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: 1853

Latest Articles

This fund’s investment performance rivals Bitcoin, puts Warren Buffett to shame.

There’s a really unique investment company in Europe you ought to know about… because they are insanely profitable.

In fact, a few days ago the company announced that they expect to report an annual profit of $55 BILLION for 2017.

That’s more money than Apple makes… which makes this European group THE most profitable company in the world.

Its stock price has more than QUINTUPLED in the past three years, and nearly[...] Click here to continue reading

His passion for vintage pornography led him to become a Bitcoin millionaire

Over the weekend, the New York Times published a satirical article entitled “Everyone is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not.”

That headline perfectly encapsulates the ‘Fear of Missing Out’, or FOMO, that’s so pervasive in cryptocurrency right now.

Just about everyone either knows, or has heard of someone, who’s made an absolute fortune in crypto.

And this plays perfectly to one of the darkest and most basic of human emotions: envy.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Don’t ignore looming catastrophes… take action

In today’s podcast, we discuss the recent crypto meltdown (led by Ripple) and how it plays into our recent theme of avoiding huge mistakes.

Here’s the thing about big mistakes… they’re usually obvious and avoidable.

Like when the Social Security Board of Trustees told the world in its 2017 report that the “Trust Fund reserves will be depleted by 2035”… and that an “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits to all[...] Click here to continue reading

The fastest way to get rich in cryptocurrencies

We’ve all heard the term “Kodak Moment.”

It’s a popularized phrase to describe a picture-perfect moment – one that should be forever captured on Kodak film.

Like Kleenex tissue, Kodak was once so large and popular, the company worked its way into basic lexicon.

Kodak was founded in 1880 by a man named George Eastman. He started producing dry plates (a new type of photographic plate that reduced the cost of photography)[...] Click here to continue reading

Social Security proposes “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits

On a deep, dark evening last June in the spectacularly celestial deserts of northern Chile, scientists made a phenomenal discovery.

It was a supernova… one that they named ASASSN-15lh.

This wasn’t just any supernova. It was the BIGGEST and BRIGHTEST supernova ever recorded.

Supernovas are exploding stars whose ejected mass and energy can create a light show so brilliant that they can sometimes be seen with the naked eye in our own[...] Click here to continue reading

The day I found out it was all rigged

May 6, 2010 started off as a pretty boring day.

The most exciting stories from the morning’s newspapers were reviews of the upcoming Iron Man 2 film.

But all that changed at around 2:45pm when, without warning, the stock market crashed, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,000 points within minutes.

It was unprecedented… especially because there was absolutely no reason why stocks should have fallen so much.

It’s not[...] Click here to continue reading

Read this before doubling down on Ripple

You’ve probably heard that Ripple (abbreviated as XRP) has soared, more than tripling since Christmas.

The overall market cap for XRP (i.e. the combined value of every single token) now exceeds $140 billion.

In the incredibly faddish and volatile cryptocurrency sector, this makes Ripple the flavor of the month.

Now... this week we’ve been talking about avoiding MAJOR mistakes.

Remember-- it won’t matter how much success you achieve if you lose[...] Click here to continue reading

The second time I went broke

A looong time ago, back when I must have been around 25 or so, I launched my first really BIG deal.

It was the first time in my life that investors were backing me in a deal worth more than $1 million… which at the time seemed like an unfathomable amount of money.

Now, to be perfectly blunt, I was in way over my head. I simply hadn’t yet developed the skills to[...] Click here to continue reading

Simple wisdom from one of the most famous people to go broke

In the late 1800s towards the end of his life, Mark Twain wrote one of his greatest observations of humanity:
“When you remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
Twain’s quote was primarily a commentary on himself.

A lot of people don’t know this, but Mark Twain went bankrupt late in life.

His enormous fame as an author had brought him substantial wealth. But Twain squandered it all[...] Click here to continue reading

It doesn’t matter that we “owe it to ourselves”

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles. Today’s was originally published on March 14, 2017]

Thousands of years ago, as far back as 3000 BC, the ancient Egyptians had developed a highly advanced system of writing using hieroglyphic symbols.

The used hieroglyphs for numbers as well.

A single line, for example, represented the[...] Click here to continue reading

Just a quick reminder of who’s really in charge

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles. Today’s was originally published on May 3, 2017]

Today the world of banking and finance waited with baited breath for the Federal Reserve in the United States to hike... or not to hike... interest rates.

This happens several times each year as the central bank’s Federal Open[...] Click here to continue reading

How to make 13% on your favorite song

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles. Today’s was originally published on December 9, 2016]

Did you know that until June 28, 2016, the song “Happy Birthday” was actually copyrighted material?

Yes, I’m serious. And I’m talking about THAT Happy Birthday, as in the song we all sing at birthday parties.

The original[...] Click here to continue reading

Yes, governments CAN go bankrupt. And no, it’s NOT impossible…

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles. Today’s was originally published on March 13, 2017]

In the year 1517, one of the most important innovations in financial history was invented in Amsterdam: the government bond.

It was a pretty revolutionary concept.

Governments had been borrowing money for thousands of years… quite often at[...] Click here to continue reading

A great story from when America was still the Land of Opportunity

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles. Today’s was originally published on January 2, 2017]

Last week during a long overdue vacation, a close friend of mine recommended reading the autobiography of Rich DeVos called Simply Rich.

DeVos is a billionaire entrepreneur who started countless ventures during his nine decades on this earth.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Why it’s essential you keep a portion of your savings in physical cash

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles. Today’s was originally published on January 6, 2016]

Think of the word “money” for moment. What’s the first image that comes to mind?

Perhaps the folded paper in your wallet. Or the balance in your bank account.

Or perhaps the investments in your brokerage account.

[...] Click here to continue reading

“If you can keep it…”

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles from 2017. Today’s was originally published on May 18]

On September 17, 1787 on the final day of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin was approached by a woman as he walked out of Independence Hall.

“Well Doctor, what have we got-- a republic, or a[...] Click here to continue reading

This guy has eight passports

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles from 2017. Today’s was originally published on March 28]

A few weeks ago I caught wind of a guy who has citizenships from eight different countries.

This “octa-citizen” has passports from Canada, UK, Ireland, Belize, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts, and Cape Verde.

Let’s be honest-- that's[...] Click here to continue reading

Record number of Americans want MORE government in their lives

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles from 2017. Today’s was originally published on April 24]

In a poll conducted a few days ago by NBC News / Wall Street Journal, a record 57% of Americans responded that they want MORE government in their lives, and that the government should be doing more to solve[...] Click here to continue reading

Concerned about Bitcoin security? Try this

It happened again. Last week, hackers stole 4,700 Bitcoins (over $80 million at today’s price) from mining marketplace NiceHash.

(The company pairs up people with spare computing power with others who are willing to pay to use that capacity to mine Bitcoin-- and then announced they would reimburse users who lost money from the hack.)

On top of that, last month hackers stole $31 million of another cryptocurrency called Tether.

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

The best tax incentive in the world

In a move almost destined to prove that laws and policies have absolutely zero meaning, the European Union released a list of “tax havens” last week… with a massive, giant, highly conspicuous omission.

The blacklist contains the names of the usual suspects-- Panama, United Arab Emirates, etc., along with a few additions like Mongolia and Marshall Islands.

But, again, conspicuously missing from this list is far and away the biggest tax haven in[...] Click here to continue reading

Think people got rich from Bitcoin? We haven’t seen anything yet.

Recently a group of archaeologists and anthropologists published a really interesting, comprehensive study of prehistoric civilizations and their sources in wealth.

It turns out that the most prosperous people and civilizations across ancient history-- and I’m talking 10,000+ years ago before any recorded history-- were those who harnessed new technologies to become more productive.

Back then it was all about agriculture.

And while it all seems so simple and obvious to us[...] Click here to continue reading

Important Update; Why you should want a second passport

My colleague, Sean Goldsmith, just returned from a tour of the Caribbean.

He met with several local governments about their ‘citizenship by investment’ programs – a way to receive a passport by donating money or investing in local businesses or real estate.

If you have the means, this is probably the quickest and easiest way to obtain a second citizenship.

We’re exploring ways for Sovereign Man readers to get a special deal[...] Click here to continue reading

Saxo Bank predicts Bitcoin collapse to $1,000 in 2018

It’s that time of year again-- the time when everyone seems to be channeling his or her inner Nostradamus, peering into the crystal ball, and making predictions about what we’re going to see next year.

There’s a great quote that’s often mis-attributed to Mark Twain: “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.”

(The source of the quote is actually an old Danish proverb… though like a number of witty sayings, Twain somehow manages[...] Click here to continue reading

A young foreigner’s first impressions of America

Last weekend while I was in Denver, I had the opportunity to speak with a young man from the Netherlands who was attending our charity event.

It was his first trip to the United States, and I’m always interested to hear people’s first impressions.

He told me he was really overwhelmed with the size and scale of everything. China is about the only other country in the world that does everything as big[...] Click here to continue reading

A second passport is much cheaper than ever before

While I was off at an annual charity event over the last several days, a few members of my team were dispatched through the Caribbean to meet with government officials at various island nations about their passport programs.

These programs are known as economic citizenship programs, and they allow a person to obtain official citizenship, along with a passport, by donating money or making a financial investment in the country.

One of my[...] Click here to continue reading

In case you missed Bitcoin’s epic rise…

Over the weekend in Denver, my friends and I hosted an annual charity event-- a sort of business and investment bootcamp that ended with around $100,000 worth of toys being donated to kids in low-income families.

It was a lot of fun, and I really want to thank the dozens and dozens of our Total Access members who came and participated.

At the bootcamp portion on Friday, we covered a number of different[...] Click here to continue reading

The government is coming for your Bitcoin

The same day Bitcoin cracked its all-time high above $11,000, the government dealt its first blow to the crypto world…

On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ordered the popular Bitcoin exchange, Coinbase, to provide the IRS with information on over 14,000 account holders.

The taxman noticed that only 800-900 people reported gains related to Bitcoin in each of the years between 2013-2015. It seemed unusual given Bitcoin’s meteoric rise.

So[...] Click here to continue reading

How to gain permanent residency in Mexico without leaving home

As a world traveler and investor, I always try to find markets where there’s a huge difference between the ACTUAL risk and the PERCEIVED risk.
And this risk assessment applies not only to investing, but also to entire countries.

Mexico is a great example.

Sure, Mexico has some serious problems. Crime. Gangs. Drugs. Corruption. Tensions with the US over illegal immigration and American jobs.

But did you know that more Americans applied[...] Click here to continue reading

Is it Tuesday? Time for another banking scandal

Another day, another major banking scandal. It’s getting to the point where you can practically set your watch to these things.

The latest involves our old friend Wells Fargo. The Wall Street Journal reported last night that Wells has been screwing its customers on foreign currency exchange rates.

According to the Journal, Wells Fargo conducted an internal review of its fee arrangements and found that they had massively overcharged 88% of the sampled[...] Click here to continue reading

There’s something important you should know about Bitcoin

After spending the last few days in the Philippines scouting new factory locations for one of my businesses, I flew back to Singapore this morning to conclude negotiations with a large, publicly-listed conglomerate that’s made an offer to buy one of our assets.

It’s been a hectic trip so far. But while in town, I had a chance to see my friend Gregor again-- the entrepreneur I interviewed in last week’s podcast discussion about[...] Click here to continue reading

Elon Musk thinks we’re all going to die– here’s his Plan B

251 million years ago, the Great Permian Extinction wiped out around 96% of Earth’s species.

Scientists call it “the great dying.” And they believe it occurred because of an eruption in Siberia that released more than 200 billion gallons of molten lava.

The lava released large amounts of Sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing the Earth to warm by about 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Acid rain followed.

Almost nothing survived.[...] Click here to continue reading

083: An insider’s view on the gold versus cryptocurrency debate

In today’s podcast, I chatted with Silver Bullion’s founder Gregor Gregersen.

Silver Bullion is a precious metals storage company based in Singapore.

While here in Singapore, Gregor and I discussed why the gold versus Bitcoin debate is misguided. It’s not an either-or proposition.

Instead, with systemic risks in the financial system, the case for holding both precious metals and cryptocurrency makes sense.

And Silver Bullion offers solutions for both asset classes.
[...] Click here to continue reading

Taxes: here’s what’s going to stay the SAME

On October 3, 1913, US President Woodrow Wilson signed the Underwood-Simmons Act into law, creating what would become the first modern US income tax.

The legislation (at least, the income tax portion) was only 16 pages and imposed a base tax rate of just 1%.

The highest tax rate was set at 7%-- and it only applied to individuals earning more than $500,000 per year, which is about $12.6 million today according to[...] Click here to continue reading

100 billion reasons to have non-reportable assets

In early March 1938 in a dusty corner of the Arabian desert, Max Steineke finally had the breakthrough he was hoping for.

Steineke was the chief geologist for the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC), a venture owned by what we know today as Chevron.

And he hadn’t had a lot of success despite years of effort.

Steinke was convinced that massive oil reserves were beneath the sands. He just couldn’t find[...] Click here to continue reading

082: The two things that can pop the ICO bubble

In today’s podcast, I tackle the subject of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Regular readers know I’m skeptical of cryptocurrencies. And I think many ICOs are outright frauds.

We’ve seen celebrities like Paris Hilton, Jamie Fox and Floyd Mayweather all endorse ICOs. A friend of mine who’s raising money in an ICO even told me these things are a bubble.

Still, we see more and more companies raising capital from a rabid public.
[...] Click here to continue reading