Tag Archives: United States

Related Reading: Switzerland, Canada, United Kingdom Top U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 ‘Best Countries’ Rankings

Here’s an annual survey one might consider when selecting an offshore safe deposit box location.

U.S. News & World Report just released its “Best Countries” rankings for 2017. Kevin Drew reported Tuesday morning on the American media company’s website:

Switzerland is viewed as the No. 1 overall country, according to a survey of more than 21,000 people from 36 countries in all regions of the world. People regard the European country highly for its citizenship, being open for business, an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, the quality of life it provides its citizens and for its cultural influence.

Switzerland is one of 20 new countries evaluated this year, as the total number of nations assessed in the survey grew to 80.

Canada finished No. 2 overall and the United Kingdom No. 3, as both did last year. Germany fell from its top spot in 2016 to No. 4 this year, while Japan moved up two positions to No. 5 overall…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As for the United States? It placed seventh, behind Sweden.

Head on over to the U.S. News & World Report site here to view the entire article and access the overall rankings.

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.)

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Economist Martin Armstrong Warns Of Storing Assets In U.S. Bank Safe Deposit Boxes

We’re back after a short break. And to jump start the continued discussion about asset protection outside the United States, I’d like to point out a February 25 blog post by economist Martin Armstrong on his company’s website. Regular readers of Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes know that Armstrong brings up bank safe deposit boxes from time to time, and the head of Armstrong Economics penned the following while I was away:

Keep in mind the government can close all banks for there is precedent. Whatever you have in a safe deposit box can also be seized and inspected.

There is no precise law against storing metal or cash in a safe deposit box. But law is malleable in the hands of any judge. He can seize the money or gold under the pretense of money laundering hiding it from the government. Under Civil Asset Forfeiture, they can assume the money is guilty of a crime being even tax evasion. It then is your burden to fight in court to get it back if you can hire a lawyer…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Keep in mind that Armstrong is referring to safe deposit boxes in U.S. financial institutions here, not secured storage containers located in private vaults outside the American banking system.

That being said, the economist sees a “global trend” in the seizure of assets through claims of money laundering and tax evasion. I blogged back on June 6, 2016:

Martin Armstrong… has chimed in on the new HSBC safe deposit box regulations in Hong Kong. He issued this warning on his company’s blog Friday:

Governments are targeting safe-deposit boxes to look for cash that is hiding from taxation. HSBC, a U.K. bank, is now moving against claimed financial crimes by altering conditions for safe-deposit boxes. This is becoming a global trend. Anything of value that is stored in a safe-deposit box is now considered money laundering. Governments want their taxes and all the laws are changing to ensure they get their money.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Anything of value that is stored in a safe-deposit box is now considered money laundering”

Does that include legally-purchased and owned precious metals (with receipts to boot also showing taxes paid when applicable)?

Once again, these are bank safe deposit boxes Armstrong is talking about.

To date, I haven’t encountered anything by Mr. Armstrong about boxes in private, non-bank vaults.

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:

Armstrong, Martin. “Is it Safe to Store Gold in a Safe Deposit Box?” Armstrong Economics Blog. 25 Feb. 2017. (https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/markets-by-sector/precious-metals/gold/is-it-safe-to-store-gold-in-a-safe-deposit-box/). 7 Mar. 2017.

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Consider Country Corruption Perceptions When Selecting Location For Offshore Safe Deposit Box

Over the last year I’ve provided blog readers with some potential resources for determining where to open an overseas safe deposit box.

On February 29, 2016, I pointed out Mercer’s 18th annual Quality of Living Survey.

On March 7, 2016, I identified HSBC Bank’s 8th annual Expat Explorer Survey.

This morning, I’m going to talk about another possible resource with Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2016. From the Facebook page for the Berlin-based international non-governmental organization:

Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. TI challenges the inevitability of corruption, and offers hope to its victims…

Our best-known tool is the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption around the world…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And from a January 25 press release regarding the 2016 edition of the CPI:

69 per cent of the 176 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), exposing how massive and pervasive public sector corruption is around the world. This year more countries declined in the index than improved, showing the need for urgent action…

Denmark and New Zealand perform best with scores of 90, closely followed by Finland (89) and Sweden (88). Although no country is free of corruption, the countries at the top share characteristics of open government, press freedom, civil liberties and independent judicial systems…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Rounding out the “top ten” were:

5. Switzerland
6. Norway
7. Singapore
8. Netherlands
9. Canada
10. 3-way-tie between Germany, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom

The United States came in at number 18, falling from 16th place a year earlier.

You can view 2016’s Corruption Perceptions Index here on Transparency International’s website.

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.)

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Related Reading: Main Street Embracing Idea Of Keeping Precious Metals Outside The Banking System?

Wednesday evening I came across an article on the website of The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) which mentioned safe deposit boxes. Back on January 20 Vern Sumnicht of family wealth managers Sumnicht & Associates in Appleton- population 73,596- talked about the Trump administration and his suspicion there will be “a lot of stock market volatility in 2017.” One sector Sumnicht thinks will do well in such an environment is precious metals- specifically gold and silver. He wrote:

According to Reuters, Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (Monte Paschi) plans to issue no less than $15 billion of debt next year “to restore liquidity and boost investor confidence.” This kind of “irresponsible” banking policy could easily cause a worldwide currency crisis. This is why I also suggest that our clients hold at least six months of annual expenses in gold and/or silver bullion and keep it outside of a bank safety deposit box where they can easily get at it as insurance against potential currency problems

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sumnicht’s suggestion to clients reminded me of what American lawyer, economist, investment banker, and best-selling author James Rickards wrote on The Daily Reckoning website just this Monday (blogged about here):

The thing about gold and silver is that it needs to be in physical form, in safe storage, and a non-bank. Putting it in a safety deposit box in a bank is troublesome because by the time you want it the most, that will be when the banks are going to be closed

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

For more information about Sumnicht & Associates, head on over to their website here.

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

(Editor’s note: The mention of any business in this post 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.)

Source:

Sumnicht, Vern. “Winners and losers under Trump.” The Post-Crescent. 20 Jan. 2017. (http://www.postcrescent.com/story/money/2017/01/20/winners-and-losers-under-trump/96555852/). 25 Jan. 2017.

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Martin Armstrong: Old Gold Coins Better Than Bullion Against Confiscation

In two January blog posts on his company’s website, economist Martin Armstrong shared what he thinks is the most effective way to possess and retain physical gold in the face of government confiscation.

On January 10, Armstrong advised his blog readers:

As we move forward, it will be best to hold assets out of banks and out of currency. They can even declare gold a criminal act to possess, which is why I suggest genuine old coins rather than bullion. Just another layer of protection…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

On January 16, the head of Armstrong Economics elaborated:

Coins are better than bullion for they have some historical value. Their historical value could be an excuse to prevent confiscation if government simply declares that “gold is for criminals,” as they are trying to do with cash. I believe Trump would not go along with that move…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I can’t fault Mr. Armstrong’s insistence on holding assets “out of banks and out of currency” considering recent events of wealth confiscation (as catalogued on this blog’s sister site- Offshore Private Vaults) being carried out by governments and banks around the world.

Neither can I argue with the economist’s recommendation of “old coins” versus bullion as it concerns potential gold confiscation. “Just another layer of protection” might be a good thing considering the uncertain times we live in today.

That being said, proponents of bullion contend numismatic coins mean “less bang for the buck” (less gold for your money) and there’s no guarantee this form of the yellow metal will be exempted from a future confiscation.

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 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.)

Sources:

Armstrong, Martin. “Monetary Devaluations & Cancellations” Armstrong Economics Blog. 10 Jan. 2017. (https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/history/ancient-economies/monetary-devaluations-cancellations/). 17 Jan. 2017.

Armstrong, Martin. “Gold Bullion v Coins.” Armstrong Economics Blog. 16 Jan. 2017. (https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/markets-by-sector/precious-metals/gold/gold-bullion-v-coins/). 17 Jan. 2017.

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