Lifestyle Design

The best second passport for Edward Snowden…

Passports
June 28, 2013
Santiago, Chile

Ron Paul recently said on his Facebook page:

"My understanding is that espionage means giving secret or classified information to the enemy. Since Snowden shared information with the American people, his indictment for espionage could reveal (or confirm) that the US Government views you and me as the enemy."

He's right. If nothing else, the way this has played out tells you everything you really need to[...] Click here to continue reading

US Senate to retroactively punish runaway tax slaves

Tax Slave
June 21, 2013
Bio Bio Region, Chile

Years ago, it was virtually unheard of for someone to give up his/her US citizenship.

Then, one by one, a handful of famous cases surfaced... like Sir John Templeton, who renounced his US citizenship in 1964 and moved to the Bahamas.

At the time, Templeton was able to save $100 million that he would have otherwise had to pay in taxes to the US government.
[...] Click here to continue reading

A small, easy, no-brainer investment

Water
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 expensive to transport, water is highly localized. So despite the abundant supply in Greenland, it doesn't really[...] Click here to continue reading

Chile farmland is some of the most undervalued in the world

Chile
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 pick up the money lying in the corner.

One of the benefits of traveling the world so extensively is[...] Click here to continue reading

What use can we really be after capital controls or a currency crisis?

June 11, 2013
Santiago, Chile

It's one of the hardest habits to break.

We begin pledging our allegiance to the state before we even know what that means. We learn to sing bombastic, patriotic songs of praise at an age when we don't understand the vocabulary of the lyrics.

And after years of repetition and social reinforcement, the idealistic devotion to country becomes profoundly ingrained in our personalities.

It's a[...] Click here to continue reading

Another clear sign: Chile to join US visa-waiver list

Santiago
June 5, 2013
Santiago, Chile

It's really great to be back in Chile.

Despite being early winter on this side of the earth, the weather in Santiago is still perfect. It's a bright, beautiful, sunny day with fresh snow blanketing the nearby mountain peaks.

My friends tell me that the ski slopes are already open, and I'm looking forward to catching some Andean powder.

Having traveled to well over 100[...] Click here to continue reading

Three key lessons from recent travels around the world

Three Lessons
June 4, 2013
New York City

Greetings from New York. Or, New York's JFK airport, rather.

Having just been fondled by a government agent (who commented rather saucily that I'm 'in top form' as he molested me), I'm now comfortably settled in the lounge awaiting my flight to Chile whilst reflecting on my travels over the past two months.

I've recently had the pleasure of putting boots on the ground[...] Click here to continue reading

The story of things to come…

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

I'm not much of a fiction reader, but about two years ago a friend turned me on to a couple of books by Daniel Suarez-- Daemon, and its sequel Freedom.

I won't ruin the plot, but it's an excellent story with gripping insights into what the future could look like after a crash of the global financial system.

When in Vietnam, I'm constantly reminded of a quote in[...] Click here to continue reading

Is this passport a total scam?

April 26, 2013
Koh Samui, Thailand

The flight from Penang to Koh Samui is quick. And it's incredibly cheap.

Unlike their Western counterparts, Asian discount air carriers actually walk the walk. You can zip around the region for flights often costing just $50 to 100.

And it's well worth it, there is much to see in Asia... from the obvious opportunities in Cambodia to the clear lifestyle advantages in Malaysia to here[...] Click here to continue reading

When leaving is the only sane choice left…

April 25, 2013
George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Though few people have heard of Penang today, it once ranked among the most opulent destinations in the world.

Ceded to the British East India Company in 1786, Penang was a critical trading hub for European imperialists; it thrived as a free port along critical eastern trade routes and rivaled even Singapore's importance.

By the early 20th century, cosmopolitan Penang was famed as a must-visit[...] Click here to continue reading

“The battlefield is the United States of America”

April 24, 2013
George Town, Penang, Malaysia

When you've got a guy like Senator John McCain who says "The battlefield is the United States of America," it tells you that almost nothing is safe in the Land of the Free.

Whatever remains of civil liberties is going to feel the full brunt of the state's boot heel.

They're already regulating some of the most fundamental aspects of life, from how we are[...] Click here to continue reading

The next shoe to drop: Internet sales tax to become reality

Price Controls Coming
April 23, 2013
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Surprise, surprise... the completely insolvent US government has yet another idea to raise revenue in the Land of the Free: a new tax!

The Marketplace Fairness Act was introduced some time ago, and we've discussed it before. But it's now being rushed through Congress as quickly as possible.

It's aim? To collect sales tax for online transactions. And in addition to being financially debilitating, the bill[...] Click here to continue reading

The one thing that governments do really well–

April 22, 2013
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

In the killing fields outside of Phnom Penh, you can still see bone fragments protruding from the ground. It's harrowing to say the least.

Roughly two million people were wantonly massacred in the 1970s under the rule of Pol Pot, decimating not only the population but also the nation's economy.

Modeling his policies on communist China's failed "Great Leap Forward", Pol Pot destroyed libraries and machinery,[...] Click here to continue reading

It’s still rock bottom cheap here…

April 19, 2013
Jakarta, Indonesia

Whoever said "it's a small world" never flew across the Pacific.

The flight from Santiago to Sydney is a mind-numbing 14 hours. And then it's another 8 to Jakarta. Yet along the way are vast stretches of civilizations, resources, and amazing opportunities.

No, the world is a wonderfully massive place. And after a few months' hiatus, it's great to finally be back out here again.

Long-time[...] Click here to continue reading

Important lessons in domestic terrorism

April 18, 2013
Jakarta, Indonesia

 In the first century AD, the Roman Empire was up to its eyeballs in domestic terrorism.

The biggest threat was a tiny Judaic sect known as the Zealots who routinely conducted public attacks, even against other Jews who didn't agree with their views.

This is actually where the word 'zealot' comes from, and the group constitutes history's first recorded example of terrorism.

The Zealots knew they[...] Click here to continue reading

The one reason why gold’s sell-off doesn’t matter…

April 15, 2013
Sydney, Australia

Somewhere, Paul Krugman is smiling.

The Nobel Prize winning economist, whose brilliant ideas include:

spending your way out of recession
borrowing your way out of debt
conjuring unprecedented amounts of currency out of thin air without consequence
staging a false flag alien invasion of planet Earth

is perhaps most famous in certain circles for calling gold a "barbarous relic". He also recently suggested that Europe's failing[...] Click here to continue reading

Check out this billionaire’s New Zealand Hideaway

[Editor's note: Tim Staermose, Sovereign Man's Chief Investment Strategist, is filling in for Simon today from Bay of Islands, New Zealand.]

The wealthy have been diversifying internationally for centuries. Baron de Rothschild famously sent four of his five sons to different points of the compass: one to London, one to Paris, one to Naples, and one to Vienna.

Russian oligarchs and Arab oil sheikhs have been calling London home for decades, while[...] Click here to continue reading

What Peter Schiff told me this morning…

As mentioned yesterday about our recent Offshore Tactics Workshop it was easily the most exhausting yet exhilarating thing I’ve done.

I’ve now retreated from the bustle of the big city to my Sovereign Valley farm for some rest and reflection, and yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting Peter Schiff and his wife for the evening.

In between getting beaten by Peter in ping pong and eating delicious organic food from the farm,[...] Click here to continue reading

Could this possibly be real?

Historic is the only word I think you could use to describe it.

Just imagine the scene: Ron Paul, Jim Rogers, Nigel Farage, Jim Rickards, and Peter Schiff, all on stage at the same time, Saturday night, in Santiago, Chile.

This was so fantastical that when we posted the photo of the group on our Facebook page yesterday a lot of people thought it was an April Fools' joke.



And[...] Click here to continue reading

Seven books every sovereign man should read

Being a sovereign man is not just about diversifying and internationalizing your assets across national borders.

It's as much about your mindset and the way you view the world and the events that are happening around you.

Your worldview is heavily dependent on the knowledge and ideas that you are exposed to, but as demonstrated some people don't want to learn, neither from books nor from history.

Take Ben Bernanke for example.
[...] Click here to continue reading

A second passport you’d probably never think of

South Korea

Over dinner with a friend in Busan, South Korea yesterday, the conversation turned to residency and second citizenships. My friend is a successful entrepreneur who’s lived in South Korea ever since I first met him in 1996.



Right now, he has an investors’ visa. The requirements are simple; when he got his, an investment of KRW50 million (about US$46,000) was enough to qualify.

But due to a rise in popularity, and some[...] Click here to continue reading

This is what happens when you don’t have reserve currency status

Costa Rica
[Editor’s note: Tim Staermose, Sovereign Man’s Chief Investment Strategist is filling in for Simon today from San Jose, Costa Rica.]

It’s easy to see why people like Costa Rica so much.

The country is gorgeous, and the climate can be excellent. There are plenty of cooling breezes to keep it comfortable year-round, despite the tropical location. And during the dry season, the country is bathed in constant sunshine.

The higher[...] Click here to continue reading

Yesterday I learned about this great residency loophole

Yesterday I had the opportunity to break bread with a good friend of mine who is an alumnus of the Startup Chile entrepreneurship program.

This is a really unique program that the government launched in 2010 at the behest of one of Chile's leading entrepreneurs. In its first few months, Startup Chile brought 22 entrepreneurs from 14 countries to Chile, providing each with $40,000 in equity-free seed capital, residency permits, and access to local[...] Click here to continue reading

This entire country has become a giant offshore bank account

Punta del Este
Reporting from Punta del Este, Uruguay

"Charming" is, I believe, the word most often used to describe Uruguay. People tend to make a lot of parallels to the United States in the 1950s-- a much slower pace of life, less government intrusion, and family focused.

The capital city of Montevideo is notoriously sleepy and provincial. It feels in many ways like a small town despite having 1.3 million inhabitants, about a third of[...] Click here to continue reading

The easiest place in the world to start a business

February 6, 2013
Santiago, Chile

Chile is about to become the easiest place in the world to form a company and start a business.

According to a new law that was recently passed, the Chilean government is slashing the bureaucracy associated with forming a company here to the absolute minimum.

Currently, it takes a few weeks to form a company in Chile at a cost of about $600, if you do[...] Click here to continue reading

How I reached my breaking point ten years ago today

February 5, 2013
Santiago, Chile

Exactly ten years ago to the day, I was in the Kuwaiti desert waiting for George W. Bush to 'make his decision'.

You may remember the circumstances. Ever since labeling Iraq, Iran, and North Korea the 'Axis of Evil' in January 2002, the President had been gradually advocating war with Iraq based on the threat of nuclear weapons.

We knew it was going to happen.[...] Click here to continue reading

Will expatriation become illegal?

February 1, 2013
En route from Lima to Santiago

Let's end this week with something that we haven't done in many, many moons: a Q&A.

Each week, my staff receives hundreds of questions from the 100,000+ Notes from the Field readers... and given the utter insanity which pervades the West right now, it's high time we reintroduce Q&A as a regular feature of this letter. It's my intent that the answers will[...] Click here to continue reading

You’ll be surprised at the most exciting places to be right now

It's been a couple of years since I've been to Lima, and I'm amazed at the growth that has taken place in that time.



The level of disposable income has risen dramatically as more people have been pulled into the middle class. And despite the increase in the number of roads, traffic is worse than ever. This is a clear (albeit inconvenient) sign of growth, owing to the rapid increase in the number of[...] Click here to continue reading

Can you imagine—a place with ZERO property tax?

Chile Farmland
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 striven to achieve sovereignty. It's in our nature.

Like animals in the wild, we humans began our[...] Click here to continue reading

You know you’re no longer living in a free country when…

January 29, 2013
Southern Ecuador

You know you're no longer living in a free country when the government tells you what you can and cannot put in your body. Or when an unelected board of bureaucrats and corporate insiders can confiscate the assets of hardworking small business owners.

Yet these have become par for the course in the Land of the Free.

The latest bout involves a family-owned raw milk operation in[...] Click here to continue reading

The paradise of Galapagos… and its population controls

January 28, 2013
Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

You know that saying people use all the time-- "It's a small world..." ?

It's really not. The world is huge. Really, really huge. This fact is continually impressed upon me as I travel. After nearly a decade of living nomadically and traveling to more than 100 countries, sometimes I think I've barely scratched the surface.

The Galapagos is an excellent example; while just[...] Click here to continue reading

Scam complete: the US government takes a page from Diocletian’s book…

January 25, 2013
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Early in the 4th century, Emperor Diocletian issued an infamous decree to control spiraling wages and prices in the rapidly deteriorating Roman Empire.

As part of his edict, Diocletian commanded that any merchant or customer caught violating the new price structures would be put to death.

This is an important lesson from history, and a trend that has been repeated numerous times. When nations are in terminal[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s a great question worth asking yourself–

January 24, 2013
Santiago, Chile

What would you do if you hit your breaking point... tomorrow? Where would you go? What would you do with your time and resources? It's a great question worth asking.

Some close friends of mine have been in town for the past few days escaping the northern winter and basking in the exceptional Mediterranean climate of central Chile. And just yesterday, we were discussing this exact issue.

[...] Click here to continue reading

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 Security and state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent. So I've got to make some decisions on what to do."


Though[...]

Click here to continue reading

Ending up like the Joneses…

Reporting from: Santiago, Chile

There's a funny take on the Fiscal Cliff floating around the Internet that several of our keen subscribers have passed along.

Like most things floating around the Internet, though, the details are inaccurate. So I've gone back and modified the parody with accurate numbers, and a bit more plot. What follows is 100% accurate based on 2012/2013 data:


2012 US Tax Revenue: $2,469,000,000,000

2012[...] Click here to continue reading