International Diversification Strategies

How to stay optimistic even as terrorists “threaten our existence”

terrorism-existence
Earlier this week the German government leaked a frightening 69-page memo entitled “Concept for Civil Defense.”

Citing multiple terrorist attacks, cybercrime, and a host of other threats, the report states that Germans should prepare for an event that could “threaten our existence.”

Yikes.

The report proposes a number of mandatory countermeasures, including that Germans should stockpile food and water.

There’s also peculiar language about “civil support for the armed forces” suggesting[...] Click here to continue reading

Obtaining a foreign residency is a no-brainer, especially if you have a family

Venezuela-waiting-line
By 2014, inflation was at 50% in Venezuela.

Just paying the bill at a restaurant now required a thick stack of cash.

When that happened, some people simply tightened their belts and stopped going out to eat. Others saw this as a warning sign to look for another, more stable country.

Then in 2015, supermarkets started facing shortages.

So in order to get the groceries they needed, people started lining up[...] Click here to continue reading

How safe are top US banks?

safety-deposit-america
Recently I was having drinks with a friend of mine who is an ultra-successful US real estate developer and investor.

He told me that his team had just closed a large real estate transaction worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and they got a sweetheart deal from the bank.

The bank is loaning them almost all of the money at an interest rate of around 2%.

But it gets better.

If[...] Click here to continue reading

Negative interest rates to hit the US

57-banking-system-risks
It started in 1921.

World War I was over. The Treaty of Versailles had been signed two years before.

And Germany, the biggest loser from the war, had been stuck with both the blame and the bill.

Germany’s war debt-- which it owed not only for its own war-related expenses, but also for reparations to the victors-- was devastating.

They didn’t have the money, so they started printing it.

Not[...] Click here to continue reading

Meet the entire town in Wales that went ‘offshore’

welsh-offshore-tax
On September 25, 1794, US President George Washington issued a proclamation authorizing the use of military force against a group of defiant citizens.

It had all started a few years before when a handful of politicians had succeeded in passing an excise tax on liquor, something that became known as the Whiskey Tax.

The Whiskey Tax was the brainchild of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, who was under pressure to pay off the government’s[...] Click here to continue reading

Astonishing report from the Fed says US banks are not “sound”

banking-system-collapse


Late last week, a consortium of financial regulators in the United States, including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, issued an astonishing condemnation of the US banking system.


Most notably, they highlighted “continuing gaps between industry practices and the expectations for safe and sound banking.”


This is part of an annual report they publish called the Shared National Credit (SNC) Review. And in this year’s report, they identified a huge jump in risky loans due[...]

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How to get a second passport without getting punched in the face

Roy-Jones-legend
World champion boxer Roy Jones Junior is something of a Renaissance Man.

Roy Jones raps. Roy Jones fights. Roy Jones farms. Roy Jones designs fragrances (‘the scent of victory in a bottle’).

Roy Jones refers to Roy Jones in the third person. And Roy Jones loves Roy Jones.

This latter quality was on display back in August when the Champ sat down with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to the[...] Click here to continue reading

Important update to FBAR filing requirements

Taxes
August 6, 2015
Vilnius Lithuania

Here’s a great example of how an important rule that may affect your life gets BURIED within a giant piece of legislation—

At first glance the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 doesn’t seem like it should have any impact on foreign bank accounts.

But in fact it does significantly.

This piece of legislation signed into law last week, changes the[...] Click here to continue reading

Some clear thinking about the price of gold.

gold-price-dollars
August 4, 2015
Vilnius, Lithuania

On April 2, 2001, the price of gold closed the market trading session at $255.30.

And that was the lowest price that gold has seen ever since.

In US dollar terms, gold closed the 2001 calendar year higher than it did in 2000. Then it did the same thing again in 2002. And again in 2003.

In fact, after reaching its low in April 2001, gold[...] Click here to continue reading

Top 5 FBAR mistakes: what you need to know before June 30th.

Taxes
June 25, 2015
Bali, Indonesia

If you’re filling out your FBAR this weekend, here are some things to keep in mind.

The FBAR is a disclosure form, not a tax form. So even though it goes to the treasury department, it’s not like there’s any money owed.

Nonetheless, this is not something to be taken lightly, as the penalty for failing to file can be anywhere from $10,000 to 50% of the[...] Click here to continue reading

The coming Capital Controls are designed to protect the banks from YOU.

Capital-controls-coming
May 26, 2015
Santiago, Chile

Of all the peculiarities about human nature, one of the most interesting in my opinion is that we’re so resistant to change.

Humans simply don’t deal with it well. We tend to root. We find comfort in familiarity.

And, even when the familiar becomes unpleasant, we still put up with it. We prefer to suffer through something that we know rather than change things and risk the[...] Click here to continue reading

Federal Reserve balance sheet explodes to within 0.5% of all-time high in just one week

Dollar-Blow-Up
May 15, 2015
New York City

Remember all that talk about "taper" last year?

After years of conjuring trillions of dollars out of thin air and rapidly expanding its balance sheet, the Federal Reserve promised to end its unprecedented 'Quantitative Easing' (QE) programs.

In total the Fed's balance sheet exploded from $800 billion to $4.5 trillion between 2008 and 2014. And this wasn't good news.

A huge balance sheet means that[...] Click here to continue reading

Even the FDIC doesn’t think it’s ready for the next banking crisis

FDIC-cornerstone
We have entered a most bizarre and unprecedented age in the financial system where there’s risk in just about everything that we do.

Indiscriminately investing in stocks at their all-time highs carries enormous risk, and financial history is unkind to people who fail to learn that lesson.

To buy bonds, on the other hand, means loaning money to insolvent governments at rates that are either below inflation or even outright negative.

Real[...] Click here to continue reading

The US government just made it easier for you to confess

Obama-stare-confess
May 13, 2015
En route to New York

One of the many experiences uniquely endured by Americans is having to confess your sins once a year to the federal government.

Specifically, Uncle Sam requires most individuals with foreign bank and financial accounts to fess up and disclose on an annual basis.

In fact, these offshore account disclosures must be submitted not once, not twice, but three times, and sent to two different[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s a great way to lose $67 million

Kim-dotcom-mansion
April 29, 2015
Mexico City, Mexico

Kim Dotcom is a giant in many senses of the word.

As the founder of file sharing website Mega Upload, he brazenly thumbed his nose at every international copyright law in existence.

He spent his fortune lavishly on the quintessential playboy lifestyle that most people only dream of, replete with Asian beauty queens and yacht parties.

But a few years ago the US federal government[...] Click here to continue reading

Consider these 5 steps in creating your own ‘Plan B’

Travel-Opportunity
In May 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote one of the most prescient statements of his career:

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

Jefferson was living in Paris at the time serving as the Minister to France at a time when the United States was still in its infancy.

It was during this period that France descended into violent revolution. And Jefferson had a front[...] Click here to continue reading

I believe we have a moral obligation to starve the beast.

IRS-Tax-Imprisonment
On August 5, 1861, facing rapidly deteriorating economic conditions and a horrible defeat at Bull Run, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1861 into law.

It was the first time in US history that the federal government would charge an income tax on its citizens. But Lincoln felt that it was vital to fund what would become one of the most unconscionably costly conflicts in US history.

The original law in[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s how Shakespeare structured his assets to minimize taxes (brilliant!)

Shakespeare Tax Structuring
March 17, 2015
Santiago, Chile

William Shakespeare was definitely not one for following the rules.

The playwright was famed for the ways in which he bent the English language in unusual ways to create some of the most significant literary works to date.

It was part of his genius, really, in that he didn’t allow himself to be limited by things like syntax rules that others abided by.

And, it seems,[...] Click here to continue reading

Curaçao is one of the best places to incorporate an online business

curacao-tax-internet
March 12, 2015
Willemstad, Curaçao

If you're an Internet entrepreneur looking for the best country or jurisdiction to register a company for an online business, you definitely need to know about Curaçao.

This place is doing something incredibly unique: they've actually created a clear regulatory framework on specifically HOW Internet-based businesses and e-commerce companies should be taxed.

I'll explain why this is so cutting-edge.

Most governments around the world are still[...] Click here to continue reading

How you can move to Puerto Rico and pay almost zero tax [free guide]

Puerto-Rico-Tax
March 9, 2015
San Juan, Puerto Rico

[Editor’s note: At the end of the article you’ll find a link to a free report we’ve put together on this important topic.]

It seems almost everywhere you look these days, bankrupt governments are raising taxes.

But no matter where you are, there are always solutions to do something about it.

For example, if you’re an Australian taxpayer, you can move to Norfolk Island[...] Click here to continue reading

Steve Jobs held billions of dollars offshore. Was he ‘unpatriotic’ ?

Steve-Jobs-offshore
February 24, 2015
Singapore

At the end of September 2011, just days before his passing, the company that Steve Jobs founded had a $25 billion cash hoard. Nearly half of this was stashed overseas.

What’s more, Apple was running billions in profit through multiple Irish subsidiaries, neither of which were taxable by the US government.

Steve Jobs departed this life owning 5.5 million shares of Apple (and another 138 million shares of[...] Click here to continue reading

US government’s new ‘rule’ allows banks to completely make sh*t up

Financial-Bank-Account
February 23, 2015
Hong Kong

In 1494, a 47-year old Franciscan friar named Luca Pacioli invented something that was revolutionary.

Pacioli was, in fact, a friend and contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci, and the two collaborated frequently.

So you’re probably guessing that Pacioli was a co-designer in Leonardo’s famed flying machine, or a new architectural technique.

On the contrary.

Pacioli’s invention was the double-entry accounting system; in fact he’s known[...] Click here to continue reading

Meet the bureaucrat who had the courage to tell the truth (and probably won’t have a job tomorrow)

Guan-Tao-Crisis
February 18, 2015
San Diego, California

It’s not very often that you hear a senior government official refer to their economic situation using the word ‘crisis’.

Yet with uncharacteristic bluntness of any government official anywhere, at least one senior Chinese government official is sounding the alarm bells.

And he would know.

Guan Tao oversees the foreign exchange of China’s $4 trillion stockpile of reserves, so he has an incredibly unique view[...] Click here to continue reading

How to use a Marshall Islands corporation to avoid foreign estate tax

Marshall-Islands-Estate-Planning
February 17, 2015
San Diego, California

Jim Morrison used to sing: “No one here gets out alive”. And while few people really expect to die, it happens to all of us.

Death, like Hemingway wrote of going bankrupt, happens gradually then suddenly.

Given the inevitability, it’s always a good idea to have a plan for what’s going to happen afterwards.

Besides, not adequately preparing for what happens to your assets after[...] Click here to continue reading

Look at what the Chinese do to protect themselves from their government

China flag
February 16, 2015
En route to the Land of the Free

Two years ago, Mr. Chan saw an opportunity.

Thanks to tight government control of the Internet, launching a website in China is an intensely bureaucratic affair.

It takes much more than just buying a domain and hosting it.

In China, you first have to register your domain with your ID at the Ministry of Internet Communication.

Then you wait.
[...] Click here to continue reading

Surreal: IRS apologizes for seizing bank accounts

IRS-apologizes
February 12, 2015
Puerto Varas, Chile

Twenty-seven years ago at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, George H. W. Bush accepted his party's nomination to run for President of the United States.

(This was when he announced Dan Quayle as his running mate, to which Senator John McCain later remarked "I can't believe a guy that handsome wouldn't have some impact.")

In his acceptance speech, the elder Bush famously told[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s some frightening honesty, courtesy of the US Congress

Sinking-dollar-debt
January 30, 2015
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

A member of my staff caught an obscure resolution that was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week—Resolution no. 41.

The fact that there was essentially no coverage of this Resolution really shows how the mainstream media is completely turning a blind eye to the true fiscal situation of the United States of America.

The entire point of the resolution is to say[...] Click here to continue reading

How you can avoid dying as property of the state

Japanese-elderly-estate-planning
January 30, 2015
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

The Japanese are known for being great savers and for prioritizing family ties. So it’s particularly important for them to make sure that their savings get passed along to their children.

It’s part of human nature to want to pass along our knowledge and our wealth to our offspring so that they can have better lives.

Sadly for Japanese citizens, their government is a miserable[...] Click here to continue reading

In case it weren’t completely obvious, this is why banking is a total scam

China-fake-bank
January 28, 2015
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Last May, Mr. Wang from Hangzhou, China walked into a bank on Jiangpu Street in Nanjing, opened an account, and made a 12 million yuan deposit.

The bank was new, but it didn’t look different from any other bank that Mr. Wang had been to.

It had a giant vault, counters for the tellers, exchange and interest rates posted on the wall. And above all,[...] Click here to continue reading

One simple trick to set up an offshore bank account in Hong Kong

Hong-Kong-bank
January 27, 2015
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

We’ve been very vocal in the past about the importance of holding a portion of your savings at a safe, stable bank offshore. The reasons are numerous:

Many foreign banks are much healthier than their Western counterparts who usually have razor-thin capital and tight liquidity.
Foreign banks typically make it easier for you to diversify your currency exposure, so that you don’t bet your whole savings[...] Click here to continue reading

It begins: IRS launches International Data Exchange service

Enter scam artists
Yesterday, the IRS announced the International Data Exchange Service.

If you’ve not heard of it, it’s is an outgrowth of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires every single bank in the world to get in bed with IRS to share information about customers.

We’ve said this over and over, FATCA is probably the dumbest law in the history of the United States. And I don’t say that lightly, because there’s[...] Click here to continue reading

How to evaluate if your bank is safe, and what to do if it’s not

Bank-Run-Safe
December 18, 2014
Santiago, Chile

On the morning of September 19, 1873, an excited crowd of people gathered outside the Fourth National Bank in lower Manhattan.

It was a wet morning, yet the line continued to grow, stretching across Pine Street down Nassau Street as rain-soaked customers jostled with one another for position.

Some people were clever enough to sell their spots in line to customers who held large deposits at the[...] Click here to continue reading

Say goodbye to the nation state, this is how the new system will look

Digital-order-world
December 9, 2014
Santiago, Chile

In the moment after the musicians finished their last song, the silence was broken by the faint tune of someone singing “Mu isamaa on minu arm”.

The singers on stage quickly looked at each other nervously, but seeing strength in each other’s eyes they began to join in.

The year was 1969, and the Soviet leadership that held control over Estonia had banned this patriotic song. Singing[...] Click here to continue reading

Why Singapore is the best place to store your gold

Singapore-Growth-Development
December 4, 2014
Santiago, Chile

On May 15, 1855 one of the greatest gold robberies in history occurred.

Three British firms had arranged for some of their gold to be sent from London to Paris by ferry and train. The gold was stored in solidly built boxes secured within iron safes with two locks.

When the boxes were opened in Paris most of the gold was missing, having been replaced by lead[...] Click here to continue reading

This guy’s got some serious tax problems

Boris-Johnson-Taxation
November 26, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

I can't say I've known too many guys in my life named 'Boris' who were shy about standing up for themselves.

The name itself means 'wolf' in an extinct Turkic language.

And if the current mayor of London Boris Johnson is going go to toe to toe with the IRS as he has stated, I certainly hope the translation is accurate.

Mayor Johnson is[...] Click here to continue reading