A diversification with a view.
An excerpt from a recent US TODAY article entitled “Real federal deficit dwarfs official tally” by Dennis Cauchon says: The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits.
Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household — nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress.
A U.S. household’s median income is $49,445, the Census reports.
The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules.
The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion. Liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs rose by $3.7 trillion in 2011, according to government actuaries, but the amount was not registered on the government’s books.
Another way to put this is that we voters have allowed our governments to build up debts so huge that unless there is some incredible wave of new productivity… it cannot possibly be repaid.
The only alternative is for all major currencies to lose purchasing power which will hurt those on fixed incomes the most.
High Risk World
Most investments are now at risk because most savings and capital come in the form of a promise. Stocks are a promise of shared earnings and growth in business. Bonds are a promise of money used and returned with interest. Bank and savings accounts are a promise of money kept and cared for to be returned at the owners’ desire.
Currencies are promises of products and services delivered later from products and services given now.
We are in times when few promises… especially those made in terms of paper currency can be kept.
Traditionally Swiss francs and precious metals, especially gold and silver have been the favored stores of wealth. These investments should usually play a part in portfolios as insurance. 5% to 10% of a portfolio in metals and hard currencies is a general rule of thumb.
Storing Wealth during High Risk
Today investors and businesses need a new mindset for storing wealth…a thought pattern that leads in new ways to make a relentless search for diversification, necessity and value.
One diversified way to store wealth is in necessities. No matter the state of the economy… basic necessities remain… food, clothing and shelter.
Clothing perhaps can wait… but food and shelter cannot.
This Ecuador hacienda for sale offers a bed & breakfast and agricultural 0pportunity.
Many readers interested in coming to Ecuador are looking for ways to earn income there. One enjoyable, satisfying way is with a small hotel or B&B.
The tradition of extending hospitality to traveling strangers goes back to the earliest recorded history for almost all religions and cultures worldwide. In the early eras of the United States they were called stagecoach inns and provided stabling for horses and lodging for travelers.
During the Great Depression boarders could stay in Tourist Homes or Guest Houses for about $2 a night including breakfast. Travel to Europe boomed and a strong dollar helped Americans discover England’s and Ireland’s B&Bs.
In the 1980s, the seeds for a B&B boom were planted but the biggest growth in B&Bs came due to the internet which levels the playing field. A bed and breakfast could afford to compete with area hotels, by listing in directories like BedandBreakfast.com, establishing a first-rate website, and offering secure online booking options.
We are searching across Ecuador for properties that have B&B potential.
Here is an example.
About 65 miles north of Quito, Ecuador and a 20-minute drive from Otavalo, is the Hacienda San Pedro.
Hacienda San Pedro is a working farm, that produces crops and dairy products, while offering lodging to a select handful of guests at the hacienda’s main villa.
The hacienda has approximately 160 acres with fields, meadows and primary woodlands. Only a portion of the land is under cultivation.
The land is very scenic with views of…
Mt. Cotacachi and Mt. Imbabura.
The terrain is ideal for hiking and horseback riding. There is a wide variety of flora… bromeliads, orchids and native medicinal plants (such as “ñachag”). This most likely is the flower in the Order Asterales, the Family Asteraceae and Genus Bidens. This is a popular plant used in the limpia (cleansing) shamanic ceremonies.
Ceremonial cleansing plays a vital role in indigenous societies where ‘folk illnesses’ such as susto (fright) are common. Indigenous Andeans commonly use cleansing plants to treat susto, and related ‘folk illnesses’.
The owner of the Manor recently sent this note: Dear Mr. Scott, Thank you for your lines, I am afraid that my English – as your Spanish – is not sufficient, but I will try it myself.
For some time we received your newsletter which is giving every day interesting news, innovative business ideas and information about real estate in Ecuador.
We almost are neighbors as we live at a hacienda in front of Mount Cotacachi. We started our business in the year 2000, offering in our country house accommodation and restaurant services to tourists in a personal and familiar ambience. We have received travelers from all over the world during 11 years, and having reached the age of retirement, we are looking for someone who wants to rent or buy our hacienda.
It would be great pleasure to welcoming you and your guests at San Pedro. Best regards, Regula Marti de Cajas
The owner of Hacienda San Pedro, Alfredo and his wife, Regula.
Merri and I were not available to visit but Super Spanish teacher, Glenn Sterling, was staying at Inn Land of the Sun so we asked if he could stop in for a stay.
Glenn visited and sent this story.
A visit to Hacienda San Pedro
Twenty minutes above Otavalo, Ecuador is a classy, relaxing and inviting oasis (locally called a Hacienda).
Alfredo brought out some homemade goat’s milk cheese, carefully carving off small sections. It was delicious and a warm welcome to what already felt like home. Next he brought out some homemade liquer – a ten year project – crafted from pineapple and apricot – it too was delicious although nothing like its parent fruit.
Fearing bad manners – we gratefully accepted in Spanish – occasionally drifting into German, then English.
The cozy fire Alfredo had stoked in the large metal oven warmed our visit. “What did you think of Hacienda San Pedro?” he asked us.
I replied….”Tranquil, peaceful, homey,” so homey, in fact we didn’t want to leave our 10,000′ altitude perch on top of the perpetual springtime hills (really). Thank you, Alfredo and Regula – it was beyond pleasant. The view was to die for. The Hacienda featured 6 guest rooms, some with fabulous views of the Andes, the valleys and surrounding volcanoes and had 160 majestic acres with live in workers.
Part of the living room.
The other half of the living room.
A guest bedroom waiting to rejuvenate the weary.
Paths lead to additional smaller guest rooms with panoramic views.
Now that Glenn has had a chance to visit and confirm that this is a truly beautiful place, I am taking this one step further.
I am told that the asking price is $950,000 which includes the land, all buildings and the entire infrastructure of the guest house. I cannot see how a profitable B&B can be developed at that price so I have asked Ateam member Jeff Neal to visit the property.
Jeff is a licensed real estate broker from the US so will have a better feel for the potential and can help readers who may want to visit the property.