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Will you have your life turned upside down because of limiting choices?

American Union Bank

Yesterday we began a series of articles covering what I think is the most important issue we face.  If you missed it, I encourage you to read the post before proceeding.

We have entered what I call the Age of Turmoil, a time that is marked by rapid change and fluctuating crises.  The old system of debt and consumption that gave us great salaries, generous benefits, stock market and housing appreciation, and a high standard of living is gone forever.

What’s happening right now is a major sea change: the game is being reset, and the rules are being rewritten.

I’m not being pessimistic, and this is not a cause for fear.  We shouldn’t be afraid of the Age of Turmoil, but rather prepare for it by becoming more self-reliant.  Those who are prepared will survive, thrive, and be well-positioned for the enormous opportunities that await.

Conversely, those who cling to their faith in the old system, desperately hoping for a return to the carefree days of the past, will have their lives turned upside down.

This is because all the major elements of the old system– our political process, our money and financial institutions, the job market, police forces, etc.– only function as long as the system is operating normally.

Think about how things work under the old system– people are effectively given pre-packaged options for the major decisions in their lives. Do you want to be a doctor? Follow this career template. A pilot? Follow that one. Investing your money? Select from these mutual funds.

I call these ‘limiting choices,’ and they are a staple tradition in our modern society. Our realities are defined by people and regulations which govern our thinking, restrict our options, and constrain our creativity.

When you walk into a bank, for example, no one is going to sit down with you and say ‘hey I think you should protect yourself from a depreciating currency, let’s talk about gold allocation and taking some options in the renminbi.’

No, instead you get two limiting choices that are jammed down the throats of millions of customers: the generic savings account, or the generic checking account.

Even the political process is full of limiting choices. How many times have you gone to the polls and been forced to decide between two equally vapid, insipid candidates? In the end, you vote for the limiting choice who is ‘less bad,’ the lesser of two evils.

These limiting choices work just fine as long as the system is functioning properly… they’re efficient and help maintain order. Human nature is such that most people abdicate the power of choice in their lives, and limiting choices provide basic direction, making it easy to follow the herd.

The trouble is, limiting choices are not designed to help you survive when the system collapses.

Limiting choices like the standard career template of racking up huge university debt, or investing in index funds, or holding cash in a savings account, or relying on social security, etc. were all successful tactics over the last 20-years. In the Age of Turmoil, they’ve become destructive.

As soon confidence cracks and the system starts to fail, everything unwinds… and people whose realities are defined by limiting choices will have their lives turned upside down.

The way out, the way to survive and thrive in this turmoil, is to reject limiting choices and define your own reality through what I call universal choice.  In fact, I consider “defining your reality” to be the first pillar in achieving self-reliance in the Age of Turmoil.

This entails being actively engaged in the major problems and decisions we face in life, and developing the independent mindset to design our own paths from an entire universe of possibilities, not just limiting choices.

Planting multiple flags is a great example of cultivating this independence and defining your own reality. Instead of the limiting banking choices provided by your hometown bank, you can open a foreign bank account in alternative currencies, or store gold in a private vault overseas.

Instead of the limiting investment choices provided by your broker for standard blue chip stocks and index funds that have yielded negative returns for a decade, you can invest in alternative assets like foreign companies or international real estate based on out of the box trends that you identify.

Instead of limiting career choices provided by the guidance counselor that will result in massive student loan debt and little else, you can learn valuable skills that solve people’s problems, or head to thriving economies overseas looking for more interesting opportunities and adventures.

The key theme in defining your reality is to think creatively beyond the limiting choices that the old establishment puts in front of you. In fact, when you consider many of the world’s greatest historical figures, the main factor they all shared was a common rejection of limiting choices.

People like the Wright brothers, Gandhi, Bill Gates, and Ayn Rand all dismissed convention and defined their realities based on possibilities that they conceived.  I’m absolutely convinced that the greatest outcomes await those who can take this step.

I’m really interested in what you think– what are some of the universal choices that you can make to define your reality?

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

If you liked this post, please click the box below. You can watch a compelling video you’ll find very interesting.

Will you be prepared when everything we take for granted changes overnight?

Just think about this for a couple of minutes. What if the U.S. Dollar wasn’t the world’s reserve currency? Ponder that… what if…

Empires Rise, they peak, they decline, they collapse, this is the cycle of history.

This historical pattern has formed and is already underway in many parts of the world, including the United States.

Don’t be one of the millions of people who gets their savings, retirement, and investments wiped out.

Click the button below to watch the video.

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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • anonym

    Some decisions about building one’s choices? I think depending on where you are life some choices might seem grander than others.
    I had a goal which is to be debt free (ie no mortgage). If god is willing it will come true within 2 years. It was not easy b/c everyone would go out to concerts or eat out and tell me why I”m not having fun (I guess I’m dull) but I always felt I was ruled under my employer for it. In the event if I lose my job, I will have more choices, less burden. I have opened an open opportunity ira as you suggested although it was not easy decision this year. Also I eventually have to find the right investments to earn enough to pay the yearly fees but one has to start somewhere.
    I have bought some some gold (perth mints) so that at least it’s stored outside (my idea of planting outside of my country). A couple years ago when I was in Asia where my parents are temporarily residing due to illness I tried to open an account…but they gave me a tough time. I know Simon says it’s doable but I suspect unless Simon is there with me next year at the bank I still won’t have any luck opening an account there. That is Simon I’m afraid as far as I can go within my means right now (I’m just an average us employee worker). One might say that I could do more by leave and work elsewhere but I think one thing people should remember….do you like your boss. And I work well with my boss….even if you do not like others, heaving a great boss to respect, work with is worth more than other factors. So at least for now I will stay. One more thing that I think relates to self-reliance — building a mental attitude to believe in yourself even if people surrounding you don’t understand. So while I’m still paying my mortgage.. I am working on my mental attitude to prepare myself to take next steps or if opportunities become available. This mental study is not just being about being positive (which I’m a natural pessimist), but to calm the mind when reading upsetting news, to calm the spirit to deal with the stresses of work, committment to take care of your health…and to calm the mind so that one doesn’t immediately close off suggestions. Unless you are naturally at that of which I’m not, I have to work on it. I honestly do not know what my next steps are…I do not quite see the opportunities, but I thought it is good to take baby steps and hope that with each small step, something is opened up to me.

  • Gaston

    I’m from Canada. The situation is not as bad as in the U.S. but we always follow just later. I’m reading a lot lately. I want to adopt the “six flags strategy” and become a Permanent traveller. Nothing is perfect in this world. No country is perfect. I want to get the best of this world. One way to do it, is to speak a couple of languages. I speak french and English. I want to start learn spanish and portuguese. Why, because, I found, we have everything, old and new in Americas. But no wonder, it takes time and energy but the rewards will be unbelievable. I’m thinking to give the best of myself and with the Internet, it’s possible to do a better world. I believe in freedom, responsability and honesty.

  • Bear Miller

    Hi all – my universal choice was to leave the corporate world in 2000 after the DotCom crash and hire myself. It took a few years to reproduce the old income, but now I am far better off: a) being my own boss
    b) producing quality results for my consulting clients
    c) spending lots of time with my children as they grow up.

    My clients are in the US and Canada, and I recently met with business and government officials in Cameroon, Africa to discuss a number of low-cost housing projects.

    The opportunities flow in when you make the choice to open yourself up to endless possibilities. I am now looking to plant flags overseas and open up even more doors.

    Look around – keep your eyes open – see the possibilities.

    Thank you for all the valuable insight!!!

  • Don

    Past choices: not vaccinating our children and home-schooling our children, among other things, and taking those paths for at least three reasons: 1) disagreement with the “experts” over both the potential upside and downside of those decisions, 2) a willingness/eagerness to accept the consequences of our decisions, and, 3) a general distrust of so-called “experts,” particularly if they have a relationship with any governmental entity.

    Present choices: teaching my children: 1) to think for themselves, using the brain God gave them to discover truth; 2) that to respectfully challenge authority is perfectly acceptable, even desirable; 3) to know that they are their own worst enemy, especially in terms of limiting what they can achieve; 4) to accept personal responsibility for their decisions and then knowing and accepting that, make better decisions.

    Future choices: 1) learn from my children, 2) remember that, when presented with only two choices, I usually have more; 3) live by the words of “Dirty Harry”: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”


    P.S. What may well put me into the “Winner’s Circle” for the subscription (ok — probably not) is this quote, which I dearly love and speaks, I think, to this topic of “universal choices”: “No one needs it till someone invents or installs it.”

  • Bob Goldman

    My universal choice dates to my days at Cal Berkeley, as an
    engineering student. There were few electives in the major, and so, here we were at one of the world’s great universities,
    but constrained from sampling all the variety of science, art, music, and technical opportunities therein. Without much thought, I just enrolled in the anthropology, music, art, architecture, astronomy and journalism classes that appealed to
    me, and “let the chips (pun) fall where they may” (Electrical engineer joke).

    I have never regretted my instinctive commitment to permanent, cross-disciplinary continuting education… where
    does it say exactly, that an engineer cannot be an economist,
    or (today) a journalist?

    This commitment to education and open-ended inquiry is what
    has brought me here…. and may take me to Simon’s expat opportunities in the future.

    In the USA we have a saying “the homework ate my family”. Public education saps playtime, athletics, employment, entrepreneurship opportunities from our youth.

    Try your best to teach your kids an iconoclastic approach
    to cookie-cutter education… I know I try, and Simon is here
    to help.

    “Bob Goldman”

  • Fred Pickering

    Dear Simon,
    I am your perfect candidate for a your one year free subscription to your newletter for the following reasons:
    Because for the first time in many years I am on a “budget”……Yeah I know…..welcome to real life as most people know it in good ole US of A ! Perhaps the interesting aspect of this is…..During my earlier years as a Chiropractic Physician, my “survival” instincts kicked in ( being that at the time, my Nam combat memories were still fairly fresh, which not only evoked my innate instincts for physical survival, but also for economical survival, given my major distrust of government/politics.) thus, I adopted Doug Casey of “International Speculator”…and his circle of like minded achievers such as Rick Rule, Adrian Day and the fella who started “Gold Newletter” who regrettably passed away several years after I had met him. ( I am sorry I forgot his name..Jefferson?) I had gone to one of their ealier, if not their first economical/philosopical conferences, in Florida and had the good fortune to have met them personally. I am not sure if they would remember me, but I did do business with Rick Rule on the phone quite a bit at the time when he was with what I think it was Torrey Pines brokerage. Back in the $375 gold days so to speak. Yes, I was interested in their economical philosophy, but what appealed to me most, was their “bigger picture” philosophy of the world. Interesting people who did not wear rose colored glasses and were not content with trying to get fat at the Dow trough. To make a too long story short, I have through the years been a silent, kindred soul, commrade of theirs. ( unknownst to them of course) I have read their newletters and even some of their books. ( Beginning with the “Great Reckonning” ect….I initially found Doug appealing because I was informed that in his younger days, he use to hop trains for adventure. Which I could relate too because during my hitch hiking ‘Hippie” days, I had hopped a couple myself. This information impressed me because I knew he had the guts to put himself out there and “walk his talk”.) The knowledge that they ( and as of two years ago, yourself) have so estutely and with color shared with me over the years has served me well. However, through all their knowledge, I find it odd that I have applied more of their philosophical advise within my life rather than focusing mostly on the economical aspect. Where does that leave me? Well, it leaves me sitting here on the cusp of actually living the life of a “world citizen” with an empty wallet!! I jest, it is not totally true that I have an empty wallet. I did through their advise make some good investments, and some good speculations as well. ( Damn! I should have backed up the truck on that darn Diamond Fields stock! ect ect….) I did buy gold back in the day as well, not enough but it helped. I also bought Swiss currency via an Annuity, again, not enough, but it has served me well. I also contributed a good portion of my life saving to the instituion of Divorce, and yes, I was one of those guys who got a killer deal on a great piece of land, and “that” WAS “my ship come home”. (Hopefully it is still a killer deal in the eyes of someone who IS wearing those rose colored glasses and has the cash to sit on until it is, and it will soon be sold.) Yet I guess what I mostly did was save my cash and paid cash for everything, knowing that cash in the long run buys one “time” to hopefully one day be free of the shakels of “societal obligation”. I am NOW looking forward to living a simple life within and beyond the borders of the US. I presently live in a modest home in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Montana. I have horses n mules, love to pack and enjoy the fact that Grizz reminds me that I am not on the top rung of the food chain, fly fish, snowboard, ride the steep twisty turney’s on my motorcycle ect ect…..and as much as I love Montana, it seems the winters are getting longer and I have the longing to find another simple abode in the tropics in an ALTERNATIVE COUNTRY. I am going to Belize soon for the winter, ( unless the winds blow me elsewhere warm….which is likely) I hear tell that Thailand is mighty nice, or hmm maybe Equador, but….I have always wanted to go to Cambodia or the old Burma……ect ect..ect. Yet, now to the point as to why I am “begging” for your free year of hard earned wisdom and financial insights Simon. You see, I totally get the planting flags concept and have some of my modest amounts of money in two other countries, but what I don’t have is $$$$ flow. And being just retired a year ago after having worked my glutumous maximus off for thirty three years in a wonderful profession, I am now discovering how quickly one can run through one’s life savings one little bit at a time. Here is my challenge: can I with all the knowledge I have accumulated over the years, make some good “investments” and “wise speculations” that will buy me the freedom I have for so many years longed for? My plan is to sell my land, hopefully for a profit but at least for what I paid for it….( that comment does not sound realistic at this time, but trust me, it was that good of a deal from the onset) and also buy a few more gold stocks, one more silver stock, buy 50% of my cash in gold ( Darn! I can’t make myself buy in this high price range, and yes I know….it will go a lot higher, but it may go lower first ..yada yada yada) I also want to find a way to short the market and catch it on the way down..which is also when I am going to buy my gold stocks……and, I need to find a way to earn 10% safely with the cash I am going to make from doing the above, and, and, and,…..it all seems so complicated and vague, and….Mr.Simon, I am so glad to hear you are keeping your ear to the rail, because I agree with your insights. My innate instincts on the current situation with the US economy and lifestyle is that the “greater depression” may now appear subtle to many, but bit by bit, the tide of disaster is coming in, and unfortunately many will drown, and most will be left to struggle against the tide in deep water, only to become so fatigued that they will be at the mercy of a fat out of shape lifeguard wearing the insignia “US Gov” on an old waterlogged life bouy as he reaches his hand out to the other with fear in both of their eyes as the quandry of who is saving whom suddenly becomes “reality”. Simon, I am standing in that tide, it is subtle but I see the inevitability of my circumstance if I don’t ACT, AND DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN JUST STAND HERE. I respect you, you aren’t afraid to hop that train of life. You have earned your knowledge and wisdom. I have been on a different journey, my focus has been healing. This is MY time now……Simon prey tell me….WHERE’S THE TRAIN?!

    • SOF

      Fred, what you said my be profound and elightening…

      But I cannot bear to read a WALL OF TEXT!

      Please, pretty please, use some double-spaced paragraphs with some white space to break up the text.


      • Ridindawg

        Rich….get over yourself and read between the line’s. This is not a literary contest..or as is obvious..a speeling bee…….please…..read from your heart as well as your head. However….I do agree..I need to keep it shorter and simpler. Yet…this is such a passionate subject..I wrote it in a hurry….and after having read so many other great response’s …….my first instinct is to appreciate the compassion and wisdom of others rather than “critisze”….the “format”.

    • Whiter


    • Richmichken

      @ Fred, this is a WALL OF TEXT!

      You may have said something interesting or even profound but you made it difficult to read.

      Please consider double-spacing your paragraphs to include some white space to break up that stream-of-consciousness style.

      Thank you fred

  • Outsidethebox

    A Vision of what’s possibile is defined by the ability to believe. The ability to believe as a child is almost unlimited, until the spark is snuffed out by conventional education. One of the most important things for the future of the world is how we educate our children, being from the UK, what amazes me is how many people make the universal choice to delegate that responsibility to the governement. They want free education, and they get what they pay for. At high school I told the careers advisor I wanted to be a superstar DJ. He told me that it wasn’t going to happen and that I should be more realistic. We also took a test on a piece of software that we fed information into and it spat out our ideal job, my friend was to be a ‘Refuse collector’.
    I may not be a superstar DJ now but that was never the point, it’s about building your own reality, not letting others build it for you. I’m a well travelled, accomplished, multi talented, entrepeneur at age 25 who has multpile flags, a wealth of knowledge and a passion for learning. My ex peers who instead chose to be ‘realistic’ are living in the bubble of a system about to collapse, they have no idea, and I dont even know that they care, such was the non surgical lobotomy performed at high school. My long term future goal is to open an alternative educational centre that encourages the spark, instead of drowning it.

    • Becca

      I hope you’ll keep us updated about your alternative educational centre. And some of us may be able to help out a bit… I think a lot of people on this board share your concerns about education.

  • Kung Fu Fan

    I’ve been taking steps down this road before I even really understood the overall process, a friend introduced me to your daily news letter and its really brought home a lot of the ideas a feelings I’d been having.

    The single most important thing you can do with your time I believe is learning transferable skills, these can be anything but I define them as services people will always want and that wont force you to rely on another system to implement. For Example, I have always been a massive Kung Fu fan I’ve spent the vast majority of my life studying Kung Fu. Now I am at a point where I can travel to just about any country I want and set up a school, it won’t make my rich but it keeps me independent and free. Though I believe this make me richer than most.

    If you have the ability to travel and earn money while you do it then you have the time to spend on the ground in countries you like, giving you the opportunity to investigate other flags like residency, passports, banks, etc.

    It’s worth taking time to investigate your flags before you plant them, having skills you can put to use in a country to give you time to do this will never be a bad thing.

  • Karlrparker

    Hi Simon,
    I live in Panama and Thailand and have bank accounts in both countries. I am buying farmland with water in Panama. I have moved my gold out of the US because Obama is almost certain to seize it as his hero Roosevelt did. As a contrarian, I think I will look for some great values back in the US when all of your readers pack up and move out!

    • Scottishglen72

      Karirparker, how did you get your gold out? Just curious.

      • Neil Pringle

        how did you get your cash out ? just curious.

  • John J

    A universal choice, for me, is to ask myself questions and think. Instead of going through the motions, or accepting externally imposed rules about what one is supposed to do. Currently I’m asking myself “Do I really want to live in this country (Australia) for the rest of my life?” Which is provoking me to open my mind to up a lot of ideas, like “where can I go, where would I like to live?”

    John J

  • Mr. M in Florida

    I made a universal choice to pursue the Open Opportunity IRA mentioned by Simon. This opens a world of investment choices to me and serves my goals to accumulate wealth and shelter it from taxes and lawsuits. It will also facilitate my goal of leaving the U.S. soon yet setting up my financial affairs in a fully legal and legitimate way and to avoid any charges of money laundering or tax evasion. It is a great vehicle for all Americans.

  • BW

    Defining your reality:

    seeing life as your own personal project. This is whether you are in one place or travel to many, whether you choose to leave an unfavorable circumstance, or stay to defend what you consider your own.

    giving credit to your own ability for critical judgement, in particular when the surrounding circumstance doesn’t “feel right”, even if you don’t know exactly why, even if you have not yet identified the reason for it. This is the time to go your own way, even when it seems there’s a lot to lose. Because our perspective tends to be very limited until we have acquired a lot of information, it’s not always possible to know what you might be gaining that will be better.

    “The old establishment” is somebody else’s idea of how to do things, or their reason for why certain things should be done. And very often there _is no_ reason given to justify the expectations on one’s behavior, so it’s not even possible to determine whether a procedure/idea has any merit in the current situation. At that point, you’re only serving their purposes, and not your own.

    Funny that at this time so many people complain about global developments – global trade, global outsourcing. Global warming. : ) The universal choice is that you “got to go where the flora & fauna are” (that’s what this guy told me when I asked him why he went bar-hopping). Large companies do this. Explorers and scientists do it. Entertainers do it. They go to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, if that’s where it’s at.

    The main concern is to be able to pay your way and stay in command of the situation.

  • Regina Potenza

    I lived in Mexico and have moved on to Ecuador. I have bank accounts in both countries. My universal choice was to leave the US 23 years ago and never look back except on April 15 when I still have to file that tax return.

  • crocketman

    I have lived outside the US for much of the last 30 years, mostly in Indonesia, and have done work in or traveled to most of the SE Asian countries and as well 3 working trips now to China. I am fully fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, some Thai, and some few words to get by on in both Cantonese and Mandarin. My first venture outward bound (1979) was an extended stint with Peace Corps in Malaysia.

    I was born and raised in the deep northwoods of Minnesota, where the self-reliant folks would say they lived so deep in the sticks they had to have thier own tomcat.

    Over the years I have learned to shed material belongings (bondage), many times of packing it all down to 20 kg to carry and a few cardboard (whiskey or wine) boxes to send by cheap sea post.

    After finishing Peace Corps, and again in the late 80’s, I took time off for me. First I went to Thailand for 6 months, mostly in Phuket and lived on a budget to 10 bucks a day. This 10 afforded me the “bamboo beach bungalow” (‘bbb’), where the was no need to sweep the floor, it was bamboo slats and beach sand fell right through. At the time these ‘bbb’ cost 25 to 50 baht, or 1 to 2 dollars. In the late 80’s I bought an old pickup, fixed it up myself, put a small low slung camper on it, and traveled for 7 months, put on almost 18,000 miles, in the western parts of the US. No meals in cafes, often fishing with not one person in sight, and 99% of what I ate was cooked over a camp fire. Outside of fuel costs, again at 10 bucks a day. Later I sold the pickup and camper for higher than what I bought it for, overall that gain almost paid for the fuel costs of the trip.

    Simplicity is freedom, the liberation of not wanting for anything other than simple food and simple shelter.

    The other main freedoms I have gained is shedding the human (lost in the translations) dogma and overt indoctrination of organized religions, and sheddinng the baggage mass media organized politics.

    In Indonesia, many facets of infrastucture of the industrialized world often do not function (and some do not really exist), I have sketched out, planned and then built such things as rain water harvesting systems, simple passive cooling features, and I continue to hoe, compost, and plant, to get some close to home fresh food and spices.

    What is really required: TAKE OUT all the ‘sofa’ infrastructure(s) and the totally complicated world supply chain – and THEN PLAN on that basis.

    For me it all boils down to simplicity (live by KISS), and retaining as much as possible the roots of self-reliance.

    Cheers, Crocketman

  • Ricklehmanmig


    I started early. As a youngster, bucking conventional wisdom:
    -trading term insurance for whole life; invesing the difference,
    -looking for a job where I could be mentored by a genius,
    (I tried that again just last year, but you picked someone else..),
    -struck out on my own: creating patenting, and selling $4.5M of my own products, then showed others how to do it,
    -jumped into self-directed IRAs so I could control my investments,
    -went overseas to gather info on options. Info I assume is out of date…., so, I’m here to absorb everything I can…,
    -learned, built w/Hi-E to be self-sufficient: Live in 2,400 sq.’ on $110/mo., invest the rest… and the house will meet obaMessiah mandates that will be imposeed in the Cap’nTax Fiasco Bill,
    -began searching for patented products with more, and truely International potential, and have found them. Am now looking forward: time to build a team to leverage them into the world marketplace. Is it too late to interest you in mentoring me?

  • Georges

    I run internet business, my customers are around the world but mostly in west europe. My company is in Singapour, I live in Philippines. I use accident insurance from US despite I’m spanish. And I just begin to buy gold. Believe me, I learnt my lesson of multiple flag.

  • 1toiletflusher

    I have operated on 4 Continents for a few years now, Hong Kong, Uruguay, Denmark, USA, have residences in both Uruguay, FL, have disclosed financial accounts HK, Uruguay, USA, Denmark, have documentation so I might live in either Uruguay or USA, like gold investments in all of these places, I work on net so can work from Antarctica and have while on a ship.

  • woodyf

    Living in a nanny state that spends like a drunken sailor to buy even more power is more than worrisome. It’s downright frightening. Anyone who is not now actively pursuing ways to diversify their risks is way behind the eight ball. We all have limitations – chains that bind – but we all can do something to improve our chances and reduce our exposure to statist threats and economic upheaval. When the wounded, dying beast begins to flounder and thrash about I don’t want to be trapped in the same room with it. Give me space and other rooms to choose.

  • Georges

    I live in Philippines, runing my internet business with customers mostly in west europe with a company in HK. I have accident insurance from US despite I’m chinese. I just begin buy gold. Sure, I learn my lesson about multiple flags.

  • Peter

    The concept of making “universal choices” is an exciting one. It opens the world for consideration, rather than just one or two. My own choices are to complete my six flags and move to do the work I love. Fortunately, my lady is totally onboard with me and looks forward, as do I, to moving more fully into choices with permit greater freedom, greater success, greater friendships and a sense of adventure too long missing from my life.

    I am revamping my Spanish, looking at three South American countries as my base. And looking forward to expanding my circle of friends, both personally and in business.

    I am qualified to make Aliyah and get my Israeli passport as an early step. I’ve already made the contacts necessary. Shortly I plan to take a couple of months and visit the three SA countries to get my boots on the ground. Just thinking about that trip gets the juices running.

    As has been quoted, “Freedom begins between the ears”. I’ve practiced it in most of my personal life for decades. Now I am going to expand it further still. Though in my 60s, this is the beginning of an entirely new life. I look forward to meeting many here on my journey.
    While these things may

  • Ravensfury

    Universal choice means not being constrained by one’s current occupation and/or geography. When faced with the choice between safety/security and the risk that comes with foregoing such for the potential of greater opportunity elsewhere, it means having the courage to step out of one’s comfort zone and walk the line in search of greater reward.

  • Lisa

    You’re right that being flexible and moveable is necessary in a Time of Turmoil. My experiences over the last 20 years suggest that business, financial, medical, immigration are moving towards becoming pretty much the same across countries. Though not there yet.
    I’m looking forward to reading more of your experiences and suggestions on planting mulitple flags.

  • Rmitre

    To my way of thinking universal choice is based on the ability to look at the fact of life without running them through a filter that has been provided by mainstream culture, family and education conditioning or personal bias and expectations. This not easy to do since we are mostly encouraged to fit in and do the right thing as we have been taught. To that end our independent choices may not produce the results we expect so we must be vigilant in understanding what drives our thought process and decisions so that we don’t judge ourselves against mainstream standards. Most of the universal choices I made deal with saying what I think even if could lead to career limitations and another is taking on projects or creating projects and work effort that got to the root cause of the issue even though the boss and the boss’s boss didn’t wish to put the effort into important work that could positively impact the results of core work processes and the expansion of new skills and abilities. These things can be applied in any work situation in any country but they are not without risk to the initiator. The other universal choice has to do with investments made and changed- such as the sale of real estate prior to breakdown of prices in the fall of 2006. When I took this action people who bet everything on the appreciation of real estate thought I had loose screws in my head. I pressed ahead and well they have a very different opinion of my action as several of these individuals went bankrupt.

  • JTapiador


    My universal choice was always NOT to immediately trust what is told or taught to me by authorities. I live in the Philippines, an emerging economy, but faced with horrendous poverty. My experience with government and media showed their ususal duplicity and hidden agenda in major issues to the detriment of our society as a whole.

    As a result, 10% of the population have already done steps to work or reside abroad. Others are processing their documents for foreign travel. Others are too poor to go out or have little means to extricate themselves from filial obligations. Others prefer to stay here because of opportunities, while a courageous minority are trying to make a difference.

    Whichever way they go, most of my countrymen are not blind to the ways of government, media, and criminal enterprises, because we already made the universal choice of becoming reliant on our own understanding of the world without having to fully accept what authorities say.

  • Robert

    It’s inspiring to see so many great posts. I think it’s important to adopt the right mind set / philosophy. I stumbled across lewrockwell.com a couple of years ago which turned me on to your site and many other libertarian like sites. Ayn Rands books Atlas shrugged and the Fountainhead particularly changed my views on a lot of things. I would recommend them to anyone who hasn’t read them.
    I have reallocated a majority of my savings into physical gold and silver and open up a foreign bank account. I am also teaching myself Chinese. I think China will play a major role in the years to come and it will help to know the language. I plan on setting a business and second source of income, I have a couple of ideas I am pursuing.
    Look forward to see your new premium site.

  • t726222

    Gr8 post Simon,

    My universal choices would be:

    1> Keep Gold instead of fiat currency
    2> Acquire a farm land (from ex urban, sub-urban or urban) to ensure food is always on the table
    3> Plant multiple flags

  • MC

    My present universal choice is to not try and compete with all these varied, fantastic examples. I will just have to pay for mine.

  • MichaelSea

    My present universal choice is to not try and compete with all these varied and fantastic examples. I guess I’ll just buy mine.

  • http://biosphericresonance.com Nicole

    I’m a single mom who does not rely on ANY government “services”. My universal choice is to rethink everything and design my own way of living life with blatant disregard of the conventional systems. To keep on developing my range of useful skills both in width and depth and make a living using them to help others get more out of their lives.
    Spent most of my life (all but the first and last 5 years) outside the US, always loved traveling and learning from the different perspectives of different people all over the world. Looking to leave the US again ASAP as it’s becoming more stifling and totalitarian by the day, and find a nice new frontier.

  • Abcdstev

    For now I would simply like to get on with financial independence overseas wise. For what you say as to “Universal Choices” I would simply agree with what your already touting and as I like to put it …disagreeing with the masses, the general think…chronically!

  • http://biosphericresonance.com Nicole

    I’m a single mom who doesn’t rely on ANY government “services”.
    My universal choice is to design my life entirely my own way, with blatant disregard for the conventional systems.To keep developing my range of useful skills both in width and depth and use them to make a living helping other people to get the most out of their lives.
    I’ve spent most of my life (all but the first and last 5 years) outside the US. Always loved to travel and learn from the different perspectives of different people all over the world.
    Looking to leave the US agin ASAP, as it’s getting more stifling and totalitarian by the day, and find a nice new frontier somewhere.

  • Panamared

    Sounds like soybeans and cattle in the Cerrado region of Brazil. For me Brazil is the only choice. I have already planted family flags. My wife and children are Ukrainian.

  • poleng

    I think my basic universal choice has been to be my own advocate, taking responsibility for outcomes of decisions I’ve made. When things don’t make sense, question them. Challenge sources of advice, guidance, or direction, even if those sources can cause you trouble.

    These themes seem to be prevalent in the writings of yours I have read. They will be indispensable characteristics for successful navigation fo the Age of Turmoil.

    I have appreciated your e-mails, they have been a great help in helping me determine what I want and the scope of the resources available to make it happen.

  • Bon Voyage

    After reading Simon for about 3 months, my first universal choice came about 3 weeks ago. As a single dad, with a 14 year old son enrolled to start at the local high school, our current life all started to feel a bit off-balance. Simon’s blog had clearly struck a nerve. I would find myself talking back to the monitor as if in rapt conversation. His musings put into clear focus what had been percolating just below the surface for quite some time. So, on the day we were supposed to attend freshman orientation, and with his complete support, I unenrolled my son from the local high school and enrolled him in an online school. My job, gratefully, is also 95% online, and so we are now scheduled, starting next month, to spend most of his freshman year overseas, in Spain, France, Amsterdam, and even 6 weeks in Kuala Lumpur (all via Home Exchange, which makes it affordable). My siblings are a bit incredulous, yet polite. Hell, I’m a bit incredulous and yet at the same time, my son and I are very excited. I’ve always jokingly said that you should never let school get in the way of a good education. Mow, we’ll see. And of course, while overseas, I will be researching those flag-planting opportunities. Wish us luck.

  • Jbawdensmith

    My universal choice was to learn how the mind works, how to connect to universal consciousness/infinite potential, let go of any limiting beliefs and create my own reality.

  • Rowena

    From leaving high school and not going to university, I conformed and became the good employee and went to work for someone else. Come to think of it, we never ever were encouraged to go out and become self employed or entrepreneurial, but to just not make waves and not rock the boat. Nor were we taught how to invest or become financially independent. Office work didn’t cut it so tried factory work, farmng jobs, but went back to offices, then court reporting, then personal assistant, then left corporate altogether. Always knew that something was wrong, moved countries, got into sales, then had my own sales company, then moved countries again, New Zealand to U.S. then back to New Zealand where I am now. From having my own business I have learned how to become independent and am in the process of starting a new business natural health related which will not only help people but could become lucrative and also will develop it to where I can travel wherever I want. It has been an interesting ride, unfortunately I discovered the latter part about 40 years too late. I rent a house, have an organic garden, take in international students, work part time and plan to start my new venture as well now. From a 2-bedroom apartment in Hollywood to a 3-bedroom home in New Zealand I have found a peace at being more in touch with nature and seeing new life grow now that spring is here. I am more grounded here and can think more clearly about what I want and what I will do. I do plan on moving again, but will do so with my new enterprise, and will definitely be looking at planting another flag or two probably in Chile or Argentina. I have learned to enjoy my current environment, and have fond memories of my years in the U.S. but left in 2008. At 65 years of age I am looking forward to my next adventure and with such empowering knowledge here from Simon and then reading the comments of others, perhaps we need to have a long weekend somewhere where we can all meet and discuss our ideas and successes! I do not take any pharmaceutical drugs, eat foods from local farmers markets, and have stopped buying things that are not really needed.
    The Sovereign Man website is truly inspirational and I look forward each day to learning more and more so I can be educating myself and others around me.

  • Alex Nordach

    In 1992 I left America permanently to make my home in Japan. I now speak/read/write Japanese fluently, which gives me a skill (translating) that I can use in lots of places. I now own my own business, which makes it easy for me to keep my salary below the $85K or so that is the current exemption for expats. So I haven’t paid much tax to the US in quite a while. Banks in three countries, gold at home, having people (those types who are happiest letting someone else take the “risks”) work for me instead of the other way around… These are all choices that have made my life considerably freer than it was 20 years ago. Most everything I do can be counted as a business expense one way or another, and in Japan you don’t have to actually make money for a certain number of years like in the USA. So my personal expenses are very few, but in the meantime I put everything on a credit card to rack up mileage points and take nice vacations with my wife. Meanwhile, a new online venture is starting to pay off with passive income. It’s not a bad way to go, but there are still more improvements to make. Next on the list is buying farmland somewhere cheap but productive.

  • Rjones1776

    One of the best things that I did was to start a corporation in tax free Nevada.
    It allowed me to walk the John Rockefeller’s advice walk.
    “Own nothing, control everything”

    This corporation able to grow a portfolio from less than $100,000 to more than $1,400,000,
    at the same time that I was personally declared officially uncollectible by the IRS because I owned nothing except some clothing and some toiletries.
    Because of the IRS harassment,
    it was impossible to have any personal money.
    The corporation simply billed for my services. I received nothing.
    As I was usually out of town,
    the corporation paid for all living expenses.
    The corporation’s Cadillac was always available.

    This is so simple that a cave man could do it.
    Why are 99% of the people not doing this?
    They are either ignorant, that is they don’t know any better,
    or they are resistant to doing anything outside of the herd.

    Where did the $100,000 seed money come from?

    The corporation billed the client, not me.
    There was no payroll, therefore no payroll deductions.
    With that difference there was something to invest.
    When one finds a way to invest the money,
    which would otherwise have been deducted,
    one becomes a millionaire.
    This is clearly one of the choices that one can make.
    They will never tell you this in school.

    The Portfolio is currently in 1/3 gold, 1/3 cash, 1/3 energy stocks.

    Multiple flags.
    I am currently working on this.
    First I started a corporation in British Columbia without ever going to Canada.
    I am actively pursuing as second passport based on the birthplace of a grandparent.
    I have lawyers well paid. It is only a matter of time.

    By the way – In college I halfway paid attention when I took a course in Logic.
    The formal name of what we have been discussing is
    “The fallacy of the false alternative.”

    A closing By the way – After seven years the IRS will remove all leans and tell you are free to go, they will send you a formal letter saying that they quit.
    All you have to do is to have no money for seven years.
    It is called the “Statute of Limitations.”

    • 1toiletflusher

      Like your post, but one question, after 7 years is IRS proves Fraud “Statute of Limitations” Does Not apply, u might want to verify with your paid legal folk as I am just a toiletflusher and not an attorney and don’t give legal advice, if I did u might want to run from it. Take care and Buena Suere

  • Lisa

    My universal choice is to accept that I was born and that I will return from where I originated (all else is illusion). I have chosen, in this lifetime, to fight for freedom and justice for all. I have left the country of my birth (the US) because it hurt my soul. What a tragedy my country has become!

    If I had one thing to say to all of humanity, it would be… be fearless and fly — you own your Self.

    I care not for free subscriptions. Give me good wine and good conversation.


  • Andreas Holmes

    A “Universal choice” means to me something that is relevant to everyone. Here are some of the guidelines I have found useful:

    The things of greatest value are ultimately inside you and are part of who you are.

    The Universe is the true university, and we are here to learn and then to teach. Your simple presence is your first medium of exchange.

    When someone asks what I do for a living, I say “I don’t have a profession, I just do things. What do you need? I’ll either do it or help you find someone who can.”

    Three rules of the road:
    Observe the local customs;
    mind your manners;
    clean up after your camels.

    The best teachers are the ones who inspire you, support you without needing you, and consistently set you free. One of mine said, “I can’t teach you what I know, but I can make it as easy as possible for you to steal it from me.”

    Paying attention yields dividends. Attention plus natural intelligence will decode the meaning behind appearances.

    What you try to control will tie you down. In movement and change you will find a new understanding of balance and trust.

    Your life is your story, your novel, your movie, your statement. Make it meaningful, eloquent, rich, and generous.

  • James

    I always strove for universal choices in my life, and in my early 20’s decided I was never going to sucker myself into a life where I worked a job for some corporation (or anyone) and confine myself to a lifetime of living on someone else’s schedule and by someone else’s rules. So I tried my hardest to be self-reliant and dabbled in small businesses—always working for myself even if it meant having a little less money.

    I dreamt of going traveling overseas, but like most people I kept telling myself that my time to roam the world would come when I was financially secure. A reasonable thought but limiting in its own right. I was doing pretty good for myself—had a landscaping business going and had returned to university at 28 to study international business so I could learn about business opportunities overseas—was starting to dabble in real estate a little.

    Then I took the summer off to travel and study in Europe. When I came back, my life was thrown in a turmoil. I was welcomed home by a series of death threats on my telephone from members of a major criminal organization in the states who had decided I stole something from them.

    I was attacked in a nightclub where I used to work by three men and bloodied one of their faces up pretty good but my own eye was swelled shut and now these people were angrier than ever. It turned out to all be a misunderstanding over text messages sent at the worst possible time to a girl I had a casual relationship with before leaving to Europe (she was dating one of them now), but even after a couple phone calls it was obvious these men were not going to reason with the obvious fact that they had the wrong guy and were set on extorting me for a bunch of money I did not have.

    According to their principles, it was my responsibility to clear my own name even as their reasons for suspecting me crumbled.

    I spent 5 days in a motel room with a pistol in my hand, waiting to be able to see out of my left eye again, and they were threatening to kill me and my family. I wouldn’t tell anyone where I was. I didn’t go to the police because I didn’t think they could help me with these people. It appeared my limiting choice was to kill or be killed—and even if it was the former I was afraid my family would be drug into it and seriously hurt.

    Then suddenly I saw another way.

    I’d always wanted to leave America anyways—this was an opportunity to embrace my dreams if I decided to make my own choice about what it all meant and reject the situation these men had given me. So I snuck into my own home, packed a backpack full of clothes and my passport, and then I had my brother pick me up at the hotel where I was hiding. He dropped me off about 5 hours away from the home I grew up in, we shared a couple beers, and then I threw my bag over my shoulder and headed out to see the world.

    It’s been two years now and I’m going strong here in Southeast Asia. Ran out of money a few times but learned to build an income online. It could be better, but I see a world of universal choices around me. I wrote my first novel since I hit the road and have all kinds of other projects going—in the end it was the best thing that ever happened to me and threw me into the life I always wanted.

    As for those men who came into my world and tore it apart, they are all dead or in prison now—victims of limiting choices of their own construction.

    But me I am free and far away, watching America cave in on itself from abroad. Still, after all this time, I feel no attachment to the borders I was born within, and it always struck me as insane to accept the ideas and rules of a government that never asked me if I wanted to participate.

    My universal choice is to keep pushing for even greater self reliance and build a life that can never trap me or my family—to find security not by chaining myself to one location and ducking my head down but by achieving financial and location independence.

    Thanks for your newsletters, Simon—you are an inspiration for me and an example of where I ultimately want to be.

  • Brawat

    Being in good health will help face challenges. One of the keys to good health is sound nutrition, and one of the keys to sound nutrition is fasting.

    Fast to prosperity.

  • Capitain

    Simon;14 years ago we planted a flag in Nova Scotia on the Atlantic. Since then we built a new cottage year by year it is done now and we spend the summers there. We are continuing our quest and looking into Andorra now. What are your thoughts.
    From Texas.

  • Hopkinson

    My basic plan is to escape ameriKa for one of several possible Latin American lands, depending on which one my de-facto family of real-world truth-seekers finally identifies as best, and spend every day writing books, articles, columns, letters, screenplays and music on socio-political reality, suppressed history etc. — based on 23 years as freedom activist and researcher.

  • Caroline

    British 47 year old living in Spain for 5 years.
    *I have learnt to lose possessions, they are just visible baggage.
    *Choose to talk to people from everywhere (even with sign language you can have a great conversation). Spain is a melting pot of expats from Europe, Africa and South America. Talk about the taboo subjects with an open mind, its amazing what you learn, and how people from outside your social group view you and your kind.
    *Choose to face your fears, your fear of speaking a new language is nothing compared to constant threats from your, what was once a very friendly bank/mortgage lender.
    *Chose to sort your own pension, dont rely on the products advertised in the high-street.
    *Chose to view the NEWS and media as a children’s story teller, interesting but fantasy.
    *Watch people, societies, and countries, learn their history.

    Once someone told me look for the open doors, and I could never see them, I spent years looking for them. Now, I cant keep up, and the trouble is deciding which ones to go through. Hugs, Caroline

  • Ken

    We are entering the “Age of Turmoil” because what one nation does now affects many. We are all a part of a Universal community. So I turn to the Universe to guide me to self reliance. My gut feeling guided me to this web site months ago, it guided me to invest in gold, to keep informed and be ready for anything. Becoming more and more intuned to my gut feelings, or inner guidance, will better directly me to my next step. This is why I feel that I am more aware of what is going on with the economy and government than my friends. This is my key to being self reliant; being open to anything and doing what needs to be done as a result.

  • Taylor White

    Great job on the article and question – a lot of responses so far.

    It would be important to solve the first – most important item. How are you going to support yourself when you internationalize?

    This is the most important question – regardless of how “cheap” it may be to live, or travel to, where it is you like.

    You need money – whether it is from savings, real estate rentals, online business, bar owner…whatever.

    Then it is important to move whatever money you have outside the country in which you were born – or are coming from. I am assuming for most on this blog – its the States. So foreign bank account.

    Next, you need to sell all your “stuff” back home, give it away, or take it with you. You need to NOT have a storage unit full of junk you “may” need in the future.

    Next you need to see about getting a second citizenship or passport to be able to travel on, open banks accounts in, etc.

    Past these steps, you are on your way, and can figure out the rest as you go.


  • http://www.ReferencePointTherapy.com Simon from Vanuatu

    You don’t need to be rich or anyone special to plant multiple flags and win your freedom. You don’t need to know a lot or spend years preparing. You can do it, now. If you are reading this in the USA or Australia or similar nation, what are you waiting for? Make your own universal choice: This applies to me.

    I’m not rich (yet) but I’m smart enough to read the writing on the wall. I can smell the oncoming storm. That’s why my wife and I just moved from Australia to Vanuatu. As soon as we finalize residency we are free from the tax man. I’m also applying for a Polish passport by ancestry using the lawyer Simon recommended.

    My point is simple: don’t sit at home thinking “this isn’t for me,” “that (doomsday scenario) will never happen to me” or “I could never afford that.” The simple fact is that planting multiple flags is probably cheaper than the status quo. You will live better, longer and safe and SAVE MONEY by changing now.

    The universal choice that matters is: I can do this.

    Thanks Simon for your great blog.

    Simon from Vanuatu

  • Clement

    I am still in college, but one and a half year ago, I realized that children and students were taught to continue this crumbling system.

    I am starting to protect myself with these ways:

    learning about legal entities and setting up LLCs in USA even though I am a singaporean.

    I make money online through websites and paid traffic so that my money earning capabilities is not bounded by a job.

    Learning, attending, reading lots of financial education advice and learning how to protect myself and profit in the ensuing depression. I used to play great offense, but I learnt that playing a good defense is highly important too. I need a guarantee, and not just hope.

    My ultimate goal is financial freedom. The definition of it is my ability to have choices. The plan is to have multiple streams of income protected by WY LLCs or nevada LLCs.

    I am still learning. And this is what I got up far.

  • Jo

    For big choises in my life I usually do the exact opposite of what my parents tell me to. They are conservative, baby boomers and generally follow the other sheep in the pack. They’re the kind of people who get into the stock market when it’s near its peak. Who work their whole lives for a company in the hope the government will give them a pension one day. etc.

    Against their advice I studied economics, while I never had economics classes in high school. I became self employed and rented an apartment instead of buying one like they wanted me to do.

    The next universal choice I am trying to fulfill is moving to Brazil. I see so many opportunities in my industry there, I have to get there, no matter what. I’m confident that I’ll make it, it’s just a matter of time. And if I fail there, at least I’ll have tried it and I wouldn’t have to blame myself later. (And if I get poor in the process, at least I’ll have an awesome story to tell! :)

  • Knowledge Is Golden

    I grew up on a farm all my early life and was an only child. The influences I had were parents, school, church and a TV set that droned all the fantasy “life is all a bed of roses – the government is here to protect you” type of programming of the 50s and 60s. There have been key events at different years in my life span that have steered me towards an alternate life style compared to most of my fellow Americans.
    My first turning point experience I have in common with many of you. My father taught one thing, but sometimes was not able to practice what he taught. I grew up Catholic and believed that the world was actually the way my schooling said it should be. This included monogamy in marriage. When father was discovered to have another companion besides my mother, it tore into my illusion of the way I was taught the world operated. Little did I know that that was just the beginning of adult reality and that my early childhood illusions were to experience a few more shocks before I would wake up.
    The next event was a direct experience with Uncle Sam. The Vietnam Era taught me once and for all not to trust authority. What they told the American public about that war compared to what was actually happening are two separate and different stories.
    Again the authority figures in my life lied to me and did opposite of what they said was the right thing. Mind you, this was the early 70s, and the deceit has only grown. I’m not bitter about these events (and others that we don’t have time for in this essay) but I am a changed person for it. I have altered my life style from what I believed would be my American dream.
    I now have a Dutch wife that I met while sailing my homemade boat south to Mexico. We spent years sailing the Sea of Cortez in the 90s and living close to the earth and the simple life with a more relaxed culture. We moved to the Caribbean where I worked and we sailed for four years. We then moved to Europe where she worked for a few years. I would live with her for about six months and then come back to the states and work to gather enough money for the next six months of Europe. We took bus trips from that European home base to surrounding towns and cities to add to our impression of that region.
    We have an apartment in Capetown, South Africa that we acquired six years ago and is rented and under property management. This is what we consider to be our bail out country if things get dicey here in America. It is also our retirement haven if we don’t “make it big” money wise here in the US. The Rand is 7 to 1 exchange rate in South Africa, so taking our US savings and living there in SA is a viable alternative to possible social security in eight years time till my retirement.
    I have a bank account in Austria, South Africa and British Channel Islands. The Channel Islands is where Gold Money keeps their customers holding account before you give Gold Money the go ahead to convert your dollars to gold. It’s easy to move money off shore once you have the accounts established. As long as the accounts have been reported to Uncle Sam, you can continue to export your cash offshore with the minimum fear of being branded a problem to be investigated. It’s much better than hiding the accounts and having to physically transport the cash or metals secretly through borders. That approach puts all sorts of restrictions on timing and costs involved; as well as the emotional, paranoia associated with the stealth approach. Uncle Sam is bound to find out about your accounts, so you might as well follow the laws as best as you can and concentrate on the more important aspects of life.
    I have been greatly influenced by the writings of Doug Casey and Simon Black; Bob Bauman and Mark Nestmann; Dan Denning and Robert Prechter; The Sovereign Society and International Living.
    So there you have just a few of the ways I have choose to change my life style from the way we as Americans have been / are being taught life is or should be. I have also included a few personal experiences to illustrate what headed me off in this other direction.
    At the moment, I am waiting for the final contract from an International Oil Services company to go to work in Peru for a ten week assignment. This is another change that I am adapting to. For thirty years I have been able to get all my employment here in California. Now, after one year of unemployment, I find that I must travel to other lands to trade my labor for money.

    • Sarah Libero

      I gotta say… keep staying sovereign!

  • Conrad

    Lots of good comments/observations here…

    Having worked on Wall Street back in the early 70’s as an over-the-counter trader (now called a “Nasdaq market maker”) I was making serious dough. But the job had it’s “rough edges”…if you think Wall Street is not the most ethical place now, you should have seen it then!
    Anyway, I longed for a change – I asked myself what I really wanted. At that time, it was beautiful scenery, ocean, year round sunshine and lots of pretty girls. I gave up a lucrative Wall Street career and moved to Hawaii, working as a store manager in Waikiki for 10 years. When my instinct told me it was time to consider a move, I came back to New York, and worked until retirement this year, in the music business – (another love of mine) I didn’t make alot of money, but we ( my wife and I) did all the things we wanted to and then some.
    My moral? – try to listen to yourself – find out what you really want, and prepare for it. The world system as we know it, is changing, but too many people will be to “closed” to accept this. Look not only with your eyes, but your instinct as well….

  • http://twitter.com/Showa50 Brian

    The biggest universal change to my life has been media based. I’ve learned to listen to other people that you wouldn’t see on any of the “Big Networks” on TV or hear on the radio. Opening my mind to others has really changed my life.
    I believe I’ve always had an open-mind when listening to new ideas, but going out and searching for new people to listen to has been wonderful.

  • Yakeen88

    yes, it is not easy at the moment, fear is creeping in; trusting oneself seems like the only way…because this movement I am witnessing in those newsletters here and there is essentially very individualistic, and I must say, quite materialistic (well, american, sorry to say). It is not like I feel that there is a force (apart from the one of letting go of illusions, which is admirable, but not enough in my opinion) that brings us into a ideal, a gathering (other than ideas, which is quite good, but not enough…). Well, I do not really know what I am dreaming of, but yes, a kind of hippie movement without the dope, materially concerned but not obsessed with it, with some worthy leaders maybe like you Simon, where nobody feels unworthy but where shitheads are not welcome. Not again one of those big country clubs that are stemming everywhere (well, I live in Cafayate!) Basically, I dream of a country, yes, a small country where we would all mette, a Utopia let s say. It sounded silly before, but not so much now, that is where the wealthy rebels would come in, they could buy it and we could make it a beautiful place to live. Well , there is so much to say…
    About me, french, 50 years old, lived overseas 30 years, as I said, like a king and like a bum, and now I have an hotel, which I started before the estancia starts. I am sure some good stuff will come out of it, interesting people, some bad things as well, prices up etc… So yes, I have double nationality but no gold yet he hehe….thanks for the free newsletter, a bientot

  • Gilbert B

    Every human being has a God-given right to choose. The freedom to choose his own decisions by free-will or by default. Take his freedom to choose and you take away his soul.

    Like you Simon, I always keep my mind & heart open to new ideas and concepts. It liberates me to see that the world is not a pie that when a person takes a slice, you have less. I take a slice of learning from every person and learn from them.

    I think every person should strive to acquire wisdom and knowledge and understanding of the world around him. From these virtues, we can never run out of.

  • C.P.

    For myself there have been two significant choices. The first was to get off of the political merry go round and start to examine and think for myself, and not to align myself with any particular group of people just because they have an elephant or a donkey on their banners.

    The second, and most important, was to make that crucial and difficult first step and open my first offshore account. My assets are not great by anyones standards, however they are mine. I am sure many of us here are thinking and dreaming about what were going to do. Making that first step, no matter how small, and starting the momentum is probably the most important thing you can do right now.

  • Debra

    Unlike many other Sovereign Man readers, I’m firmly entrenched in the limiting choices lifestyle. I recently found my way to Sovereign Man and look forward to each day’s article. In my heart I’ve always been a nonconformist but followed the limiting choices path as a way of becoming financially stable/independent. A few years ago I began paying attention to my inner voice…..which was saying: “is this it?”….and I’ve come to the horrifying realization that I’ve been climbing the wrong ladder all these years. Extricating myself from my current lifestyle is (highly) complicated by the fact that my spouse who I believe (though a highly intelligent man) is absolutely petrified to even consider that the America our parents and grand-parents lived in no longer exists……because he has mapped out the remainder of his life based on those ideals. So, I’ve started down the path of doing what I can to make myself less dependent upon or a victim of our government (assuming I will never leave the U.S.)…… This involves stocking up on food, water, ammunition, etc.; moving investments to gold, commodities, etc.; being extremely proactive about my health to prevent chronic illnesses/disease which would make me overly dependent on the government run healthcare system; researching foreign bank accounts; etc. I fret that I am beginning this process 20 years late….but am very thankful for Simon and his articles….and look forward to additional information and suggestions that I can incorporate into my life. Thank you Simon!

  • Casper

    My universal choices in life have been influenced by my very need to explore, learn, and simply put enjoy life as i want to.

    The choice became very clear when i decided at the age of 19 to move to the USA from the Netherlands to attend University. I said to myself in order to enjoy life i have to make one choice:

    1. Generate substantial income passivley or by doing something i enjoy which permits me the freedom to live the way i see fit.

    I asked myself, how the hell was i going to achieve such a feet. To get started i would have to copy and paste examples from other people who were having this 4hour work week i was looking for! I would have to make mistakes and learn fast.

    Well over the years of moving around the world (Miami, Amsterdam, Saigon, Bangkok, Singapore, Santiago-Chile, Melbourne, Australia) i developed a mental check list of safe steps to take in order to achieve the lifestyle i wanted for my family and i.

    Funny enough i have never actually put pen to paper, so after reading your latest article, i decided that the list deserved to be published for those of you seeking a way on how to exercise and make your choices a reality when it comes to playing the globetrotting game (with family too if you so choose to).

    Well, here´s how:

    STEP 1: Pick a country you would like to live in for a few years (3 years is not too short nor too long).

    STEP 2: Verify that the country chosen does not have double taxation treaties with your country of origin. This is bad for your pocket especially if you’re an American citizen and have to pay income tax regardless of where you are working (this is not entirely true as there are exotic legal/financial methods of avoiding this, but for the sake of this recipe I’ll presume the reader has never left the country for work purposes). If you come from a country that gives the possibility become a non resident citizen then you can avoid paying taxes all together. Netherlands is one of these countries!

    STEP 3: Take inventory of your job skills, update your CV and search for work within the country of choice.

    To read the whole list for free just copy and paste the link below into your browser. No need to sign up for anything!


    Casper Teerink


  • JLush

    My career path has lead me down the classical rode. As I finish my fourth year of college at a music school I look around and realize that in my generation, not only the economic scene will change as Simon puts it, but also the musical scene. Being a classical musician, I see many older people at concerts, but surprisingly I see a lot of young people too. There isn’t as much in the middle however. I’ve realized my music needs to reach out to people and engage them. In the age where pop culture feeds light music and two minute songs there is never any satisfaction to listening to them. It’s a mild comfort and entertainment, but not a powerful emotional statement. If people can be shown the depth and invest some emotion to classical music, the returns are exponentially satisfying.

    I also realize that I need to then create most of my own work promoting my own concerts, organizing them not to mention performing at a high level. With this I plan to teach english abroad for temporary steady income in Asia, then try and establish a performing classical music group in their growing economies. At the very least it will give me experience in a new country and culture while hopefully exposing me to overseas investment and other expats. So far it is a loose plan but I feel I have some time to plan still.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1947741 Andreas Decker

    I really enjoy your attitude Simon. I feel a bit paralyzed by the uncertainty of the future and the many options available once yo abandon the preset templates you describe. I am starting to develop an internet biz that hopefully will make me much more mobile. Coming from the B2B world of face2face relationships this is a bit of an adjustment and I do feel like I am abandoning some of my already-developed skills but then again maybe that won’t matter in the Age of Turmoil. Like the idea of planting some flags in South/Central America and investing in gold/silver. When trying to pin down specifics I get a little unsettled though. I guess since our Masters are forcing us into this giant casino we need to play our hand however.

  • Ram DAss

    The most important choice is to think about where you will be on December 21st 2012 when the Giant Nephilim God’s return with Nibiru.

  • pokey

    When I had to leave a job I loved because of disability (and before all the REAL financial mess happened), I rolled my 401K into a self directed IRA. People told me it was crazy, illegal, etc. Then I bought a house in Italy inside the IRA. Again I heard it was nuts and, in a way, I feared it might be too. But now that all the craziness has happened, it offers me a lot of comfort to know that if things keep getting worse, I have another place to go to escape the madness.

    • Maverick

      Hi Pokey,
      Where in Italy did you buy and how much property tax do you have to pay?


    My reality is that future prosperity and survival do not depend on material aspects of life, but on spiritual only, and that spiritual does not mean any “religion” that has been around for hundreds of years.

    I know the criteria for recognizing this new spirituality, but I also know that “man” is implanted with compulsions to deny these truths, so only small glimpses will be convincing.

    My first small glimpse is: “Do not invalidate yourself, you are far more powerful than you think.”

    There are many more glimpses of the criteria you should use to find and use the new spirituality…

    Karl Loren

  • http://biosphericresonance.com Nicole

    Apologies for my double comment last night – it seems to take many hours for comments to appear on the site, and there is nothing to indicate whether or not a comment has been received at the other end after clicking the post button. So I thought my comment might have been lost due to a bad internet connection or something.

  • Herbert Wathan

    I agree that we should think more about the age of turmoil. In 2007, I purchased a house and small lot in my wife’s town in the Philippines. I got some grief from my parents but now I am glad to have a place to go if things get really bad here. Like Simon mentioned, having land means you can grow food for yourself. It also means having some security.
    I think more about selling my house and becoming debt free so that I will be prepared for the future.

  • Marlin

    I think this post will see a large array of comments which point out specific questions. In light of this I would like to, instead, comment on things which will assist a person in making the move away from limiting decisions on the whole.

    The first issue for most people seems to be to cease the digestion of predigested information, or to at least to consider it heavily before taking it to heart. In my current country of residence(The USA) it is commonplace for people to spend endless hours per day absorbed in various media sources.

    I think that the most unfortunate part about this is that it is usually done to distract themselves. Consciously unaware of the gaping void they feel in their life they subconsciously run from dealing with it by trying to bury as much of their time as possible. Most seem to die before they realize that no matter how hard they try they will not be able to escape themselves and their decisions.

    In this state of desperately reaching for a distraction the things which are consumed are taken in without any conscious thought. This same desire to escape themselves spreads also into the rest of their life.

    People seem to endlessly complain of their positions of employment and yet they crack when they aren’t there. They are once again faced with that gaping void that they hid from by being ‘busy’ for years. When the distractions are no longer available people are often seen spiraling downward as they cling to vices in an attempt to subvert themselves in a new way.

    The way out of this will be different for everyone. With close observation and dedicated thought, however, one can see that if you are to truly separate yourself from the predigested information, the ‘limiting choices’, that we are going to have to cease to rely on them for stability.

    Let us move past our addiction to being instructed.

    I agree with Simon. Let us Make Our Own Decisions. I propose we “Define Our Own Reality.”

  • Becca

    Wow, so many great comments on this entry!

    Simon, thanks for your daily newsletter. It has lots of great information and inspiration, and I’m looking forward to the more detailed/practical advice in your premium service!

    You mentioned a seminar you gave for European young people lately. Any chance you might make that content available to young people from other places or who missed it, at some point? (I’m 26.) Sounds like an invaluable resource!

    As far as my Universal Choices…

    I choose my own values instead of accepting those belonging to the culture in which I was born.

    I’m a Californian who believes that people, friends, family, and being present in the moment are more important than accomplishments and wealth and acts accordingly.

    I want my transportation to provide exercise so get around the Bay Area largely by a combination of bicycle and Caltrain (it’s better to spend my time reading or working than driving!)

    I disagree with the unspoken American consensus that ‘America is the freest country in the world’ and am not afraid to start discussions on the issue.

    I studied in England for three years so I have a number of connections there and dear friends all over the world.

    I’m working on figuring out where to plant my flags… I have an offshore bank account with and English bank and an account with BullionVault.

    I’ve visited a number of countries but haven’t yet been to South America or Asia. I’m planning to take a trip in 2011 to visit, for the first time, countries and areas recommended as places to establish residency, gain citizenship, live and invest, so that I can find out what suits me, and have a bit of adventure and fun along the way! I wonder if we can put together a group of young people who subscribe to your newsletter who are interested in doing the same, and make the trip together?

    I am in the process of learning from some professional writers how to successfully write for magazines, so that I’ll have another option for a fun job I can do anywhere in the world. I can also trade – and I find it easier to trade in a market that opens hours after I wake up, so trading US stocks from Europe has been a great model for me.

    • Christinelouise52

      It’s a great idea to form a group of like-minded young people to exchange ideas and experiences and maybe travel and do other projects together.


  • ES

    Dear Simon,

    I cannot but agree regarding that individuals must recognize the only limitation are the ones one accepts from a system that has the most to gain.

    One of the first things is to recognize and utilize your own individual compass for determining your own direction. A qoute from Nelson Mandela is “I am the Captain of my ship and the Master of My fate”.

    Second, is Questioning the systems (Government & Large Corporation) institutions. Which are certainly motivated and promoting self serving interests.

    Third, is to recognized the invisible shackles used by the system providing information designed to create the perceptions of limitations. Whether it is patriotism to having large amounts of cash that is considered money laundering, looked at as some source of illegal gains, or look around and see absurd laws creating an environment that everyone is break a law.

    Fourth, is to look beyond the limited information telling one what not to do and see or find the information and resources that provides one with information to make the choice not to be locked down by any government. As repeatedly stated in Simon Blacks newsletter and other sources.

    Wishing everyone the best in finding their way!

  • Joe

    Often I understood the concept of self-reliance. Today, my grandparents who live a self-reliance are not on Earth anymore. I asked my parents what do they know about. They are victim of government propaganda and a baby boomer.

    I find myself baffled and frustrated. I lacked of someone who can be my mentor and guidng me to an unlimited choices. There are plenty of limiting choices but scarce of unlimited choices.

    We are living in a generation of giving a bad choice and get freak out if the good choice emerges.

    • Sarah Libero

      I agree totally!

  • Steve Perkinson

    Hi Simon,

    I choose not to be a victim of high taxes and of present and increasing governmental interference of my life, and I definitely want to beat the masses before they rush in to buy driving up the current “give away prices” of choice international real estate. This Friday, I will depart for Cafayate, Ar., and intend to do more than “discuss the shape of the table”, regarding the construction of my bolt hole outside of the US. Furthermore, I plan to spend significant time there this northern winter establishing a banking relationship in nearby Brazil or Panama, and hopefully, having an introduction to a reputable lawyer and real estate agent as well. Besides enjoying the weather, fine wine and thick steaks, I will subscribe to an international cell phone provider and establish a foreign e-mail account. Perhaps, I will cross to Paraguay, venture deep into the country to search for property that I can purchase for $25.00/ acre.

    Steve Perkinson

  • http://www.facebook.com/corporatemagician Benjamin Corey Feinblum

    Magic is universal. Comedy is universal. Food is universal. Business is universal.

    I opened a medieval restaurant, summer camps, and perform all over the place as a magician/illusionist.

    I keep buying what people ran away from as a herd.
    I live a different schedule.
    When I shop there is no line at the grocery store, I never see rush hour traffic, and live an entirely different life on a different schedule.
    We have amazing recources in America. It is just that everyone tries to use them all at precisely the same time!

    Choose a route to be slightly out of step. Not contrarian.
    And amazing things happen!

  • http://www.facebook.com/corporatemagician Benjamin Corey Feinblum

    The choice is only a great one if you follow your passion and steer the rudder of your ship using your brain to keep it on course.

    Be the ‘passioneer’ of your life!

  • Robin Kete

    Hello, im from the Fiji Islands and its sad about what is going on around the world as what is unfolding in the US is also unfolding here in the Fiji Islands, i for one believed for a long time that the way of the world was the prosperity of the US, but now i do not believe it as it has been a deception, anyways i am greatly interested in your program of being really free to be able to come out and say that i am really free. – Thanks for being a champion of freedom the correct way

  • MightMouse

    In fall I moved to a state with no income tax, to a small town with practically zero crime. I work from home so I was free to do this. The first thing I do when I get my paycheck is I buy physical silver (I “pay myself first.”) I cut out Netflix, Massage Envy, and other monthly siphons attached to my wallet. I don’t have cable b/c I don’t need it. And I’m planning on putting some savings into foreign currencies. (A few things I’m doing.) This year my car will be paid off. I don’t plan to buy another one. I’ve learned to appreciate it–even though it’s a small, plain vehicle. I’ve put extra “care” into it lately to make sure I can get it to 200k or beyond. I plan to replace some more parts before an economic crisis sets in.

    The good news, is no matter what your means, there are things you can do. You can pick up 3 “extra” cans of food whenever you go to the store. (You’d be amazed how quickly that “stash” grows.) You forgo Starbucks lattes or Red Bulls + buy silver with the savings. You can buy, bit by bit, non-perishables, which will only go up in inflation. This is a great “investment.” (Razors, batteries, light bulbs, etc.) And you can cultivate relationships with like-minded folks.

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