Monday, June 17, 2013

Protecting Yourself From Confiscation

Via Robert Mish, from Steven Saville's

Protecting yourself against government confiscation
Government confiscation of wealth can take many forms. Here are some examples:

1) Taxes, duties and royalties

2) Nationalisation of assets

3) The forced exchange of one asset for another of lesser value, such as the compulsory exchange of gold for dollars in the US in 1933 and pension funds in some countries being forced to invest in government debt.

4) The arbitrary impositions of laws and regulations that reduce the values of investments

5) Capital controls that prevent money from being transferred to a more desirable location, thus ensuring that the money remains available to the government for future harvesting via taxation or forced investment in government debt.

6) Licenses and fines

7) Price controls

8) Inflation

Specific and detailed tactics for protecting yourself against government confiscation are outside the scope of the TSI newsletter and largely outside our expertise (our specific tactical knowledge is mostly limited to our personal experience and would not be relevant to the majority of our readers), but in general terms it boils down to internationalising yourself and your assets.

Internationalising your assets involves spreading your wealth over multiple political regions, such that no single government can take an action that jeopardises your financial well-being. To be a little more specific, it makes sense to spread assets/investments between North America (the US and Canada), Asia (mainly Singapore and Hong Kong), the Asia-Pacific region (Australia and New Zealand), and parts of non-euro Europe (e.g., Switzerland and the UK). Some countries in Central and South America (Mexico, Panama and Chile being three examples) could also make suitable homes for a portion of your capital. The extent to which you spread your wealth geographically will, of course, depend on how much wealth you have. The more wealth you have, the greater your need for international diversification.

Internationalising yourself involves having at least two official travel documents and is of greatest importance if you are a US citizen, the reason being that if you only have a US passport then internationalising your assets will be far more difficult than it should be. This is because the actions of the US government have transformed US passport-holders into pariahs from the perspective of most financial institutions outside the US.

Confiscation via inflation is the one form of government theft that you can't effectively protect yourself against by internationalising your assets, because all major currencies are being inflated aggressively. With there being widespread commitment to the wrongheaded belief that a strong currency is a liability, this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

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