Ecuador heads back to the polls, will it cause real estate to jump?

This coming Sunday February 4 Ecuadorians (and legal residents who have registered to vote) will head back to the polls for a referendum ordered by the current sitting president Lenin Moreno.

Ecuadorians will answer 7 questions aimed basically at overturning much of what the previous President Correa did in office.

The main question that will effect real estate in Ecuador is the one asking if Ecuadorians would like to overturn the new (exaggerated) capital gains (plusvalia) tax that was instituted last year.

Another highlight is the question that will re-establish term limits basically making it illegal for Correa or anyone else to sit indefinitely as a president-dictator.

Other questions seem to be no-brainers like having to do with strengthening child abuse laws and limiting mining and oil exploration in the Amazon. I mean, who is going to vote against going tougher on child abusers? Id like to see that class when the teacher asks… “ok, raise of hands please, who disagrees with going harsher on child abusers?”

I love it.

And if the capital gains tax gets abolished or bumped down to what it was before the property prices in Ecuador could jump both in the short and long term.

Market re-activated.

Democracy is once again restored in Ecuador, for a while there it was questionable if we would be the next Venezuela.

Stay tuned!

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The surprising 10 cheapest one way flights to Ecuador from North America in 2018

Many of us expats often prefer one way tickets.

Ecuador doesn’t care if you come on a one way so if worried about it I´d just check with the airline before buying to see if they will let you board with a one way.

But I noticed something interesting when I was looking for myself on a trip recently.

From Cincinnati, OH no matter what date you pick you are looking at no less than $460 one way to Quito, Ecuador.

Yet from nearby Cleveland, OH, my hometown, a city about the same size (if not smaller) for just about any date you can find a one way to Quito for around $180.Located beside 8M Residences, Singapore residential will launch Mountbatten Residences Condo

Big difference.

So I decided to research ALL the major metropolis in the USA and Canada and here are the cities with the CHEAPEST steady flights to Ecuador.  The below prices are an average available price if booked at least a month in advance. Some of them might surprise you.

Here are my top 10:

Fort Lauderdale FLL $104
Los Angeles LAX $162

Atlanta ATL $160
Richmond VA $137
Cleveland CLE $179
Boston BOS $163
New York NYC $174
New Orleans MSY $137
Buffalo BUF $138
Jacksonville JAX $138
I suggest booking on as you can compare whole months of prices at a time (great for expats with flexible schedules!

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!

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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. Explanations of causes of the traffic misdemeanors like speeding to get to a hospital, or parking in front of a fire hydrant due to a sudden emergency require a plausible explanation to the judge. Where there is no reason or excuse other than negligence, a traffic attorney might be able to help you get a judgment with which you are satisfied.

There are several attorneys that rush to the accident scenes with the intention of representing the victims showing a thriving entrepreneurial spirit.  These are just a few in the big-money spectrum that is considered a growing legal market. However, it’s the speeders and drunk drivers who are chasing the lawyers to represent them before judges. However there are concerns with whether the traffic lawyers deliver the goods. The lawyers get the tickets dismissed since they know the technicalities. The lawyers also know which tickets they can’t get dismissed and since when the ticket is perfect, on the courts side, there is not much the lawyer will to be able to do for you, so they make a bargain or plea on such.

The traffic ticket lawyers are great if one doesn’t have time to go to court or if their driving record isn’t great. Did you know that a traffic ticket attorney can help you to fight undeserved fines? You can get the justice you deserve, even when it comes to driving. In today’s economy, you cannot afford to spend money on unnecessary speeding fees. If you know that you were driving at the mandatory speed limit, you don’t have to settle for unfair treatment. Some cops patrol the streets in hopes of pinning fines on hundreds of drivers. But you need your hard-earned money to pay bills, buy gas, and other necessities of everyday life. Let a lawyer represent you during this time of need.

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.

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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 – any crypto blog should prove that.  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!

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