January 19, 2015
Savino Gugliemetti stared down the 20-meter lane towards his destiny.
He could hear his pulse pounding amid the deafening silence of the auditorium, and feel the sweat dripping from the intense LA heat outside.
He let out a powerful exhale, leaned forward, and began to charge the outstretched pommel horse for his final vault.
It was over in seconds. Landing firmly, he lifted his hands and confidently faced the cheering crowd knowing that he’d won gold.
That was in 1932 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. And when Gugliemetti won that gymnastics gold medal in 1932, the world was an entirely different place.
Perhaps most importantly, the British Empire was the most dominant superpower in the world, and the British pound was the world’s primary reserve currency.
But the tides were already beginning to change.
By 1932, wealth and power were shifting towards the United States, which had already become the world’s largest economy decades before.
And the US dollar was increasingly becoming the dominant currency in world trade.
It was pretty clear what was happening– the century would obviously belong to America. It was only a matter of time.
Fast forward to 2012, this time in London. The world gathered again for the Summer Olympics.
And in the gymnastics vault competition, South Korean competitor Yang Hak-Seon won the gold medal with a routine that was unfathomable back in 1932.
Eight decades ago, Gugliemetti won the gold medal with a vault that six year old girls can perform in their sleep these days.
And eight decades from now, someone else is going to win the gold with a routine that makes Yang Hak-Seon’s look amateurish and cute by comparison.
Back in 1932, the world was changing. Britain was on the way out, and the US was on the way in.
Today things are changing once again.
China has smoothly taken over both the UK and the US economically to become (once again) the largest economy in the world.
Just as the US got ahead economically by dominating trade and production at a time when Europe was constantly at war, China today is dominating trade and production at a time when America is in a constant state of war.
Not to mention, China is rapidly divorcing itself from the US-dominated financial system. And its renminbi is quickly becoming a competing reserve currency to the US dollar.
All of this comes at a time when the United States continues to be hobbled by debt levels that are rising nearly every day, and have officially surpassed $18 trillion (over 100% of GDP).
Just as a gold medalist can’t expect to remain a champion forever, neither can a nation.
The world is in constant flux. And though we might not like change, resisting it is detrimental.
That’s why international diversification is so important.
For example, don’t hold all of your savings, income, property, assets, etc. all within the same country, simply because that just happens the country of your citizenship.
Wealth, savings, income, livelihood– these are all far too important to be left up to accidents of birth.
There are places out there that have solvent, stable, top quality banking systems (Andorra, Hong Kong, etc.) and present far safer options to hold your savings than where you’re probably currently banking.
There are places out there that present much better investment value than your home country’s stock market (which is probably at an all-time high).
There are places out there where you can structure yourself to reduce (or even eliminate) your taxes… and it’s completely legal.
And there are places out there where you can live your life with more freedom, less stress, and more opportunity than you could even begin to imagine.
You don’t bet everything on whoever is champion today, assuming that s/he’s going to continue to be champion forever.
And for people who see the trends coming and position themselves to take advantage of them, there are untold fortunes to be made… and saved.