Au Revoir Mes Amis

| December 24, 2021

No, I am not going anywhere, but this is the best title I could come up with after deciding that I could not borrow (steal) Robert Graves’ title Good-Bye to All That. Instead, I am going to use my personal experience of owning property in another country to illustrate many of the opportunities, goals, risks, and disappointments of investing.

For those who do not know, I have maintained a goals list since 1995. I rediscover my old notebooks on the infrequent occasions when I have moved, and every time I gain the satisfaction of knowing that all of the goals that I have taken the time to write down are completed. I know from personal experience that the goals book really works. If you want something, write it down and write down the process that you will use to achieve it. Then, pursue it like a greyhound chasing a fake rabbit.

My own goals list included “become fluent in French” and “live two months of every year in a foreign country.” Obviously, language fluency can be considered a process necessary for living in another country, but not necessarily. I could live in Canada, England, Jamaica, Belize, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, or any number of English-speaking countries. Nevertheless, I chose French as a requirement for my long-term goal.

Since I have many responsibilities, the time and travel obstacle precluded France. The islands seemed too similar to Florida and lacked the history and architecture that I craved. Fortunately, a wonderful French-speaking country is directly north of us and conveniently in the same time zone. So began my love affair with the nation of Québec.

That affair is now ended and I have sold my condominium in beautiful Québec City. The proximate cause is the pandemic, but the ultimate cause is more complicated. In any event, my experience there provides an opportunity to examine:

• Currency risk
• The limits of research
• Time horizon
• Goal setting
• Political risk
• Event risk

I am sure that I shall discover other lessons as I prepare the next few blogs. Until then, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday filled with love and joy.