2006 starts with a ... book

I have all kinds of news for you this month, and that is partially why this issue several hours late...plus the program crashed just as I finished it the first time around. (Why does that always happen when I've finished, never when I start?)

I have been writing an e-book while in Canada, and I'm happy to say that it is finished. It is investing 101 but in a different style, mixing teaching and fiction to make the teaching more palatable and less like a textbook.

Lunch with Gaffer depicts a successful investor (Gaffer) who entertains three couples of different ages and financial circumstances to lunch each week in his home in Cripple Hole Creek, pop. 209. They discuss investment basics in a way that other investment books rarely do. The lunchtime episodes are almost all in dialogue, which allows for the asking of "dumb" questions that most people seem too afraid to ask.

You have been patient with the slow growth of YourPanama.com while David has been building his house and I have been slaving away over a hot computer in Canada, so I have a gift for the first 40 people to request it. I am giving away 40 copies of Lunch with Gaffer in exchange for a little help.

A new website, LunchWithGaffer.com, will be launched in two months, and it would be helpful for readers of that website to have some independent opinions of the benefits they would get from reading the e-book. In exchange, I ask that, before the end of January, you write a short piece on the benefits you see the reader getting from Lunch with Gaffer. Your piece will appear on the website, with your name, state, province or country, and your e-mail address in case anyone wants to verify that the comments are genuine.

(The @ sign in your address will be changed to [at] to keep e-mail address harvesters from flooding your mailbox with Spam.)

I believe the book is ideally suited to novice investors, spouses whose 'other half' does most of the family investing, and to people between the ages of 20 to 45 who don't yet have all the answers. It will also be useful to parents and grandparents, but I think there is something in the book for investors of most ages and levels of experience. You can tell me when you review it.

Lunch with Gaffer, which I was tempted to call The Investment Book for People who Hate Investment Books, was specifically written for those who see most investment books as being on par with their most boring high school subject.

I don't think the 40 copies will last long, so please e-mail me quickly with the words: "Please send me my book," or something of that nature. My response will not be automated, so it could take 24 hours before your e-book arrives.

Time to go home

I hear that the weather, as with many places around the world, has been a little disappointing so far this Panamanian summer, with more rain than usual. From early December onward, there are typically enough occasional showers to keep the grass green, but no more than that.

The weather in my part of Canada – Nova Scotia – has been equally strange, but on the good side. Here it is, January 7, and there should at least be large snow banks where the plows have pushed the stuff off the roads. Nada! And the temperatures: Mostly in the plus column, one day close to double digits.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but my business in Canada is just about completed and it's time to return to the land where temperatures are always in double digits and spring is year-round, whether or not it is raining.

Panama's national airline, COPA, is to start regular flights out of Toronto, I hear. But that's not happened yet. So I dig my bones out of here and into a taxi at 3:30 a.m. February 2 (we'll try not to run over any groundhogs, though there'll be no shadows for them to see at that ungodly hour). After changing planes in Boston and Atlanta, I will arrive somewhat crumpled in Panama City at 9:53 that night.

It will be good to be back home.

This means two things for you: There will be no issue of Nuggets on February 4. (Besides, that's my birthday.) But the March 4 issue should have more updates than usual with both David and me hard at work and clear of some of our other responsibilities.

New this month

This month, David has been finding out interesting things about some local wine, and he has the perfect excuse to sample it frequently, as you will read in Panama wines and the man behind some amazing concoctions .

While looking for grass seed, he ran into a vet who impressed him and allowed him to dig up her front lawn. Read all about that in Vet in Panama finds cats, dogs and El Tigre all in a day's work .

And, out for a stroll on New Year's Eve, he walked under a dead Indian. I kid you not. To make sense of that, just visit Under the dead Indian is an inspiring walk .

I will be excited to talk with you again on March 4. By then, I hope 2006 is off to an excellent start for you.

Best wishes,


I hope you enjoyed this issue of Your Panama Nuggets. Watch for the next issue on Saturday, March 4, at 10 a.m. EST.