I’ve been reading Simon Black’s newsletter for a year now. His take on dealing with crisis is having a means of moving to another country. I’m thinking about subscribing to his confidential service. Has anyone else tried this? Does he write something worth paying for?
Yes, FA. I subscribe to the Confidential.
Simon’s comments so far appear to be valid. If you can get his December issue, it will probably be worth your while as that issue includes pertinent information from such luminaries as John Mauldin and Tim Price. If you take heed, the information may save you most of the price of the subscription.
I don’t subscribe to his Confidential (paid) members service, though I have followed his articles for awhile now. While on some occasions I come away with the impression that he’s painting an overly rosy picture of some of the overseas opportunities he describes, so far I haven’t seen anything yet where he’s been wrong or way off base. And he does do a good job of describing and outlining some of the specific dangers posed by the US and other governments to our financial and personal freedoms.
As to whether it’s worth paying for? I can’t say for sure since I’m not a member, but it seems to me that it’s most beneficial to those with at least a moderate amount of assets to protect or those with the means to afford economic citizenship in the few countries that offer it. If you don’t fit that profile and are of limited means, then much of the information would likely be of limited use and you’re probably just as well or better served by saving that money, doing your own research, and striking out on your own. But if you do have significant assets and financial options available, it might be worth looking into. Of course this is all assuming that moving or living in another country is something that really appeals to you. Many smart people who see the crisis are planning on staying put, so it makes sense there’s more than one good way to ride out the coming transition. Though it is worth noting that many of those same people still look for ways to diversify some of their financial assets overseas even if they decide to physically stay where they are.
Simon Black also did a podcast interview here with Chris earlier this year which you might want to check out if you haven’t already.
I signed up for his confidential membership. His guidance is pretty solid and on -par with guidance I have gotten from other professional services in the areas of offshore banking, residency, tax topics for US living aboard, and opening a foreign bank account. It was worth the price paid simply for the general overall information.
In addition, I talked to one of his contacts in Australia regarding a bank and brokerage account and checked the broker with the bank he recommends. It all checked out exactly as he said it would.
I haven’t used the other of his suggested contacts because they are generally for people who have, imo, a net worth of about $1 million. Some of his suggestions will work for anyone but really the newsletter caters to upper-middle class and the rich.
Just FYI because it should be relatively public knowlege by now, the cost of buying into Simon’s Chile-located resilient community is $199,000 for the ‘pioneer’ level (first 30 takers) and likely about $150,000 after that although he hasn’t officially set a price point yet. The community supposedly has plans for built-in renewable power, and already has good water and agriculture established. In addition, it is sufficiently located outside the major city but far enough away to have what Simon calls a ‘low pitch-fork factor."
Still, it’s a good publication over the 6 months I have had it.
For a poor man’s international resource, try Casey’s International Man . He gives some very good free advice and has some pretty good guides that are as good as Simon’s confidential newsletter. In addition, he offers a contact that will open a foreign bank account in South America very cheaply ($100). With the likely coming US capital controls, for $100 you can move your money to a relatively safe banking district that is a relatively short plane flight away. And you don’t have to be a resident or stay in the country.
Thanks for the great replies! I’d never seen International Man before, and I just spent the last several hours SCOURING everything on it from the past year. Maylasia, Singapore, Mongolia and Mexico all look like great, stable options for being an expat life from what I have dug up. Being someone who thrives in risk, I am still looking for information on entrepreneurial opportunities (and contacts) in some developing land such as Afghanistan.
Simon Black seems to be outside my paygrade. My total assets do not exceed a few thousand dollars, and $300 for the CHANCE of a contact in another country just isn’t in the cards for me. I will continue trying to learning about the possibility of expatriating myself and making professional contacts, without wasting away my few financial resources. Thanks for helping to direct my search!
I think the US is the lynchpin for the world economy. If the US goes down, the entire world economy goes down. It has been planned that way to minimize the risk of nuclear war. During a woldwide fanancial crisis I don’t think stability will be found ANYWHERE. The locals are very intolerant of GRRINGOS with NO MONEY!!
Singapore (my brother lives there) is like a manicured jungle park. The govenment gives young Singaporean couples a 1,000,000 dollar apartment as a wedding present. However they make all the malaysian workers exit the island every night. You can forget about immigrating there for citizenship, and you better be willing to pay some hefty rent and have some true talent and college degree to be allowed in as a worker in the first place. (edit they do allow in some unskilled workers to do menial jobs that singaporeans won’t do, but your employer posts a $5000 bond and you will be expelled from the country immediately if you get fired. This fact leads to considerable mistreatment by employers, therefore I would not recommend this route.). Otherwise, if you are an elite expert in something the singaporean government wants, it is a great place to live.
My family and I now spend the majority of our time outside the US (in Mongolia actually), and we don’t subscribe to Sovereign Man Confidential or any other paid expat service either. While we do have a modest net worth it’s not enough to even buy a home in most cities in the US, and so without a lot of money or investments to move around we saw little advantage for any paid service. I’m sure there would be some benefits for us, but not quite enough to be worth our while (especially since we already have contacts and family there). On the plus side, as redrob25 mentioned there is quite a bit of free and useful information out there. Another great resource is Mark Nestmann…. he posts free articles at his blog site http://nestmann.sovereignsociety.com/
IMO you don’t NEED a lot of money to make a new life in another country, but having money definitely increases your available options immensely. For example, an investor’s visa in Mongolia now requires a minimum of $100K to put in a Mongolian bank account to be eligible (you can move it back out of the account to use as you wish after you get the visa, but you need to be able to scrape it up in the first place to apply). A work visa doesn’t have such requirements, but a work visa is not always easy to get and it only lets you work for someone else (it won’t allow you to open your own business). Furthermore in most developing nations even if there are many jobs available they often pay very little by US standards, and while the cost of living is usually lower than the US, it does not stay proportionate to American average income vs cost of living. In Mongolia a monthly wage of approximately $250-$350 is common for many jobs that expect a college education. So it makes sense that a lot of people there still want to go to the US despite all the recent troubles, because they know IF they can get a job they will get paid far more. IMO it is entrepreneurs that benefit the most from opportunities in the emerging world… but not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, and for those just looking for a good job the developed nations still offer the best opportunities. At least as it stands now… I’m sure big changes along these lines will be seen in both developed and emerging nations.
I ended up subscribing to his newsletter and found it very worthwhile. We don’t have much net worth but the advice he dispenses in one place has proven it worthwhile to us. For example, the shipping company he recommends for moving valuable and or highly sentimental items did not show up for me on extensive web searches but it turns out it is a major firm doing all kinds of shipping but specializing in high value stuff for millionaires and museums (but their fees are competitive with fed ex and they will do all the customs/clearance stuff) including the increasing paperwork on the U.S. side.
Also, all the increasing U.S. regs and filing requirements for expats are covered so you won’t accidentally miss one, these can trip you up and you don’t have to be rich to be concerned about them or covered by them.
That said, I am going to check out the free options noted by other posters.
By the way – you may want to consider New Zealand, been here for over a year, have residency, love it. Jumped through the immigration hoops withOUT a consultant. The key is to have a skill on the “long term skills shortage lists” and there are quite a few. Simon Black likes NZ too (although he obviously favors Chile).