Category: Z Legacy: Expat

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First of all I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments this week; I would definitely encourage you to spend a few minutes reading the comments on ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Boarding Pass’ posted on Tuesday. One question in particular that I would like to address came from Amanda: “Simon

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Give me liberty or give me boarding pass

I’m in the United States through the end of next week out of necessity… I need to tie up some loose ends (read: taxes!).  Once I get my confession mailed out to Uncle Sam, I’ll be out the door once again. Whenever I am in the United States, I always think deep thoughts

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Where to make a fortune in China

If you’re an entrepreneur and want to make an absolute fortune, you need to head to Asia. The last several weeks on the ground here have only reinforced my long-held premise that Asia’s economies represent vast, wide open potential.  These economies are growing, and shall continue to grow thanks to solid macroeconomic fundamentals

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China’s growth is real

There are a lot of people in the financial community, including a few notable figures, that are highly bearish if not outright suspect of China’s growth. I’m always puzzled by this opinion. I’ve been to the country several times before and keep regular tabs with influential players and insiders, and my own assessment

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Hong Kong Gold

In full disclosure, I am heavily biased.  Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. Remember those ‘7 expat categories?‘ well, I am definitely a mix of several… maybe all. But Hong Kong ticks all the boxes for me, and always has– I’ve been coming here for years and love

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Singapore financial overview

I’ve explored Singapore in the past, but on this particular trip I really wanted to broaden my understanding of the country’s legal framework and financial infrastructure. With only 72-hours on the ground, I would have to work fast… so the trip was a whirlwind tour of bankers, lawyers, gold dealers, corporate secretaries, and

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Why Jim Rogers is right about Singapore

Two years ago, Jim Rogers sold his New York home, packed his bags, and left for Singapore.  If you spend no more than three minutes on the ground here, you will see why. For the internationalist, Singapore is as close to ‘perfect’ as could possibly be imagined:

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Gold report: A free gift

I’m writing today from an extraordinarily beautiful place… The infinity pool where I sit is perched atop an emerald-azul lagoon encased by rocky cliffs and pristine wildlife. It’s dusk. and it’s quiet. The word “paradise” would come to mind if I could stop absorbing the beauty long enough to form a complete thought.

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Manila may be for you

Remember the 7 expat categories from last week? Well I have to say that Manila is paradise for a few of them… I come through here from time to time on business and it definitely ranks as one of my favorite places in Asia– cheap, modern, relatively clean, but still with a hint

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A Chinese Mega-trend

It normally takes me less than five minutes to pack, even for a three week trip.  In this case, though, I’m having a tough time– too many climate zones in Asia, too many events. I need to cram SCUBA gear, beach clothes, professional attire, and formal wear all into one little suitcase… …

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Help me prepare for Asia

Sometimes I wake up and don’t know what continent I’m on. I’m serious.  It last happened a week ago when I woke up in the very elegant Cosmo 100 hotel in downtown Bogota… I had to look around the room for clues and within 60 seconds finally realized that I was in Colombia.

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Saving your savings overseas

I can barely type today… I’m actually one-handing it this morning. Why? Because my other hand is thrust victoriously in the air celebrating the renomination of Comrade Bernanke to his post at the Federal Reserve. Yes, the man who has overseen the most unprecedented expansion of the central bank’s balance sheet in history

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The 7 expat categories

People ask me this question all the time: “Simon, I really want to leave the country, but where should I go?” Quite literally, there is a world of possibilities out there, each full of richness and opportunity. But as you could imagine, it depends on what kind of person you are. What would

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Black Paper Launch— Plus, Answering your Questions..

I received quite a few interesting comments this week (many of which I kept private at the request of the sender).  Remember, posting a comment to the site is the best way to reach me: I read all of them personally. Email goes to support staff. – SOLDIERS IN THE STREETS- Kelly asked

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You are safe in Colombia

I know what you’re thinking. “Why the hell would he be in Colombia?” I get that a lot.  The vast majority of the world only knows two things about Colombia– drugs and terrorism (though in all fairness, ‘one man’s freedom fighter…’) People recall hearing about kidnappings, lawlessness, and of course that scene from

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Cost of Living in Bogota, Colombia

A sample of basic household items in case you are wondering what is the cost of living in Bogota, Colombia– All prices have been converted to US Dollars at 2,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) per dollar. Cost of living in Bogota, Colombia as of August 2009 @ 2,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) / Dollar Apples,

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Weekly updates

Greetings! I’m going to dive right into the questions from this week: == TRANSPORTING GOLD OUT OF THE COUNTRY == I appreciate all the comments and anecdotes in response to Tuesday’s letter about my run-in with TSA. . Based on the questions I received, there are a couple of things that should be

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Panama’s real estate market

It was a nice enough place… about 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, nicely furnished, and even had a sliver of an ocean view. Best of all, it wasn’t in gringo-ville. “How much rent are they asking?” I posed to the real estate agent who was fawning closely on my heels. He reeked of

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The Capital of Latin America

For Latin Americans, Miami has been a lot of things– the major financial center, the cultural Mecca, prime tourist destination, the business capital, and a symbol of international success. The city made its riches and opportunities available to all nationalities, reaching the point during the most recent real estate boom where one could

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“Theirs”

Did you ever notice that when you put the words “The” and “IRS” together it spells “Theirs” ? How appropriate. One of “Theirs” initiatives that I pay attention to is its voluntary disclosure program. This program provides steps for people who have not reported overseas income (and bank accounts) to come clean without

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My China insider

It’s no secret that China is already starting to dominate the world economy. Understanding the country, its culture, and its economic infrastructure, however, is a daunting task, particularly for outsiders.  Official reports and media accounts are hardly worth basing an investment opinion on– it’s critical to have boots on the ground. I have

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Cost effective first class travel

I’m going to let you in on a few secrets. I’ve learned through a great deal of experience over the last several years about travel.  People often ask me about my travel habits because I do so much of it… and one of the common questions I get is “How much do you

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Dispatch notes from Poland

Travel mishaps occur from time to time… though the airline completely losing my reservation is a new one for me. I was all set to leave Europe a few days ago when a rather unfortunate ‘booking oversight’ derailed my plans for spending the weekend in New York City.  In this case, I was

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About that Croatian commando…

Remember that Croatian commando-turned-entrepreneur from dinner last night? Well it turns out he’s an aerobatic stunt pilot too… he’s got an old Soviet-made aircraft that is only designed to do one thing– be as unstable as possible. It does the trick. This morning around 11am Central European Time, we met at a private

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A late dinner in Zagreb

Croatia, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the drive down here has been spectacular.  From Budapest, the drive to Croatia took me south along highway M7, which arcs gently across Hungary’s rolling hills and hot springs. But what brings me here is not the beauty

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The Truth About Nationalized Healthcare

Nationalized healthcare doesn’t work, and I’ll tell you why: I hold as my personal mantra in life that governments screw up everything they touch… and this goes for all governments, not just the United States Congress. As I travel the world looking for great opportunities, I always try to understand the quality and

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What I am doing in Poland

Poland– it’s a beautiful, inexpensive country with a stable economy, gorgeous women, and fantastic food… so what am I doing here exactly? Looking for citizenship. The country has been dominated, broken apart, and put back together so many times, Poland actually has multiple nationality laws on the books for former migrants, refugees, and

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What’s your breaking point?

You probably know the story of the boiling frog. The premise is simple.  If a frog is placed in a pot of water that is already boiling, it will immediately sense danger and jump out, relatively unscathed. If it is placed in a pot of cool water, the frog will happily stay in

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Profit From Panama Canal Expansion

Earlier today, amid much pomp and fanfare, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) opened the sealed bids for the canal expansion project. Audience members looked on eagerly like it was the Academy Award for best picture…  The lowest bidder? A consortium led by Italy’s Impregilo, ringing in for a cool $3.12 billion. Wait, wait,

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Lithuania: There will be blood

Yesterday I wrote to you about Lithuania and all the great things it has to offer– it’s inexpensive, has second citizenship, a low flat tax, and beautiful women.  These are all great reasons to visit from time to time (and obtain a passport if you are so fortunate), but today I want to

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Lithuania: the good

About a month ago I was attending a private, invitation-only meeting with some of the finest unconventional minds in finance. We gathered for three days at a luxurious oceanside resort on the Maryland coast to have an open exchange of ideas, debate our philosophies, and play poker ’til dawn.  Lobo Tigre, editor of

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Argentina is still doomed

Argentina is still doomed. If you don’t know Argentine politics well, I’ll give you a quick history: the country has vast natural resource wealth and was once one of the richest in the world. It has been serially run by a group of incompetents ever since the Perons first came to power after

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Anarchists in Helsinki

This always happens to me. Whether in Buenos Aires, Beirut, Rome, Bangkok, Zurich, or now Helsinki, I always seem to get caught up in some sort of protest.  To be honest, I love protests… I think it’s great when people finally have enough of the system and demonstrate their unwillingness to continue going

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