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Santiago-Chile

September 25, 2012
Santiago, Chile

After being away for over four months and traveling through more than 30 countries on four continents, I returned to Chile a few days ago, fortuitously on the first day of spring.

Remember, the seasons are flipped in the southern hemisphere, so the spring renewal is everywhere. It’s an interesting metaphor, because almost everywhere you look here, there are major signs of growth. It is as if the economy itself is in springtime, budding and flourishing in an environment of tremendous optimism.

What a welcome change. I spent so much of the last several months in North America and Europe. And with few exceptions, the situation in those places was troubling. You could call it their ‘economic winter’.

In Portugal, I remember seeing a level of desperation I had never witnessed before in western Europe… an entire nation devoid of hope or prospect. In Italy, it was a sad story of a proud, beautiful country reduced to invalid status, and capital controls had already been implemented.

Great Britain was trying to maintain a stiff upper lip amid its painful austerity measures, all while distracting itself with the Olympics. In Belgium, I was surrounded by morally vapid, sycophantic EU politicians bent on borrowing and spending their way out of crisis. In Moldova, a population living in total squalor thanks to a thieving, extractive government.

Here in Chile, it’s a completely different story… and it’s really nice to be back in a country where growth, optimism, and opportunity are the norm. Like I said, you can see it everywhere– new businesses, new developments, new construction.

The government balance sheet is healthy. The unemployment rate is low, and declining. Workers, businesses, and consumers all have a lot of confidence in the future. Shops and restaurants are full. People here actually have savings… not just mountains of debt.

Several industries are blossoming in the country. I’m heavily invested in agriculture here, and the growth I’m seeing in that sector is astounding. A lot of multinationals are also basing their regional operations in Chile now; Google, for example, is locating its first Latin America data center in Santiago.

Chile is, without doubt, experiencing an economic boom. And it’s underpinned by bona fide healthy fundamentals, not just reams of freshly printed paper currency. The Chilean peso, in fact, has been one of the best performing currencies in the world of late.

But Chile is just one good news story in the world. There are many more… places like Singapore, Mongolia, Turkey, Panama, Botswana, Vietnam, San Marino, etc. One of my contacts just emailed me from Laos this morning, describing all the economic growth and positive changes that have taken place in that country over the past year.

The global economy is not exactly a zero sum game… but one absolute truth is that whenever there are places in decline, there are plenty of other places rising.

I’ve long argued that the dominant western hierarchy is in terminal decline, dragged down by the weight of their own debt burdens and lack of economic freedom. In their places, other nations are rising. This is a transition that will take many, many years… but in the meantime, it’s incredibly exciting to be part of that rise.

In some cases, you can be part of that rise by making sharp investments like high quality real estate or shares in a country’s leading companies. Mongolia is a great example of this– it’s not a place most people would want to live, but it’s got enormous investment potential.

In other cases where lifestyle, business, and investment come together, you can be part of that rise by putting your own boots on the ground.

Undoubtedly, Chile happens to be one of my favorite places for this, and why I spend so much time here. It’s a booming country with a fantastic lifestyle, friendly people, cost effective living, openness to foreigners, and most importantly, a place where you can feel free. And it’s easy for foreigners to relocate, start a business, or even find a well-paying job.

As a matter of fact, my team and I will shortly be opening an office in Santiago… and we’re hiring.

So if you’re an “A” player looking for adventure and open to relocating down here, please send us an email to jobs@sovereignman.com and tell us about yourself, your skills, your salary expectations, and how you’d ideally like to be spending your time. I’ll write again soon about this with more specifics.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ken Long

    I’m in Massachusetts, while my son finishes school. Not too bad, Cambridge is doing well. However, I am very interested in your opinions of South America. I’ve seen you mention Chile many times. Do you have similar opinions on the other side of the Andes. I know Buenos Aires is a little depressed, but what about the Mendoza region, or the Uruguay, Paraguay areas.

  • http://narth.com Nature 1

    Thanks Simon & the crew for diligently providing alternatives to our corrupted, devolvign nations.
    I do love Chile…
    But unfortunately, by all accounts of my own research as well as those who have lived in Chile…it’s not a good place to go if you’re not a rich entrepreneur or IT geek.
    It’s incredibly classist & you MUST know someone to obtain a job if you’re just like the rest of the young grads who go there from Spain etc to find work.
    Major benefits are the cheap cost of living & lack of extreme bureaucracy…

  • li_bri

    I want to move to South America and open an American Bistro or Cafe. I’m thinking Chile or Brazil. Part of the plan is to earn citizenship in which ever country I move to. I will be bring a wife and two school-aged kids (8 & 10). But I am kind of struggling to determine exactly where such a venture might work. I do not have the money to visit a dozen places before buying so I was wondering if anyone could suggest a place that might be a good fit for my family and my desires to open an American food joint.

    • Sue

      Hi, im brazilian from sao paulo. Right now am in Santiago looking for jobs in the sports area…Chile and Brazil are booming economies in LA…but i think Chile needs international people and businesses more badly than Brazil. Both in Bra and Chi restaurants that r located close to businesses areas do well, people walk to lunch and stop for dinner to avoid the rush hour, so these eating places become a “point” of encounter.

    • Alex

      If you value your freedom… Stay away from Brazil. Unless you want to give 40% of what you earn to government in taxes, and wait 4-5 months to go through bureaucracy to open your business. If so, good luck! I’m brazilian and I’m getting out of here as soon as I can. Good luck!

      Ah, if you want to pay 30k US dollars in a Civic, you’re welcome too.

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