Yesterday’s message Organic Micro Business Opportunity looked at how to blend a great lifestyle with enhanced independence.
That message looked at Micro Business Opportunity #1 and saw for example… how, if for any reason the internet does not work… I am out of business.
If for any reason the national food distribution system stops, I cannot eat.
If for any reason, gasoline supplies are cut off, I cannot travel. Etc. Etc.
Access to these supplies are beyond my control and probably yours as well.
The message viewed the growing risks of a social economic systemic meltdown and looked at five organic investing and business trends that have a bright future.
#1: Gain value added. This is the era when small and flexible are beautiful. Modern community technology makes it possible for even micro businesses to virtually integrate. I’ll give you a specific in a moment.
#2: Invest in real estate. I know, I know people keep saying that prices are going down. Yet these same people keep having kids without making more land. This looks like an opportunity distortion to me.
#3: Bet on inflation. I do not see how with the massive government bailouts this will not happen everywhere…to a great extent.
#4: Invest in alternative power and sustainability. The same fundamentals as for real estate are at work…more kids…no more fresh water…trees…soil…clean air…etc. Plus one factor more. Each child born expects more.
#5: Invest in natural health. The current social economic lifestyle is flawed. The acquisition of stuff creates too much work…leading to too much stress…with too little time…and poor nutrition…leading to pharmaceutical and surgical intervention. This intervention costs too much and is not a pleasant, effective approach that optimizes maximum human efficiency.
Based on this belief, I have been working with a team on a plan for our farm in North Carolina to create Draftwood homes built from local sustainable timber and fueled by micro hydro power.
That team has been organized by Ian Snider… the local advocate of the Draftwood concept. Draftwood… sustainable harvested, value added timber hauled out by draft horses.
Here is Ian Snider at his latest project in North Carolina described below.
Ian’s work also includes organic farming. Here he is mowing hay near the old farm house where he and his wife live on the South Fork of the New River.
Merri and I enjoyed buying their beautiful organic greens… horseradish and rhubarb jam at the West Jefferson Farmers Market.
We believe that organic Smalltown USA is a bet on inflation and an investment on sustainability and alternative power plus on healthier, wealthier, more independent ways.
Here is the plan we are working on that enhances the value added aspect of our business (#1 above). We have some great home sites on the farm with great locations for solar, hydro and wind power.
Many of our meadows have southern views and are filled with morning and evening sun. Our home has a complete southern exposure and was built with 13 inch concrete filled, styrofoam insulated, heat retaining walls.
The 12 large glass windows and doors let the sun pour in all day. Even when it is freezing outside you can nearly heat the house with a candle.
Other sustainability assets include wind potential in places on the land that are high, sunny and exposed.
Our vision for the farm is evolving like this…homes that can support themselves: …energy…food…and water…but connected to the world.
This allows one to work on an entirely integrated plan…harvesting and milling wood…to build houses and cabins that are off the grid with solar, wind and water power and with enough land to grow one’s own organic food.
The qualities of the land are ideal for enacting enterprise centered around our The Future is Now investing points listed above.
This plan is filled with value added potential. We can help our forest with sustainable logging.
The wood can be used for the cabins.
We can offer courses that teach people the logging, the milling, how to build the cabins.
We can teach people how to save via off the grid living and even help them obtain off the grid equipment. Plus we gain off the grid homes for our retreat center.
I expect this will make new avenues so our business can change and grow in the next five to ten years…just as Ecuador altered our life and business a previous decade ago.
This process feels right to us.
Ian and Mountain Works have launched the branch of the business they call Mountain Works Construction that builds green and in direct coordination with restorative forestry harvests. To Ian’s knowledge this combination of “design based on restoration” all under one roof is a first anywhere. Their current construction project is for the Sorrel family in Fleetwood where they are restoring their 12 acres of forest and yielding a beautiful white pine timber frame addition (shown above) for them in the process.
are sawn on site with a portable band saw run by Mike Shenton.
The hardwood will be taken to the local circle mill run by Bret Winebarger (two miles from the building site) and will be used in the custom crafted interior.
Here is a draftwood dining room.
High performance windows, passive solar design, rain water collection, SIP panels, site reclaimed lumber and solar hot water provided by our good friends at Blue Ridge Energy Works are just a few ear marks of a Mountain Works build.
The signs of a good business are turning a passion into a profit with a holistic business that services the community now and into the future. Sustainable timber that helps create an independent life certainly fits that description.
PS- I have invited Ian Snider to join us at our June 24 to 27 Quantum Wealth course in North Carolina.
He’ll be able to share his ideas on a sustainable organic micro business with you.
In addition I have asked Ian and his wife to perform at the Saturday night wine tasting at New River Winery (see the winery below).
Ian plays the five string banjo in the old claw-hammer style and sings a twangy baritone enjoying his role as a balladeer in the many music circles of which he is involved.
He will be joined by his wife, Kelly Sheets Snider.
She has carried on the family tradition of mountain music as she built on a life-long foundation of old time music and dance. Both a fiddler and excellent harmony singer she leads and takes part in various musical groups comprised of friends and family. Kelly and Ian play music together and Kelly plays with her mother and father in The Sheets Family Band.
Join Merri and me all year along for courses and seminars on how to be smarter in investing and business.
Here is what a delegate sent to Merri and me about our last North Carolina seminar:
As a retiree who saw her retirement sustain considerable loss due to the economy, I found the information you presented during the three days to be extremely helpful and showed a plausible way for me to have some recovery. Besides all of the relevant information, your emphasis on honesty and the importance of not to be deceptive was reassuring. The bottom line is, that what gave real value to the information we were receiving and what made us feel comfortable was, that we felt you, Thomas and David were all people of good character. Something that is very important to us. Thank you, Gary and Merri, for providing a wonderful Seminar. Sincere regards.
On Saturday evening we drive to Lansing and look at how small businesses can grow in Smalltown USA. We’ll visited the New River Winery for a wine tasting. The winery is housed in another old WPA building which originally was the Lansing school.
Here is Haskell McGuire one of New River founders showing us the winery.
New River’s flagship wines are Bohemia Red and Bohemia White. These were followed by the introduction of signature wines, Back Porch Blueberry. New River now has several new wines in production including: Pinot Blanc, Viogner, Hellbender Red, Lansing School White, Big Laurel Blush, and Seyval.
The winery started small and is growing by leaps and bounds. Vineyards and wineries are one of the fastest growing business sectors in North Carolina.
Here is an unedited quote from another delegate:
Dear Gary and Merri: We so enjoyed attending the IBEZ Seminar this past weekend in Jefferson, NC. We loved the high country area, the nice people we met and particularly enjoyed the visit and tour of the New River Winery. We were lucky to sit at a table with four utterly charming southern women, one of whom was Haskell’s wife. We had a long drive home on Sunday and were sad that we had to leave and not be able to join you and our group for lunch at your farm and sad that we missed Merri’s cooking. We hope someday in the future we may have the opportunity to visit your property as we heard it is quite beautiful.
On Sunday we finish the seminar and then those who have time visit our farm. Delegates are invited up to the house for afternoon tea.
We’ll have a review of Ecuador export products.
Like this these baby alpaca sweaters.
Another delegate wrote:
Hi Gary, Just a quick note to tell you again how much I enjoyed the seminar and seeing your lovely farm. I spoke to you briefly about deciding that I wanted the web course instead of mult-currency. Thank you for sending me that instead of the multi-currency. It may be two weeks, but I am starting to work on that site. I know from life experience that it is always better to focus on what you want to create instead of what you don’t want. So thank you for the buzz of creativity that you, David, and others from the group inspired. I am also interested in featuring the dulcamaras product on my site, along with testimonials. You mentioned a contact for that product. I would appreciate that information also. Smiles.
Here is some Ecuador art we showed at the last seminar that evolved from drum making.
Delegates came up with many marketing and…
plus we had fun.
This is a great time to be in the cool mountains with this view…
from the house!
As the guests leave… in the dusk… there is always a moment of sadness. New friends made. Interesting ideas shared and now we are moving apart.
Yet we’ll be back together again next seminar.
This delegate expressed it well when she wrote:
Thank you again for a truly life changing and life enhancing weekend. And we also wish your loved ones a speedy recovery and good health. Best regards.
We hope you will join us for our International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina this June or in Ecuador in Jnue and July like this delegate who wrote:
Hi Gary, It was wonderful to meet you and Merri at the IBEZ Conference this past weekend! You both are so warm and caring and have a genuine desire to help the people of Ecuador and others to build a successful business.
The classes were very insightful and jam packed with information and suggestions on how to start your very own web based business. You and David, your webmaster, presented the information in an easy to understand format that even computer dummies like me could understand.
The multi currency investing portion of the class presented by you and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management were very interesting and educational. It opened our eyes to new avenues of investing that we didn’t have a clue about before.
We also very much enjoyed the Import and Export portion of the class. The items from Ecuador that you and Merri shared with us were very beautiful. I especially loved the bird art and would be very interested in importing some of these to sell. I am also interested in jewelry, leather goods, and the shawls like Fran was wearing in class (they were enhanced with the leather collar and leather applique). I think that custom made leather goods that are stamped, as you and Merri suggested, have good income potentials. We would like to thank you and Merri for opening up your beautiful home to the class on Sunday afternoon and feeding us such a delicious lunch. This was the perfect ending to three days of fun and sharing of ideals and suggestions on how to make money from investing in property and multi currency to building a successful web site business and Importing/Exporting from Ecuador for profit. Thank you and Merri so much for everything. We look forward to attending additional conferences. Take care and hope to see you again soon.
Belong to the International Club
The Huge 2020 RiskHere is a huge risk that could explode in 2020.
I hope I am wrong… but the numbers are clear.
According to Treasurydirect.com, (1) as of December 26, 2020 the total US public debt was 23 trillion and 845 billion dollars.
This is not a theoretical problem for the future. This is not something that our children and grandchildren will have to deal with. This is a problem in the here and now for you and me.
Rising interest rates create a massive problem for every American.
Look at how the interest costs alone have risen to over a half trillion dollars a year.
The bad news is that the (US federal debt) is getting bigger….harder to miss. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected in 2010 (the debt then was a bit over 14 trillion) that, under law at that time, debt held by the public would exceed $16 trillion by 2020, reaching nearly 70 percent of GDP.
The $7 Trillion Error.
They sure goofed on that. Here we are… only in 2020 and debt has shot past 23 trillion.
How could the CBO be so wrong?
The CBO screwed up because they could never imagine that the Fed would push interest rates so low… and keep them there. The interest rates are so low that the government has been able to borrow more than imagined and still afford the interest.
For example, US Federal government interest last year amounted to around $573 billion. Yet in 2008 on debt of only $9 trillion + the interest that year was $451 billion +.
Interest payments in 2017 were 27% higher than they were in 2008. Yet the debt is over 250% higher.
Very low interest rates have helped the government borrow. Low interest has also helped the US stocks reach all time high prices.
The government will resist raising rates because it will ruin their budget, cause a collapse of the stock markets and destroy the US dollar.
Rising interest rates, will create an almost unimaginable debt crisis. If government interest doubles it is like the $23+ trillion national debt rising to 46 trillion! Unless there are some huge tax increase the interest payments are not sustainable.
Learn how to have more freedom and time, less stress, better health care, extra income, greater safety and profit in your savings despite America’s deficits, debt and currency risk.
Fortunately there are secrets that will allow a few to live much better, free of debt and worry despite the decline in the dollar’s purchasing power. My wife, Merri and I, have traveled, lived, worked and invested around the world for nearly 50 years to gain this information.
Let me share the basics of this data and how we can be of help through 2020.
The first fact behind this secret is that things are really good in the western world. Despite many problems, we are surrounded by more abundance and greater opportunity than almost anyone has ever enjoyed, anywhere, ever. To enjoy a fair share of this wealth, all we have to do is understand human nature and learn how to invest in the new economy, as it changes and becomes new, again and again.
Merri and I have made seven huge transitions in the 50 years. Each has allowed us to always stay ahead of losses that the majority of Americans suffer. We are in another transition right now and want to share why and what to do so you can stay ahead and live a richer, independent life through 2020 and beyond.
A falling US dollar is one of the greatest risks we have to our independence, safety, health, and wealth, but also brings a window of huge profit as I explain below. Though the greenback has been strong for a number of years, its strength is in serious jeopardy. The growing federal deficits increase the national debt and this with rising interest rates propels a growing debt service.
While the Dow Jones Industrial Average passed a record high, the U.S. national debt passed the $20 trillion mark.
The problem is that the Dow will come back down. National debt will not fall.
The double shock of money fleeing Wall Street and US debt skyrocketing, will destroy the purchasing power of the greenback.
Go to the store even now. Statistics say inflation is low, but buy some bread or, heaven forbid, some fresh vegetables like peppers or fruit. Look at the cost of your prescription or hospital bills. Do something simple like have your car serviced at an auto dealer. Look at the dollars you spend and you’ll see what I mean.
The loss of the dollar’s purchasing power erodes our independence, our freedom and our savings and wealth as well.
At the same time, low interest rates by big banks and higher health care costs soak up the ever diminishing income and savings we have left. According to a Gallup poll, the most unpopular three institutions in America are big corporations & Wall Street banks, HMOs and Congress.
Yet there is little we can do because these institutions are in control.
Over the last 50 years the average income for 90 percent of the American population fell. Our health system is restricted by a Kafka-esque maze of legislation and insurance regulations that delay, frustrate, and thwart attempts by patients and doctors from proper medical care. Big banks and corporations restrict our freedom of choice. The business customer relationships are no longer transactions between free equals.
Banks can trap us in indebtedness at every age from student loans to mortgages to health care costs. They pay almost nothing on our savings. They hide unexpected fees and payments in complex and unreadable documents. Banks and big corporations routinely conceal vital information in small print and then cheat. Weak regulations and lax enforcement leave consumers with few ways to fight back. Many of these businesses ranging from cable TV to phone and internet service to health insurance have virtual monopolies that along with deceptive marketing destroys any form of free market.
These same companies control the credit-scoring agencies so if we don’t pay unfair fees, our credit scores will plunge and we could lose the ability to borrow money, rent an apartment, even to get a job. Many consumers are forced to accept “arbitration clauses” in lieu of legal rights. The alternative is to lose banking, power, and communication services.
Big business has also usurped our privacy. Internet companies sell our personal data. Personal information is pulled from WiFi and iPhones track and store our movements. The government can access this information, sometimes without subpoenas. There’s a lot that we don’t know, often withheld under the guise of “National Security.”
The glow on Western democratic capitalism has dimmed… or so it seems. The US, leading the way, is still a superpower with economic, innovation and military might, but the institutions that should serve the people have become flawed or broken.
America’s infrastructure is in shambles. The nation’s bridges are crumbling, many water systems are filled with toxins, yet instead of spending more to fix this, we build more prisons. The 2.2 million people currently in jail is a 500 percent increase over the past thirty years. 60% of the inmates belong to ethnic groups. Not just non-white ethnic groups are suffering. Annual death rates are falling for every group except for middle-aged white Americans. Death rates are rising among this group driven by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse, alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.
America’s middle class is shrinking. Nearly half of America’s income goes to upper-income households now. In 1970 only 29 percent went to this group. How can we regain our freedom, our happiness and our well being in such a world?
What can we do?
Gain a better, freer life is to combine better health, higher income and greater savings for a happier, more resilient lifestyle.
Merri and I will celebrate our 50th year of global living, working, investing and researching to find and share ideas on how to have simpler, low stress, healthier, more affluent lifestyles. Our courses, reports and email messages look at ways to gain:
#1: Global micro business income.
#2: Low cost, natural health.
#3: Safer, more profitable, investments that take little time or cost to buy and hold… so you can focus on earning more instead
Many readers use our services for just one of these three benefits. They focus only on health or on earning more or on better, easier investing.
28 years ago Merri and I created the International Club as a way for readers to join us and be immersed in all three of these benefits. The International Club is a year long learning program aimed at helping members earn worry free income, have better affordable good health and gain extra safety and profits with value investments.
Join us for all of 2020 NOW.
The three disciplines, earning, health and investing, work best when coordinated together. Regretfully the attacks on our freedom are realities of life. There is little we can do to change this big picture. However we can change how we care for our health, how we earn and how we save so that we are among the few who live better despite the dollar’s fall.
We start with better lower cost health care.
Club membership begins by sharing ways to be free of the “Secret Hospital Charge Master”. Just as governments hide truth behind “National Security”, big health care businesses hide medical truths behind “Charge masters”. Most hospital charge masters are secret because big business does not want us to know how much hospital costs have risen. Motivations beyond our good health, like corporate greed, want to keep us in the dark about health care cost.
Despite rising health care costs, a report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention shows that hospitals are the last place we want to be for good health. One report shows that hospital-acquired infections alone kills 57% more Americans every year than all car accidents and falls put together.
Often, what patients catch in the hospital can be worse than what sent them there. Governments and health care agencies agree – antibiotic resistance is a “nightmare.” An antibiotic-resistant bacteria may be spreading in more hospitals than patients know. About one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection and a report from the Journal of Patient Safety showed that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the country.
Along with the risk of hospital acquired illness and medical errors, the second huge threat to our well being… is health care costs, especially at hospitals. This is why charge masters are so often secret. There are few risks to our wealth that are greater than a hospital stay.
I have created three natural health reports are about:
Each report is available for $19.95. However you’ll receive this free as club member and save $59.85.
Club members also receive seven workshops and courses on how earn everywhere with at home micro businesses. We call this our “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”. The program contains a series of courses and reports that show ways to earn and be free. These courses and reports are:
- “International Business Made EZ”
- “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell”
- Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
- The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3
- The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
- Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
- The course “Event-Full – How to Earn Conducting Seminars and Tours”
This program is offered at $299, but is available to you as a club member free. You save $299 more.
Next, club members participate in an intensive program called the Purposeful investing Course (Pi). The purpose of Pi is finding value investments that increase safety and profit. Learn Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing.
Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies. These destroyers of wealth can create a Behavior Gap, that causes investors to underperform in any market good or bad. The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear. Pi helps create profitable strategies that avoid losses from this gap.
Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of a Primary Pi Model Portfolio, called the Pifolio. There are no secrets about this portfolio except that it ignores the stories from economic news (often created by someone with vested interests) and is based mainly on good math that reveals the truth through financial news.
The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets using my 50 years of global experience and my study of the analysis of four mathematical investing geniuses (and friends).
There are seven layers of tactics in the Pi strategy.
Pi Tactic #1: Determine purpose and good value.
Pi Tactic #2: Diversify 70% to 80% of portfolio equally in good value developed markets.
Pi Tactic #3: Invest 20% to 30% equally in good value emerging markets.
Pi Tactic #4: Use trending algorithms to buy sell or hold these markets.
Pi Tactic #5: Add spice speculating with ideal conditions.
Pi Tactic #6: Add spice speculating with leverage.
Pi Tactic #7: Add spice speculating with forex potential.
The Pifolio analysis begins with a continual research of international major stock markets that compares their value based on:
#1: Current book to price
#2: Cash flow to price
#3: Earnings to price
#4: Average dividend yield
#5: Return on equity
#6: Cash flow return
#7: Market history
We combine the research of several brilliant mathematicians and money managers with my years of investing experience.
This is a complete and continual study of what to do about the movement of international major and emerging stock markets. I want to share this study throughout the next year with you.
This analysis forms the basis of a Good Value Stock Market Strategy. The analysis is rational, mathematical and does not worry about short term ups and downs. This strategy is easy for anyone to follow and use. Pi reveals the best value markets and provides contacts to managers and analysts and Country Index ETFs so almost anyone can create and follow their own strategy.
The costs are low and this type of ETF is one of the hardest for institutions to cheat. Expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund. Little knowledge, time, management or guesswork are required. The investment is simply a diversified portfolio of good value indices. Investments in an index are like investments in all the shares of a good value market.
Pi opens insights to numerous long term cycles that most investors miss because they have not been investing long enough to see them.
The Pi subscription is normally $299 per annum but as a club member you receive Pi at no charge and save an additional $2299.
Profit from the US dollar’s fall.
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!
Club members receive a report about opportunity in the current strength of the US dollar is a second remarkable similarity to 30 years ago. The 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 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 when you become a club member you receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” FREE.
Plus get the $39.99 report, “The Platinum Dip 2019” free.
With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events. 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 and has remained near this level, compared to a range of the 230s only two years ago.
Now there is a new distortion ready to ripen in the year ahead.
These two events are a strong sign to invest in precious metals.
I prepared a special report “Platinum Dip 2019”. The report explains the exact conditions you need to make leveraged precious metal speculations that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times. The purpose of the report is to share long term lessons about speculating in precious metals gained through 30 years of speculating and investing in gold and silver.
The low price of silver offers special value now so I want to send you this report because the “Platinum Dip 2018” offers enormous profit potential in 2018.
The report “Platinum Dip 2019” sells for $39.95 but club members receive it free as well.
The $39.95 new “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere Report” is also free.
There is an incredible new economy that’s opening for those who know what to do. There are great new opportunities and many of them offer enormous income potential but also work well in disaster scenarios.
There are are specific places where you can reduce your living expenses and easily increase your income. Scientific research has shown that being in such places actually make you smarter and healthier. Top this off with the fact that they provide tax benefits as well and you have to ask, “Where are these places?”.
Learn about these specific places. More important learn what makes them special. Discover seven freedom producing steps that you can use to find other similar places of opportunity.
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 describes what Merri and I, our children and even my sister and thousands of our readers have done and are doing, right now.
Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere focuses on a system that takes advantage of living in Smalltown USA, but earning locally and globally.
This report is available online for $39.99 but International Club members receive it free.
Save when you become a club member.
Join the International Club and receive:
#1: The $299 Personal investing Course (Pi). Free.
#2: The $299 “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”. Free.
#3: The $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More”. Free.
#4: The $39.99 report “Platinum Dip 2019”. Free
#5: The three $19.99 reports “Shamanic Natural Health”. All three free.
#6: The $39.99 “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere” report. Free.
#7: A year’s follow up subscription to the Purposeful investing course… Plus more.
Join the International Club for $349 and receive all the above online now, plus all reports, course updates and Pi lessons 2019 at no additional fee.