Tag Archive | "Wells Fargo"

8.5 to 1 Odds


Why would you do business with a company where the odds are 8.5 to 1 that it will cheat you?

That’s a good question… and leaves me wondering,.

“How is it that Well’s Fargo has any customers left?”

The stage coach company was in the news again.  This headline is “Wells Fargo Bankers, Chasing Bonuses, Overcharged Hundreds of Clients” (1).

The article said:  Employees say lofty rewards tied to revenue pushed foreign-exchange staff to ignore agreed-upon fees.

An internal review showed that out of roughly 300 fee agreements based on anything from informal handshakes to emails to signed documents, only about 35 companies were charged the actual price they had been offered for currency trades handled by Wells Fargo, the employees say.

The phone call was part of a continuing cleanup that has led Wells Fargo to fire four foreign-exchange bankers and federal prosecutors to open their own investigation of the operation, people familiar with the matter have said.

300 clients.  265 were defrauded.  I am no mathematicians but think that works out as odds of 8.5 to 1 that they’ll do you foul.

The fraudulent nature in Wells Fargo’s corporate culture is a little concern.  The bigger problem is that such malfeasance is a reflection of a much bigger problem… unfavorable odds that we are cheated by big business almost every day.

What is the probability we are being overcharged by big business?

Out of curiosity I entered the phrase, “How big companies overcharge” in the Ecosia search engine.

The response suggests that we are being cheated in just about every sector of business.

Top headlines read like this:

  • Big Pharma made $711 billion overcharging seniors and disabled
  • Check your phone bill:  You’re probably being overcharged
  • Real Estate Closing Overcharging – Big Class Action
  • Credit card companies overcharge consumers
  • Big Six energy companies overcharging loyal customers by up to $327 a year.
  • Recent study conducted by UCLA professor shows customers in areas with weak signal strength or to stream audio or video are often overcharged.
  • Sallie Mae pays $100 million fine for overcharging active duty military for student loans.

How… or why do we put up with this?

Part of the problem is frustration fatigue.

We are cheated everywhere, almost every step in our lives… all the corners, so much so that we give up.

Every action we take, runs some company or the other pulling some slick trick buried in the small print…. or charging more or giving less than agreed.

We simply cannot keep up with it.

Another problem is limited choice.

Have you ever flown on an airline where the experience was so bad that you thought… “Never again”.   Then you had the the reality check… “Every other airline will treat me in the same way”.

So we suck it up.  What can we do?

One solution… go small.

Whenever I can, I use a small independent company where, if required, I can speak to someone who lives and is speaking to me in the same time zone and the same state, county or ideally the same small town.

This works so much better than dealing with a customer representative who is in India or the Philippines or wherever and does not seem to have a clue.

Another solution is to sue in small ways.

If you have a genuine claim, taking a big company to small claims court can take far less time to get the firm to fix above-average in complexity problems.

The expenditure for a small claims suit can be as low as $24 (filing fee) and 45 minutes, driving to and from court to file, as well as the time spent on the phone with the company when they call to settle.

Small claims court is where the consumer gains the advantage.  Corporations can’t use an attorney in small claims, and they have to send (this usually means fly) a representative that isn’t fully versed on the facts.  It’s easier to just pay from their point of view.  In small claims, big business is stripped of the big lawyer advantage. The red tape, obgucation and delays are stripped away and the odds are in favor of the consumer.

The Consumerist.com article “Suing big companies in small claims court is fun and easy” (2) tells how one consumer got what he deserved from TMobile and Washington Mutual using small claims court.

The article says:  Washington Mutual bank had taken overdraft fees of $58.00 even though the check was deposited and they didn’t clear it when they said it was immediately available.  He took them to small claims and asked for $2,058.00.  $2000 for the impact it caused and for punitive.  They called 7 days before the court date and sent a check, settling the case for exactly what was asked for.

 

Hopefully the small ideas above will help you deal with this fact so your life is smoother and you live in a better way.

You can utilize other ways that Merri and I protect ourselves from corrupt systems below.

Gary

Regain Control from the Wells Fargo Syndrome

 

Here is how to take back control of your life as big business launches its most serious attack on being small.

Well’s Fargo is back in the news.

Another fraud.

Last year the bank paid $185 million in penalties after creating 3.5 million unauthorized consumer deposit and credit card accounts just to meet aggressive sales goals.

Then in July 2017, it was revealed that hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers were charged for auto insurance they did not need. An Office of the Comptroller of the Currency report says Wells Fargo may need to refund customers more than the $80 million for this cheat.

Now we are reading about an investigation into the bank’s the foreign-exchange dealings.

The cheating culture at Wells Fargo is just one example of how big businesses and government acts like we, the people, don’t matter any more?

The only leverage we had, the threat of taking our business elsewhere, or changing our vote seems to have gone up in smoke?

We are caught in “take it or leave it.

We have become numbers caught in a system”.

Has big government, big pharma, health care or big business ever made you feel ripped off? 

Do you feel like your representative in government is more concerned about his welfare than yours?

Do you worry that your bank and credit card company rip off, rather than look after your savings?

Have you stopped complaining, because no one seems to care whether you are a satisfied customer or not?

Have you had to wait and wait on the phone or stand in a line for hours?

Welcome to our modern world.

Markets are global, technology replaces people.  We have become numbers, rather than human beings.

I invite you to get off this treadmill where we do not seem to matter and join a new movement.  Join us to become a Pruppie like my wife Merri and me.

I am sure you are asking, “what’s a Pruppie?”

Pruppies are those who use changes in technology to integrate the best features of Preppers and Uppies.  We all know about preppers.  They believe that the world, as we know it, is about to end.And we also know about Uppies, upward professionals as in Yuppies, young upward professionals.  Uppies expect their world to get better.

The reality is that the world might get better or it might get worse. 

Chances are it will be better in some places.

Other spots will get worse.

Pruppies are those who will gain either way! 

I invite you to join Merri and me as Pruppies, because we expect the world to get better.  We live and earn based on that expectation but we also prepare for bad times as well as good.  Just in case… the world goes sideways… we Pruppies will still survive and prosper anyway.

We do not give up anything by being prepared either.  We can enjoy the good parts of the new economy, as we protect ourselves from what can be bad.

We pursue our passions in an incredible new economy that’s opening up for those who learn how to start multi dimensional micro businesses, tiny businesses that offer multiple streams of income in good times but can work well in disaster scenarios too.

Here’s an example… there are special opportunities in medicinal crops.  One of the best kept secrets is that 125 medicinal crops, that are currently unsustainable, can be grown on land that is wonderful for low stress living and is extraordinarily cheap to own.

Take Ginseng as an example.  This is a crop with enormous upwards potential due to growing demand in China as well as the Western world.

Pruppies do not accept just the established wisdom.  They look for secrets and one secret is that in parts of the Pacific Northwest Ginseng was an important crop for the local economy there before World War I.

Ginseng… according to the establishment…. does not grow there.

This example shows how looking for secrets creates opportunity.

Pruppies look for ways to make life better in non establishment ways.  New technology creates many new ways to earn multiple small streams of income that have been forgotten or were previously unknown.

goldenseal ginseng

Ginseng and Goldenseal growing in our back yard.  (I know about growing ginseng and want to show you how).  But enough about ginseng.  The earning potential of this medicinal root is just one small example of how to create large earnings in many small ways.

Any Passion Can Make You Rich

Let me hasten to add, I am writer, publisher and investor, not a farmer.

Yet I love agriculture and low stress rural living, so I earn multiple small streams of income in agriculture, plus enjoy the benefits of growing and raising some of my own medicine and my own food.

The small agriculture ventures that Merri and I do are fun and each activity earns a little, plus helps us have better health.  Gardening is good exercise. Eating the fresh food we grow is better than any food we’ll find in big business super markets.

If times turn tight our small agriculture enterprises could become big… in lifestyle terms because I turn my passions into income.

Here are  sun flowers I grow.

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These sunflowers can be made into bouquets and floral designs that stimulate my artistic bent and sell well at the local farmers market.

Anyone can make good money in small time agriculture and its a growing trend.

Pruppies earn in numerous ways. 

Here is what Merri and I do.  We have our self publishing business.

We have traveled globally for decades… tax free and financed by our publishing business.

Writing is a great way to earn.  Writers can work where they want, (here I am writing away in the woods on our Blue Ridge farm).

gary scott

In the winter, I work at our Florida home instead.

gary-scott-images

We have other mirco businesses businesses as well.

For example, we have an orange grove.  Not a good earner right now with citrus greening but with huge fringe (AKA known as tax breaks) benefits.

We have a real estate rental business with annual leases and we also rent though airbnb.

We raise trout which we sell locally in North Carolina.

There are many benefits in having numerous ways of earning.

First, each activity is enjoyable… for us.   Our hobbies are, art, fishing, agriculture and music?   We use each of our passions to create a small business.  This stops us from becoming bored or burned out.  A passion or interest, not the money, is always the starting point we use to find new ways to serve and earn.

Second, the diversification increases the odds that we’ll always have enough income.   Something always seems to be hot so we never live beyond our means.

When you join us as a Pruppie you join a family of like minded souls who are looking to improve their lives by improving three basic qualities of real freedom.

Merri and I begin our 50th year of living, working, investing and researching to find and share ideas on how to have simpler, low stress, healthier, more affluent lifestyles.  Our courses, reports and email messages look at ways to gain:

#1:  Global micro business income.

#2:  Low cost natural health.

#3:  Safer, more profitable, easy to make value investments.

Many club members find that just one of these three benefits makes membership worth while, but using all three provides added value.

27 years ago Merri and I created the International Club as a way for readers to join us and be immersed in all three of these benefits.   The International Club is a year long learning program aimed at helping members earn worry free income, have better affordable good health and gain extra safety and profits with value investments.

Join us to gain real freedom in 2018.

#1: The first quality of real freedom is the ability to earn through service.

Have you ever wondered, “do I matter as a person any more”?   Certainly the hectic inhumane modern social structure where business and government all treat us as a number run through a system can make us ask such a question.

This is a life and death question.  The establishment, business, government, law enforcement,  health care,  education,  everything big has grown so large and so computerized that we don’t seem to matter as human beings.

It is Fun & Fulfilling to Matter.

We can regain a true form of importance, fulfillment, wealth and freedom by serving others in a profitable way.  A multi dimensional micro business creates freedom as it redesigns your lifestyle by bringing profit, fulfillment and peace of mind, by helping others as you do what you love.

The way to maintain freedom through service and continual lifestyle reinventions is to “Go Try Things”.

Today we have a global income with a self publishing micro-business with readers around the world, but run from our current homes in Smalltown USA.

May I share how to regain control in the valuable report, “The Pruppie Factor”.  I’ll give it to you free, no strings attached.

As you will learn in this report, I became famous in a very small way (remember small is good) by being one of the first writers and publishers to recommend global investing 50 years ago.

Everyone thought I was crazy then.  Then we led investors to Hong Kong, London, Switzerland, Austria, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

 In 2009 after more than 40 years of residence, business and investing around the world, I returned to the the USA to enjoy a more carefree, simplified life in the countryside and Small-town USA.

If you are thinking about a simpler life in Smalltown USA, you have made a good choice.   Merri and I could live anywhere I want, but chose to live in the USA and on properties in rather remote rural areas of Appalachia and Central Florida.

Background.   I started buying real estate at age 19.  Since that time my wife and I have purchased real estate in five states in the US and eight non US locations, Fiji, London, Gloucestershire, Isle of Man, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Ecuador both on the coast and in the Andes.

These purchases have ranged from raw land…

to condos…

to houses… to farms…

even a hotel.

We have owned everything from an old manor house where construction was started in the 1700s.   Here it is, Forwood East in Minchinhampton.  Princess Anne was our next door neighbor, but we bought this house for a song.

small-town-USA

Forwood.

This is our front yard at Rosasamba, our 962 acre hacienda deep in the Andes, about an hour and a half outside Quito, Ecuador.

rosaspamba

In each case we used the same process to find and buy real estate.

Price was never the only key in these investments.  Our decisions have been based on having a better lifestyle and how it helped create multiple streams of income.  For example Rosaspamba was purchased with the idea of creating a healthy and remote healing center.

We seek value within a particular market created by distortions in unrealized utility and value to our lifestyle.

In other words we look for property we love, where we want to live and that can help us earn extra profit.   These values are more important than price.

“Where are these places?”.

There are are specific places where you can reduce your living expenses and easily increase your income.  Scientific research has shown that being in such places actually make you smarter and healthier.  Top this off with the fact that they provide tax benefits.

Learn about these specific places.  Learn what makes them special.

Discover seven freedom producing steps so can find these places of opportunity.

The report includes a tax and career plan broken into four age groups, before you finish school, from age 25 to 50 – age 50-to 65 and what to do when you reach the age where tradition wants you to re-tire.  (Another clue-you do not need to retire and probably should not!)

The report is very specific because it describes what Merri and I, our children and even my sister and thousands of our readers have done and are doing, right now.

Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere focuses on a system that takes advantage of living in Smalltown USA, but earning locally and globally.

This report is available online for $39.99 but International Club members receive it free.

The answer to a better, freer life is to combine better health, higher income and greater savings for a happier, more resilient lifestyle. 

Club members also receive seven workshops and courses on how earn everywhere with at home micro businesses.  We call this our “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”.   The program contains a series of courses and reports that show ways to earn and be free.  These courses and reports are:

  • “International Business Made EZ”
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell”
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • The course “Event-Full – How to Earn Conducting Seminars and Tours”

This program is offered at $299, but is available to club members free.

#2: The second basic quality of real freedom is natural good health.   None of us can be truly free until we wrest ourselves from the grip of the expensive, big pharma fueled, health care system.  Plus it has been proven that we can live longer by living in rural settings.

According to a study at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health there is an amazing correlation between living in a home surrounded by greenery and longevity and mental health.

The study of more than 108,000 subjects across America found there was a 12 percent lower risk of death for those who lived in the greenest surroundings.

Subjects with the greenest vegetation around their homes were 34 percent less likely to die of a respiratory-related issue. They also found that those living in the greenest environments were 13 percent less likely to die of cancer.  The researchers were quite surprised by this strong correlation that also extended into mental health.  Subjects  living in the greenest environments were happier and less depressed.

merrily farms

Imagine how working at our trout pond that sits just below our North Carolina home helps keep us stay healthy and relieves stress.

 I have been studying how to have natural health for decades since I first connected the relationship between good health and wealth over 45 years ago.  Over these four and a half decades as we traveled the world, Merri and I have kept a continual watch for new ways to be stronger, more flexible, in better shape and more immune from disease.

After decades of study with experts in Chinese and Indian medicine Merri and I moved to Ecuador and lived and worked with an Andean shaman for years.

Merri and me with Andean shaman.

We learned that good health and longevity come from easy, low impact internal exercises, good nutrition and deep sleep so our bodies are fit and strong and our minds clear.

Club membership shares ways to be free of the “Secret Hospital Charge Master”.   Just as governments hide truth behind “National Security”, big health care businesses hide medical truths behind “Charge masters”.  Most hospital charge masters are secret because big business does not want us to know how much hospital costs have risen.  Motivations beyond our good health, like corporate greed, want to keep us in the dark about health care cost.

Despite rising health care costs, a report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention shows that hospitals are the last place we want to be for good health.  One report shows that hospital-acquired infections alone kills 57% more Americans every year than all car accidents and falls put together.

Often, what patients catch in the hospital can be worse than what sent them there.  Governments and health care agencies agree  – antibiotic resistance is a “nightmare.”  An antibiotic-resistant bacteria may be spreading in more hospitals than patients know.  About one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection and a 2013 report from the Journal of Patient Safety showed that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the country.

Along with the risk of hospital acquired illness and medical errors, the second huge threat to our well being… is health care costs, especially at hospitals.  This is why charge masters are so often secret.  There are few risks to our wealth that are greater than a hospital stay.

I have created three shamanic health reports are about:

#1: Nutrition

#2: Purification

#3: Exercise

Each report is available for $19.95.  However club members receive these three reports worth $59.85 free.

The Third Quality of Real Freedom is Safe, Profitable, Low Stress, Good Value Investing.  Club members participate in an intensive program called the Purposeful investing Course (Pi).  The purpose of Pi is finding value investments that increase safety and profit.  Learn Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing.

Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  These destroyers of wealth can create a Behavior Gap, that causes investors to underperform in any market good or bad.  The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.  Pi helps create profitable strategies that avoid losses from this gap.

Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of a Primary Pi Model Portfolio, called the Pifolio.  There are no secrets about this portfolio except that it ignores the stories from economic news (often created by someone with vested interests) and is based mainly on good math that reveals the truth through financial news.

There are seven layers of tactics you learn with Pi.

Pi Tactic #1: Determine purpose and good value.

Pi Tactic #2: Diversify 70% to 80% of portfolio equally in good value developed markets.

Pi Tactic #3: Invest 20% to 30% equally in good value emerging markets.

Pi Tactic  #4:  Use trending algorithms to buy sell or hold these markets.

Pi Tactic  #5:  Add spice speculating with ideal conditions.

Pi Tactic  #6: Add spice speculating with leverage.

Pi Tactic  #7:  Add spice speculating with forex potential.

We combine the research of several brilliant mathematicians and money managers with my years of investing experience.

This is a complete and continual study of what to do about the movement of international major and emerging stock markets. 

The Pi subscription is normally $299 per annum but club member receive Pi at no charge and save an additional $299.

 

Club members also receive a report about opportunity in the  current strength of the US dollar is a second remarkable similarity to 30 years ago.  this roert “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More”  shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I

Plus get the $39.99 report, “The Silver Dip 2017” free.

 

The report explains the exact conditions you need to make leveraged silver & gold speculations that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.

The report “Silver Dip 2017” sells for $39.95 but club members receive it free as well.

There is an incredible new economy that’s opening for those who know what to do.  There are great new opportunities and many of them offer enormous income potential but also work well in disaster scenarios.

Save $418.78… “plus more” when you become a club member.

Join the International Club and receive:

#1: The $299 Personal investing Course (Pi).   Free.

#2: The $299 “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”. Free.

#3: The $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More”. Free.

#4: The $39.99 report “Silver Dip 2017”. Free

#5: The three $19.99 reports “Shamanic Natural Health”.  All three free.

#6: The $39.99 “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere” report. Free.

#7: Plus more.

Plus more… for an entire year.

Join the International Club for $349 and receive all the above online now, plus any online reports, online course updates or online programs we create throughout 2017 and 2018…

all at no additional fee. The club membership entitles you to everything I publish for a year.

Click here to become a member at the discounted rate of $349.

Click here to become a member at $89 per quarter charged automatically to your credit card

Gary 

(1)  www.wsj.com: Wells Fargo bankers chasing bonuses overcharged hundreds of clients

(2) consumerist.com: Suing big companies in small-claims court is fun and easy

Laughing All the Way from the Bank


The saga at Wells Fargo reflects some important facts.  We live in a sick society.  The system is sick!

How do we escape the disease?  One way to quarantine your wealth is to walk away from the system as much as you can.

Of course the Well’s Fargo deal is baby stuff.  This fraud only affected 2 million people. The fine of $35 million is paltry.  From 2009 through  2015, misbehaving banks paid over $200 billion in fines.  Most of the “Too Big to Fail” banks, Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutshe Bank, Goldman Sachs,BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, etc. have faced much higher penalties.

Sadly the majority of the fines have not reached the people who were cheated.

wsj graph

Chart from  the Wall Street Journal article “Big Banks Paid Mortgage Related Fines – Where Did the Money Go?” (1). According to this article  only $44.7 billion went to consumer relief and even what consumer relief was not clarified.

There have only been 35 bankers sentenced to prison but not one of the top executives at the so-called “too big to fail” banks had any criminal charges pressed, even as their banks paid tens of billions of dollars in fines to settle charges of wrong doing leading up to the financial crisis.

In other words, the epidemic of fiscal immorality seems to have seeped into government as well as the banks. The fines were great for the government.  States and Federal agencies made a bundle.  Top bank executives generally saw an increase in bonuses and pay.  The customers and shareholders of the banks?  Sorry!

Darn if I know what to do about this except… stop doing business with these banks!

One way to do this is to us small community banks, state banks and credit unions.  Another way (which is my favourite) is to be free of debt.

One of the favorite workshops I teach is “Early Wealth” for kids.  I present this to groups of school kids.  Often adults in attendance say they gained really valuable ideas as well.

The children love it and soak up the information on how to attain wealth.

The ideas begin by showing a dollar bill and a candy bar.  The kids can choose which they would prefer.  Some choose the candy, others cash.  But twenty-six more dollar bills are taped to the first and they then unfold.  Now the kids see twenty-seven dollar bills dangling before them and they are asked to choose again. Kids are not stupid.  They take the twenty-seven bucks and in the process learn the power of compounded interest.

If they take a dollar and put it in the bank, even at a low interest rate it grows to twenty-seven by the time they reach age 65.

Today, with zero and negative interest, this does not work so well.

Many of the parents at this workshop have told me they wish they had had this when they were younger as I point out the importance of starting early.

keppler

This chart from the 2016 Asset Allocation Review by Keppler Asset Management shows that a person who puts $1,000 into the stock market and leaves it earning 9% per annum compounded will have $48,327 at age 65.

Of course those of us who turn 70 this year may not have 45 years to let the money work.  On the other hand, one headstone on the family cemetery at our farm shows one of the interred lived to be 115!

Then we have the banker’s race.  Two children are selected, one a large boy, the other a small girl.  They race as they drag a fifty pound bucket of mud. Each selects five bankers. The difference is the girl has been good and saved money so her five bankers help her pull the bucket.  The boy, who has been bad and borrowed money, has to drag the bucket and his five bankers. You can guess who wins the race.

This lesson remains half true.  When we remain out of debt we are not working for our bankers… unless (a quarter of the lesson’s value gone) the bankers are secretly cheating us (like Wells Fargo).   Right now when we do not have debt, the banks are still not working for us (another quarter gone).

When we are not in debt and do not relay on credit, provide natural immunity from the wealth diseases created by big banks and big business.

Here are two examples:

Walk Away from the Bank Example #1:  Merri and I were conducting an Ecuador real estate tour when the Ecuador currency, the Sucre, collapsed.  We had over 100 people we were paying for their travel, hotel and food (via Merri’s Amex card).  The sucre dropped so fast the hotels (who were linking to the US dollar) gave us a new rate every day.  At the end of the ten days, when we received our Amex bill, we saw that Amex had not adjusted the forex rate as they should have.  The difference in the error was over $5,000.  We went from Amex representative to the next.  Each agreed they were wrong and would fix.  None did and the bill kept coming.  We kept refusing to pay.  They shut off Merri’s card and eventually turned this over to a credit collection company.  However  the credit card company thought the bill was off and arranged a conference call with an Amex VP.  She agreed and said this would be fixed.  It never was and for five years offers came (for reduced amounts) for a settlement.  We never budged.  Merri could not have an Amex card for five years, but what did we care?  After that time,  they sent her another card even though we never paid a cent of the overbilling.

Walk Away from the Bank Example #2:  Amerigas is a propane company.  Years after we purchased our house in Florida they started sending us a bill for rent on a propane tank on the land.  I asked the former owner. “Nope never had a bill, that was my tank”, he said.  In call after call from Amerigas my comment was simple. Show me one shred of evidence that this tank is yours and we’ll look at whether or not we owe you anything.  After the calls came the collection letters (good for starting fires in our wood fired hot tub).  The threat is “We’ll ruin your credit rating. Our response, “We are not ever concerned over the credit rating.”

Simply put, we are healthy financially and are immune to the economic dis-ease these companies try to create.

The workshop also explains the power of leverage using a bullwhip (more on this in another message). This gives the kids a deep impression.  Plus we look at foreign currencies that are worthless and play the inflation game using gravel as money (other lessons for other times).

In all, we have fun and helped the kids get dramatic views on how to earn money. This is such an honor to help our ever growing society unfold in a better way.

I urge you today to start giving your children and grandchildren lessons in how to eat right, exercise for longevity and the fundamentals of wealth.  Better still lead by example.

We live in a sick society and that means that average is sick!  Our kids are being blasted with imbalances from every other source yet we can make a difference.  And having this privilege to link our love, care and attention into the future should make Merri and me inspired!  Let this challenge inspire you as well.

Until next message I wish you and your families a wonderful future free of the disease created by big pharma, big agri, big business and big government.

Gary

(1) www.wsj.com Big banks paid mortgage related fines where did the money go

Another way to beat the big banks and credit system… always make a good income so you are not worried bout needed the clutches of their credit.

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 

gary-scott-image

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

gary scott

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 & International Banking Update


Here is an important Ecuador & international banking update created by the wonderful world of mobility in which we live.

Our global mobility provides huge benefits… broadens our horizons and enriches mankind through global trade.   Yet being global also creates some problems… one of them is banking.

This site recently posted a message about Ecuador banks that began with, “I do not trust Ecuador Banks.”

This is not a slight on Ecuador.  This statement is a comment on the realities of trying to maintain control of one’s own wealth in an era where almost all governments are increasing control over money.

The banking article was followed by  another article stressing  the importance of diversification in Ecuador Diversified.

Here is a reminder of the importance of this information.  A couple of years ago I purchased a block of buildings in Ecuador planning to resell them.  I am according to plan selling them now and recently received a payment.

My attorney wrote this to me:

They deposited funds in my account last Wednesday to pay for the condo and asked me to send to you.  There is a 2% tax on money going out of Ecuador which was recently established, plus bank commissions.  I will wait for your instructions  to wire these funds to you.

There previously was a 1% tax but it has now been increased to two percent. This increase is not a big deal but a step in the wrong direction and a reminder that we should never trust any one country, currency or banking system.

I just sent our Ecuador Living subscribers an alert about one more Ecuador banking problem.  Ecuador Living subscribers click here.

Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Hence my mantra to have what I call a “Six Point Command Posture” which is to:

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

Where to Bank

Knowing where to bank is a growing problem… especially for Americans.  Non Americans should read this article any as you’ll see that you are not exempt from this problem either.

Americans are being crushed between a rock and a hard spot.

The Rock. Many US banks will no longer accept Americans residing overseas because they have a foreign address. This has been caused by the US Patriot Act.  Banks have to know their clients so they refuse to accept (or keep) clients with overseas addresses, even Americans who have banked with them for decades, but change their address.  The following banks have been sited as closing accounts with just 30 days notice of long term customers just because they took on a US address: Ameriprise, Bank of America; Bank of New Hampshire; Citibank; Citizens Bank; Edward Jones, St. Louis; E- Trade; Fidelity Investments; INGDirect; JPMorganChase; Morgan Stanley; National City Bank in Riverview, Michigan; Provident Bank, Maryland; Smith Barney; T. Rowe Price; USAA Federal Saving Bank; Vanguard mutual fund; Wachovia; Washington Mutual; Washington Mutual Investment, Spokane; WellsFargo; Zions Direct.

The Hard Spot. At the same time the IRS has created a set of regulations that discourage non US banks from accepting Americans.

Many Swiss and British based banks will no longer accept Americans.

Here’s an excerpt from a 13, June 2009 Telegraph article entitled “Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge” by By Louise Armitstead:   Banking group drops American customers in UK ahead of costly proposals to stamp out tax evasion  Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama.

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

One letter sent to Bank of Scotland’s portfolio management division, which is now part of Lloyds, said: “The USA has a mature regulatory environment governed by its Securities and Exchange Commission. These regulations mean that we are not licensed to manage portfolios for US clients.”

The letter added: “Unfortunately we cannot offer an equivalent service from within Lloyds Banking Group.” Clients have been advised to transfer their assets.

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

The Brits are no the only group shedding US account holders.

A July 12, 2009 USA Today article entitled “Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap”  by Kevin McCoy explains how other banks have booted Americans as well.  An excerpt says: The closely watched Justice Department court fight to get the names of 52,000 suspected American tax evaders from Swiss banking giant UBS has prompted some other foreign banks to drop U.S. clients they once welcomed, tax experts said Monday.

Eager to avoid a similar struggle with federal prosecutors, banks including Credit Suisse and HSBC in recent weeks have notified American clients they must close their offshore accounts or transfer them to the institutions’ U.S.-based operations, where tax reporting requirements are far stricter.

“Overall, the international banking community, and particularly the offshore banking community, has been very friendly to American account holders,” said William Sharp, a tax law specialist at the Sharp Kemm law firm in Tampa. “That changed in the past couple of months as a result of the UBS case.”

The Dutch were early in dropping American clients.

ABN AMRO, a huge, Dutch based, international bank gave all clients  with U.S. passports within 30 days notice in 2008 and then closed their accounts because of the  high costs to comply with U.S. regulations.

Expect this problem to get worse! Beginning in 2010 stronger US reporting rules will force even more overseas banks to stop accepting Americans.  They simply cannot afford to fill all the obligations.

Americans should not feel totally alone…nor should non US investors feel totally safe from being shut out of a banking center.

According to the British Times Newspaper, Barclays Bank used the US anti-terror laws to shut down the personal bank accounts of British citizens who were working for Iranian owned businesses.

The bank enforced anti-Iran sanctions under the US Patriot Act.  Accounts of Iranian owned companies that operated completely legally in Britain were shut.  But Barclays went much further. They amazingly shut down accounts of directors of these companies and even more amazing they shut the personal accounts of ordinary staff members, including clerical officers, computer engineers and bank tellers, just because they worked for an Iranian owned company.

Here is an excerpt from a June June 6, 2008 Times of London article entitled, “Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law:”  Barclays began the account closures in February, shortly after reports from industry sources that US Treasury agents had been touring the City of London putting pressure on financial institutions to withdraw from any form of business that might have Iranian links.

One source told The Times that City banks had been warned that they would lose access to the US market if they continued to deal with Iranian businesses. Barclays has extensive business interests in the United States.

Case study: Cast out in the supermarket

Chris was doing the shopping in Tesco when Barclays rang to tell him that his bank account was being closed. Later that evening his wife was told that her Barclays account, which she had held for 25 years, was also being closed.

Chris, 46, works in IT for Bank Saderat, and his wife is in the accounts department of Melli Bank. Both institutions are Iranian-owned. “They said it was because of sanctions but I knew there were no British sanctions on the banks. I asked them if they were responding to US laws and they said they didn’t have to give me a reason,” he said.

The couple opened new accounts with one of Barclays’ rivals but they had difficulty transferring standing orders, especially Chris’s child-support payments. He said: “I know that UK banks are being pressured by America to stop all dealings with Iran but what impact will it have to shut an English bloke’s account with an English bank? The Iranians won’t give a monkey’s. What upsets me is the lack of respect Barclays have for their customers.”

This last comment hit me strongly… the lack of respect many of the big banks have for their clients.

This is one reason I have enjoyed banking with Jyske Bank in Denmark for more than 20 years.  Jyske is big and well managed enough to be very safe, but small enough to provide genuine care and attention to the individual.

This is why I was not surprised that a number of years ago, Jyske made the decision to spend a lot of time, energy and money to comply with US law so they could continue to serve US as well as non US investors around the world.

This shift though has created some confusion. For example a Reader from the Netherlands sent me this note:  Hello Gary, Since beginning of this year we are subscribed to your newsletter. In your articles we read that it is possible to go to Jyske Bank and start doing multi-currency for about 30,000 dollars. We were very enthusiastic about this philosophy and asked the Jyske Bank for information. However we were very surprised when we got information back including the message that we have to start with $150,000 euro. Can you help us and maybe clarify the misunderstanding about this starting amount?  Thank you very much in advance!

The services and minimums required by Jyske Bank Private Bank (JBPB) for non US investors differs from those offered by Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) who serves US investors.

Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) offers Americans managed accounts, advisory accounts and IRA services to US clients.

JGAM’s managed accounts provide Americans with access to international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

There are two levels of managed accounts for US investors:

Mutual Fund Managed Accounts, $50,000 to $200,000.  Accounts from $50-200,000 are mainly  invested in mutual funds and ETF`s in order to get the appropriate diversification.

Individual Investment Managed Accounts from $200,000 up are mainly invested in individual securities as trading costs are not prohibitive for this size of account.

There are two forms of advisory accounts for US investors.

Advisory Accounts for US Residents.  Accounts for US residents are available and provide access to investments in currencies, commodities and US listed securities.

Advisory Accounts for Americans who are resident outside the US.   US citizens who are resident outside the US (proof of residence is required) have access to investments in currencies, commodities and all international investments in all currencies, traded on all stock exchanges.

The minimum required to start an advisory account is $25,000.

Because the minimum annual fee is  $1,000 JGAM recommends an initial deposit of minimum $50,000.

IRA accounts are managed accounts with more conservative investments than those in a normal  managed account.  IRA accounts require a minimum investment of $50,000.

Jyske Bank Private Bank offers the following services to non US investors.

Non US Clients can open accounts with minimum deposit of Euro 150,000 (approximately 220,000 USD), or equivalent in another currency.

JBPB works with six profiles:

Income profile. A low-risk profile, invested in currency accounts (cash) and/or traditional bonds.

Stable profile. A low-risk profile, invested in bonds (incl. high- yielding bonds), a small equity part.

Balanced profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on bonds).

Dynamic profile. A medium-risk profile, invested in equities and bonds (main emphasis on equities).

Growth profile. A high-risk profile, invested mainly in equities and a lesser share in bonds.

Aggressive profile. A high-risk profile, invested almost exclusively in equities.

There are six managed strategy funds (available only in Euro) for investors who want managed services with minimum deposits of US$ 220,000. These six funds are based on the principles of asset allocation and match the investment profiles above so all investors can attain risk diversification, risk management with even a limited investment.

There is a full Discretionary Portfolio Management service for investors who want managed services with US$ 350,000 and above. This service is also based on the six strategies above. Jyske Bank will invest and manage the clients portfolio in close cooperation with the Bank´s experts and their network of international partners. These strategies are offered in EUR, USD, GBP, DKK and SEK.

Investors, who do not want managed services, and have accounts of US$ 220,000 or more, can wish to engage in an active dialogue with their advisers and be very involved in the decision-making process. based on the client’s investment profile. They can invest in currency accounts in a large number of currencies, all tradeable equities and bonds, mutual funds and commodities.

Here is one huge feature I like very much about both JBPB and JGAM…  No Jyske employees in  management, advisory services or any employee receives any kind of bonus pay. This eliminates any temptation for hidden agendas to exist.  Employees have no incentive give any advice or take any action that is not in the client’s best interest.

Technology has given great mobility to our wealth. This mobility is good for the individual and the global economy… but governments do not like this as they wish to control our finances.  The tension created by this struggle between the individual and the collective has created a never ending thrust and counter thrust of regulations and adaptions to these rules.  It is harder to maintain a diversified global portfolio than it used to be… but the effort is still worthwhile.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which 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 giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November our “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course” (offered at $299) free.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Thank you for your inspiration and information outlining foreign banking and retirement.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome for planning the steps to evaluate the early stages of living abroad.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

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

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

Read the full articles:

Lloyds Bank hit by Obama tax purge

Some foreign banks drop U.S. clients because of UBS flap

Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law