Is it possible to become invisible without breaking the law? (Photo: gravitywave)
LOS ANGELES, MID-JUNE 2008
Sitting on a plush couch in the neon-infused nightclub, I asked again:
“What’s it about?”
Neil Strauss glanced around and looked nervous, which I found strange. After all, we’d known each other for close to two years now. In fact, he was – as New York Times bestselling author of The Game and others – one of the first people to see the proposal for The 4-Hour Workweek and offer me encouragement.
“C’mon, dude, give me a break. Don’t you trust me?”
“Guilt. That’s good. Use guilt,” Neil said. But the Woody Allen approach wasn’t working.
“I can’t let the meme out early” he said, “I trust you—I’m just paranoid,” he offered to no one in particular as he downed another RedBull. So I fired a shot in the dark.
“What, are you writing about the 5 Flags or something?”
Neil’s heart skipped a beat and he stared at me for several long seconds. He was stunned.
“What do you know about the 5 Flags?”
I was in.
The 5 Flags
Neil’s new book, Emergency, teaches you how to become Jason Bourne.
Multiple passports, moving assets, lock-picking, escape and evasion, foraging, even how to cross borders without detection (one preferred location: McAllen, Texas, page 390)–it’s a veritable encyclopedia of for those who want to disappear or become lawsuit-proof global citizens…
I proofread the book months ago, and it’s been torture to keep some of the content from you, as I find the topics endlessly fascinating. For example, let’s take the concept of “geoarbitrage” to it’s natural but extreme extension: The 5 Flags. I was first introduced to the 5 Flags approach by a deca-millionaire in San Francisco, but here is Neil’s explanation:
“The way to break free of nationality, according to Schultz’s pamphlet, was to follow a three-flag system. The three flags consist of having a second passport, a safe location for your assets in another country, and a legal address in a tax haven. To these, Hill added a fourth and fifth flag: an additional country as a business base and a number of what he called ‘playground countries’ in which to spend leisure time.”
I never implemented the 5 Flags, but I fantasized about getting a second passport and the infinite options it could provide. Neil actually went out and did it.
I’ll get stopped at the airport in a lock-down; Neil won’t. If the FDIC collapses and bank withdrawals are blocked (as happened in Argentina in 2002 when the currency collapsed due to hyperinflation), I’m out of business; Neil has assets elsewhere.
Do I think the US banks are all going to collapse? Not at all. Do I think it’s intelligent to have a lot of options? Indeed. Do I think it’s fun to read about what billionaires and money launderers do, even if I don’t imitate them? Most definitely.
I’m very happy to offer you an exclusive first look at Emergency. Get this book. The following excerpts will set your mind spinning. Ellipses indicate skipped passages.
Lesson 22 – The Gone With the Wind Guide to Asset Protection
If you wanted to withdraw your entire life savings and move it to a bank in Switzerland, what would you do?
Now that I’d decided to hide my assets offshore, the information from the Sovereign Society conference about the government tracking withdrawals and transfers of more than $10,000 applied to me. It seemed impossible to get the money from my American bank to the Swiss bank Spencer recommended without ringing alarm bells. Even if I moved it in small increments, there would still be a paper trail detailing exactly how much money I’d transferred.
So I did what any resourceful American would do: I bought a book on money laundering.
After all, it isn’t a crime to move money secretly as long as the income’s been reported to the IRS and any other necessary reporting requirements are met. And my intention wasn’t to hide my earnings from the government, customs, or creditors, but to protect it from bank collapses, inflation, seizure, and lawsuits, which required leaving few traces of where it went.
Securing money overseas is not a new idea. Even in the novel Gone With the Wind, Rhett butler keeps his earnings in offshore banks, enabling him to buy a house for Scarlett o’Hara after the Civil War—in contrast to his Southern colleagues, who lose their fortunes due to blockades, inflation, and financial collapse.
For more practical, non-fictional inspiration, I bought Jeffrey Robinson’s 1996 book The Laundrymen. I’d always wondered how empty video stores renting movies for $3 a day could stay in business, and why I’d see Russian thugs running clearly unprofitable frozen yogurt stands on deserted side streets. According to Robinson, it’s because, in order to make illegal funds appear legitimate, crooks will slowly feed the money into the cash registers of a normal business.
“It’s almost impossible to spot an extra $500 coming in daily through the tills of a storefront stocked with 15,000 videos,” he writes. “Nor would anyone’s suspicions necessarily be raised if that same owner ran a chain of twenty video rental stores and, backed up with the appropriate audits, awarded himself an annual bonus of $3.96 million.”
Buried elsewhere in Robinson’s book was the answer I was looking for. The best legal way to surreptitiously move money, it seems, is to buy something that doesn’t lose its cash value when purchased. For example, there’s a black market for people who transfer money by buying expensive jewelry, art, watches, and collectibles, then selling them in their destination country for a small loss—usually no greater than the percentage banks charge for exchanging currencies.
So once AIG private bank in Switzerland returned my phone call—assuming that, unlike Spencer’s [a billionaire who appears earlier in the book] lawyer, they were actually willing to work with me—I planned to go shopping for rare coins.
But if it was all so legitimate, why did it feel so wrong?
While I waited to hear from the Swiss bank, I drove to Burbank to meet with the asset protection lawyers Spencer had recommended, Tarasov and Associates. The receptionist led me into a room with black-and-silver wallpaper where Alex Tarasov sat at a large mahogany desk with a yellow legal pad in front of him. With this pad, he would rearrange my business life forever.
“You did a very smart thing by coming here,” Tarasov said. Twenty- five years ago, he had probably been a frat boy. Maybe even played varsity football. But a quarter century spent sitting at desks scrutinizing legal papers had removed all evidence of health from his skin and physique. “By taking everything you own out of your name, we can hide it from lawyers trying to do an asset search on you.”
“So if they sue me and win, they won’t be able to get anything?”
“We can make it very difficult for them to find the things you own and get at them. It’s not impossible, but the deeper we bury your assets, the more money it’s going to cost to find out where they are. And if we can make that time and cost greater than the worth of the assets, then you’re in good shape.”
Like Spencer had said, this was just insurance. The cost of setting this up would be like taking out a policy against lawsuits.
“So what do you own?” he asked.
I laid it all out for him. “I have a house I’m still paying for. I have some stocks and bonds my grandparents gave me when I was a kid. I have a checking and a savings account. And I have the copyrights to my books.” I paused, trying to remember if I owned anything else. I thought there was more. “I guess that’s about it. I have a secondhand Dodge Durango, I guess. And a 1972 corvette that doesn’t work.”
In truth, I didn’t own that much. But ever since my first college job, standing over a greasy grill making omelets and grilled cheese sandwiches, I had started putting money in the bank. Since then, I’d saved enough to live on for a year or two if I ever fell on hard times or just wanted to see the world. I didn’t want to lose the freedom that came from having a financial cushion and not being in debt for anything besides my house.
“Here’s what we can do,” Tarasov said. He then sketched this diagram on his legal pad:
The stick figure was me. as for the boxes, I had no idea what those were. “These are boxes,” Tarasov explained. I was clearly getting the asset-protection-for-dummies lecture. “Each box represents a different LLC”—limited liability company. “If we can wrap everything in an LLC, and then all those LLCs are owned by a holding company, and that holding company is owned by a trust that you don’t even technically own, then you’re safe.”
I liked that last word. But I didn’t understand the rest of it.
“So we’re just basically making everything really complicated?” I asked.
“That’s the idea. We’ll even put your house in a separate LLC, so that if someone trips and falls, they can’t get at anything else you own.”
When Tarasov was through explaining everything, I couldn’t tell whether I was protecting myself from being scammed or actually being scammed myself. But I trusted Spencer, because he seemed too rich, too smart, and too paranoid to get taken in. So I told Tarasov to start wrapping me up in LLCs until my net-worth was whatever spending money I had in my pocket.
“Once we have these entities set up, we can talk about transferring them to offshore corporations,” Tarasov said as I left.
Lesson 54 – Secrets of Escaped Felons
Kelly Alwood didn’t say a word as he handcuffed my hands behind my back, opened the trunk of a rental car, and ordered me to get inside. With his shaven head, which looked like it could break bottles; his glassy green eyes, which revealed no emotion whatsoever; and the .32 caliber pistol hanging from a chain around his neck, he didn’t seem like the kind of person to cross.
As he shut the trunk over my head, the blue sky of Oklahoma City disappeared, replaced by claustrophobic darkness and new-car smell. Instantly, panic set in.
I took a deep breath and tried to remember what I’d learned. I curled my right leg as far up my body as it would go and dipped my cuffed hands down until I could reach my sock. Inside, I’d stashed the straight half of a bobby pin, which I’d modified by making a perpendicular bend a quarter inch from the top. I removed the pin, stuck the bent end into the inner edge of the handcuff keyhole, and twisted the bobby pin down against the lever inside until I felt it give way.
As I twisted my wrist against the metal, I heard a fast series of clicks, the sound of freedom as the two ends of the cuff disengaged. I released my hand, then made a discovery few people who haven’t been stuffed inside a trunk know: most new cars have a release handle on the inside of the boot that, conveniently, glows in the dark. I pulled on the handle and emerged into the light.
“Thirty-nine seconds,” Alwood said as I climbed out of the trunk. “Not bad.”
I couldn’t believe classes like this even existed. In the last forty-eight hours, I’d learned to hotwire a car, pick locks, conceal my identity, and escape from handcuffs, flexi-cuffs, ducttape, rope, and nearly every other type of restraint.
The course was Urban Escape and Evasion, which offered the type of instruction I’d been looking for to balance my wilderness knowledge. The objective of the class was to learn to survive in a city as a fugitive. Most of the students were soldiers and contractors who’d either been in Iraq or were about to go, and wanted to know how to safely get back to the Green Zone if trapped behind enemy lines.
The class was run by a company called onPoint Tactical. Like most survival schools, its roots led straight to Tom Brown. Its founder, Kevin Reeve, had been the director of Tracker School for seven years before setting off on his own to train navy SEALS, Special Forces units, SWAT teams, parajumpers, marines, snipers, and even SERE instructors. As a bounty hunter, his partner, Alwood, had worked with the FBI and Secret Service to help capture criminals on the Most Wanted list.
As the sun set, we drove to an abandoned junkyard, where Reeve let us practice throwing chips of ceramic insulation from spark plugs to shatter car windows, using generic keys known as jigglers to open automobile doors, and starting cars by sticking a screwdriver in the ignition switch and turning it with a wrench.
As I popped open the trunk on a Dodge with my new set of jigglers, I thought, This is the coolest class I’ve ever taken in my life.
Over a barbecue dinner later that night, Reeve asked why I’d signed up for the course. “I think things have changed for my generation,” I told him. “We were born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but now it’s being removed. And most of us never learned how to take care of ourselves. So I’ve spent the last two years trying to get the skills and documents I need to prepare for an uncertain future.”
I’d never actually verbalized it before. I’d just been reacting and scrambling as the pressure ratcheted up around me. Reeve looked at Alwood silently as I spoke. For a moment, I worried that I’d been too candid. Then he smiled broadly. “You’re talking to the right people. That’s what we’ve been thinking. Kelly has caches all over the country—and in Europe.”
Lesson 28 – Calculate the Odds That You’re In Jail Right Now
ST. KITTS, EASTERN CARIBBEAN
In a few days, I’d be committed to an expense of over half a million dollars, which was more money than I had.
And what was it all for? Symbolic paper. A passport, which is just a teeny little booklet that means nothing to the universe. Realistically, the world wasn’t likely to end in my lifetime. And if it did, everyone on St. Kitts would be just as dead as everyone in America.
If there were a smaller-scale world disaster, things would probably be even worse on an island in the Caribbean, where I was more likely to be a victim of food shortages, droughts, hurricanes, blackouts, and tsunamis. There’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide on an island—especially one in the smallest country in the Americas. I’d become so focused on my search for a passport—so consumed with escaping the blowback of American politics—that I’d forgotten the survivalist lessons I’d learned on Y2K and 9/11.
Soon, the whole endeavor began to seem like the biggest travesty ever. If something horrible happened in America, would a St. Kitts passport even get me out during a state of emergency? What if it was confiscated by customs agents? Or what if Victor, Maxwell, and Wendell were in collusion and just ripping me off? I didn’t have anyone to protect me here.
Once I’d ridden out that wave of anxiety, a new one formed. I began worrying that I’d blabbed my name and occupation to too many people. If they Googled me and saw the filth I’d written, they might not sell me the apartment or give me a citizenship. And then I’d be stuck in America if anything bad happened.
And so it went, all night, one wave of anxiety after another—half of them spent worrying that I wouldn’t get a passport, the other half spent worrying that I would.
I fell asleep around dawn for a few fitful hours, until I was woken by my cell phone. AIG Private Bank was finally returning my call.
Every day, my small savings were dwindling as the dollar dropped relative not just to the euro, but even to the Caribbean currency here. I never thought I’d see the day when Eastern Europeans came to the United States for the cheap shopping.
“I’d like to inquire about opening a private banking account,” I told the woman.
“Great,” she said, with barely a trace of a Swiss accent. “Let me ask you a few questions.”
“Are you an American citizen?”
“Yes, I am.”
“We don’t deal with American citizens for a few years now.”
“But my friend Spencer Booth is American, and I think he has an account with you.”
“It’s likely an older account. We don’t do business with American citizens anymore. Sorry, good-bye.”
Before I could respond, she had hung up. I felt like an outcast. I couldn’t believe a bank wouldn’t take my money solely because I was American.
I’d noticed that many of the banks I’d researched had special policies for dealing with United States citizens. Even some of the online companies selling vintage travel documents said they no longer shipped to America because U.S. customs agents were opening and confiscating the packages. The government seemed to be sticking its nose everywhere.
In the meantime, I’d discovered a few other interesting facts: according to a report issued by Reporters Without Borders, the United States was ranked as having the fifty-third freest press in the world, tied with Botswana and Croatia. According to the World Health organization, the United States had the fifty-fourth fairest health care system in the world, with lack of medical coverage leading to an estimated 18,000 unnecessary deaths a year. And according to the Justice Department, one in every thirty-two Americans was in jail, on probation, or on parole.
Rather than having actual freedom, it seemed that, like animals in a habitat in the zoo, we had only the illusion of freedom. As long as we didn’t try to leave the cage, we’d never know we weren’t actually free.
That phone call was all it took to let me know I was doing the right thing.
Before going home, I had dinner with Wendell at a restaurant called Fisherman’s Wharf [in St. Kitts, not San Francisco] and thanked him for his help.
After the meal, he patted my shoulder and smiled. “Next time I see you, you’ll be a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis just like me,” he said. “When you get married, your wife will be a citizen. And when you have kids, so will they.”
He stepped into his SUV, started the engine, then unrolled the window and concluded his thought: “One day,” he said, beaming, “when you come back to America, no one will recognize you. You’ll be a Kittitian.”
At the St. Kitts airport the next morning, I felt like I was returning not to a country but a fortress. “Your country is so tough to get into,” the ticket agent complained as she checked my documents for the flight home. “They make it so hard for us.”
She looked up at me and said it louder, almost with venom, as if it were my fault. “They make it so hard for us.”
She wasn’t alone in her opinion. A survey released the previous month by the Discover America Partnership had found that international travelers considered America the least-friendly country to visit.
“That’s why,” I told her, with the newfound pride that Wendell had instilled in me, “I’m moving here.”
Lesson 59 – Iceland is the New Caribbean
Maybe it was when Bear Stearns became the first brokerage house to be rescued by the government since the Great Depression.
Maybe it was when IndyMac became the fifth American bank to fail in recent months.
Maybe it was when the government gave customs agents authority to confiscate, copy, and analyze any laptop or data storage device brought across the border.
Maybe it was the unshakable sense that the worst was still to come.
But I was no longer alone.
It was a hot summer, and pessimism hung thick in the air. Most people I talked to felt as if they were inching closer to some darkness they couldn’t understand, because they’d never experienced it before and didn’t know what it held.
Even Spencer’s housemate Howard, who had once made fun of us for taking precautionary measures, was now looking into Caribbean islands. As it turned out, he would beat all of us there when his company collapsed and he had to hide from possible indictment.
“I’m so glad we started preparing ahead,” Spencer told me over dinner at the Chateau Marmont, where he was staying in Los Angeles.
Having struck out with the Swiss, I took Spencer’s advice and opened an account with a Canadian bank that had a branch in St. Kitts. Since both Canada and St. Kitts are part of the British Commonwealth, he’d explained, I would have easy access to my money if anything happened in America. Unfortunately, in the process, I discovered that keeping international accounts secret is now illegal: the IRS requires Americans with over $10,000 in foreign accounts to file an annual report disclosing not just the amount of money and the banks it’s kept in, but the account numbers.
Meanwhile, Spencer was moving forward with his ten-year plan. He started an Internet business in Singapore, enabling him to open a private banking account in the country, which he claimed was fast becoming the new Switzerland. Though he hadn’t gotten his St. Kitts passport yet either, Spencer had done more research into buying an island.
“I’m looking at islands in the north, around Iceland, because no one will think of looking for anyone there,” Spencer said, his thick lips spreading into a self-satisfied smile. “If I can get some other B people [billionaires] to go there with me, we can build underground homes and use geothermal energy.”
“What about your submarine?”
“It’s a great way to move between islands undetected, but we’re running out of time. We need to move faster. This is only the beginning.”
“How bad do you think it’s going to get?” Spencer seemed to understand the economy at a higher level than most people did, perhaps because he knew so many of the people who ran it.
“I don’t think the whole country’s going to collapse, but we’re looking at the worst economic disaster in America since the Great Depression. What I’m also concerned about is the increase in violent crime that’s going to accompany this.”
Everywhere I went that summer, the demon of Just in Case seemed to follow me, growling in my ear louder than it ever had, its jaws terrifyingly close to my jugular. I’d learned so much, changed so much, tested myself so much. It now was time to stop preparing, turn around, and face the demon—and my fears—head on.
And a musician would lead me there.
Note from Tim: If you enjoyed this piece, you’ll love my extended interview of author Neil Strauss on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast. Click below to stream or you can find it on iTunes (see #15):
Also — If you’ve ever fantasized about taking time off to globe-trot, I highly recommend Rolf Pott’s Vagabonding. It is one of only two books I took with me when I traveled the world for 18 months. Outside Magazine founding editor Tim Cahill calls Vagabonding “the most sensible book of travel related advice ever written.”
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
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371 Replies to “How to Be Jason Bourne: Multiple Passports, Swiss Banking, and Crossing Borders”
Very good article. But in the case of a financial emergency, probably will happen sooner or later, how would we get out of the country?
I have actually looked into onPoint Tactical before, just for that, I may need to pick this book up! Can’t wait to read morec
this is very interesting
Hi all and Tim
I wrote the ‘all’ because this is meant for all you who read this post (btw Tim thank you for this interesting post and the interesting read).
Any regular reader of Tim’s post has to have some level of familiarity with his … hmm … rather bombastic-style of creating post titles. The good side is that they get your interest, the bad side is that usually you get not as much as you expected (something like the push-up bras worn by ladies). This yet another case.
In short the book does not delivers what it claims, it will not save your life (technically) and it will not teach it’s reader anything but a few simple survival techniques. I trust Mr. Strauss to be able to survive indefinitely with just a knife in the woods but you will not learn from his book how to do it too. This is a more like a journal of how he get to be there. A very general one – he learned how to fire guns in some spot, he learned the basics of tracking in another – that’s all you ever get.
However it is an incredibly entertaining and fun to read book – I finished it in two stands and quite forgot the feeling of frustration of not finding all the interesting facts and informations others have offered him. Until the last page I was hoping to find THE chapter – the one that has all that practical knowledge and tips, it didn’t happen. The book depicts Mr. Strauss’ four-year transition from a wimpy music critic to a man that has confidence in himself. During this time a change of mind takes place: from a survivalist that wants to escape whatever may come he transforms into an individual that wants to stay there and help his family, his neighbors and anyone that might be in need of his skills, and that deserves to be praised.
If you want real survival materials this is not for you (except for the cartoons in the book – unfortunately there are just a few of them but they are extremely useful) … unless you want to change your perspective from ‘I want to be ready to help myself’ to ‘I want to be ready to help myself and the others’ in case SHTF (Sh#t Hits The Fan). This is the part that makes this book worth reading.
A cookie that Tim forgot to mention in his post is (something that was, in my opinion, one of the gems of the book) the existence of the sixth flag: ‘freedom from fear’. No comment needed :).
Thank you Tim and thank you Mr. Strauss. However … please stop utilizing push-up bras :).
PS: Ughh! I’m so frustrated at you guys!! Please, PLEASE stop using those darn bras!!!
It also works best cause you know Ferris and Strauss probably have the knowledge to deliver on pretty much any title they choose!
I liked ‘Emergency’. I read a few pages at first in the bookstore and before I knew it, I was done a few chapters.
Very interesting information Tim!
I am glad to say that I am reading your 4-hour workbook for the second time round and making notes. My goal is to be automated in 1 year 😉
thanks for the advice
This was a great article. I’ve been fortunate enough over the past decade to be trained by this Gov’t to do a variety of interesting things, i currently hold 3 passports, have been in 30 countries in the past 20 months. I think the one skill people MUST attain, is how to survive. You don’t want to be one of the heard at the local super market 10 minutes before a blizzard, and you don’t wait five days in a bank line when the inevitable run happens….Learn to survive, Learn to eat with no stores, learn to live with what you’ve got…Some call me paranoid, but if I woke up tomorrow to find a depression era scenario out my window, I’d walk down stairs get something to eat and watch it all unfold on the TV. Truth be told, i could live in my house for over 200 days unassisted, or can be in the great white North if need be.
Remember, nothing is 100%, nothing is guaranteed except this…when there’s no food people still need to eat. when there’s no water you’ll still be thirsty….good luck! and PS, id love to add that I’m not in the woods living in a bunker…..i reread and come off in a uni-bomber type rant.
You didn’t come across as if you were writing from some bunker, lol, but you do make some interesting points, especially at the end. Should (when?) the world shifts to a different way of being, people will still need food and water. I’m fortunate to have more than one passport (going to be getting a third in the next little while), and I’m so grateful to have the (birthright) to these passports. It’s quite comforting to know that if things go haywire in one country, I can easily go to another country and not skip a beat.
With Love and Gratitude,
Great book. I always find myself reading it again and again.
Just downloaded the book and am looking forward to listening to it after relistening to The 4-Hour Work Week. 2 other books you all may find interesting and entertaining are Take Your Money and Run and My Blue Haven, both by Alex Doulis, a Canadian. Quick and easy reads, but with lots of info.
Nice post, I never realized that it is so simple to have a second identity.
Wow this is so simple that it is scary! I did not know about such a thing
Chaps, expect this book to be stored on CIA’s watch list and all purchasers to be ‘flagged’ Amazon will not hold out the spooks.. they will have your delivery address..
By in store anon… don’t spoil a good plan chaps with a basic error.
In time it will be on the list with ‘Meinf Kampf’.. ‘Jihadism in a Jar’… ‘one way trip basic jumbo flying aka..Aiming 747 at buildings’.
But great guys Neil & Tim… Game is classic & loving 4HrBody…
Be well and to US friends your CIA is preparing to suppress its citizens rest assured with the financial apocalypse still to come and loss of base currency status..
Dig Americans hate your gov…
i thought how to be retweeted was mildly interesting being the author of this (url removed but you can find twitter marketing secrets on amazon) but this blew me away glad i found you just bought this and your book
I read your blog all the time, but this is the best post ever! Keep it up Tim.
I’ve always dreamed about having a secret identity account on an offshore bank or a tax haven country. Never would I have thought that I could come across an article telling you how to do it!! Man. this will be my next reference in future. Wait just let me get some notes down and bookmark this and save it in my hard drive. Just in case, someone decides to bring this site down because of this information here 😀
Man Tim always has some interesting reads on the blog. I have to catch up.
Neil’s new book sounds great. I am not sure it will be stocked in Prison libraries though.
Can you give me an insight as to who you consider to be the current top 5 lifestyle designers that have got there by following similar methods to those in the 4HWW? I have a voracious appetite.
As far as offshore bank accounts, what do you think of HSBC and Lloyds TSB “international” (offshore) multi-currency accounts? Seems like you need a min. $25k initial deposit, but they don’t say anything on the website about not dealing with U.S. citizens…
Another thing: with Swiss banks that don’t deal with the U.S., could you make a transfer first to your country of “second citizenship”, and then ask the Swiss bank to treat you as a citizen of that country, and make a second transfer?
I miss Neil’s style of writing I have not read much to anything by him except the game.
I heard of this book but i decided against getting it…but if tim ferris told me to purchase a book on dealing with menopause i would buy it. So now i’m going to buy this book.
lol thanks a lot tim ferris this is like the 20th book you got me to buy
I like your book so much. But it’s not so easy to achieve honestly. Sure your book has a view very good inputs, but one houldn’t lack marketing talent and a – very important – lot of good luck. I guess I’ll need a couple of years until I have as much time to spend as you describe in your book. But Im already thinking of what to do with the time I safe 🙂
Here some ideas I have:
– Learn to Skydive and Jump near mount everest, an incredibly long free fall: http://www.everest-skydive.com
– Becoming a Fighter Pilot by doing the Type Rating: http://www.flyfighterjet.com well, first I’ll do a normal Fighter Jet Ride
– Take part in Landy Rally, a Charity Drive offroad adventure in Europe: http://www.landyrally.com
Great post Tim and 4-Hour Work Week was what got me involved in my business today. Thanks so much! Huge fan of Jason Bourne as well!
I’ve just started your 100+ additional pages update of Four Hour Work Week. Not only did you make NYT best seller’s list because of your awesome content, but it works on a human’s ability to dream. And you’ve shown that it can be done. Like they say, “thanks for sharing.” As soon as the cats I share an apartment with pass away I’m packing a bag and going to vagabond around the world at almost 50. Anytime is a good time for living. Thanks for everything.
Awesome read Tim. I’m getting the book.
I always come across the coolest articles from fascinating people on this blog. Thanks Tim!
Wow, is this for real? Jason Bourne is one of my personal favorites and been watching its movies for more than 5 times! I always wanted to travel, to earn and to have a career in an instant just like Jason.Surely, I will be buying this book! I am so excited to have one!
I loved emergency. I read it when it first came out, looks like its time for a reread since I just finished the 4hww
Emergency…Very entertaining book, I have actually read it twice now. Currently reading Four Hour Chef and love it….
Amazing article just read from the bed as I wake up on beautiful sunny morning in England.
Really made me think of a second passport eventhough I live in Europe and have freedom to be in 25 countries in sthe hengan area.
Thanks for valuable ideas Tim.
Man, I was GOING to pass up on Neil’s book emergency, but this sounds unreal. I would love to get multiple passports.
This reminds me of the PT Perpetual Traveler book by W. G. Hill that came out in the 90’s. Now out of print, but used books are available. Hill also wrote The Passport Report and Banking in Silence.
We met a while back after your presentation to Commonwealth Club and you were kind enough to autograph my copy of 4-HB.
Am currently in process of authoring my own book – ‘Toward a Unified Theory of Investment & 6-Sigma Investing’.
Hoped I might contribute ‘Zero Beta, Long/Short, Market-Neutral Investment strategy’ to the ‘Investment Resource’ portion of your blog.
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This is actually a tremendous web site.
Awesome post! The book sounds very interesting 🙂
I read this particular post 5 times since it’s up. It always gives me a weird sense of excitement:)
Just Walter Mitty fantasy stuff.
You will find that purchasing new passports is more expensive than most can bear and anything real will cost a bomb. Anything fake is a jail sentence.
As for money hiding- again the truly rich are the main game. If you are rich you can buy anything including new IDs and secret accounts.
For the rest of us, line up in the long queue.
I have a plan for money laundering money from USA to Swiss Account. Just an idea. You can have a family home in Europe or a relative that will deal with your financial dealings with a Swiss bank. The account will be in his name but it will be your money he manages. If you have a legitimate reason for wiring someone $10,000, you can say my uncle is looking after my property in Spain or etc and he needs the money for renovations and taxes. But really the money will be for hiding assets and accounts in a Swiss Bank. There will be no connection to you if the account is in your uncle’s name. It can work as long as they don’t question why a man has so much money and earns a lot less.
Also being there physically and doing everything in person will stop IRS knowing anything and paper trail. It is expensive but very lucrative and avoid suspicion. I have known people sending expensive gifts to family then selling them to get cash.
All just interesting possibilities. Funny how Jason Bourne is an American CIA operative, who has a swiss bank account that US government don’t tax. Maybe because he has multiple passports and identities.
FACTA just went into effect. Which means you are basically screwed as an American citizen. It required banks all over the world to report your holdings to the US. Don’t even think Switzerland avoided this. So, to me the only option seems to be to renounce your US citizenship. I’m considering Chile and New Zealand. Love my country, but am terrified of its govt. Will have to pick this book up.
Hi, I found your site by accident while looking for passport information.
“How to Be Jason Bourne: Multiple Passports, Swiss Banking, and Crossing Borders”
Great Stuff. Then I signed up and the next thing I see is Tim on the great wall.
Which is where I am now…Beijing. I am American and married to a Chinese lady. Is it just luck or…..that I happened on the site.
Is there any way for a country to find out if you have a passport from another country. I found an article about Inter poll but even they say they are not up to date. As you know not all countries recognize dual citizenship’s.
When you say two passports do you mean duplicate passports from the same country or two passports from different countries(dual nationality)?
Is this the reason you created the episode Urban Invasion in your TV show ?
Awsome article, ever since ive ref the 4 hour werkweek and 4 hour bodu and the game! You guys helped me to improve nu live so much. Thanks to Neill i tot a ton of girls and Tim your wat of thinking made me be a selfmade man. Thank you guys, Chris
What happens after you wrap everything up in LLCs and what exactly is a Holding Company and can anyone set it up? Is it best to set up LLCs first and then the holding company? Feel free to email me [Moderator: email address removed] for any other insight you or anyone can provide.
Thanks a ton
n my case, I am actually much more interested in econ. and business. CS is just something I do as well, thus my interest in banking regulation, accounting, and valuations techniques (though I am, by no means, an expert on any of those subjects…).
As it so happens, CS people are much better at computers than economists etc… though there are some excellent econ. blogs on the internet which I enjoy reading.
Its a matter of specialization. I just happen to have banks as on of the things I try to specialize in.
Luxembourg is the new Switzerland when it comes to stashing money in foreign places. Has been for a while once they cracked the can of worms open with the Swiss accounts over a decade ago. People I know in Europe who have money go to Luxembourg to swim in it every couple months. That is all.
It mentions different passports and opening businesses here and there, but has anyone considered the Estonian e-Residency scheme for their businesses? Or is it something people would like to learn more about?
One of the the very few Tim Ferris recommended items that’s a bust. I bought the book and found it to be very devoid of real, useable data.
Tim’s book however, Tools of Titans, is worth its weight in gold!
I’m glad that someone’s letting the cat out of the bag. Why should super-rich criminals be the only ones with this freedom? Maybe if it becomes pernicious enough, there will finally be adequate laws against it.
Wonder why you can’t afford to buy a home in the city where you work? This is why. It starts with that Chinese factory owner or Russian oil magnate wanting a safe place to park their cash. So they buy that $7million home for cash, knowing that SF/LA/NYC/etc. real estate won’t tank. Meanwhile that Producer who makes more than enough to qualify for the mortgage AND can put 30% down loses that sale. So they go a bit downmarket. And so on and so on until you have hipsters buying $1mm fixers in the ghetto because that’s all they can afford.
Sure, the Feds claim to have a new law requiring realtors to “investigate” the sources of all-cash sales over a certain price. But it’s still to easy to cover the tracks. Which, of course, is why the billions of dollars that conspiracy theorists claim Putin paid Trump for having won the election will be nearly impossible to trace and prove. In a world run by criminals, we all have to adapt or die, it seems.
Have you thought about writing an actual how to become Jason Bourne book? Are you aware of anything that is currently in print?
Thanks in advance
Wow! I read this blog post yesterday and I came across this article today: http://www.newsweek.com/more-rich-americans-are-giving-their-citizenship-avoid-taxes-699247?utm_campaign=NewsweekTwitter&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social
It is really happening! Thanks for the priceless advice Tim. I am not American but I always find your articles super helpful.
I’m fortunate enough to have 3 passports, Canadian (by birth), UK (via my parents), and NZ (after living here for several years). Often wondered if I should branch out into being a spy… Anyone know who’s hiring?
A political diatribe masquerading as a survival book. Save the money and buy a nice pocket knife. Tim – very disappointed in your promoting this garbage.
1/3 of the way through the book and nothing but, “I hate Republicans” subversive crap. Hope it picks up soon.
Really interesting to read, especially the comments about the economy, crime and violence… given that it was written 13 years ago and we’re looking at worse now.