Let’s Invest in Better Ways

by | Feb 28, 2003 | Archives

Here are some letters from readers that can have a major positive impact on your investing.

This first reader told me how he was nearly caught in the African Scam when he wrote:

"Hello, I received the African Scam email that you warned us about on your website. I came very close to falling for the scam until I typed David E.Koromah on the search site and found all these scams. I was going to send them $1750 USD for a some sort of change of ownership to the minister of Justice. One thing that was really my fault, they asked for my Social and US Passport number, I didn't give my social, but I did give my US Passport Number so am sure they are trying to find ways to come into the US with a fake US Passport using my name and US Passport number."

I suggest to this reader that he contact the passport office right away, but the point here is even more important. When we try to get anything for nothing, we are at risk. It is not the African con artists that lead us astray but our own misunderstanding of wealth. Wealth is receiving for something without having given. Whenever anyone shows you some way you can get rich quick without doing anything, beware!

This next message came from a reader who has turned lemons into lemonade. I have written several articles about tax liens and why they are such excellent investments now. One concern from readers is that these investments take advantage of people who are in trouble. This reader shows how he turns this negative potential into a social good when he wrote!

"Dear Gary,Good article on tax liens. However I offer a twist on the "wise readers" approach. My experience on tax lien real property has been that the owner of the property liened, has up to 6 mo. to redeem the lien, with interest of course. What I have done to get past my moral objections and to get past the redemption period has been to contact the owner after the sale has taken place and inform them of my knowledge of the tax lien and offer to pay a sum that I select for them to sign a quick claim deed on the property. I am usually told it has been sold at auction and I tell them the offer is still good. If they accept I then redeem the property and file the quick claim deed at a later date after I am sure the property redemption has occurred. This does several things, first I don't have to buy at auction, second I can find out if the owner is planning to redeem the property, saving the time and frustration of waiting to see if redemption will occur, and last I can get a feel from the owner the situation and could at my discretion opt to let the owner lease the property and redeem it at a later date from me. The terms of this redemption can occur on payments or lump sum or gift if my heart so allows. By doing it this way I can choose to be of service to my fellow man if I wish. I can thereby reap spiritual benefits as well as the perceived financial benefits. This also gives me time to learn if the owner is playing the system as does occur."This reader has the right idea to have a profitable business that can serve those in difficulty and serve the community. The sooner all businesses live up to this standard the better the world will be!

The question from this third reader shows how an inventive mind can often achieve some very interesting investments with tax savings!

"Dear Gary:Many thanks for your fascinating perspectives on the world of investing and business. I am writing to you with a specific question: how to go about setting up a self directed IRA to invest in off-shore real estate, tax liens, etc. You sent a message regarding this and I unfortunately did not archive it. My CPA is clueless on this issue and very (unnecessarily, I suspect) wary. Having visited Ecuador (and all of South and Central America) several times in the past, I concur with you that it is a jewel - quite unlike any other place in ways difficult to describe. You have to be there and live there to truly know its secrets.First, I outlined to this reader that eClub advisor Larry Grossman specializes both in investing IRAS aboard and investing IRAs in real estate. You can get full details from him at larry.grossman@garyascott.com. Combining the knowledge of these two ideas shows how to invest IRAs in real estate abroad.Then the same reader shared another excellent international investing idea."I would also like to suggest that there may be some good real estate plays in Canada at this time. With the C$ at $1.55 to the US$, purchases up there are at a 33% discount from the get-go. Vancouver, B.C. is an incredible city, every bit the equal of S.F. in my humble opinion."

I could not agree more. Canada has some incredible real estate bargains now. One simple ways to make a lot of money in real estate is to look in countries where the currency has devalued. Rarely do real estate values rise as fast as currency values fall.

For those who want more information about U.S.-Canadian tax write to taxman@centa.com

This reaches David Ingram a U.S. CPA who has lived many years in Canada and specializes in U.S-Canadian tax. His website is www.centa.com

Until next message, good global investing!