Is There Anywhere to Hide?
The question I get asked most of all is "Where is the best place to go?" The next question is "How can I protect my money?"
Let me start by giving some pointers that I have found very useful over the years.
As a teenager I was given quite a lot of very useful advice by one of my mother's friends, Sir John Templeton. I didn't pay the attention I should have because I was too young to appreciate the value of the advice, but I do have a good memory, and a decade later I remembered some of the advice I had been given. Not only that but I put it into practise and profited by it.
I dont propose to trot out all the great man said to me, but will just mention a couple of points.
He gave me a warning. It was simple and stark. He told me that as I went through life I would probably find that my worst enemy was the government. That has undoubtedly been found to be true. Even now I am involved in four major arguments, three of them are with government departments.
My first point is that if you are dependent upon a government then you are at risk. That could be for your pension, your health, your ability to come and go as you please, and many other of life's problems. Most people depend upon the government, which is the main reason governments can wield so much power.
Do you need reminding that the government has money (which it takes from you), it has manpower, and all the resources that go with those things, and it controls an army and a police force. Putting it simply, you are seriously out-gunned.
Your best path through life is to steer as well clear of governments as you can. Keep below the radar as much as possible, and try to live a life that does not take you into conflict with governments unless you are smart enough to deal with them, and most people aren't.
The second thing I was taught was that the ideal way to live is to live in one country, carry on your business in a second country and be domiciled in a third.
The next important thing is to steer well clear of idiots. It's amazing how many idiots there are in the world, and they are always full of advice, and it is always bad advice.
I have offered advice to my family, but no-one takes it. I've now given up giving advice. But let me show you what I mean.
I have been a real estate entrepreneur all my life. I gave my partner advice about a property deal. She then discussed it with her daughter who is a seamstress. No prizes for guessing who she listened to. Now Julie has died her daughters are nowhere near as well off as they would have been if Julie had used some common sense and listened to the property expert instead of the sewing expert. You take advice from someone who has been there and done it successfully, not from someone who has never done what he or she is advising.
In terms of keeping your money safe, what can I say? Keep it in different places, and try and keep it where people cant destroy your wealth.
I keep some money in a bank, but not too much. I keep money in various brokerage accounts, and those accounts are in three different countries spread widely across the planet. I also am slowly acquiring a broadly based crypto portfolio. You’d need care over that, and I dont give specific advice.
You need fiat currency, but not too much, so you can buy the weekly loaf of bread, and also have a way of buying things after the tsunami hits.
You also only keep small amounts of fiat currency because by doing so you keep your losses to a minimum. What's the point of having £100,000 or more in cash when cash is losing its value at a worrying pace? You may have that £100,000 this year, but next year it will already have dropped in value to around £85,000 or even worse.
If you own real estate, then hang on to it. But dont buy real estate now. The best time to buy real estate is when there is blood in the streets. That's when no-one else is buying and there are good deals everywhere.
Successful people love crashes. It's when they make their money. Remember, you make money when you buy, not when you sell. The smart people buy when things are ridiculously cheap, and then sit tight.
But where do you go?
Northern Europe is bad news. Europe is a dying continent, and the Northern fringes are expensive, and you dont want to be living in an expensive country when things are going downhill.
Living in a cheap country, even if it's rather backward, can be interesting, and very pleasant. You need a warm climate, cheap food, and the least interference as possible.
You need your business to be in a more expensive country, so that you get income from a high earning area which will give you a better lifestyle in a low earning area.
You also need to realise that certain countries just aren't in suitable condition at the moment. Let me explain.
I have made a big deal in my recent book about certain important issues which governments need to get right. (If you would like a copy of the book do get back to me. I would appreciate reader’s comments. I am happy to give away copies if you will read and tell me if you think I’m misguided, or have made any factual mistakes.) — You can contact me here [john”at”torbay.com.
You need a certain supply of varied food. How far does it have to come? The further, the worse. The poorer the climate, the less varied the food and the more expensive it will be in the home country.
Irrespective of what the Greens say, I'm sure sensible people dont want to go back to life as it was in the Middle Ages. Most of us want a rich modern lifestyle. We want things to be easy, not hard graft. That means we need cheap and efficient energy. Once again, that tends to rule out areas too close to the poles. You need a longish growing season because that will mean you will need less energy to heat your home, and fruits and vegetables will grow easier and quicker, and you wont have problems such as no sun when you need more energy to keep warm.
That rules out large areas of Europe. Norway may be fine on the energy front, but it is rather expensive to live there.
Most of Europe is woefully short of energy, and also short of agricultural produce, both commodities that are essential for a pleasant life.
You also need to live somewhere which is mercifully short of Greens and Wokes, or life will be difficult.
Remember that Europe is still not as warm as it was back in Chaucer's time, and the continent lived through that without any problems. And living without energy while South-East Asia creates all the things you want by burning fossil fuels is not the way to save the planet. Such an attitude used to be called sweeping the dirt under the carpet. Shifting smog from A to B doesn't stop the smog.
And before anyone has a go at me for these beliefs, do remember those reclamation points across Europe were first started by my wife and myself with a pilot scheme back in the early seventies in North-East Somerset. And it took me two years to get government to back a recycling scheme to make money.
Annabel (my wife) also helped start the Tree Council, and I've lost track of how many trees we've planted.
If it comes to that, how many have you planted?
What the above means is that the countries that are going to do well going forward are those with resources.
The US wont be going broke any time soon, but the dollar is headed down for reasons I've already given in other blogs. The dollar is finished as a reserve currency, but the slide down will probably be prolonged. One of the reasons for that is that the USA is a lucky country with lots of natural resources. It will be a surviver.
Australia is in a similar position, so is Russia. The middle eastern countries with their oil will be doing just fine for quite some time to come, but they are sadly lacking in many other essential resources, but their assets will outlast my youngest reader's lifetime.
China has gold and rare earths, but a lack of drinking water, and an expanding desert to the north. It is at risk of not being able to feed its population, but that is nowhere near as bad as the mess the UK is in with its ridiculously bloated population and no way of independently feeding those people. The UK is totally dependent upon other countries. Not an ideal situation. And more reason not to annoy countries essential for its wellbeing like Russia.
Before that situation changes Europe has to rid itself of the American occupying armies. Has no-one recently asked why the US has army bases in every West European country? And why has the USA got away with starting no less than three wars in Europe during the past thirty years? That is not just ridiculous, but an abomination.
You may think this an odd ending to a blog, but I wish President Macron the best of luck in his latest move for peace. And if anyone doesn’t understand that remark, do ask, and I will explain in great detail.