¡Que lo Que!

 

¡Que lo que!

Que lo que (What the what?) is the most popular slang phrase from the Dominican Republic. People use it to greet others, like “what’s up”.

Jose Antonio (the man that is starting a natural juice business) is doing great! We now have a logo designed for his business and he is working towards a weekly savings plan so that he can buy a blender. He is such a hard worker. Every time we meet with him, his pulls out his notebook full of questions and comments. Last week his homework was to talk to two potential customers within a couple of days to see if they would be interested in becoming clients of his new business. Jose went above and beyond and talked to almost twenty different stores and solidified six of them as clients. He is so eager to learn and loves what we are teaching. We visited him today – and he brought his sister so that we could start teaching her!

It has been amazing to see the impact this program can have on people’s lives.

We’ve also started teaching classes at two high schools that are hosted by a foundation called Fundación MIR. They have a boy’s school and a girl’s school. At both schools they teach technical skills such as, accounting, cooking, cosmetology, machine repair, and nursing. Between the two schools, we teach a total of ten business classes. After graduating from high school with a technical title, most of the students have entrepreneurial desires. We hope to give them the opportunity, through teaching them business skills, to break the chain of poverty and make a better future for themselves, their families, and their posterity.

Last week, we visited both schools to coordinate our efforts with the directors. At their insistence, we took a tour of the campuses. The grounds were beautiful – but much more memorable were the reactions to James and Josh at the all-girls school. As we walked past all the groups of girls, we could hear whispering and giggling. They were all so excited that two, cute, American boys were at their school. James and Josh immediately turned bright red with all the attention. Afterwards we decided that it would be better to send James and Josh to the boy’s school, and Sydney and I would stay at the girl’s school… Having handsome boys teaching their classes would just be too distracting.




Beware of this one thing . . .

With the market making all time highs seemingly every week, we’ve been asked, “When is the market going to crash?” Our immediate answer focuses on two things –

  1. No one knows when the market is going to crash.
  2. It might happen when we see excesses in the market.

In this week’s podcast we discuss how excesses in the market (also known as euphoria) might be the one thing to cause the next downturn.

We look back at history, the late 90’s and 2007 – 2008 to discuss what happened when excesses caused the market to crash and how indexing certainly was not the best answer.

We discuss not only the excesses, but more importantly, What did we do about it back then? What are we going to do about it now?

Here’s to wise investing,

Iron Gate Global Advisors

– SPECIAL IGGA UPDATE – 

You may have noticed some different blog posts this past week on our website.

We have taken the opportunity to sponsor our Account Manager McKenna Strong as she and her husband, James, travel to the Dominican Republic taking part in Utah State University’s SEED (Small Enterprise Education and Development) program.

The program is helping less fortunate individuals in foreign countries become more successful and independent.

They are also assisting with Operation Underground Railroad After Care, helping women and children who have been rescued from sex trafficking to gain skills to become self-reliant. This is the same program that we donated to on behalf of our clients this past Christmas.

We’re so proud of McKenna and James! You can read about their weekly adventures and experiences on our blog.

 

The commentary on this program reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC or performance returns of any Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and always consult with a professional prior to investing.




Week 2: Our Guardian Angels: The Dominicans

Week 2: Our Guardian Angels: The Dominicans

We made it another week! We absolutely love it here. With temperatures in the 90-95°F range and 100% humidity, the freezing cold showers are something we have come to look forward to. The people here tell us we are just starting the hot season; I don’t know how much hotter it can get before we literally melt (no wonder countries like the Dominican Republic have record Coca-Cola intake levels – there is nothing better on a hot day.)

Although the Dominican Republic has uncomfortably hot weather, the people make up for it. We are constantly impressed and extremely grateful for the generosity and kindness of the Dominican people. Part of our program includes traveling long distances almost every day to new places. Although we are unfamiliar with the country, we get on buses with complete confidence that someone will take care of us and make sure that we get to where we need to go. Today was a perfect example. We were heading home to La Romana from a suburb, named La Haina, outside of the capital of Santo Domingo. We knew we would need to take a series of busses in order to get to La Romana, but we had no idea where to go. A kind man, who we met on the first bus, showed us to the correct bus stop to get home. He even was stopping traffic on the way to make sure we crossed the crazy streets safely. After we got to the bus stop, we realized his original destination was in the opposite direction and he had walked with us for several blocks just to make sure that we got to where we needed to go. We have similar experiences like this almost every single day.

OUR

During our lesson at A rescue home last week, we talked about the three most important things to have when starting a business. 1) Finding not just an idea, but an opportunity in the market 2) Creating a product that solves a problem and that people want to buy 3) Using your talents to create value. After the lesson, we invited the women to keep a lookout for problems in their everyday life that could be solved by a business.

When we returned to teach another lesson, one of the women, Nati, was so excited to tell us about a business opportunity that she had discovered during the past week. While walking her daughter to school, she noticed that most parents stopped at little shops on the way to school. They all bought snacks and treats for their kids to eat during recess, since school hours are abnormally long here. However, not even one of these shops was located conveniently or within close proximity to the school. Here, Nati saw an opportunity – to open a snack stand right in front of the elementary school, where kids and parents could buy treats more conveniently. I was so fulfilling to see these women retain and use the information we teach them. Although this opportunity that Nati saw might not become a reality, it has established confidence in her that she can find business opportunities that she is capable of fulfilling.

Mentors International

Annamaria is a local entrepreneur that we originally met in One of our rescue homes. She volunteers there twice a week to give bible devotionals to the rescued women. Annamaria was widowed as of 21 years ago after a tragic accident where some electric cables killed her husband, leaving her to take care of their three children and two nephews on her own. Her main income source came from selling beauty supplies (lotions, makeup, razors, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) from her home. However, as years went by, she grew to have more competitors and couldn’t make ends meet. One day her son came home from school with a pet fish that he has bought for a $1.00 several villages away. She was shocked because she had never seen a fish for sale as a pet! Over the next couple of days, all the kids were swooning over her son’s fish and she saw a business opportunity. Annamaria now sells pet fish from her house as well as many other animal supplies and pet food. She calls it: El Aquario la Fe – The Aquarium of Faith. This about sums up her attitude – humility and gratitude. She considers everything good in her life a precious gift from the Lord. What an inspiring lady.

Come back next week to see what else we are up to!

 

A funny story from this week:

Tuesday, we were hanging out in the park, waiting to meet up with our friend Juan – a man starting a public transportation business with his guagita (bus – pronounced “wahweetah”). We obviously stick out here, so two curious little Dominican kids came over to us. At first, they wanted to polish our shoes for money… but we were all wearing sandals. Then they became fascinated with our freckles. They’d never seen them before! After trying to explain what they were, they started guessing our ages. Sydney and Josh, “twenty-four” and Mckenna, “twenty-two” they said. Then they turned to James “Umm… Cuarenta?” Forty. Years. Old. They thought he was forty! “What!?!” James said, laughing “Dude, I’m only twenty-one!” They thought that they were pretty funny, but, unfortunately, I don’t think they were joking about their age estimate.




Week 1: Morning Wake Up Call……COCONUTS!

Greetings from the Dominican Republic.

Our first week working here in this country has been nothing short of an adventure! We have been assigned to the area of La Romana. La Romana is on the coast, west of the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. Only eight months ago, La Romana was opened as the second working area of the DR. We are here with another couple, some of our greatest friends, Sydney and Josh Billings. Together we go out everyday to teach the Dominican people self-reliance skills; especially those pertaining to business.

We are absolutely loving our time here. Everyone is so kind and loving. One of our favorite parts of La Romana is our friend Antonio. He sells fruit from a cart beneath the window of our second-story apartment. Every morning around 5:45 am, we wake up to him chopping coconuts with his machete yelling a few of the only words he knows in English, “ahaha I love my job!” He is the happiest man I think I have ever met.

OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

We oversee two OUR rescue homes.

These rescue home are places that hires women who have been rescued from sexual abuse and prostitution. They teach them skills and have them make jewelry which they then sell. They also provide them with educational classes, therapy, and resources so that they can leave and make a life for themselves.
These women are taught technical skills like sewing, cooking, and hairstyling.

Walking into these rescue homes, you might expect somber, quiet, classrooms but instead are greeted with warm smiles, laughter, and hugs. Although their eyes are tired, with more wrinkles than you’d expect for their age – each crease an unwelcome souvenir of past trauma – they light up when you talk with them. These women are perfect examples of not letting their past experiences define their self-worth or future opportunity.

Without programs like these, it is estimated that 80% of rescued women are driven back into prostitution.

MENTORS INTERNATIONAL

Mentors International is focused on finding individuals and helping them establish or grow their own business. This week we have been working on the “finding” part. We have met a couple of very special people who we think have a lot of potential to have a success business.

One young man that we have found, whom we are excited to begin teaching, is named Jose. Jose is stuck as a wage worker at an empanada stand in a country that’s minimum wage equates to only $150 USD a month. However, being raised on a property with a bunch of fruit trees, he has experience making juices. We are helping him start a business as a juice vendor – selling juices to local colmados (corner stores) and restaurants.

More adventures to come,

McKenna and James




Dominican Republic – Here We Come!

Iron Gate Family!

My name is McKenna Strong. I am the account manager here at Iron Gate Global Advisors as well as a student at Utah State University studying Finance and Economics.

Starting January 15, 2020 my husband, James, and I will be in the Dominican Republic as part of the SEED (Small Enterprise Education and Development) Program hosted by Utah State University. The SEED Program focuses on helping and empowering less fortunate individuals in foreign countries to become more successful and independent by teaching them entrepreneurial skills and business principles.

Please visit https://huntsman.usu.edu/seed/index to learn more about SEED.

As SEED interns in the Dominican Republic we will be working with two main partners; Operation Underground Railroad and Mentors International.

Operation Underground Railroad (OUR)

Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking. Their main efforts are based in rescuing individual (mainly women and children) from sex trafficking, slavery and child pornography as well as providing them with a way to recover from such trauma and live fulfilling lives.

We will be volunteering with OUR in multiple aftercare facilities based in the Dominican Republic to help the women and children their learn skills necessary to become self-reliant and independent- a feeling of self-worth they have never experienced before.

Please visit http://ourrescue.org/ to learn more about ways you can make a difference.

Mentors International

Mentors International is focused on helping families escape poverty by providing mentoring, education, microloans, and training. With their help we will find, mentor and teach individuals who currently own small business or have a business idea that they are qualified to pursue. We will teach them skills such as budgeting, keeping financial records, marketing, and using resources efficiently.

Please visit https://mentorsinternational.org/ to find out more about Mentors International and the incredible success stories that they have already had through their work.

 

We hope that you will follow along as we post every week to share our experiences with you!

A huge thanks to Iron Gate Global Advisors who has made this blog possible.

Disclaimer: The identity of many of the people we will be spending our time with is very sensitive. This is because they have all been rescued from dangerous situations and it is important that we keep their identity safe. Therefore, many of the pictures that we share will include blurred faces.




Bear markets and the individual investor

Every year, the market falls at some point.  Since World War II, the average yearly fall has been -13.8%.  But what if it falls even more? Down 20%?

That, my friends, is known as a Bear Market. In today’s podcast we talk all about these ugly Bear Markets.

We discuss what investors can expect, how the individual investor managing their own money typically performs, and exactly how you should prepare. You won’t want to miss this one!

Here’s to wise investing,

Brian, Brett, Spencer and the Iron Gate Team

 

The commentary on this program reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC or performance returns of any Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and always consult with a professional prior to investing.




2019 in review, 2020 preview

Once again, the pessimists got it wrong.  Despite what was supposed to be a horrible year, the market in 2019 was excellent!

In today’s podcast, we review the biggest stories of 2019 and our forecasts (kindof) for 2020, including ONE THING that we strongly believe will happen.

Lastly, we share with you our process and the importance of discipline when managing money, a philosophy of Iron Gate Global that will NEVER change.

Here’s to wise investing,

Iron Gate Global

 

 

 

 

The commentary on this program reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC or performance returns of any Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and always consult with a professional prior to investing.

 




A popular portfolio strategy is dead

Finally. A death that should have occurred a long time ago has finally come.

Bank of America recently put the final nail in the coffin of one of the most popular strategies taught and implemented over the last 50 years. Odds are you’ve probably at some point in your life had this portfolio strategy implemented for you, or maybe you still do?

For some reason academia and the majority of portfolio managers loved this strategy. At Iron Gate, we’ve never subscribed to the philosophy and are glad that people are realizing it. (In fact, we’re celebrating its death!)

In today’s podcast we discuss why this portfolio became popular and why it doesn’t work for most people. We also discuss our philosophy which has more to do with YOU than academia or popularity.

Here’s to wise investing,

Iron Gate Global Advisors

 

 

The commentary on this program reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC or performance returns of any Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and always consult with a professional prior to investing.




An attitude of gratitude

Why is everyone so darn pessimistic!? There is too much doom and gloom out in the world today.

In this week’s podcast we discuss –

– Why right now is the best time to be alive in history
– Why what you hear in the media is only half the story
– Some amazing statistics that most people don’t know

. . . and why during this Thanksgiving week all of us should have an attitude of gratitude.

Here’s to wise investing,

Iron Gate Global Advisors

 

 

 

The commentary on this program reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC or performance returns of any Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and always consult with a professional prior to investing.




Are You Confident in Your Financial Future?

Can you confidently answer “YES!” to the following questions?

  • Will You Run Out of Money in Retirement?
  • Will You Survive Another 2008 Crash?

The stress that comes from the not knowing what the future holds can be a dark cloud looming over the head of too many people.  Listen to this week’s podcast to hear our advisors discuss what you can do to increase your confidence in your financial future.

Here’s to wise investing,

Brian, Spencer, Brett and the entire Iron Gate family

 

 

 

The commentary on this program reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC or performance returns of any Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Iron Gate Global Advisors, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and always consult with a professional prior to investing.