If you read my letter last week, you know I have now escaped from America. Last week we moved to Riga, Latvia. It was a hellish plane ride riddled with delays, running through the airport baggage bouncing behind, barely making connections, and lost luggage. You name it, it went wrong.
Now that we are settled here though, it is fantastic. Riga has some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. There seems to be a park every other block. The river and the canal running through the center of the city are gorgeous.
Earlier tonight I went for a run along the canal and back down the river. There were couples walking hand in hand and kids playing in the parks.
I ran along walking paths with little lighting and there were no signs of trouble anywhere. Young girls felt comfortable enough to go for a walk at night without fear. It really is a great city.
Housing, food and entertainment are cheaper than anywhere in the US. I was out apartment hunting earlier today and found an amazing 3BR/2BA apartment fully furnished with a sauna for about $900/month. An equivalent apartment in Chicago would cost around $3000.
You can easily find a .5L beer at a pub for about $2. The most expensive movie ticket to a beautiful 3D theater in the center of town runs about $7.50. I went to the movies yesterday and the ticket was about $5.50.
Did I mention that Latvia has a low flat tax of 23% on earned income, or that there is no tax on investment income, capital gains, or even on foreign sourced income?
I’m not saying Latvia is the perfect place. The winters are cold (I actually like cold winters though), gas prices are exorbitant, and many shopping items like clothes and electronics are pricey.
The point is, there are many great places to live around the world. Many Americans are borderline arrogant in their patriotism and feel the rest of the world is just 2nd rate. This is not the case.
While I agree that the US has many great places to live, you cannot argue with the fact that it is rapidly losing its luster.
Since last Friday, we have witnessed the US lose its coveted S&P AAA rating, gold rally about 8%, US treasuries rally (safe haven investment LOL), and the Dow index bounce like hedge fund manager jumping out of Wall Street high-rise.
In my own portfolio, gold and silver stocks have been the only thing keeping me from the ramen noodle and pork and bean aisle in the grocery store.
Precious metals stocks can make great investments and/or speculations. In my personal view though, gold is a store of value.
You cannot deny this if you take a look at the long term charts for gold prices when compared to the value of the US dollar. An ounce of gold today buys about the same amount of ‘stuff’ as an ounce of gold 100 years ago. The US dollar however has lost 97% of its value.
Jeff Clark from Casey Research said it best in a recent article;
There are 101 reasons to own gold right now. You might buy because of the debt turmoil you see around the globe. You may think it wise, like the Chinese and others, to keep some of your savings in gold. Negative real interest rates may draw you to gold. You might buy because of the mere fact that demand is overwhelming supply. Or you fear inflation. Or deflation.
But most of these factors are missing one critical element: They’re not yet personal.
Most reading this have not had to flee their country, been the victim of hyperinflation, or watched helplessly as their currency went poof! Longtime investors have made money on their gold investments, to be sure, but most of us bought the yellow metal as an investment and not because of a do-or-die situation. (read the rest here)
We are not seeing gold rally for any other reason than the worldwide debt crisis. Over the past week we have heard the rumblings in Europe about Italy and Spain (as if it were ever a question) and just today France made the headlines about their debt issues. Let us not also forget our own US S&P AA+ rating.
Our policymakers have been living in a dream world. Reality is not in their dictionary apparently. We have a very serious debt problem with no one willing to take responsibility.
The reality is that we are in the midst of an American debt crisis. Take a look at this short 8 minute video by the guys over at Casey Research. The narrator discusses the debt crisis with hard facts. They also offer solutions. It is really eye opening.
What are you doing to secure your financial future? Have you created your own exit plan? Have you developed a formidable asset protection plan to ensure you are not wiped out by the poor decisions of our elected officials or the ambulance chasing lawyers representing the parasites of the world?
One of the first things that should be on your list is opening an offshore bank account. Having money outside of the reach of the US court system and denominated in currencies other than the US dollar should be a top priority.
We have recently developed a relationship with a bank in Singapore that will accept American clients without actually having to make a personal visit to the bank. You can open the account in your name personally, or in the name of your Singaporean company.
For the personal account at this Singapore bank, there are 2 banking options; one with no minimum deposit and no ATM card or checkbook, the other with a small minimum deposit and comes with an ATM card and checkbook.
The business banking option has all the normal features you would expect from a business bank account. Email me if you would like more information about facilitating the opening of a Singapore company and bank account.
Singapore has become the Asian Switzerland. Many wealthy Australians, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and others are now calling Singapore their banking home. With privacy laws favorably compared to pre-2008 Switzerland and the rapid rise of the Chinese economy, they are not likely to be easily swayed by the bullies from the US department of revenue.
For any of my consulting clients, I will provide this introduction for free. If you are a client, please send me an email requesting the introduction.
If you are not yet a client, I charge a flat $1000 for creating a personalized asset protection plan. With this plan, I analyze your assets, liabilities, income and desired outcome to provide you with options on minimizing your risk and potentially your tax liability.
I will also credit the $1000 towards any implementation fees once you choose how you wish to proceed. As stated above, I will provide the introduction to the Singapore bank that accepts Americans without a personal visit.