Category: Z Legacy: Expat

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The luckiest people on the planet

December 10, 2012 São Paulo, Brazil Brazilians are the luckiest people on the planet. Aside from being blessed with great weather, gorgeous beaches, and beautiful people, their country is one of the few that can exist in a state of complete independence from the rest of the world. They have their own energy

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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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Squatting on the shoulders of midgets

December 6, 2012 Santiago, Chile Isaac Newton, the father of classical mechanics and progenitor of nearly every technology we use today, was easily one of the top 10 most influential minds in all of human history…so much so that even Albert Einstein kept a picture of Newton in his study. Newton’s achievements were

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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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How to obtain a second passport

November 29, 2012 Santiago, Chile Over the past month, there’s been a surge of interest in second passports: Google trends indicates that the keyword search has grown like a weed since the beginning of the month, no doubt due to the re-election of President Obama. Here’s the thing, though… obtaining a second passport

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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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This could be one of the biggest trends of our lifetimes

November 26, 2012 Sovereign Valley Farm, Pencahue, Chile   Demographers estimate that there are 7 billion people on the planet. It’s safe to say that most of them probably don’t share your values. For proof of concept, one need only browse a sample of Black Friday shopping mall videos where, each year, precisely

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The thriving Black Market for gold

November 23, 2012 Hong Kong [Editor’s note: Sovereign Man Chief investment Strategist Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon today.] The Philippines is richly endowed with minerals.  So rich, in fact, that individuals can make an excellent living by mining illegal claims through dangerous, primitive methods. Like most places, unfortunately, the Philippine government

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You won’t believe the opportunities here

November 21, 2012 Santiago, Chile The Chilean economy is booming right now. Full stop. From agriculture to retail to construction to mining. Everywhere you look, it’s happening. This isn’t pretend economic growth, conjured out of thin air by central bankers who drop freshly printed currency from helicopters. It’s the real kind, brought about

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More lies about your taxes…

November 19, 2012 Santiago, Chile In 1936, the US government began circulating a series of pamphlets to explain its brand new Social Security program, plus the associated taxes. Initially, the Social Security tax was set at 2%. The government promised it would rise to 3% in 1949, with no additional increases EVER: “[F]inally,

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Farmland

Very few people understand this trend

November 16, 2012, Santiago, Chile. There are only a few people who get it: the era of cheap food is over. Global net population growth creates over 200,000 new mouths to feed ever single day. Yet supply of available farmland is diminishing each year due to development, loss of topsoil, peak production yields,

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Fiscal cliff

Guess what they’re NOT cutting in the Fiscal Cliff…

November 15, 2012, Santiago, Chile. In his farewell address to Congress yesterday, Ron Paul blasted the dangers of what he called ‘Economic Ignorance’: “Economic ignorance is commonplace. . . Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.” He’s dead

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Investing in agriculture

The smartest investment of the decade

Here’s something crazy to think about: Roughly 200,000 people were born today. That’s net world population growth, births minus deaths. Each one of them constitutes a new mouth to feed. And when they come of age, those 200,000 people will consume, conservatively, about 1,250 Calories per day. Collectively, that’s 91.25 billion Calories per

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“Renounce citizenship” is now one of the fastest growing search terms in Google

November 9, 2012, Santiago, Chile. According to Google’s trend analysis, keyword searches for terms like “renounce citizenship” have soared in the past week. Is it any wonder? Millions of people are disconcerted, dismayed, or outright disgusted at President Obama’s victory, and they sense a continued decline of civil liberties and economic opportunities. The

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What to do when you’ve hit your breaking point

November 8, 2012, Santiago, Chile. At some point or another, anyone who is even remotely paying attention to reality will likely reach two critical moments of awakening in their lives. The first is what I call the “Aha! moment”. This is the point at which people realize that there is something terribly, terribly

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One very simple piece of advice

November 7, 2012, Santiago, Chile. There are a lot of things one could say about the election results… but very few things that are worth saying. One point that I absolutely must make is this– after December 31st, – Income tax rates are going up – Capital gains rates are going up –

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I apologize for what you’re about to read

November 6, 2012, Dallas, Texas. It’s really hard to ignore what’s happening today; the election phenomenon is global. Over the last several weeks, I’ve traveled to so many countries, and EVERYWHERE it seems, the US presidential election is big news. Even when I was in Myanmar ten days ago, local pundits were engaged

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I for Inevitable

November 5, 2012, Dallas, Texas. Just over 400-years ago today, a group of 13 conspirators was caught trying to assassinate King James I of England and blow up the House of Lords in what became known as the Gunpowder Treason. If you’ve ever seen the movie V for Vendetta, you know the story.

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Has US housing bottomed?

November 1, 2012, Los Angeles, California. After an almost uninterrupted period of decline over the last few years, US home prices now have some positive momentum. For one, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities has seen its highest increase in more than two years. In addition, JP Morgan CEO Jamie

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“Gold cards” are the new bribe in China

October 29, 2012, En route to Los Angeles. Greetings from Hong Kong International Airport; just a quick note today as I’m just about to hop a plane bound for California. Before I head out, I wanted to tell you about an interesting trend we’ve been seeing and hearing about from our business colleagues

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Myanmar: How quickly things can change

October 26, 2012, Yangon, Myanmar. How quickly things can change. It seems like just yesterday that Burma was de facto part of the axis of evil. At the time, the military junta was jailing any and all dissidents. The country was heavily sanctioned. Hell, they even based the plot of the final Rambo

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Buying and Storing Gold in Singapore

October 25, 2012, Singapore. We’ve discussed at length the importance of owning precious metals. The financial system is so full of insolvent banks and bankrupt governments, and gold is one of the few assets that you can own which is not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. Now, there are no shortage of products out

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Ben Bernanke’s secret philanthropy

October 24, 2012, Singapore Legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens famously calls America’s oil imports ‘the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world.’ Pickens is referring to the money that is paid each year to oil exporting nations, particularly those in the Persian Gulf which raked in around $100 billion last

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I didn’t see this covered in any western newspaper

October 22, 2012, Bangkok, Thailand [Editor’s note: Tim Staermose, Sovereign Man’s Chief Investment Strategist, is filling in for Simon today.] When it comes to investing in Asia, the two countries which soak up the vast majority of investment chatter are India and China. And with good reason, they’re the two largest economies in

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It’s the motto for the whole region

October 18, 2012, Bangkok, Thailand “Wherever you may be in the world, you will feel the unstoppable force of a new Asia.” So goes the advertising platform for DBS, the largest bank in Southeast Asia. These people know -exactly- what’s happening right now: wealth and power are shifting East. This is something that

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In case you trip over your shoelaces…

October 16, 2012, Pattaya, Thailand I’m one of those idiots who pays into a health insurance plan month after month, year after year, and never goes to the doctor. In fact, I’ve had my current plan for years without ever filing a claim. The only reason to have it is the unlikely event

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Let’s talk about facts, not fear

October 15, 2012, Bangkok, Thailand [Editor’s note: Today’s letter is an excerpt from the edition of Sovereign Man: Confidential that will be published this afternoon.] Let’s step away from the noise for a moment and look at the big picture. This isn’t about doom and gloom, or fear, but objective facts. Undoubtedly, the

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Practical advice Friday: What form of Silver should you hold?

October 12, 2012 Frankfurt, Germany Along with gold, silver has been considered money for thousands of years. In ancient Rome, for example, the silver Denarius coin was first minted in the third century BC. It contained about 4.5 grams of silver and would have a metal value worth roughly $5 in today’s money.

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Is the IMF now recommending capital controls…?

October 10, 2012 Madrid, Spain It takes all of three seconds on the ground in Spain to realize that this country is hurting. Big time. I was just here three months ago, eight or nine months before that. Each time it seems worse– more strikes, more homeless, more unemployed, more unrest, more storefront

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Four alternative stores of value

4 Ways To Store Value and Protect Your Wealth AUTHOR PUBLISHED The dollars in your bank account lose about 2% of their value to inflation every year. But the way 2020 has been going, the inflation rate could soon become a lot worse, seriously eroding the value of your money. But real assets,

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FEMA

Why is the US government planning for ‘mass fatalities’ ?

October 5, 2012 Santiago, Chile You just can’t make this stuff up. Late last week, a bill HR 6566 was introduced on the floor of the US House of Representatives. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read it. The bill is entitled the “Mass Fatality Planning and Religious Considerations Act,” and its

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