Argentina: Where Your Dollars Still Buy a Lot
Beef, the tango, the vineyards of Mendoza, Eva Peron…all these things are synonymous with Argentina.
Other aspects of life that this South American country should be known for are the low cost of living, excellent real estate opportunities and a standard of living that is so high you feel like you’ve joined the ranks of the world’s glitterati.
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- Population: 42,610,981
- Capital City: Buenos Aires
- Climate: Mostly temperate; arid in southeast, subantarctic in southwest
- Time Zone: GMT-3
The property market drives the stock market in Hong Kong… When property booms, Hong Kong booms. This is important because Hong Kong residential sales just hit a 25-year low. And based on history, this could lead to a huge rally in Hong Kong’s stock market. Gains of 53% in two years are possible, starting now. Hong Kong residential property sales have been down…big.
When you move overseas, you don’t just benefit from the better weather, lower cost of living, and the affordable healthcare…you also open up a world of travel possibilities. During our working lives, we’d take those one- or two-week trips, and were lucky enough to see a few highlights.
But when you live in a foreign country, you have the opportunity to use this new location to travel to other countries as well as to explore the place you’ve chosen to live. This happened to me when I moved to Nicaragua.
On December 8, 1852, the people of the French city of Lyon lit candles in their windows to celebrate the raising of a statue of the Virgin Mary on the city’s Fourvière Hill. Now, more than 160 years later, this tradition has grown into the annual Festival of Lights, which sees the streets of Lyon lit up by more than 70 artistic light displays from December 5 to December 8. Millions of visitors arrive during the festival to take in these ornate, creative works, as the windows, fountains, and trees of Lyon light up with every color imaginable.
Tango music fills the air as a couple performs a sultry tango dance beneath a 200-year-old ficus tree. Around them, stylish patrons chat with gusto. This is the good life, sitting outdoors at a chic café, sipping a strong cortado (espresso cut with a little milk) and nibbling a toasted sandwich as you watch the world go by…
A popular expat hub, the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye is no stranger to visitors. From August 6 to August 8, the island welcomes an influx of a different kind, as performers and artists from across the Maya world descend on Ambergris for the International Costa Maya Festival. This colorful event is a spectacle of music, dance, and food, as the region’s Maya ancestry is celebrated in vivid style.
Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city chock-a-block with visual delights. From sultry tango dancers in the streets to impressive French architecture and monuments, stylish street cafés, and street ferias (fairs) enlivened by entertainers, arts and crafts.
The stunning architecture, broad boulevards and inviting sidewalk cafés you’ll find in Buenos Aires remind me of days spent wandering neighborhoods in Paris. Of course, the Italian influence is equally apparent–from the faces of the porteños (Buenos Aires natives), to their expressive hand signals, and abundant espresso, gelato, and pizza joints. In fact, two-thirds of Argentines are of Italian descent.
The largest arts festival in the world takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from August 1 to 25. If you haven’t experienced the Fringe Festival before, it turns almost every corner of the city into a performance space for comedians, musicians, actors, and theater groups.
Big changes are underway in India. Did you notice? The Indian stock market certainly has. After going nowhere for the better part of six years, Indian stocks finally kicked into gear a few months ago. After going nowhere for the better part of six years, Indian stocks finally kicked into gear a few months ago.
Beautiful Buenos Aires entices with easy-going weather, friendly people, and an endless parade of cultural activities and dining spots. But, as delicious and fresh as traditional Argentine food is, it can be difficult to find something more exotic and inspired than the standard steaks, pizzas, and empanadas.
If you’re ready to move overseas…with all the promise it holds of warm weather, being your own boss, and working just a few hours a day…but the prospect of actually packing up your worldly goods and getting on that plane sounds intimidating, let me tell you something. You have a sister. Right now, I’m packing up for an extended trip to Europe. At the end of it, I’m going to give seminars in London on the benefits of self-employment. I love this part of my work…meeting new people, visiting new cities, and spreading a message that I truly believe in. Best of all, I’ve discovered that the entrepreneurial spirit has no geographic boundaries. Every day enterprising folks all over the world are putting their ideas into action.
The trip to Buenos Aires was only meant to be a quick one. Success for a Tour Guide Photographer in Argentina Amelia McGoldrick, who hails from Toronto, had always been attracted to Spanish-speaking countries and decided to make a trip to experience the city for herself in 2010.
When we took our lunch break during a seminar I was teaching recently, our group walked a few blocks to the student union. Nicole Relyea, the youngest member of our group, turned around to face me, but kept walking—backwards. “I’m thinking about being a tour guide,” she said. “I gave campus tours when I was in college and I enjoyed it. I can walk backwards for two hours.”
Vacation rentals are a great way for an investor to create an income overseas but, unless they’re living next door, anyone who owns a vacation rental needs someone to manage it for them. Property management is a business you can start with absolutely no investment. You are simply trading your time and effort.
Jensen Wheeler Wolfe is a yoga instructor and “momtrepreneur” in New York City. Jensen teaches yoga to children and adults, and during one of her sessions she had an idea to make simple and colorful yoga mats for kids. She cut up a large piece of foam matting into small rectangles for the kids in her class.
For many, Latin America conjures up images of steamy, wildlife-filled jungles and beautiful people lounging on tropical beaches, sipping umbrella-bedecked drinks. But there’s a whole other side to Latin America…regions where temperate—even cool—climates and jaw-dropping vistas of snow-covered volcanos are the order of the day.
“Wait, what? Don’t move to Argentina, you can’t speak any Spanish!” Everyone reacted the same way when I announced I was moving. My Spanish education consisted of one class I took for a few months when I was 11 years old.
There are few places on earth as romantic as Buenos Aires. At night, in the backstreets, couples dance the tango. Old men sit outside the bars, playing the accordion. Sad music that tells of loss, longing, and the complications of love. I’d come to Buenos Aires with two prized possessions: my dog-eared copy of the poems of the blind poet, Jorge Luis Borges, and my folded and torn certificate for teaching English.
A train ticket and a TEFL certificate were all I had when I traveled the 1,000 miles from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche. As we rode through the endless flatness of Patagonia—past broken railway sheds and the silhouettes of wind-bent trees on the horizon—I wondered what I was getting into. I had no job. I’d never been this far south. I knew no-one.
Fifty years ago, if at retirement age you spent a few months in Paris…then moved on to Lisbon for the winter…settled for the spring in Italy…and then steamed down to Panama and Argentina…you were probably either wealthy, eccentric, or running from the law. These days…you’re just a run-of-the-mill vagabond retiree.
Begin November with a little panache at the 119th Argentine Open Polo Championships in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires. Not so much a sports event as a key occasion in the local social diary, it runs from November 5 to the end of the year. For something more exotic, check out camel racing. India’s Rajasthan desert in Pushkar hosts the Pushkar Fair from November 6 to 17.
It may be your lifelong dream to live in the grand old cities of Europe…cities with a foot in the past and another firmly in the present. Or maybe you’d rather be closer to home in the Americas, enjoying the sultry Latin lifestyle of Panama City or Buenos Aires.
I was about 11 or 12 years old, listening to my mom—a travel agent at the time—talking to a co-worker about finding a way to get a client to Minneapolis.
Argentina is as famous for its economic and political woes as it is for the tango and its Malbec wine. Nonetheless, its booming wine industry offers countless business opportunities, especially for entrepreneurs who are sensitive to the needs of foreign tourists. I’m not going to recommend you plant a vineyard, build a winery, and export Argentine wine to North America or Europe—although there are people doing that successfully.
It may be your lifelong dream to live in Paris, Rome, or London…the grand old cities of Europe with a foot in the past and another firmly in the present.
You’ve probably heard the old joke that the best way to make $10 million in the wine industry is to start with $20 million. But these days in Argentina, nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike other winemaking nations, Argentina is now exporting almost all the wine it can produce. Brazil, the United States, Canada and England are favorite destinations…
Ecuador is justly famous for its markets. In the country’s guild towns you can buy handmade leather goods, high-quality instruments and silver jewelry. Each town has its farmer’s market, too, where you’ll pick up enough fresh produce to last a week for around $10.
March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, and where better to celebrate it than Dublin, Ireland, where, from March 14 to 18, the city revels in traditional music, fireworks, and a huge parade on the day itself. Sotheby’s Paris auction house will see 300 works from Mexico, Central and South America—including a Chupicuaro ceramic statue (estimated to be from 500 to 100 B.C.)—go under the hammer as part of the eagerly-awaited Barbier-Mueller Collection on March 22 and 23.
At 129 square feet, this apartment is what real-estate agents call “cozy.” But it’s Paris, city of love and romance. From your fifth-floor balcony you have a view of Place de la République. The square gives its name to the historic neighborhood that surrounds it, where the 3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements (districts) come together. Le Marais, where some of the oldest buildings in the city line winding, narrow streets, is just a five-minute walk away.
Take to the streets in Santiago, Chile, from January 3 to 20 for the Santiago a Mil international theater festival. You’ll find large-scale spectacles like “the noise of colors” extravaganza, a forest of paper giraffes, and outdoor performances of Romeo and Juliet.
Begin your holiday season in earnest in Mexico City with a huge Christmas Market running throughout December. In amongst the stalls, piñatas and ice rinks you’ll find the world’s tallest Christmas tree. In Europe, Christmas markets large and small brim with handicrafts, mulled wine and seasonal fare, but Germany is king of them all.
During the four years I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I enjoyed the bloody steaks, strong drinks, and old-fashioned sports that the locals thrive on. Buenos Aires is a place where men can still be men. It’s the capital of a country that does macho well. These days, I’m based in Berlin. But I travel back to BA regularly, and here’s my guide to how a fellow can make the most of the city.
Buenos Aires is a place where men can still be men. It’s the capital of a country that does macho well, as anyone who has ever had a run-in with a gaucho or a milonguero (the term for the rough-cut male dancers who populate the city tango halls) will tell you. And it still has plenty to offer the unreconstructed male.
Today, Argentina is back in a bind. There is a strong possibility of another crack-up within the next year. And then we’ll have the same opportunity we had a decade ago. The signs are all there. The streets of Buenos Aires have recently seen the return of the backstreet currency exchange.
Just over a decade ago Argentina spectacularly unraveled with the biggest default in history—$100 billion. Dollar deposits were converted to pesos. Then, overnight, the peg of one-to-one with the dollar was broken. The unpegged currency immediately devalued. Savings were wiped out. Banks were set alight and locals took to the streets in protest.
When it comes to crisis investing, Argentina is the “gift that keeps giving.” With expropriations and capital controls, they are up to their old tricks again. I’m closely following the situation there on your behalf.
Come June 1 expect fi reworks, parades, fishing tournaments, and sailing competitions in ports all over Mexico as the country celebrates Navy Day. You’ll find gastronomic fairs, photo exhibitions, and traditional and contemporary cultural offerings in the city of Chachapoyas, northern Peru for Semana Turística (tourist week) from June 1 to 7. The highlight is known as the “Raymillacta” procession, which sees groups sing and dance their way through the streets.
For a border crossing that you’ll remember forever, travel from Chile to Argentina (or vice-versa) via the Cruce Andino, a boat journey on freshwater lakes from one country to the other. The lakes lie amid green hills and snow-capped volcanoes and mountains that stretch right across the South American cone about 600 miles south of Santiago, Chile. Running down the middle of this green swath is the rugged spine of the Andes.
Straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazú Falls are one of the world’s most dramatic waterfalls. I got to see them up close recently—but I wasn’t there just to admire the sights. These massive waterfalls, combined with the lush subtropical vegetation and varied local fauna, makes this UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site a top-tier photo destination.
Buenos Aires in Argentina gets under your skin…whether you like it or not. I had planned to stay for two weeks – I changed my plane ticket twice and finally left, reluctantly, a year-and-a-half later. It may have been the tango that hooked me; the dark underground dance floors with bodies deftly moving around each other.