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Your Paris Portfolio?…No Panic

Astrologists have lots to say about the chaos going on in the world right now, particularly due to the full moon tomorrow night, October 14th (which happens to also by my birthday — luckily not a very significant one, but an aging one, nonetheless): .”…it could be a period of wild fires or plane crashes. It could be a period of some kind of upheaval around the world when it comes to terrorism. The planet Mars in astrology represents the god of war and defender of his people — representing our desires to get closer to our collective conscientiousness.” (by Irene Lynn,

Paris doesn’t seem to be in chaos, at least not from the outside. This past weekend, the skies were a glorious blue, not a cloud to be found; the air a bit crispy. Sun worshippers had taken all the benches in the Place des Vosges to absorb the healing rays. They didn’t seem to be at all concerned about the financial crisis. Perhaps it hadn’t affected them in the least.

Meanwhile, 15 European leaders met here yesterday, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to “tackle the global financial crisis, with governments being asked to commit themselves to preventing any major banks from collapse. He hoped to persuade his peers ‘to speak with one voice’ in a desperate effort to contain the worst financial crisis since the 1930s Great Depression.” (

At this past weekend’s Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference, Peter Zipper, President of Caye International Bank in Belize, spoke of the dwindling liquidity factor and how the Central Bank of Belize sets a liquidity requirement of 24%, preventing Caye and the others from risk of failure. (Click here to see the personal letter from
Mr. Zipper regarding the current crisis dated October 7, 2008 — /frenchproperty/consultation/offshore.html)

The conference was the 22nd one of its kind, with one of the attendees having participated in a prior conference which had taken place in September of 2004 in Washington, DC. This was the same conference that introduced us to two of our current staff members, Joe Soileau and Florence Richburg, and from which came several who later successfully purchased property here in Paris.

It was a particularly memorable event at the time. Just like now, in 2004, it was election time, and perhaps the enthusiasm for an investment outside the U.S. was sparked by the possibility of a re-election of the Bush administration. We can only guess it was a factor, and as I’ve said in previous missives, this election is likely to do the same. Either way it goes, there will be a large group of unhappy folks who may be ready for a change.

On the top of that, the financial crisis complicates the decision. While we hear every day of those whose financial portfolios are dwindling thanks to the stock market declines, we are watching the dollar strengthen against the euro — today at $1.36 to €1.00. That means that the dollar buys more euro value than it has since about one year ago, reaching a high of $1.60 earlier this year.

Thanks to investments in property, particularly those here in France, I and many others in a similar position, are thanking their lucky stars. Our Rental Manager of Parler Paris Apartments, John Rule, who also spoke at the conference, noted that rentals this month have broken all our records, so owners of these apartments will be ‘laughing all the way to the bank.’ Let’s just make sure they put their proceeds into the right bank (!), or another piece of Paris property…where it will continue to grow!

During this conference, we added a special presentation about “Le Palace des Vosges” and the other Fractional Ownership Properties we are offering for sale, explaining the pros and cons of fractional (or co-) ownership vs single ownership. It’s not for everyone, but for some, it’s the perfect solution…and Le Palace des Vosges is certainly the best address anyone can have in Paris.

Martine di Matteo, our associate Interior Architect, presented her newly-made presentation boards of her design ideas for the two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, wowing everyone with the luscious and luxurious fabrics and practical concepts. Royal purples and historical brocades will set the tone for the palatial apartment, appointed with rich furnishings that mirror a bit of Marie-Antoinette’s style. It was the highlight of the afternoon before saying our “au revoirs” and “à bientôts.”

After two days of being wined and dined “à la Chez Jenny,” and overwhelmed with information, the attendees handed in their evaluations and comments about the conference. Here’s what some had to say:

  • “The speakers provided an extraordinary depth of knowledge on the right mix of topics for this subject. Thank you for job well done!”

  • “Off the charts! So very helpful, informative…could answer all my questions with experience and intelligence.”

  • “Overall an excellent seminar. A lot of very useful information with which to move forward and make decisions. Even if I end up just renting and not buying, this has been extremely helpful.”

  • “Overall I thought the conference was top notch, and certainly met my expectations for learning and enjoying the company of like-minded souls. Merci!”

(To read more, visit /frenchproperty/conference/conferencements.html )

Then over dinner, co-sponsor of the conference, John Howell, and I concluded that we would plan our next one for some time in the Spring…perhaps in our favorite U.S. city and my home town, New Orleans…so stay tuned!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds (with Executive Assistant, Florence Richburg)
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Join the next full moon picnic Tuesday, October 14th from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Pont des Arts gathered around a bench near the center of the bridge. Bring food and drink to share and keep your eyes out for a small white telescope on tripod if the sky is clear. Please RSVP if you’re planning to join the picnic: Bob Mohl — [email protected] or [email protected]

P.P.S. See you tomorrow at “Parler Paris Après Midi,” October 14th at La Pierre du Marais! Visit for more information.


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