Latest Articles

The end of the euro: When will it happen?

August 31, 2012
Rome, Italy

My 2-year old nephew in Australia loves getting postcards.  He already associates me with frequent traveling.  I’m referred to as “Tim Hong Kong jet plane.”

So before leaving Italy today, after a fantastic week in the Umbrian countryside with our Sovereign Man Total Access members, I set out to mail him some postcards. What I got, among other things, was a useful lesson in Italian bureaucracy.

In[...] Click here to continue reading

On Switzerland and the mafia

August 30, 2012
Zurich, Switzerland

A few weeks ago, western governments' war on productive people took an interesting twist when US immigration authorities detained two teenage children of an asset manager based here in Switzerland.

The kids were traveling through the United States by themselves to visit extended family, and they were interrogated for six hours about
their father's business and whereabouts.

During the six-hour ordeal, the children were not allowed to contact family members who[...] Click here to continue reading

Some clear thinking on the debt

August 29, 2012Rome, ItalyIf you haven't heard yet, the United States of America just hit $16 trillion in debt yesterday. On a gross, nominal basis, this makes the US, by far, the greatest debtor in the history of the world. It took the United States government over 200 years to accumulate its first trillion dollars of debt. It took only 286 days to accumulate the most recent trillion dollars of debt. 200 years vs. 286 days.[...] Click here to continue reading

US gov’t: failure to disclose foreign account is worse than possession of child porn

Enter scam artists
August 28, 2012
Spoleto, Italy

Jacques Wajsfelner of Weston, Massachusetts is a criminal mastermind. Big time. Like Lex Luthor. But rest easy, ladies and gentlemen, for this nefarious villain is about to face some serious jail time thanks to the courageous work of US government agents.

You see, Mr. Wajsfelner was finally caught and convicted of a most heinous crime: failing to disclose his foreign bank account to the US government. Note-- he was not convicted of tax[...] Click here to continue reading

This hidden gem has a booming economy

August 27, 2012
Spoleto, Italy

All over the world, no matter how good or bad the economy might be in a certain country, there will always be some cites and regions
enjoying above-trend population growth and economic expansion.  If you are looking for new economic opportunities, a simple strategy is to choose such a place and go there.

In the United States, for example, places such as Alaska and North Dakota are still booming in spite of[...] Click here to continue reading

Easier said than done

Gold Standard
August 24, 2012
Spoleto, Italy

If you haven't heard yet, the committee which is drafting the platform for next week's US Republican National Convention has announced that they are including a proposal to return to the gold standard. Big news.

Ironic... given that it was a Republican president (Richard Nixon) who abolished the gold standard in the 1970s. Regardless, it's nice to see the issue thrust into the spotlight. But does it stand a chance of actually becoming[...] Click here to continue reading

Why you always want physical EVERYTHING…

Multiple Currencies
August 23, 2012
Spoleto, Italy

On the way from San Marino yesterday, I had to stop for some gas near Rimini, a beautiful beach town on Italy's Adriatic coast. As an aside, Italian gas prices are among the highest in Europe... and the world... at €1.77 per liter (almost USD $8.50 per gallon).

Naturally, the vast majority of this is due to taxes. From the € 1.77 per liter, only about € 0.48 can be attributed to[...] Click here to continue reading

This free country should be on your radar…

San Marino
August 22, 2012
San Marino

They call it "The Most Serene Republic of San Marino". That's actually the official name. And with good reason... because it's easily one of the most ideal places on the planet to be.

Perched atop limestone cliffs overlooking the Adriatic coastline, San Marino is the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world. It was founded in 301 by a Christian stoneworker from Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia) who was fleeing persecution under Diocletian.

The[...] Click here to continue reading

Tunisia: Blood in the streets?

August 17, 2012
Carthage, Tunisia

Banking tycoon Baron Rothschild is credited with saying that 'the time to buy is when there's blood in the streets.' Rothschild took his own advice, making a fortune buying deeply undervalued assets following Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

Tunisia's uprising was some 18-months ago, so it hardly qualifies as blood in the streets today. To give you an example, the local stock market (Bourse de Tunis) has recovered from its post-revolution[...] Click here to continue reading

The west has just become a giant banana republic

August 16, 2012
Carthage, Tunisia

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has made an admirable habit of enraging western governments over the last few years, particularly the United States.

Most notably, his release of classified diplomatic documents in 2010 proved ruthlessly embarrassing, shining a spotlight on the absurd,
petty little world of international relations.

Ever since, the US government has done everything it can to stop him. Short of assassination. They shut down his website, but mirror sites instantly[...] Click here to continue reading

Tunisia: revolution is just the beginning

Tunisia Revolution
August 15, 2012
Tunis, Tunisia

rev-o-lu-tion (n)
1. a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.
2. the single completion of an orbit or rotation.
On the morning of December 17, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi started his workday like any other. The 26-year old street merchant laid out the day's produce on his cart, greeted his colleagues, and passed the first few hours of the day without consequence.

Then the police[...] Click here to continue reading

The assault on freedom is just beginning

Airport Security
August 14, 2012
Somewhere beneath the English Channel

I'm writing this letter to you whilst throttling at a high rate of speed somewhere beneath the English Channel en route to Paris.

My ultimate destination is actually Tunisia, where I will spend the next few days on the ground checking out how the country has fared since its revolution last year.

Granted, having spent the last several days in London, it would have been much easier if[...] Click here to continue reading

The next big trend…

Hindu temple in Bali
August 13, 2012
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

A sprawling archipelago of more than 14,000 islands, Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful, exotic, and alluring places in the world.

Yet it's so huge... so diverse, with different languages, cultures, and religions, to even call Indonesia a single country demonstrates how antiquated the traditional concept of geography has become.

Indonesians typically identify themselves first with their home province or island; here in Bali, they would consider themselves Balinese[...] Click here to continue reading

12 things the ultra-productive do with their mornings

Relatively speaking, night owls are a fairly new concept because before advent of the light bulb, nighttime productivity was nearly impossible. Many people today either categorize themselves as early birds or night owls but in a recent study, researchers discovered the powerful advantages of being early to rise. US News reports on how early birds tend to be happier than night owls and the 12 things most ultra-productive people do with their mornings:
A recent study published in an[...] Click here to continue reading

Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

August 9, 2012
Oxford, England

Oxford is about an hour west of London by train, and if you've never been, I highly recommend it. On a per-capita basis, it's one of the most cultured cities in the world, right up there with Vienna, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Chicago, Budapest, and Austin.

Walking down Cornmarket Street on a beautiful summer day, it's common to pass opera singers and concert pianists plying their trade for crowds of tourists[...] Click here to continue reading

Economist won £250,000 for THIS proposal to exit the Eurozone

Eurozone Endgame
As the sovereign debt crisis in Europe continues without any clear sign of recovery, the fear of a Eurozone breakup is on everyones mind. People fear that if any country were to leave the Euro, further economic chaos would ensue. Economist Roger Bootle however, believes that despite a short term depression, a breakup would provide significant long term growth opportunities. RT News reveals their interview with Bootle and how he won the £250,000 Wolfson Prize for his[...] Click here to continue reading

Even the Canadian government is violating their citizens’ rights

The surpression of human rights is not a new concept and is taking place at an increasing rate worldwide. When people think about oppressive governments, Canada is definitely not the first that comes to mind. Recent student protests however, have lead the Canadian government to take a more tyrannical approach to maintaining order. CBC News reports on Canada's Bill 78 and its explicit violation of citizens' freedom of speech and right to protest:

Quebec's special law, Bill[...] Click here to continue reading

Police arrest Olympic spectator for ‘not smiling’

Male Portrait Frown
As the world shifts toward an ever growing police state, law enforcers are looking for almost any excuse to arrest someone. Just like our warfare, police are preemptively detaining citizens who look even remotely suspicious. The latest example of this occurred during the London Olympics where a man was taken to the police station because he was simply 'not smiling'.  The Guardian reports on the ridiculous reasoning behind this man's arrest:
A man with Parkinson's disease who was arrested during[...] Click here to continue reading

China is building a rare-earth monopoly

China's Rare Earth Monopoly
Rare-earth minerals are in increasing demand as their need continues to grow in hardware manufacturing. In order to capitalize on the demand, China has been striking deals with big REM suppliers like Mongolia, North Korea and several African countries. Now that China has secured a foothold on most major producers of rare-earth minerals, it appears they are aiming to drive up the commodity prices by reducing the global supply. CNN reports on China's attempt to form a[...] Click here to continue reading

Another example of why central planning is a bad idea…

Olympic Central Planning
August 8, 2012
Oxford, England

I've noticed something strange over the past few weeks, maybe you have too. It seems that every 'contrarian' website out there has joined together to collectively bash the Olympics and anyone who tunes in to watch.

This seems nuts. Nobody should feel guilty for wanting to see athletes in peak condition push the boundaries of human performance. I certainly don't feel guilty about it. In fact I came to the UK several days ago[...] Click here to continue reading

France is about to experience a mass exodus of wealthy elite

France's Wealth Exodus
European countries are currently looking for any opportunity to increase government revenues in order to alleviate the growing sovereign debt crises. The French government is going so far as to increase the top tier tax percentage to a ridiculous 75%. This has caused quite a stir among the French elite and many are contemplating their options to even evacuate the country. The New York Times reports on the country's rising taxes and a candid interview from a French tax advisor:
“We’re getting[...] Click here to continue reading

Entrepreneurial opportunities leave Afghanistan along with the expats

Shop in Kabul, Afghanistan
Afghanistan has certainly had a history of ups and downs. From being occupied by the USSR to being occupied by the United States, over the past three decades the Afghan citizens have had their fair share of foreigners. However, as US expats currently leave the country, they take with them a significant demand for products and services. Reuters reports on how this migration of foreigners is affecting the Afghan economy:
Like many other entrepreneurs in an Afghanistan bracing for[...] Click here to continue reading

US government proposes law making it illegal for them to kill you

August 7, 2012
Oxford, England

Last Friday, US Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced HR 6357, a bill which aims to 'prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens' by the federal government. In other words, in the Land of the Free, they need to pass a law to prevent the government from indiscriminately murdering its own citizens.

Now if this doesn't give one reason to pause and consider the distortions of liberty that have taken place in western civilization, I[...] Click here to continue reading

How to make sure your Gmail account is completely secure

Password theft is one of the most common cyber-security threats in our current digital age. Both Yahoo! and LinkedIn have experienced mass security breaches recently which led to hundreds of thousands of user accounts being compromised. Google however has a convenient security feature that you can enable on your account to ensure that if thieves obtain your password, they still can't access your sensitive information. Bussiness Insider provides a handy tutorial showing users how to enable[...] Click here to continue reading

New report says Obama and Holder are prime examples of cronyism

President Obama
Cronyism is not a new concept in Washington, DC. Mark Twain famously wrote about it in his novel, The Gilded Age, which parodied the the contrast between the massive wealth being made post-Civil War and the severe political corruption that helped fuel it. Today we still have much cronyism within our political system and a recent report from the Government Accountability Institute makes it even more apparent. The Daily Caller reveals:
A new report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute[...] Click here to continue reading

‘North Korea is sitting on the goldmine’

North Korea has had a long history of isolationism and financial struggles. The recent rise in food prices had caused large shortages in the country, however, many people have noticed a surprising increase in North Korea's capital. What most people don't realize is that the country is actually extremely rich in natural resources, especially rare earth metals. The Asia Times reports on the potential economic rise of North Korea:
...North Korea is sitting on the goldmine.[...] Click here to continue reading

India seeks tax reform to boost economic growth

Tax codes can be one of the most confusing areas of financial study, which is a big reason why CPAs get paid so well. However, when governments simplify their tax policies, it allows people to start and grow small business more rapidly. This is exactly why India's new finance minister is working to add much needed clarity to their tax codes. BBC News reports on the recent change in policy:
India's new finance minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, has pledged[...] Click here to continue reading

Rest easy, this criminal mastermind is behind bars

August 6, 2012
London, England

At one point during lunch today at an infamously spicy Sichuan restaurant in London's Soho district, my colleague turned to me and said, "You know, it's shocking to me that there hasn't been a single instance anywhere in the world of a banker getting beaten to death by the mob..."

I stopped for a moment, wondering if it was the cashew prawns talking. It wasn't.

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

The ‘slow death’ of the Swiss bank account

As a growing number of countries stand on the brink of bankruptcy, desperation sets in to acquire as much tax revenue as possible. In doing so, many countries are going after renowned tax havens and are destroying all the privacy of offshore banking. Swiss bank accounts were some of the most prestigeous in the word but now that they don't provide their former security, many account holders are quickly withdrawing their assets. Bloomberg reports on the resulting decline of[...] Click here to continue reading

How to erase your personal information from the Internet

In today's digital age, personal information is made easily accessible because of the internet. By searching for someone's name on Google, you can discover almost all of their personal data like age, phone number, address and even their family's information. Fortunately, there is a new service that allows users to erase all of their personal data from the net and take their privcy back. Business Insider explains:
Your information is for sale to all kinds of different[...] Click here to continue reading

The NYPD is better at abusing your rights than protecting them

The recent Occupy Wall Street movement may have some misdirections, but like all groups in the US, they have the constitutional right to protest. While it may be written into law, police officers have repeatedly ignored these rights in favor of abusing disgruntled citizens, especially in New York City. Reason expands on a recent report detailing the excessive use of force by the NYPD and their blatant abuse of power:
The exhaustive report (which I was also interviewed for, having[...] Click here to continue reading

Too much secrecy is the problem, not the leaks

Washington D.C. has always been shrouded in secrecy, corruption and scandal. Law makers and politicians often use their authority to safeguard information detrimental to the security of the nation but the vast majority of the time, they use their power to simply cover-up incriminating evidence. CNN reports on Washington's culture of secrecy and the major problems with over-classification:
At the end of July, the Senate intelligence committee marked up legislation drafted in response to recent high-profile leaks[...] Click here to continue reading

Taiwan is now exporting THIS commodity at record highs

Rice Farmer Taiwan
When people think 'Made in Taiwan' they typically envision Taiwan's electronics industry and  manufactured exports. This however is rapidly changing as Taiwan's rice exports have been making a significant resurgence in both the Japanese and mainland Chinese markets. The Asia Times reports on this economic shift in commodities and the causes behind it:
The door to both the mainland Chinese and Japanese market have been cracked open recently for Taiwan's rice farmers. In Japan, fears over radiation contamination are making[...] Click here to continue reading

Germany jumps on the drone bandwagon

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
The use of drones for both surveillance and assassination has been an extremely controversial issue with people evenly on both sides. The Obama presidency has been marred with the prolific use of drones both foreign and domestically, however it appears now that the German defense minister wants to follow in is footsteps. Reuters reports on the German support for using unmanned drones:

Germany, which used unmanned aircraft in warfare during World War Two, should deploy armed drones in its military, its[...] Click here to continue reading

This is the dot-com bubble 2.0

In 2000 the NASDAQ crashed as a result of a massive bubble caused by speculation in pioneer internet companies, most notably Many people lost their jobs and investments because of the gross over-speculation. Unfortunately we are currently experiencing a similar bubble in the valuation of I.P.O.'s. The New York Times reports on this phenomenon and what it means for investors:
A decade after the last technology bubble burst, the signs are everywhere that it is happening again.

Look[...] Click here to continue reading