I received quite a few interesting comments this week (many of which I kept private at the request of the sender). Remember, posting a comment to the site is the best way to reach me: I read all of them personally. Email goes to support staff.
– SOLDIERS IN THE STREETS-
Kelly asked a great question on Tuesday– is there any country in the world that has the total package?
Naturally, this depends entirely on what you are looking for, and I think I will do a piece on this next week. Some people are looking for pristine environment and low population density, others are looking to be in a megalopolis on the cheap.
For my own personal taste I have a long list of countries that rank as tier 1 locations for me, and I will be discussing these next week. Meanwhile, Kelly specifically asked if there were any places reminiscent of what the United States used to look like in the 1950s.
Definitely. In fact, several places come to mind… first and probably foremost– Uruguay. The entire country seems like it’s stuck in a time warp, from the second you land at Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo. One city in particular that I like in Uruguay is Piriapolis, a little more than halfway between Montevideo and Punta del Este.
I’ll be discussing Uruguay more in future issues; in the meantime, if you’re interested I would suggest checking out the blog of one of our subscribers who lives in Uruguay– http://newsfromlatinamerica.blogspot.com.
Another place that is quite idyllic is Panama’s northwestern mountain province of Chiriqui. I was just trading emails with a subscriber about this today– one of the province’s key expat centers is the highland town of Boquete (pronounced Bo-ket-ay), which he compared to Palm Springs in the 1950s.
The climate in Boquete is absolutely perfect, and I expect the town to grow substantially over the next several years from an influx of expats and retirees. As always, more on Boquete in future letters.
One important thing to note about Panama in particular is that the country is much, much more than Panama City. Some people fly to the city, tour around the main gringo parts of town for a few days, and fly away thinking that the entire country is exactly the same.
Panama City is growing quickly, trying to achieve modern, first-world status. As such, it has the same growing pains as any other rapidly developing locale. But the country is incredibly diverse– white sandy beaches on the Caribbean, soaring waves on the Pacific, and mountain villages in Chiriqui all have a unique and distinct flavor.
Consequently, I think Panama is definitely worthy of anyone’s consideration.
–Panama Black Paper Update: If you’re serious about Panama, pay attention–
I’m putting the finishing touches on The Panama Black Paper this week and it is scheduled to be released to the public on September 1, 2009. But, there is a catch which I’ll get to in a minute.
First, let me recap for those of you who are new here… Every single day subscribers, friends and people I don’t even know ask me for my personal contacts. I love to help point people in the right direction, but I rarely give out my trusted contacts.
Can you blame me? I’ve spent years building my Rolodex. I’ve paid the price of working with scammers and know-nothings all over the world. My Rolodex was forged in the fires of trial and costly error. Just handing them over to people I don’t know VERY well… especially making them freely available online isn’t just stupid, it’s dangerous.
However, if nothing else, I am a problem solver. So, what I decided to do was put together a bit of a test, which, to be perfectly frank, I may not repeat again. I decided to take one of the countries I know best, Panama, and create a “who’s who” white paper of sorts.
Naturally, I can’t call it a white paper…. The Panama Black Paper is a list of the people I know and trust in Panama. It’s my personal Rolodex of the people I turn to and the people to whom I’ve previously referred only my most trusted friends. I’m making this information available to subscribers of this letter on a very limited basis.
On September 1, 2009 I’m going to release only 25 copies of The Panama Black Paper. The cost of the Black Paper will be $197.
I’m confident all 25 copies will sell out on day one. You might be wondering why am I limiting it to 25? Simple, I don’t want to overwhelm my contacts. It’s the same reason why I’m charging hundreds of dollars. If I didn’t charge enough and/or sold too many of these, I could burn the very important bridges I’ve built over many years.
That’s a risk I’m not willing to take. Again, can you blame me?
You might be thinking that The Panama Black Paper at less than 10 pages is nothing more than a contact list and you’d be right. But, if you’re serious about doing anything in Panama the Black Paper will save you a lot of time and trouble. Plus, it could very likely keep you from making a catastrophic mistake because, in addition to listing the people I know and trust, I’ll share a list of shady characters who you’ll likely encounter if you’re doing anything in Panama.
The fact is, some Panamanians have made a science out of taking advantage of gringos coming down to Panama. These guys look good, sound good, but absolutely cannot be trusted. In the Black Paper, I’ll name names.
So, if you’re serious about doing anything in Panama, you really should try to get your hands on The Panama Black Paper.
The Panama Black Paper will go on sale to the general public at noon EST September 1, 2009. Only 25 will be sold, once they’re gone, that’s it. To make sure you have the best chance of snapping up a copy, I strongly encourage you to register for the pre-public release. By signing up for the early notification, I’ll email you a special order link at least two hours before The Panama Black Paper officially launches.
A word of warning… based upon the feedback we’ve gotten so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if all 25 are gone before we even open the doors to the public.
–PROFITING IN MONGOLIA–
I am quickly getting the impression that actionable investment insight specific to Asia would be very beneficial to this group. Christine appreciates all the positive feedback (and even the few negative comments from folks who thought she was off-base).
I am likely heading to Asia myself next week for a secret mission of sorts… I may have to go dark for a few days. But one of my tasks once I’m on the ground will be to link up with Christine Verone among my many other contacts in-country and see if she would be willing to edit a Pan-Asia subscription newsletter.
I’m thinking that the letter would cover macroeconomic analysis, actionable investment insight, residency and retirement information, medical care, etc. from the entire region– Mongolia to Indonesia.
Obviously, launching a Pan-Asia subscription newsletter would be quite an investment of resources for us. So, as part of our due diligence, I’d like to get some feedback from you, the potential customers of this newsletter. Do you want it? What type of information would you want included in each issue? Similar newsletters (although there are not any that cover this area in the way we intend to) are priced at $1,200 or more for an annual subscription. How much would you be willing to pay for the “on the ground” intelligence this letter would provide? Your feedback is critical to my decision to move forward so your thoughts are appreciated.