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May I predict the next Wall Street sucker punch headed our way and its impact on Ecuador real estate?

We have been seeing a glimpse of the next big stock market ripoff that is being built.

Merri and I have been recommending, and searching ourselves, for rental real estate houses to invest in since early 2009.

mt dora house

Most recent rental house we purchased.  We have been buying houses like this for far less than their replacement costs.

My first recommendation to do this was in February 2009 Andean Shamans and Truth

You may want to read the message in 2009 because it shows how integrating logic and intuition can lead you to steady wealth… again and again and again.

Our timing could not have been better and by January of this year we posted an article “Power of Positive” which said:

#1  Problem:  Real Estate Collapse and hard to get mortgages. Winning Idea: Invest in real estate for rentals

A January 22, 2013 article in USA Today entitled “Rental Investors pant for next hot home market”  tells how home shoppers are now seeing multiple offers, bidding wars and shrinking supplies of homes for sale as investors swoop in.

Major institutional investors are amassing a $10 billion war chest to pursue the single-family rental market, JPMorgan Chase estimated in a recent research report.

This $10 billion dollar war chest may be the beginning of the end of our buying rental real estate for now.

I believe we have gained good value in the houses we have purchased.  This has not come without effort.  We have scoured probably hundreds of properties on the internet, looked at a ton of these, offered on a dozen and have invested in six places for this effort.  We mainly buy fixer – uppers like this one.


Mount Dora house we tried to buy.

This house had all the qualities we looked for.  The house looked terrible.  This is good that it seemed liked a wreck.   Careful inspection showed that the main problem was mainly dirt, a little flooring, a few rotted easily replaced pieces of siding and really poor landscaping.  The asking price ($84,000 – about $50 a square foot) was a good value.

Prices of houses in Central Florida have risen dramatically.  Properties in the range we seek do not stay on the market for long. We act quickly.  We know what we want, how to find them  and in this case we  offered full price.   The deal was delayed and delayed.  Finally the house was pulled off the market and foreclosed.

I still liked the deal so we checked out the title and found that this house was going to be sold on the courthouse steps.

Enters Herb
We sent an agent to the auction where this property was sold (for $81,000) along with 20 other houses in 20 minutes.

All of then were purchased by one man… Herb.  I have changed his name to protect the guilty in this case.

Our broker approached Herb and offered him a quick profit.  “Nope, we are fixing them all up and renting them”, he said.

We checked.  Herb works for a hedge fund.

Here is the triple ripoff I believe we will see.   The banks that are buying these rental houses will bundle them just as they bunched mortgages. They will sell the bundles on the stock market.

I believe from the way he was buying that he was not getting good value on many of the properties he purchased.   Even the place he bought for less than we offered will not be a very good value for an institution.   We have a low cost method for fixing such places.  Institutions will spend too much making that house ready to rent.  Plus some of the stuff that he purchased appeared in my opinion to be really bad value.   It appeared that his goal was to buy everything below $150,000 regardless of value.

If I am correct. three events will take place.

First, investors like myself who can take distressed properties and fix them in a value oriented way, can be priced out of the market.

Second, housing prices will become less affordable again and many Americans will not be able to afford to buy or even rent a home.

Third, (the worst of all) these syndicated rental properties will be offered on the stock market (if they are not already there) and they will have similar disaster risks as the syndicated bundled mortgage shares.

This is an early warning so the details below from Roberto Ribadeniera, head of the Ateam Ecuador in Quito, makes special sense.

How to Choose a Place to Live in Ecuador by Roberto Ribadeniera

There are many factors involved in the decision on where to live. So let’s talk about some of the most important ones.

Weather: If you are not fond of a harsh winter you may want to consider a place that has the best of both worlds. Ecuador offers extraordinary weather. On winter you can enjoy sunny days and on the summer you can enjoy some rain. If you live in the Cotacachi area there is a steady temperature. In Ecuador we rarely have heating or cooling systems because weather rarely gets extreme.

Even in cold places like Cuenca you won’t feel like you are in the North Pole during the winter, and in the summer time, here is not as warm as in the Caribbean. Quito gets a lot of rain during its winter season, but it doesn’t get that cold, which is why we don’t have big sweaters and we usually never check the weather. We know it is usually shiny and warm in the morning and gets a little cold and rainy in the afternoon.

ecuador photos

Rain in Quito in the afternoon (winter)

In the coast you have a nice mix of rain and warm weather. But in the summer time it does get warmer, but it is still bearable if you get to live by the sea. Cities like Guayaquil or Esmeraldas are humid which make the summer time not so nice.

Income: Depending on how much money you make and if you are already retired, you can pick from various places. Life gets more expensive every year, inflation is something that we have to live with and with governments around the world printing so much money, something we have to worry about.

If you have a steady income from your retirement account, you can have a budget and know how much you can spend every month. If you are making between $1000 and $2000 a month you probably won’t even think about living in New York or any other big city. But you may be thinking about moving to a small town in the USA or maybe to Ecuador.

With that budget you can live almost anywhere in Ecuador. You can find a nice quiet place in Cotacachi or Bahia, or maybe want to go for a place like Cuenca. Cuenca has become the number #1 choice for Americans coming to Ecuador. Over 5000 Americans are living there, that also makes Cuenca the most expensive city in the country. But hey, you get a nice place with many things to do and still afford to live well.

ecuador photos

Sunny day in Quito (winter morning)

Health: Depending on how your health is you may be able to live almost anywhere.

But if you have some health issues you may want to live in a place that has access to medical facilities and where you can have a wide range of doctors to choose. 

You will notice that your health improves significantly only by living and eating better; breathing fresher air and having a more relaxed life. Your quality of life may improve in a small town like Cotacachi or in the coast like in places like Bahia or San Clemente. But in those places there is a limited access to really good medical facilities, although once the population increases, so do the access to better doctors.

Another thing is to have insurance. A friend used to say that not having insurance is only for rich people. If you get sick and you don’t have insurance even in Ecuador your medical bill may be high. We have excellent Clinics in Quito but the prices also have gotten more expensive. Having a good insurance plan is key to give you peace of mind. BUPA for example is offering a plan that works in Ecuador and in the USA so you can get treatment in both countries.

ecuador photos

People walking in the morning, a new trend for a healthy life

Small or Big?

If you want to be away from the city and have a more pleasant life, then you may want to go to a small town in the USA or in Ecuador. Not only the price of living is lower, but also crime rates, pollution, traffic and taxes are much less than what you may end up paying in a city. You will also find that you can access to technology and every other modern thing that big cities offer in small towns.

The thing about Ecuador is that since we are a small country you get to enjoy living in a small town and could be in a big city in just 1 hour.

But you may want to have a movie theater, a nice restaurant, a close airport, and some other things that a big city offers. Cuenca and Quito are the best options. Lots of modern buildings, big malls, a new airport in Quito, more public transportation, high end restaurants, five star hotels, convention centers, lots of things to do at night, sport facilities, etc.

ecuador photos

View from the Top of Swiss Hotel in Quito

There is no easy choice when you want to pick the best place for your needs. So the best option is to rent and live there for awhile. Don’t buy unless you are sure that the place is where you want to live. Rents in Ecuador are still fairly low, so you can go from one city to another and get to see if you really want to be there.

Rent and then buy. But always take into account the various factors that could make your choice much easier and also wiser. Language is not really a barrier either, although you may want to take a Spanish course just to get around much easily.


No man is an island nor is any nation.  What happens in the USA… such as Wall Street ripoffs which can have an impact in Ecuador.  If my hunch about what’s happening with the big banks and US real estate is correct, Ecuador real estate is a better value now.


Learn online how to write to sell.

Writer’s Camps – Recorded on MP3

Learn how to learn how to wrote and self publish from our recorded Writer’s Camp…

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 


Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.

All I need is my laptop.

That’s all you need too… a laptop to be free!

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from writing.

Another benefit is income.   Writing has brought me both our farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example of earning potential is my friend Hugh Howey.   He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.

Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations.  In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within the first three months for a full refund . 

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a quarter of update lessons $79.   Click Here.

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a full year of update lessons $299.  Click Here.      

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” that you will receive on MP3.