Category: Z Legacy: Finance

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Asia has decoupled

I’m flipping through channels at 1am here in Seoul, and do you know what I see? Math problems– nutty professors, Korean-style, working out complex partial differential equations and geometric progressions with the intensity and flair of a concert pianist. In fact, it’s not just one channel… it’s five, roughly 20% of the entire

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Gold mania in China

Gold is quickly reaching the mania phase in China, and there are clear signs of it on the ground. About a month ago, we reported that for the first time ever, the Chinese government is promoting gold and silver as investments.  And by “promoting,” we meant cramming it down people’s throats. We knew

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Work with me 1 on 1

“Simon – Are you ever available for a consult? I have several business related questions I would like to review.” Each day, without fail, people ask if they can hire me to help them with their problems… these are usually unique in nature ranging from “I want to liquidate and move somewhere” to

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Banking in the Philippines

With tax rates ranging from 5% to 35%, the Philippines can hardly be called a tax haven. And yet, in a very public “guilty until proven innocent” attack several months ago, the OECD black listed the Philippines along with Uruguay, Malaysia, and Costa Rica. The OECD is an aged, irrelevant organization comprised of

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Your IRA: What to do right now

Maximizing the flexibility of your retirement account is an enormous untapped area of Low Hanging Fruit for US investors. In fact, this might be the single easiest thing you can do right now to grow your retirement assets while shielding them from the lost decade yet to come. With a properly structured, self

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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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This sector is in serious trouble

She works the graveyard shift at a Florida motel off Interstate 75… but she doesn’t seem to mind much.  A rather buxom blond with more curves than hard angles, Stephanie would definitely be considered a “people’s person” and enjoys meeting so many out-of-towners. Friendly and outgoing, she’s also incredibly smart… which is probably

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This country can make you rich

I’ll admit, even I was surprised. When I think about Asia growth and investment opportunities, places like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and even the Philippines come to mind.  But lately, in my regular discussions with key Asia contacts– brokers, sovereign wealth fund analysts, etc., one place keeps coming up again and again. Mongolia. Mongolia

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The Chinese Gold Market

I’ve been spending a lot of time this week talking to my sources in China, one of whom is inside one of the country’s sovereign wealth funds (SWF). He could not discuss the details of the Rio Tinto bribery scandal, but indicated that it was far more about saving face and establishing position

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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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Weekly update

LATVIA / SWEDISH BANKS The link between the fate of Latvia and the stock price of Sweden’s major banks became even more apparent this week.  On Monday, Latvia’s government announced that it had rejected a bailout deal with the IMF, spurring new concerns of devaluation. In response, investors sold off shares of Sweden’s

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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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This currency is overvalued

Burgers make better economic indicators than official statistics ever could. As I travel, I typically perform an informal price study of my own basket of consumer goods– a loaf of bread, a pack of cigarettes, a liter of petrol, and a handful of… non-family friendly wares. This is the type of information that

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Friday Mailbag

All- there were a lot of great comments and questions this week, I will review several here: LATVIA Excellent insights on Latvia and the way to trade the devaluation. Johan from Sweden asks if we are too late shorting Sweden’s banks. I think not, and here’s why: Swedbank, one of the largest Swedish

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Four reasons to short Sweden

A final note on Latvia today before I put the Baltics to bed for now– Yesterday I argued that Latvia is definitely headed for devaluation, and that European governments are practically bending over backwards to make sure we know about it. In comments yesterday, the astute Mr. Marriott pointed out that the grey

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You Can Profit from this Country’s Devaluation

Yesterday I talked about the demise of the Latvian economy and how it will foretell the future of California. Today I want to talk about the opportunity I see to profit from it. I have seen the face of crisis before, both in the military and as a civilian. But rarely have I

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Paul Krugman is wrong

I found out this weekend that Paul Krugman is wrong about Latvia. For months, mainstream luminaries like Krugman have been telling me that Latvia is the next Argentina, and that the country is on the verge of economic collapse… wait, stop– what does this even mean? Have the lights suddenly gone out? is

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Low hanging fruit investment opportunities

Making money is large part of achieving independence and living free. In my own life, I focus on select entrepreneurial ventures to generate capital, and specific investments which subsequently grow that capital. My investment habits might be best described as ‘peculiar,’ because, believe it or not, I do not have a strong risk

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Today I confessed my sins to Uncle Sam

Today I confessed my sins to Uncle Sam. No, I’m not talking about anything sinister. But in a mad dash through a US stopover today, I dropped US Treasury form TDF-90 in the mail:  “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.” It went something like this: “Forgive me uncle for I have sinned.

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Interesting opportunities in Panama

I’m back in Panama today… I’ve never been so happy to see Panamanian soil before; the trip to Cuba, which I reported on yesterday, was fantastic– but the lack of reliable phone and internet connectivity was problematic now that I have a daily deadline to meet. I spend a lot of time in

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An International Man’s View of Finance

Money is a tool that can provide tremendous personal freedom; consequently, the acquisition of wealth is a worthy and noble endeavor.  As global investors and entrepreneurs, we are constantly finding compelling business and investment opportunities that are based upon boots on the ground intelligence coupled with a solid assessment of macro trends. We

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