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: 2306

Latest Articles

Negative interest rates in the US are virtually guaranteed now

On October 19, 1987, the US stock market suffered the worst crash in its more than 200 year history, dropping more than 23% in a matter of hours.

It wasn’t just in the United States, either. More than 20 major stock markets around the world, from London to Hong Kong to Australia, fell by similar amounts.

And economists estimate that stocks worldwide lost roughly $1.7 trillion of value (approximately 10% of global GDP[...] Click here to continue reading

Decades-old investment wisdom from Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.”

These days interest rates are near zero. The average savings account currently pays .09% interest per year, according to the FDIC.

So over the course of a decade, saving $100 with compound interest would give you a grand total of $109.37.

But[...] Click here to continue reading

California reinvents the English language yet again

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.

Man fined almost $7 million for painting his own property


In 2002, the owner of some dilapidated warehouses in New York City decided to make use of the property.

He hired an artist to decorate the warehouses with graffiti, and curate graffiti art[...] Click here to continue reading

How I lost 100% of my investment on the Corona Virus

At precisely 11am on November 11, 1918, in a nondescript railroad car in northeastern France, a group of senior military officers and government officials signed an armistice agreement that effectively ended World War 1.

The Great War had killed a staggering 9 million soldiers in four years. That’s more than nearly every major global conflict in the previous two centuries combined.

Yet right at the same time as the war ended, a mysterious[...] Click here to continue reading

Wells Fargo paid more in criminal penalties than it paid in interest to its depositors

Last week Wells Fargo paid the largest fine yet for one of it’s many scandals-- $3 billion.

This time, the fine was for opening bank accounts under customers’ names without the customers’ knowledge or consent.

Workers at Wells Fargo did this to boost their own sales goals. They forged customers’ signatures, falsified records, and engaged in outright fraud.

This internal identity theft ended up costing customers millions of dollars in unnecessary fees[...] Click here to continue reading

When the world became unrecognizable in less than a decade


In the year 1520, exactly 500 years ago, a German scholar named Johan Schoner completed a map of the world that was widely considered to be humanity’s most advanced understanding of geography at that time.

To us, Schoner’s map is pretty amusing.



There’s scarcely any American continent. Instead he drew some amorphous blobs to mark Brazil and the ‘West Indies’. And there’s a very narrow body of water where the[...] Click here to continue reading

UK suspects all kids using chat app are hackers

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.

UK urges parents to report their kids to police for using normal technology


Police in the UK are distributing a flyer to teachers in public schools, to be passed on to parents.

The poster warns parents to check their children’s computers for certain[...] Click here to continue reading

Warren Buffett’s worst year since the stock market crashed…

Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, didn’t outperform the S&P 500 last year.

Berkshire Hathaway grew slightly in 2019, but its performance lagged far behind the S&P 500 stock market index.

That’s an anomaly for Buffett. He’s handily outperformed the S&P 500 for decades, endearing himself to millions of investors along the way.

It’s interesting that Berkshire Hathaway typically has its worst years just before stocks crash.

In 1999, just prior[...] Click here to continue reading

The US fertility rate hit another record low

Last month the US government’s National Vital Statistics System released data showing that the birth rate in the Land of the Free has dropped to -yet another- ALL TIME LOW.

It’s the FOURTH year in a row that the fertility rate has reached a record low in the US, meaning that the issue just keeps getting worse.

And it’s one that has enormous, long-term economic consequences.

If people are having fewer babies[...] Click here to continue reading

Available now: pay $2,500 to be told you’re racist

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.

You can now pay $2500 to be told you’re racist


Are you a liberal white woman who wants to pay money to be told that, deep down, you’re subconsciously racist?

If so, you’re in luck!

A new group called “Race to Dinner”[...] Click here to continue reading

Claim your “Freedom Dividend” in Puerto Rico (no voting required)

Tuesday night after the New Hampshire primary, US Presidential candidate Andrew Yang dropped out of the race due to his poor showing.

If you’re not familiar, Andrew Yang famously proposed a Universal Basic Income for all US adults: everyone would have received a “Freedom Dividend” of $1,000 a month under his plan, funded through a national sales tax.

This means that everyone would be paying more tax, but then that tax money would[...] Click here to continue reading

It turns out the Bolsheviks love the top 1%

One of the really interesting things about where I live here in Puerto Rico is that my house is located within the grounds of a resort… so I bump into a fair number of tourists when I’m at the gym or walking on the beach.

People engage me in conversation a lot-- they can’t imagine actually living in such a paradise, and they’re full of questions about what it’s like.

I always enjoy[...] Click here to continue reading

The average US couple could be facing a new tax of $180,360

Today the federal government will release a nearly $5 TRILLION annual budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 (which begins on October 1st of this year).

Needless to say, that’s more money than any government has ever spent in the history of the world.

And there are a few things in particular that are worth highlighting:

First-- this budget proposal would create yet another trillion dollar annual deficit. And that’s simply astonishing.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Government funded feminists suggest banning heterosexual relationships

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.

Feminist group thinks heterosexual relationships are “violent” and should be banned


The “Federation des Femmes du Quebec” is a Canadian feminist group that receives $120,000 of taxpayer funding each year.

And the Federation’s President recently took to Twitter to declare:

“Heterosexual couple[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s something that makes absolutely no sense

If you feel like you’ve been watching a meteor streaking across the sky over the past several weeks, it turns out it was just Tesla stock soaring to astronomical heights.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Tesla’s stock price was up 4x in the last four months, more than double since the beginning of January, and nearly 50% since February 1st.

(The stock is now down about 20% from that peak.)

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

Apparently all white males are just mindless automatons

Recently the prominent investment bank Goldman Sachs announced that they would no longer work with companies whose Boards of Directors consisted exclusively of white males.

Specifically the bank will immediately require prospective clients to have at least one female or one non-white individual, on the Board of Directors. And by 2021, a company would need at least two ‘diverse’ directors, otherwise Goldman Sachs will refuse to underwrite that company’s Initial Public Offering.

(Obviously[...] Click here to continue reading

How a second passport saved someone from the Coronavirus

Nicholas Schneider is an American student who was studying in Wuhan, China.

He said, “It’s like a ghost town, barely any people and cars. It’s a weird feeling. I feel like I’m in an apocalypse somehow.”

Wuhan is a city of 11 million where the outbreak of the coronavirus began. Now it's on lockdown, with hardly anyone allowed to enter, or leave.

Unless, you’re not a Chinese citizen.

The United States[...] Click here to continue reading

Child molester released from prison because ‘he’ now identifies as a ‘she’

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.

Pedophile released from prison due to sex change


Joseph Matthew Smith molested 15 children, and his victims were as young as one year old. It’s gruesome.

Smith was first convicted of sex crimes against children in 2012, and again in 2014.

When[...] Click here to continue reading

Fed official: “If there’s a recession, don’t worry”

Earlier this week I sent one of my team members to a banking conference here in Puerto Rico hosted by the Federal Reserve.

It might strike you as strange that the Fed would be holding an event in Puerto Rico, but it’s not that unusual.

Puerto Rico is a US territory and hence part of the US banking system. So just like the rest of the United States, banks in Puerto Rico (including[...] Click here to continue reading

How screwed up the pension system is

Late last year, the investment management giant Morningstar published a report concluding that most people can either save money for retirement, or save money for their kids’ education… but NOT both.

They make the economic realities very clear: parents have to choose between their own future, or their children’s future.

And one of the report’s lead authors went on to say that the RIGHT choice-- the ONLY choice-- is to choose your retirement[...] Click here to continue reading

Naughty librarians to face 1 year in prison

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.

Which specific body parts can women expose before being sex offenders?


After installing fiberglass insulation, Tilli Buchanan and her husband stripped off their shirts in the garage for safety reasons.

They didn't want to track any of the debris into the house. While[...] Click here to continue reading

“Now we see the violence inherent in the system”

Apparently Bill Gates has sat on his ass and contributed nothing to Microsoft’s success over the past 44 years… at least, according to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

At an event commemorating Martin Luther King on Monday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told the audience that wealthy people “sat on a couch” while “undocumented workers” earning “slave wages” created all the wealth and value.

“No one ever makes a billion dollars,” she said. “You take a billion dollars.”[...] Click here to continue reading

You’ll be surprised to see what investment has destroyed the S&P 500

The year was 1990, and the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse.  The Berlin Wall was still in the process of being destroyed, and East and West Germany were set to reunify later in the year.

Nelson Mandela was released from prison in February, and the South African government began talks to end Apartheid soon after.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August.

Ghost, Home Alone, and Pretty Woman[...] Click here to continue reading

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

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