase.

Many small businesses owe so much money to creditors that there is no future. Such owners often file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut their businesses for good.

The credit crunch is a major contributor to the rise in filings.

Loan dollar volume from the U.S. Small Business Administration has increased 35% since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed on Feb. 17, according to the SBA. Even so, a National Federation of Independent Business trend report states that in May the percentage of business owners reporting that loans are harder to get rose to 16%, the highest reading since the 1980-82 recession.

With that reality, and loath to dip into their retirement savings, struggling small-business owners have few options other than bankruptcy. When the bankruptcy law changed in 2005 it was mostly aimed at curbing abuse of personal bankruptcy filing. But it also singled out small businesses for harsher treatment, and those changes did not apply to larger corporations, Lawless says.

Bankruptcy is still the only option for many small-business owners who are hanging by a thread.

This is why the idea of living or retiring in Ecuador or elsewhere, at least part time,  for diversification and global earning potential makes sense because opportunity is growing elsewhere.

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Nothing makes our retirement problems diminish faster than helping those who have even greater needs.

An excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article “Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index Up” by Mercedes Alvaro says: QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s Business Confidence Index, measured by Deloitte and Touche, surged 5% in May to 93.2 points, compared with May 2008, the company said in its monthly report.

Deloitte said the index recovered by 31% in May against April, returning to the levels registered during the last quarter of 2008.

The Index’ recovery is largely due to the waning perception among executives of a deterioration of the country’s economic and political conditions, it said.

Deloitte found that 45% of those surveyed are less optimistic about the economy compared with April, while 52% perceive no change.

The slow but steady increase in oil prices and the revival of the global economy are grounds for expecting that the economy in Ecuador could improve by year’s end or in early 2010.

Questioned about the performance of their businesses, 34% said they had lower sales compared to the previous months and 39% reported revenues down on the same period of last year.

The survey found 20% reported a reduction in their workforce compared to the previous month.

Around 57% of the business leaders surveyed said that the country’s socio-economic situation makes it difficult to attract foreign investment.

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We should help our neighbors at home as well. This is why we are developing environmentally sensitive, sustainable programs to encourage value-added, employment in the Blue Ridge as well.

I have written many times about the benefits of retiring in Small Town USA for lifestyle diversification as well. See more on lifestyle diversification at Inspired to Retire

We can see below why diversification remains important even if we retire in Ecuador.

Just because we want to live or retire in Ecuador does not mean that Ecuador does not have its own creeping erosion of rights problems as well.  An August 3 news.Yahoo article says: Correa: Ecuador to take over radio, TV stations.  QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says “many” radio and TV frequencies will revert to state control due to what he’s calling irregularities.  The president has been at war with Ecuador’s news media since taking office in January 2007. He has called TV stations and newspapers corrupt and mediocre, and twice fined an opposition broadcaster.  Correa did not specify Monday what sort of abuses or irregularities broadcasters have committed. Nor did he name any alleged offenders.

An August 5th update on this matter in the Wall Street Journal says: Ecuador Govt Braces For Reaction To Radio, TV Takeovers

QUITO (Dow Jones)–Ecuador’s government is expecting “strong reactions” to a report that will determine which television and radio stations will revert to state control.

Antonio Garcia, chairman of Ecuador’s National Radio and Television Board, said Wednesday that a report will be issued next week on which stations the government will take over.

President Rafael Correa’s government has alleged that a number of stations received their broadcasting concessions illegitimately and said that “many” would revert to state hands.

Correa’s announcement came on the heels of the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Ecuadorian president’s close ally, shutting down 34 privately-owned radio stations last weekend.

An initial report by an Ecuadorian government commission last year found that 236 of 1,637 frequencies had obtained their concessions illegally.

Garcia brushed off what he called “alarmist accounts” that all radio and television stations will revert to state control and that the government is looking at them on a case-by-case basis.”

He said that some media outlets, however, are “trying to misinform” viewers and listeners.

We’ll stay tuned to what happens with this takeover  at our Ecuador Living  Service.

The greatest asset for diversification is the ability to earn wherever you live and to keep your investments safe.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two seminar below.

Here is Thomas Fischer talking with seminar delegates at a recent international investing course that I co hosted with Jyske Global Asset Management.

retire-in-ecuador

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

retire-in-ecuador

Seminar delegates visiting Otavalo market looking for Ecuador export ideas.

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 Seminar
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Learn more about the power of  Ecuador export ideas

See WSJ article Ecuador’s government braces for reaction

See NYT article U.S. to Hunt Down Afghan Drug Lords Tied to Taliban

Ecuador Wills


Ecuador wills do not work if challenged.

We’ll look at some important information about Ecuador wills and Ecuador’s legal system in a moment.

Plus see below how asset protection benefits in the LLC you use may have changed.

Here is a group of indigenous farmers that our foundation Land of the Sun (LOTS) is helping.  They created a mingo (working circle) to clean out their water system that feeds a school that LOTS is helping to renovate.  Merri and I and some friends visited to check on their progress.

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Everyone works, men…

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women…

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young…

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and old.

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Well… not everyone works.

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But everyone gets involved in helping. Here is our hotel manager Franklin Sandoval conferring with the head of the village.

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I mentioned our foundation here  because it helps us gained fulfillment in our business, plus creates tax and asset protection benefits plus is part of our estate planning to make sure that the people of Ecuador are helped even after we pass.

Making sure that your assets held abroad are protected and properly conveyed in your estate requires extra planning.

Yet many Ecuador Living subscribers have been buying real estate or are moving to Ecuador without giving thought to the added complexity in their estate plans and other legal requirements.

I strongly suggest that you review you entire estate with both a local and Ecuadorian attorney. Here are some excerpts from an Ecuador Living report on why.

The Western world operates on two systems of law, the civil law of ancient Rome, and the common law of England.  These two systems have a lot in common, yet in many important areas they differ.

These differences can create legal conflicts in contracts, wills, trusts, parental rights and even residency.

The passing of wealth to heirs for example is one area that differs.

Few people coming from North America (which operates under a British common Law system), understand that US, Canadian or Ecuador wills do not work in Ecuador if challenged.

Many legal systems have evolved from The Roman civil code.  The Napoleonic Code is the French version, established under Napoléon I in 1804.  The Napoleonic code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system though. The Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis was reated in Bavaria arund 1756).  The Allgemeines Landrecht formed in Prussia, around 1794.  The West Galician Code,  began in part of Austria around 1797.

Many of the civil codes in Latin America are based on an original work derived from the French code and Castillan law.  Chile was the first to accept this type of legal system in 1855.  Ecuador followed in 1858.  El Salvador,  Venezuela,  Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Panama are other countries with a legal system based on this foundation.

In this Ecuador legal system, the will is called the testament and allows the testor to direct the disposal, in whole or in part, of their property, upon death.   The testor retains the right to revoke the provisions in the testament anytime during his or her life.

However there is a difference in common and civil law as to what is a person’s property is.   In most civil codes, the wife automatically owns half of all property unless otherwise  stipulated in a formal way. The children own the other half.  Period. A will cannot supersede this fact.

If a person’s will leaves all of his or her property to his or her spouse, the will works fine UNLESS the children contest the will. If they do the testament will not be valid.

This can create complications in simple circumstances.  If the circumstances become complicated… for example children from two or more marriages… then problems could mount.  There is even a concern in my mind that a surviving spouse could lose investor residency status if the inheritance falls below required minimums.    A spouse could lose residency and a house!

In a common law country a person can write a will on a scrap of paper, throw it in a drawer (not advised) and that may be enough.  Though it also might not.  In a civil code jurisdiction such a will definitely will not work!

So if you create a will in Ecuador and then write another later… be sure to make the change official. Otherwise the new will may not work.

In a common law legal system wills do not have to be recorded and often the act of writing a new will allows the new document to supersede the old.

Ecuador’s Act reforming the Civil Code, of August 17, 1989 updated a number of areas relating to  covers relationships between a children and their parents, marriage, divorce, the status of wives, marital property and marital agreements.

Having an attorney to help you with estate planning in every country where you hold property makes sense…  especially if  two of the countries have different legal systems.

The US attorney we use is our friend (and trustee of LOTS) Joe Cox.

Joe’s firms specializes in cross border tax and estate planning, asset protection and real estate.

He provides an incredible system called The Strategic Snapshot which is an easy to use, color coded visualization of a person’s structures, corporate entities, estate plan and assets. We use the snap shot and have found it incredibly useful in seeing how everything from a legal point of view should fit.

You can ask Joe about the Strategic Snapshot at  jcox@coxnici.com.

Joe’s law firm also provides an excellent estate planning newsletter that I read regularly.

A recent letter at his archive shows how and says:

Conversion to Manager-Managed LLC Format

Many individuals concerned with asset protection have formed a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) in an effort to protect their assets. In fact, most people do not know that Florida was the second state in the United States to draft LLC legislation (dating back to 1982). Most LLCs we see in our daily practice have been formed as member-managed LLCs, that is, when the members (i.e., owners) of the LLC control and manage the LLC as well. However, due to recent changes in the law regarding LLCs, we are now recommending that any Member-Managed LLC be converted into a Manager-Managed LLC format.

The intent of this recommendation is to increase the creditor protection of the LLC should the Member be involved in a lawsuit.

For example; under a Member-Managed LLC, if a creditor of the Member is able to obtain the LLC membership units (by court order, for example), the creditor could obtain management rights and make decisions for the LLC. At least one recent court ruling (from Colorado) makes this result a possibility. However, under a Manager-Managed LLC format, the Manager retains control of the management of the assets held by the LLC even if someone else “controlled” the LLC membership units.

In a Manager-Managed LLC, an elected Manager (pursuant to the Operating Agreement) manages the LLC. Note, that an existing member can act as the initial Manager of the LLC, and an independent Manager can be elected at a later time, if desired. Under a Manager-Managed LLC format, if a member was successfully sued, and the creditor obtained the member’s LLC membership units, the Manager could withhold distributions from all Members and the creditor would receive nothing. This result could deter a potential creditor from filing an unjustified or otherwise frivolous claim.


Plus Joe’s website offers an easy to use internet questionaire. See Questionaire.

We live in a complicated world often made more frustrating by the legal system.  Legal systems are problematic enough when one lives and resides in one country.   Difficulties can compound when living and or holding assets in two countries or more… especially if both legal systems…common and civil become involved.  So get an attorney and get advice so you, your spouse and your heirs never find your results uncivil.

The text above is an excerpt from a more complete report sent to Ecuador Living subscribers that describes Ecuador legal system, how to create wills there and provides legal contacts in the US, Canada and Ecuador that can help.

Learn how to subscribe here.

Regards,

Gary

Join us in Ecuador at a 2009 course or tour.

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

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

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

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

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

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

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

See our full 2009 schedule here.

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
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

Ecuador Politics & Reality


Will Ecuador politics lead to this?

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or is this the more likely result of Ecuador politics?

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See below a batch pf Ecuador pictures and why I lean towards the politics of dancers in Ecuador.  First some words about Ecuador politics.

A reader sent this note asking about Ecuador political realities.

Mr. Scott, I want to thank you for the reports that you are sending me about Ecuador politics. I had decided to come there the first week of April and check things out. Then I saw on the news, here in the US, that the President of Ecuador is becoming just like the President of Venezuela, another dictator that will ruin the country and make it very undesirable and unsafe to live there. I would like for your honest opinion on this matter.  Sincerely,

Here is my Ecuador politics reply.

I never believe much of what I read in the news anymore. When I see how the US, especially the CIA treats Latin politics and Ecuador I am surprised there is not more hostility to the US.

Many readers read a lot of bad stuff about Ecuador politics and Correa and how he is not renewing the US lease on the Manta air base that started in 2000.

What the news on Ecuador politics does not report is what the US has been helping Colombia do from that base.

For example the news up north has not reported on an article at Commondreams .com written by the Environment News Service. Here is an excerpt:

Ecuador Sues Colombia to Stop Anti-Coca Herbicide Spray

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands- The government of Ecuador today filed suit at the International Court of Justice against the government of Colombia, in an effort to stop or restrict aerial anti-coca spraying that has allegedly sickened people on the Ecuadorean side of the border and harmed livestock, farmland, and sensitive, ecologically diverse rainforest areas.

The lawsuit follows seven years of persistent but unsuccessful diplomatic efforts on Ecuador’s part to convince its neighbor to the north to establish a 10 kilometer (six mile) no-spray zone along their shared border.

Colombia is expected to argue that the aerial fumigation of illegal coca farms, which provide the raw material for cocaine production, is a linchpin of the war on drugs.  Ecuador claims that the chemical sprays have sickened its people, poisoned farmland and damaged ecologically sensitive areas.

At a press conference in Quito announcing the lawsuit, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Maràa Isabel Salvador said, “With the purpose of establishing the existence and dimensions of the afflictions suffered by Ecuador as a result of these and past fumigations, last year President Rafael Correa created the Ecuadorian Scientific Commission, comprised of eminent scientists from our country.

“The results of the commission’s work have been crucial to reaching the irrefutable conclusion that Colombian aerial fumigations have had noxious effects on our people and our environment,” she said.

“There is no doubt that the fumigations conducted by the government of Colombia constitute a grave violation of the sovereignty of Ecuador and of the most basic principles of international law,” she said, “which prohibits a state from causing harm to the population, land and well-being of a neighboring state.”

Since spraying began in 2000, Colombia has refused to consider such measures, the lawsuit asserts. Instead, its planes and helicopters loaded with herbicide have flown right up to and sometimes directly over the border, releasing chemicals designed to eradicate all forms of plant life.

The spray has drifted to the Ecuadorean side, where villagers have reported feeling the mist settle on their skin. People in Ecuadorean border communities, many of them poor subsistence farmers or those raising small cash crops, have suffered skin lesions and rashes, burning eyes, nausea, dizziness, respiratory problems, and intestinal bleeding. Some have died.

Ecuador alleges that the spraying has killed livestock and crops, forcing the abandonment of villages, while harming ecologically sensitive areas of high biodiversity.

Nearly one third of the country’s territory is protected or park land, and Ecuador is estimated to have the highest average biological diversity of any nation on Earth.

Since 2000, the United States has been financing the aerial spraying of coca crops in Colombia, which is the world’s leading producer.

According to the lawsuit, Colombia has refused to disclose the exact makeup of the herbicide it uses, though the active ingredient is known to be glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl). The active ingredient is reportedly combined with other chemicals to make aerial sprays more potent.

Ecuador protested the violation of its territory as soon as spraying began in 2000, and has sought to resolve the countries’ dispute through negotiation and diplomacy.

As a last resort, it submits its argument to the International Court of Justice, whose jurisdiction is confirmed by the American Treaty for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, also known as the Pact of Bogotá, to which both Ecuador and Colombia are parties.

Ecuador has been an active partner against illegal drugs. It is the only Andean country with virtually no coca crop. Yet they have to put up with this even though Colombian government officials agree that the aerial spraying against coca plants is largely ineffective.

Nor did the northern news make much mention when Colombia bombed Ecuador territory to kill a FARC commander that had taken refuge in the hinterlands of Ecuador.

I wonder how the US would have reacted had Mexico dropped bombs in Arizona to kill Mexican criminals there?

Nor have the northern news reported much of the details outlined at antiwar.com in an article by Kintto Lucas entitled  “CIA Infiltration’ Charges Prompt Shakeup in Ecuador’s Armed Forces”

Here are excerpts:

QUITO – President Rafael Correa’s allegations that intelligence services in Ecuador had been infiltrated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have led to a shakeup in the armed forces of unforeseeable consequences.

The current crisis broke out as a result of Colombia’s Mar. 1 bombing raid of a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) camp in Ecuadorian territory, which led to a brief rupture in relations between Ecuador and Colombia and sparked a regional crisis that was quickly overcome through dialogue.

At least two other members of the Ecuadorian high command have also offered their resignations, said Camacho.

Ponce, the new defense minister, said “this is not setting the stage for a witch hunt, but for a healthy critical exercise of transparency. The stability of our democracy is not based on cover-ups but on the courageous analysis of our actions.”

He also urged the armed forces “to undertake a generous review of their structures and practices.”

On Saturday, Correa denounced in his weekly radio broadcast that the CIA “has totally infiltrated some of Ecuador’s military intelligence bodies.”

According to the news report, when it began to be revealed that the armed forces had previous knowledge of the Colombian air strike on the FARC camp in Ecuador, several military officers complained internally that the intelligence service had not passed on the information.

Local media outlets reported that military intelligence had been following Franklin Aizalla, an Ecuadorian citizen who died in the attack on the FARC camp, without informing Correa.

On Mar. 17, Correa and then defense minister Sandoval learned from the press that Aizalla had been under surveillance, which Colombia’s right-wing President Álvaro Uribe had been aware of for some time.

Colonel Pazmiño’s curriculum indicates “very effective training by the US and Israeli security bodies,” wrote Ecuadorinmediato, which added that “he handled military intelligence operations in a nearly autonomous manner, without duly reporting to his superiors, many of whom were unaware of those actions.”

He also said that, “besides the CIA’s infiltration in the armed forces, it is essential to take a look at what is happening in the police, who have traditionally had the closest ties to US security policies for the region.”

Former US Southern Command chief Charles Wilhelm said in 2000 that after Ecuador signed an agreement leasing the air base in the port city of Manta to the US military, one of Washington’s aims was to “reorient” the Ecuadorian armed forces.

The officer who spoke anonymously to IPS said “part of that reorientation was the modification of the training received by the Ecuadorian military, to make it more similar to the training received by the Colombian army.”

A few days after the Mar. 1 bombing of the FARC camp, the Colombian magazine Cambio reported that members of the Ecuadorian police intelligence services had helped locate the camp.

More recently Ecuador accused an expelled Mark Sullivan, the U.S. Embassy’s first secretary in the office of regional affairs and stated he was in charge of CIA operations here.   Ecuadorean officials claim he meddle in the assignment of senior police.

The US denied this CIA allegation… but why am I not convinced?

Having said this, the Presidents in Ecuador have been bad for the entire 14 years Merri and I have been here. This has made little difference to day to day life.  Go to Garyascott.com and type Correa in the search engine as I have written several messages about him.  He is the best I have seen so far.

I believe that many of his policies are incorrect but he is the first President here that I believe will be reelected in April.

He is smart in that after just two years in office he is running again while he is popular instead of waiting the normal four years.  I believe he will be reelected now. In two more years…who knows?

He has been providing free housing for the poor.

They are little 240 square feet affairs.

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given free.

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These little houses are everywhere on the coast.

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Let me be clear about Correa. I do not like many of the things he has been doing… but then again I do not like many things that Obama is doing either.

Obama and Correa have much in common… youth… energy and inexperience.

Anyone looking for a place to live where the country has only good politicians may be in for quite a search.

Let me also be clear about my position regarding the USA.

A reader recently asked:

Gary, Just curious – if you love Ecuador so much – why is legal address in NC, USA.   Why a non-profit entity in the US!

My reply kind of says it all.

Does one have to dislike one country because they love another?

We have lived in Hong Kong,  England, Europe, The US, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and have enjoyed them all.    If there is one key theme in the thousands of messages we have sent to our tens of thousands of readers about global living is that diversification, people and value are keys aspects in our beliefs.

We love Ecuador and live part time here.We also love North Carolina and live part time there.  We make no bones about our love for America and how we live more there than in Ecuador.

We reported recently how we are shifting our focus back to Florida and why at Ecuador shamans & truth … value and people… plus diversification.

Those three themes value… people… diversification are our politics.

This is our North Carolina home.

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This, Meson de las Flores is our Ecuador home. Note how the US and Ecuadorian flag freely fly, side by side, with those of many other nations.

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Each makes the other better!

We do not get much into politics here. We just enjoy the life… the sweet people… the warm weather… the good food and low cost living and let the politicians and the newscasters play their games. They have very little effect on life here.

In fact bad Ecuador politics in many ways make life better for retirees here.  Bad politics screw up the economy leaving people poor and keeping the cost of living low.

I hope that changes. I would like to see more people in Ecuador prosper but that probably will not happen soon.

Low oil prices… reduced remittances from abroad and a global economic slow down will challenge Correa over the next four years if I am correct and he is reelected.

The bad economics will put Correa under pressure and he’ll make mistakes. He may even come off as a brash hot head.  Does this make him a dictator? Not that I have seen.  Will it make any difference in my life or the other gringo’s living here. Probably not.

In fact if there is anyone to fear it is the NEWS that misleads you and tries with its spin to lock you into a narrow point of view. Life is good out here… make no mistake about this.

While many are living with the crowds and stress and snow and high prices… thinking there is danger here… a growing number of us are enjoying the sun… low stress… low cost and a good life without big brother.

While so many are stressing out up north, here is a group of new residents here in Cotacachi who decided to take the day train from Ibarra to Salinas.

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Off they go!

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Sun… ecuador-political-reality

blue skies and friendship… plus…

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happy entertainment when they arrive…

ecuador-political-reality joy… color and

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good food to share.

None of us are worried much about dictators and these soldiers here.  See my upcoming story about this one next week!

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However, you should come take a look, see and feel for yourself.

Gary

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 

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

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

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

All I need is my laptop.

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

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from writing.

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

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

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

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

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

Writers like High are great inspirations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First some history.

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

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

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

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

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

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

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

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

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

The First P is Passion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is a special offer. 

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

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

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

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

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

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

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

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

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

David is an essential part of our web based business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus you get more in the program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ecuador Economic Worries


A number of readers have sent questions about Ecuador economic worries. One regular Ecuador economic worry I receive is that Ecuador will stop using the US dollar as its currency.

There is little doubt that Ecuador’s economy is in a mess.

Which economy is not?

We’ll look at this Ecuador economic worry in a moment, but to put this worry into perspective, may I share some other economic worries at the same time… plus post some photos from our friend, Dennis Goff… such as this shot from a boutique hotel in Manta, Ecuador where you can stay for $52 a night.

ecuador-economic-ideas

These pictures were taken by our friend Dennis Goff and they make an important point.

Dennis is a friend and a professional photographer.

ecuador-economic-ideas

He and his wife, Nicki, live part time in Ecuador and often join us on our tours where he helps us by providing some really great shots.

ecuador-economic-ideas

All the photos here were taken by Dennis…

Ecuador has economic worries, yes, but are they worse than the economic worries in Europe or the US?   The photos show that while we worry we can be in paradise on a shoestring budget.

For example, Dennis took this shot of a four floor Bahia, Ecuador house on our latest Ecuador coastal real estate tour…  just $95,000 asking.

ecuador-economic-ideas

The four floors run up a hill…  over 3,000 square feet with these…

ecuador-economic-ideas

views.  Here are our real estate tour delegates viewing this house.

ecuador-economic-ideas

I wonder if  the Western  economic and social system will do well if the current economic downturn continues?

Global economic problems are not likely to disappear soon and they are everywhere!

Excerpts from the New York Times March 20, 2009 article “New Deficit Forecast Casts Shadow on Obama Agenda”  by Jackie Calmes shows how disturbed America’s economy is when it says:

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office placed a new hurdle in front of President Obama’s agenda on Friday, calculating that the White House’s tax and spending plans would create deficits totaling $2.3 trillion more than the president’s budget projected for the next decade.

Senator Kent Conrad said the budget office analysis confirmed the need for adjustments.

The difference largely reflects the administration’s more optimistic forecasts of economic growth through 2019.

The budget office figures, which will guide Congress as it takes up Mr. Obama’s proposals in earnest next week, were worse than Democratic leaders expected and further complicated their job of achieving the president’s priorities on health care, energy policy and much more.

Moderate Democrats from competitive districts and states have already expressed nervousness about some of Mr. Obama’s plans, especially as Republicans have grown increasingly emboldened to stay on the attack.

Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said the new report “confirms that under the president’s plan, our debt will increase to shocking levels that are simply unsustainable and will devastate future economic opportunities for our children and grandchildren.

I fear that anyone looking for a perfect place, with honest, intelligent politicians, a great economy, perfect law and order and a low cost of living will have a long search.

At least while searching for economic stability in Ecuador, you can enjoy perfect weather, friendly people and incredible values.

Ecuador’s economy is oil dependent which creates economic problems if oil prices remain low.

Yet Ecuador has many other resources and for gringos it offers amazing value.

ecuador-economic-ideas

Where else could you live on a beach like this… with great weather for $79,000… including…

ecuador-economic-ideas membership in this club house… with spa, pool, luxury dining and tennis on the beach?

Lower oil prices have reduced Ecuador revenues. Remittances from Ecuador workers abroad have dropped and foreign investments have fallen due to the rising dollar and Ecuador’s decision to default on its bonds.

Because the U.S. dollar is Ecuador’s currency, it doesn’t print its own money. This keeps politicians who would like to turn on the printing machine from doing so.

This is why Ecuador dollarized in the first place.  Dollarization worked an economic wonder.  Inflation fell from over 70% to below 5% in 2001.

But extra income from oil set the government on the wrong course… just as the high 1998 tax revenues in the US set America’s government on a spending spree at exactly the wrong time.

Now a severe trade deficit caused by the strong dollar is draining Ecuador of dollars.  The dollar has risen versus currencies in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, etc. This makes goods in Ecuador cost more and thus they are harder to export.

Ecuador’s government has reacted by creating high import taxes to slow down imports. This has caused the cost of living to rise in Ecuador.

Excerpts from a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Ecuador May Have to Drop Dollar, Credit Suisse Says” by Lester Pimentel helps explains why:

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Ecuador’s banking system strains and plunging foreign-exchange reserves may force the South American country to drop the dollar as its currency, Credit Suisse Group AG said.

“Mounting pressures on the banking system could potentially harm the fiscal accounts further and could force the government to de-dollarize the economy, in spite of its wish to continue to defend the use of the dollar as the country’s currency,” Diego Sasson, a Credit Suisse analyst in New York, wrote in a report published yesterday.

“Ecuador won’t abandon use of the dollar to offset plunging oil revenue and worker remittances from abroad,” President Rafael Correa said today in an interview with the Unimax television network. The country adopted the dollar in 2000 to help curb inflation after the sucre tumbled 73 percent against the dollar and the government defaulted on $6.5 billion of foreign debt.

Ecuador’s use of the dollar gives Correa no outlet for providing credit to the economy as access to foreign financing dries up and revenue from oil sales slides. Crude, which has dropped 65 percent from a July record, accounts for 60 percent of Ecuador’s exports.

The country’s foreign reserves declined 5 percent to $3.31 billion in the week ended March 13, the lowest since June 2007, the country’s central bank said in a report on its Web site March 16. Reserves have plunged 47 percent from $6.5 billion in September as the global recession eroded demand for oil exports and the country defaulted for the second time this decade.

Yet despite the rising costs you can still enjoy a hotel like this for as little as…

ecuador-economic-ideas

$85 a night, which is what…

ecuador-economic-ideas delegates at our recent coastal tour paid.

The Ecuador economic worry is that dropping the US dollar could cause an economic collapse that would somehow destabilize the country.

Perhaps.

But those who are concerned about Ecuador economics may not have thought the problem and resultant social economic reactions all the way through.

Perhaps they have not lived and invested abroad for 41 years as Merri and I have.

Generally I look for places with social or economic worries  to invest. The economic worries are almost always overblown which creates extra value like…

ecuador-economic-ideas

this one bedroom condo ($75,000 asking) in Manta.

I started my business career in Hong Kong when bombs were being set off by terrorists.  I saw how the fear created by those bombs built fortunes for those who did not over react.

If Ecuador eliminates the dollar as its currency, chances are that the cost of living in Ecuador for those who earn dollars… such as those living on social security and or pensions, will drop.

In other words, if Ecuador returns to the sucre life gets better for the gringos whose income is generated from abroad.

Delegates on our most recent Ecuador coastal real estate tour bought lots in this gated community for $17,500.

ecuador-economic-idea

This is assuming that a collapse does not create too much social unrest.

Fortunately we have some recent Ecuador economic history upon which to reflect.  In 1999 Ecuador’s economy came to a grinding halt.   All the banks shut.  Ecuador ran out of gas. Millions emigrated to Spain, Italy and the US.

Were there riots? No.  Murders?  No. Mayhem? No. Social disintegration? No.  A breakdown of law and order? No.

My reaction to that 1999 crisis.

I bought 962 acres of Ecuador real estate.

Ecuador is a pretty good place to be in times of economic collapse.

Prices are low now. beauty is high.  This Manta condo offers…

ecuador-economic-idea

three bedroom units at $130,000 asking.

There is always plenty of food.  Ecuador’s people are happy, friendly and industrious. They have never learned to expect much from their government. They have never learned to rely much on the purchasing power of paper money or Ecuador’s banks.

We are living in a time of global change and turmoil.

My belief is that those who ignore or try to avoid this fact will have a hard time.

Those who embrace change and adapt will have greater than average opportunity.

See more on this thinking at Ecuador Perceptions and International Investments in Fear.

Here is another shot of the Manta condo that Dennis took on our last Ecuador coastal real estate tour.

ecuador-economic-idea

Remember the following rules of investing:

#1: Markets are efficient in the long run but financial markets are not effective short term due to human behavior.

#2: To attain higher growth you must either increase risk or trust luck.

#3: Invest in inexpensive equities or real estate that is paying a reasonable dividend or rent.

The economic cleansing we are enduring has not changed any of the rules above but has made it easier to find good inexpensive shares and real estate.

For example this Bahia condo on the 7th floor has over 1,000 square feet, 2 bedrooms 2.5 baths with views from all rooms.   The balcony looks over the peninsula of Bahia, and the Pacific Ocean.  Yet…

ecuador-economic-ideas

the asking price is only $81,000.

There are three important facts that investors need to remember:

#1: Do not care too much about day to day volatility.
#2: Care more about strategy.
#3: Avoid short term buying and selling.  Spend time analyzing and forecasting instead.

The condo above is near this shot.

ecuador-economic-idea

Here are rules for gaining in a market crisis.

#1: Turn on the auto pilot and normally add to your position.
#2: Do not panic.
#3: Do not let feelings influence you too much.
#4: Do not count on extraordinary returns. Be realistic.
#5: Add some restructuring stories to your portfolio
#6: Know that a period of low returns will be followed by a period of high returns.
#7: Do not underexpose yourself for the long term.

Here is another scene near the Bahia condo.

ecuador-economic-idea

Ecuador may or may not leave the US dollar behind.

If it does, I expect real estate values to move just as they did before Ecuador dollarized. Hotel rooms were quoted in dollars and changed daily as the sucre fell.

Real estate was bought and sold in sucre but the price changed each day as the sucre fell.

Ecuador real estate is a global commodity just like oil.  The price will adjust to a falling currency… which is why Ecuadorians always invest in real estate instead of bonds, shares or bank accounts.

We can choose to worry or not….about Ecuador’s economics… or those in the US, Europe or anywhere. We live in a global economy.

We can also choose where to be when we worry.  Ecuador offers  many reasons why it’s a good place to be during these times of change.

Until next message, may all your changes be good.

Gary

If you plan to join us at six or more seminars and tours in Ecuador, Florida or  North Carolina in 2010 you can save as an International Club member

See details about each of our seminar and tours below… then see our December special that allows you to attend as many of these courses you like at a huge savings.

For International Investing and Business.

For Super Thinking + Spanish

For Ecuador Shamanic Tour

For Ecuador Export

For North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi

For Manta & Mid Coast

For Quito & Mindo

For Salinas & South Coast

For Cuenca

You gain discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours.

Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

But our 2009 International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 56 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 in January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501.

International Club 2010

Attend our 56 investment, business, Spanish, real estate and export, courses and tours in 2010 with one small enrollment fee.

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

Here are the 56 courses and tours you can attend free. Plus there is even one more savings you will see below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

May  13-14     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May  22-23    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  28-29    South Coast real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

June 24         Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27    International Investing and Business North Carolina  ( $749 or couple $999)
June 28-29   Travel to Ecuador and Andes
June 30-Jy 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
July 3-4          Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
July 6-7          Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
July 9-10        Cuenca Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)

Sept.   3-6      Ecuador Export Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept.   8-9      Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 11-12     Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 14-15     Cuenca Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 17-18     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept 20-21      South Coast Real Estate tour ($499 or couple $749)

Oct.    7          Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10     International Investing & Business North Carolina ($749 or couple $999)
Oct.   11-12    Travel to Quito and Andes
Oct.  13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 22-23     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Nov.    4-7        Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Nov.    8-9       Travel to Quito and Andes
Nov. 10-11       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 13-14      Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 16-17      Quito-Mindo Real Estate  ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 19-20     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov  22-23      South Coast Real Estate Tour (($499 or couple $749)

Dec.   3-5       Ecuador Shamanic Mingo  ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.   7-8       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.  10-11    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 13-14     Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 16-17      Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth $40,947.

You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses is shown below.

Arrival dates are always one or two days earlier. Please double check with us before booking flights.

I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses which are valued at $40,947!

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

You may well wonder why I would make such an offer and ask why the cost is so low? Let me answer this question frankly and from the heart.

First, it helps us do a better job for you. We feel greatly enriched when we can really help our clients improve their lives. We have learned through years of experience the best way to do this is to meet with you regularly. We can best help you learn how to improve your health and wealth through continual expansion of knowledge.

Second, we gain enormous fulfillment from the many friendships we form through the years. Our friends have enriched our lives tremendously. Let me explain this in more detail.

As a member, you will be part of our international family that meets intensively over the next year to examine ways we can make our lives better. Our goal is beyond just having money. Our goal is to have quantum wealth… good health… wealth and fulfillment through service.

Though I give all course delegates my very best, I cannot help but to do a better job for those who come again and again. As we meet often; your particular wants, needs and desires become clear, and it is easier for me to point you in the right direction.

Another phenomenon is that repeat delegates help each other! They get to know one another, help each other learn, share their insights, make contacts and gain more wealth.

Out associates in Ecuador, are experienced business people who live or work and conduct our real estate and export courses.  They can also act as your local backup for the business.

Lifestyle for Two. There is more! I have learned at my courses that many repeat delegates were couples.

We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO!  You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)

Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

Cotacachi Culture


Cotacachi culture offers many opportunities for those of us who live in Cotacachi.

Many readers ask, “what is there to do in Cotacachi?”

There are many wonderful cultural events in Cotacachi such as the Casa Dansa event that our Cotacachi import export course enjoyed last week.

Cotacachi-culture

Dancers and singers were represented from three countries. Mexico, Venezuela and Peru.  This dancer was terrific in his Aztec regalia.

Here was an amazing performer from Peru.

Cotacachi-culture

The Peruvian performance was as close to Chinese opera as anything I have ever seen… once again…

Cotacachi-culture

showing the ancient link between Latin America and Asia.

This was as special event as the coordinators especially welcomed our group and the North American residents of Cotacachi. We are now a large segment of Cotacachi’s population.

Here we are.

Cotacachi-culture

The two hour event was really enjoyed by our delegates once again showing that Cotacachi culture is always offering something for us to do.

Gary

Join us at a course our tour in 2009 in Ecuador, North Carolina or Florida.

Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  Here is a special offer on this new course.

You can enroll in this special course for $299. However if you sign up for three courses in any one month.

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

Future 2009 courses

May 29-31  JGAM Multi Currency investment Seminar Naples Florida

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
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