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SOVEREIGN MAN

Multiple Flags Overview

Reporting from: Malaga, Spain

I do not have tremendous faith in world ‘leaders’ (as ridiculous a moniker as that is to use); last month’s debacle in Copenhagen only further underscored how perverse and ineffective the existing political process is, and everyone is really starting to see it.

The Social Contract is deteriorating rapidly, and in the end, the one thing that you can count on is that people will ultimately do what they perceive to be in their self-interest.  This is what drives markets and trends.

As the protracted effects of government stupidity become more apparent, one such trend that I see emerging this year is the rise of the sovereign individual– the rebirth of the multiple flags approach.

I’ve talked about this before and I wanted to start off the year with a quick primer since it is a recurring theme of this letter. To be more specific, I absolutely implore you to plant multiple flags as part of your New Year resolutions.

The idea, originally conceived by international finance guru Harry Schultz, suggests diversifying different aspects of your identity across multiple ‘flags,’ or geographic jurisdictions.

As an example, Schultz coined the term ‘three-flags’ in the 1960s, suggesting that an individual should have citizenship in one country, residence in another, and businesses in another.

Later authors expanded on this idea by adding other ‘flags,’ including places to bank, places to ‘play,’ places to house electronic assets, etc.

Many writers today talk about ‘five flags’ or ‘six flags,’ but frankly I don’t see a limit on the number of things we can diversify geographically: email, citizenship, residence, banking, brokerages, gold/silver deposits, business registration, e-commerce, customer base, phone/fax, financial instruments, postal mail, etc.

So what’s the point? Why should you do this?

Diversifying geographically increases your freedom, your privacy, your sovereignty, and potentially reduces your tax burden. It protects you against bank failures, market changes, litigation, divorce, overzealous governments, and “NGC’s” (non-government criminals).

Perhaps even more importantly, planting multiple flags expands your existing contact base and opens a lot of doors to new opportunities.

Think of it like a life insurance policy– even if the worst never happens, it gives you great peace of mind and in many cases can rank as a significant asset.

While everyone recognizes these benefits of life insurance, no one actually expects to die anytime soon… so they put shopping for a policy on the back burner, sometimes until it’s too late.

In this case, the time to start diversifying internationally and planting multiple flags is now… before it’s too late– before currency controls are imposed, before tax codes change, before the last remaining foreign banks close their doors to foreigners.

I could cite you examples all day long, but I will list just a few hypothetical cases–

  • Imagine getting sued, losing the case, and having your financial assets commandeered by the court. Now imagine if your assets were safely offshore in another country.
  • Imagine being investigated by the government and having your email archives turned over to the authorities. Now imagine if your email server were in another country.
  • Imagine being robbed (taxed) by the government because your business is structured within its jurisdiction. Now imagine if your business were registered in another country.
  • Imagine having everything in your home country taken from theft, coercion, and litigation. Now imagine having cash and gold locked away in a secure, private vault overseas.
  • Imagine the social decay in your city getting so bad that riots and violent crime are a common occurrence. Now imagine having property overseas.

I’m sure you get the idea. Putting your assets, your business, your citizenship, your residency, your family’s livelihood under one flag, one government, is putting all of your eggs in one very frail, weak basket.

Technology makes it incredibly easy to diversify, and I see more and more people waking up to that reality each day. It takes only moments to set up an offshore email account, a few minutes to lease a private vault, and just a couple of hours to set up a company in Singapore.

The possibilities are truly endless, you just need to find the right tools and the right flags that work for you. Yes, even if you are a US citizen who is taxed on worldwide income, there are still several options available to live a multiple flags lifestyle.

I will be discussing the options in future letters, as well as individual case studies.

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.

  • Dave

    I was inspired by your email privacy post awhile back and wanted to implement some of it. I still use a windows based computer and much of the documentation didn’t apply. Most of it is for Linux. So, I wrote an outline for windows that was fairly easy if you have just a few computer skills. I pieced it together from the other references. I thought other readers might find it helpful.
    http://www.docaltman.com/218/email-privacy/

    • worldlygirl

      You carefully explained how to download all these privacy sites, but neglected to say what they are geared for. Can you detail?
      Many thanks….WG

  • coni uzelac

    i am trying to diversify – one latin american country, two european countries, one in the eu and one not – but i am still 65% in the us – still difficult to completely cut the umbilical cord…we do go to europe for four-five months during the summer – we have a small ‘yacht’ there and we are planning to ship a camper van this spring (at age 70, this could be our last or next to last year to ‘tour the north countries)

    • http://none jen

      Hi – I am in Belize, born in England (no ties really), four kids in u.s. but not naturalized. Know what you mean about america, I cant get back because my green card expired and Homeland kept my reapplication for three years. I miss a lot of things in the U.S. symphony, Wendy’s, and the variety of life and quality which is not really here i n central america, that said U.S. scares me to death and I wish my kids would come down here but they wont are on the inevitable round wheel. take care, live free jen (74)

  • Peter R. Kennedy

    Have just read your no BS account according to Mr. Casey and found it most refreshing— so i’m looking forward to reading his reports Regards P.R. K.

  • SM Fan

    Simon- great article and very inspiring, though I donot know if I have the means to pull it off, not yet. I read something from Doug Casey recenly that echoed what you are saying- I know he used to do the same things that you do so it is good to see some re-enforcement. I truly appreciate all that you do, looking forward to more Glen

  • http://www.wanderingsalsero.net Art Williams

    Hi Simon: I just recently signed up for your site/newsletter. And yeah….I’m in total agreement with what you’re apparently saying about the appropriateness and almost necessity of multiple-flag living.

    I teach English in S.Korea now but I have no desire to go home. Frankly, I think the whole concept of ‘home’ is sometimes misunderstood. People are people wherever you go and, generally speaking, I think a person ought to be able to be happy almost anywhere. Certainly in any country that’s reasonably civilized.

    I’m 65, going on 30, and I’ve saved almost no money. Mind you…..I’m not complaining because I’ve certainly had some fun. And I’m a big believer in ‘strong 4th quarters’ :-) It ain’t over til it’s over!

    These last few years my vocational orientation has drifted more and more toward copywriting because my dream life style would be, just like yours, truly mobile and ‘no-base’.

    Anyway….also my compliments on your header graphic. I’d prefer to think of myself as the ‘international invisible man’. I look forward to reading more of your content.

    Best regards,
    Art Williams
    Copywriter

  • Ron

    Simon, due to a computer glitch I did not recieve any of your daily emails from the 25 of last month until today. Can I somehow get copies of the missing emails from you???

    Ron

    • Brad

      Ron,

      I also have had problems receiving the newsletter from SovMan.com. My problems also began on March, 25th. Still having problems — only receiving one or two per week so I have to go to the website every other day or so to read Simon’s posts. My ISP (Earthlink) doesn’t understand why this is happening. They asked me to provide the exact error/bounce code that SovMan is receiving but I have been unable to get this info from SovMan tech dept. Are other people having problems receiving SovMan newsletters also?

  • http://www.costapedasi.com Martin

    Hi Simon
    I just joined your blog and I like your style. I inadvertently started my multiple flags lifestyle over 5 years ago. Living and working in London for 10 years, running the rat race and always wanting something less rule bound and borderless. My flats in London were easy to rent I thought, no real big ties and wondered what it would be like to live and work abroad. I put myself out there for a tax free job and haven’t looked back since. I’ve sold property without going back, about to buy in Panama, have bank accounts all over, lived in 5 different countries so far, met and worked with great people and my life is richer and fuller than I could have imagined.
    Don’t just think about it….do it….and as on old friend used to say instead of ‘goodbye’….’see you on the beach’.
    Cheers!
    Martin

    • Morissette Andre

      hi martin , y lived in florida for 10 years as a contractor ym back to canada because after the buble it was impossible to make the living upthere …. freedom in canada….forget it!!!!lontime ago. ym really interess to move upthere , how is the life? what you doing for living ? how did you started?  thanks andre.

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