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: 2214

Latest Articles

Woman arrested in India for concealing 1.2kg of gold in her rectum

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

Feds steal $80,000 life savings from a confused elderly man


79 year old Terry Rolin kept his entire life savings in cash at his home in Pittsburgh. Inside a tupperware food container, he had saved $82,373 over his life working as a railroad engineer.
[...] Click here to continue reading

The two best gifts to give your newborn child

A Japanese woman was surprised when Hong Kong Express Airways required her to take a pregnancy test before boarding her flight.

They made the poor woman sign a form indicating her body type was observed by staff to appear pregnant. The test proved she wasn’t.

The woman was travelling to Saipan, the largest island among the Northern Mariana islands, a US territory.

Having a baby on the island gives the child automatic[...] Click here to continue reading

Uncle Sam just used its financial nuclear weapon again

In August of 1945, the United States became the only country to drop nuclear bombs on an enemy.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were largely destroyed in the blink of an eye. And the Japanese had no choice but to surrender to the Allies, finally ending World War II.

Ever since, world superpowers have been rapidly advancing weapons technology, constantly raising the bar for destructive power.

It won’t surprise you to find out that[...] Click here to continue reading

Do you have a backup generator?

The news headlines read, “Deadly 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Plunges Puerto Rico into Darkness”; and “Powerful Puerto Rico Earthquake Knocks Out Entire Island’s Power.”

It was enough to prompt my mother to call, four times, to make sure I was OK.

There’s been a string of fairly strong earthquakes lately in Puerto Rico... which is incredibly unusual for this part of the world. It’s been more than a century since the island was rocked[...] Click here to continue reading

Tech giant doesn’t want anyone to be offended… ever

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

Town charges woman $60,000 as a fee to renovate her own home


For 40 years Linda and Gary Cameron always dreamed of renovating their small home to accomodate more family and friends.

Sadly, this dream could only be realized when Gary passed away,[...] Click here to continue reading

The generational impact you can have right now

Emma Gingerich doesn’t remember any joy in her childhood.

She grew up without electricity or running water, and took only one bath a week.

Education was so limited that to the best of her knowledge, the earth was flat. She didn’t even know how to speak fluent English, even though she grew up right in the heart of the US.

Emma belonged to one of the strictest Amish sects in the country,[...] Click here to continue reading

Bolsheviks want to shut down Puerto Rico’s tax incentives

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Sovereign Man team member Joe Jarvis, who recently moved to Puerto Rico.] 

Local Puerto Ricans invariably tell me I’m overpaying on rent, and that I could have found a cheaper place to live.

I’m sure that’s true. But somehow I’m not upset about my gorgeous view over the ocean and private roof deck.

Beautiful beaches are right in front of me, along with three pools,[...] Click here to continue reading

I sure am glad that I own gold…

The price of gold is up nearly $100 since Christmas, reaching around $1,575 per troy ounce as I write this letter.

This most recent price bump is due to the panic over Iran. But the gold price is up nearly 20% over the last year, so there have obviously been plenty of other factors driving the price higher before the Middle East started flaring up again.

And there will be plenty more after[...] Click here to continue reading

Own a home? You’re responsible for California’s wild-fires

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

Professor Blames Private Property for California Wildfires


A public takeover of utility companies is not enough, according to Kian Goh, Professor of Urban Development at UCLA.

In order to combat California wildfires, we need to abandon “aspirations of home ownership, and belief in[...] Click here to continue reading

There’s a major banking crisis unfolding in China

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by Tim Staermose, Sovereign Man’s Chief Investment Strategist]

The Chinese government isn’t exactly famous for its honesty and transparency.

So when the Chinese regulators are starting to openly report trouble in their banking system, it’s time to take notice.

According to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC)’s “2019 China Financial Stability Report,” 586 out of 4,379 Chinese lenders were officially deemed to be “high risk”.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Congress gives America a special Christmas present: higher taxes

You’ve got to hand it to these people-- Congress really knows how to bring out the holiday cheer.

They have some sort of pathological need to pass the most absurd legislation at the VERY END OF THE YEAR giving people very little time to react.

Two years ago, for example, they passed comprehensive tax reform in late December 2017… and the new tax code went into effect only a few days later.

[...] Click here to continue reading

It only costs about 20 grand to get away with murder

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

Kentucky Governor Pardons Murderer after family’s fundraiser


Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin lost reelection in November.

But the governor still had some campaign debt to retire. And it’s not easy to convince people to donate to a campaign that already lost.

Still, one[...] Click here to continue reading

It depends on the meaning of the word ‘is’…

By February 1868, President Andrew Johnson had been at odds with Congress for years.

Johnson had been Vice President for barely a month when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1864, and his battles with Congress started from practically Day 1.

Johnson shared Lincoln’s view that the Confederacy should be swiftly and gently reintegrated back into the Union after the Civil War; neither wanted to penalize the South.

But at the time, Congress[...] Click here to continue reading

One of the easiest places in the world to obtain residency

In late 2002, about 17 years ago at this time of the year, I was a young Army officer deployed to the Middle East.

It was just a few months before George W. Bush gave the order to invade Iraq, though all my fellow officers and I knew with 100% certainty that we would be going to war.

That turned out to be an extremely formative experience for me.

It was clear[...] Click here to continue reading

San Francisco spends almost $30 per flush for public toilets

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

British school controls where children eat and shop after school


Imagine a man in a high visibility jacket comes into your take-out restaurant, and starts berating your customers, telling them to leave, and threatening them if they don’t.

That is what business owners[...] Click here to continue reading

Broke billionaires (and other ridiculous signs of the top)

File this one away under ‘completely ridiculous’.

You might have heard that Elon Musk was on trial last week in Los Angeles; he was being sued because he claimed (multiple times) that British spelunker Vernon Unsworth was a pedophile. (He’s not.)

It’s generally damaging to one’s reputation when a world-famous billionaire erroneously calls you one of the worst things anyone could possibly be.  So Unsworth sued for defamation.

Defamation in the United[...] Click here to continue reading

The best economic citizenship program for 2020

We just capped off a spectacular weekend in St. Lucia with members of our Total Access group to explore this country’s Citizenship-by-Investment program.

I’ve written about Citizenship-by-Investment programs before; these are completely legal programs that exist in several countries where foreigners can invest a particular sum of money in a country and become a citizen.

These programs are often called “Economic Citizenship” programs as well. And they’re typically the fastest way to get[...] Click here to continue reading

Comedian fined $35k for offensive joke

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

Canadian Comedian fined $35,000 for joke


A Canadian comedian must pay $35,000 to a disabled man he made fun of in some of his acts.

A Quebec appeals court upheld the decision by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal. It said Mike Ward exceeded[...] Click here to continue reading

Gold has outperformed the stock market over the last year

For more than a year, I’ve been strongly encouraging readers to consider buying gold.

In fact, almost exactly one year ago to the day, I wrote that gold was cheap relative to just about every other asset class in the world.

Since then, gold has been one of the best performing investments in the world.

Over the last 12 months, the price of gold is up 21.1%, handily outperforming everything from the[...] Click here to continue reading

How Robert De Niro ended up with three passports

Most people might be surprised to learn that Robert De Niro has more passports than he has Academy Awards.

Come to think of it… most people probably have more passports (one), than they have Academy Awards (zero).

But De Niro has two Oscars: the first for playing Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, and the second for his starring role in Raging Bull.

Yet he has three passports (that we know[...] Click here to continue reading

British government to decide how children can decorate their bedrooms

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

Crackdown on homeschooling coming across Great Britain


A few weeks ago we talked about how the Labour Party in Great Britain wants to eliminate private schools.

Now, in addition to that, regional governments across Great Britain are launching an assault against homeschooling.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Why Elizabeth Warren wants you to be poor

Late last week, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos gave away nearly $100 million to more than a dozen charities across the United States.

It would take the average person more than 1,000 centuries to accumulate that much money. Yet Bezos gave it away in a single day.

And it’s not like that was the first time he’d ever given to charity. Bezos has already donated billions of dollars to other philanthropic endeavors.

You’d[...] Click here to continue reading

How Elon Musk obtained TWO additional passports (and you can too)

Elon Musk is one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world. But if he hadn’t been able to make his way to Silicon Valley as a young man, it’s possible that you would have never heard of him.

Musk was born and raised in South Africa. And while South Africa is a really wonderful place (one of my favorites out of the 120+ countries that I’ve visited), it’s not exactly a world-dominating tech[...] Click here to continue reading

Newspaper will stop reporting any news “traumatic” to snowflakes

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

College newspaper will no longer report “triggering” news


Northwestern is one of the finest universities in the world and is particularly renowned for its journalism school.

The Daily Northwestern student paper, staffed by these aspiring journalists, recently apologized for covering a “traumatic” event[...] Click here to continue reading

Who knew 2 cents could go so far?

About a week and a half ago I had a terrible sinus infection… I’m talking -really- bad. My sneezes were so ferocious that I half-expected the US Geological Survey to register them on the Richter Scale.

In the midst of all that misery, I became acutely interested in the health care plans of leading US Presidential contenders… and stayed up late at night when I couldn’t sleep combing through their solutions.

Most of[...] Click here to continue reading

The five scary new rules of upside-down capitalism

Roughly 23,000 years ago in modern-day Israel, a small tribe of ex-cave dwellers built a tiny village near the Sea of Galilee that may have been one of the earliest agrarian societies in human history.

Archaeologists discovered the site more than thirty years ago.

And they found tens of thousands of well-preserved seeds and agricultural tools, suggesting that the people who lived there planted a great deal of food in the fertile lands[...] Click here to continue reading

Have you claimed the most valuable asset your ancestors passed down to you?

If you were a southern Italian peasant around the turn of the 20th century, your life was pretty rough.

The feudal system had officially ended with the unification of Italy a few decades earlier. But most laborers probably didn’t notice the difference.

The vast majority of southern Italians were farm workers. But the landlords who still controlled most of the land charged high rents, paid little, and employment was unsteady and unreliable.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Retired man’s home seized over $8.41 in unpaid property taxes

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

County government seizes home over $8.41 in unpaid tax


When an 83-year old retiree paid his property taxes late, he miscalculated the interest owed to the county government.

All told, he was $8.41 short. Yes you read that correctly, i.e. less than nine[...] Click here to continue reading

Just in case the Fed ignites the atmosphere…

In early 1940s as World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, the most powerful person in the world was NOT Adolf Hitler. Nor Franklin Roosevelt. Nor Winston Churchill. Nor Josef Stalin.

Not even close.

The most powerful person in the world was a Nobel Prize winning physicist named Arthur Compton.

Compton had been tasked by the US government to lead a group of scientists in developing a plutonium-based nuclear weapon--[...] Click here to continue reading

They’re building a wall, but not the one you think

Bernd Lünser was by all accounts a popular, promising student.

He was studying civil engineering at the State Engineering School of Architecture in West Berlin in 1961.

Unfortunately, he lived in East Berlin. And during the summer break of that year, the Berlin Wall was completed, shutting off access from Western administered West Berlin from Soviet controlled East Berlin.

Suddenly the 22 year old Lünser found his prospects for a good education[...] Click here to continue reading

You have 49 days left to come to Puerto Rico

Over the past two decades, one of my hobbies has been chronicling my family history.

It started back in the early 2000s right around my first military deployment. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it home, so I had a strong desire to know more about my ancestors.

I was fascinated by what I found-- not just names and dates, but the stories of their lives. And the more I[...] Click here to continue reading

UK Cancer charity: Biological females are now ‘people with a cervix’

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity.

Apparently it’s not just women who can have babies...


It all started when a British cancer charity decided to drop the word “women” from their pap smear ad campaign.

It seems that suggesting “women” should get pap smears to test for cervical cancer[...] Click here to continue reading

This is the easiest way to obtain a European passport

Warren Buffett has famously quipped that his preferred holding period for an investment is “forever.” Once he zeroes in on a great business and buys a huge stake in the company, he never wants to sell. Ever.

This concept of long-term investing is simple to understand but hard to put into practice.

We humans are emotional creatures. And more often than not, wild market swings and economic crises cause us to swoon, panic,[...] Click here to continue reading

When they can take your children away… how free are you?

George Reby was driving from New Jersey to Tennessee to pick up a car he had purchased on eBay when he was stopped for speeding.

Like many Americans, George felt he had nothing to hide from the police. So when the officer asked him if he was carrying any large amounts of cash, he admitted he had $22,000 on him because he was buying a car.

George was able to show the officer[...] Click here to continue reading

Confused about your gender? You can commit crimes without punishment in Australia

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances and your prosperity.

Appeals court overturns child pornography conviction because criminal is transgender


Right up front-- to be absolutely clear, we have absolutely no issues whatsoever about the personal decisions that people make in their lives.

We couldn’t care less if someone chooses to identify as[...] Click here to continue reading