Taking Advantage Of Price Gaps Living And Investing Overseas

price gaps

price gapsArbitrage And The Offshore Life

Sept. 3, 2015
Panama City, Panama

Dear Offshore Living Letter Reader,

Among the benefits of living an international lifestyle are the arbitrage opportunities you come across. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when we visited with old friends in Waterford, Ireland.

Living in Ireland years ago, we found that good-quality antiques were available for bargain prices compared with prices in the States. We could buy better stuff for less than the cost of not-nearly-as-nice antiques where we’d come from. As far as we could tell, the Irish didn’t value old furniture the way Americans generally do. Everyone in Ireland wanted new.

Waterford City, where we lived, had an auction house. We attended regularly and noticed that often in the audience with us were U.S. antiques dealers, who’d fill containers with furniture and other antiques and collectibles they’d then ship to their shops in the United States to resell. If they bought right, they could triple their money or better. We sometimes messed with their margins by competing with them for certain items. Even paying well beyond the guide prices, as we’d sometimes end up doing, the cost of furnishing our Waterford house with antiques was a fraction what the cost would have been Stateside.

Turned out an auction was taking place the week we were in Waterford recently. Kathleen and I went to the viewing and were struck anew by the low prices. Truly unique and valuable items went for bargain bids. I collect pocket watches and was able to buy an antique 18-karat-gold pocket watch with …Continue Reading

Nicaragua Real Estate Opportunity

Nicaragua Real Estate Opportunity
Nicaragua Real Estate Opportunity

Nicaragua Real Estate Opportunity

Earn A Guaranteed Return In This Coastal Market Poised For Comeback

Aug. 31, 2015
Panama City, Panama

Dear Offshore Living Letter Reader,

Property values in Nicaragua began to tumble starting in 2007, even before the global real estate crisis pushed property prices down in markets worldwide. Nicaragua got a jump on its downturn thanks to the results of the 2006 elections. The Sandinista Daniel Ortega won that race, retaking his position as president after a 17-year absence from the post. Ortega’s return spooked both international investors and Nicaraguans.

His first time in office, Ortega confiscated farmland and redistributed it to the poor. What would he do this time around, everyone wondered. Nine years later, investors have an answer to that question. Since 2007, President Ortega has behaved much more like a capitalist than a Sandinista. Older and more accustomed to the comforts capitalism can bring, I guess, today’s Ortega is supporting personal property rights and incentivizing foreign investment.

Still, property prices in this country haven’t recovered from crisis levels… meaning they remain nicely undervalued. I believe, though, that we are this side of the bottom in this market. Tourism figures are up (by 9% per year on average for the past few years), the country’s middle class is expanding, the government is investing more in highways and other infrastructure than at any time in recent history, and foreign direct investment is increasing, especially in renewable energy supplies and medical tourism. All of these positive factors are helping to increase property values. This is the time to be buying.

Since the downturn in 2007, many development projects in Nicaragua, as in many other countries, have been shelved, gone bust, or otherwise been left uncompleted. One such project was a condo building inside the oceanside master-planned community of Gran Pacifica. To be clear, Gran Pacifica wasn’t shelved or bankrupt but carried on successfully through the downturn and is thriving today. However, a condo project being built by a sub-developer inside Gran Pacifica was left undone. The building sat idle for some years while a group of investors worked behind the scenes to …Continue Reading