The Wizard

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There is a man in Kansas City who grants wishes through mechanics. He helps those in need or those who suffer in life, they call him the wizard.

The wizard’s real name is Adam Smith, a native from Kansas Missouri, a man who disappeared from the map for six years and no one knows which were his whereabouts during that period of time.

The wizard has a house in Kansas City but resides God knows where, he has abstained to answer every time asked.

He has no wife, no children and no living family, as the last relative of his died a good ten years ago.

What he does is walk around the city all day asking people for spare parts of any machine they use no longer.

The Wizard also spends a good deal of time scouting the landfills for anything that he may find useful.

Though he is a lonely wolf and is well known by every trashcan in town, the wizard dresses impeccably well, has excellent manners and is, I dare say, the kindest man I have ever met.

Another thing worth mentioning, something that is very well known by the entire community, is his enormous wealth. People know this because he has sponsored the college of over fifty boys and girls who have said no to drugs after having had problems with them. He has also started a program of préstamos online (online loans), specially addressed to young students from Hispanic communities, who are specially gifted for arts and science.

Amongst the wizard’s finest inventions are a pair of swimming legs for a swimmer who lost his lims in an accident; a hand for a man who lost it at construction work; and an arm for a big time golfer.

Now we are here to witness his latest invention, which is a motorized wheelchair for a woman who broke her spine at a car accident and lost most of her movements.

Physically the machine looks like a black convertible Mini Cooper, except much smaller and way handier.

The presentation of the vehicle took place on an open field where the injured woman used it for the first time. After a couple of minutes she became a master at maneuvering it.

If you got to see the wizard from up close you would find an enormous resemblance to Mark Twain in his late years.

I am still amazed how he made that motorized, first class wheelchair out of a stadium chair.

Kindness and Confidence: the Keys to Do Business in Mexico

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As I have written before, I have many business partners in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, and friends and colleagues wanting to invest in that region frequently ask me for advice.

During the last few days I have been in touch with a friend who will be having a business meeting in Mexico City next week. First he asked me advice about the best options to rent a car, because after the meeting he plans to drive to Teotihuacan.

He could just have searched for “arrendamiento en Mexico” (rental companies in Mexico) and got plenty of results. But he preferred to trust on my experience, so I sent him the most accurate list that I was able to prepare.

Some days after I sent him the information, he called me on the phone to thank me. During the conversation he also mentioned his worries; he has never visited Mexico City and was a little concerned about security and logistics. But his main concern was the meeting itself.

Throughout his successful career as a businessman, he has learned that cultural aspects can be truly decisive when doing business. An interesting and intelligent proposal can be turned out due to an unappropriated speech or showing wrong manners, not because one is rude or uneducated, but because one doesn’t know everything about what is polite or not in a foreign country.


Since my friend has never been in Mexico, neither as a tourist nor as a businessman, he doesn’t know what may be wrong or improper, when it comes to meet and try to convince a potential partner. Naturally, he is familiar with the common beliefs about Mexicans, and Latin Americas General, being kind, warm and friendly. But, does that apply to business.

I told him that, without realizing it completely, he had just found the key to a successful meeting. Kindness and confidence are two of the most appreciated qualities among the Mexican business environment. First you show a kind and respectful attitude and then you start winning your partner’s confidence.

The following are some of the first steps to show kindness and gain confidence:

  • During the first meeting give a firm handshake, along with a “Mucho gusto” (pleased to meet you). Normally, you will be introduced to your potential clients or partners by their last names and their title or degree, if that’s the case (“licenciado”, “maestro”, “doctor”). Mentioning those titles is really important, especially in written communication.
  • You should be prepared to talk about yourself, as well as about your company. It is true that people prefer closeness and familiarity and the business proposal is as important as the personal background.
  • Although the formal proposal is commonly presented during an office meeting, there may be a meal afterwards, especially when dealing with foreign partners. That meal is just as important as the previous meeting, because it gives the perfect environment for confidence to develop.

Mexicans are proud about their culture and the beauty of the country. There’s a high chance that your host will invite you to a cultural event or a short tour. You definitely have to accept and even if such an invitation is not presented, you should comment about your interest on the cultural, touristic or historical attractions of the country.

Doing Business Abroad: What do you Need to Know

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Last weekend I got a call from an old friend and colleague, who is about to associate with a company in Mexico. He has been trying to enter in the Mexican market since a long while and finally realized that a merger may be the best choice.

Nevertheless, he has a deep concern about security, because news about assaults and major crimes in our neighbouring country come out almost every day. My company also has an associate in Mexico and I frequently travel to Mexico City to supervise our projects; I may also say that I’m very fluent in Spanish; therefore, he asked me for advice on industrial security (or “seguridad industrial”, as it’s said in Spanish).

While we talked, I realized that security was not the only think that my friend ought to be considering. He had studied everything regarding the new associate and also had learned about the laws that regulate mergers and acquisitions in Mexico, but he lacked knowledge about many other aspects and he wasn’t even considering learning about them.

So, our phone call lasted a way more than we both thought at the beginning. But it was quite interesting and useful for both. He discovered all the arrangements that still had to be done for the internalization process of his company and I found a new topic to write about in this blog.

The following is a checklist of the main things you have to review and investigate before doing business abroad.


Financial situation of the country

The obvious first step before doing any kind of merger or association is to check the financial state of the company one is interested in. It’s also a matter of logic to do some research on the situation of the industry. If both results are satisfactory, we tend to conclude that we have found a good prospect, but even the best associations can fail when the national economy is unstable. If you want to make a good decision, you have to consider the whole as well as the particulars.

Social and political issues

As a foreigner you are not expected or even allowed to take part in politics. The best you can do is to be neutral and respectful, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the political and social environments. On the contrary, you have to study both and find out if they can somehow affect your business.

Laws regarding business and work

Probably you have reviewed the legal terms regarding mergers and acquisitions, but since you will be dealing with a company that operates under local regulations, you should learn all about taxes, social security, labour rights and environmental regulations, among other laws.

Changes and relocations

Would you or some of your current employees be required to move abroad, in order to make a closer supervision of the new associate? Who should go and for how long? Would the company be able to support all the expenses and preparations of the relocation process? You should be able to answer those and other similar questions, before taking further steps.

The best airlines to travel in Mexico

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As a real estate agent, dealing with properties in many Latin American countries, I’ve had the opportunity to visit fascinating cities in the central region and the southern hemisphere of our continent.

I have lived great experiences travelling through Puerto Rico, Brazil and Argentina, but if you ask me about the place that I have enjoyed the most, I think that my answer will always be Mexico.

You may find that hard to believe, since the United States and Mexico have a long history of disputes and rivalries, which have been intensified during the last months, due to the nonsensical declarations of the Republican presidential candidate.

Nevertheless, as a frequent traveller, I have learn that one must separate political affairs from business issues, as well as from pleasure, if one wants to close deals and have a nice trip.

The truth is that the Mexican companies and particulars with whom I have dealt turned out to be organizations and people with high business ethics, quality standards and great responsibility. All the business that I have made so far gave the results that I expected and in some cases I got even more.

But I must recognize that the main reason that makes me enjoy my trips to Mexico has nothing to do with business. Every time I have a meeting, conference or exhibition to attend in that country I take a chance to visit at least one touristic place. And what has made me really happy is that in every city and province that I’ve visited, there’s a lot more than one attraction.

The couple of days that a business trip normally lasts are obviously not enough to discover a country that is so big and rich; but with the invaluable help of airplanes, you can travel from one wonderful place to another, within just a few hours.

The best of news is that Mexico has at least three low cost airlines that provide high quality services and that take you to the main cities of the country and also to several places in North and South America.

What follows is a brief description of the main qualities and added value services that every airline gives.



It’s the best option for a traveller wanting to make the best out of a long trip to Mexico, because it covers almost every state of the country and also has destinations in the United States.

Among the added value services are VIP Passes, travel insurance and transportation services, to and from the airport.


If you are or want to be an eco-friendly tourist, I strongly recommend you to choose Interjet. It also covers the main touristic destinations, but the added value service for environmentalists is that the company donates a percentage of its income to organizations that develop ecological and sustainable projects. Furthermore, it’s a pet-friendly airline, which allows you to take your pet with you in the cabin.


This airline makes the difference with its offers for group trips and all-inclusive packs. It also covers the main touristic attractions in Mexico.

Formation Counts

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For the past couple of years I have spent my time teaching languages in schools and universities. I will share with you some of my observations.

When it comes to sharing knowledge in a comprehensible manner, an activity, which is called teaching, a professor faces several challenges that have to be checked with important tools and alliances.


A classroom is a field devoted to knowledge where pupils attend lessons in order to further their education or simply to increase their knowledge.

Ahead of this task there is a professor or a teacher who ought to ensure the upbringing of the pupil’s knowledge so that they may, with the aid of wisdom, overcome and solve the inevitable problems that this thing called life has.

To do this, a professor has three vehicles:


A professor’s mind should be like an apple tree that never releases fruits that are not ready and always releases those, which are before it rots. This is to say that professors must only provide a peace of knowledge when entirely polished by his own reasoning thus making it sweet and digestible to his pupils.


Good and able books should be used as the stonework of the knowledge, provided so that it can always be a reface point both for him and for the students. Pupils should always be encouraged to read in large quantities as to further their knowledge and frame their mind in a scholastic way.


The classroom must be used towards the advantage of the pupils and nothing is more useful to achieve this task than the proper usage of school furniture.

If I want the students to turn their attention towards each other, such as it is in an activity of sharing research work or papers, I would put the desks in a square form. If I want the student’s attention to be focused on me, I would place them in horseshoe formation so that the end of the semicircle would be me.  And if I want to work in the rhetoric of students I would tell them to put their desks in the shape of a circle so that the person who is to speak is in the middle of it in order for him/her to master the pressure and win over the audience.

Looking back on these small tricks, you can make sure, dear reader, that if you are to take in the endeavor of teaching, you will perform smoothly.

Why so many Russian billionaires?

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If you have been to Europe, especially to countries such as England and Spain, I’m sure that you realized the great quantity of Russians that abound.


The reason for that, dear reader, is because more than half of them are sons and daughters of billionaires, who are swallowing the industrial and property real estate of London and Barcelona, but how did this happen?

Russia is a country of extremes in every single sphere of life, the weather is boiling in the summer and freezing (with capital F) in winter; it is full of billionaires and poor people, their military is either destroyed or world threatening and their leaders are either with absolute power or brought down by disaster.

Russia has always been ruled by a strong father-like leader who decided, loved and hated for them.

For three centuries Russia was ruled by the Romanov dynasty, a race of controversial people lost somewhere between pious religion and beastly cruelty.

The Romanov’s ruled with an iron fist and prevented the Russian people from ever getting an education. The peasantry had virtually no rights and very little, if any, access to medicine.

The Romanov’s time came to an end in the year of 1917 when the Russian people under the wing of Vladimir Lenin, the man who would become the face of the Soviet Union.

During this time Russia, as well as all the other Soviet republics, were given free education, free medicine as well as housing and land to farm.

These services however came with a price from an iron fist government who forbade criticism and religion with death as well as lack of loyalty to the party and the communist ideal.

The party did not allow soviet citizens to travel anywhere outside the soviet socialist republics.

In the year of 1989, the U.S.S.R. fell along with the Berlin wall. As the months went by, all the soviet republics crumbled and the ex soviet was left without father government.

However, those who held high positions in the party took over all Russian industries and became billionaires.

Those billionaires, in time, began to take over the industrial real estate in London, Barcelona and Berlin.

This is how Russian billionaires came to be. Good or ill I cannot say. Its just mother Russia.

Leasing or Buying; which is the Best?

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When it comes to make decisions regarding to Real Estate, we face a long and exhausting period of research, analysis and reflection.

We all may have in mind Paul Getty’s famous quote: “If it appreciates, buy it. If it depreciates, lease it”. Real Estate properties are among the goods that trend to increase their value with time. But is that fact a sufficient reason to buy and maybe invest the savings of a lifetime in a property?


Here are some well-known advantages of each trading figure:


  • You are investing in something that will become your property and later on it can be your source of capital for further acquisitions.
  • You can make the changes and adaptations you need, in order to satisfy your home or business requirements.
  • If after some years you want to move, change your business or buy more Real Estate, your current property can serve as a guarantee.


  • Nowadays, leasing contracts give you plenty of choices to change or adapt the place, in order to fulfil your needs.
  • You have also the opportunity to buy, when the leasing term finishes.
  • If your life or business goals completely change, the property won’t become a burden.

As you can see, appreciation and depreciation are not determinant facts. The most important is to define what you want, what you need and how much flexibility you want to have.