“Simon – Are you ever available for a consult? I have several business related questions I would like to review.”
Each day, without fail, people ask if they can hire me to help them with their problems… these are usually unique in nature ranging from “I want to liquidate and move somewhere” to “can you help raise money for my business” to “do you know anyone in the woodchip industry in Burma…”
I think that most people ask me for help because they can’t find answers through any conventional outlet… I suppose we’re a bit of the A-Team over here at Sovereign Man.
Honestly, I like to help people, especially like-minded people. But time is my most valuable asset and I guard it closely. At any given time I have at least half a dozen irons in the fire. I’m not a ‘newsletter guy,’ but rather a busy investor and entrepreneur that is constantly traveling, making new connections, and firming up deals.
In the past, I have met an occasional subscriber on my travels and ended up talking through their challenges. I generally found the consultations to be a worthwhile endeavor and I have even funded the occasional startup as a result, including one this week that I am very excited about.
At this point, though, as our community grows, the demand for my time is spiking. Because of my other commitments, I can only set aside a very limited amount of time to help advise subscribers, so I’ve decided to set up a more formal structure to provide consultation on an extremely limited basis.
If this might interest you, click here for more information.
SINGAPORE and LABUAN
There are a lot of offshore financial centers in the world, but what makes Labuan and Singapore particularly exciting is the ability to raise capital– Singapore bends over backwards to support its registered businesses, and Labuan provides a direct line to Islamic financing, which is awash with cash looking for a good home.
I received some specific questions about rental costs in Singapore; in short, rentals are reasonable, but not cheap. The government’s statistics show that the median rental price is roughly $1,500 (USD) for a 2 bedroom flat. This is the median price, so nicer neighborhoods will command a 20%+ premium. Add another 10% for furnishings.
Also, I should be clear about my recommendation for Singapore– for an Internationalist, particularly a working professional with family, I am hard pressed to think of a place with a better mix of opportunity and amenities.
For other expat categories– the pioneer, retiree, etc., Singapore is not a good choice. The city is fairly boring, organized to a fault, and yes, the weather is absolutely terrible. You can have a lot more adventure at a fraction of the cost in Manila, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Regarding Labuan, I intend on exploring this jurisdiction much further. Christine is very-well plugged in to the Labuan International Business and Financial Center (www.labuanIBFC.my), and we spent most of the day yesterday meeting with trust company presidents and bankers.
If you’re looking for Labuan service providers, you will be able to find many on the IBFC directory. I will be working directly with Christine’s contacts to vet them more closely before passing those along to you.