Posts by Simon Black

Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter Notes from the Field is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom, make more money, keep more of it, and protect it all from bankrupt governments.

  • First post: 16/06/2009
  • Posts written: 1537

Latest Articles

Breaking down Warren Buffett’s rosy outlook for America

warren-buffett-optimism
There’s something about being insanely rich that people will believe every word that comes out of your mouth no matter how bizarre.

And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. Warren Buffett is an even better example.

As one of the richest men in the world, Buffett’s opinions carry almost Biblical impact, even when they might be completely ridiculous.

Just a few days ago, for instance, he quipped that drinking Coca Cola[...] Click here to continue reading

ECB blames you for negative interest rates

ECB-negative-interest-rates
Just after sunrise on April 19, 1775, a large contingent of British military troops arrived to the town of Lexington, Massachusetts.

They were under orders to search for and confiscate all weapons and munitions from the colonials-- something the British army had done countless times before.

In many ways it was a routine operation. And yet, that morning, roughly 80 local militiamen stood blocking their path.

Paul Revere had ridden through Lexington[...] Click here to continue reading

A personal introduction [VIDEO]

Personal Introduction


It occurred to me this morning that there's at least a 99% chance that you and I have never met.

We've had some absolutely spectacular events all over the world where we've been joined by giants like Ron Paul, Jim Rogers, Robert Kiyosaki, Marc Faber, and many more.

But even better, these events have given me the opportunity to meet thousands of our readers.

Sovereign Man readers are some of[...] Click here to continue reading

It took me a year to close this deal (but it was worth it)

business-deal
After a mind-numbing, year-long process, one of the longest business deals I’ve ever been involved with in my entire life finally closed a few days ago.

I couldn’t be more excited.

Through Sovereign Man’s parent company, we purchased a wonderful, Australia-based business that’s been around for over 20 years and is a pretty iconic brand in the country.

Plus, it’s had a long history of profitability and zero debt, so it’s a[...] Click here to continue reading

This gorgeous penthouse in the nicest part of town sold for $200,000

Medellin
My friend Zac’s sprawling penthouse apartment is over 3,500 square feet.

It boasts five bedrooms, a library, game room, office, two large terraces, and exceptional views of the entire city.

Plus it’s located in the nicest part of town, just a short walk from all the best restaurants and nightlife.

The price he paid? Just over $200,000.

You couldn’t even build a place like that for so cheap… so Zac essentially[...] Click here to continue reading

It’s now almost impossible to save for retirement

retirement-savings-jar
My grandfather was something of a Renaissance Man.

He was a farmer, schoolteacher, fisherman, collector, real estate investor… and one of those guys who always seemed to know how to do everything.

He could take apart an engine, build a house with his bare hands, tame wild horses, treat life-threatening wounds, play the guitar… and he was extremely well respected in his community.

Plus, like many from his generation who grew up[...] Click here to continue reading

This virtually guarantees that your taxes are going through the roof

heavy-tax-burden
Ever since I was a kid, I always knew that cancer runs deep in my family.

My father died more than a decade ago of a horrible brain tumor. His father had cancer. Both of my mother’s parents died of cancer.

I knew all of this before I even understood what cancer was.

Not willing to leave the issue to genetic luck, though, my mother started educating my sister and I to[...] Click here to continue reading

Meet the selfish tycoon who dodged billions in taxes

tax-haven-finance
Chances are you’ve never heard of Chuck Feeney. And he’s worked very hard to keep it that way.

Feeney, who will turn 85 on Saturday, had an incredibly successful business career, amassing a multibillion dollar empire based primarily on duty-free retail shopping.

I know what you’re thinking: he already sounds like a bad person… earning a vast fortune by enabling shoppers around the world to avoid paying sales tax and VAT.

This[...] Click here to continue reading

Why I’m proud that my tax bill is ZERO

taxes-american-flag
I’ll start with a confession.

Based on the returns I’ve just prepared for 2015, my tax bill for the year amounts to exactly $0.00.

In fact, for the second year in a row, I legitimately owe zero tax. And I’m damn proud of that.

(And no, it’s not from any illegal tricks. I’ll explain how I did it later.)

Not a shred of my efforts goes to help finance bombs, wars,[...] Click here to continue reading

After three days without water in Chile

santiago-river-mapocho
Over the weekend, just as I was arriving back to Chile after a few weeks away, the sky above Santiago opened up and started to dump heavy rain on the city.

I was already in the car on the way down to one of our farms once the rains began.

But apparently the downpour was so heavy it caused an epic, almost biblical flood of some of the major rivers in the area.
[...] Click here to continue reading

This artist still makes $300,000 per year from something he created in 1971

american-pie-guitar
It was early spring in 1971 when an obscure American folk singer wrote a song that would change his life forever.

Sitting at a café in Saratoga Springs, New York, Don McLean scribbled the lyrics to a long ballad about an experience he had as a 13-year-old boy.

It began with a radio bulletin that said that Buddy Holly had died in a plane crash. The boy was crushed. But the man used[...] Click here to continue reading

Actually, Panama has a higher corporate tax than Denmark…

Panama-second-residency
Last night I got robbed.

Not in the literal sense of the word. There weren’t armed men in masks holding me up on the sidewalk in Panama City.

(I’ve been coming here for 13 years and have never once felt unsafe...)

It was at the cashier’s cage at the Veneto Casino.

After a few hours with a friend at the roulette table where I was happy to have walked away at[...] Click here to continue reading

Why is this country so poor?

nicaragua-poverty-economy
“What is it about this place that makes it so poor?”

It was a simple question posed to me by a friend as we walked the streets of Managua, Nicaragua earlier this week.

Nicaragua is a lovely place. But it’s poor. Very poor. It’s the least developed economy in Central America... and that’s saying something.

But it’s worth considering: what makes an economy like Nicaragua so poor? And what makes others so[...] Click here to continue reading

The incredible, intergenerational benefits of having a second passport

managua-nicaragua-map
It’s been way too long since I’ve visited Managua, and since I was already nearby in Colombia, I thought it would make sense to come check out Nicaragua once again.

One of the people on my staff has a father from Nicaragua, and we were able to obtain a Nicaraguan passport for her as a result.

This is one of the things I encourage everyone to consider: having a second passport makes so[...] Click here to continue reading

This place is the Austin, Texas of South America

medellin-colombia-001
What an amazing weekend.

We just finished up a wonderful event here in Medellin for members of our Total Access group.

(Total Access is the highest level of Sovereign Man membership, and we routinely hold trips like this to introduce members to business and investment opportunities all over the world, and to the interesting, influential people within our network.)

As an example, we started on Thursday night with a reception for our[...] Click here to continue reading

2,600 year old wisdom from one of the first libertarians

lao-zi
My team and I are holding a very special event for members of our Sovereign Man: Total Access group for the next few days here in Medellin, Colombia.

Medellin is a spectacular city. It’s vibrant and growing, and it has a fantastic energy. I’ll tell you much more about this, and what we’re up to, next week.

But before I sign off for a couple of days to focus on our event, I[...] Click here to continue reading

Incredible. US government just screwed itself out of $3 billion in tax revenue

wasted-dollars
What’s the dumbest thing you can possibly imagine your government doing?

It’s a serious question-- think about it for a moment.

Now, whatever you come up with, I’m about to present an option that will probably blow it out of the water.

This morning, pharmaceutical mega-companies Pfizer and Allergan announced that they were bowing to US government pressure and terminating their $160 billion merger that was announced a few months ago.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Porn star explains why you are a scumbag who “gets in the way of justice”

porn-star-offshore-companies
The Internet practically exploded this morning after a detailed report was published proving that dozens of corrupt politicians around the world have been stealing public funds and hiding the loot overseas.

In other news, the Pope is Catholic.

Not to make light of this, but this hardly comes as a surprise. There’s some Grade A filth in positions of power who routinely funnel public funds into their own pockets.

Whether they secret[...] Click here to continue reading

Avoid putting your money in these banks

illiquid-banks
A friend of mine who’s an equities analyst at a large brokerage firm recently sent out pretty ironic note to all of his private clients.

He focuses on the financial sector, so his job is basically to analyze bank stocks and figure out which ones his investors should buy.

To determine this, he does a deep dive on banks’ financial statements, assessing everything from their capital levels to their non-performing loan ratios.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Coming soon: the 100-year loan to a bankrupt government

euro-whirlpool-debt
After every major financial crisis there’s always a retrospective analysis where we can look back and identify “the top”.

Looking back at the tech bubble of the 1990s, for example, all of my friends in technology point to the acquisition of Netscape by AOL for $4.2 billion as the obvious top of the tech bubble.

We’ve discussed many times before how 2016 is looking a whole lot like 2008, right before Lehman went[...] Click here to continue reading

How I’m trying to help a desperate family member

desperate-relative
Yesterday I received a rather desperate phone call from a relative of mine named Sam.

I used to spend a LOT of time with Sam growing up. And back then he was an amazing guy.

Sam was the kind of person who was so charismatic that you felt happy and excited just being around him.

He was an incredibly positive person with a keen interest in helping others.

I remember how[...] Click here to continue reading

This is how World War III starts—it will be financial

financial-nuclear-war
In his History of the Peloponnesian War, ancient Greek historian Thucydides told us the tale of a dominant regional power (Sparta) that felt threatened by the rise of a competing power (Athens).

Sparta felt so threatened, in fact, that all the moves they made to keep the Athenian rise in check eventually escalated the power struggle into an all out war.

Modern political scientists call this the Thucydides Trap.

The idea is[...] Click here to continue reading

Young people: definitely listen to this [audio]

camp-podast
It’s no secret that the conventional model of success no longer works.

Go to school, get good grades, get a good job, work your way up the ladder, and then enjoy life when you retire.

This idea has been drummed into our heads since we were young, but today it’s totally defunct.

Following that path means you’re likely to end up with a mountain of student debt and an incredibly expensive piece[...] Click here to continue reading

Rule #1: Make sure you’re in a position of strength

bear-position-of-strength
America is and has always been an extraordinary idea.

It espouses the values of liberty, economic freedom, self-reliance, and independence.

What’s not to love about that?

It’s an idea that resonates within each of us, speaks to our inner humanity and our desire to prosper.

The United States is not the first country to be founded on these ideas, and it won’t be the last.

Yet history shows that nearly[...] Click here to continue reading

If your country’s broke, don’t hold all of your savings there

USD-debt-crisis
On Friday March 15, 2013--just over three years ago--people across the entire nation of Cyprus went to bed believing that everything was OK.

The next morning they woke up to a different reality.

It turned out that their banking system was totally broke. After suffering enormous losses, banks no longer had sufficient liquidity or capital to maintain customer account balances.

People realized immediately that just because you can log in to a[...] Click here to continue reading

Another financial institution joins the rebellion, stockpiles cash and gold

Gold-bars-vault
Last year, amid all the madness in financial markets, financial historian and strategist Russell Napier joked about creating a “European high-yield capital guarantee fund.”

His “high-yield” fund was nothing more than a secure room filled with physical cash, and a guy standing outside with a gun to guard it.

As jokes tend to be, this was a sad reflection on reality.

Though physical cash bears no interest, it is considered “high yield”[...] Click here to continue reading

9 signs that 2016 looks ominously like 2008 just before the crisis

danger-stock-market
If you haven’t seen the 2015 Best Picture nominee, The Big Short, I strongly recommend it.

The Big Short is based on Michael Lewis’ book which examines how such an extraordinary financial crisis gripped the world in 2008, and the handful of people who saw it coming.

The movie opens asking a very simple question about the global financial meltdown:

Wall Street missed it; the Federal Reserve missed it; the government missed[...] Click here to continue reading

US recession data shows it’s a very short road to capital controls

recession-capital-controls
“Prosperity is like a Jenga tower. Take one piece out and the whole thing can fall.”
That’s a direct quote from John Williams, the President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank in a speech he gave a few weeks ago.

He could have just as easily been talking about propaganda. The Fed, the White House, Wall Street, the media have a vested interest in peddling a certain narrative about the economy.

The[...] Click here to continue reading

Four signs the dollar hit its peak in January

Dollar-Time-Running-Out
Maybe it’s greed. Or fear. Or blatant irrationality. But there’s something inside human nature that makes us think unsustainable situations can last forever.

One of those has been the meteoric rise of the US dollar, particularly over the last year. The dollar became king once again in 2015, towering over oil prices, gold prices, and just about every other currency on the planet.

The South African rand, the Colombian peso, the Canadian dollar,[...] Click here to continue reading

WANTED: 50 WINNERS who truly want to change the world

sovereign-academy-2016
I’m looking for motivated, ambitious, talented people who know deep down that they can do amazing things in this world if they have the right mentorship.

If that sounds like you, you need to know about our annual Liberty and Entrepreneurship camps.

Each summer we gather top business and financial mentors, along with a hand-picked group of talented individuals who aspire to change the world, for five life-changing days at a lovely lakeside[...] Click here to continue reading

German bank that almost failed now being paid to borrow money

berlinhyp-negative-interest-rates
The 12.5 hours spent crossing the Pacific on Qantas flight 27 feels like going through a wormhole.

The flight departs Sydney, Australia at 12:50pm and arrives to Santiago, Chile the same day at 11:20am. In other words, the plane lands 90 minutes before it departs.

When I landed yesterday, the captain came on the P.A. and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I have good news; if you enjoyed Wednesday March 9th, it’s still Wednesday[...] Click here to continue reading

This bizarre rule in the US is a huge risk to your investments

stock-broker-risk
Human beings have come up with some crazy ideas for money and finance over the years.

Conch shells. Beads. Animal skins. Salt. Rice. All of these were used as a form of money at one time or another.

But the strangest by far has got to be the Rai Stones of Yap Island.

Yap is a tiny speck in the western Pacific, a few hours by plane from the Philippines and Guam.
[...] Click here to continue reading

This 4,000-year old financial indicator says that a major crisis is looming

gold-nugget-weigh
Over 4,000 years ago during Sargon the Great’s reign of the Akkadian Empire, it took 8 units of silver to buy one unit of gold.

This was a time long before coins. It would be thousands of years before the Lydians in modern day Turkey would invent gold coins as a form of money.

Back in the Akkadian Empire, gold and silver were still used as a medium of exchange.

But the[...] Click here to continue reading

Viet Nam will become one of the top expat destinations in the world

Da-Nang's-wicked-geography
Every time I come to Viet Nam, I’m always astounded at the incredible growth and opportunity here.

This time around I’m reviewing a number of suppliers to buy raw materials from for a new business we’re acquiring in Australia.

Just a few years ago those supply contracts would have easily been awarded to companies in mainland China.

But today Viet Nam is beating the pants off the Chinese.

In large part[...] Click here to continue reading

It’s a revolution: German banks told to start hoarding cash

offshore-bank-account
Just stunning.

German newspaper Der Spiegel reported yesterday that the Bavarian Banking Association has recommended that its member banks start stockpiling PHYSICAL CASH.

Europe, of course, has been battling with negative interest rates for quite some time.

What this means is that commercial banks are being charged interest for holding wholesale deposits at the European Central Bank.

In order to generate artificial economic growth, the ECB wants banks to make as[...] Click here to continue reading