Tag Archive | "wikileaks"

Greater Mobility – Less Freedom


Do we actually pay to give up our freedom?  

The lyrics to the 1970’s hot “Moon Shadow” points out how the  law of  opposite and equal reactions can influence our lives.

cat stevens

Listen to Moon Shadow on Youtube here.

“Oh, if I ever lose my hands, Oh, if I won’t have to work no more. … Yes, if I ever lose my eyes, Oh, if I won’t have to cry no more. … Yes, if I ever lose my legs, Oh, if I won’t have to walk no more.”

Surely we don’t want to lose our legs.  But this is kinda what humanity did when it embraced the car.  Maybe we gave up our eyes when we had artificial lighting for the special lights at dawn and dusk.  Maybe we gave up our hands when we allowed the TV instead of arts and crafts to absorb our free time.

In each case, our loss was compensated by enormous gains in productivity.  We increased our control over the dimensions of time and space.  The exchange may have even been a good deal.  The point is, there is a cost  and we should know the price of anything we buy (or buy into) and what to do with the gains and/or the loss.

So what did we give up for the convenience of our electronic world?  What are the costs of the internet, smart phone and smart TV?  Is the price denominated in the currency of privacy and freedom?

Let’s think about this.  Someone could be watching you right now, through your phone or computer.

wikileaks

This week, WikiLeaks will begin a new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7” (1).  This introduces details relating to the CIA’s global covert hacking program that can turn Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which could be turned into covert microphones.

Probably no one is watching, but they could be!  Most certainly your internet or cell phone activity is tracked.  A record remains of every word we speak, write, hear and see.

“So what?”, we ask.

One example why we want privacy came to me from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) this January.  The FDIC, the government agency that is there to protect you and me.  The FDCI explained that one of its employees had loaded data about me and my bank account (and other people) on a computer when some were leaving employment.  This included my name, Social Security number, address, birth date, account numbers and balances.

Here is another reason.  If you are a Boomer as I am, you may have some wonderful memories of Cat Stevens and his great music.   Yet after his conversion to Islam and name change to Jusuf Islam he was one time put on a watch list and refused entry into the US.  Does the fact that you are reading about and I am writing about Cat Stevens put us on some list?  This does not seem very plausible, but the plain and simple fact is, it could.

Not Just Big Brother.  The government is not the only entity we should be concerned about seeing every word we speak, write, hear and see.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Congress Moves to Strike Internet Privacy Rules From Obama Era” (2) tells how companies like Verizon, Comcast or AT&T can continue tracking and sharing people’s browsing and app activity without permission.

It seems unlikely that we would be put on any terror related list for watching Cat Stevens, but it is possible, even likely, that we will be led to advertising about music by Cat Stevens or related music or products.  Most certainly our act of pulling up a youtube recording of Cat Stevens will have some impact on what advertising we see.

The new congressional action reduces strong online privacy rules and let’s broadband providers collect data on us and sell even our sensitive information.  Details about our health, finance and families can be collected, collated, used, shared or sold to the highest bidder without our permission.

The article says:  A company like AT&T or Sprint can tell the time people wake up by when they check the clock on their phone, or see where users go to lunch or whom they visit.  By tracking a user’s browsing of medical websites, a carrier can also determine if that person might have an illness.

We are paying these communication companies to  provide us benefits, but there is a hidden cost of privacy loss because they can sell all the information about us they collect.   We never know the price either.

So what have we given up for the substantial gains of convenience and productivity we achieve?   How will this impact our lives?  What impact will this have on our privacy and freedom?  Will we lose control over the information we receive?  These questions are definitely some food for thought.

There are good people and bad, like in every business, who are government employees and who work for companies that now have unfettered access to our private personal information.

What can we do about it?

Most of us are not willing to give up our computers, smart phones, the Internet or smart TVs.  Even modern cameras can track us. They have a GPS, (my Leica V-LUX 30 pocket camera that I carry almost everywhere does) so we even lose privacy over the pictures we take.  I get an Allstate discount for having a device on my car that records when I drove, how fast, how long and how hard I brake.  I like that savings.

If the government wants the data, I don’t know how to avoid this.

There is little we can do to escape the marketing decisions that publications make as to which news will be broadcast to us.  Here are several really simple steps we can take to broaden our information horizons.

First, subscribe to publications (in print or online) where the subscribers (not the information) are in different parts of the world.   As mentioned, I take three editions of the Wall Street Journal.

gary scott

Plus, I had a program created (shown above) for my desktop  that gives me one click links to publications where the subscribers are in different places, countries, regions and continents.

Second, when it comes to investing, I rely on mathematically based financial information news to find good value instead of the economic conjecture that is in almost all the news.  I track three sources of financial thinking at ENR Asset Management, Tradestops and Keppler Asset Management to find conclusions about value created by distortions and trends.

Third, subscribe to varied information, that interests you and does not.  For example, I subscribe to blogs about gardening and growing food, water, weather, toys (I have no interest really), stocks, high fashion cloths (again no interest at all), vision, and scientific advances.   I continually shift the mix and open and click through sites I have no interest in and do not read.  This befuddles the algorithms and increases the odds that the information that flows to me will be a little more random… like life.

This brings a delight of unplanned, impromptu, unbidden data flowing to me.  Like the gurgle of a murmuring creak, this erratic stream adds serendipity into the brook of information that expands my thinking and who I am.  Life is a walk along a random path.  Loosening the restrictions on what we learn allows the flukes, the times when we have lucky breaks by stumbling upon the unexpected to fall in place so displays of pure dumb luck can grace our lives.

The marketing geniuses that run the advertising universe online and in print rely on patterns.  They want to fit you into a mold.  When we break the average cast and let the grander designs of nature lead us, we gain freedom and independence of thought and can enjoy the frightful delight of evolution in our world.

Gary

(1) Wikileaks: Vault7

(2) www.nytimes.com: Congress Moves to Strike Internet Privacy Rules From Obama Era

Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere

How to Gain Extra Freedom – While Almost Everyone Loses Theirs.  Profit from post COVID-19 trends.

I invite you to join Merri and me in expecting the world to get better… to live and earn based on that expectation but…  to also prepare for bad times as well as good.

Just in case… the world goes sideways… we will still survive and prosper.

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

For example in my report “Live Anywhere-Earn Everywhere”,  you’ll see how to make your dining room table bring you more control, more time, more income and more freedom.  After all, what can be more accessible than a dining room table?

ecuador-banks

Dining room tables we worked from (and we also sold the tables for a profit).

You’ll even learn how to turn dining room tables into income and tax deductions as we have with these dining room tables we build out of local wood.

Let me be clear.  I expect that the world will get better, at least for the few who adapt and avoid the dangers that the changes from the COVID pandemic will bring. 

The wealth of the world, albeit with inequality, will continue to grow.  This collapse of the global economy will bring an incredible new opportunity for those who know what to do.  Thes profit making avenues offer enormous income potential and even work well in disaster scenarios.

Let me provide one simple, concrete example.  Ginseng.

This is a great health root.  The demand is growing especially in China.  At times good dried Ginseng sells for $1,000 a pound!  This is an incredible and easy crop to grow.   The less care you give it, the more valuable it can become.  Yet if everything goes south, the health qualities will be good to have and make it an excellent barter item.  Once you know what to do with ginseng, it’s easy to grow in your back yard.

Even better one of the best kept secrets is that ginseng and 125 other medicinal crops that are currently unsustainable but can be grown on land  that is extraordinarily cheap.

goldenseal ginseng

Ginseng we grew in our back yard.  I know about growing ginseng through experience and explain why and how in the report “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere”.

Loquats are another example of an easy to grow crop that help promote natural health.

loquats

Here I am by one of the many loquat trees at our Florida farm.

Loquats are a great fruit for making jam and such, but the loquat leaf has amazing medicinal qualities.  Its is a registered medicine in China and due to its anti viral and respiratory system enhancing qualities has an especially  growing demand right now.   The images below from Amazon.com show that the leaves sell for about a dollar per leaf!

I have many trees on the farm but started growing loquat seedlings last year.

loquat

Loquat leaf tea has become really important during the pandemic due to its respiratory strengthening qualities.

I have been drinking a lot of home made loquat leaf tea during the pandemic.

The report “Live Anywere-Earn Everywhere” shows specific places that reduce your living expenses, easily increases your income, makes you smarter, healthier and provides tax benefits as well. 

There are specific places where property is especially inexpensive, now because previous owners do not know about the special qualities created by the pandemic.

Learn about these specific places.  More important learn what makes these places special and seven freedom producing steps that you can use to find other similar spots of opportunity.

Here are some of the experiences this report shares:

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 is about what Merri and I, our children and even my sister and thousands of our readers have done and are doing.

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

  • Learn about the magic of the north facing slope.   This is where Merri and I live almost half of our time.  North facing mountain land is some of the least expensive in the world but has hidden values that the report reveals.  There is a lot of this land and a lot of hidden value that you can tap.   When we bought our Blue Ridge farm (252 acres) I mentioned this to my Swiss banking friend.  “That’s bigger than the entire village where I live!” was his response.  Smalltown USA offers a last chance at having a lot of space.  By living in two Smalltown places there are enormous tax advantages as well.  One step in the system saves Merri and me over $28,345 in taxes a year.

The report shows how to buy cheap north facing slopes and create an income producing tiny home for $29,000 or less.

If you lack the $29,000 to invest, a start up using tents is even less.  These are tipis we put up at our farm before we built our first tiny home.  Learn how they can create tens of thousands of dollars in income for you.

Fwd: gary-scott-tipis

  • See ways that small businesses like Tipi rentals can be enhanced by the pandemic but also create BIG tax savings as well as extra income.  For more than 30 years Merri and I have enjoyed a strong six figure income, some years more, in the millions.  Yet there have been very few years when we had to pay federal income tax.  The report lays out a three structure program and how it is used when you are in school (up to age 30), then from 25 to 50, 50 to 70  and beyond 70.   Learn why Chapter C corporations and pensions can be better than the normally recommended Chapter S.  See how new mileage log rules gives you a possible opportunity to increase your tax deductions using IRS Form 4562.  Using a two-vehicle strategy you can gain $12,976 in new deductions even if you do not have to drive one mile further or spend one additional penny on your car.
  • See how a greenhouse can help you eat better and be healthier, plus provide income and a tax deduction and be funded by a government grant.

gary-scott-farming

Our North Carolina greenhouse.

gary scott greenhouse

Our Florida greenhouse.

  • There are similar benefits from having a second home office defined in IRS publication 463 and IRS publication 587, even if your desk is a dining room table.  The report also shows how your dining room table can become an actual income producer as its creates a huge tax deduction at the same time, not to mention a great place to eat, work and lay out plans for a brighter, safer more lucrative and enjoyable future.
  • Living in this environment is also healthier, economically as well as physically.  You’ll see in the report how researchers at Harvard found an amazing correlation between living in conditions found on north facing slopes, longevity and mental health.  The researchers were quite surprised by this strong correlation that also extended into mental health.  In addition to feeling better, reducing stress and having more Joie de Vivre the places outlined in “Live Anywhere-Earn Everywhere” can help you avoid hospitals, high cost disease management (aka health care) and BIG pharma while providing an investment opportunity in three plants that have some of the fastest growing demand in natural health care.  These three plants are just one of seven business opportunities that can create multiple streams of income.
  • How changes in cell phone and internet technology eliminated the need to be in one place.   An old law that creates new opportunity for small business in small towns is available to everyone.
  • Use the specific search and purchase guide.  Construction plans are included that show how to generate first tier income that leads to five, second tier avenues of earnings.
  • How to pay off old debt and avoid new debt by avoiding spurts and embracing value. 
  • Learn seven skills that will always have value.  See how to turn First Aid, medicinal plants, hospitality, food, trees, alternate energy and writing to sell into everlasting, low stress wealth.

merrily farms

This pond we created at our farm brought us pleasure but also helped create a safe, healthy food supply, extra income and a tax deduction as well.

My Guarantee

This may be the most important report I have written in 50 years.  The information is certainly the most urgent.  Do not delay.  The risks are upon us right now and you’ll understand how the final steps of the alliance are taking place as you read the current news.

To take any risk out of gaining this urgent information with my full satisfaction or money back guarantee.  If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.  I guarantee you can ask for a full refund any time within 60 days and I’ll refund your payment in full, no questions asked.

You can keep the reports as my thanks for ordering it.

Buy Live Anywhere, Earn Everywhere Report  $39.99

Gary Scott Questions & Answers


Here are the Gary Scott Saturday Questions and Answers.

gary scott panel

Gary Scott speaking at European seminar on international investing.

Here are the Questions for today:

1: Question about the falling US dollar.

#2: Comments on beating the TSA Xray or pat down.

#3: Questions about the euro.

#4: Comments about government workers.

#5: Question on Ecuador’s offer of residence to the head of Wikileaks.

ecuador-roses

Don’t forget to order Ecuador Christmas Roses

#1: Question about the falling US dollar. Gary you keep making the statement [as the dollar falls] I keep reading every day about the dollar going up. Just wondering and ‘rwhy not be a little more positive about the U.S. Dollar and truthful, there are some pretty sound minds that believe it may rebound and if you’re that negative about it why all the assets in the U.S.?

My reply:

The dollar going up? These charts from Yahoo show…
dollar chart

that the US dollar has fallen from .85 to .75 euro over the past four years.

It has fallen even more versus the Japanese yen.

dollar chart

The dollar has even collapsed against emerging currencies like the Brazilian real.

dollar chart

Since I began writing about global investing 43 years ago, there have always been some pretty good minds who have argued that the dollar will rise. There have been short term trends (such as 1980 to 1985) but here is the long term reality shown in a chart from Grandfather.com. The dollar has been going… down… down…. down.

multi-currency-debt

In the past dozen years I have posted over 3,000 articles at my website at least a tenth of them about the falling US dollar.

Yet I just finished a report “Investing in Risk”.  Risk on what is good about investing the USA and why Merri and I love the USA.   However I do not confuse my love for the USA and Ecuador with my investments in currencies.  The US dollar is the currency of the USA and Ecuador but not my choice for investing.

My overall investment portfolio is short the US $…the only US $ investments that I have are in US and Ecuador real estate which I view as a separate currency that will rise as the US dollar falls.

If you would like these answers please start reading as you might get a better understanding of why we should expect the US dollar to fall but why investments in the US (especially made with borrowed dollars) offer great potential.

A shortcut to all the searching in my site is to order my report “Borrow Low-Deposit High” . Click here to learn more about the report.

Currently we also include the “Investing in Risk” report (a $49 value) free.

Many investors who love America have been fooled by the “Concept Conversion Trick”. I have warned against this since the 1970s. See why at the “Concept Conversion Trick” page of my International Investing basics.

#2: Comments on beating the TSA Xray or pat down.  This comment to last week’s Q & A about TSA came from a reader in Arizona. Hi! I live in Arizona. When I’ve flown to Ecuador, I’ve gone through Los Angeles or Houston. Tijuana has lots of flights to Costa Rica, which is a hub for Central and South America, as Panama is. I can get to San Diego in the same time I can get to L.A. by car. I won’t be going to Ecuador for a while again, but if the situation doesn’t change, I’m thinking about driving to San Diego, crossing the border on foot, and flying from Tijuana. I would go through U.S. Customs at the Tijuana border on foot on the way back. And I wouldn’t have to leave L.A. in the middle of the night. I see an international travel niche for Tijuana!

My comments: One can also travel by boat to the Bahamas or drive to Canada (regretfully Canada has no direct flights to Ecuador) and get a direct flight to Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, Panama.  Soon I expect we’ll also be able to boat to Cuba and once this happens we might see an increase in Havana-Quito flights!  But watch out. Many years ago, we lost a number of our Ecuadorian friends when a Russian built aircraft leaving Quito and bound for Havana crashed on takeoff in Quito, but hopefully a better airline with better planes will be available. Perhaps Quantas will fly some of its Airbus A380s from there.

Another Reader wrote this: For TSA-free travel, a “travel co-op” could purchase ( or lease ) passenger jets and fly out of FBO terminals security-check-free. People who fly in private jets are subject only to US Customs inspections & only on entry to the USA. Private jet passengers are never subjected to security searches. No bureaucrat would be that stupid. Just a thought.

My comments: I love and looked into the ideas of using multiple jet ownership, private jet service offering jet cards or jet taxis.

Flyers can tailor their itinerary and choose nearby airports and enjoy flying from FBOS when they choose to fly not based on the airlines schedule. Merri and I have made a couple of flights like this.  What a way to go!

This was a highly touted idea a few years ago when the VLJ (very light jet) was introduced. These smaller jets ring flight costs down… down…. down.

There were two big innovators with a lot of hype.  Eclipse Aviation claimed to have 2,500 Eclipse 500 aircraft on order and Adam Aircraft said they had an order backlog of 282 of its Adam A700 VLJ.

Airlines such as Florida-based air taxi company, DayJet, were forming based around using the VLJs and touting a new way to fly.

Regretably all three companies went bust.

Several airlines now produce VLJs such as Cessna’s  Mustang and Embraer’s Phenom 100 calling them very light personal jets or introductory class jets.  The jets carry four passengers and have a maximum range of about three hours.

Jet taxi services offer improved efficiency.  Blink Airlines for example which flies from London claims you arrive 15 minutes before you take off by avoiding check-in, inefficient security procedures, and delays reclaiming baggage.  They also offer multiple city visits in a day. Their ads says “Start in London, fly to Paris, travel on to Stuttgart and drop into Antwerp on the way home – such journeys are usually impossible if you travel with commercial airlines. With Blink, the possibilities are endless.”

Plus Blink claims to be competitive with business class travel when four people fly in their VLJs.

However they are still really expensive… about $4,000 an hour for the jet cards and private jet travel and the VLJs do not work for most overseas travel.  This is a really nice  option but limited and pretty pricey and I suspect most readers feel the same as well.

#3: Questions about the euro. Gary, hope you are well, enjoying the great daily updates as usual. As a resident of Ireland and in this crisis period, how do you see the euro performing? The greatest Euro sceptics are saying the euro would not last 20 years. Should Portugal, Spain follow suit and request help, is the euro doomed? Is it time to move your money and if so where? $ and £ look just as risky.

My reply: This is a million (trillion actually) dollar question.  The idea of the euro is rooted in Serajevo when on 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six Bosnian Serb assassins who were intent on breaking off Austria-Hungary’s south-Slav provinces so they could be combined into a Greater Serbia or a Yugoslavia.

That event was the spark that caused European tensions to explode into WWI.

You can enjoy a great read and understand the tensions that led to WWI and how WWI led to WWII  better reading Ken Follett’s new book Fall of Giants.

After those wars… the world was terrified that WWIII could follow, so the idea of uniting Europe began.  The euro and EU traces its origins from the original effort of some unification with the European Coal and Steel Community formed between six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome formed in 1957 by the same states.

When I first started investing in and writing about multi currency investing… the formula was simple. Invest in the currencies where the governments were employing economic sanity… such as Germany and Japan.  Bet against the US dollar because the US government continued to spend more than it earned.

Then other politicians learned bad habits from the US. Germany went into debt buying East Germany and partnered up with other insane spenders gave up the DMark and joined the euro. Japan became on the the biggest spenders of all.  Yet these governments have not been as bad as Spain, Italy, Ireland and Greece.

Understanding global currency markets is so complex that unless it is one’s daily business the only way to figure out what is what is to employ the most simple, basic equations to these most complex questions.

So here is a simple view that I take.

First, see the tension. If a government has too much debt… it creates money by printing… which is inflationary. Inflation in a currency normally causes the currency to fall versus currencies in countries without so much debt. This makes goods from outside the debt ridden country more expensive.

The euro however allows overspending highly indebted nations in Europe called the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain – plus we need now to add Ireland) to have a currency (the euro) that is stronger than deserved.

The counterpoint is WWI and WWII. Plus now the difficulty of undoing the euro would be huge (though I do not think it to be as hard as many believe).

One simple measure to watch is budget balance as a percent of GDP.  The US is currently -9%,  Japan -7.6% and the euro area -6.4%.

This means long term, there is a pressure for the yen to fall versus the euro and the US dollar to fall versus both currencies.

However then look at the budget balance of  the nations who use the euro. Germany is -3.7%, France -7%, Belgium, -5.7%, Austria, -5.1%, Netherlands -5.7%, Italy, -5%, Greece, -9.1%, Spain -9.7%.  It is predicted that Ireland budget deficit could rise to -24%.

So the tension is internal to the euro and overall… from this comparison the euro is in better shape than the USA and Japan.

Ireland will announce its budget December 7, 2010 and I expect the euro to survive. However during the time it takes for the EU to sort out this mess, I also expect the euro to be volatile. So short term the euro will be bouncy… long term could be stronger than the dollar and yen.

I expect all three currencies to fall versus emerging currencies and personally have a highly diversified portfolio of currencies with an over weight in emerging market currencies.

The WisdomTree Emerging Market Debt Fund is one way to get managed diversification in these currencies.

There are many forces that could cause terror in the market including a potential Korean war, China & Russia abandoning the US dollar, Ireland’s budget falling apart, Spain needing a bailout, inflation hitting the US. Unemployment rising in the US and Western Europe, and who knows what impact the leaks at Wikileaks will create.

Global markets have been weakening throughout November.

wisdomtree chart

The symbol for the Wisdom Tree Emerging Markets Local Debt Fund is ELD.  This is an actively managed ETF.  See more on this ETF in an upcoming message.  The six month chart above from Bloomberg.com shows how this fund reflects volatility in currency markst but despite its fall (the fund quadrupled in price in a short time then corrected) its price has almost doubled in six months.

#4: Comments on government workers. Gary I work for the “gov’ment,” and I do not make the kind of wages you speak of where we make more than the private sector.  On the contrary!  I live and work in Alaska, for the State of Alaska, and I can PROMISE you that State workers in Alaska do NOT make more than the private sector, overall.  I made the trade-off for security,  because my background IS from the private sector.  I worked for Airline after Airline that went belly up, all because the government decided to remove their control and hand us the airline demise of “DEREGULATION.”  With that came the failed airline industry….one after another and people losing their jobs…they should have stayed regulated, the gov’t bailed on us….with their control there would have been more stability…  trickle down Reagan-nomics has proved to be a failed policy, where only the RICH GET RICHER and the poor get poorer….as we have proof of this after 8 years of GWBUSH and the evil Cheney…That party clearly caused the great recession….in my humble opinion, they and their stupid wars….. I would venture to say that big oil controls the gov’t not the other way around… …

So when you write your articles, please make it clear that not ALL GOV’T workers make more than the private sector…because there are people out there who will believe anything they read…. And not catch that you even said federal…. you made it sound like ALL gov’t workers make more money….which is so untrue..

We State workers lost all of our sick leave a long time ago, plus, free medical is no longer given out to retirees and neither is a defined retirement….Alaska only gives out what  you save after five years commitment along with their match up to a small percentage….plus, because state workers do not pay in to social security but in to a different account, we risk losing it as we did in the downturn….so any money we paid in to social security from all the years before we went to work for the state, guess what, we are penalized and do not get to collect on…. Also, the State of Alaska is second from the bottom in the USA for paying unemployment benefits….you pay in to it, you collect a pittance if out of work..(compared to other States – we compare to Alabama! )

I think you are a very unique individual and I so appreciate your writing, for the most part.   You cannot please all of the people all of the time, but you do a pretty good job of it.

Thank you

My reply: Oops. Just after I wrote this article on how much Federal government workers were paid I read this in the New York Times: President Obama to Announce a Pay Freeze for Most Federal Workers  – President Obama plans to announce a pay freeze for most federal workers later Monday morning, according to an administration official, the latest White House move intended to demonstrate concern over deficit spending.

The president’s announcement will effectively wipe out plans for a 1.4 percent across-the-board raise for most of the 2.1 million federal government employees in 2011. The president has frozen the salaries of his own top White House staff members since taking office 22 months ago.

Yikes, I hope my article did not cause this. Seriously… this reader has a point I am all toowell aware of.  State, city and county government employees do not have government like deals.

I know this because my dad grew up in the depression and was fanatical about job security.  He therefore worked his entire life after WWII for the City of Portland, making less than private sector.  That worked for him and when the zoo was turned over the the Zoological society, the city still had a job for him as a parks foreman.  He never made a lot of money… but back in those days the insurance… the sick days… the vacation and the steadiness were all good.   Today it is different.  Dad is gone and my mom is beginning to suffer as the City loses its ability to fill obligations and commitments to its workers.  Lucky she has Merri, our daughter, my sister and me to make sure she remains in comfort  as she nears 90! (Good goin’ mom!).

Reader’s Question #5: Would you comment on Ecuador’s offer to the head of Wikileaks.

The reader sent me this note: November 29 Associated Press Article entitled “Ecuador offers a home for founder” By GONZALO SOLANO

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) – If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange needs a home, Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister says this Andean nation is happy to provide one.

The 39-year-old Australian, who has incensed and embarrassed Washington with the release by his online whistle-blowing organization of hundreds of sensitive diplomatic cables, had sought residency and a work permit in Sweden.

But after the release by WikiLeaks beginning in late July of thousands of sensitive documents from the Iraq and Afghan wars, a Swedish court ordered him detained for questioning on sexual assault allegations—claims Assange denies and calls part of a smear campaign.

Assange, who keeps his whereabouts secret and moves around a lot, could also face legal complications at home. Australia’s attorney general said Monday that it was studying whether he’d broken any laws there.

In contrast to the potential hostility from U.S. allies, leftist-run Ecuador provided Assange with an invitation Monday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas said in audio posted online by the Ecuador Inmediato news site that “We are open to giving him residence in Ecuador, without any kind of trouble and without any kind of conditions.”

“We think it would be important not only to converse with him but to listen to him,” Lucas added, saying Ecuador wanted to invite Assange to “freely expound” and see what it’s like in “friendly countries”.

He praised people like Assange “Who are constantly investigating and trying to get light out of the dark corners of (state) information”.

Lucas said Ecuador’s government was “very concerned” by revelations that U.S. diplomats have been involved in spying in the first of the more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables and directives that WikiLeaks has begun to release.

WikLeaks says it has 1,621 cables that originated in the U.S. Embassy in Quito.

Their contents have not yet been disclosed.

Ecuador expelled two U.S. diplomats in early 2009, accusing one of directing CIA operations in Ecuador and another of interferring in police affairs.

The government continues close counternarcotics cooperation with the United States, but a year ago President Rafael Correa, a U.S.-educated economist, refused to renew the lease on what had been Washington’s only base for counternarcotics flights in South America, the Manta airfield.

He said that if Washington would grant Ecuador an air base in Florida, he’d be happy to host U.S. flight operations.

My reply: I checked on this and learned that Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas is considered a loose cannon… who is out of favor in the government and may have said this to try and grab attention.  I am told that President Correa has a good realtionship with the US Ambassador and also Hilary Clinton so this sounds more like political theatrics than anything substantial.

As to Wikileaks… I have conflicting feelings but do believe this idea will change politics as we know them.  Governments have encouraged whistle blowers in private industry so why as voters should we not be entited to them as well?  Others who wish to harm us can be secretive but perhaps this will help those of us who believe in open democracy to find a way to defend ourselves and without trampling rights under the guise of “national security”.  I hope so.

Gary

How We Can Serve You

How to Have Real Safety in 2020

The most important investment you can make in 2020, is in yourself. 

Invest in more time.  Invest in less stress. Invest in greater security.That’s why four years ago we created the Purposeful Investing Course (PI) because when it comes to finances, there are only three reasons why we should invest.  We invest for income.  We invest to resell our investments for more than we had invested.  We invest to make our world a better place.

We should not invest for fun, excitement or to get rich quick, or in a panic due to market corrections.

The core model portfolio we teach in the PI Course rarely changes, but is highly diversified in thousands of shares around the world… so there is higher long term profits, less stress and greater safety.

The portfolio consists of 19 country ETFs.  During the four years since we created the Purposeful Investing Course and set up a $40,000 real time portfolio at Motif Brokers, we have held the same 19 shares and have only traded three times.

The portfolio started with $40,000 and has risen to $53,591 ($49,015 in shares and the balance in accumulated cash).

The portfolio did really well from 2015 to 2018, better than the DJI Index.  Then as the US dollar grew in strength it fell behind.

The chart below shows the actual results of thos portfolio compared with the S&P 500.

motif

 

This good value portfolio above is based entirely on good value financial information and mathematically based safety programs developed around investing models that date back 91 and 24 years.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets developed combining my 50 years of investing experience with study of the mathematical market value analysis of Keppler Asset Management.

In my opinion, Keppler is one of the best market statisticians in the world.  Numerous very large fund managers, such as State Street Global Advisers, use his analysis to manage over $2.5 billion of funds.

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler who continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each major stock market’s history.

Fwd: keppler

Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.

Michael is a brilliant mathematician.  We have tracked his analysis for over 20 years.   He continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each stock market’s history.  From this, he develops his Good Value Stock Market Strategy and rates each market as a Buy, Neutral or Sell market.  His analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.  Keppler’s strategy is to diversify into an equally weighted portfolio of the MSCI Indices of each BUY market.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.

A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any stock in that country is an attractive investment, so you do not have to spend hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.  Investing in the index is like investing in all the shares in the index.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pifolio consists of Country Index ETFs.

Country Index ETFs are similar to an index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country.  ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent.  The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.

A country ETF provides diversification into a basket of equities in the country covered.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.

Here is the Pifolio I personally use.

70% is diversified into Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) developed markets: Australia, Austria, France, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

30% of the Pifolio is invested in Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The Pifolio consists of iShares ETFs that invested in each of the MSCI indicies of theseall good value BUY markets.

For example, the iShares MSCI Australia (symbol EWA) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Australia Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Australian Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. This ETF is non-diversified outside of Australia.

iShares is owned by Black Rock, Inc. the world’s largest asset manager with over $4 trillion in assets under management.

The fact that the Pifilios are invested in all the shares of the MSCI Index in each good value market reduces long term risk.

When the US stock market bull ends, know one knows for sure how long or how severe the correction will be.

When the bear arrives, what will happen to global and especially good value markets?

No  one knows the answer to this question.

What we do know is that the equally weighted, good value market Pifolios have the greatest potential long term and that math based trailing stops can be used to protect against a secular global stock market correction when it comes.

My fifty years of global investing experience helps take advantage of numerous long term cycles that are part of the universal math that affects all investments.

What you get when you subscribe to Pi.

You immediately receive a 120 page basic training course that teaches the Pi Strategy.   You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.

You also begin receiving regular emailed Pifiolio updates and online access to all the Pifolio updates of the last four years.  Each update examines the current activity in a Pifolio, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.

Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets).  This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.

You also receive two special reports.

In the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said:  Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.  The two conditions are in place again!

30 years ago, the US dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  The trends are so clear that I have created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.”   This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of  Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

This report sells for $29.95 but in this special offer, you receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Plus get the $39.95 report “The Silver Dip” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the last two years.  The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).   The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80, compared to a ratio of 230 only two years before.

In September 2015, I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a silver speculation, leveraged with a British pound loan, that could increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The tactics described in that report generated 62.48% profit in just nine months.

I have updated this report and “Silver Dip” report shares the latest in a series of long term lessons gained through 40 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  I released the 2015 report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80.  The ratio has corrected and that profit has been taken and now a new precious metals dip has emerged.

I have prepared a new special report “Silver Dip” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.

You also learn from the Value Investing Seminar, our premier course, that we have been conducting for over 30 years.  Tens of thousands of delegates have paid up to $999 to attend.  Now you can join the seminar online FREE in this special offer.

This three day course is available in sessions that are 10 to 20 minutes long for easy, convenient learning.   You can listen to each session any time and as often as you desire.

The sooner you hear what I have to say about current markets, the better you’ll be able to cash in on perhaps the best investing opportunity since 1982.

seminars

Tens of thousands have paid up to $999 to attend.

In 2020 I celebrate my 54th anniversary in the investing business and 52nd year of writing about global investing.  Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades.  This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.

In this special offer, you can get this online seminar FREE when you subscribe to our Personal Investing Course.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the Value Investing Seminar right away. 

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free, easy diversified investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.

Gary