Dateline: The Serbian Countryside
Elections, pandemics, conspiracy theories, civil unrest, earthquakes, hurricanes… we live in some interesting times.
But personally, I have never had greater peace than I have right now.
Whenever there is a panic – whether it’s the coronavirus, 9/11, or a big stock market crash – people naturally get scared. That fear breeds a lot of anger, everyone is on edge, and folks begin to attack each other.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. At least not for you.
Over the years of observing our audience, we’ve noticed that there are two types of people who resonate with what we talk about here at Nomad Capitalist.
On the one hand are the entrepreneurs and investors who look at the idea of going overseas to legally pay less in taxes as a way to reinvest in their business, hire more people, gain more market share, grow their business, and put more money back into their family, lifestyle, charities, and more.
On the other hand, we also tend to attract an audience that is into doom and gloom and believes that the world is falling apart, the US dollar is going to lose 99% of its value overnight, and the US is becoming a third-world country. They attach to what we’re talking about because it seems like the thing to do.
Today, I want to set the record straight: I do not subscribe to those beliefs.
I am not a permabear.
I have spent the past decade bringing a once nebulous industry into the light by showing my face and talking about the legal ways to go offshore to reduce taxes, grow your wealth, and enhance your lifestyle. In that same spirit of transparency, I want to be clear about where Nomad Capitalist stands when it comes to doom and gloom and why it’s important to be optimistic about the world.
In this article, we’ll look at the doom and gloom that often permeates our industry, how to avoid the worst of it, legitimate issues that need to be recognized, how to create a Plan B to diversify and prepare for any possible problems, and how to focus on the positive by looking to the untapped potential and opportunities all over the world.
And to simplify things, here’s the bottom line: whether or not the world is going to end, you don’t have to let it ruin your life.
Let me tell you why.
The Doom and Gloom Market
For years, I spent much of my time talking about how the US government is totally mad when it comes to how they treat their citizens. However, there came a point when I decided that being angry wasn’t going to help me achieve anything worthwhile.
You know what they say about being angry; it’s like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies.
If your entire life is anger and going around debating how many angels dance on the head of the pin, you’re just poisoning the life of abundance you could be living.
But there are still a lot of people out there who use doom and gloom to sell millions and billions of dollars of their product.
They thrive on chaos and negativity.
We’ll often get comments on our articles, social media, and videos from people who are doomsayers and permabears. It seems they dwell in negative energy and are always just waiting for the worst possible scenario to come true.
I was talking to an economist friend of mine the other day who aptly observed that “Hell hath no smugness like a permabear during a crash.”
And we have definitely seen that this year.
Whether it was the quarantine and market crash or the election and corresponding results, so many people are coming out and saying, “This is finally it. The United States is going to be rendered oblivious. The US dollar and every other fiat currency are going to become worthless. You’re going to be burning them in the oven. You’ll be using them to keep warm.”
Whether they’re saying that to market their alternatives – be it gold, silver, Bitcoin, or second passports – or whether they actually believe the doom and gloom they’re peddling, you can be certain that they have an agenda.
I am not a peddler of doom and gloom.
Do I discuss offshore gold storage, second passports, and cryptocurrencies? Of course! But I’m not going to talk about those things because I think the world is going to end. I don’t think it will. These offshore strategies have inherent benefits that make them valuable regardless of the doom and gloom market.
I do realize that there are problems, but I also know I can fix them and protect myself as much as possible, and then I can move forward and focus on the positive. I want to look for the opportunities and go where I’m treated best rather than stay mired in negativity.
Step One: Stop Overdramatizing
So, how do you avoid falling for the doom and gloom marketing?
The first step is to stop overdramatizing everything.
I’ve heard that the US dollar is going to become obsolete for decades. I’ve heard about how the market will fail. I’ve heard every scenario that could happen and then the world will end.
Sure, bad things may happen. Markets rise and fall all the time. Countries do too. I’m not saying that nothing bad will ever happen.
Especially in times like this – during riots, and elections, and coronavirus – people are worried that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. But often, this is overdramatized.
I tweeted about this recently. There was an article from CNN that basically predicted that the US is going to explode in a matter of months. I said this was a huge overdramatization.
I’m all for having a Plan B, but this is too much drama.
I’ve had people come to us for help because they’re worried about these things – they’re concerned about the direction the US is taking. And that’s okay. There are legitimate problems in the US and in the world – everyone is going to have problems in their lifetime.
But just because something is going wrong for you does not mean the country is collapsing.
Yes, taxes are going to go up. Yes, the dollar may drop. But the dollar won’t become worthless in one day or even one month.
If your mindset is focused on the world ending, it’s going to be harder for you to succeed.
So, the first step to being prepared and being okay no matter what happens in your country is to stop overdramatizing.
Once you stop focusing on all the near to impossible what if’s, you can come up with a realistic plan to be prepared and protect yourself, your family, and your assets.
On the other hand, you could choose to follow in the footsteps of a family I knew 25 years ago that was convinced that taxes were going to go through the roof and the US was going to become a terrible place to live and have children and grow old and everything was going to be terrible…
And then they never did anything about it.
Then they said that Obama was ruining the country and that all the immigrants were turning the US into a third-world country. And they didn’t leave.
And now they’re saying that there is going to be a civil war and 50 million people are going to going die and you’re going to be begging for food on the streets of New York City.
And yet, they are in the same spot that they were in 25 years ago, still debating whether they should leave.
If you have that mindset, you’re not going to do anything to fix your problems because, at your core, you don’t really believe that those things are going to happen.
If your country failed under Obama or under Trump or is going to fail under Biden and the new Left, why aren’t you leaving? If it’s really that bad, get moving. Put your money where your mouth is. Do what’s right for you rather than stay and continue predicting doom for an entire country or currency.
Will the US Become a Third-World Country?
But the question remains, what will happen? What isn’t an overdramatization?
This is why being diversified is important, not just because many of these western countries can’t get their stuff in order with the coronavirus issues and many of their passports have become worthless, but because they’re going to raise taxes and the culture is increasingly against anyone with wealth.
You’re the enemy.
If you have a different opinion, you are ostracized or even fired from your job and they post your home address online.
These are all legitimate problems.
But I don’t think the world is going to collapse and that there will be no food at all. There may be in some countries. Prices might go up. But I do not believe that countries are going to absolutely collapse.
I do not believe that the dollar is going to be worth one dollar today and one cent tomorrow. I do not believe that it’s going to be the Weimar Republic and that gold is going reach $1 million per ounce and Bitcoin will be $10 million per Bitcoin.
Those things will do better, perhaps, but not to those extremes.
And there will certainly be issues. Look at the riots that happened in the United States. It was not a safe place to be. Does that mean that the country is going to collapse? No. It may mean that your world in that country is going to collapse, but again, let’s not be dramatic.
Now, I fundamentally agree that the United States and other western countries will become less and less relevant in this century. You have new countries that are vying for dominance, a lot of small countries that are vying to take new startups and have become more attractive for hiring and living and investing.
I do believe that fiat currencies have a terrible record. I am well aware that the US dollar has lost 97% of its value in the last 100 years. A dollar in 1913 is worth about 3 cents now. But the idea that suddenly, one thing is going to happen and you’re going to go from it being worth 3 cents to .0003 cents in the course of a month is a little ridiculous.
Someone asked me once if I thought the United States was becoming a third world country. While the infrastructure in the United States in many places is not good – be it roads or airports – let’s be honest, most people in the US still make pretty good money. Life there is relatively good.
People are being squeezed because other economies around the world are increasingly middle-class, that is certain. But that is just another great opportunity for Nomad Capitalists because they have more places to go and live where the cost of living is lower, the culture is better, and taxes are lower.
As a researcher and practitioner of all things offshore for over 12 years, I can tell you from experience that, eventually, all the labels go away. All the fears and worries and emotions dissipate to where it doesn’t mean much whether the US is a “third-world country” or not.
In the end, it really depends on your point of view. The first world/third world paradigm is all out of whack these days. I live in places that people would think are third-world countries and I have a great life there.
I’m not a stay and fight guy. I want to go where I’m treated best. If one place no longer serves me, I’m not going to pine away for it or be angry that it didn’t work out.
So, if YOU think that the United States is headed in the wrong direction, I suggest you prepare now and consider leaving.
If you’re sensibly diversified, it won’t matter whether the US becomes a third-world country or not. You’ll be fine.
Make the active choice to go where you’re treated best.
Diversify and Prepare a Plan B
Let me repeat, if you are prepared, you are going to be fine.
If you are legitimately worried about something bad happening in your country or in the world, the best thing to do is be prepared with a backup plan.
We talk about ways you can be prepared here at Nomad Capitalist. If you’re worried about a market crash, diversify your assets, keep cash on hand, invest and bank overseas, and consider getting a second residence or passport.
Each of these things can add a layer of protection for when difficult times hit.
Do I think the sky is falling? No.
Do I think it’s reasonable to take precautions? Yes.
For instance, a second passport will give you an out if they come for more of your money. It allows you to untether yourself from one country’s policies and passport and gives you more options and somewhere safe you can go and have your own opinion.
We largely talk about the financial reasons for doing these things, but right now – in the current climate – we realize that many more people are interested in what we offer because they don’t like the culture where they are and they don’t believe it’s the right place to be anymore.
It’s a good idea to have a safeguard. And if you feel unsafe, leave. But just don’t dwell on the doom and gloom.
People die in countries all over the world every day. They die of viruses, of gunshots, of disease, of people breaking into their house. There are good and bad people everywhere. Some countries are certainly safer than others. Others are friendlier from a tax standpoint. And some are more open to investors and entrepreneurs from an immigration standpoint.
That’s why we talk about flag theory.
But there will be problems no matter where you go. If it’s bad enough where you are, you can leave. And if you feel like you’re a target, you should take precautions. But you can’t look at offshore as a way to run away. It’s something to run to.
You can set up a Plan B that you keep in your back pocket just in case the taxes get too bad or the country starts going crazy or they start rioting in front of your house. Or you can set up a Plan A and get out now by getting a fast citizenship and moving right away.
One thing the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle has afforded me is the ability to have more money – part of that is in cash, part in safe physical assets, part in real estate that is paid off that I can live in – to where I don’t I have that many obligations and I have a lot of assets that I can use to weather any storm.
A lot of folks don’t have that.
I’ve had the luxury over the years of not having to be a pessimist because I’ve diversified myself and advised others to do that as well so that they can weather any storm too.
Markets rise and fall just as countries rise and fall and you want to be prepared. You do not want to have a fully leveraged business or life. You want to have cash and diversification. You don’t want to be tethered to just one country because there is always a risk that the economy falls or something happens in that country.
You do want to be prepared. But that doesn’t mean you have to be pessimistic about the world as a whole.
A Literal World of Opportunities
In fact, the world is where I find so much hope. Traveling to over 100 countries has fueled my optimism about the future of the world like nothing else.
Even if the US does end up in shambles, there are other countries throughout the world that are growing. There are people who are becoming entrepreneurs and creating value. There are entrepreneurs creating job opportunities for people overseas.
I believe in the ability of ambitious people who want to create and add value. I believe that you can make a change in your life when things go wrong and find opportunities for success.
As I’ve traveled, I’ve witnessed the limitless opportunities out there.
There are hard-working people all over the world who have not even had the chance to release their entrepreneurial visions because they don’t have the money to do so. They are living in places where it’s very hard to get ahead – perhaps they are forced entrepreneurs in places like India where they have to be entrepreneurs because there are no jobs for them where they live – so they become coders or app developers or whatever else and you can hire them for freelance work.
I’ve seen all the business owners who are going to countries all over the world from Georgia and Armenia to Cambodia to Colombia and all the points in between who are starting new businesses and helping those economies grow.
I’ve visited countries and then have returned two years later and the traffic is twice as bad or even three times as bad because people are buying cars. Entrepreneurs have gone to their country and created jobs, wages have gone up, and now they can afford to buy a car for the first time in their life.
So, from my perspective as someone traveling the world on a routine basis who studies this stuff, there is always going to be opportunity. And as someone who has been a lifelong entrepreneur since I was 19 years old, I realize that there has always been opportunity.
The key thing that I stand for here at Nomad Capitalist is that you can create your own opportunity.
As a business owner, I see a lot of people who do not want to better their lives. There are a lot of lazy people all over the world. But I also see a lot of people who want to start businesses and see their country’s economy grow and put their country on the map.
You’ve got a lot of innovative people out there – more now than you have ever had in the course of history – who are pushing very hard to make changes in the world that will grow the economy.
There is a lot to be optimistic about.
The Doom and Gloom of Going Overseas
Of course, you’ll have folks who will preach doom and gloom to you about going overseas as well.
When I started Nomad Capitalist, many of my team members were from western Europe. And while they were all well-traveled, I often asked them why they had never gone to places like Serbia or Georgia before.
Their answer? “Oh, that’s the East.”
My question was almost a joke to them. Yet, their response is an echo of the reasoning of their parents and grandparents more than a reflection of reality. In fact, when those same team members came to Georgia with me, they were blown away.
The country was a hundred times better than they expected.
And then there was the time when my mother was going to visit me while I was living in Malaysia. I told her to call the bank to make sure she could use her card while there because US banks are very finicky. She called and was warned not to take her card because she would be defrauded if she went to Southeast Asia.
There’s a system that perpetuates this kind of thought.
I’ve been telling you this for years: you can’t listen to the system. Like I’ve said before, if you’re going to live a lifestyle in which you demand more, go where you’re treated best, pay lower taxes, get higher returns, enjoy more personal freedom, and pursue more of what you want and less of what you don’t, you can’t listen to the system.
If you make the choice to pursue the freedom that comes with offshore living, the knee-jerk reaction of most people to your decision will be to assume that you want to evade taxes. That’s what the media, the government — the system — all perpetuate.
Yet, the average person who contacts me does not come in saying that they want an offshore company or second passport in order to evade taxes. Rather, they have merely realized that ninety-nine percent of the population is going to do the same thing that it has done for generations, but they don’t want to.
They recognize that everyone else is going to follow the same customs, traditions, and lifestyle set out for them, whether they really want to or not.
The individuals who come to me don’t want that life. It’s just as simple as that. No ulterior motives. They just want freedom. They want different.
Getting that doesn’t mean breaking the rules of the system, it just means you stop listening to everything else the system would have you believe – including the doom and gloom.
Follow the rules, but don’t fall for the rest.
Don’t Fall Prey to Doom and Gloom
There are folks out there who have attached themselves to a cart of, “The world is going to fall apart. The world as we know it is going to end.” They have an apocalyptic view of the world and they don’t have anywhere else to go.
It’s what originally got Donald Trump into power. There were so many people who felt that they didn’t have a voice that they chose to go with a guy who was totally untested and had a totally different way of doing business.
For somewhat similar reasons, there are a lot of people who feel isolated and left out. There are folks in many western economies who don’t have the same job prospects as generations before them because those jobs have moved to greener pastures and they haven’t figured out how to reinvent themselves.
And what do they do instead?
They get angry and they sit around and comment on videos like ours and read stuff like this and watch some of the big names in the space and start believing that the economy is going to collapse.
“It will never recover for the rest of our lives,” they say.
“We’ll all be forging on scraps from dumpsters and trading in jade stones!”
I have had guys like Peter Schiff and Jim Rickards speak at our conferences. I like them and think they are very nice guys. They make good points. Where I diverge is on the idea that we’re all helpless, we’re all screwed, and it’s all going to be over and there’s nothing you can do about it.
The amount of opportunity available to you is so tremendous.
And even if the economy does fall apart, that does not mean that it will fall forever. People want to travel, shop, go to restaurants, create, and grow.
While I share on a personal level a lot of the frustrations you may be feeling, I also see that people want to grow and that, overall, eventually things are going to be okay.
At the end of the day, things are going to be okay.
There will be winners and losers as always. In any kind of crash, you will see companies go out of business. You’ll see that happen even in good times; it’s just amplified now. As they say, “When the tide goes out, you will see who was skinny dipping.”
You’re going to see people who overleveraged home loans and borrowed too much on their home or bought too much home or bought a business with all leverage.
Some of those folks are going to be hurting. Some countries are going to be hurting. You’ll see some places like the United States and others that are going to have less and less dominance. Their currencies might at times reflect that.
That could all happen or none of it could happen.
But here’s what I do know: just as I do not want to blindly follow whatever the media says, I also don’t want to follow along with everything the doom and gloom crowd has to say.
There are people out there who are just plain negative and they find communities where that negativity is recognized. I’ve been featured on some of these websites and that’s fine, I appreciate the attention, but I am not one of these people who believes the sky is always falling.
I believe that, in the long-term, it’s going to be okay.
It’s up to you. If you want to sit around and gripe and moan in the basement somewhere, things might not go so well for you and you’ll be in the same boat 10-20 years from now and say, “Hey, I told you so.” Meanwhile, the rest of us who do the things I talk about will get wealthier and wealthier and continue to grow.
I’m not a permabear because I see the potential that is out there. I believe in the ability of ambitious humans who want to create and add value to the world.
In the long run, the world is going in the right direction. We’ll see issues from some countries, especially in the West with declining civil liberties, higher taxes, and less relevance on the world stage. And that’s why you never want to be tied to just one country, one citizenship, one place, one bank, one investment market, one tax system.
You want to have some protection. But the sentiment that the world in general is screwed and we’re all going to go down with it… I just can’t sign onto that.
If you are prepared, you’ll be able to weather the storms and make it out the other side.
Instead of focusing on the negative that is out there — instead of spending your valuable time consuming information for information’s sake — focus your efforts on getting results. Figure out what your end goal is and then find a way to get yourself across that finish line.
Many people who come to this site won’t get across their finish line because they either don’t know what it is or they simply don’t want or need to change what they’ve got going on at the moment.
If you are ready to change, figure out what that change looks like so you can stop being negative about all that is wrong and start making things right in your life. And if you want help figuring that out, we can help.