Magic Bullets in Investing & Business

by | Sep 14, 2012 | Archives

When it comes to business and investing I cannot stress enough the importance of seeking value.

See great Ecuador airfare value below.

magic bullet

See why we invest in Ecuador roses instead of bullets.

There is no one magic bullet that finds good investments and business ideas.

Our values however can help our aim so we can invest and serve in the right places… for us… as individuals.

Analysis of value makes the decision process easy and effective… enforces values strongly.  Seeking value is totally in tune with logic and natural law.

Yet most investors ignore value and chase fashion.  Current fashion by its nature is almost always poor value.  Knowing this can provide everlasting wealth.

Value however is unique and dictated for every individual by their own unique set of values.

Using your own specific values as a foundation for value is vital because there are so many different ways to invest and to earn.  Our values give us a filter so we can search for value within values that are important to us.

Take for example… the ammunition makers… Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK).  The shares in this company offer good value.

ATK share

Chart of ATK shares at

I stumbled across ATK when numerous readers began sending me copies of websites headlines like this: Fears that federal authorities are preparing for mass civil unrest have increased after it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year.

The buzz is that the current administration is afraid of civil unrest in the USA and is arming up.

Perhaps so but my thinking focused on value instead of anarchy.  Instead of asking… is this true or not… what is the government’s intentions… I asked… who will make all that money.

For a fact… there is very little I can do about the government or its expenditures.  There is a lot I can do in my own actions and investing.

So I looked and found this news at   ATK Delivers 2 Billion 7.62mm Rounds to the U.S. Army from the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP)ATK Delivers More than 350 Million 5.56mm Enhanced Performance Rounds Using Modernized Production Line Equipment
.   ATK Receives $131 Million in Small-Caliber Ammunition Orders

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ATK (ATK) recently achieved a world-class production milestone by delivering the 2 billionth 7.62mm round of ammunition manufactured at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) in Independence, Mo.  Since assumption of LCAAP manufacturing operations in 2000, ATK has increased the production rate for 7.62mm ammunition five-fold in direct support of U.S. Army requirements.

Alliant Techsystems manufactures everything from rockets for NASA to bullets. In fact it is the world’s largest manufacturer of bullets.

The company has three divisions armament (bullets), Mission (big weapons) and Space (rockets, launch vehicles, missiles, missile-defense interceptors, and satellites).

The customer base is about one third commercial and two thirds government.

Over the past 10 years, the company produced an average return on equity of 31.51% by using financial leverage.

ATK debt is high but during the recession it never had problems with debt service.  All these facts suggest that  the shares of ATK are good value.

A little investigation found that stocks in the defense sector have been selling at historically cheap valuations and that ATK shares were selling a ratios far below the industry average.

ATK Price/Earnings is 6.2 compared to an industry average of 13.2. ATK  Price/Book is 1.3 compared to industry average of  3.0 and its Price/Sales Ratio is 0.4 compared to 0.8.

The 10 year average P/E ratio for its shares has been 18% but is currently below 10%  about half  the ten year average.

These facts coupled with recent events in the Middle East suggest even more spending will be for defense.

Plus if the Republicans win the presidential election… other federal expenditures such as entitlement reform are more likely to take cuts rather than defense.

I will NOT be investing in ATK.   I won’t skip these shares because they are not a good deal.  They may be a great investment.   I do not hate guns and bullets either.  I have several of one and many of the other. In facts my bullets of choice are Federal ammunition. This ammo is made by ATK… so I use a bit of their product.

I simply have too many other things to accomplish with my earnings, time and effort than investing in defense.  The value of ATK does not match my values.  I drive a car… and once in awhile, I might have a glass of wine… but still avoid investing in fossil fuels or alcohol also.

There is only so much each of us can do.   If we feel that our investments and business serve a purpose we value, we’ll do better with them and we’ll be happier… which means we are more likely to be healthy and long lived as well as affluent.  I suggest that you focus on your investments and business to your values!

Take Merri’s and my decision to invest in Ecuador as another example.  When we first visited Ecuador, we fell in love with the sweetness of the Ecuadorian people… the beauty… the diversity and the never ending spring like weather… the fresh local food… gaiety of the local markets and the never ending, direct sun.  These were values we loved about Ecuador.

We liked the values of Ecuador so we looked for value there.  We have invested in Ecuador roses and real estate but not bullets.

Just because we love a place or idea does not mean that we abandon a search for value.

On our first trip to Ecuador Merri and I dined at Atamari a small 12 room hosteria overlooking the Pacific.


View from Atamari.

We sat in a small thatched roof restaurant.

ecuador atamari

Atamari’s restaurant.

I looked over the beach and was intrigued.

Ecuador beach

Beach view from Atamari.

An inspection of land for sale on the beach there revealed that (then 16+ years ago), I could buy a nice piece of land for $5,000… maybe less if I searched and bargained hard.

We were living in Naples, Florida at the time and a beach lot there cost about $2 million.  That Ecuador beach represented great value to me.  Same sand.  More water… bigger and more fish… $1,995,000 price difference.

Prices in Ecuador are rising.  This begs the question… is Ecuador real estate still good value?

A reader sent me this note earlier this week.  Gary, prices of real estate in Ecuador are exorbitant. The government has injected liquidity in the market through loans which has stimulated demand. Could Ecuador real estate be approaching the bubble bursting stage? If the government curbs credit, demand would diminish and prices would go down. Are you saying that we need to wait for that to happen to get in ? An offsetting factor could be the narco dollars that still buy properties regarding of price hikes.

My reply was: Ecuador prices probably have not yet peaked. They are still quite low when compared to alternative prices.  Ecuador prices are high compared to previous Ecuador prices but still very low compared to prices in Florida, Colombia, CR, Panama and Brazil.

You can still own a condo with views like this…

6304023844 64c90e0ff3 Bahia B & B Opportunity

with city living at as little as $95 a square foot.

Biggest problem of Ecuador’s beach property.

You may not believe this but the biggest problem expats have when they come to Ecuador is that prices are so low.  Coastal real estate is so inexpensive that new buyers pay too much.   They get a really good price compared to Canada or the US…. but in Ecuador terms they pay too much.

This is an understandable problem.   A recent article in Bloomberg Business News shows that Miami property is looking like good value at $400 a square foot compared to $700 a square foot in Bogota, $1,100 in Sao Paulo and $1,400 in Rio.

Here is a picture showing prices from that Business Week article.


Yet we are still seeing Ecuador beach property for less than $100 a square foot.   This means that new visitors see high Ecuador beach prices and they think these prices are really low… WHEN they are compared with other countries.  New buyers often pay much more then they need.

Comparison of property prices in Business Week article can be seen below to the link.

This is why I am pleased to report that the cost of personalized tours organized by Jean Marie Butterlin have been dropped to match his group tours.

Now you can enjoy customized, private Ecuador real estate coastal tours to any part or all of the coast between Manta and Pedernales… any time at no additional cost.


Condo in San Vicente with views across the Chone of Bahia! Asking $50,000.

The customized tours can help you in three ways.

#1:  You can set the exact times and dates of the tour to fit your schedule.

#2: You can quantify particular needs and/or desires in the real estate so you do not spend time seeing properties that are not of interest to you.

#3: You would like to zero on specific types of Ecuador real estate in a certain price range.

Set Up Your Own Tour Here $499

Enroll For Two $799.

Another reader shared this note yesterday showing Ecuador airfare value as well as Ecuador beach property value.

Hi Gary,  I noticed the following website is advertising flights to Guayaquil from $387 to $444 if that’s a good deal.

ecuador airfare special

Click on photo to enlarge. See link to the low Ecuador airfare website below.

My Vistazul unit 401 is still for sale. I think there’s a developing positive story to be told for Vistazul, and I was hoping to get accurate facts that I could weave into a story to email you, but I don’t seem to be able to.  I’m told land prices in San Clemente have doubled in the past two years, and two of the lower units have sold for $100,000.  (I think one slightly over, one maybe right at $100,000.)   Both were bought by local Ecuadorians which is encouraging because they know their country and can determine where the best values are.  Also I’m told land next to Vistazul has been sold and condos are going to be built there.  That’s good, because the more foreigners move into the area the more the local services will improve.  And, Bahia coming alive will also boost Vistazul prices as not everyone wants to live in the city.

Given the higher sale prices at Vistazul, I’ve raised my cash price on my website to $92,000.  But, I’ve left it at $88,000 on your Ecuador MLS site because if someone mentions your website I’ll let them think they got a bargain and sell it at that price.  Thanks for everything, Roger Rosenwald

Ecuador Rose Value

Do not mistake good value with cheap.  This is why I became involved with Ecuador roses.  They are the best value not the cheapest.  Roses from Colombia cost less than Ecuador.  Yet Ecuador roses are bigger and they last much longer.

It is known in the flower industry that in 2009 Costco sold about 20,000 boxes of Colombia roses.  In 2010 they sold about 10,000 boxes which fell to about 6,500. boxes in 2011.

Our Ecuador rose sales just keep growing without additional sales effort because Ecuador roses offer such incredible value.

I bring in 100 Ecuador roses for every seminar. Here they are in our kitchen waiting for me to arrange before our last Writer’s Camp.


100 Ecuador Roses.

These roses don’t have to be sold.. just let people see them.  Once they order… they order again and again.


Riviera variety Ecuador rose.

They order because these roses… though they cost a bit more than those in the grocery store or at Costco etc… last so much longer and are so beautiful.

Learn more about Ecuador roses here.

This is also why we decided to offer Beyond Chelation BCI… a product we have used for more than a decade that helps us feel more energetic, healthy and vital.  See Ecuador longevity Secrets.

Seek value in investing and in business… within your set of values.  The process will give you plenty of ammunition to hit your targets of  health, wealth and fulfillment.


Meet our rose supplier and see several Ecuador real estate business deals available now at our upcoming Super Thinking + International Investing and Business seminar this October. add for $387 airfare Miami Ecuador

Business Week article Foreign Buyers Heat Up Miami’s Condo Market

Article at on ATK