Category: Z Legacy: Correspondents

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He bought a panic alarm just to visit this city

[Editor’s Note: Martyn Anstey is the founder of Invest Colombia] April 27, 2014 Medellín, Colombia $1 trillion a year. That’s the cost of damage, which will be caused by coastal flooding by 2050 according to the United Nations. The problem isn’t reserved only for far away tropical islands. In the US, 23 of

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Letter from a private banker

[Editor’s note: Michael O’Brian is a European private banker] One of the founding fathers of the United States famously remarked that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. And as tax day rolled around once again in the US, individuals the length and breadth of the country were participating in the

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Chile Farmland

The case for owning farmland in one simple statistic

December 20, 2013 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile In investing, it’s often said that nothing goes up or down in a straight line. Stocks, bonds, commodities… they all go through periods of growth, correction, collapse, mania, etc. We’re seeing this right now with respect to a substantial decline in the nominal gold price after

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How much do you think this ocean view cost me?

October 30, 2013 Santiago, Chile [Editor’s note: Darren Kaiser, author of Sovereign Man’s Chile Property Investment Black Paper, is filling in today while Simon is en route to Asia.] Look around the world from an investment perspective these days, nothing seems particularly cheap. And finding safe places to park capital is a little

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Water

A small, easy, no-brainer investment

June 19, 2013 Bio Bio Region, Chile There are few investments out there that seem as obvious as freshwater. Think about it: generally speaking, there’s a fixed amount of the stuff based on current technology. Yet each day, demand from our rapidly increasing population, farming, and industrial use grows. And because it’s very

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Chile

Chile farmland is some of the most undervalued in the world

June 18, 2013 Bio Bio Region, Chile In the world of investing, there’s a lot to be said for buying undervalued assets. Occasionally the market provides some incredible opportunities to pick up high quality assets so cheap that, to paraphrase acclaimed investor Jim Rogers, all you have to do is walk over and

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Obama and Stalin

Because it worked so well for Stalin…

Reporting from Santiago, Chile Five-year plans in the Land of the Free? Apparently it’s not that far off from reality. Yesterday Senator Tom Harkin introduced S. 544, “a bill to require the President to develop a comprehensive national manufacturing strategy.” In effect, Senator Harkin wants the President to centrally plan the economy. Never

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Freedom is running out

Four new bills from the political elite in the Land of the Free

Reporting from Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile It’s a pretty sad state of affairs in the Land of the Free when they have to pass a law making it illegal for the government to assassinate its own citizens. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening. Late last week, US Senator Ted Cruz introduced Senate bill S.505,

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Price Controls Coming

Think this can’t happen where you live? Think again…

Reporting from Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile Throughout history, bankrupt governments in decline almost ALWAYS fall back on a time-tested playbook. This includes imposing controls on EVERYTHING– wage and price controls, trade controls, capital controls, border controls, people controls. Everything. And this idea goes back to the dawn of human civilization. The Third Dynasty

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Homeland Security, fear, and your retirement savings

February 4, 2013 Santiago, Chile Midway through the Super Bowl stadium blackout yesterday evening (which seems a convenient metaphor for the decline of the West… something ripped out of the pages of Atlas Shrugged), I briefly ducked out on my guests to check email and read the news. Some friends had jokingly sent

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Chile Farmland

Can you imagine—a place with ZERO property tax?

January 30, 2013 Central Chilean Coast [Editor’s note: Sovereign Man contributor Darren Kaiser of Chile-Farmland.com is filling in today while Simon is en route to Peru.] sov·er·eign·ty n. pl. ·ties 1. The quality of having independent authority over a certain geographic area. 2. A territory existing as an independent state. Human beings have always

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Phil Mickelson and Glenn Beck get it

January 22, 2013 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile The world learned on Sunday that PGA all-star Phil Mickelson is considering ‘drastic personal changes’ thanks to the pitiful direction of America’s tax policy. According to Mickelson: “If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social

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"The Smoking Bubble Gun"

5-year old girl labeled ‘terrorist’ in American police state

Reporting from: Santiago, Chile Last week in the Land of the Free, a five-year-old girl in Pennsylvania was labeled a terrorist threat. Fortunately for the citizens of Northumberland County, local authorities managed to detain this nefarious kindergartener before she could exact her villainous deeds on thousands of innocents. Authorities were tipped off after

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This is someone you should know

Location: Santiago, Chile Nearly three years ago, I wrote that Chile was ‘the new America’— free, civilized, open, and full of opportunity. After traveling and putting boots on the ground in over 100 countries, and having spent several years visiting Chile and watching it grow, I was convinced that the label was appropriate.

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Arbitrage lessons from the most expensive city on Earth

January 9, 2013 Sydney, Australia   [Editor’s note: Sovereign Man Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon today.] No matter where you live in the Western world right now, the sands of your local economic landscape are likely shifting. To gain your footing, it’s essential to learn classic arbitrage techniques.

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Goons versus Gold

Credit expansion, wrote the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, is not a nostrum to make people happy. “The boom it engenders must inevitably lead to a debacle and unhappiness.” That seems a pretty accurate summary of the current situation for the western economies: a debacle, and unhappiness. Von Mises also wrote that

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“If that makes us cockroaches, we can certainly live with the label.”

December 10, 2012 London, England [Editor’s Note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor, is filling in for Simon today.] Clearly, investing is a probabilistic endeavour. There are no certainties to speak of. We can only operate on the basis of rational analysis and prudent, considered

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I can’t think of a better investment than this

December 7, 2012 7th Region, Chile It seems these days I spend at least 50% of my time looking at farms for sale in Chile. And with good reason. I’ve written before at length why agriculture seems like the no-brainer investment of the decade: given the fundamentals of supply and demand, the absolute

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It’s as easy as buying an ice cream cone…

December 5, 2012 Hong Kong [Editor’s Note: Sovereign Man Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon today.] Since 2009, the benchmark Shanghai Stock Exchange index has been in a deep funk.  Last week, in fact, the index hit 4-year lows and dipped below the psychological 2,000 level. Further, a recent

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Sobering Stuff

If you want to send a roomful of 100 wealth managers into an icy chill, have Russell Napier address them. This is exactly what happened at Citywire’s Smart Beta retreat at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire recently. Napier’s presentation, “Deflation in an Age of Fiat Currency,” is thought-provoking, and the precise polar

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The US and UK are losing brilliant people to this country…

December 3, 2012 Santiago, Chile Chile is a great place to be an entrepreneur and start a business. Perhaps the biggest reason is that it’s overly abundant with compelling, lucrative opportunities. I would group these into three main categories: 1) Products and services targeting the domestic market. Chile already has the most robust

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The best place in the world to be born…

November 28, 2012 Santiago, Chile We don’t have control over the circumstances of our births. And let’s face it, some people hit the lottery right out of the gate, born into loving families, big inheritances, or well-developed countries full of opportunity. When I was a kid, the United States was one of those

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A city of 7 million you’ve probably never heard of…

November 13, 2012, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. [Editor’s note: Sovereign Man Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon today.] Surabaya in East Java is a glamorous old city that became a colonial stronghold during the time of the Dutch East Indies.  It was also the starting point for the Indonesian

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Silver coins

One very strange use for silver coins

October 4, 2012 Santiago, Chile “Corruptissima republica plurimae leges. [The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state.]” -Tacitus, the Annals ca. AD 69 The nature of what is ‘legal’ has become a truly bizarre concept these days. Developed nations of the west have hundreds of thousands of pages of rules, codes,

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The greatest trick the devil ever pulled

September 24, 2012 London, England Never try to teach a pig to sing, advised Robert Heinlein. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig. Similarly, never try to convince a central banker that his policies are destructive. After five years of enduring crisis, market prices are no longer determined by the considered assessment of independent

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The end of the euro: When will it happen?

August 31, 2012 Rome, Italy My 2-year old nephew in Australia loves getting postcards.  He already associates me with frequent traveling.  I’m referred to as “Tim Hong Kong jet plane.” So before leaving Italy today, after a fantastic week in the Umbrian countryside with our Sovereign Man Total Access members, I set out

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The next big trend…

August 13, 2012 Ubud, Bali, Indonesia A sprawling archipelago of more than 14,000 islands, Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful, exotic, and alluring places in the world. Yet it’s so huge… so diverse, with different languages, cultures, and religions, to even call Indonesia a single country demonstrates how antiquated the traditional concept of geography

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Towns in poverty continue to outlaw economic self-reliance

I don’t get angry very often, but here’s something that managed to really push my buttons. Around America the same phenomena are occurring:  In some of the nation’s poorest towns, it’s becoming illegal to be resilient. This is absurd! The people who need to harness the power of self-reliance the most are being denied

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The true definition of success

In 2007 John McAfee explained in Fast Company, “Success for me, is can you wake up in the morning and feel like a twelve year old?” However, that was right before he lost 95% of his net worth. He explains in Robert Frank’s book, The High-Beta Rich, that he was living through a second childhood, wasting money on

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The world’s gold is moving from West to East

Did you know that, according to Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Canada’s latest World Wealth Report, there are now more millionaires in Asia than North America…? An estimated 3.37 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region have a liquid net worth of over US$1 million. That compares to 3.35 million in North America. The same

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The coming American diaspora

July 16, 2012 Hong Kong A few days ago in Indonesia’s Lampung province, I was following a sprightly Chinese woman, well into her 70s, as she showed me around her thriving home appliances and furniture shop. It was an amazing thing to see. The three-story shop-house was both the family home, and business premises. Yet  every

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Guess who’s bailing out bankrupt western governments now…

July 5, 2012 Jakarta, Indonesia Fourteen years ago during the Asian financial crisis, Indonesia endured a currency collapse, a severe 2-year recession, and an embarrassing IMF bailout. Western bureaucrats wagged their fingers incessantly at Indonesia, lecturing the country about the dangers of excess and fiscal irresponsibility. How sweet the irony is. In a stunning rags-to-riches

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Gold: volatile or risky?

June 11, 2012 London It’s common in financial markets for investors to conflate what we call ‘volatility’ with what we term ‘risk’. They are not exactly the same thing. More specifically, volatility is an inevitable by-product of investing in a financial market. As JP Morgan (the man, not the bank) once said: markets

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Burma ceiling

Boots on the ground in Burma

May 25, 2012 Yangon, Burma If you’re sick and tired of all the doom and gloom that pervades the US and Europe, and should your personal circumstances allow, I unreservedly recommend that you hop on a plane and go and check out Burma. This is a rare good news story, and it may very well

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Does renoucing US citizenship get me out of my tax obligations?

February 24, 2012 Santiago, Chile I want to start off today’s letter by thanking the 120+ folks who’ve made the journey down to Chile over the past two weekends to break bread on the farm. Last weekend’s event was a real delight, and I’m looking forward to tonight’s festivities with the new group.

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