International Investments – Eating and Sharing – It’s Wild

by | Jun 7, 2006 | Archives

* Natural Health Tip – Be Wild
* International Investments – Emerging Even Wilder
* Ecuador – Wild Thought

Good food is one of three foundations for good health so Merri and I try to eat as much home grown and wild nutrition as we can. The chickens and geese are continually laying wonderful eggs. They reward us with rich, orange yolks for letting them run loose. There is always venison in the fridge for the rare occasion when we desire red meat. No one puts a trout hook in the creek until Merri has started to heat the grill.

We thrive on the explosion of wild blackberries our land gives us without work. This year we have a bumper crop. They are flowering just now and smell of sweet jasmine. Plus we have gobs of tiny wild strawberries that carpet meadows. All natural blackcaps (called black raspberries up here) hide in the bushes on steep banks. The added strawberries and raspberries we grow start in June and last until October. This year the plum, peach and apple trees are also looking good!

In the vegetable category we get branch lettuce growing in the creek, dandelions, burdock and other wild bitters. The wild onion called ramps comes later in the year. Plus we plant our organic garden with potatoes, corn, peppers, onions, radishes and lots of pumpkins and squash.

We wash this all down with teas of Bergamot (Bee Balm) and mint that grow along the shaded creek bank.

With over 250 acres we can be picky about where we plant. We have herbs and lettuce gardens by the house in the shade and the corn, peppers and beans are in a higher meadow that gets early and full sun.

Here is a shot from the front porch of our summer house of the squash and pumpkin garden that feeds us from late spring when the zucchini comes in followed by summer gooseneck and straight neck squash. Then later the rich orange beta carotene laden, winter and acorn, spaghetti and other winter squash and pumpkins arrive.

Eating in healthy ways can be easy and fun. We hope that you will join us here to eat and share! This type of eating can add spice to your life and one of the spices to add is turmeric which we began to explore in yesterday’s message.

Turmeric, a free-radical-fighting antioxidant-rich spice has many healing qualities that the West is just beginning to appreciate. Some even say it is a defense against both cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Most typical recipe sites or old information in the West rates turmeric as a bitter curry flavoring that can add a bit of color and not much more. But check out up-to-date information and wow, this is amazing healing stuff that happens to taste pretty good as well.

Here are excerpts from just one site. “Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.”

“A Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory:

“The volatile oil fraction of turmeric has been demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.

“An Effective Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

“Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects. As an antioxidant, curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals, chemicals that can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells and cell membranes. This is important in many diseases, such as arthritis, where free radicals are responsible for the painful joint inflammation and eventual damage to the joints. Turmeric’s combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects explains why many people with joint disease find relief when they use the spice regularly. In a recent study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was compared to phenylbutazone and produced comparable improvements in shortened duration of morning stiffness, lengthened walking time, and reduced joint swelling.

“Help for Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers. Cancer Prevention.

Curcumin’s antioxidant actions enable it to protect the colon cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA–a significant benefit particularly in the colon where cell turnover is quite rapid, approximately every three days. Because of their frequent replication, mutations in the DNA of colon cells can result in the formation of cancerous cells much more quickly. Curcumin also helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells, so they cannot spread through the body and cause more harm. A primary way in which curcumin does so is by enhancing liver function. Additionally, other suggested mechanisms by which it may protect against cancer development include inhibiting the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation and preventing the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth.”

You can read much more at about the healing qualities of turmeric

Vaidya K.S. Mishra is a master healer in the eight avenues of ayurvedic healing and will help us learn how to use turmeric at our June 16-17-18 course here at the farm. He is a healer with immense healing knowledge to share. This course will be an experience that immerses you in naturally healthy surroundings, such as the pure water, clean air, silence, freedom from electromagnetic radiations, specially prepared food. Join us at Merrily Farms. For details go to

International Investments – Emerging Even Wilder

The fall of emerging market currencies has created real losses in the last several weeks. Some really excellent opportunities should be forming. However, currency markets have probably not stabilized yet. The global investing community seems to be shifting values and risk aversion is more in focus then positive carry.

Fundamentally, economies have not changed, just the focus. Emerging markets had been feeding off liquidity created in Europe (to finance the absorption of Eastern Europe), Japan (to revise its failing economy) and the US (to keep the economy buying). Now the US, Japan and Europe are loaded with debt and investors have become nervous about how long this inflationary show can go on.

We started writing about the Borrow Low Multi-Currency Sandwich in the 80s, so our readers have enjoyed positive carry for decades. Finally when the Wall Street bubble of 1999 burst, global investors caught on to this idea and emerging currencies really took off.

Now the bubble is in trouble and the market’s focus on positive carry has all but vanished. Instead investors appear to be looking at the problems of US debt and the US current account deficit. The fear is if the US dollar collapses so too will emerging countries.

Current accounts are in focus, and currencies in countries with large current account deficits (such as the US) are weak. The emerging currencies that have depreciated most in 2006 are those of countries struggling with current-account deficits. In these terms here is a list of the emerging countries with the best ability to create current account surpluses (best first):

The Philippines
South Korea

The countries below are less likely to have a balanced account (worst last):

Czech Republic
South Africa
New Zealand

Big changes of this nature create new fields of potential profit and here is what Jyske Bank now recommends. “In general, one should watch one’s step in the turbulent market. It is important to pick your investments carefully – to go cherry-picking – so as not to end up shipwrecked without a lifebuoy. We recommend investors to go for countries without current-account deficits and choose BRL, for instance, rather than TRY. Also, investors might consider taking positions in the commodity-related currencies NZD and AUD. Admittedly, both New Zealand and Australia are running current-account deficits, but this is outweighed by their being commodity suppliers, and NZD and AUD are still at historical lows against the dollar.”

Investments in emerging currencies should be balanced with investments in strong major market currencies. On the subject of commodity suppliers, I have always liked small population countries as places to invest. Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland were my favorites for years (not now). So it is not surprising that Canada, Denmark and Sweden ended up as being the three strong major currencies in our recent review in these messages. All have small populations.

It is even less surprising that Norway is doing well also. The Norwegian economy is booming. This tiny nation is oil rich. There are no indications that things will slow down either. Inflation is still modest and far below the Central Bank’s target of 2.5%. The bad news is this means interest rates are still at a historically low level.

However because investors are so worried at the moment, the Norwegian kroner could boom. Due to its oil and Norway’s strong credit rating the kroner could replace the Swiss franc a safe haven currency, especially because it has such a strong current-account surplus.

Here are some Norwegian bonds currently available:

Currency Maturity Bond Price Yield
NOK 15/01/2007 NORWEGIAN GOV’T 102.30 2.83%
NOK 15/05/2009 NORWEGIAN GOV’T 104.85 3.73%
NOK 16/05/2011 NORWEGIAN GOV’T 108.83 4.00%
NOK 15/05/2013 NORWEGIAN GOV’T 114.02 4.13%

The Canadian dollar, plus Norwegian, Swedish and Danish kroner are solid currencies to hold especially as a balance to the higher yielding emerging currencies. You can get more information about investments in Norwegian kroner from Thomas Fischer at

Learn about investing in emerging and major currencies, gold, silver, Ecuador, import-export, overseas markets and more. Join Merri, Thomas Fischer from Copenhagen and Steve from Ecuador and me at our next International Business and Investing Made EZ course in North Carolina. Review where to invest and do business now and learn which markets and currencies may be strong in the year ahead. Learn more about Ecuador import and export from Steve. Our May course was overbooked and the September session is filling up fast. Our free accommodations are reserved on a first come first served basis so do not delay! Go to

Our last course was extra personally satisfying because one delegate had been at one of my very first courses in the US over 30 years ago. Another had been to our Isle of Man course about 20 years ago and one delegate was at her fifth consecutive course in a row! The fact that delegates come again and again is most fulfilling. Here is what two more delegates said about this last International Investments and Business Course.

“Hi, Merri and Gary! Just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for your hospitality at Merrily Farms last week. I really enjoyed listening to your philosophy on investing in other currencies and cultures while identifying distortions in the marketplace. The mix of other folks with similar interests was outstanding! I made so many friends and returned totally relaxed!!! I must admit it has been very difficult to concentrate on my daily chores these days because I keep hearing your voices and thinking about your perspectives as I go through my routines. I feel renewed in my desire to expand my financial and professional horizons, and I am grateful for the opportunity to ‘think outside the box’ with regard to import/export opportunities. The very best to you both – I hope to return for another seminar soon! – Pat”

“Hi: Gary & Merri: After a long drive, a couple of stops and a visit with my daughter, I have finally arrived back in Michigan. A bit weary, but satisfied. Enjoyed your seminar and all the beauties of your location. May I thank you and Merri for the whole experience. We shall be considering your future offerings. Peace and regards, Jerry”

Ecuador Real Estate – Wild Thought

As expected my recent note about the problems related to building a fence across the Mexican border raised a little ire. I do not think the fence will work. America needs to stop spending its money in foolish ways. I really hope I am wrong because my guess is the fence will be built and will be one more disaster. I hope not.

I believe we need to invest in education, in infrastructure and in making the world a better educated and healthier place where increasing numbers of people have hope instead.

To this end we have started a free children’s lending library at our El Meson de las Flores in Ecuador. I cannot tell you how happy the staff at the hotel are to be able to help the kids there. Readers, their kids and school children from all over the US have been donating books in Spanish and English. We now have 470 books and have set up an entire lending library system. Here is what Steve, our Man in Ecuador, just wrote to the book donors.

“We here at El Meson are so enthusiastic – the chance to make a difference is something that a lot of us don’t get. Together, the people who offer the books, those who collect them, facilitators like you and me, and the volunteers who administer the library, together, as a team, we can make a big difference in a small community like Cotacachi. Thanks again, Steve”

Here is a shot of some of the kids in Cotacachi who will profit from this library and the free English and computer lessons our foundation is giving there.

My guess is that these kids, given the opportunity and education won’t want to sneak into the US or sneak anywhere. They’ll sit in Ecuador and provide a valuable service to all of us wherever we are in the world. We live in a global economy and these children, like children everywhere, are our future.

Here is the wild thought. What if we put all the money we’ll spend on that fence and patrolling that border into teaching kids how to produce and provide services in their own countries so they would not want to leave? Would that be a better way to solve this problem?


Until next message, good health, business and investing.


P.S. Speaking English is important for these kids. Speaking Spanish is important for us! Join us for our Super Thinking – Super Spanish course. Enjoy Ecuador and the sun! See real estate for sale. Shop in the great markets. Laze in the warm thermal pools as you learn to speak Spanish. For details go to