International Investments in Reality Lead to the Best Returns

by | Jan 3, 2007 | Archives

International investments are a great way to protect purchasing power because they are in close touch with reality. Investors everywhere determine what is best and react accordingly. When you make international investments, you can go with the global economic flow. Technology supports a global economic community. It is part of human nature to buy things where they are made best for the least. Technology allows us to do this. When we follow natural, universal trends we gain most because we are investing in reality.

This is not always easy though because most things in our daily life, our education, the national political spin, and commercial advertising try to block and obscure this global horizon and get us to consume, live and invest in that which is not real.

We are trained to believe in citizenship and living in a certain way, having specific things, believing other things. The list could go on forever but basically we are taught to believe in the past. This is a tough decision when there is change. The first book I wrote back in 1979 looked that this problem.

The second chapter began:

Having a Harbor

Doesn't everyone dream of having some safe harbor for the ultimate escape? A completely dependable last line of defense, so that when everything else falls to pieces, one can drop back inside this cozy little shelter and enjoy a safe snug comfortable life. Certainly it is sensible to have one. In fact, to my way of thinking, anyone who doesn't have quite a few safe harbors is not only playing a dangerous game he doesn't have to play, he is missing one of the greatest contentment's of life…confidence.

Duck in the Pond Theory

We would all have our own little partnership with our own little pond if we were ducks. The pond gives us water, food, shelter and peace. We, in turn, give it ducks. For what is a pond without ducks? We clean it, eat up unnecessary plants and in general keep everything in tiptop condition. However, every once in a while the hunters arrive. Very quickly the rules of the partnership change. You see that the pond as your partner has a limited range of powers. Whether it likes it or not, a new partnership is about to be imposed upon the pond. It will be forced to join in a hunter/pond partnership and part of the rules of that relationship is that the hunters can shoot at the ducks on the pond. This not only throws you, the duck, into an unrequested, unwanted hunter/hunted partnership but threatens to terminate quickly your duck/pond partnership.

It's possible if you are not careful that you will become a diner/dinner partner on the wrong end of the fork. Logic dictates what to do in a situation like this. Since your pond partner is no longer dependable because the rules are about to be changed, you should take the initiative.

Rule #1 of the Duck in the Pond Theory is in fact “Don't be a sitting duck when the shooting starts”, so you've go to decide what to do.

All too often in real life, people get too upset with change to use logic. Their first reaction instead is dismay. They sit there wallowing in disappointment, shock and anger because their pond has let them down. Or even worse, they sit there looking at the gun barrels and choose to blind themselves to the reality of the situation, saying this is some sort of joke or the hunters are really looking for rabbits or the pond won't let this happen.

Rule #2 in this theory is “Be realistic”.

If you don't accept the fact that partnerships change daily or if you ignore the limitations of your partner; you are not capable of deciding when to run for your harbor. You'll lie to yourself and probably to your partner. This gums up the whole works. You'll mess up a fairly clean machine by adding unwanted, useless nuts and bolts which do nothing but clog everything up.

The human mind/body partnership has an almost unlimited capacity to ignore its eyeballs, to adjust reality to match its desires. This inbred flaw causes humans to ignore reality and to expect the world to revolve around them. Being realistic is accepting that no person, thing or partnership is indispensable or permanent. Realism is recognizing change and accepting it when no one is able to stop it.

If, by being realistic, you recognize that as much as you love your pond and as much as the gun barrels look harmless, that the shooting is not far away, and you MUST act. You must get off the pond. Where do you go?

Rule #3 of the theory is to be sure you have another pond to go to.

I call it having a positive pond factor. The more places you have to go, the more positive your pond factor.

Cotacachi is Here and Now and Real

For thirty years Merri and I have traveled to enhance the positivity of our pond factor. In the process we found Ecuador and fell in love with the country and its people. Then we traveled for another ten years before settling on Cotacachi, a northern province, that truly is a special place. This happened slowly as the village called to us again and again, gently creating a passion and yearning. Thus, Cotacachi became one of our safe harbors.

Cotacahi is special, real and very progressive for numerous reasons. History plays a role dating clear back to the Inca. The Inca came from the part of the Andes now called Peru . They conquered what is now called Ecuador from the south. Slowly over a hundred years or so they conquered and absorbed cultures as they progressed north. They had barely reached the area around Cotacachi when the Spanish arrived. “Adios Inca!”

This area was under Inca domination for far less time than the rest of the Ecuadorian Andes. Thus the indigenous here retained more native culture and evolved more quickly in the Western ways to compete effectively in modern times. In short the indigenous here have maintained just about as much of their culture as any other (I am Scots-Irish, but believe I have lost much of the old ways) and are also very successful in the mercantile world here.

This reality has often been overlooked but no more. Cotacachi is catching on. Several dozen of our readers now live here with us in the area and the list is growing fast. Plus many others are coming.

Our staff at El Meson has expressed surprise. November and December are traditionally slow months business wise. Yet in the last two months in 60 days we did almost as much business here as all of the year before we took over the hotel. A lot of this has nothing to do with my bringing readers to stay. The growth in business is coming from the growth of the area.

Plus the new airport will be nearly equidistant to Cotacachi as Quito!

El Meson and our friends down the road at La Mirage are seeing a boom. You can see how important this area is becoming in numerous ways.

For example Ecuador ’s new president, Rafael Correa, spent a lot of time in this area when he was campaigning. Which hotel did he choose? Here. El Meson.

This week incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid flew down to strengthen relations with Correa. He was accompanied by the bipartisan team of Democrat Ken Salazar the incoming Majority Whip, Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; and Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah. There was some flap that they skipped Gerald Ford’s funeral which goes to show the importance the US is now placing on Ecuador.

Guess what village and hotel they chose to visit along with the American Ambassador? They came here to Cotacachi and La Mirage. The rich and famous are coming as well. Actor Kevin Bacon and his wife, Kyra Sedgewick and family were staying at La Mirage with some of our readers at the same time as the Senators. See why Merri and I actually recommend our competition at

Ecuador is the mid point between the US and South America . Its strategic importance cannot be underestimated. Ecuador is also rich in oil and other natural resources. The US cannot ignore Ecuador.

In the same way the Ecuadorian government must help the indigenous population. They represent the majority. The indigenous political parties decided to back Correra. This is why he is now president. The most successful indigenous communities are in our province of Imbabura …Otavalo and Cotacachi. The smart money is starting to move this way and guess who is sitting here waiting? Call it a hunch. It seems like wherever we move the crowds follow. Not because of us but because we are so much like another huge crowd (of baby boomers).

Read more about our hunches, real estate and crowds at and

You can see a picture of President Correra and Senator Reid at

Reid by the way said he respects Correra’s intention to not extend the U.S. military's use of a coastal base and expressed a desire to build better bilateral relations.

Correa has said he will not sign a free trade agreement with the United States but will seek extended trade preferences under the anti-drug agreement.

Reid said that President Bush endorses a package of trade benefits for Ecuador via the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act in exchange for counter-drug cooperation and said “From my perspective, Ecuador has fulfilled all of the requirements for the extension. The people of Ecuador should feel comfortable that it will be extended.”

The delegation then came up to Cotacachi to meet with local indigenous leaders here.

This is one reason why Ecuador and especially the area around Cotacachi has great export opportunities and why we have been conducting import/export courses here. You can learn as you earn at our next course. Here is what one delegate course from the course shared. The ability to earn globally is a safe harbor by itself.

Hi Merri, I gathered up the things I had left from my Spring trip and the stuff I packed from the November trip and did my show in Cambridge, MA the first weekend of December, it was much more successful than I ever dreamed and if I had my new stuff I probably would have doubled my sales. I sold $3,500. The one positive thing to come out of all of this is that I learned to trust my judgment on choosing items. People liked my items and the information I could share with them. It confirmed my belief that it's the personal selection and effort I put forth that makes a difference. Anyhow, I'm not sure if I mentioned it when I saw you, but if I can help the local crafters in Ecuador through the pairing project (Micro Coaching) I'd love to participate. I've done sewing, weaving, knitting and all kinds of crafts. I have materials here I can donate and now I have a little experience with selling their things. So, please let me know if I can help. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and healthy New Year, Bonnie

Join Merri, me and Steve, our man in Ecuador , for our next Import-Export Course in Cotacachi this Feb. 20 – 25, Tues.-Sun. Details are at

We believe the sun is rising over Cotacachi and look forward to seeking reality here and globally in 2007. Our privilege is to share the sights, feelings and experiences that come from this journey with you!


Join us and enjoy the eternal spring this winter in Ecuador . Here is a schedule of the upcoming courses Merri and I will sponsor or conduct.

Jan. 22 – 26, Mon.- Fri. Self-Fulfilled: How to Be a Writer & Publisher.

Feb. 20 – 25, Tues.-Sun. Import-Export Course.

Mar. 9 – 15, Fri.-Thurs. Expanded Super Thinking + Spanish.

Mar. 16 -18, Fri.-Sun. International Business and Investing Made EZ.

Mar. 19 – 21, Mon.-Wed. Andes Extension & Real Estate Tour.