I remember a U.S. that celebrated wealth creation and rewarded hard work. Now I fear that the opposite is happening. Every day I read about greedy lawyers preying on hard-working families. I watch with horror as our right to privacy is dismantled.
Gold has tangible value. Unlike the money in your bank or the cash in your pocket, gold is an asset with intrinsic worth. It has been valued for thousands of years—and that’s not about to change. In a banking crisis, U.S. banks may confiscate your money. This happened in Cyprus with the infamous “bail-in” of defenseless depositors.
Opening a bank account abroad has many benefits. It gives you access to investment opportunities not available in the U.S., protection from a drop in the value of your home currency, protection from professional liability and senseless lawsuits, increased privacy, and investment stability in the event of breakdowns in domestic markets as well as possible protection from foreign exchange controls.
We all want to save taxes, make ourselves less of a target to sue-happy lawyers, and generally enjoy more freedom to live as we want to. You’ll be happy to hear, there are some well-established ways that you can preserve and protect your assets right now.
I remember walking into Credit Suisse in downtown Chicago back in 1986 to open my first international account. It was as simple as filling in a one-page form, showing my driver’s license, and giving my opening deposit.
The smell of chocolate and churros wafts through your open window. The soft murmur of early morning shoppers gently rouses you from a good night’s sleep. You open your eyes to find yourself in a villa above a bustling street market in Barcelona, Spain.
Until about 100 years ago, you didn’t need a passport for international travel. If you were traveling for some official purpose, or needed a way to identify yourself, you often had the option of carrying one. But you didn’t need permission from anyone to cross international borders. For better or worse, that’s not how things are today. Your passport doesn't belong to you. It belongs to whatever government issues you a passport and it can be taken away, for any reason.
An international bank account is always a good idea, particularly if you live, work, invest, or own property abroad. It allows you to control your money wherever you are on the globe, and it is your key to international investment opportunities. Even if you put a few thousand dollars in a non-U.S. bank, you still have the opportunity to take advantage of several key benefits of offshore banking.
If you’ve been keeping up with the stories about the Panama Papers in the mainstream media recently, you’d be forgiven for equating the word “offshore” with tax evasion, money laundering, and other criminal behavior. But there’s one small detail the media isn’t disclosing: The vast majority of the individuals whose confidential financial data was stolen weren’t doing anything illegal. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which coordinated the review of the documents, more than 320,000 offshore entities appear in the leak.
Despite all the rhetoric out of Washington these days, you can bet we will see tax hikes this year. They might not be overt. Instead, we could see stealth taxes go up first…parking fees, garbage collection, vehicle registrations and the like.