by Simon Black: In
Case You're Wondering Why I Spend So Much Time Down Here…
The idea of
international diversification is a simple one – if you live,
work, hold investments, own property, structure your business, store
gold, etc. in the same country as your citizenship, then you truly
have all of your eggs in one very fragile basket.
If just one
little thing goes wrong, whether it’s a court case, divorce
settlement, political instability, government agency ‘administrative
error’, or some noxious bureaucrat who’s out to get you,
all of those aspects of your life can be put at extreme risk.
The idea of
‘planting flags’, or diversifying internationally, involves
spreading these aspects of your life across multiple jurisdictions
and territories overseas. Banking in one place. Setting up a brokerage
in another. Investing in another. Storing gold in another. Owning
property in another.
You can do
this with dozens, potentially hundreds of aspects of your life and/or
business – using an offshore email account, obtaining medical
treatment overseas, seeking personal companionship abroad, setting
up an overseas credit card processor for a web business, initiating
an IPO for your company on an overseas exchange, foreign health
kinds of steps can make your life much, much easier. Suddenly all
of those aspects of your life no longer fall under the jurisdiction
of your home government; legions of blood-sucking bureaucrats no
longer have access to confiscate your assets and frustrate your
life with a few mouse clicks.
the most important and most powerful aspect of your life to diversify,
however, is citizenship. I view this as the ultimate insurance policy
– something that you hope you’ll never have to use, but
you’ll really be glad you have it in case you do.
Having a second
citizenship is like having a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
It creates options. No matter what happens in the world, you’ll
always have a place to go. You’ll always have a ticket out.
And as I’m fond of saying, nobody ever hijacks an airplane
and threatens to kill all the Lithuanians. Second citizenship does
bring a greater sense of security.
however, is elusive for many people. Some people are lucky enough
to come from a line of Irish, Polish, or Italian ancestors. For
most, though, it takes a combination of three things:
willing to simply pay for it, there are certain countries like St.
Kitts and Dominica which offer citizenship to people who are simply
willing to pay. Most folks unfortunately can’t afford the $250,000+
price tag that’s required, so that leaves the other two.
every country is willing to eventually naturalize permanent residents
who reside in the country for a particular amount of time. It varies
greatly from place to place. This past weekend, I learned from a
subscriber who came down to Chile that, in Japan, it takes two decades
of continuous residence.