Podcast

Simon Black: The Most Sound Opportunities Are Outside the Western World

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 12:35 PM

"In the long run, as decades of capital misallocations and inefficiencies in the global economy get shaken out, there’s going to be a redistribution of the wealth. And I think the wealth is going to go to where it’s treated best.

And at the end of the day, that’s really what I’m looking for: the places that have the most solid fundamentals and the best growth potential."

So states Simon Black, who travels the world (over 20 countries in the past 3 months) in order to assess and report on the investment and lifestyle opportunities offered by various international destinations for the readers of his blog, SovereignMan.com. His boots-on-the-ground observations lead him to conclude that there are a number of resource-rich and fiscally sound developing nations that are much better positioned to meet the future than the US and its developed counterparts. Smart investors, in his opinion, can't afford to ignore the stability and returns (both financial and lifestyle) that these countries offer. They should be asking themselves: Do I have sufficient exposure to these opportunities?

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Simon Black (runtime 33m:25s):

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In this podcast, Simon details:

  • The nature and scope of the opportunity he sees foreign markets offer - on investing, business and personal levels
  • Why much of the developing world is in a secular ascendancy vs. developed countries
  • The investing edge his boots-on-the-ground info scouting gives him in identifying and assessing opportunities
  • The universal trend he observes in all governments to preserve the status quo - and why that means the US is likely to continue down its current inflationary money-printing path
  • How developing exposure to countries outside your own offers reduced risk and higher potential returns to your investment portfolio
  • How individuals of any means can pursue "true freedom": sufficient personal wealth, time and liberty - by looking abroad

Simon Black is the proprietor of the SoveriegnMan.com blog. He travels to dozens of countries each year, meeting with key players in industry, government, and finance, to develop an insider’s advantage in understanding where world affairs are headed. Simon's blog is dedicated to the principal of helping people find true freedom, which he defines as having sufficient wealth, time and personal liberty. To that end, he produces a daily stream of both free and premium Notes From The Field for his readers.


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8 Comments

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1125
Thanks for inviting Simon

Thanks for inviting Simon Black to do a podcast!  I've read a number of Simon Black's articles on sovereignman.com, but this is the first time I've had the opportunity to hear him via podcast.  His articles often heavily endorse the idea of living abroad, but one part that I liked about the podcast is that he focused on just having a more international way of life in general.  Too many people get hung up on either staying put or moving abroad entirely, but there's a wide range of possibilities between those two choices that still allow for taking advantage of opportunities internationally.  Even for those of us that aren't rich...

- Nickbert

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 2501
Simon says.

A good interview. Thanks to Simon and Chris.

I see events unfolding like a bushfire. If you stand your ground you had better be fire proof. But if you move around, you can dodge the worst heat, and come back to your home turf after the fire is burned out.

I am thinking of using my yacht to trade coffe from Brazil to Capetown.

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
The Sovereign Indivdual by James Davidson and William Rees-Mogg

Nickbert, Arthur,

One book worth hunting out I read some time ago called The Sovereign Indivdual by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg is my valued recommendation. Written and published in 1997 might first make it appear unworthy at a first attempt at taking the time out to read it, but it is extremely prescient indeed. Amazon have the opening chapter of the book to read online, and I think $7 including postage for a second-hand paperback copy won't bust the bank!

Here's a link to it

Independent Review : -

This book contains an explanatory theory of what the authors call Megapolitics. The theory is grounded in three past revolutions and predicts that we are in the middle of a fourth.

Each revolution is brought about by technology, occurs very quickly and almost invisibly to the participants.

The first revolution was the transition from hunter-gatherer to a world of private property, brought about by the technology of agriculture.

The second, around 1000AD, resulted from knights on horseback, and involved the transition from lawless anarchy to a world dominated by the Church and the code of chivalry.

The third transition happened due to gunpowder and the invention of the movable type printing press, around 1500AD, and resulted in the fall of the power of the Church, and the rise of centralized military power and eventually the nation-state.

The authors make a convincing case that the fourth transition is happening now due to the Internet and microprocessor. Over the last 1000 years, the returns on violence were going up, but now, with the Net and computing resources, the returns have gone down.

The authors say this will result in the decline of nation-states, and skilled individuals opting out of their "contract" between themselves and their government. These individuals, call them "haves", will be able to move their assets and possibly themselves so that they are subject to dramatically lower taxes.

There are a lot of nuances here but what makes this book so interesting is that it has detailed historical back-up. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the ramifications of the web and the microprocessor.

My Best,

~ VF ~

Dan Robinson's picture
Dan Robinson
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 13
"The most sound opportunities are" ...

The most sound opportunities are wherever you are at the moment. Stop thinking about making money for yourself or selves and more about reasonable survival of communities and consciousness. Money in all present forms will be obsolete soon. The value of gold and silver will be more about there metallic qualities. Iron, steel, aluminum and copper may become more valuable. Gather things that will have good barter value, such as especially farming and camping skills.

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1125
sovereign individual; sound opportunities

VF-

Thanks for the suggestion.  I happen to be going to the used bookstore this week and I'll add that to my search list.

Dan Robinson-

I agree the survival and thriving of our communities is of paramount importance and trumps concerns of money or 'things', but I have to disagree with you that the idea of money will become obsolete.  Now you did say present forms but near as I can tell the context of the rest of your post (such as barter) implies obsolescence of money itself.  A possibility perhaps (I think a small one but that's just my opinion), but NOTHING is certain.  Most of us here can attach a (very) high probability that our economies and societies will get less complex, but to act on the assumption it will simplify to the point where having a universal means of exchange is irrelevant or of little use may leave you in a future world of hurt.  It makes sense to consider all possibilities and not assign certainty to any one of them.  Money may become considered less important as things of primary and secondary value increase in importance, but barring a global transition to a very primitive existence or a huge paradigm shift to a StarTrek-like money-free society, money will still play a part in our lives. 

FWIW I actually look forward to a world where money is less important; I find the concept of money extremely useful, but IMO society has clearly gone apeshit with the priority placed on it.

- Nickbert

sofistek's picture
sofistek
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 644
What?

"They should be asking themselves: Do I have sufficient exposure to these opportunities"

I just skimmed the transcript but, wow! What is this podcast doing on here and why is Chris agreeing so much with a person he surely must intensely disagree with? Look at what he said about one of the great opportunities, Brazil:

"There are about two million Brazilians that, sort of like North Americans, they have a tremendous propensity to consume. Brazilians are not exactly noted savers. Brazilians love to spend -they get money in their hand and they love to consume. And I think that in the future, Brazil is actually going to be the most important consumer market in the western hemisphere."

And Chris appears to be lapping that up. Have I stepped into an alternative universe or something?

Dan at least interjected some semblance of normality with his comment.

Tony

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Milan Kundera's ~ The Joke

Nickbert,

Then might I also suggest you grab a translation of Milan Kundera's 1967 book The Joke from that second-hand book store as a literary compliment to the Soveriegn Individual by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg. An exurgent comedy, for which we can both applaud and laugh at the irony of from opposite sides of the atlantic ... Smile...

~ VF ~

DianaDavenport's picture
DianaDavenport
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 20 2011
Posts: 2
to sofistek

You said:

I just skimmed the transcript but, wow! What is this podcast doing on here and why is Chris agreeing so much with a person he surely must intensely disagree with? Look at what he said about one of the great opportunities, Brazil:

"There are about two million Brazilians that, sort of like North Americans, they have a tremendous propensity to consume. Brazilians are not exactly noted savers. Brazilians love to spend -they get money in their hand and they love to consume. And I think that in the future, Brazil is actually going to be the most important consumer market in the western hemisphere."

And Chris appears to be lapping that up. Have I stepped into an alternative universe or something?

Although I can see why you see a desparity,  I think you may be misreading Chris's postion.  At least to me, it seemed as though he was letting his guest speak for the sake of anything that might be of value to any of his members.  In my mind, a lot of Chris' credibility comes from the fact that he is not dogmatic.  While he is an analyst, I think he was interested in a a perspective that is likely quite unlike anything he's familiar with. 

We are Americans living abroad, and although we don't have the capital to travel the world starting businesses, we consider ourselves to be more international citizens now - especially because we have experienced living in a country with a language that is new to us.  We ponder everyday where might be the best place to live.  We would never have done this before, as we were both natives of our former town.  Now that we are uprooted, we think this way. 

The advice that Chris gives is very sound, however, there is a huge diversity of people in the world, and there must be more than one right way to handle the coming adjustments. (In our case for instance, we are unable to implement many of Chris' strategies.)  I think Chris would like for people to be well-informed with any information that may be of use to them - even if it is different than what he sees. Just speculation, but I think that might be where Chris was coming from in this interview.  

Oh yeah, abot the Brazil comment...  I don't think he was necessarily advocating that type of consumption (if that's what you were referring to), as much as identifying that as an opportunity.  I do agree with you though that there is an apparent difference in the objectives of Chris and sovereignman, but again, I think Chris was just letting this perspective be presented in case there was something of value to any members.SmileI think you'd hear that in Chris' voice if you'd heard it rather thn read it.  Rest easy, Chris is still on course.Wink

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