Invest Like “That” Grandparent

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.”

— Proverbs 13:22

Addison WigginDear Reader,

“Transitory inflation” looks like it’s sticking around for a little longer — kind of like a couch-surfing brother-in-law who swears he’ll find an apartment tomorrow.

The latest consumer price index (CPI) reading was 6.2% higher than it was last year… its biggest annual jump since 1990.

At the Port of Baltimore yesterday, President Biden tried to commiserate about how expensive gasoline has gotten. But it’s hard to seem folksy about prices at the local Exxon after you’ve just arrived in a huge gas-guzzling motorcade, fueled at taxpayer expense.

We wonder when’s the last time old Joe has had to fish out his debit card to pay for anything out-of-pocket. Besides, shouldn’t he know that the Federal Reserve doesn’t consider fuel prices as a sign of inflation?

Oops, sorry — my Modern Society Syndrome (MSS) is flaring up again. This week is supposed to be about intentful living… to stop getting emotional about things I can’t control and focus on things I have the power to influence.

Our guide through this stoic way of thinking is Ian Silverberg. The long-haul Reserve member has used our advice to build quite a life for himself. Yesterday we told you a bit about his intentful living community in Utah, which uses regenerative farming to reduce greenhouse gases.

Next he’s planning to apply the concept to properties he owns in New Zealand and Costa Rica. He picked up that real estate back when he had something else on his mind — his family’s future.

“I grew up in Southern California and I went to school in Santa Barbara, where there’s these $50 million homes,” he tells us. They were generational properties, often purchased by a great-grandparent when the land was ridiculously cheap — assuming the land was purchased at all.

“There’s always these stories,” Ian recalls. For instance, a great-grandfather who won it in a poker game. “Some guy owed him three grand and traded it for this property.”

Ian realized that if he wanted to create the same kind of generational wealth, he had to figure out, “where can I be ‘that’ grandparent?” In other words, “Where can I put my money in something today that is nominal, so to speak, and let that be exponential for my grandkids.”

Obviously he wouldn’t be able to repeat that feat in California. “That ship had sailed there,” he says. “You just couldn’t enter the market.”

So he did some research, eventually settling on New Zealand. “I went there a few times over a year and a half period,” he said, from 2002-03. Eventually he “bought a little piece of property and just fell in love with it.”

The problem was that it was too far away from the United States. “My girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife, was not as interested in moving there as quickly as I might have been.”

Oh, right… did we mention that Mr. Silverberg started planning for his grandchildren’s future — before he even had kids?

In any event, he needed someplace closer to North America. “The next one that bubbled up was Costa Rica,” he says. His impression of the country was similar to what Ronan McMahon has said in Real Estate Trend Alert.

“I found that you had two ends of the spectrum,” he says. “You either had completely overdeveloped Marriott golf courses.” Or “you had these yahoos who were just chopping up farms and selling them off.”

The problem with that latter was “you didn’t know if after a good rain, your house would even be there.”

Eventually, though, Ian found the right spot and has been slowly developing it. “We’re literally building the next cool little town in Costa Rica,” he says. It will follow the intentful living model, just like his community in Utah.

Then he’ll convert his New Zealand property into one, too.

Those “communities can connect to one another,” he says. “There’s some reciprocity, and we do some group events that bring everybody together for these broader intentional causes.”

Ian’s communities will do what they can to make their world a better place… without affecting or bothering anyone who would rather do their own thing.

Imagine that.

Tomorrow, we’ll tell you how to apply some of Ian’s steadfast principles to your own life.


Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin
Founder, The Financial Reserve”>SQ) shares at market for a small gain.

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin is founder and executive publisher of Agora Financial LLC, an independent economic forecasting and financial research firm. He and Bill Bonner began writing the firm’s flagship Daily Reckoning in the midst of the tech boom and bust. It was one of the first widely distributed email newsletters on the Internet. The publication’s critical eye on finance and economics continues today. He’s also creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily missive The 5 Min. Forecast.

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