bank accounts

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

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

An easy way to bank in the Channel Islands

June 22, 2010
Oxford, England

In our daily conversations, we talk a lot about planting multiple flags-- this is the practice of diversifying sovereign risk in order to protect or asses and our assets.

After all, sovereign risk is the greatest risk we face today as investors, entrepreneurs, professionals, and free individuals. Governments have absolute authority to seize, commandeer, or otherwise control any asset of their choosing, including ourselves, and they can back[...] Click here to continue reading

Questions: renouncing US citizenship, postal mail for PTs

June 18, 2010
Madrid, Spain

Long haul flights from South America generally tend to leave in the evening, usually between 7pm and 1am. The airlines do this so that you arrive first thing in the morning and can catch any connecting flight you may need... which is nice for travelers.

The flight schedule does make things a bit inconvenient prior to departure, though.  Even with a late hotel check-out, you'll have about 5[...] Click here to continue reading

Questions: The job postings, tax implications, Asian banking, Switzerland, Belize

April 30, 2010
Las Vegas, NV

It's chilly in Las Vegas, but I'm having a great time meeting so many subscribers here at the Casey conference; I'm pleased at how many have turned up for the event, and I'm always humbled by the exceptional people we have in our community.

My only regret is that the conference organizers could not allocate more space for Sovereign Man readers, and I will personally ensure this[...] Click here to continue reading

What emerging markets have in common with puberty

April 8, 2010
Panama City, Panama

Do you remember that really awkward phase we all went through as adolescents?

Growth spurts, voice changes, menstruation, and yes, pimples-- in the end, while we all came out of it more mature and grown up, there was a difficult and sometimes painful transition period in which we had to learn how to deal with new realities.

Developing countries go through the same sort of transition,[...] Click here to continue reading

Questions: Panama sustainability, offshore incorporation, Thai banking, housing

March 26, 2010
Vancouver, BC

I'm headed to Panama shortly where I look forward to meeting up with my friends and colleagues in the Atlas 400 group. We're going to an exclusive deep-sea fishing resort for a few days, and afterwards I plan on taking up some unfinished business in Panama.

One of the things on my agenda is to revisit the sustainable community concept that I began discussing a few months ago.[...] Click here to continue reading

Banking and Gold Storage in Hong Kong

March 23, 2010
Hong Kong, SAR

The banking system in Hong Kong is one of the most advanced in the world, and if you're shopping around for a place to plant a banking flag, you should definitely consider it.

As a jurisdiction, Hong Kong was effectively founded and built into a global financial center for the sole purpose of bridging east and west. Today, as Asia has grown into an economic powerhouse, Hong[...] Click here to continue reading

Questions: An Emergency passport? European citizenship; foreign banking rules; walking away

March 5, 2010
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Greetings from Malaysia, where I'm spending an extended weekend before heading briefly to Singapore on business.  I'll tell you more about the country next week... but if you're interested in Asia, it should definitely be on your radar.

Before turning to this week's questions, I wanted to give you a quick update on the job posting from a few weeks ago.  Ordinarily, Matt and I would have[...] Click here to continue reading

A simple shortcut for a foreign bank account

Thanks to completely draconian US-led regulation, opening a bank account anywhere is about as fun as a barium enema.  Opening a foreign bank account can be an even greater nightmare.

Most of the time, a foreign bank will want you standing there, in person, to open an account, as well as to provide a seemingly endless array of notarized documents, stamped papers, and letters of reference.

Trust me, it's not their preference either...[...] Click here to continue reading

Your questions: Central American healthcare, Swiss banking, Panama foreclosures, Belize

January 29, 2010
Boquete, Panama

It's a beautiful day in the Panamanian highlands, and I'm taking the opportunity to explore the countryside for undervalued land deals.  The Chiriqui province of Panama, where I am now, is sort of like the Panamanian version of Texas-- fiercely independent and proud... locals consider themselves to be citizens of Chiriqui first, and Panamanians second.

As we've discussed in previous letters, I have been sincerely exploring the idea[...] Click here to continue reading

Why you don’t want to go at it alone

Blair is in her early 40s from Southern California.  She's intelligent, fairly aggressive, and an experienced financial executive at a mid-sized manufacturing company. In total, she has about $250,000 in savings, some of which she used to buy property in Panama.

She is single with no children and has been traveling to Panama to plant flags since 2006. She plans on (semi) retiring there in another 5-years and has unfortunately learned a lot of[...] Click here to continue reading

Case Study: Multiple Flags in Venezuela

January 19, 2010
Mexico City (DF), Mexico

For such a pale skinned gringo, his Spanish was impeccable. We were both sitting in the business class lounge at the airport, and the fluidity with which he was prattling away in Spanish on his mobile phone caught my attention.

Ordinarily, given his very light complexion and European fashion sense, I would have guessed that he was Argentine; his accent, however, was devoid of the traditional[...] Click here to continue reading

How to avoid living in a police state

If I have been too subtle in the past, let me be absolutely clear this afternoon: the time to do something, the time to take action to safeguard your future and your families livelihood, is NOW.

I'm more impassioned than usual this morning... and with reason.  Reluctantly, I tuned in to Team Obama's press briefing last night about the ongoing saga of the Nigerian underwear bomber.  Obama's is clearly trying to cultivate a fear[...] Click here to continue reading

Four jurisdictions to store gold overseas

January 7, 2010

Reporting from: Estepona, Spain

I've long believed that exchange controls will eventually return to the developed world, specifically in the United States and Western Europe. Struggling to find buyers of their debt, these governments will likely impose strict penalties for net outflows and retail currency transactions.

Unfortunately, most people will be too broke, too stupid, or too distracted to care that their savings are trapped in a rapidly depreciating[...] Click here to continue reading

Multiple Flags Overview

Reporting from: Malaga, Spain

I do not have tremendous faith in world 'leaders' (as ridiculous a moniker as that is to use); last month's debacle in Copenhagen only further underscored how perverse and ineffective the existing political process is, and everyone is really starting to see it.

The Social Contract is deteriorating rapidly, and in the end, the one thing that you can count on is that people will ultimately do what they[...] Click here to continue reading

Subscriber Questions

I receive a lot of subscriber questions, and while I cannot answer them all, I wanted to specifically address three of them that key in on recurring themes in this community-- second citizenship, investing, international opportunities, corporate structures, banking, and gold/silver storage.

1) Paul asks-- "I was wondering what your 1st choice would be in setting up an online business offshore.  Which country would be best for business structure, hosting, and merchant accounts?"

[...] Click here to continue reading

Capital controls are a foregone conclusion

So much for BMW's run-flat tires. Believe it or not, I'm actually sitting on the side of the A3 motorway in central Germany, about halfway between Frankfurt and Munich, waiting for the tow-truck to arrive. 

Apparently you're supposed to be able to drive on these tires even when they're flat... and with such confidence in their country's manufacturing capabilities, the German rental car company didn't bother providing me with a spare.  Call me old-fashioned,[...] Click here to continue reading

Six speeding tickets for a second passport

I spent a couple of days this week in a fast BMW with Matt, my friend and business partner. We had a meeting in southern Spain yesterday with a key figure in the world of second passports, and we raced at speeds up to 250 km/h so that we could make the meeting and bring you some tremendously valuable information.

It came at a price-- six speeding tickets in total, mostly across the south[...] Click here to continue reading

International brokers and second passports

It's true what they say about the Autobahn... there really is no speed limit.  I've been in the car all day with my close friend and business partner Matt, racing our BMW from Stuttgart to Monaco.  Our goal is to reach Spain by the end of this week where we have some important meetings lined up on your behalf.

If everything goes as planned, I will be able to bring you some incredibly unique[...] Click here to continue reading

Why Islam can save your wealth

Long ago, physical commodities were used as a mediums of exchange... gold and silver were quite popular because they were scarce, divisible, durable, and hard to replicate.

If you had a few extra ounces laying around and wanted to store it securely, you would seek out the people who dealt with precious metals all the time and had the right equipment and staff to keep it safe.  At the time, those were goldsmiths.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Panama, Inc.

If he keeps this up, they might start calling it Panama, Inc.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli has been in office less than 6-months, yet to the extent that it is politically possible, he seems bent on running Panama with the same vision as when he ran the chain of supermarkets that made him one of the country's wealthiest men.

Step 1-- eliminate corruption in the government. All side deals and back room handshakes[...] Click here to continue reading

Three ways to diversify out of the dollar

Updated 9/23/2009 (thanks JES)

People ask me this question a lot-- what's the best way to diversify US dollar holdings into other currencies?

Well, 'best' is certainly relative... I prefer commodities and precious metals as a way to protect my savings, but I can't exactly pay my American Express bill with the bullion that I have locked away in South America.

Living in the 21st century among our modern conveniences nearly requires[...] Click here to continue reading

Asia’s best kept secret

Today I found out first hand how much Chinese are looking to avoid taxes.

I attended a conference today sponsored by the government of Labuan, Malaysia at the Grand Hyatt here in Shanghai.  Labuan is Asia's newest financial center, and the government there is heavily courting wealthy Chinese investors and businesses to migrate their capital.
There are a lot of rich Chinese businessmen who are looking for a way to reduce their tax burden,[...] Click here to continue reading

Singapore financial overview

I've explored Singapore in the past, but on this particular trip I really wanted to broaden my understanding of the country's legal framework and financial infrastructure. With only 72-hours on the ground, I would have to work fast... so the trip was a whirlwind tour of bankers, lawyers, gold dealers, corporate secretaries, and international tax planners.

Here's the good news: Mission Accomplished. I learned far more than I expected, caught up with old connections,[...] Click here to continue reading

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 mostly insolvent western nations; the organization has a penchant for bullying smaller countries into changing both their laws and local[...] Click here to continue reading

Weekly update


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 Swedbank to the tune of a 5% decline.  The market sees these two parties as inextricably linked: as Latvia[...] Click here to continue reading

Banking in Austria

Yesterday I was on a mission in Vienna to buy and store gold; today I was on another mission that is honestly quite sensitive, but I'm going to share it with you anyways.


For years, Austria has been one of Europe's best destinations for 'private banking'-- professional wealth and asset management by conservative, responsible stewards who ensure that return on savings will beat the rate of inflation.

While Switzerland has closed[...] Click here to continue reading

Storing gold in Austria

As much as I love the city, I'm here in Vienna today on a mission-- gold storage.  After yesterday's missive about Panamanian safety deposit boxes, I thought it appropriate to follow-up with a couple of strong solutions for offshore gold storage, and Austria certainly fits the bill.

First of all, if you love mountains, you definitely need to check out Austria. The Austrian Alps command some of the most breathtaking views in the world,[...] Click here to continue reading

Important Panama banking update

Something is afoot in Panama that I want to tell you about.

Several banks, including Banvivienda and HSBC, have recently announced that they will discontinue renting safety deposit boxes.  Customers who currently rent boxes will have until the end of the year to vacate their belongings.

Furthermore, some banks that formerly used to work with US customers, including Banco General, Credicorp, and Global Bank, will no longer open accounts for Americans unless they[...] Click here to continue reading

Mailbag: Answering your questions

Greetings-- lots of questions this week so I'm going to jump right into it:

Thanks for the emails and comments from yesterday's Nestmann interview, I'll try to do more things like this... and thanks to Matt for doing such a great job on the interview. The most common question was whether there is a great book like Nestmann's Lifeboat Strategy specifically for Canadians.

We asked Mark, and he said[...] Click here to continue reading

Mailbag: Answering your questions

Today I wanted to get down to the business of answering some of your questions from earlier this week:

First of all, I apologize if I failed to make things clear when I started this letter: I am no longer part of Without Borders; Notes from the Field is not affiliated with Casey Research or Without Borders.  Furthermore, Notes is free and not tied to any other subscription that you might have.

[...] Click here to continue reading

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. May last confession was April 15th. Here is all the information on my foreign bank accounts, including those for[...] Click here to continue reading