Personal Resilience

How I lost 100% of my investment on the Corona Virus

At precisely 11am on November 11, 1918, in a nondescript railroad car in northeastern France, a group of senior military officers and government officials signed an armistice agreement that effectively ended World War 1.

The Great War had killed a staggering 9 million soldiers in four years. That’s more than nearly every major global conflict in the previous two centuries combined.

Yet right at the same time as the war ended, a mysterious[...] Click here to continue reading

One of the biggest financial mistakes anyone can avoid

I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately…

A very good friend of mine, who is also an executive at the agricultural company I founded here in Chile, was in a terrible accident with his family.

We’re very fortunate today because it looks like everybody is out of the danger zone.

There were some intense moments as this played out. And it led to the inevitable discussion with next of kin.

[...] Click here to continue reading

With scumbags like this, it’s easy to understand why Bitcoin is at $4600…

File this one away under ‘utterly repulsive’.

As you probably heard, yesterday the US-based credit reporting agency Equifax announced a massive cyberattack that affects as many as 143 million consumers.

Names. Birth dates. Addresses. Social Security Numbers. Even some credit card numbers were stolen.

Literally over one third of the entire US population is at risk of identity theft now thanks to Equifax’s bungling.

Bear in mind this is the THIRD[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s what happened when Venezuela imposed gun control laws

I just got back from Caracas, Venezuela, a city so dangerous that every time I left my hotel, the staff would warn me against even going outside.

It’s an incredibly difficult reality to reconcile. People hate the fact that they may get robbed or killed just steps from their front door when they leave the house every morning.

And nobody wants that.

After all, everyone wants to be safe. Even wild animals[...] Click here to continue reading

Banking, as we know it, will not exist in 10 years

July 14, 2015
Yangon, Burma

When I first came to Burma (Myanmar) several years ago, there was scarcely an ATM to be found anywhere.

It was primitive. And frustrating.

After all, most people coming from the West tend to think their banking system is robust and highly advanced.

And that’s true to a degree. Internet banking and ATMs are certainly nice modern conveniences.

But if we go back in time[...] Click here to continue reading

How much gold should you have in your portfolio?

While I was in Mexico for our Global Offshore and Investment Summit in Cancun in 2015, I was approached by Forbes Mexico for an interview on some of the key trends in the global economy as well as internationalization strategies for investors.

You can read the full article here in Spanish, and below I’m reprinting one of the questions on precious metals.

This is understandably a topic that seems to be on many people’s[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s how to stop your phone company from tracking you [Free Guide]

March 12, 2015
Willemstad, Curaçao

One of the largest telecommunications companies in the world is now offering a unique new ‘feature’.

For “only” $29 per month, AT&T is promising customers of its new broadband service that it won’t track their search and browsing history.

How magnanimous.

First of all, privacy shouldn’t be a privilege that you’d have to pay for. Second, how can anyone be sure that they’ll keep their promise?
[...] Click here to continue reading

“We messed up badly here”: Lenovo admits to putting tracking software on your PC

February 20, 2015
Los Angeles, California

File this under ‘you can’t make this stuff up.’

Lenovo Group, the largest computer manufacturer in the world, has made a rather stunning admission that they have been pre-installing tracking software on their PCs.

The tracking software is made by a company called Superfish, which apparently paid some “very minor compensation” to Lenovo for putting the software on people’s computers.

The Superfish program is a[...] Click here to continue reading

British government wants to outlaw secure communication

Ban secure communication
January 14, 2015
Santiago, Chile

Well at least someone finally had the candor to just come out and say it.

In the wake of recent terror attacks in Europe, British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for an end to secure communications technology.

In other words, he wants to ensure that you will never again be able to use encryption technology to maintain privacy.

Nothing should be safe from government’s prying[...] Click here to continue reading

What we can learn from the Sony hacking scandal [digital privacy resources]

December 17, 2014
Castries, St. Lucia

As he speculated on the ethics of society, Aristotle found himself naturally led to the study of politics.

Putting together his observations, he wrote a treatise on political philosophy (cleverly entitled Politics), in which he describes how a tyrant abuses power for personal benefit at the expense of his subjects.

And they can get away with this either with a reign of terror or by disguising[...] Click here to continue reading

Why Singapore is the best place to store your gold

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

Do you plan to ‘stay and fight’? Here’s a better solution.

November 5, 2014 (Remember, Remember)
Santiago, Chile

Long ago when I was a fresh young Army lieutenant straight out of the academy, I spent six months at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, learning how to be an intelligence officer.

Fort Huachuca (pronounced wah-CHOO-kuh) is nestled snugly on the Mexican border, so there were a lot of other government outfits in the area like US border patrol and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Military intelligence officers[...] Click here to continue reading

IRS seized 1.7 million GB of data last year

Digital Privacy
March 26, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Every organization has a unique way of measuring its own success.

Apple tracks very closely, for example, how many iPhones and iPads they sell. Facebook monitors how many total users they have.

And for the brand new Cyber Crime Unit (CCU) of the IRS Criminal Investigative Division, one of their key metrics for success apparently is the volume of data that they 'seize' in any[...] Click here to continue reading

World governments agree to automatic information sharing

February 24, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

It's like 34 drunken sailors holding each other up. That's the best way I can think of to describe the latest product from the good idea factory that is the OECD.

Over the weekend in yet another cushy five-star hotel, representatives from this unelected supranational bureaucracy announced plans for world governments to exchange all their citizens' tax and financial data with one another.

The 34[...] Click here to continue reading

Why do we have faith in gold? (one simple statistic)

January 6, 2014
London, England

[Editor's Note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor is filling in for Simon today.]

On December 31st, 1964, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 874. On December 31st, 1981, it stood at 875. In Buffett's words, "I'm known as a long term investor and a patient guy, but that is not my idea of a big move."

To[...] Click here to continue reading

Four important estate planning steps you should consider

September 25, 2013
Sovereign Valley Farm, Pencahue, Chile

It goes without saying that parents want the best for their children... and that each generation wishes the next to be even more prosperous and successful.

For the most part, this has been the historical pattern since the Industrial Revolution; every successive generation has enjoyed an almost uninterrupted rise in standard of living, made possible both by the development of new technologies and the passing[...] Click here to continue reading

2,400 year old wisdom on the NSA, Edward Snowden, and gun control

August 27, 2013
Spoleto, Italy

Nearly 2,400 years ago, Aristotle wrote one of the defining works of political philosophy in a book entitled Politics.

It's still incredibly relevant today, particularly what he writes about tyranny.

The ancient Greeks used the word 'turannos', which referred to an illegitimate ruler who governs without regard for the law or interests of the people, often through violent and coercive means.

Aristotle attacks tyrants mercilessly in[...] Click here to continue reading

This is the way they’ll ‘nationalize’ gold

August 20, 2013
Rome, Italy

It was just last week in the Land of the Free that a Federal judge declared Bitcoin to be a currency.

And almost immediately after, the SEC announced 'investigations' into the digital currency.

(You remember the SEC, the guys who are tasked with protecting the public from dodgy investments... yet they routinely give their blessing to the likes of Madoff, Enron, toxic mortgage bonds, etc.)

This[...] Click here to continue reading

For those who think– “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear…”

August 2, 2013
Trakai, Lithuania

In any discussion about privacy, there's invariably someone who says, "Well, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."

What a bunch of baloney. This may be one of the most ignorant statements ever uttered yet it's held by a wide majority of people who still trust their governments.

Yesterday the Guardian newspaper published yet another example of why this thinking is completely fallacious.
[...] Click here to continue reading

Think your password is secure from the NSA? Try this

Silent Circle
July 31, 2013
Vilnius, Lithuania

Seven minutes.

That's how long it would take to crack one of the passwords I had been using for more than ten years, according to the crypto experts at Silent Circle.

Let's be honest. A lot of people use the same password over and over again across multiple websites, like email, bank accounts, and social media.

Sometimes these passwords can be a bit elementary. The dog's[...] Click here to continue reading

How to give the NSA the finger

NSA Black Paper
June 24, 2013
Santiago, Chile

On March 10, 1975, a group of US diplomatic and national security officials gathered at the office of the Turkish foreign minister's office in Ankara. Henry Kissinger was among them.

The discussion turned to foreign aid and supply of parts for military equipment, at which point Kissinger (Secretary of State at the time) suggested something that violated the law.

William Macomber, the US Ambassador to Turkey, said,[...] Click here to continue reading

The 4th amendment violations will continue until morale improves

June 7, 2013
Maule Region, Chile
For some, it's hard to even fathom... as if the headlines were ripped from the Onion instead of Atlas Shrugged or 1984:

NSA Is Wired Into Top Internet Companies’ Servers, Including Google and Facebook

NSA reportedly collecting phone records of millions

Former NSA head defends agency reportedly spying on millions of Americans

US gov't defends NSA surveillance, slams 'reprehensible' journalists

Even more, just within[...] Click here to continue reading

This is why you don’t want to move gold yourself…

April 10, 2013
Santiago, Chile

A few days ago, Italian authorities stopped a man who was making his way across the border into Switzerland with his wife and three children.

They searched his car and found, literally, a ton of gold bars hidden in a floorboard storage compartment.

Needless to say, the gold was confiscated, the car was impounded, and the man was arrested, despite the fact that it's perfectly legal to[...] Click here to continue reading

The #1 problem when owning gold

March 6, 2013
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

In official testimony before Congress in December 1912, just three months before his death, J.P. Morgan stated quite plainly:

"[Credit] is not the money itself. Money is gold, and nothing else."

(the quote is almost Shakespearean in its unrhymed iambic pentameter...)

Of course, this testimony came only 253 days before H.R. 7837, better known as the Federal Reserve Act, was introduced on the floor[...] Click here to continue reading

Five tools to protect your privacy online

We’ve discussed many times before—hardly a month goes by without some major action against Internet users… from Obama’s ‘kill switch’, to ACTA, SOPA and PIPA, to stasi tactics against people like Kim Dotcom.

Online privacy is becoming more important by the day. And nobody is going to give it to you, you have to take steps yourself to secure it.

Below are five different tools and services that will get you started:

[...] Click here to continue reading

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.

We talk a lot in this column about the importance of owning precious metals... and often for the sake of[...] Click here to continue reading

A secret paradise for gun rights and residency

August 2, 2012
Bergen, Norway

High up above Scandinavia about 75 degrees north latitude is an obscure archipelago that few people in the world know about, and even fewer have been to.

It's called Svalbard, population ~3,000. And while the islands are technically part of Norway, they come with some incredibly unique benefits that I'll explain in a moment.

For centuries, Svalbard was completely lawless, devoid of any government authority. It attracted[...] Click here to continue reading

Planting your electronic flag

We all know that Google is in bed with the government... I suppose it's nice that CEO Eric Schmidt is at least open about it.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Schmidt effectively admits that Google archives everything about a user-- web searches (google), email and contact lists (gmail), online office documents (google docs), photographs (picasa), text and voice messages (google voice), and even a user's current location (google maps).

The depth of[...] Click here to continue reading