Reporting from: Bangkok, Thailand
I’ve often said that I love spending time in Asia for one simple reason. While I love the big cities, the hustle and bustle, and the great food, there’s something pervasive in many Asian cultures: they’re aware of the world around them and adjust accordingly.
Not long ago, I wrote about how more than half of Chinese millionaires want their assets out of China. Many of them want to get themselves out of China. They don’t trust their government and they see things like a second passport and offshore gold storage as essential tools to diversifying what they have.
After all, they’ve worked hard – often becoming wealthy in just one generation – and they don’t want to have to start over and rebuild that wealth in the event everything hits the fan at home. They want to be able to send their children to great schools and continue their tradition of success through future generations to come.
I spent a couple hours last night talking with an attorney friend of mine in the passport industry. This guy is one of the top experts in the citizenship planning market, with about as much experience as anyone is this field.
My friend told me an interesting story about a Chinese friend of his who believed in the importance of second passports. It’s a story that goes back generations and speaks to the history of China as a place where people have seen just what governments and empires are capable of.
After all, China has seen dynastic rule, economic prosperity, authoritarianism, communism, the Japanese, and more.
This very smart guy had a family motto: after seeing everything that has happened in China, he believed you had to “always have a second set of papers and some gold coins in a fast junk in the harbor.”
After all, the ability to escape a dangerous situation may not be easy. There may not be much time. Not being prepared for that moment could be potentially catastrophic, with not only your fortune but your family’s very way of life on the line.
Having – at the ready – the “just in case” stuff is important. And it’s why you have to start taking action now, while time is good.
In this example, having a fast junk boat to escape a deadly new regime or political turmoil was just part of the equation. You still had to have somewhere to go. After all, sailing the high seas as a stateless pirate doesn’t sound overly tempting to anyone – myself included.
The reason for having a second passport is to divorce yourself from ownership by one country that could descend into chaos overnight, and leave you with few options. How many countries do you think were rushing to let Egyptians or Libyans in during the middle of the Arab Spring?
In fact, countries are making it more and more difficult for legitimate people from questionable countries to gain entry. Most economic citizenship programs routinely exclude EVERYONE from a specific list of countries they believe wouldn’t help the image of their passport.
If you were a well-meaning political refugee from Afghanistan, you can forget getting an economic citizenship on the traditional market.
Having your own junk boat stocked with the tools you need to escape chaos is an important step. It’s not enough to be internationalized if you can’t access your money or can’t leave the place infringing on your freedoms.
The combination of a second set of papers and some offshore gold is important for anyone who understands that governments can change on a dime. You could argue that a place like The Land of the Free isn’t likely to descend from tranquility into a fiery mob scene overnight, but I’d argue you’re wrong.
The governments that take the greatest pains to pretend like they’re still free countries, all the while taxing, stealing, and punishing wealth, are the most dangerous. Even today, people in China largely know what to expect, and in some ways their government is actually BETTER than that of the United States.
Yet most Americans have bought into the lie that there’s no need for a fast junk boat, because everything is fine. Once you realize that’s not the case, you should understand that it only takes one stroke of a pen for the next gold confiscation, the next world war, or the next Holocaust, to begin.
Just what steps are you taking to stock your own fast junk boat?
If you’re interested in getting a second passport of your own, click here for more information.