Success in Change

by | Mar 13, 2012 | Archives, SPSP

Today the key to success is the ability to keep up with change.

This is why we are increasing our focus on super thinking.  All of us need to be smarter to adapt to faster change.


We just completed our Mt. Dora super Thinking + Spanish course and qualified five new teachers. Here is Mark Frakes teaching.


We are adding Super Thinking teachers as fast as we can. He we are at a teacher’s training meeting over the weekend. This month teachers are teaching in:

March – April Bahia Ecuador

March Costa Rica

March – April Cotacachi Ecuador

March Uruguay

Plus we had one of our youngest students yet at this last course.


Young Chuck Fritz put the rest of us to shame absorbing the data like a sponge.  We need our youth to know this stuff!

Change is everywhere! For example in the global investing process, the time to take risk is about to change.

JGAM just sent me this note:   Super Friday.  The market has been waiting all week for important news to be released Friday; the Greece bail-out participation rate of the Private Sector Initiative (PSI), inflation figures from China and non-farm payrolls from the U.S.

The Greek debt swap participation ratio was published as being 95.7%. Holders of the bonds only tendered 85.8% voluntarily and collective action clauses (CACs) had to be used to get the participation ratio above 95%. Once the CACs are triggered 86% of all Greek debt in private hands will be swapped for a cash payment and new Greek debt. These measures will wipe about euro (EUR) 100 billion from the Greek debt pile. This restructuring is the biggest sovereign restructure in history. However, the use of CACs may create a credit event in Greek credit default swaps (CDS) and lead to the payout of billions of dollars to the Greek CDSs. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) meets later today to discuss a potential credit event in Greece.

Consumer inflation in China dropped to 3.2% from a year ago in February down from 4.5% in January and the lowest in 2 years. This slowdown in inflation could give Chinese policy makers room to stimulate economic growth, which has been falling below 8%. The inflation figure was however skewed by the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, as the country shuts down for two weeks. The combined inflation rate for January and February was 3.9%, and with the one-year benchmark deposit rate at 3.5% Chinese savers are still losing money on their bank deposits.

The non-farm payrolls came out at 227,000 in February, slightly above the consensus forecast of 210,000 and the revised numbers for the previous two months added an additional 61,000 to the gains reported.

On 8 and 9 March JGAM held its ordinary monthly Investment Committee meeting. We decided not to make new investments but we are moving closer to a situation where we will take on more risk, possibly by increasing exposure to equities and increase the gearing on leveraged portfolios.

The recent debt swap in Greece, with a large majority of private inventors voluntarily taking a significant loss on Greek bonds, has at least short-term reduced the risk of an uncontrollable sovereign debt default.

Learn more about the change in market risk from Thomas Fischer at

Non Americans contact René Mathys at

For example in the global investing process the time to take risk is about to change.

JGAM just sent me this note:   Dear Gary,  On 8 and 9 March JGAM held its ordinary monthly Investment Committee meeting. We decided not to make new investments but we are moving closer to a situation where we will take on more risk, possibly by increasing exposure to equities and increase the gearing on leveraged portfolios.

The recent debt swap in Greece, with a large majority of private inventors voluntarily taking a significant loss on Greek bonds, has at least short-term reduced the risk of an uncontrollable sovereign debt default.

There are changes in the Ecuador real estate market as well.

We have had many stories of Ecuador visa and Ecuador real estate success.

One reader wrote:  Hi Gary,  We would like to inform you that we had an overwhelming demand for our condo at Vistazul # 505 in San Clemente. We accepted an offer and we do not think that we need to promote it any further at this time.

Thanks again for your great service,

 Another wrote: Gary, how are you? After your article on Peter`s unit I have received about 20 requests for information! I know Bob as well is trying to sell his unit so I am offering both for resale.

Finally another wrote:  Dear Gary, We are buying the unit two doors down from Peter.   It is the one with the screens on second and roof for sun bathing.  We missed out on Peter’s place and he put us in touch with Larry.

This will be a cash offer and I believe we can come to a workable agreement.  We want it closed by April 1 with a $10,000 down for a serious commitment.

We hope to make this a family estate and  for our personal use.  Also, I feel it would be good rental when we aren’t there.  What is your take on this?  I will need to take one of your courses to guide me along the way and need to know where you would recommend my starting.

My husband and I are in our eighties and in reasonable health and hope for a long future.  Thank you,

That’s a first I know of… many dozens of leads and three units sold from one ad.

Learn more about Ecuador real estate for sale and for rent here.

Ecuador Visa Comments

One reader sent this note about Ecuador visas:   If you are a soccer player, not an investor, this unconsistend goberment of Ecuador, can give you the citizenship in less than two years.  A total mismanagement of the immigration service.

My reply: Good point. We can either practice and become soccer stars or look for a government that is honest, consistent and efficient.  Though I am past retirement age I think I might have have the best chance if I aspire to make it into the World Cup.

In the USA it’s baseball rather than soccer and quite a few Cuban baseball players found it easier than Cuban businessmen to get access to the country.

Another reader wrote:  Gary,  Thanks for this info, Gary.  We own a little place in Cuenca which we are renting out right now, but have thought of moving in that direction over time.  Our one concern has always been how closely Ecuador is tied to the U.S.  Reading this, I can’t help but think that the U.S. Government has something to do with the tightening of the visa process there.  After all, I’m sure they are none too happy to see all the ex-pats moving there and taking all of their money with them.  Does our shared currency give them a certain amount of clout……….?   This all gives a little pause for our future considerations – any thoughts on that?

My reply:  Most readers have the opposite concern…. Ecuador was left out of the Andean Free Trade Agreement. They feel he is too close to Venezuela and to anti American.  Please see the April 07, 2011 Voice of American article entitled  “US Expels Ecuadorian Envoy in WikiLeaks Affair”.

This article says: “The United States on Thursday expelled Ecuador’s ambassador to Washington in another step in a diplomatic dispute spurred by a leaked U.S. State Department cable.  Ecuador expelled the U.S. envoy to Quito earlier this week.  

“The State Department says it has ordered Ecuadorian Ambassador Luis Gallegos to leave the country as soon as possible in the latest diplomatic fallout from the WikiLeaks  disclosure of classified U.S. diplomatic cables.

“The action follows Ecuador’s expulsion on Tuesday of U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges over the contents of an alleged U.S. State Department document released by the activist website.

“Since last year, the State Department has refused to discuss the contents of the thousands of classified cables published by WikiLeaks .

“But the Spanish newspaper El Pais, which reported on the document on Ecuador, said that in it, U.S. envoy Hodges accused the country’s now-retired national police chief of corruption and suggested that Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was aware of his crimes.

“State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters that Ecuador’s “unjustified” action against Ambassador Hodges left the United States with no option but to reciprocate.

“We’re interested in a positive relationship with Ecuador, but the regrettable and unwarranted decision to declare Ambassador Hodges persona non grata is going to be taken into account as we move forward in the relationship,” he said,

“Toner said the United States has also suspended plans for a high-level dialogue with Ecuador in June that had been agreed to during a visit to Quito by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year.

“The United States has had a difficult relationship with Ecuador’s left-leaning President Correa, who in 2009 ended a deal under which U.S. surveillance planes used an Ecuadorian air base for anti-drug operations.”

Another long term reader of more than 20 years who started coming to Ecuador earlier on sent this note:  Dear Gary and Merri,  we are still around, albeit traveling less because of age. No need to remark on your earlier reader’s comments of being two years without Resident Visa. The situation, boiled down to its most simplistic, is that regardless of which way you approach the Visa, you must spend 21 of the first 24 months in Ecuador.  

We have resigned ourselves to coming and going with Tourist Visas (90 days per year) and a 12-IX Visas (up to 180 days per year), juggling our visits to Ecuador to fit the above limitations. It is not ideal, but acceptable.

Now (as of last October), they have complicated matters. When you arrive with a 12-IX Visa, duly processed in the U.S., you must check in with an official government agency in Ecuador within 30 days of arrival in country. You must register the papers you have, then wait to receive an order to continue the process, then take this order to a branch of Banco Internacional, pay an additional $10.00 fee,in order to be able to come to some office yet another time to get the censo ID card.

Attempting to complete the process in Quito, problems occur all along the way: The computers in the government offices offer the choice of Spanish or English, but are not yet programmed to actually present the material in English. I had to complete ours at home with screens open on both the government site and Google Translate.

You must provide an email address and password. Unfortunately, their computers do not have an “@” key for your username; you must use the ALT key and tap in the numbers 6 and 4 on the keypad to produce the “@” symbol. Such directions are NOT provided- we lucked out because a woman next to me heard me swearing at the computer, took pity on me, and told me how to do it.

Filling out the form, when asked for the country of origin and country of residence, for US people you will run into trouble because: 1) United States is not offered as a choice on all computers; 2) estadoseunidos is a choice on SOME computers; 3) United States, estadoseunidos, united states are offered, but not necessarily in the alphabetical position they should be in. It is a mess.  If you make a mistake, the registration will not go through.

As you know, my wife is in a wheelchair. The offices are not necessarily handicapped equipped, and the entire process is inordinately fatiguing.  Life is good. Hope you are well,  our best.

My reply: How wonderful; to hear from you and know you are both well. This is really helpful information I’ll share.

There you have it… some important thoughts on visa in Ecuador and a way to sell or rent you real estate in Ecuador.  This is such a wonderful country but like all places it changes continually and has some challenges.

We are here to serve our readers in Ecuador with the Ecuador Living Club. See details here.

One other point. Other countries have their visa problems as well.

One reader recently sent me this note: Hi Gary. I have a client who needs some help and  wondering if you had any suggestions.

She migrated to the USA with her parents when she was a young girl. As a teenager in high school she had a part time job after school. 

She did not have a green card and it seemed not necessary. While on that job she was caught up in a family emergency of some kind and had to phone home twice while at work.  Her employer had her charged with theft rather than asking her to pay for the calls. He took her to court and she had to perform some public service as a result.

She subsequently applied for, and was granted, a green card. She is now married with 2 children.  She has gone back and forth to her home country several times since receiving her green card but this last time, while passing through immigration at Washington Dulles, the agent confiscated her passport and greencard citing this criminal charge from her teen years in Colorado.  She is now facing a hearing.

They are saying she will be deported permanently which would mean being separated from her 2 children and her husband. Her children are of course, USA citizens and her husband works for a mar company on a green card.

They have hired a lawyer but if the hearing goes against them she will go immediately before a judge for deportation and a lawyer will be of no help they are told.  Any suggestions?

The country in question of course is the USA.  Justice appears to be quote unequal (or perhaps it is equal in its inequality) everywhere.



Read Voice of America article