I add lifestyle to the menu because we need more than multi currency assets.
All currencies are at risk. This threatens our lifestyle! We need inflation fighting assets…real estate…commodities and/or shares. We need one, two or all three of these assets in multi currencies to protect our lifestyles.
There is one more vital lifestyle asset…we need most, beyond the multi currencies and the inflation fighters. We need flexibility of mind. This is the asset that can help us protect our lifestyle by thinking outside the box so we get what we really want from life…satisfaction and fulfillment beyond the coin.
One great asset that Merri’s and my lifestyle has gained from 40 years of living and traveling abroad is the ability to realize (though not always see) that there are always two sides to a picture…and that the picture we see the most may be manipulated.
This broader horizon helps us focus on what really counts in life…not on the daily noise that can overwhelm intelligent thought.
This fact was brought to mind when a reader recently sent me this note.
“Gee, Gary…I haven’t seen any mention of the Ecuadorian government’s trashing of all their mining agreements and concessions with over 50 mining companies.
“I know several groups who manage companies down there, and there’s going to be a major exodus, along with about 4,000 mining jobs for locals. Peru will stand to pick up any economic benefits from this rather foolish move on some companies that have put millions into development there with agreements from the government, which has now quashed them for re-negotiations.
“Seems that Ecuador is a left wing country after all. What’s up, do you only
report on good news???”
This investor may be denying himself a special opportunity because: A: He believes that the Ecuadorian government is doing something bad to mining companies and B: that if they are, it matters much.
I try to write mostly about what matters to the lifestyle of my readers. Frankly left or right wing politics matters little to us gringos living in Ecuador. In fact, sadly, the government turmoil may even make our lives a bit better…at the expense of the poor in Ecuador. Our Land of the Sun Foundation is trying help this fact by creating employment…but its a fact. A little bad economic news in Ecuador keeps prices down and makes living easier for those who have outside income.
Merri and I have been in Ecuador for 13 years…and have seen something like nine Ecuadorian presidents. Most of us living in Ecuador have said the same thing about this presidential revolving door…’so what?’
I do prefer to stick mostly with the positive, good news…cheap fresh food, wonderful inexpensive housing, happy, easy to attain, low cost help, perfect weather, peaceful people, no tax, no law suits, excellent, really low cost heath care, great schools, with no metal detectors (not a single shooting) at affordable prices. etc. Plus really inexpensive gas ($1.50 a gallon) but even better, a place where our life styles mean that most of us never buy cars!
But we do try and provide some political coverage for those who worry about such things.
Please go to www.garyascott.com and type in Correa in the search engine.
Also please see http://www.ecuadorlivinCg.com/2008/04/28/ecuador-politics.html
There have been some bad ecological, tax and husbandry infractions by the oil and mining companies in Ecuador. Their plight for this leaves little sympathy even for a die hard capitalist like myself. See Cotacachi environmental concerns to learn more.
This problem was summed up perfectly in the May 12, 2008 edition of Time Magazine. An article entitled “Gem of an Idea” by Alex Perry begins:
“If there is a formula for foreign companies operating in Africa’s extractive industries, it has been this: Pay the government millions of dollars for concession rights; dig, pump, pick or chop what you seek; and export. Don’t worry too much about the country or the people.”
This was an article about mining companies in Africa. Somehow it is hard to believe that only bad companies operate in Africa and just good ones in Latin America.
Let’s hope that both the government and the big resource firms learn to be smarter. Chasing foreign investment away surely does not help anyone in the end. Nor does the exploitation of the poor by big business. Balance should be the name of the game though it rarely is.
However let’s be practical. None of this affects the lifestyle of us little folk much.
A lot of fuss has been made about all the changes that President Correa would make. However a good friend, an Ecuadorian from one of the best known political and business families of Ecuador, who shares a common astrologer with us, recently sent me this note.
“Gary, I wanted to mention something: It seems that Blaine (our mutual astrologer Blaine Watson) is going to be right about Ecuador. In a sort of round about way, but right nevertheless. He said that nothing was going to happen. He might be right. Best wishes for you and Merri.”
This is the point about multi currency assets and flexibility of mind.
We are indoctrinated that left wing populist politics are bad. We are indoctrinated that big business…mining…oil drilling..coca cola and lots of commerce are good.
So we are told, if we live in a place where mining and oil drilling and big business are shut out, this is bad. Right?
Maybe. Maybe not!
Plus are we really promised a perfect life where we currently live?
For more than a decade, Merri and I have enjoyed sweet people. unusually low prices…great buys on real estate….complete security and sunshine almost every day the winter through.
How would we have felt had we traded our two winter lifestyle homes…on Ecuador’s beach
and at our hotel El Meson de las Flores
where the sun shines every day and spent over a decade of winters at our North Carolina home in this
because…maybe…one of the nine presidents who passed through Ecuador’s Presidential Palace was left wing or did not like oil companies or did something stupid…we would feel rather foolish.
I suspect that if ever person who thought their government was doing something stupid, left their country, we would see a considerable movement!
Would it have been wise to have given this wonderful decade up because some president is being tough (fairly or unfairly) on big business? Should we have sat in snow during this last winter because the Ecuadorians and Colombians were squabbling at the border? Should we have given up the wonderful sun, fresh air and great opportunity because the current Ecuadorian government might have an issue over renewing the US military base?
None of these things really matter much to our lifestyle…or to yours!
Yet inflexible thinking can get caught up in this noise and miss what really counts in health and wealth..diversification…supply and demand…fulfillment in the action….investment and living.
Next time you hear about something bad somewhere ask yourself….so what?
Most people will never do this, so this simple question can lead you to underbought opportunity. Your investing will improve.
Until next message, may all things important be good for you.
Join us and learn more about lifestyle investing and business May 23-25 International Investing & Business Made EZ North Carolina
June 7-8 Coastal Real Estate Tour
June 11-15 Super Thinking + Spanish Course
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 19- 21 Ecuador Shaman Tour
See discounts for attending more than one June course.
September 17-20 Ecuador Coast & Quito Real Estate Tour
Sept 23-27 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
See discounts for attending more than one Sept. course.
Oct 3-5 International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina
Oct 14-18 Ecuador Import Export Course
Nov 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coast & Quito Real Estate Tour