will not mention what my financial projections are because in an economy
like the States, where 10% is a good return, the returns you might find
in Chile seem impossibly good. But that is the beauty of foreign markets,
you can stumble into remarkable opportunities if you just keep snooping
around and picking peoples brains.
People have a different take on life
in Chile: I must have been told 10 times in casual conversations that the
most important thing in Chile is friends and family and then business.
I would have to say it is true because most of my leads came from very
successful people that had great ideas, knew what worked but did not want
to get involved, because they already had enough to do and did not want
to clutter their life with more work.
I talked to a lot of people in Chile
that work for large companies. I did most of my brain picking with people
in the Salmon Farm Industry which is huge in southern Chile. They see problems
everyday: one job a foreigner might be able to do is helping companies
solve their problems. Take Ice for example, do you know how much ice the
fish farm industry needs every day: Tons and tons and Tons of it. Access
to ice is a problem in some areas so you fill that need and make your money
with a product that doesn't last and has to be re-bought every day.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to run a ice machine, pretty simple.
I was thinking of getting into that and while looking around for the best
place to start I came across a much larger need that is so rewarding I
am not even mentioning it in this article because we are still in the beginning
stages of the venture and I do not really want to give the Idea away.
My next article I will lay it out
and I will know by then if it can be done.
Enough about business. None of this
would even be a consideration if I did not love the country and the people
so much. I don't know why but when I am in Chile I am filled with hope,
and love the people; there seems to be such a bright future in Chile. It
is nice living in a place that nobody hates; they really do not have to
worry about whether someone is going to sneak a suitcase bomb into Santiago.
Chileans always ask me: do you love my country is not beautiful? Chileans
are very proud of Chile and they should be; it is a very nice place to
raise a family and do business.
I also spent some time in Valparaiso
this year and what a beautiful city to explore. I would say it is very
much like San Francisco without the weirdness. It reminded me of San Francisco
in the early Sixties. Art is important, you find artists on the street
painting, there are people performing plays and playing music: instead
of the whole town being concerned about the homeless, as in San Francisco,
you find the locals taking care of stray dogs. When Valparaiso became a
world heritage site the mayor decided the city needed to do something about
the stray dog problem.
Well that was the day that looked
like doomsday for stray dogs in Valparaiso but it turned out to be their
meal ticket for life. The people were so up in arms about the possibility
of exterminating the stray dog population that they formed a kind of Underground
Railroad for dogs. Taking them in at night when the dog catchers did the
dastardly deeds and putting them back out in the day. As you walk the streets
you will see little bowls of water and dog food on paper plates - these
are for the stray dogs. I saw a lady combing out three different dogs that
I'm quite sure were strays. It's a beautiful city with a big heart, beautiful
architecture and a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean.
I also saw some beautiful real-estate
between Valparaiso and Santiago; the prices were higher than in the south
but you have beautiful Mediterranean weather year round and that special
peace that you find in the rolling hills of high desert country. I walked
around in that country and I felt a very spiritual energy. I know after
three months of business and travel I found it a very restful and regenerating
Both places I saw were around 250,000
dollars a piece, one had 34 hectares of land with a beautiful home; it
was part of a private community that owns 1700 hectares of land. The other
place had two beautiful homes on a large lake with a caretaker’s home.
This home is a showpiece with one of the most beautifully landscaped yards
I have ever seen: years of planning and thought had to have gone into it.
Both places would sell for a million or more in the States but that is
the beauty of property in Chile: it is very inexpensive compared to much
of the world.
Now if you need a contact in Chile
to help you get started buying a place or putting together a business plan
I would suggest you contact my friend and partner in Business Andy Grimberg
His email is: Agrimberg@hotmail.com.
To phone from the States the number is 011 56 97 579807
My Email is BL@interbel.net
and if you have any questions you feel I may be able to answer or if you
would like photos of some of what I've talked about feel free to drop me
a line, I would just like to say one thing: please be as specific as you
can. I get many emails and people ask me to just tell them all I can about
Chile or all I can about land and those are very hard emails to answer,
if you tell me your age and what you are trying to accomplish, what kind
of place you want: full time or just a place half the year, or are you
looking to start a business - these details will increase my ability to
answer your questions.
The following is the first article
that Bill wrote for the magazine: