Would I buy a nice house with a small farm in Ecuador? Would I buy 10,000 acres of land adjacent to an impoverished village? The bottom line is that Ecuador is definitely worthy of consideration.Specifically, based on how I define the “7 expat categories“, Ecuador is great for retirees, hermits, nomads, and internationalists. Here are six reasons why: First, as you’ve probably heard, cost of living is dirt cheap in Ecuador…
Labor costs nothing, so you can have a whole staff at your hacienda for the equivalent of a Mercedes payment; and food prices are generally 20% to 60% less than in North America or Europe.
It’s also worth mentioning that the US dollar is the official currency, which has several advantages and disadvantages that I’ll get into in a future letter.
Second, life is slower and much more traditional in Ecuador.
April 20, 2010 Cuenca, Ecuador Ecuador is not one of those places on everyone’s radar.
In fact, when I recently announced that I would be returning to Ecuador, I received a handful of subscriber emails like this one: “Why are you wasting your time in that communist money pit?
[SB: strange choice of words…]” Clearly, Ecuador suffers from a similar reputational stigma as Colombia, and this keeps that majority of gringos away.The country’s president Rafael Correa is aligned with Venezuela’s widely disparaged Hugo Chavez, both of whom focus their policies on a pro-social agenda.Just recently, in fact, Correa announced that he would be taking steps to nationalize foreign oil companies who don’t agree to limit their profits based on a government mandated ceiling.These sorts of things tend to make foreigners run away like a scalded dog. The country saw seven presidents from 1996-2007, which makes it about as stable as Thailand.But while I wouldn’t take the political risk in Ecuador as an institutional or resource investor, I have no problems being an expat there. Just because the government is going after oil profits doesn’t mean that they want the title to your house in Cuenca.Dispossessing foreigners of their property would do absolutely nothing for the government, or for ‘the people’ that Correa so desperately wants to please. Today, my goal is to provide you with a short, balanced overview of Ecuador, with the intention of providing more details later this week.