5 reasons why I’m glad I don’t live in the US anymore

It never ceases to amaze me how quick people give up and give in and move back to their home country on the first little bit of turmoil they face.

Me.  I’m on the Cortez plan. Burn the boat, never go back (to live).That’s the only way to move abroad in my opinion or it’s simply not going to work.  Somebody’s going to get sick or something is going to happen and back you go.

I think just as powerful to KEEP you abroad are not just your reasons for choosing a new country, but also keeping present the reasons you left your old place.

Here are the first 5 reasons that come to mind of why i chose to LEAVE the USA.

1. Politics.  I’m not political and in the USA these days it seems the society is very polarized and vocal right now.

2. My weight (food).  I love the food in Ecuador, and I am able to keep the weight off, in the US I balloon up quick!  I eat the same amount here as there, could be the food composition, who knows?

3. Climate. Anywhere in South America beats Cleveland in January.  I constantly had a sore throat growing up and didn’t know why, it’s due to the constant change in weather, one day 20 degrees, the next 60 for 8 months a year.

4. Taxes. Ecuador has a more or less flat income tax, the way it should be.  I know you have to fund your never-ending wars, but the taxes are TOO HIGH for me in the USA. P.S. I still pay them even though I live abroad but there is a nice foreign earned income exemption you can claim if you live abroad full-time out of country 11 months a year.

5. Star quarterback.  I discovered this several years ago living in Medellin, Colombia while playing in an American Football club.  Down here I’m the star quarterback (in soccer countries everyone throws like girls) while in the USA I generally rode the bench.  And generally, I’ve seen this effect in business and my social life as well. You are never a prophet in your own land!

Long live Ecuador I guess!

Hasta pronto, if you liked this sign up for my Ecuador Insider’s newsletter so you can check out my latest posts(not available online) on living and investing in Ecuador:

Fill in below to sign up now (you can unsubscribe at any time):

Driving through mine fields in Ecuador: Photo fines

“What? I don’t have any fines or tickets.”  I replied to the guy who I sold my car to here in Ecuador this week.

“Yes, you do, you have two open photo fines.(foto multas)” He responded.

He was right, I didn’t even realize it, and usually you don’t in Ecuador until it’s time to pay your annual registration (matricula).

This past year I passed through Ambato twice, and BOTH times they nabbed me taking a picture of my plates.  Once going 52km in a 50km zone, and again going 56km in a 50km zone.

Each ticket $112.

Yet, driving all year around the coast and Quito areas I didn’t get ONE.

I’ve found the Ambato, Ibarra and Loja areas particularly bad, so be extra careful driving around there.

If renting a car usually the rental company will check to see if you got any photo tickets before returning your deposit.

If issued tickets if you were going just a bit over like in my case you can challenge the ticket with a lawyer in the municipality where you got ticketed.  I’m paying $60 per ticket to the lawyer for help, he says takes a few weeks to process.  This process is called IMPUGNAR.  It’s common to pay lawyer once job is DONE.

You can see if the plate you were driving got any tickets nationally at this link… But some municipalities don’t show up on the national system for months after ticket issued so you can also check directly on their websites (here is the Ambato one).  You can see what my tickets look like if you plug in my old plate number (placa) LBB4559.

Hasta pronto, if you liked this sign up for my Ecuador Insider’s newsletter so you can check out my latest posts(not available online) on living and investing in Ecuador:

Fill in below to sign up now (you can unsubscribe at any time):

6 lessons learned the hard way trading currencies online from Ecuador

 

As you may have read earlier this week, in early 2017 I started trading currencies online.  Now 1 year and several mistakes later…

Here´s what I learned….

1. Buy right!  Don´t buy a currency for ANY other reason except that it´s a good deal based off the last 6 months to a year of trading.  Don´t buy because you ´want´ the currency, or for the interest rate it offers or to diversify your portfolio!  ONLY buy it if it´s hitting 6 month or one year or 10 year lows… or for some reason you consider it a great deal!

2. Buy (and sell) slow.  Often, when currencies start to move, you often buy too quick, especially if it´s a currency you´ve been eyeing.  For instance, say you plan to hold $50k of Russian Ruble.  It pops a little and goes on sale, don´t buy $50k right then, instead buy $10k one day, $10k the next day, $10k in two more days, $10 the next week, etc etc.  Often, you don´t know when a currency will bottom out so don´t buy too early.  But on the other hand if you keep waiting to start buying the currency might turn around and you never got in.

3. Play events.  Remember the missile scare in September of 2017?  Or how about when Brexit first came out?  These events created huge currency and metal price swings.  Buy in and hold until prices normalize, then sell. The turnaround can take days or months, but know that it will turnaround.

4. Hold.  This may be the boring part of your portfolio but you will gain the most often buy diversifying your portfolio over time (buying right, often during events) and HOLDING a little bit of many different currencies for the long haul.  Put as CDs if the currency offers interest.

5. Know the correlations.  After following this for a year now, I can honestly say NOBODY knows what currencies will do, let alone me. Some currencies flow together like the oil-based currencies that often offer better interest rates (BRL, RUB, ZAR) and the EuroZone (EUR, GBP, DKK, HUF, SEK, NOK) and the other natural resource based ones like (AUD, NZD, CAD).  Consider this when setting up your portfolio.

6. The short-term.  After buying and selling currencies for over a year now, I can honestly say I´m not interested in doing it actively anymore.  It´s too unpredictable.  You never know when a currency will rebound, or continue to sink and sink or continue to inflate.  But there´s one thing I´ve found easier to predict in the short-term, metals.  Everbank offers what they call un-allocated metals which makes it much easier for you to play the daily price trends.  And I´ve found metals move a lot, buy when priced low, sell when priced high according to the 3 and 6 month averages.  Check out the chart below, the dips are a little more predictable. Just a little when compared to currencies.  Over the last year there were five dips, if you bought in and sold when metals peaked again you could have made 10% or so each time!

Now´s the time, divorce yourself from the US Dollar no matter where you live!

Hasta pronto, if you liked this sign up for my Ecuador Insider’s newsletter so you can check out my latest posts(not available online) on living and investing in Ecuador:

Fill in below to sign up now (you can unsubscribe at any time):