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Cost of Living in Bogota, Colombia

A sample of basic household items in case you are wondering what is the cost of living in Bogota, Colombia--

All prices have been converted to US Dollars at 2,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) per dollar.

Cost of living in Bogota, Colombia as of August 2009 @ 2,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) / Dollar

Apples, 6-pack: COP 5,210 = $2.60
Bananas: COP 700/500g = $0.31 / lb
Beef, flatiron: COP 13,800/kg = $3.13/lb
Beef,[...] Click here to continue reading

Weekly updates

Greetings! I'm going to dive right into the questions from this week:


I appreciate all the comments and anecdotes in response to Tuesday's letter about my run-in with TSA. . Based on the questions I received, there are a couple of things that should be clarified:

1) In most cases (see below), you don't have to tell the US government that you're leaving the[...] Click here to continue reading

Panama’s real estate market

It was a nice enough place... about 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, nicely furnished, and even had a sliver of an ocean view. Best of all, it wasn't in gringo-ville.

"How much rent are they asking?" I posed to the real estate agent who was fawning closely on my heels. He reeked of tobacco and his alligator skin shoes still seemed to breathing.

Pausing for a moment to review his mental inventory, he[...] Click here to continue reading

The Chinese Gold Market

I've been spending a lot of time this week talking to my sources in China, one of whom is inside one of the country's sovereign wealth funds (SWF).

He could not discuss the details of the Rio Tinto bribery scandal, but indicated that it was far more about saving face and establishing position than anything else.

He also indicated that the SWF analysts were working around the clock trying to put deals together...[...] Click here to continue reading

The Capital of Latin America

For Latin Americans, Miami has been a lot of things-- the major financial center, the cultural Mecca, prime tourist destination, the business capital, and a symbol of international success.

The city made its riches and opportunities available to all nationalities, reaching the point during the most recent real estate boom where one could become financially successful and never speak a word of English.

Truly, Miami was a frontier island between North and South,[...] Click here to continue reading

Weekly update

I'm taking a quick break in Miami to see friends and family before heading down south again to dive head first into a large, complicated, and very exciting business dealing... so next week I will be writing to you from Panama once again.

While I am in Panama I plan on putting the finishing touches on the Black Paper that I have mentioned before-- this will be a "who's who" list of banks, brokers,[...] Click here to continue reading


Did you ever notice that when you put the words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "Theirs" ? How appropriate.

One of "Theirs" initiatives that I pay attention to is its voluntary disclosure program. This program provides steps for people who have not reported overseas income (and bank accounts) to come clean without criminal penalty.

Recently I found out that more people have come forward to confess their sins under the program guidelines[...] Click here to continue reading

My China insider

It's no secret that China is already starting to dominate the world economy.

Understanding the country, its culture, and its economic infrastructure, however, is a daunting task, particularly for outsiders.  Official reports and media accounts are hardly worth basing an investment opinion on-- it's critical to have boots on the ground.

I have spent a fair amount of time in the country and built up a list of valuable contacts who live and[...] Click here to continue reading

Cost effective first class travel

I'm going to let you in on a few secrets.

I've learned through a great deal of experience over the last several years about travel.  People often ask me about my travel habits because I do so much of it... and one of the common questions I get is "How much do you spend each year on travel???"

Honestly... quite a bit. But I recognize that my travel breadth and frequency is abnormal. [...] Click here to continue reading

Dispatch notes from Poland

Travel mishaps occur from time to time... though the airline completely losing my reservation is a new one for me.

I was all set to leave Europe a few days ago when a rather unfortunate 'booking oversight' derailed my plans for spending the weekend in New York City.  In this case, I was 'stuck' in Poland.

Not to worry-- I realized at the airport that, despite having spent over a week here in[...] Click here to continue reading