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The Delamere-International Newsletter ©

Edition of 31 December 2001 #104

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For a review of back issues, click here


1. The World Bank Has Promised to Help Poor Nations.

2. Housing For Everyone?

3. Real Estate Designations.

4. Employment: Brush Up Your Interview Skills.

5. The Demise of the South African Currency.

6. Immigration Notes. Mexican Influx to the US to Increase?

7. Education: Sponsorship of underprivileged students in Africa.

8. Warning: The 809 phone code is back in use again, at $2,425 per minute on your account.

9. Gem of Wisdom for the Month.


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1. The World Bank Has Promised to Help Poor Nations
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The World Bank has put forward a seven-point plan to help developing nations in sub-Sahara Africa and other regions. World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern on 4 December 2001 said, "Globalization could be a powerful force for poverty reduction, but weak governance and policies in some poor countries, protectionist measures taken by some rich countries, and declining assistance were forcing some countries to be left behind."

To read full story, click on our Business Report link: Click Here

Our firm Delamere-Pennine Associates, has for some years been promoting ways to assist developing countries, which need help, especially in the African region. Many local products are attractive to buyers in more sophisticated countries like the US, Canada and Europe, but these small producers do not have the capacity to get their goods to the market. How can you help? Go to our web page.

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2. Is Housing For Everyone a Reality in the USA?
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America faces a crisis that has been largely unreported and ignored: Millions of American families cannot afford adequate housing. The statistics are clear and they are disturbing. Fourteen percent of American families today, 13.7 million households, have critical housing needs, meaning that they spend more than half of their income on housing or live in seriously substandard conditions.

While millions of working families need affordable housing to buy or rent, the number of low-income rental units is declining by almost half a million per year. These numbers are daunting. They are the statistical manifestation of a very real housing shortage that affects the daily quality of life for millions of Americans.

Two factors are contributing most to this growing problem. First, is a significant increase in population?

The recent census reports that 1.35 million households were formed in this country every year during the last decade. That's 200,000 more households per year than previously believed. Those new households need housing. To keep up with the underlying demand, we need to build about 1.6 million new homes and apartments units each and every year.

The second factor is the resistance to construction of new multi-family housing. This is a national trend, and it is having a significant impact on the supply of housing available for low-income families. Environmentalists, home builders, advocates for the poor and homeless, and urban planners all agree on one aspect of growth policy, that is the need to construct more housing in our cities and inner suburbs

The only people who don't agree with this strategy are the homeowners who live near any proposed new housing development. The problem is that individual resistance to rental and other multifamily housing presents a formidable barrier. Those barriers often cause the homebuilder to look elsewhere, and that means housing that is affordable to low-income families often do not get built.

The new term we are hearing more and more is "snob zoning." Local governments, often pressured by their constituents, are adopting zoning patterns that greatly restrict where and how much multifamily housing can be built, Put these factors together, a burgeoning population, a decreasing supply of low-income rental units, local governments that adopt zoning plans that restrict multifamily development, and neighborhood activists who fight new development, and its not hard to see why it is increasingly difficult for low-income families to find adequate housing.

The answer to this nation's housing crisis is for all the stakeholders in this process to do their part. There are solutions. But to get from here to there, we will need creativity, cooperation, and, perhaps most important, the political will to make the right decisions.

Footnote: These comments are as reprint of a news release on 4 November 2001 by the Home Builders Association of the Greater Salt Lake Region of the USA.

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3. What Constitutes a Qualified Real Estate Agent or Realtor?
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We look at two contrasting countries, the USA and South Africa. In South Africa to practice as a Real Estate Agent or broker, one has to be registered with the Estate Agents Board, and to check the current requirements we suggest that you read the existing requirements. To check their website click here

Although in our experience, many unregistered agents are still "practicing" and operate under of the "umbrella" of a friend or colleague. This is illegal and you should ask for the credentials of the "agent" before you have any dealings with them. Many of our clients still own properties in South Africa even though living overseas and we always warn them of the potential problems of using the services of an "estate agent" before checking their credentials.

In the USA the situation has now developed into a sophisticated and mature market and as many professional organizations choose to credential representatives as a way of indicating their advanced education, experience and expertise, the real estate industry is no exception.

When you buy or sell a home you will notice on a Realtors business card any number of professional designations, just like college degrees, which denote considerable effort and time spent by a person to know the industry and the marketplace. Those so certified are more likely to be of greater service to customers and clients than those not having acquired these skills.

The real estate industry in the US has several basic designations. The ABR designation stands for "Accredited Buyer Representative". It requires an educational course geared to understanding buyers' needs, a written examination and demonstration of practical experience for 18 months. The CSP designation stands for "Certified New Home Sales Professional", better qualifying a person for selling homes. The CRS designation stands for "Certified Residential Specialist:" and requires a variety of challenging educational courses plus several years of experience.

Only 5 percent of known Realtors have reached the CRS benchmark. The CRB designation stands for "Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager" and requires credited courses plus two consecutive years of brokerage management experience. The CRE is "Counselor of Real Estate", requiring at least 10 years of experience, three of which must be fee-based counseling. The GRI designation is a "Graduate of the Realtor Institute" requiring 90 hours of course work.

There are 10 other designations that deal with residential, commercial and appraisal professions recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Click Here. Additionally, those with designations are active in local and national real estate boards, which is an indication of their personal interest in knowing the field, participating in community service and networking with other professionals.

When buying or selling a home, look for a sales representative, an agent or broker with designations. It's a sign of a professional that cares about you and your needs. Of course many feel that to save the costs of commissions, they would prefer to handle the sale of their property themselves. If you are seriously considering this step we recommend you use the services of "For Sale By Owner" that allows you to use the Internet and exposes your property to 1000s of buyers, and even allows you to place a photograph of your property on their site at a very reasonable fee. Click Here

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4. Brush Up Your Interview Skills
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In today's difficult employment market individuals searching for a job must be fully prepared for the inevitable 'interview' experience. Most students and individuals we have interviewed feel some trepidation when facing an interview for a new job. What can you do to prepare more fully? Go to our Employment source. Click Here

We also suggest that you read the e-book, "Great Answers to 50 Top Interview Question." You can actually check the 50 Questions and download the answers on-line. Click Here

As a service to our site visitors living in Kenya and South Africa we have recently launched a Classified Section on our website.

The service is entirely free and is available for employers to list a vacancy and for jobseekers to check out current listing of jobs available.

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5. The Demise of the South African Currency
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Serious problems now exist for the once stable and desirable South African Rand. Last month in our Newsletter we mentioned breaking though the 'psychological R10 = $1 barrier, we now note that in the few weeks passing that we now face the R12 = $1 barrier. Where to next?

For more information on investing and making profits in currency trading, go to our Investment Page.

A curious, amusing anecdote, which illustrates the effect of a currency that is dying and distorted in purchasing power, was passed onto us recently. A client recently visited a private club in Pinelands, Cape Town and ordered a beer, a Castle Lager to be precise, and the bill was R4,50c on local currency,. Pretty expensive, he thought, until he realized he had just paid with his Washington Mutual Debit Card, and he had in reality just paid 37c(US). What a bargain! He had just paid $4.50c (US) at the airport in the USA on his way to South Africa. According to calculations, if the South African currency falls 4.5% per week against the US dollar, as it has done this past 7 days, then in 12 months time it will have dropped to the astonishing level of R107 = $1, and as a visitor to South Africa your beer will only cost you 3c(US). Don't get crushed in the stampede. Interested in the full story? Read more.

Don't forget that one way that has been utilized by many of our clients in Eastern and Southern Africa, plus other more developed countries have utilized the provision of holding funds "offshore". This way they have managed to control the severe losses in their assets.

Why not check out the latest news and information on our website now offered by offshore banks.


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6. Immigration Notes. Mexican Influx to the US to Increase?
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Slow Mexican economy may increase migration to the US. As many as half a million Mexicans could migrate to the United States annually if Mexico's creeping economic growth continues over the next several decades, according to a newly released report by the Mexican National Population Council.

Don't forget to visit our website for the current details of Immigration and the Green Card Lottery.


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7. Education: Sponsorship of underprivileged students in Africa.
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Our South African Student Sponsorship Programme (SASSP) fund is growing slowly but steadily and we expect to be able to assist the first group of students during 2002 to study at 'accredited colleges' in South Africa in terms of the mandate of the "MTC International Foundation" which operates this fund.

For more details visit our web page which explains the fund. Click Here


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9. Warning: The 809 phone code is back in use again, at $2,425 per minute on your account.
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"Expat World" recently advised our firm to never dial a phone number beginning with area code 809. There is a scam being perpetuated all over the USA involving area code 809. (South African clients will remember this number with the porno scandal operated and approved by Telkom) It's pretty clever given the way they try to get you to call. Even if the offer sounds so good when you get it via a phone message, email, or web page don't be tempted, for it could cost you $24,000 or more in phone toll charges.

Verizon, one of the largest communication companies in America brought this scam to our attention. This scam has also been identified by the National Fraud Information Center and is costing victims a lot of money. There are lots of different variations of this scam, and for full details contact our firm for the full copy of "Expat World" Newsletter.



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9. Gem of Wisdom for the Month
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What do you think of this gem? Do not pursue what is illusory, property and position all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.

By Alexander Solzhenitsyn

From next month we shall be featuring a book for the month. The publication will be related to business and the investing field, and we will pass on the comments of the researcher as to the value of the featured book to you our client.




Although great effort has been made in compiling and checking the information contained in this Newsletter is accurate, the publisher shall not be held responsible for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in this electronic publication, or for any consequences arising there from. Editorial materials published herein are provided for information only. The publisher expressly disclaims any and all liability to any person, whosoever, in respect of any loss, damage, death, personal injury or other consequences, by their use of, or reliance upon in any way, the information contained in this electronic publication.


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Copyright 2001 by "Delamere-Pennine Associates - International Business Consultants" All Rights Reserved.




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