Tag Archives: Cayman Islands

Nomad Capitalist’s 5 Best Countries For Offshore Gold Storage

Research related to Monday’s post about precious metals storage in Singapore led me to a piece published last fall by Andrew Henderson over on the Nomad Capitalist website. I’ve mentioned Andrew and his company before on the blog, but for those readers not familiar with them, Henderson is the founder and managing partner of Hong Kong-headquartered Nomad Capitalist, billed as the “world’s leading offshore consulting firm.”

Back on September 28, 2016, Henderson wrote in “The five best countries for offshore gold storage”:

The world is a big place and not every country is made alike, especially when it comes to offshore gold storage. The following are our top picks here at Nomad Capitalist for best countries for offshore gold storage

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Their top picks? In alphabetical order:

-Austria
-Cayman Islands
-New Zealand
-Singapore
-Switzerland

Henderson proceeded to explain why these countries made the “top 5” for offshore gold storage before ultimately selecting a single nation for the “number one spot on this list.”

Another insightful read from Andrew Henderson, which you can view in its entirety here on the Nomad Capitalist website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s notes: The mention of entities marketing themselves as consulting businesses should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Related Reading: ‘Where Is Your Gold Stored?’ By Jeff Thomas

There are a number of reasons why one might consider moving precious metals outside the United States. And I’m guessing a question that often arises is:

“Should I store my physical gold/other precious metals in an offshore bank, or a private vault outside the country and banking system?”

Regular readers of Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes know that I’ve published material on this matter before.

On Monday, Jeff Thomas, a regular feature writer for Casey Research’s International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation, provided more insight into this conundrum on the website of SWP, a private vault in the Cayman Islands. For Thomas, it’s not too difficult a question to answer. From his article:

In my belief, any gold that is held by a bank is, in a sense, paper gold. You may have a receipt that states that you delivered physical gold to them, or they may have sold you allocated gold, but what you hold is paper.

If you paid a premium to acquire physical gold and you’ve been paying storage fees for the institution to place your gold behind concrete and steel, you’ll likely feel that you’ve been more prudent than those who simply purchase a gold certificate. This, of course, provides you with a greater feeling of security. However, your next-door neighbour, who has placed a few Maple Leafs in a soup can and buried them under his barbecue in the yard, may actually have greater security than you do with what you regard as physical gold in a bank vault in Switzerland…

It’s an interesting take on the bank vault versus private, non-bank vault debate, which you can read in its entirety over on the Strategic Wealth Preservation website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: The mention of entities marketing themselves as private vaults outside the U.S. offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Ecuador President Announces One-Time Tax On Millionaires, Workers After Earthquake

From an Associated Press article on the Fox News Latino website Thursday:

President Rafael Correa announced Wednesday night that he is raising sales taxes and will charge a one-time levy on millionaires to rebuild cities devastated by Ecuador’s worst earthquake in decades…

Using authority granted by the state of emergency he declared after Saturday night’s quake, Correa said sales taxes would increase to 14 percent from 12 percent for the coming year.

People with more than $1 million in assets will be charged a one-time tax of 0.9 percent on their wealth, while workers earning over $1,000 a month will be forced to contribute a day’s wages and those earning $5,000 a month the equivalent of five days’ pay.

Taxes on companies will also go up…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A “just” tax in the aftermath of a natural disaster? Wealth confiscation for a “just cause”? Just plain wealth confiscation?

Spanish international news agency Agencia EFE reported on the Fox News Latino site back on March 20 the Ecuadorian government was already seeking to hike taxes prior to the quake. From that piece:

Ecuador’s government is working on a reform package that will raise the taxes on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks to cover the budget deficit created by the drop in the price of oil, the Andean nation’s top export product, President Rafael Correa said.

“The price of petroleum keeps dropping” and the government must make “certain adjustments,” Correa said during his weekly show on Saturday…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Sin tax” hikes. Sounds like what’s routinely proposed/passed in my neck of the woods (Chicago).

If Ecuador follows through with this tax on millionaires and workers, some will be wondering if other governments won’t be following its implementation closely to serve as a model for a future “state of emergency” of their own.

Like a sovereign debt crisis, for example.

At the same time, I wonder what this could mean for bank safe deposit boxes (I don’t know of any private, non-bank safe deposit box facilities in Ecuador)? Will Ecuadorian government officials inspect secured containers belonging to suspected millionaires/millionaires suspected of under-reporting the value of their assets, in an attempt to ensure compliance with the announced tax levy?

Would box holders find themselves in a situation similar to what was announced in Greece last fall?

I blogged back on November 6, 2015:

Just when the reputation of bank safe deposit boxes couldn’t get any worse comes this out of Greece. Anthee Carasavva reported on The Times (UK) website back on October 12:

Greece’s government is raiding savers’ safe deposit boxes to raise revenue and stamp out tax evasion.

Tryfon Alexiadis, the deputy finance minister, said yesterday that Greeks owing more than €150,000 in back taxes would be targeted. Those suspected of tax evasion would also come under scrutiny and their bank deposit boxes prised open without notice

“Safe deposit boxes across the country will be subject to these inspections immediately,” Mr Alexiadis told an Athens-based TV network…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I added later:

Regarding that bit about tax evasion suspects, Mark Yaxley of Cayman Islands private vault Strategic Wealth Preservation penned back on October 20:

The government’s justification is that they’re chasing tax evaders, stating that they’re targeting those who owe more than €150,000 in back taxes. However, they have also revealed that they will target any boxes held by those who are “suspected” of tax evasion and, since literally anyone can become a suspect at any moment, without having to be charged with a crime, inspectors will have the authorisation to decide on the spot that a box holder is “suspected” of tax evasion

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

It was reported Greek tax inspectors would be allowed to open bank safe deposit boxes and confiscate as much as half of the cash they found. Stocks, bonds, jewelry, and works of art would be confiscated in their entirety.

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

Sources:

“Ecuador to hike sales tax to help rebuild cities devastated by earthquake.” Associated Press. 21 Apr. 2016. (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/04/21/ecuador-to-hike-sales-tax-to-help-rebuild-cities-devastated-by-earthquake/?intcmp=obinsite). 21 Apr. 2016.

“Ecuador plans to hike taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and soft drinks.” Agencia EFE. 20 Mar. 2016. (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2016/03/20/ecuador-plans-to-hike-taxes-on-cigarettes-alcohol-and-soft-drinks/). 21 Apr. 2016.

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Jim Rickards: Store Gold In Private Vaults Located In Switzerland, Closer To Home

The other day I was reading an article about gold on the Financial Times (UK) website when I came across some advice regarding its storage from American investment banker/risk manager/attorney/financial commentator James Rickards, who penned The New York Times bestsellers Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis (2011) and The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System (2014). Henry Sanderson reported on February 19:

James Rickards, who predicts in a new book, The New Case for Gold, that gold will experience a “super-spike” in price as the financial system collapses, recommends storing gold in non-bank vaults in Switzerland as well as some closer to home, “to provide back-up if Switzerland becomes unreachable.”

“The problem is that the time you most want your gold will be the time when social conditions are unravelling most rapidly,” Mr Rickards writes. “If you live in the United States, how will you get to Switzerland to pick up your gold? My wealthy friends say they will use their private jets, but that overlooks the fact that you cannot fuel a jet when the power grid is out and the gas pumps don’t work.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A growing number of private vaults are now operating across the United States. Non-bank safe deposit box facilities have also opened up just outside the U.S. in the offshore “safe haven” of the Cayman Islands and elsewhere.

More on Rickards and Switzerland later…

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on information found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

Source:

Sanderson, Henry. “Time to buy good? Here’s how investors can bag some bling” FT.com. 19 Feb. 2016. (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3d7e5106-d585-11e5-8887-98e7feb46f27.html#axzz41fJ24Ekr). 1 Mar. 2016.

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Related Reading: ‘Are Governments Running Out Of Candy?’ By Jeff Thomas

Regular readers of Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes might recognize the name Jeff Thomas. I’ve mentioned him a number of times on this blog. Who is Thomas? From a short bio (hat tip Cayman Islands private vault Strategic Wealth Preservation):

Jeff Thomas is British and resides in the Caribbean. The son of an economist and historian, he learned early to be distrustful of governments as a general principle. Although he spent his career creating and developing businesses, for eight years, he penned a weekly newspaper column on the theme of limiting government. He began his study of economics around 1990, learning initially from Sir John Templeton, then Harry Schulz and Doug Casey and later others of an Austrian persuasion. He is now a regular feature writer for Casey Research’s International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation in the Cayman Islands.

Good ol’ Harry Schulz. I used to follow him on a regular basis right before he retired while I was running Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street,” from 2007 to 2010.

Anyway, I often find Jeff Thomas’ work to be insightful. Particularly a recent piece of his entitled “Are Governments Running Out of Candy?” Shared with me by the folks over at SWP, Thomas talked about a certain YouTube.com video on Doug Casey’s International Man website right after the holidays. In the three-minute production, media analyst Mark Dice “offers random people their choice of a Hershey chocolate bar or a 10 oz silver bar (Worth $150) in an experiment. You have to see what happened next!”

You can probably figure out what most of these individuals eventually choose:


“People Choose Free Candy Bar over Free 10 oz Silver Bar (Worth $150) in Experiment”
YouTube Video

Thomas observed:

Mister Dice doesn’t comment in the video as to what lesson might be learned from this, but an obvious one would be that Americans (or at least those who reside in his home town of San Diego, California) are prone to prefer instant gratification over something of substantially greater, but delayed value.

If this is his intent, he’s succeeded well in his light-hearted, but instructive video.

Since the 1950’s, much of the world has perceived Americans as being on “Easy Street,” and in recent decades, the U.S. government has fuelled American complacency through a consciousness of easy money and entitlement.

And so, Americans are often perceived by those outside the U.S. as being somewhat insulated, spoiled, naïve, and short-sighted. But, if this is true, Americans certainly aren’t alone. Much the same exists in Europe, Canada, and quite a few other countries that have, over recent decades, followed the American socio-economic model.

Trouble is, all that easy money and entitlement exists only as long as a source for the “freebies” exists…

The thing is, “freebies” don’t exist. As Thomas pointed out:

Freebies of any description must be paid for by someone

When governments hand out freebies, the cost is paid with tax revenues. And when taxes have been raised to the point that further increases would be difficult without inciting rebellion, governments generally rely on borrowing.

But, of course, borrowing, too, eventually reaches the point that it has become so great that it cannot be repaid. What then?

Invariably, economic collapse is the outcome…

Thomas noted that history repeatedly shows this to be true. He went on to declare:

Much of the world is now running out of candy. The latest version of Bread and Circuses is reaching its inevitable end…

Thought-provoking stuff. And this bit caught my attention:

Amongst the public who will be the victims, there will be three general groups…

Third will be the Preparers, those who envisioned the inevitability of the collapse of the system. They most certainly will have the skills and imagination to rebuild their lives, but, additionally, they’ll have the means with which to rebuild quickly. They will be the very few who chose the silver bar over the candy and had the wisdom to store the silver in a jurisdiction where it was not likely to be appropriated by a dying empire…

I’m guessing there are quite a few “Preparers” among this blog’s readers, who recognize the asset protection possibilities afforded by offshore safe deposit boxes.

Head on over to the International Man website here to read the entire piece- another Jeff Thomas gem. For more information about Strategic Wealth Preservation and the services they offer, you can visit their site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: The mention of entities marketing themselves as private vaults outside the U.S. offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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