As you know, we love to analyze the analysts. Financial analysts, that is. We like to look at how they think, how they come to their conclusions, what factors they look at. Of course we don’t bother with the ones that don’t get it right. Only those who do . . . most of the time. No one gets it right all the time.

Gerald Celente, trends analyst, is one that we keep under our microscope. We have quoted him before, particularly his statement about forecasting trends. He says it isn’t difficult at all. You can tell the trend by watching current events. From everyday news  you can see in what direction things are headed–and that’s the trend. You just have to observe, then stop and think. So let’s do some thinking.

New Developments This Week

We try not to be redundant in our newsletters but it seems to us that almost every week in the United States another brick is laid in the wall being built in front of the exits. The escape hatch is closing for those who want the option of moving to a safer country. We have posted several different steps that we think are being taken to control movement of assets, and thus people. Let’s face the facts. If your money can’t move to another country, then neither can you.

First, several years ago, it was pressure on the foreign banks through filing requirements that caused many banks to tell U.S. citizens to take their business elsewhere.  But the window only narrowed. There were and still are banks that do want U. S. citizens as clients. Just not as many.

Then they added an exit tax on funds beyond a certain amount leaving the country. Of course that was only for the “very rich.” Not for you and me. Even if the U. S. citizen earned it, and paid all due taxes on it, they can be required to leave a substantial part behind as an “exit tax.”

Now the  U.S. is preparing to initiate a program whereby they will keep a percentage of anything you withdraw and transfer outside the country. You can file for a refund of that money at the end of the year if you can prove that you paid taxes on the money. But in the meantime the cost of buying a home offshore, for example, could become prohibitive because, in addition to the price of the house, you would still need to deposit, with the U. S. Government, 30 percent of the amount of the funds withdrawn. For example, if you decide to buy a $100,000 house in Chile, you will have to withdraw approximately $143,000 (do the math if you doubt that) since 30% of the withdrawal must be sent to the IRS. Might that stem the flow to foreign investments?

Well, so much for only affecting the rich.

Then, for those who do not hold U.S. passports, we reported to you the new passport applications being handed out at random that are impossible for most people to complete. They required such information as names and contact information for everyone who was present at your birth, names and contact information for every employment supervisor you ever had, the street address  of everywhere you ever lived . . . and so on. If you were 22 that might be doable, but otherwise probably not. Remember you need a passport to travel internationally.

We believe that application was dropped for a while but it has now been approved for use, but not everyone gets the new application. How they decide who gets it is beyond us. We recommended our readers only apply online so as to avoid that application. That has worked so far but there are no guarantees. If you are a U.S. citizen and you do not hold a U.S. passport, we invoke again the words of our high school English teacher. Time is of the essence.

We have reported to you as recently as last week that you can move your IRA or 401K offshore and invest it in other things besides the U. S. stock market, including real estate and precious metals. We explained that you could not buy real estate and use it for yourself, but you could own it as a rental investment. Already this is changing.

The process for doing that requires that you set up an L.L.C. to hold in the IRA which, in turn, holds the assets. Before you can set up an L.L.C you need a tax number. This week we are informed that some IRS offices are refusing to issue a tax number for an L.L.C. that is owned by an IRA. The average person, reading that, might think nothing of it. But for you and me we understand that if you can’t get a tax number you can’t form an L.L.C and if you can’t form an L.L.C. you are limited in how you can use your IRA and you can’t move your IRA outside or invest it in other things.

There may be another factor entering in here. Every year now for the last three years there is discussion in Congress about taking over the private retirement funds (your IRA or 401k) and “managing” it for you.

Do you see a trend here? We apologize for bringing this to your attention over and over. But once again, this week, the exit window became smaller. We think there’s a chance that people who do not take action soon may end up without options. It is akin to life insurance. You don’t plan to die early, but you protect your family in case you do. Here we are talking about financial life insurance.

Those who have a job or a business that just makes it impractical for them to leave right now, or for whom other things stand in the way of moving physically, might at least move part of their assets out of reach of  unsavory politicians. This is why we focus so much on diversification–planting flags in different countries, i.e., citizenship in at least two countries, bank in another country, live in yet another country, and business structure, if you have one, in a different country. If you decide to buy real estate or other investments, even diversifying that could be a wise consideration.

All of this is a personal matter, depending on your situation and assets to be protected. We call this planting flags so as not to expose all  your assets in a single jurisdiction wherein  you could lose everything under certain circumstances. Not everyone would need a number of flags.

But we think the waters on this voyage are getting rough and that it is high time to take stock and to take the steps necessary to increase our chances of safe passage. We invite you to consider South America . . . we did.

But in reality there are many places worth considering. If we can help you as you investigate our part of the world, it is our pleasure.


Some of you have sent us messages telling us that you are looking forward to information about Chile. I received my new Argentina citizenship I.D. this week and my attorney tells me that the passport will take only days and not months, so we decided to wait for the passport so that we can cross that completely off the list. Just want you to know that we take our own advice.

We are also looking forward to our visit to Chile and to give you an idea of what it would be like to relocate to that beautiful country. So stay tuned. We’re still heading in that direction, and when we do we are taking YOU along!

Until next week . . .