How to Be Jason Bourne: Multiple Passports, Swiss Banking, and Crossing Borders

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.”

“Sure.”

“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):

Ep. 15: Neil Strauss - Author of The Game and 7 New York Times Bestsellers
Download

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 over 400 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.

368 Replies to “How to Be Jason Bourne: Multiple Passports, Swiss Banking, and Crossing Borders”

  1. Again and again, Tim is on the top of the wave.

    I just finished “the Game” and eagier to read Neil’s coming book, that i saw preview on amazon.

    Thank for sharing 🙂

  2. Wow! This sounds like a very interesting book. I’ve always though that it would be cool to have an offshore bank account and extra passports – if only for the conversation starter.

    On the Iceland front, I had quite a bit of money stashed away there until their collapse – luckily it was recovered but it took away my liquidity for a while. Shows (as you say) that it’s good to spread it around and keep your options open.

  3. Wow! Even as a college student, that post is making me think about how I want to start prepping for my future, even beyond the whole “start investing early, because compound interest is your friend!” spiel.

    By the way, including those extended excerpts from the book has done more to persuade me to buy it than any other sort of endorsement or advertisement could have. I would love to see similar features like this in the future.

  4. Interesting ideas,

    I wonder, are you aware of your “power” to let people buy books? After reading this post I just have to get that book now, damn you Ferris :p

    ..and my bookcase is already overflowing with great books. I guess I’ll just have to keep up. ..or try and get ahead.

    Perhaps that would be a nice blogtopic, how DO you get ahead of the game and get on the front edge of the train. It seems a bit contradictory to a low-information diet.

  5. I read about this book on amazon after you mentioned it on twitter…

    I read the little about section and thought “This isn’t non-fiction, there must be some mistake” – looks ridiculously compelling to say the least. Looking forward to reading it.

  6. I work with several white South Africans and another guy from I think Zaire. They all have green cards and are getting close to being able to get citizenship if they want it. At the moment, none of them are taking it. Most of them keep their money in a third country’s bank (not sure where) and are rightfully paranoid that the government here will confiscate their assets, the banks will fail, or that the dollar will just drop like the rand.

    1. Once bitten twice shy I’d suggest. Africans know how volatile and unreliable governments can be. America is not so different, just cloaked in veneer of respectability – but still the underbelly of corrupt and deficit exists – there is a new derivative ‘correction’ around the corner sometime. I travel extensively, and agree with the above comment about the USA being a fortress… I love the time there on the ground, but was always aware of the sensation or feeling bugging me that something isn’t quite right.

  7. By the way a nice way to transfer money to country A to country B without any trace is to find someone from country B who wants to transfer money to country A.

    So that you make a deposit from your account in country A to the account of the other guy in country A, and this guy make a deposit to your account in country B from his account in country B. Thats it.

    More practical example : if you are US citizen and hold a swiss bank account. Find a swiss guy who holds an US bank account.

    Transfer money from your US account to his US account, and he will do the same between your swiss account and his one.

  8. Hey Tim,

    Life is about doing exciting things- right? This is certainly in that ball park. Traveling around the world for a living I have encountered a few people who fall into the Bourne identity genre and always find them fascinating. Great read.

    Have Fun,

    Rob

  9. Very cool stuff. I’m into these things for a while (I’ve got three passports and multiple banking accounts throughout Europe etc.), but you really inspired me to do more. And BTW – you’re making a great job for you friend Neal. I’ll definitely buy his book. Must be fun hanging out with him.. 🙂

  10. Wow, I am continually blown away reading through your posts. I discovered your book a few months ago and wish I had found it much sooner.

    I am definitely scooping up this book when it comes out and may even test some of the ideas.

  11. Thanks for the excerpts. Fascinating.

    Sad though that so many people are now so mistrustful of the government and the banking system that this kind of stuff is going mainstream.

    We seem to be on the cusp of some kind of major change to the whole financial and political system. I really hope it doesn’t all collapse in a heap Weimar Republic style, but I can’t help thinking its probably going to.

  12. It reminds me the very good “How to be invisible”. Not the song, the book from Luna :

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Invisible-Essential-Protecting/dp/0312319061/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236088936&sr=8-1

    These technics are really interesting but the troubles are :

    – They involve so much effort that there are few cases where it is worth it.

    – Sacrifying your goods is ok, but at the highest level, you loose the people you love too. Ouch.

    – When you look at it, there are plenty of stuff you can do being frankly visible.

    – Finally, it’s trying to get in control again, not working on dealing with reality : you solve problems, but won’t handle the new ones better.

    – Be visible but active and people will loose track of you already. I moved (to live in) from Nice to Madrid to Paris to Nice to Orleans to Toulouse the last monthes. The whole system is already crying, it’s too much for him. Maybe being invisible is overkill.

    So unless you protect your life (or you try a fun life experience), this book will stay a nice entertainment. Anyway, since The Game was quite nice to read (at least in VO, the french translation is disappointing), I guess Mr. Style gave us another cool piece of literature to enjoy before going to sleep.

  13. Awesome post Tim! I just finished setting up my company owning a trust owning businesses etc the other day, so confusing!

    This looks interesting, going to have to start implementing soon. Even though I live in Australia it seems whatever happens to the US happens to us too 🙁

  14. For entrepreneurs these days, it’s normal to think about incorporating abroad and leaving profits in foreign currencies to protect against a weakening dollar. As far as multiple citizenship, you can get citizenship to Canada by investing a hundred thousand in the country. I’m sure other countries have similar arrangements.

  15. It’s difficult to do business for Americans because you essentially end up needing an in-house team of specialists who only handle US tax. Most private banks don’t have the volume or desire to maintain that kind of staff when they can service dozens of other nationalities with one private banker and regular consultations with outside specialist counsel familiar with the client’s domicile.

    Also, because of the US disclosure requirements there are far fewer advantages for Americans to be offshore than for many other nationalities… other than satisfying paranoia, of course.

  16. Tim it seems that you are my long lost brother. I decided years ago that I wanted to become a bad ass while watching the first Borne movies; learn lock picking, shooting, be able to swim for miles, etc. I think there’s an entire nation of guys out there who don’t want white picket fences and cubes.

    Now that the cats out of the bag, I hope we get a whole series of posts on becoming Jason Borne.

  17. Great post and thank you for the insightful preview, Tim. I’m sure he mentions it in the book, but it so rarely gets coverage here in the US – The US is the largest tax haven in the world… Just as long as you’re not American. One reason why foreign nationals are happy to hang onto their Green Cards is because of their tax-free investment options in the US. Congress won’t tell you that though, will they? I’ve linked to a broader description in my sig., entitled, “The American Dream: One of tax havens, terrorism and other double standards” (Sorry for the plug, Tim – But this is important stuff!).

    Spreading your assets around is not only smart, but necessary and having a second passport is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your financial future. Nevis and St. Kitts is actually one of the harder countries to double up with, because of their high investment requirement… keep looking and you’ll find the better, cheaper options. One thing to consider, obviously, is who has extradition agreements and formal government liaisons with the US.

  18. This is all great stuff, but I think the 5 flags theory was written up in great detail about 10 years ago by Bill Hill, whom I think got a lot of his ideas from Harry Schultz.

    Bill Hill’s books included the whole “Perpetual Traveller” concept of earning money in one flag, keeping it in another, holding the passport from a third, playing in a fourth etc. The books I remember reading were PT1, PT2, The Passport Report etc.

  19. This sounds like an amazing book. I am not even in the US, but it sounds interesting. the excerpts do make me feel sorry for all of the people stuck in USA

  20. Tim, we met in London at your book launch. I was the Aussie guy with the seminar company who offered you a bunch of cash to do some big events. You said you were “too busy having fun.”

    That comment was a critical moment for me, so thank you. I realised I had stopped having fun, and your words compelled me to act.

    Since, I have sold my company that I built for 7 years to my partners (remote working was not an option), and I am now full time on creating a muse as I travel the world having a ball. I intend to do whatever it takes to permanently join the ranks of the New Rich. Not far now. Thank you for hookups to Neil’s new book. I am mid application in Singapore. It’s solid.

    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.

    Cheers,

  21. Nice post, Tim. And thanks for the Woody Allen “neg” ‘;)

    Interesting tip, Coachdom. I’ll have to think about that one more.

    Mike, you definitely sound like you’re PT, which you should look into more if you haven’t yet.

    And Chris, the money-minded guys in the book are all about “wealth preservation” through “diversification” of holdings now. Sounds like that may be your strategy now. I can go into more detail if you’d like.

    Otherwise, great comments. Will check back in later today. And have a great trip to Vietnam, Tim.

  22. Tim, great post. I pre-order the book based on this post. I have been thinking about this for some time and your post is very appropriate. Ruger is the best performing stock in the market. That tells you that people are scared and that they are running to the gun stores so they can protect their assets. The book offers those with higher level thinking skills some additional options. Thanks for the knowledge…

  23. If you’re a US citizen, approach this with extreme caution. You should research the following subjects as a warning of the way things are headed:

    STOP TAX HAVEN ABUSE ACT – bill supported by Obama to target tax havens

    Mastercard debit cards and the IRS. In 2002, the IRS got access to Mastercards records of debit cards issued by banks and a lot of people got caught.

    United Swiss Bank – A Swiss bank that the IRS is trying to force to divulge secret accounts based on the bank’s purchase of a US Bank.

    European tax authorities are also very interested in offshore accounts for tax reasons.

  24. My only complaint with this is that the book isn’t out for a week, so I have to wait. Damn you Ferriss, I’m a child of 70’s Sesame Street and 80’s MTV, I have no capacity for waiting.

    I’m going to buy this and the two Game books the day this one’s released

  25. Absolutely one of your best posts my friend! I’ve been buzzing about this with my mastermind group all morning via Twitter and calls. This book strikes a chord. Thanks for sharing this!

  26. Thanks for the tip, pre-ordered the book. Looks like the Perpetual Traveler & Five Flags concept is about to go mainstream. I’m not sure whether existing PTs should consider this a blessing or a kiss of death 😉

    The excerpts mention in passing Harry Schultz and Bill Hill (“Perpetual Traveler” by W.G. Hill, aka The Red Book), but two more essentials on the subject are Harry Browne’s classic “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” and the recent (post-9/11) “Bye Bye Big Brother” by Grandpa et al (aka The Black Book).

  27. @CoachDom

    Re: transferring money from country A to country B

    Isn’t this what the poor distressed e-mailer from Nigeria is trying to do? What you’re saying sounds like a set up for a rip-off.

    I don’t know that another country’s banking system is any more safe than the US. Seems as though the whole world is standing in line for a bailout. As for security and privacy for your deposits, hasn’t the government already been leaning on the Swiss banks to give up names of US account holders who may be shielding money from the IRS?

    1. Gino – on the contrary, the ‘distressed e-mailer from Nigeria’ is asking you to move money into his account – transferring your money from one legitimate bank to another legitimate bank account in your name or bank account in a company name that you own, is a totally different scenario. And with regards to the US banking system and being safe….. no, unfortunately US banking is shonky. On a rating of safety, US Banks for quite short; in fact, most European Bank can’t trade with US banks without a ream of paperwork as the European Regulators find the US Banking procedures to be way short of their own checks and balances. As for the Swiss Banks… yes the main ‘high street’ banks will give over information – under duress i.e. court pressure… but many of the Swiss Banks shifted to becoming family owned, which means under Swiss Law handing over any information is punishable by law and the penalties are harsh – life in prison… so essentially Swiss Law won’t let the US IRS bully the family owned companies. Of course the Private Swiss Banks have the their own method of regulation, which I suspect keeps them just colouring inside the lines with regards to International Banking Procedures checks and balances. I would not choose to keep any assets or long term investments in a US Bank.

  28. This book looks awesome!

    Having total freedom and mobility is very attractive to me.

    I recently discovered that the business tax rate in Hong Kong is 16% whereas in the U.S. it is about 45%, so I plan on visiting there at some point in the future to inquire about incorporating. Heard great things about Singapore as well.

    Also, Tim not sure if you have seen some of the indexes of economic freedom created by organizations like the WSJ and Cato institute:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_economic_freedom

    The U.S. is rightly losing it’s reputation as the freest country in the world lately, and may no longer be the best spot for business and personal freedoms.

  29. I had to laugh at the author’s mid-nite call from AIG. I had a similar experience with another large Swiss bank: being waken from a sound sleep just to brushed off. I still have chip on my shoulder when I hear that they are having fiscal difficulty ;->

    Here are some things I am reading: “Confessions of a Hurricane Katrina Survivor”: http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/Archives2007/Confessions.html

    Here is a long article by a Rusian who went through through the Soviet collapse “Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century”: http://lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/Archives2008/OrlovLessonsPartOne.html

  30. Hey, it’s Perpetual Traveller’s and JJ Luna all over again! I thought the sources for that ran dry (and emergency sounds like a bit of rehash of it). And ever since 9/11 it’s even become more of a pain in the ass. It’s not worth to start doing this if your a poor student type I think. But one way you could start is to go get a student visa and study somewhere else in the world. By the time your done your degree, you probably have enough years for permanent residency and get a citizenship pretty quick. It’s even streamlined if you done something like that. For example, in many European countries (like Germany), university is free or dirt cheap (500 euros a semester), even for international students.

  31. Great post — not that I’d ever do any of that stuff, but it sure is interesting to read about. Though, I’m not sure that “Iceland is the New Caribbean” would still really hold now in the current economic climate.

  32. @Gino, @Thomas,

    Recent PT best practice (as outlined in the BBBB book) departs from Schultz’s and Hill’s classic formula by adding a sixth flag, cyberspace. In short, there exist ways of transferring value that are wholly outside the legacy banking system; it’s called the emerging free digital economy, and you can read about it e.g. in DGC Magazine:

    http://www.dgcmagazine.com/blog/index.php/2009/02/11/isle-of-babel-or-what-you-can-spend-on-gold-island/

    The conundrum that the emergence of digital currencies pose to governments’ abilities to levy taxes and seize assets is outlined very well in the underground novel “A Lodging of Wayfaring Men” (you can find it via Google).

  33. Sounds like an interesting read. Two passports are fairly easy to acquire as many countries allow dual citizenship. It’s especially useful if you have roots from a European Union country as the second passport grants you living and working right in all the EU states. It’s like having citizenship in 28 countries.

  34. Aside from the entertainment value, most of the thinking in these chapters is beyond ridiculous. A small but vibrant cottage industry seems to have formed to fuel the paranoid and megalomanical fantasies of prosperous Americans who think either the world will come crashing down around them, or some judicial/IRS/black-helicoptered boogie man will come take all their cool toys. Fact is that good business practices and good insurance gets 99% of the people more than 99% of where they want to be. What happened to your 80/20 rule here, Tim????

    1. Thanks for injecting a bit of sanity, Paul. Several items described seriously here set off my BS detector. I mean, who CAN’T escape from handcuffs, when you happen to have a bobby pin in your sock? Yes, 9/11 made us all a little paranoid, and the descent into financial chaos seems even more tangible than when this was originally written. But amongst the obvious sensible advice is some over-the-top, impractical, Hollywood-inspired silliness.

  35. It is like Chinese Water Torture waiting for Emergency to come out! I’ve had it pre-ordered for awhile now, and with about a week to go I’m getting these teasing “drips” of it. Arrgh!

    Not too surprised you and Neil are friends, Tim. I was lucky enough to meet him a few years back and he has a very 4HWW style about him (no pun intended). Hope this book is everything you and he promise… plus more! : )

    – Pat

  36. Pre-ordered – sounds like a great book, and update on the old Harry Schultz, W.G. Hill and Bye Bye Big Brother themes. One little thing though, I thought these days there were six flags not five… the sixth being cyberspace, that brings all the other five together… anyway can’t wait to read this book

  37. Small PS. to my earlier comment, since I noticed Neil is actually reading these:

    How do you feel about how things have played out from starting this book to a week before its release date? Spencer commented on the economic crisis seemingly long before it began showing signs, so is it vindicating to know you were one step ahead? Depressing that things played out as they did? None of the above?

  38. “…and wanted to know how to safely get back to the Green Zone if trapped behind enemy lines.”

    I don’t think he understands what the green zone in Afghanistan is. The green zone often IS behind enemy lines, not a safe zone as he seems to presume.

    It’s the greener areas near the rivers where foliage is thicker and is incredibly dangerous because you can’t see as far, and the ditches can have IEDs and mines so when you dive in for cover…

    He’s a great writer so I’ll check the book out. Seems born out of, or intends to take advantage of, an american paranoia. I think that will annoy me if I buy the book.

  39. Tim,

    Thank you for the excerpts from this book. Like many of the other commenters, I’ve now got it on pre-order. I’m also actively looking into some of the information discussed in the book and your post.

    @CSThomas “If I order off amazon are they going to track me as someone to watch out for?” I’ve been arguing the merits of multiple passports all day with family, and they voiced similar concerns. I think that this is lent a lot of weight if you feel compelled to ask that. If you don’t trust your government, you need an exit strategy.

  40. Tim,

    First time poster of a gringo living in Panama.

    I have been waiting for a post like this for a while from you…if this doesn’t fit into the “do anything from anywhere” mantra…I don’t know what does.

    You asked about topics for your new book in a post a while ago, add this to your list.

    As someone who sites Escape Artist in your book – started by Roger Gallo, Escape from America fame for you old schoolers…and who frequently border hops – and recommends that fast blue pass (or something of the like for airports) – this has T Ferriss written all over it.

    The old mantra of – live in one country – be a citizen of another – have your business in a third – hold banks accounts in 4 and 5, and beyond.

    For all of those rolling your eyes…lets not forget its all LEGAL.

    Being a dual citizen, offshore bank accounts, multiple passports, cash in multiple currencies – tax avoidance or reduction NOT tax evasion.

    Hey, you even stayed outside the U.S. for 15 months, if not mistaken…to take advantage of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

    A few more books for readers to check out, if interested:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hide-Assets-Disappear-Step-Step/dp/0060183942

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Invisible-Essential-Protecting/dp/0312319061/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236128222&sr=1-1

    And plenty more…

    Hey Tim – whats up with the Tico, Pura Vida?

    Head back to the neighbor next door, Panama.

    Thomas Crown

    1. @Thomas Crown,

      Thanks for the comment!

      I agree on all points, and — just for the record — I’ve spent much more time in Panama than Costa Rica. I just don’t like saying “Pretty, pretty, fren!” 🙂

      All the best from a fellow experimenter,

      Tim

  41. Sounds like Spencer’s getting pretty close imagining Rapture.

    “Welcome to Rapture”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioShock#Setting

    “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.”

  42. @gino

    “I don’t know that another country’s banking system is any more safe than the US.”

    Canadian banks were ranked the soundest in the world by the Economic Forum. No bankruptcies and no bailouts.

  43. Don’t forget physical gold and silver. They are great against inflation, and it’s good to have it, seeing as the US dollar might go into some big inflation this year. Thanks Obama!

    Anyway, great post.

  44. So many of your comments are right on. A few quick responses:

    Arto, I actually mention both of those books elsewhere in the book. And had a long email back-and-forth interview with the elusive Grandpa about PT. So you’re right on.

    Tom, I suppose there are multiple definitions of the green zone. In this case, most of the students in the class were going to Iraq, thus the Green Zone is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_zone

    And CSThomas, hilarious. That’s kind of what I thought all the way through. I kept worrying that I’d get on some list. My solution, in the spirit of Tim’s networking, was: befriend the people who have access to those “lists.”

    1. @JB,

      “Why do all the links in http://tarasovandassociates.com/ forward to Neil Strauss’ website? Is this for real or a joke? P.S. I ordered the book anyway.”

      Good catch. I will suggest that Neil either take that site down or make it clear that he is actually behind it. I think the name of the firm might have been changed, but he should make it clear on the homepage that it’s not a real firm or people will assume he fabricated the story and is using the name to just drive traffic, which I know he isn’t.

      Thanks!

      Tim

  45. Tim,

    I’m also a first time poster and gringo living (just north of Mr. Crown) in Costa Rica (pura vida!).

    Quick question, once obtained, do you have to report your new citizenship? I’ve read that it is illegal for a US citizen to be in the US on another passport but haven’t seen much clarity on if it is necessary to declare dual citizenship..

    Thanks for the post, great read, looking forward to Neil’s book!

    Also, next time you’re in the Guanacaste area of CR, I owe you a drink, after all your book helped me get down here.

    Philipe

  46. Tim,

    I’m really happy that you continue to put real value into your blog even though 4HWW has a life of its own now. You’re creating a real brand and you should see this reflected with anything you endorse or sell in the future.

    I was very surprised to see that you were friends with my other favorite author, and even more surprised to see what the book is about. It’s so over-the-top… absolutely a must-read. I definitely expected a book with this topic to be written by you before Style.

    Even though I’m happy to see awesome blog updates, I’m rather disappointed that you’re not living the mobile 4HWW lifestyle anymore. Have you been on any mini-retirements since the book was published? Of course, normally it wouldnt matter but now you’re a role model and inspiration to so many. I wonder is being popular and building your personal brand a more attractive lifestyle than 4HWW? Have you “outgrown” it? What’s the story?

    Peace,

    Edward

    1. @Edward and All,

      Thanks so much for the comment and kind words. Funny you should ask what you did, as I’m off to SFO in a few hours to fly to Vietnam for two weeks!

      The mini-retirements are alive and well, and I’m still following the advice I give in the book 🙂

      All the best — next post will be from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh,

      Tim

  47. Check the right hand column of tarasovandassociates.com. I think that pretty much explains it all.

    It’s what we in the business call an “easter egg.” Nice.

  48. Funny this should come up at a time when 1) I’m in the process of getting my Hungarian citizenship 2) Planning moving to Holland 3) Thinking about how I could get a Swiss bank account once I move to Holland (though I didn’t know that Singapore was fast becoming an Asian Switzerland, might be something to consider as they also have an F-1 race now) and 4) How I could keep my apartment in the U.S. while buying property in Hungary at the same time.

    I ordered the book and can’t wait to read it. Thanks Tim!

    One thing not mentioned was how helpful a passport from a different country can be when traveling international since our reputation has been tarnished pretty badly so far this century. Using another passport can help you avoid harassment, seizure and other such inconveniences in foreign countries not to mention the fact you can visit countries otherwise banned by the U.S.

  49. I don’t know if you a deal with the author of Emergency or what but you’ve got me sold. I loved Four-Hour Workweek and the world’s gloomy economic prospects have rattled me. Consider the book bought.

  50. I’ve read almost all of Neil’s books – The Game, The Dirt, The Marilyn Manson book, Jenna Jameson, Rules of the Game. All fantastic reads. He knows how to craft a story that you can’t put down. Can’t wait for this one. Thanks for sharing Tim! – Richard Brian Penn

  51. Tim,

    I have seen an evolution in your posts and yes, you were right about this post, it was the bomb.

    Your posts are getting even better and I appreciate that there may be longer breaks between some posts, because I am a writer and sometimes there needs to be a break so that the articles aren’t forced and thus not genuine or just not as good as they could be.

    I also noticed your sentiment of recent events has changed slightly.

    Keep up the good work.

    Neil,

    Great work. My only question is what if we don’t have 2 years worth of funds to be able to do all of the things you mentioned? (I’m sure Tim would say to use the tricks from his book) But those take time to generate an income and it seems like you have a sense of urgency about the current situation as we all should. I’m sure there is more about this in the book and I plan on reading it but thats not for another 10 days…..should we all just bail out to Ecuador? It seems like now would be the best time to do this because of the current rise in the value of the dollar.

    Thanks

  52. @Arto Bendiken

    I thought digital currencies were also pretty much shut down (like eGold and such) due to post-9/11 legislation.

    Also potential US expats, realize that you have to file a tax return to the IRS even if your not a resident in the US and do not make your income in the USA. The IRS has successfully extradited people for forgetting to do this. And the IRS has foreign agents to try to find people like this. You might even be double taxed if your not in a country w/ a tax treaty w/ the USA. The USA is very unique in this.

  53. Tim just sent me an email asking me to respond to JB.

    As Tim theorized, I had to change the name of the firm at the behest of Harper’s lawyer. But I knew readers would go looking for the company, so I used my admittedly amateurish Dreamweaver skills (along with a picture of one of the book’s fact-checkers) to put something up explaining why they weren’t finding the company online. I don’t like leaving loose ends. The explanation is in the right column on the page. A link to a video of a kangaroo knocking out a children’s TV host is at the bottom.

    And TPapp, I like how you’re thinking. And, yes, you might want to think twice about getting that Swiss account, especially if you’ve been following what’s been going on with UBS Bank.

    And great comments here overall…

  54. @Neil, looking forward to the book, then 🙂 …do you by any chance talk about why you went for the St. Kitts passport instead of, say, Dominica which requires a somewhat more affordable “donation”?

    @Thomas, no, that was merely those exposed to US jurisdiction in some form. Digital currencies based in more favorable climates such as Panama and Costa Rica are trucking on and indeed growing exponentially. You’ll find their adverts in DGC Magazine. Think of it analogously to the proliferation of P2P file sharing technology – there’s hardly any way to put the genie back into the bottle without shutting down the Internet. “A Lodging of Wayfaring Men” deals with all these questions.

  55. For some reason I never thought I would see this kind of post from you, yet I am not surprised.

    I am in the process of getting second citizenship, asset protection, etc…

    Keep it coming!!!!

  56. Seems finally the undercurrent of the 4HWW is beginning to surface… I praise Tim for introducing many aspects of the PT lifestyle to a broader audience through the back door.

    This (knowledge) will rise faster and ever stronger, and indeed is reaching a tipping point — most don’t call it this, but the anticivilization’s days are numbered and the reigining parasitical elite class know it.

    I suggest: Collect your intangibles. Trust, Reputation, Emotional Intelligence. Identify and mobilize around these, and others, with a LOCAL community of likeminded, savvy sovereign individuals.

    Breakpoint to the Procivilization is upon us. Check the “Zeitgeist”.

  57. can’t put it down even before I have it! And I just LMAO going to the tarasovandassociates website. Read the whole thing, the guy is genius. No wonder he and the Tim hang well together.

    This entire concept of this book is one I’ve been thinking about since I moved back to this country from Japan. Ticked me off when I lived there that the US wanted to keep track of my earnings there and double tax me….at any rate, fantastic resource, thanks so much!!!

  58. Tim! Having just set up my Personal Training business (thanks for the 4hour week inspiration) to allow me one of your early retirements with my girls… wife and baby daughter 😉 I was fascinated by this post… DO US CUSTOMS/CONTROL REALLY LOOK IN MY LAPTOP??? That means they are reading this post and half my tip is gonna go up in smoke…

  59. Ladies and Gentlemen of the world. You’ve just been provided with a glimpse into future of freedom.

    PT or “perpetual tourist” runs on the assumption, that if you don’t stay put in one spot you’re really not subject to the laws of any particular state.

    Everyone tolerates if not enjoys tourists. They don’t stay long, they don’t compete for local resources and in fact bring money in SUPPORTING the local economy.

    Having a residency in a tax haven gets you protection from onerous tax imposition. Having a residence (or multiple residences) in countries known for privacy for your assets. And the third residence is where you’re at physically which shifts like the sands from country to country. Panama as a tourist one month, Australia another, Buenos Aires another etc. Point being, your a hard mo fo to keep up with, monitor and especially CONTROL.

    The internet makes this very practical, with email addresses, possible online businesses etc.

    The window on this lifestyle is closing however. There are new currency controls in the works. The ever expanding patriot act and deteriorating economic conditions will make living free very difficult in the not to distant future.

    In the future, with tools like the internet, the INDIVIDUAL will dictate the control over his/her destiny. Governments will be forced to accomodate their populace or lose it. No more stupid wars, laws, restrictions on activities that ONLY affect the individual willfully involved.

    In short it will be a Libertarian future made possible by freedom of location selection. And peace, prosperity, diversity will dominate the next leg up of human developement.

  60. I would be very careful about offshore trusts, and trustees. There are numerous cases of trust companies in The Isle of Jersey and Guernsey (Channel Islands, UK), charging exorbitant “fees” without the approval of the beneficiaries and without your knowledge.

    They can totally loot your trust and there is little you can do about it. Sure, you can sue them in Jersey, but good lick. The Jersey courts are hardly unbiased.. they protect their own.

    Go to http://www.suejerseytrusts.com and http://www.sueinvestec.com or join our Facebook Group: Sue Jerseytrusts at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/home.php?ref=home

  61. Tim AND Neil,

    Neil’s book looks interesting, and thank you for sharing.

    I have to say that Neil bathes in shame for the way he depicts Tyler Durden. I believe Tyler has gone through a great transformation since “The Game,” he has learned his lessons and has become a truly mature guy.

    HEADS UP: Tyler’s forthcoming Blueprint book will be extraordinary; you should get in contact with this genius. (If not, you are only the poorer for it)

    Much Love

    J

  62. I agree this is interesting reading and seems many people here love the idea of having spread there assets all over the world. However this strategy is not so easily implemented. I have enough trouble trying to manage a checking account, savings account, a stock trading account, and one on-line bank account. I think people are over-looking the idea that the United States is the most stable place in the world to have your assets. Yes, there are risks everywhere, but if you live here, just go ahead and learn about the risks, and minimize them while at the same time keeping your life simple. If you have accounts in St, Kitts, Iceland, Singapore, etc…you better know the power those governments have, monetary policy, and the regulations that affect the accounts. Don’t get paranoid. If the US banking system goes down, so does the rest of the wealth in the world, so it seems logical to me that the US is a safe place to keep your money. St Kitts on the other hand…if their banking system collapses…who’s going to care? Only a couple beach bums and those people who paid an attorney $450/hr to spread their assets between 5 countries and 10 LLCs.

  63. Tim! I freakin love you right now. Being 21 and in college, my 2 biggest role models for handling my fears and attaining my goals have been you and Neil for well over a year now. I should have realized that you two would know each other. That being said, this pretty much made my year. I look forward to this, and adopting more techniques into living “pura vida.”

    Tim, you rock. I think i might have a man crush on you.

    take care man!

  64. Wicked post! Your blog is a great find, I will be back again soon.

    CHeers

    My contribution

    “Man should never fear death, but man should fear never having lived” Aristotle

    Sorry about the first post, I hadn’t read the comment rules.

    Peace out!

  65. I was using Liechtenstein as a reality check. Off-shore accounts = fishiness, which most likely lead to fraud. If you want to be your own independent citizen, that’s fine, leave the US. Stop mooching.

  66. My wife just sat down next to me & saw the page title, “How to be Jason Bourne”. She can’t stop laughing at me, says we can all have dreams but I won’t live this down…

    I’m sticking to my guns. Great read!

  67. Hi Tim, you might be interested in researching how Ikea is structured. The founder only owns a single copyright, yet controls billions in multiple layers of corporations across many countries.

    For everyone else, the trick about using all the LLCs for asset protection usually isn’t worth it unless you have hundreds of thousands. The hassle and cost to keep them registered is not worth it. Liability insurance covers most of your protection.

    Also, for money transfers, consider e-gold (maybe it has new restrictions?), or the digital currency the Russians use.

  68. I’ve always wanted to be Jason Bourne. That is I want to wake up one day to discover I know how to fight, speak a multitude of languages and have a private box at a Swiss bank.

  69. Neil re: the green zone

    My apologies, I had been watching ‘Ross Kemp in Afghanistan’ for the last few days where they referenced the green zone in a different way – forgot it was Iraq you meant.

    The difference in our fact checking skills is why only one of us is writing best sellers.

    Tom

  70. I have citizenship and passports for two countries, and legal permanent residence in a third. Now, given that you will most likely spend 50% of your trips through the airport immigration and customs of one of your countries of citizenship, you will discover the very nice (and simple!) benefits of having multiple passports:

    As between “citizen” and “foreigner”, you always get to choose the shorter line.

  71. Holy schmackers.. what an extraordinary post Tim.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on Neil’s book. Hopefully it’s delivery to my parts of the world is speedy!

  72. I know I’m being a hater here but Style is lying when he says this

    “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.”

    He’s a milliionaire several times over from selling his annhilation method and alls his other pick up products. Not to mention his bestselling books.

  73. Think globally. Act locally. I attained a passport from another country this year. I also put some money in a Vanguard emerging foreign markets ETF and dollar cost average as commodities prices continue to drop. I heard R. Kiyosaki once say that this is “God’s money” and is a great trade for the ever diluting (man-made) American dollar. For buying gold or silver outright it is a great idea to think about storing overseas…now. Let’s not forget FDR’s gold seizure in ’33 which subsequently prevented anyone to do this after the bubbles of the ’20s. Those that don’t know their history..(well..you know the rest)

  74. Tim!

    I’ve gotta’ say, as a huge fan of this writing genre. . .you’re intro to this post was RIGHT ON THE MARK! What a crazy intro hook to a great spy novel. If you’re next book is a thriller, or a screenplay for a thriller, I’d say you’ve got some good chops to make it work.

    Very nice job. . .very cool.

    Cheers,

    Doc

  75. Amazing, I always knew that an LLC could own my house, however, I still just cant figure it out. And my accountant just asks me why I would ever do something like that. Looks like i need to find a new accountant/lawyer to get me setup…

    Ive already convinced my company to hire my business as a corp to corp instead of keeping me on as a W2 employee, and all my money now funnels into a business instead of my bank account.

    I can’t wait for this book to come out, does it give reference material as to how to accomplish some of these things like your book or is it just full of stories?

    thanks again, ive already purchased the book and am eagerly awaiting its arrival!

  76. Well that was well worth the watering eyes and congested nose…Sounds like a cool book. Scarily though, it’s reminding me too much of Y2K.

    I knew some people who went as far as to buying Alpine Air foods and moving to the country in preparation!

  77. Reading this yesterday sent me on a quest reading up on similar materials. I’ve discovered that my wife is eligible for Italian citizenship through her maternal great-grandfather. I became eligible for citizenship after we were married for three years (1996), and our children were eligible at birth.

    While Italy is not exactly a haven of banking and other anonymity like St. Kitts, something tells me that having US citizenship dualled up with one in an EU country could be a valuable asset.

    I’m disappointed this won’t be out for the Kindle, it appears. Or, at least, The Game isn’t. Just this morning I installed the Kindle for iPhone app, and would love to be able to grab this (and The Game) to read digitally. Big demerit to Harper Collins/William Morrow.

  78. Tim,

    Thanks SO much for this post.

    I really want to break free of the oppressive American system but never have really been sure how to do it. This book seems to give a lot of the right ideas. Keep up the awesome blogging!

    Kevin

  79. So half this book is about rich assholes trying to think of new ways to screw their country and their fellow man?

    Whatever happened to civic virtue? Christ.

  80. Both Buffet and Templeton made their fortune investing at the point of maximum pessimism. From this blog post and the rabid responses to it, I’d say it’s about time to invest.

  81. Neil Strauss and I must be on different wavelengths.

    I linked to the Amazon site and read the following excerpt under the heading of “A Brief Confession.” Neil writes,

    “By the time the Obama administration stepped in with a message of hope and change, it was too late to undo the damage.”

    What sort of “tooth fairy history,” might this be? Neil, the reason I’m interested in the book is BECAUSE of the Obama administration! What sort of “hope and change” have you bought into? Could it be:

    a: policies which redistribute the wealth of productive people.

    b: the corollary of the above which is, “reward drones”

    c: debasing the currency with pointless spending which “stimulates” nothing.

    I could go on and on, but it’s all too depressing.

    On another matter, here’s a “heads up” to Kevin, above. If you really want to break free of the oppressive American system, try Cuba, North Korea or perhaps Zimbabwe. It’s easy to do! Planes and ships leave for these destinations virtually every day. Of course, you’ll want to change any assets into foreign currency also. Try, Zimbabwe! I understand that Bob Mugabe has a firm grip on the economy over there.

    Dadoo

  82. I LOVE reading about this stuff. Years ago I did a bit of research into all of this and became fascinated with the process.

    Now that I have a baby the practicality of escaping the country fast is not too practical, but it still fascinating and I look forward to reading Neil’s book. Kudo’s.

  83. I am a dual U.S. / Other citizen. I have two passports, both of which prove convenient. I am also a U.S. attorney specializing in international estates and trusts. I warn against following Neil’s book to the letter. It may give you a ‘cool’ feeling to have your assets in safe havens, but unless you make millions, the transaction costs of doing so, plus the scrutiny it recieves and the possible tax implications and criminal liability makes it not worth it for a majority of people. For an ordinary U.S. citizen, I advise full financial disclosure. Also, an alternate passport will not help you escape trouble in a country if your name is the same on both.

    just some advice

  84. Hi Tim,

    Very cool idea. I have done a bit of research in this area. Nothing quite Jason Bourne with multiple Passports and bank accounts spread around the world. But research in the living invisible lifestyle.

    Why do you think we live on a sailboat?

    Your Pirate Lifestyle Guru,

    Rob

  85. Great stuff.

    Besides being a writing genius, Neil got the timing more than perfect. How can this not be bestseller?

  86. So The Game lead to a mass of wannabe Mysteries prowling through the bars repeating the same lines over and over and getting themselves into trouble. Looks like Neil is stepping up his game and creating an army of wannabe james bonds!

    He’s an excellent writer and I couldn’t think of a cooler topic, but I do actually worry about the effects of such a book given his audience.

  87. I’ve been reading up for years on the pro’s of working offshore, buying citizen-ships with certain small countries and so forth! I must say its interesting and tempting all at the same time….you can buy a passport for as little as $10,000.00 to certain governments to become a dual citizen! I know that there have been new published work outlining the USA and the E.U. working together to start making that world/pool a whole lot smaller to play in!!! So make sure to read everything and move swiftly, you’ll have allot of fun once you take the plunge into the international world 😉 I can’t wait to read his new book or get my hands on a copy.

  88. Real quick, I do agree with Dan J about his comment ‘but I do actually worry about the effects of such a book given his audience.’ if anyone is reading this that is thinking about doing this offshore work (including you Dan J) please remember you should partner yourself with someone who has been doing this for years or at least make sure you read and re-read the best selling books on the topic…..educate your self or the offshore world will eat you up and spit you out 😉

  89. I’ve got UK (can live anywhere in Europe) and Australian passports and could immigrate to Israel if I felt like it. My money is split between the US and Australia. My Mom’s assets are in Switzerland, the UK, and Israel (she has Israeli and Australian passports). I guess we did think to spread our assets around, the passports just happened. As my father had to flee Germany in the 1930s I guess this is just in our mindset…

  90. One thing’s for sure: If McCain-Palin had (God forbid!!) were elected, the sales of this book would sell tenfold more copies. Electing Barack Obama President of the United States has helped tone down for now the fatalism that a book like this cannot help but convey. And if Palin was indeed just one cancerous wart away from the Oval Office, that fatalism would be very well warranted.

  91. Tim,

    That trip to Vietnam sounds great!

    But I asked if you have taken any mini-retirements since 4HWW. Plenty of wage-slaves go on 2-week trips. Those are vacations.

    I read somewhere that a mini-retirement “entails relocating to one place for one to six months…” 🙂

    So, I take it that you haven’t been on any mini-retirements since 4HWW? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    All the best,

    Edward

    PS. I’m not trying to be prying, just curious.

  92. Thanks for the great post!

    It is definitely not wise to put all your eggs in one basket, and for that matter, these days it is highly beneficial to look into off shoring assets.

    Hope to see you in Vietnam Ferris!

  93. I’ve been a fan of this blog for a long time and even though I have found many posts to be useful and interesting, this is my first time commenting. I just want to say thank you, I spent the last hour on the onPoint website which is great and look forward to getting this book as soon as it comes out. This is the kind of thing that I hope I never need to know but want to learn as much as I can about.

  94. I remember seeing some guest list for a party a while back with both you and Neil on it. I hoped that the two of you would be friends.

    There is no one I would rather see break this news than you.

  95. Unfortunately this may lead many folks into distraction and wastefulness which seems quite opposite to the usual 4HWW message.

    If you put all of the cleverness and effort into creating a profitable business rather than delving into a paranoid fugitive fantasy – you might be happier with the end result. The only “positive” I can see from side-tracking people into paranoia is less competition for the real value creators.

  96. I’ve preordered the book – thanks for the entertaining excerpts, Tim. The Dirt and Long Hard Road out of Hell are two of my favorite books as well and I read them repeatedly when I was studying popular music and intending to head down the musician’s road in life.

  97. Great article about 2nd Passports etc…………….be great if you could further develop the subject of SECURE offshore banks, as Switz is losing its privacy tightness(UBS vsUSA recent developments)

    Singapore is reputed to be pretty good perhaps there are others…………….

    keep the great subjects!!

  98. now you know what the so-called “B” people have been doing with the money they have been handed for the past 8 years, and why we’re going down the crapper right now. fun to fantasize about being one of them, it must sell a whole bunch of books. Whatever, global warming is going to submerge Iceland, St Kitts, Nevis, ultimately there won’t be anywhere for anyone to hide. ironic that those of us who live lightly, don’t care about stashing billions, have actual relationships with real people, make a contribution to the wellbeing of others, have as rich a life or better than people who are spending so much brain power on paranoia and fulfilling a constant rush of “getting over” .

  99. Hi Tim-

    Fun article and a great topic to make people think about our own realities that we accept on a daily basis. I think creative problem solving is going to be important in the near term for many people as they try to figure out how to live in the midst of the growing disaster that is our economy.

    That said, I am curious about two things from you. 1) As an entrepreneur and capitalist, I would love to hear your opinion on the plans that the current administration is putting in place to “fix” the economy. You mentioned you supported Obama during the election, and I am wondering if you feel let down in anyway. (ie., 9000 earmarks in current budget, untraceable bailout funds) 2) Can you put together a future post on how one might apply your problem solving skills and optimistic attitude to prosper in the face of the current economy and obvious increase in government involvement in our daily lives?

    By the way, I think the previous administration contributed a ton to our misfortune of today (as well as congress). So my questions above are not a political statement one way or the other.

    thx

    Jaq

  100. I’ve been living the offshore life ever since I left school, even before. I read the Hill books as a teenager and later Bye Bye Big Brother when it came out. But the thing you have to realise about these things, is sometimes it is good to declare high income and pay tax. That’s especially true in my business, which was real estate, because otherwise no bank will lend you anything, and you have to rely on credit in real estate.

    Of course, you can still live as a PT individually, if you have reliable people to head up your organization and take instructions from you. When I told the German tax department I was unemployed and living in Mexico, they just deleted me from their system and send me a sheet with all zeros…

  101. I am an attorney and from time to time I have collected assets from people and corporations.

    First, in California where I practice, and in several other states, when you are enforce a judgment against someone, you have the right to place that person under oath and question him or her about assets. So all of the maneuvering and chicanery you outline above re hiding assets will be useless unless you are also willing to commit perjury. And perjury’s a felony where jail time is a possibility.

    Second, I have no knowledge of the attorney mentioned above and the following is not directed at him specifically. That said, I have represented clients in the past in suits against individuals who purported to have expertise in setting up trusts to hide assets. Unfortunately, the “trust experts” were scammers who created elaborate offshore structures to receive funds from the individuals and then proceeded to separate the individuals from their funds. So, if you don’t have much expertise in exotic financial instruments and foreign legal entities, you damn well better be a good judge of character before you place your financial life in the hands of a stranger.

  102. Lance Spicer in Australia has had books out with ALL and more of this content for years in ‘The Underground Knowledge’ series. Go to http://www.tridentpress.com.au to check it out. That said I will still be buying Neil’s book.

    Tim, great post but I don’t really believe this is the type of material that should be introduced into ‘pop culture’ and made so obvious to the relevant authorities.

    Cheer,

    Dave

  103. First time poster here…

    @Philipe Navarro

    In answer to the question of legal dual citizenship with the USA, there’s a loophole in the law. Technically one is legally obligated to give up one’s US citizenship when acquiring citizenship from another country. However, this law is impossible to legally enforce, (so far anyway), as the courts have ruled that a US citizen may not be stripped of their citizenship without a damn good reason and that wasn’t good enough.

    So get your second, third, etc passport and just keep your mouth shut and even if “they” find out there’s nothing to be done about it.

    (In a somewhat unrelated side-note, it might be of interest to some that a US passport is NOT actually proof of US citizenship.)

  104. Tim, your about the only author…scratch that… the only person I know that will influence my purchasing decisions on books with such ease. I read about two paragraphs before I pre ordered the book.

    But I did it with money from my ridiculously successful muse that you deserve much credit for… lol So thanks and look forward to this..

    P.S. (I’ve ready pretty much every other book you recommended in the back of the 4HWW, all good)

  105. Neil and Tim, keep up the good work.

    Anyone know where I can buy the EMERGENCY ebook prior to March 24th?

    I moved out of the US before the economic downturn. Now that my contract is coming to a close, I’m not so sure I want to go back. The timing of this book is amazing.

    Andy

  106. Hi, All.

    Just to let you guys know that, Neil is having a book signing on March 10th, in New York City. Visit his or Barnes and Noble’s website for the location.

    Thanks

  107. Thanks so much for the awesome comments, all! This has proven to be a really fun post. I have to get some sleep here in Hanoi, Vietnam, as I’m off to Ha Long Bay tomorrow (excited!) and a 3-hour ride awaits early tomorrow. Should be fun as we wind our way to Ho Chi Minh city. So far, Vietnam is fantastic.

    All the best,

    Tim

  108. I cant believe it! Someone is actually doing it. I have always thought that it was possible to live that way, I just didn’t know how. Other than MAYBE two of my friends who are of like mind, everyone just assumed I was a classic slacker. (To some extent they may be right.) The part of passive income I hardly knew it existed! what little I did know I figured it was for rich people. I feel that I am a well rounded, good matured guy, I am just trying to figure how to establish my financial resources. I have always done what I wanted to an extent but never have had the finances/know how to REALLY go all out. I have found similar blogs,web sights,books etc, and I have begun studying this subculture I recently stumbled on. They say when a student is ready a teacher will appear. I fully am going to immerse my self in all of this. I’m relieved to know I am not alone in my thought process. Accumulating monetary wealth is something I am presently working on. If any one has tips, insight or advice of any kind, I would appreciate it. I know money is not the end all be all, but honestly that is one area of my life that eludes me. Spirituality, Family, attitude and every thing else I have a good handle on, but accumulating financial freedom would definitely allow me to provide a better quality of life for me and my son. Sorry about the long windedness but I feel so charged and enthused. Thank you.

  109. @jane: I totally agree with you on one level. I wish I could live simply in a beach hut somewhere with no internet. But once you have seen things and understood the world (edication) you can’t go back. Most of us are not billionaires. But I fully support the right of billionaires (or anybody else for that matter) to do what they like with their money – stash it, spend it, whatever. And there are so many restrictions today, especially in places like the USA and UK, that literally restrict our right to spend or even keep our own money.

    I’ve known about PT techniques for years, but am happy to see them going mainstream via this book. It will be a force for the good eventually. We have too much government and government employees have lost all respect for their employers (you and I). If we can’t control our governments through the ballot box, we can control them by voting with our feet and by cutting off their money.

    Making a contribution to the well-being of others is something I believe very strongly in. And supporting big government would be the worst way to do it. That would be making a contribution to the surpression and enslavery of others, not to their well-being.

  110. This is excellent!!! I’ve been working on my own 4th and 5th flags right now, without even knowing of this “flag” concept!

    I’m very excited about this book now. Thanks, Tim

  111. nice plug for a seemingly interesting book (you might just get my 20 bucks for it), but any reader of this book should be extremely concerned about the local law and how it effects them before trying anything in the book.

    During the last few years (and very recently) international (i.e between US and EU countries, and within EU and non EU european countries) anti money laundering laws and full transparency on the history of said transactions must be available to law enforcement. Additionally as a US citizen (as also noted above) all monies earned in countries other than the US must still be reported to the US as income (it says this in your passport and in your tax forms).

    Also, (using Swiss Accounts as an example) Switzerland is under intense scrutiny these days by the EU in reference to current Tax havens, and UBS is also being sued by the US for helping people avoid paying taxes in the US. The US has demanded that they had over ~30k names of the account holders.

  112. This type of strategy makes little sense for someone with a net worth of, say, under $20 million… The costs of administering the trusts and llc’s alone is not insignificant on an annual basis…. Tim, you’re a smart guy, quit bloviating!

  113. I have read Neil Strauss’ books before. Loved ‘The Game’. Amazing writer that gets you enjoyably trapped in his work. Plus, who hasn’t wanted to be the Jason Bourne-type.

    Thanks for the suggestion Tim…..

    Dave

  114. Not sure if this was mentioned in previous comments, but here in Boston, this book has been sitting on the shelves of Barnes and Nobles. I purchased it a few days ago. Really didn’t want to wait til the 10th. Can’t verify if the info contained within Neil’s book is valid in anyway, never the less it is a great read.

  115. Hello,

    Any ideas where I could get the book (and the earlier one “the game…”) in PDF format? I live in Poland and I don’t see any other way to get my hands on it.

  116. I read your book 6 months ago and loved it…but i lost it so i had to get a new one. Went to amazon and got a used one( way cheaper) I started to read your blogs and i think I’m hooked! I also read Neils(style)book The Game about a year ago and i loved it as well so i will definitely get his new book. I’m not so sure about putting my money off shores quite yet though. As far as the second passport i have dual citizenship but i don’t make enough money to even consider having another account in another country. but if it gives you piece of mind go for it.It looks to me that you’ve followed your gut feeling on things and i have no reason why this wouldn’t work for you. keep us posted on it and your trip to Vietnam as well!

  117. Thanks for the info on what looks to be an awesome book!

    The books you uncover go great with the fantastic information you provid in the 4-Hour Workweek. Thanks!

  118. @micki and others: why would you have to be a billionaire to live this way? If you decide it’s something you want to do, I don’t see why it would have to cost you a lot of money. For me it’s a way of thinking more than anything else. Just because the media hype gives the impression that people like this are all billionaires, doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, living internationally could save you a lot of money. I live as a PT and am quite sure my costs would go up a lot if I went to live in USA, UK etc.

    About buying the book in Poland, Colombia or anywhere else, Amazon ship to these places.

  119. Great Tim! This sounds too cool.

    What to do when everybody’s looking for you or when the world ends?

    Can’t wait to find out what Neil Strauss has been cooking up

    with this new real life adventure book.

  120. Tim, The EMergency Book signing at B&N @ Tribeca was packed last night and I believe one third of the people were PUA’s, 1/3 were BN regulars and 1/3 came thru your promo (that was my demo). You gotta finish your next project and come to NY

  121. Question: Once these ideas are available via mass media, doesn’t that mean they are effectively obsolete?

    If, as Tim predicts, this book is destined to be a bestseller doesn’t that mean that we are going to be subject to rubes everywhere trying to implement the ideas or walking around with paracord through their shoelace holes [read book for this reference]?

    Useful in the right hands, dangerous when distributed as mass media.

    That being said it at very least serves as a cautionary tale that reminds us of the many great cliches that harken back to the Boy Scout motto ‘Be prepared’ or for those military-types ‘Prior preparation prevents poor performance’

  122. @Jack, I think you are right. But I haven’t yet read the book, and I guess it more superficial/theoretical stuff than the nitty-gritty PT practicalities from the old books, Bye Bye Big Brother etc. I mean, a real PT will not buy a passport from St Kitts. They will figure out a way to get one totally legally under the radar from another country that has never been written up.

    Any survivalist/military type stuff in there is just too add James Bond style adventure I think. PT has nothing to do with violence or anything military. PTs hate military stuff.

    So “dangerous” to the establishment, it certainly is – because it’s distributing the idea, making it mainstream to believe that loyalty to one country is a thing of the past, the concept of the Sovereign Individual (read the book of that name, by Lord William Rees-Mogg and James Dale Davidson, it’s oldie but goodie)

    But these ideas can’t be made obsolete by a lot of people thinking about them. I don’t think this is dangerous to individuals. The PT idea is that everyone will find their own unique way of doing things, without Big Brother noticing they have disappeared from the radar

  123. tim,

    i just came across your post on “no rules” twitter. i’d extend the metaphor to “no rules” to the wakowski brother’s “there is no spoon” essentially you are making others aware of their ability to redefine the sacred cows of order, and to bend reality to suite their needs. (other than federal/state rules of course).

    your platform is very fight club tyler durden, get someone to pay all your bills while you work on your favorite projects. I’m using it as a sort of rally cry for young americans at theaayp.org. theAAYP endorses the book not only for it’s “check out” construct, but if one chooses to stay within “The Matrix”, how to bend the rules to your advantage. why kill yourself to pay 60% in taxes for people you don’t know (boomers) (and frankly don’t deserve it, 700b bailout, credit collapse, overfishing, iraq, oildrunk, etc ) and programs you don’t give a shit about (like child care subsidies passed onto nonparent students) it’s taxation without representation.

    i’m smiling about this as i write but i’m reminded of beareded forrest gump running across the country and the hoard of people behind him. a pied piper of running. you are the pied piper of fleeing.

    keep creating value. we need it.

    matt

    director

    American Assoc. of Young People.

    Youth.Money.Voice.

  124. Didn’t want to leave my last pithy comment as my final word.

    The book is outstanding, thought-provoking and in the end , hopeful.

    There is something for everyone here. Greatly enjoyed this and will be prepping my family supplies this weekend.

    Keep learning, keep preparing and keep helping each other.

  125. Oh my. I hope no one takes these seriously.

    Silly games like putting your personal residence in an LLC will leave most people worse off by denying them the protections normal, law-abiding folks get in bankruptcy.

    Leaving a trail of inconsistent banking statements all but guarantees years of pain at the hands of lawyers, judges, bankruptcy judges, and the US Trustee.

    Do yourself a favor: don’t hide assets, just buy a good insurance policy.

    1. To Max K.,

      Thank you very much for your comment, and your legal background is outstanding. What type of insurance policy would you recommend to protect against lawsuits, etc. and what criteria should be sought in a “good” policy?

      All the best,

      Tim

  126. Hi Tim,

    I just finished the book. Excelent read. It definetly opened up my eyes about certain aspects of my life. Thank you for the recommendation.

  127. Let’s put aside cars and business for the moment and talk just about you, in your person.

    You need two policies:

    (1) a homeowner’s / renter’s policy with personal liability coverage,

    and

    (2) an umbrella liability policy.

    Most homeowner policies come with personal liability coverage, including both costs of your defense and the overall liability. Renter’s insurance is a more mixed bag — get personal liability coverage if you can.

    Don’t skimp. Get at least $300k in coverage, possibly more, and make sure you read the “exclusions” and “exceptions” very closely (some of these are designed to cheat you, others are perfectly fair, as in exclusion for intentional conduct), and verify both coverage for “defense” and “indemnity.”

    That’ll get you the most important thing: a lawyer. That’s the “defense” coverage.

    Your real asset protection comes from the “umbrella” policy (sometimes called an “excess” policy). It will not pay for your lawyer, but it will cover liabilities over and above your homeowner’s policy. It also tends to have minimal “exclusions” and “exceptions.”

    Umbrella coverage is cheap: $300-$500 for your first $1 million, less for each million up to $3-$5m.

    Those two together will get you a lawyer to defend you, plus coverage well above all but the very largest verdicts, the types rarely entered against individuals. Keep in mind that most physicians have coverage only around $1m-$1.5m, which most plaintiffs end up taking, even those bringing wrongful death claims.

  128. Everything seems so smoothly and easily laid out, as a person who has a second passport I imply anyone to consider the nuisance you must go through in order to receive a second (never mind 3rd, 4th…) passport, like being a full time resident for a minimum of five years(in some countries) etc (remember that Jason Bourne worked for the CIA it was no trouble for him). As for a foreign bank account, firstly it will have to be a good lbatch of cash but then you can’t do much with your money if you trying to hide from literally everyone, and finally in order for someone to be like Jason Bourne it will require them to go under intensive training from a very young age, for example like living in a environment and a nature where one can build a high IQ (from a young age of course, no point when your older, you cant work on it then, in most cases your stuck with what ever you have), learn to respond and act rapidly in excessive, extreme and awkward situations and especially concerning languages and combating/martial arts modus operandi.

    Never the less I am still reading that book, after all am only 16…long way to go…

    “Don’t laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own.” ~Logan Pearsall Smith, “Age and Death,” Afterthoughts, 1931

  129. I got the book a few days ago and I’m halfway through it. Right on the mark as usual Tim, it’s absolutely fascinating.

  130. You hit a powerful nerve with me. The anthropologist in me have been tracking for years high tech tribes that follow some of the things you list in this article.

    They hunt for money making monster projects that might take three months of their lives of work around the clock; but that leaves them with enough income for not having to work the next three years. They tend to travel in packs around the world, but at times disperse and scattered to each do their thing.

    Their emphasis is to be untraced not because they have anything to hide, but because they simply don’t want to be bothered.

    Being one of the millions still cube bound, this article inspires in me the freedom I have yearn for all of my life.

  131. Tim exciting post, I think a part of every guy wants to be Jason Bourne.

    However there was small details left out. If you google St. Kitts passport you will soon find out that there are a number of small fees that goes along with this tax haven. For starters the $35K applicant fee for a single person, 15K for each dependant, and than you have to invest at least $350K in real estate, along with some legal fees and background checks putting another $20K+ on the bill.

    Ok I get it, there’s a break even point and if you make enough money it’s worth it, but I doubt that is many people. Inspiring story though!

  132. Hi, Bob F.

    He actually covers that in the book. I just finished reading it on my flight from Ohio to Florida. My friend and business partner (same guy that gave me 4 hour work week) bought it for me and said I had to read it.

    Amazing read.

  133. That is some really good info to think about.

    I really enjoyed this very long post and the letters as well. Especially the insurance information by Max K.

    I did get the impression that the precautions were the result of some type of paranoia so looking at it from the perspective of a legal mind was very helpful.

    Now that being said, this insurance is mainly for asset protection. Assets are based upon perception and only perception. It’s all about perceived value. What your home is worth, what your car is worth, even what your money is worth is really only what someone else is willing to accept it’s worth.

    So the real protection in a collapse would be knowledge. Knowing how to survive when food and water supplies are dwindling. Knowing how to keep warm in the cold, and how to hunt and fish and gather and grow food.

    So when is Neil going to write about that?

  134. @Hypnosis in New York

    I think Tom Brown Jr got most of those pretty well covered in his books. 🙂

    Not to mention a whole host of other books, such as the FoxFire series and “Living on a Few Acres”.

  135. Wow, this looks like a must-read. Will definitely look out for it this weekend.

    I had to get a 2nd passport as I was travelling to different middle-eastern countries and because of their international relations they would either not let you in if you had a stamp from a specific country or would make it more difficult. All I needed was a letter from work and I could apply for it. Just working on dual citizenship now to get a 3rd passport 😉

    I’ve also read the Four Hour Work Week and LOVED it!!! Still trying to apply some of it’s principles now. I’ve been recommending it to everyone!!

  136. I ordered it as soon as I read this. I’m halfway through it and it certainly has my mental wheels spinning! Thanks for the tip!

  137. Very little substance to this book. A waste of money. I’m disappointed that you recommended something with as little practical application as this. This book is not for the real world.

    1. Hi Mike X,

      I’m very sorry you feel that way. Of course, not all books will be liked by all people, but I think his book is both a fun read and helpful. I am signed up for disaster response training next week, among other things, as are dozens of readers. I’m sorry you didn’t like it.

      Best,

      Tim

  138. Hi Tim and all the “inspired” readers,

    If this book indeed proposes solutions and ideas about how to abandon the sinking financial ship of America and keeping you and your assets “safe” LEGALLY,

    as introduced by Tim in this blog, then I wish you guys think long and hard.

    The Congress decision to tax the AIG executives of 90% of their bonuses, which were LEGAL contracts, is an example of what the American Government can do to plug these Legal loop holes, if it so decides.

    If whatever Neil advocates is indeed legal and many people try to follow this, it will not be long before the govt passes laws to neutralize this gap in the system.

    This book can be at best read as a fictional fantasy like any other popular thriller, a John Grisham or Sidney Shedon.

    Which normal person would ever need skills like “to hotwire a car, pick locks, conceal my identity, and escape from handcuffs, flexi-cuffs, ducttape, rope, and nearly every other type of restraint”. These certainly dont sound like disaster survival skills, rather tactics useful for wannabe criminals.

  139. @ Mike X, Wow, seriously? I read the book and thought it was full of practical information, much more so than most other books I’ve read. I guess it depends on your definition of “practical” and your inclination to prepare for uncertainties, but I’m surprised someone would think that.

  140. I read Emergency this weekend. It was a quick and entertaining read. It had a little practical info, but is mostly about Neil’s experiences immersing himself into this obsession.

    Most of the “practical info” isn’t new to intel/survival buffs, but you may want to read it anyway for new perspectives.

    There’ll probably be a large influx of St Kitts citizens.

    Recommended, though.

  141. Wow, this is a must read. I’m ordering a copy right now. This book couldn’t have come at a better time, given the current state of the US. Thanks for the preview.

  142. Tim,

    I bought the book “Emergency” based on your recommendation and frankly, it was a big let-down.

    I will say though I admire and respect the author’s public-service efforts which I wish more people would become involved with. He should be commended for his public service efforts and EMT training.

    When I bought your book Tim, T4HWW, I found that it was both a manifesto and a hands-on manual with names, phone numbers and practical information. I, like a ton of others out there, liked the fact that you were preaching a lifestyle and were giving the reader all the actual details of” how you did what you said could be done”. You put your money where your mouth was and I sincerely appreciated that.

    “Emergency” bothered me because it was more sizzle than substance. The book contained little useable information AND the author makes 2 fundamentally flawed decisions about obtaining secondary citizenship and preparing for a real emergency. Bad Decision 1: Choosing St. Kitts as a second citizenship. Bad Decision 2: Going into debt to get a second citizenship.

    Below are my top 3 problems with the book.

    1. “How to be Jason Bourne” is not a legitimate/real way to describe what this book is (or should) be about. Jason Bourne is fiction and in reality, anyone with multiple passports in different names, if discovered, would be detained and questioned in most countries. Using the allure of a Hollywood movie franchise to describe a book purporting to give factual information on obtaining second citizenship is a horrible idea. Fact and reality must be separated from fiction and fantasy. Second citizenship and overseas banking are both incredibly complicated issues with MAJOR legal consequences if not handled properly.

    The whole process of obtaining a second passport through an economic program in the Caribbean (or non first-world country) is a VERY bad idea. Unless your cash net worth is greater than 5 million USD, the average person is better off putting all that cash in T-Bills, paying taxes on the interest and quietly living near a beach somewhere. Is this strategy sexy or will this sell books or be a good plot for a movie. No. It’s boring, easy and also perfectly legal. Undertaking elaborate measures to get a second citizenship and overseas bank account really makes little sense unless your net worth is so large that all the legal fees and costs associated with your asset protection strategies will be recouped in less than a year’s time. Also keep in mind that if you venture down the path of second citizenships, foreign bank accounts, hidden assets and possible tax code violations, you sure has hell better have a list of legal, tax and business consultants at your disposal should you need to defend yourself against the IRS, INS or foreign government. You also better have enough money on hand to pay all of these people!

    I cannot understand why the author of “Emergency” would have taken a second mortgage on his home just to get a passport from a non-first world country.

    If I was going to go into debt for a second citizenship, I’d pick a first world country with socialized medicine so I could at least get health care or assistance of some kind. First world countries also have a stable banking system. Parking cash in an account with RBC Centura in Vancouver is seemingly much safer bet than with a bank in a non-first world country in the Caribbean.

    Choosing St. Kitts is a very bad idea because it is common knowledge around the world that most non-native people from the Caribbean and Central America have acquired second citizenships there for tax avoidance strategies. What I mean to say here is that if you go into a bank in Denmark and use a St. Kittian passport to open an account, you’ve indirectly advertised the fact that your dodging taxes from your home country.

    Fleeing the US during a national emergency to a remote, isolated and vulnerable island in the Caribbean is also a pretty silly idea when you think about it. If someone’s primary goal in obtaining secondary citizenship to prepare for a emergency evacuation outside the US, Canada or another first-world country would be my #1 choice. Granted they don’t provide tax-haven advantages BUT, if TSHTF, I want to be in a organized, stable, resource rich country with first rate health care. None of the ‘tax haven’ countries fit this profile.

    The first goal of preparing for an emergency and PT should be to always stay below the radar. Tax haven countries almost always raise suspicion when you use their passports in foreign countries for business purposes.

    Here is a reality check: You get a St. Kitts passport after spending close to $100,000 USD, now what? Sure you can open a Swiss or foreign bank account BUT, be you are going to have to pay a large premium to move money offshore from the US and this will likely not equal the tax savings or interest you will earn on the deposit amount. Secondly, if your family and life is largely in the US than any money you get out of the US cannot be easily brought home again.

    In the 80’s, Panama decided to keep all the money deposited in their banks by foreigners they knew were evading taxes at home or had obtained the cash by questionable means. What recourse do you have if a foreign bank/trust/corporation decides to steal your money? You can’t exactly cry to the US and say “Please help me get back this money I was hiding from you and not paying taxes on.”

    This happens VERY FREQUENTLY! Most people don’t want to admit it because they are either embarrassed or, because they have no way to fight it.

    If anyone out there is considering opening a bank account in a Caribbean country then I’d strongly recommend them to do a Google search and read up on Kenneth Dart and the Dart Family.

    2. If you can get dual citizenship through one of your parents or grandparents by decent (lreland, Canada or Italy) than go for it. These are the only 3 countries I’d personally recommend exploring because the processes for each are well documented and all 3 countries have very large and diverse groups of dual citizens. Ireland for example, has more citizens who reside outside of the country than on the island itself.

    For Ireland, I did all the paperwork/research myself , did not need to hire a lawyer and spent less than $2,000 in total. My friend did a Canadian citizenship application for around the same amount of money.

    3. Lastly, what bothers me most about the book is how the author failed to list the actual resources and strategies he used like Tim did in T4HWW. The author of Emergency’s strategy of spending $100,000 on a third-world country citizenship is a complete waste of capitol in my opinion given his financial status AND does little to aid him in fleeing the US during an actual emergency.

    I think the author would have been better served if he had eliminated any discussion of foreign citizenships and banking from the book and focused solely on his survival training, EMT training and survival skills.

    mick – mick325@hotmail.com

  143. Just turned the last page on “Emergency.” Far from being a how-to, it carries the reader along with the author in his journey to protect himself from the unknown. The payoff is the realization that the solution to his fears is fairly far removed from what he thought it was in the beginning of the tale.

    I especially liked the summation of “The Parting Words of the Fishwife Sidur to Gilgamesh” which espouses a basic truth of being human. Especially poignant because it comes from one of the oldest epic stories known.

    This was read I would have missed but for your recommendation Tim – my gratitude.

  144. This was certainly fun to read, but I would like to leave some advice. I am a certified anti-money laundering specialist and contrary to the belief stated in the book that, “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.”, money laundering is actually a criminal offense. In fact intent to and knowledge of money laundering is a crime as well. Even if you have think you have committed no predicate crime, pretty much the whole book of US law is considered a predicate offense and they will find one. (I know, I know… just what you are trying to escape right?) As an attorney mentioned in one post, if caught you will either have to fess up or perjure yourself- both could lead to conviction and subsequent punishment.

    The advice on how to structure the LLC’s is accurate as far as it being a vehicle for money laundering, but it is one of the simplest of structures and anyone trained in detecting money laundering would be able to easily put this together and would lead to a pretty solid case against you. Successful money laundering really requires multiple people, shell companies, investments, and some patsies to really help keep you from eventually being caught. You have to use as many methods as possible to layer your money to prevent detection. Even art, antiquities, and precious metal dealers have reporting requirements that could lead to you being caught.

    However…

    If you are determined to launder your money, currently the least regulated and best methods of doing so would involve futures, stored value cards, trusts, bearer bonds, offshore online gambling, and casino money transfers to non-regulated countries. Wire transfers, cash, and ACH activity is heavily regulated and irregular or unexplainable activity or transactions, especially involving foreign countries, are always reviewed and may even be reported without your knowledge, so avoid those if at all possible. If you can inflate the values of imports or exports, those invoices can also help validate unexplained monetary movement. (ex: A pencil is worth $1.00, but I value it at $1000. I am selling this in country A to my shell company or LLC in country B which purchases at inflated rate and I have just legitimized $999 moving from country b to country a.) Good luck with actually accomplishing that though. Cashing in foreign life insurance policies early is also a decent vehicle.

    If you are going to do this, I would suggest you learn what is actually legal and illegal, the known methods of money laundering, and the enforcements against them. If you are really serious, look into becoming a certified anti-money laundering specialist. As long as you pay for the study materials, you’ll get a book with pretty much everything you wanted to know about laundering money. I’m not knocking this author’s book by any means and I have only read the excerpts here. It seems pretty cool and I enjoyed reading it. I would just caution anyone against 1- Committing crimes and 2- Following advice from a secondary source on how to skirt the laws. If you are going to do something this serious I would suggest reading the following primary sources and making a decision for yourself if this is really worth it:

    The USA Bank Secrecy Act- if you are suspicious, they will report you.

    The USA Patriot Act- if you are suspicious they will report you. If you deal with bad countries that is a crime.

    The FATF 40, Special 9, and Non-cooperative countries- this is the global effort to stop money laundering and recommendations on how countries should do it. This one is what’s really going to screw you internationally.

    Basel Committee- This is why it is becoming difficult to find banks outside the US to work with you. Know your customer principles are becoming very strict internationally and what they have to report back to the US is too much trouble so they just won’t deal with you. This is what’s making traditional methods like numbered accounts a thing of the past.

    European Union Directives on Money Laundering- Actually, a lot stricter than US in a lot of ways. Watch out for trying to use a European lawyer. If you are suspicious with your money, they are required to report you. (Not yet an issue in the US, but I suspect it won’t be long. Get out now, LOL! US banks currently put strong emphasis on monitoring the activity of professional service providers such as accountants and lawyers. That’s why anyone on the up and up won’t help you hide your money like that. If they are willing to screw one entity, will they really have second thoughts on screwing you too? Watch your money closely folks!)

    Egmont Group- If you are suspicious in one country, they can provide this information back to any other cooperating country that requests it. Kind of like an international subpoena that you will never know about while they build a case against you.

    And that’s only the tip of the iceberg…

    Good luck to all in protecting your money and try your best not to get in trouble while doing it! =)

  145. @Mick

    Haven’t read the book yet, (and probably won’t based on comments), but had to chuckle hearing that St. Kitts wants $100k for citizenship. If Mr. Nick had done any homework at all he’d have found that Belize will do it for half that.

    Not to mention quite a few other countries will do it for no more than a nominal filing fee if you can simply prove physical residence for a period of time, (and most real PTs can stay put for awhile if they choose).

    FYI – regarding issues with multiple passports, just don’t carry more than one when traveling. Yeah, yeah, I hear, you want a second non-US one in case you get kidnapped etc, but you should be researching your itinerary locales better than that in the first place! (First step to avoiding trouble is don’t be there in the first place, right? 🙂

  146. Tim-

    Check out http://www.incredible-adventures.com/

    This is on my list of things to do. They have several courses that really get you into the action. Courses like Urban Ops, Covert Ops, etc. They also have other adventures like edge of space flight, extreme racing, top gun flying,shark swimming, extreme trekking, and would probably build a custom package if you need you socks rocked off in other ways.

    Check out http://www.urbandaddy.com

    This site is a great resource for the traveler. It’s a cross between upscale city events/places or vibrant exotic vacation ideas and places. Personally I enjoy the Jetset section to the metro cities. Here’s a few for your love of fast cars…

    http://www.urbandaddy.com/jt/adventures/1412/Red_Travel_Jetset_JT_Travel_Italian_Ferrari_Vacation_UrbanDaddy

    http://www.urbandaddy.com/jt/adventures/671/Ascari_Race_Resort_Jetset_JT_Travel_Spain_Racing_UrbanDaddy

  147. @M:

    I carry my legal (not camouflage) passports with me when I travel. This is o.k. provided all of the info matches and is legimate. I will reiterate that if you carry passports with various names, if discovered, you’ll likely be detained. My wife’s name various slightly (Jane Doe Smith vs. Janedoe Smith) on her 2 passports and she is stopped and questioned at every re-entry in to the US and in most European countries. At some point your going to have to show both of your passports. This is typicall not an issue but be prepared for lots of questioning.

    Not sure if it has also been said but if your an American and you enter the US using a non-US passport, you can get into a whole mess of trouble.

    Don’t ever do this!

    Let me raise a practical example everyone should be aware of:

    I was in a country right before the place came under attack by a neighboring country. I entered using my non-US passport because I was concerned about identifying myself as an American while staying here. It was a near-east country with known anti-American sentiment.

    Fast-Forward 2 weeks into my stay. My hotel has been attacked and four people are laying dead in the street. I’m trying to get the hell out of this place and I call the US embassy to see what assistance they can provide because I see US helicopters circling the area.

    The US government starts airlifting people out of the country but guess what: When I show my US passport to prove that I’m American I’m immediately questioned why I don’t have an entry visa stamp in my passport. Remember I entered using another passport. So, I am now pushed out of line and other Americans are given first priority until I can prove I’m in the country legally. Being a dual citizen in a true emergency event like this one can cause delays which, when TSHTF, can be the difference between life and death. It took about 2 hours to get my situation resolved and then I was on a helicopter leaving the country.

    In that 2 hour period I saw more people lose their life and chaos in the streets. This was the longest 2 hours of my life and it is a miracle I was not another casualty.

    Please understand that these real-world things can and will happen if you’re a PT or a globetrekker like Tim. I’m not going to say the US is a perfect place or that our government is always fair BUT, I can’t say I don’t have much hope that the Irish, Belizian or St. Kittian armies are going to help me get airlifted out of a country that is under attack. Sometimes, being an American is a good thing after all.

    M’s comment with respect to PT and Belize is spot-on. A true PT does not buy a citizenship but rather, establishes residency and then applies for one through proper legal channels and works directly with the foreign government.

    Let me make a correction to my previous post: The actual cost of a St. Kitts citizenship is actually much higher than 100,000 because you also need to purchase property. You’re looking at a total commitment of a couple years and 400,000 for their citizenship. This is, in my opinion a huge waste of money. Also keep in mind that swiss banks have now stopped offering new accounts to US citzens. Guess who will be next? Citizens from tax haven countries.

    I would like to see Tim write a book on PT, second citizenship and life as a global citizen. Give us (the readers) names, phone numbers and practical information you found useful in your travels. Help us find CREDIBLE people to assist with obtaining residency and living abroad. Give us a list of experts who can be trusted and relied upon for all sorts of real-life emergency events. Give me a book I will eventually carry with me at all times either in my backpack or saved digitally on my Iphone or Kindle that is both a guide and a reference manual of sorts, like T4HWW.

    When I read your blog post on Emergency, I ran out and bought it within an hour because it would be the book that I described above. It sadly was not.

    Let me close with my final thoughts on the book Emergency. I think a categorical distinction must be made between Emergency and 4HWW. Tim’s book was immediately useable in my hands. 3 days after I read it I was calling the companies he recommended and beginning to outsource portions of my life. My opinion is that the 4HWW is both a reference and a manifesto. My life is better for having read and applied the principals in the 4HWW. Once again Tim, thank you!

    Emergency should be regarded as entertainment and NOT as a guide. The book is fun to read and the author’s journey is a captivating one. He betters himself and society by learning survival skills. He should be commended for this.

    I just don’t think people should run out and buy this book thinking they are going to be able to apply the citizenship and banking portions for real-world use.

    If anything, this book should illustrate to readers exactly what NOT to do with regard to obtaining a second citizenship or bank account.

    mick325@hotmail.com

  148. After reading this interesting article, and the comments relating to it, I can see that there are some (not all) people who need to be aware of the scam that the federal reserve system is. There are plenty of resources, videos etc explaining how any country involved in the soon-to-be world bank will be subject to tyranny very soon.

    Peace – Like I read somewhere else in this post Identify and mobilise a local community of likeminded, savvy sovereign individuals, and when the civil unrest comes this year do not participate in the violence as that is what they want.

  149. Many people here are cautioning about trying to hide money outright, and I agree.

    However, there’s a middle ground. Find a low-tax jurisdiction, like Hong Kong, and base your earning activities there. If you are working on the move, then having your HQ in Hong Kong is just as legitimate as having it anywhere else. You are still subject to US taxation, but this way you can structure your activities so that even cheerfully and honestly reporting everything to the IRS, you have little if anything to pay them beyond your obligation to HK.

  150. What “meme” is this guy trying to spread?

    What could the “World Greatest Pickup Artist” have to fear? Surely he must have complete peace of mind?

    Isn’t that what everyone here really wants? Peace of mind?

    Hmmm…

    There are “memes” and then there is internet marketing: I’ll promote your book if you promote mine. All the “pre-orders” above are exactly the result aimed for with such tactics.

    Yes, you can earn passive income from internet marketing and live anywhere you want to. You can sell vitmains or whatever.

    But these ideas about being your own boss (insert contemporary buzzwords for this if you prefer) and delegation (insert more buzzords, e.g. outsourcing) are not new. Nor is the notion many people “at work” are “hardly working” – multitasking is one such way people waste time. And all this can be discovered wholly apart from blogs and even the internet. But there are generations that are unaware of this… the internet is all they know. And hence we have internet marketing, hype and internet “entrepreneurs” who simply manipulate traffic and “spread memes”. Read about some guy named John Reese and the web of marketers he works with. It is like a Ponzi scheme. He sells ebooks on how to sell ebooks. He hypes courses on “How to hype”.

    Marketing, marketing and more marketing.

    And these are Ivy League grads…

    OK, enough.

    To the younger people: Listen. By all means, travel, experience and explore the world. Open your mind. Not every country is like the US. And not so litigious. And not so paranoid.

    But also not so individualistic. We’re all in this together. Open your eyes. If countries did not complete and fight with each other, much of what’s discussed above would be moot.

    See the big picture.

    Give something back to the group; don’t be a cheater.

    And I think we have enough internet marketers. Let’s clean up the internet. Enough marketing and ads!

    Let’s just stick to spreading good ideas.

  151. You can run, but you can’t hide.

    Think about the concept that you reap what you sow, i.e. karma. Everyone gets what’s coming to them. No amount of squirming, ducking or dodging can avoid natural laws.

    Concentrate instead on living in the present, being the best you can be, do unto others and harm no human being. Then watch your environment change.

  152. Well, I’ll say this for the book: it’s well-marketed. Based on the excerpts above, it also seems completely inane. Notice that every single commenter with an actual law background has effectively said, “Don’t do this — it’s illegal.” Too say nothing of pointless. Transaction costs on this stuff will eat you alive. If you can afford a submarine, I suppose there’s no harm in wasting time on paranoid fantasies. At least it’s more socially acceptable than wearing kleenex boxes on your feet.

  153. Seems like the point of this book is to make people feel like Jason Bourne, playing on the male ego and paranoia that people get from mass media.

    I’ve learned from watching this real estate bubble pop that when everybody sees a good opportunity it is probably no longer a good opportunity.

    By the way the G-20 announced this weekend they are going to “set new rules for tax havens under regulatory shake-up”. So don’t move your money there quite yet.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123825462934465293.html

    @mick – your evacuation was it in 2006? If it was that was my unit.

  154. I bought the book, and it was certainly entertaining and had some good info. However, much of the preparation is based on what MIGHT happen.

    If you want to know what it’s really like to survive a country’s collapse and see what ACTUALLY works, I suggest that you read this blog: ferfal.blogspot.com

  155. The timing of this book is both hilarious and sad… with America heading up the “let’s destroy the value of our currencies and begin the takeover of private sectors” many people are going to begin the exodus. It’s funny how China is the only government that seems to becoming more capitalist.

    Looking forward to reading through the whole book!

  156. I hope no one is taking our legal commentators seriously, as they dispense anonymous legal advice via blog comments. I commend the commenter who pointed readers to primary references. That is the way to go.

    I think we need some fair balance of information.

    It is useful perhaps to distinguish between “legal” strategies employed by individuals and those by corporations. The more one blurs the line between the two, one a “breathing organism created via conjugation of genetic material”, and the other a legal recognised entity created via filings and paying fees, the more questions of *responsibility* come into play.

    Corporations can “get away” with things inidividual “people” cannot. They can negotiate with tax authorities in ways not available to individuals, based on many and varied reasons.

    What if the disntinction between a fictional entity and a real person become murky?

    Does the law treat fictional persons and real persons the same?

    Should it?

    Does it depend on the characteristics of corporation?

    Don’t accept any implicit suggestions as to the answers, read

    some facts, or the news and form your own opinions.

    Google “[name of large corporation]” and “taxes”. Then search “[name of wealthy individual]” and “taxes”.

    You may see some trends.

    Corporations ideally bring great minds together to create teams that give something back to the communities in which they operate, e.g. they pay corporate taxes.

    Do PT’s do that? What do PT’s do?

    Is there a difference in how we view a PT who has always been a PT and a former business leader (or other performer) who later becomes a PT?

    Corporate lawyers and plaintiff’s lawyers alike can no doubt get very philosophical about all of this. What is the nature of the relationship between a purely legal, fictional entity, the breathing individuals that comprise it, and everyone else?

    The thought I’m having is “contribution to the community”. Paying salaries, paying taxes, and volunteering one’s expertise are few ways that come to mind.

    There seems a great contrast between seizing the day via a 4HWW methodolgy and spending one’s time in a state of paranoia as described in Emregency. One appeals to a desire for more free time, and the courage to “make it happen”, the other feeds off people’s fears of one another and who knows what else. The only commonality I see between these books is that they are both being marketed via yesterday’s internet hype tactics.

  157. A really great post that (obviously) has stirred up alot of interesting controvery and viewpoints.

    Regardless of how practical this is for most net wealth levels, its an incredibly entertaining topic to learn about for planning our escape – even if it’s only virtual.

  158. I’m watching a documentary about James Hogue… a highly intelligent, and talented, troubled, and chameleonic “con-man” who found his way in and out of your former alma mater. I’m curious to ask about your opinion about him, in light of this blog’s subject matter and your own experiences getting admitted to Princeton… particularly because you mention in your book being admitted under unusual (albeit dissimilar) circumstances.

    Your interesting conclusion was that you were “just not good at reality.” Pardon the comparison, but what’s striking me is how fine the line can be between a successful and favorable or an obscure and confused fate, with other factors being equal. You do strike me as significantly more clear and healthy, but no less determined, in your approach.

    Thank you so much for your book, I’m very grateful for it’s inspiration and provocation!

  159. I just finished reading this book based on Tim’s recommendation and this blog post. However, I have to say I was overall disappointed with the book. It was an entertaining read, though I got bored with a couple of sections and just skimmed through and Neil seems like a guy leading an interesting life, but the problem with the book was that it is not a How-to. So be warned if you think that is what it is.

    It is is more a story about his spiritual journey after contracting Bush Derangement Syndrome. Hard to believe, but the premise of this book is built around his Alec Baldwin-like concern over the Bush Administration.

    During his journey of self-discovery he seems to value the ideals of self-reliance and personal responsibility that he seems to be learing for the first time, and things you normally associate with conservatives, but at the end of the book he is celebrating the election of Barack Obama who stands for less personal freedom and collectivist ideals. I don’t get it. Everything he seems concerned about in the book and is the catalyst for his journey, he should be fearing big time from Obama. He worked for the NY Times, so maybe that explains it. I don’t know.

    I bought the book for more insight in gaining duel citizenship and asset protection, but most of the book details other things more along the lines of survivalist techniques. While I was disappointed that there was not more focus on the offshore legal stuff, I would have enjoyed the parts about the survivalist aspects of it, had it been more of a How-to or offered sidebar information on where you could find more information on these topics.

    So the bottom line is that it makes for an interesting read, and may work as a thematic jumping off point on the subject, but it is sorely lacking any detail that would enable you to take action on the information and start employing his strategies yourself.

    1. @Doug,

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment. For more on dual citizenship, etc., definitely check out some of the other “PT” resources suggested in these comments. For asset protection, I’d encourage you to speak with a good litigator who can teach you what he finds difficult to crack — the easiest and often most effective approach is just a few types of liability insurance plus $2-3-million umbrella policies. Not legal advice, just opinion.

      Good luck!

      Tim

  160. I discovered your blog yesterday and was up half the night reading all the comments on Neil’s book. Sounds like a community I’d like to stay tuned-in to. I’m a bit older than most of you, but still 21 in spirit.

    Besides Europe, South and Central America, and the Far East, I’ve been on most of the Caribbean Islands, some in the South Pacific, and I checked out a few former Eastern Bloc countries. In total I’ve been to 55 countries so far and haven’t found anyplace I’d like to call my country but America. Lichtenstein, Chile, and Croatia are my next favorites. Many of the countries I visited or worked in are as beautiful. In some the people are friendlier, the government more libertarian, or the climate quite agreeable, but none have the “feel” of home. All of them have their own political problems as well.

    So, though I understand your desire to escape and agree with your preparations for survival in the event of an American economic implosion, I’m no longer seeking asylum offshore.

    In 2006, I decided to hunker down here in the good ol’ USofA and fight for liberty in my own country. I am inspired by the Ron Paul Revolution, which attracted so many young people to libertarianism. I support a number of the off-shoots of Dr. Paul’s presidential campaign, primarily the Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans For Liberty (YAL) organizations on a growing number of college campuses. I’ve been supporting other groups of long-standing: The Advocates for Self-Government, The Center For Small Government, Libertarian Party candidates for local and state offices, and others. I’ll support anyone trying to eliminate the income tax, detach the US from global organizations like the UN, World Bank, IMF, OECD, etc. I’m for open free trade, individual liberty, individual responsibility, and restoration of all rights, including the freedom to travel at will.

    If your generation stays committed to claiming its rights to individual liberty and self-ownership, we’ll see a great reversal of the socialist/statist trend. If the U.S. government continues on the path it is now on, then I cringe when I contemplate our future. Bush was a Mussolini wannabe who Congress did not keep in check, and Obama is a Marxist-socialist who learned nothing from the fall of the U.S.S.R. Reagan bankrupted them without firing a shot or putting a single American soldier in harms way. Though it was a difficult transition for people used to being wards of the state to suddenly being on their own, once the Wall fell there was jubilation throughout Eastern Europe, and they quickly embraced capitalism. Like the song says, “People everywhere just wannabe free.”

    BTW, a fun way to gain Panamanian citizenship quickly is to purchase a yacht in Panama and register it there. Last time I checked, it had to cost at least $100,000 (can be financed), and you have to hire a Panamanian crew, but from there you can sail or cruise the Caribbean or the entire world. A vessel flying the Panamanian flag is welcome in nearly every port of call (subject to customs inspection, of course).

    I had a sailing buddy who bought a place in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico, on the Sea of Cortez, where he kept his catamaran. He had no trouble getting a residency visa leading to eventual citizenship for him and his girlfriend (a U.S. citizen who had lived and worked in Australia for 20 years and became an Aussie after the first five years). They spent about half their time in Reno, Nevada, and half in San Felipe with occasional trips to Oz.

    I had a 37-foot yawl on San Francisco Bay. My intention was to sail it up the Pacific Coast to Alaska and down to San Diego, sell it and buy a new 40-footer in Panama, obtain citizenship there and then sail it down to Chile, where I was going to buy a small house or condo in Puerto Montt and become a resident. But I got too claustrophobic aboard, so after six months of sailing the Bay and out the Gate a few times, I sold it and bought a motorhome to do some land cruising across America. I’m currently living in it full-time at a great RV park at the southern tip of Texas, where I am a frequent visitor to Mexico. I keep my options open.

  161. Though I don’t see myself necessarily using these skills in the near future, I’m certainly fascinated! And it may just be an indication of how much I need to open up my mind about what IS possible. This certainly plays into my (and everyone’s) fascination with Jason Bourne-like living. Thanks Tim!

  162. Well I did read the book too. It’s fun, a great read, and puh-leese guys I’m sure it was written more as a fun read than anything else. You don’t get a serious how-to manual on these things for $10 or whatever this book cost. Bye Bye Big Brother for example cost $500. About the second passport deal, Neil talks about St Kitts but completely fails to cover alternatives, which was a little disappointing. By far the best way to get a second passport is by a period of residence in another country. Residence doesn’t mean you have to live there. It just means you have to be registered as a resident. That would be much cheaper and lower profile.

  163. First off, what would they be looking for? Second, why isn't the information on your laptop encrypted? There are multiple programs that will encrypt all your information for free. Also do you not even have a password to log in? I am not saying having a password is secure, but it is an inconvenience to someone trying to access your files.

  164. ************ SHORT BOOK REVIEW *****************
    After reading this article I got the book expecting loads of information – it merely contained the story of how he did it. As in learn some skills and get a secondary ID (which basically takes money). I've been an offshore enthusiast for some time and though a very good and entertaining read, it contained little to no practical insights. Good for beginners who never considered an offshore approach to live… but that is about it.

  165. If you are interested in education reform I cannot help. If you build with clay and reform it, you still have clay when you are finished. The following books will give alternative views to education reform.

    Letters to the Schools by J.K.

    Deschooling Society by I.I.

    The Future of Humanity by J.K. and David Bohm

    Compulsory Mis-education by P.G.

    Education and the Significance of Life by J.K.

  166. You mentioned something about changing the public education system at the end of the TED speech; I’m a high school teacher and am curious in your goals and methods, maybe I could help, what’s your plan?

    damon

  167. Hi, I’m starting an on line business in the US and I’m not clear on how to collect and return taxes from each customer. Do I have to register the company in EVERY state? How do other on-line businesses do it?

    Any advice on the subject would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks

  168. Hi Tim,

    In your TED presentation you talk about deconstructing and improving the educational system, and ask for people interested in that to speak to you. As an actor I have been practicing many very simple self-knowledge and emotional exploration techniques that have changed my life, and that I talk about and teach in high schools in Honduras, England and France. I am working towards and educational system that teaches humans how to listen to their bodies as well as their minds, to face their fears and express their emotions. A “how to” live in the Truth of who you are by connecting mind to body and soul. I would love to share and learn with you. Drop me a line if you want to talk.

    All the best,

    James

  169. New Skill in Short Time – TF’s Deconstruction Strategy (perhaps)

    I have followed some of TF’s new skill accumulation with interest. Here are some observation which I’d attempt at breaking down and apologise if I’d missed out any steps and also I’d kindly thank in advance for TF’s metaphorical description of his consolidation of ideas after re-mapping a skill or muse.

    1: A specific objective and congruency.

    2: TF’s personal genious in Left Brain Analytical (digital) Strategies

    3: Elicits confirmation by testing

    a: material and sequencing

    b: removing points of weakness or waste or barriers to quick outcomes

    c: total intensity immersion, rinsing and repeating most commonly used

    or advantages skill.

    d: identify the transferable skill within existing knowledge

    e: trial and error

    So, he’s has very similar skills to Naruto’s Sensei Kakashi the Infamous Copy Ninja.

  170. Nice tips and all, but the book is so sexist it makes it really hard to read. I’m sorry you hang out with uninteresting women Neil, but we’re not all like that. Try to treat us as human beings not inferior sex objects who don’t think. It’s pretty dispiriting to see that viewpoint accepted by the mainstream fratboy mentality. I wish sexism could be taken as seriously as racism is in this country.

  171. This is going to be a fun book to read. I really like that some of the stats were noted about healthcare, openness to media, and being an animal in a zoo. Fortunately I have friends who also can see through the façade like this author and refuse to become lemmings. Now that my MBA is complete, time for a fresh fun read.

  172. Tim, the Four Hour Workweek was the first book I ever read based solely on the author description. Emergency was my first read based on a chapter excerpt. Neil brought it hard.

    And now I know how to pick padlocks.

    READ THIS BOOK YA’LL!

  173. If privacy and anonymity is your main concern I’d recommend the hands-on-book “how to be invisible” by J.J. Luna. It contains all you need to disappear without breaking any laws and/or spending a fortune. Another great read is “The Essential Underground Handbook” by P.M.L. Publishing Inc, which is an excellent but outdated book on the subject. As for the war on tax havens, it’s mostly a sham. Hong Kong, Samoa, Panama, Liechtenstein, Austria and even Switzerland are still good. At least for europeans. If you’re american or canadian Samoa and Panama have said that they won’t sign any treaties so they should work for you as well. Don’t take my word for it though, use google!

  174. Tim,

    great post, I did this a few years back, and it works great, my solution was five flags

    one for business, one for investing, one to live, one to play and the most importent the one for backup. an its not that much to setup if you do some of the leg work your self, I had great holidays while doing this visiting the places where i setup shop.

    all the best and keep up the good work,

    Jack.

  175. hmm.. i just finished the book.. and i have to say that i am very very disappointed.. i probably had too high expectations..

    I read the first part of the book very anxiously but then I realized that the author simply tells his story, without too much insight. The tips are not terrific and his story is not a success, at least not as I see it…

    Everything he did regarding his second passport and the Swiss bank account requires lots of money…

    And then the second part of the book – all those things about surviving the apocalypse… they were interesting, but have nothing to do with the reasons for which I was reading…

    Tim, I don’t know if you read the book before you wrote this article.. the excerpts really made me wanna read Emergency, but I regret that I read it..

  176. I regret to say that I was unable to find a copy of the book at “my” nearest bookseller, however I relate quite well to the whole concept. Ten years ago I too had an epiphany regarding life and where it was headed living in the ‘states’. Ten years ago I made up mind, packed in my low paying factory job, said goodbyes and moved from Ohio to Australia. 2 years later with permanent residency now up my sleeve and a better paying job, I no longer have to worry about any social or economic collapse. I wish there was some way to instill in people the ability to see life from a different P.O.V.

    Perhaps someday someone will finally find a way to open everyone’s eyes.

  177. Let me say this upfront. I lov e Neil Strauss. “The Game” is fantastic. Emergency – not…

    I purchased this book, after I’ve read about it on your blog. It’s more about paranoia and how to escape, without giving away pratical tips for the ordernary women / man. It’s more of a novel or a fiction book. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  178. Got the book myself recently and I’ve got my European passport, bank account in the euro, among other things. It wasn’t the most exciting read but def useful info. Tim when you going to post more content like this!

  179. Let me get this straight.. Once I’m making big money (coming soon).. I can set up my biz in a foreign country with little or no income tax, establish or buy citizenship in said country, then open bank accounts in similar locations that can’t be seized by the 3-letter agencies.

    All of this will protect me from a 35% income tax ( that bypasses the treasury & goes straight to the privately owned Fed.. or so I’ve heard).

    HOWEVER! In doing this secretly I will become a criminal b/c americans are “legally” obligated to reveal all foreign income, bank accounts, AND bank account numbers?

    Is this correct? Because it all sounds very depressing. Perhaps, the only option is to get a second citizeship & give up the original?.. Hmmm… I hope I can still visit.

    David

    P.S. How about if I do all of the above, but keep both citizenships and just report all the info to the good ole’ US of A as required? Still safe? Still get to keep all my sweet stinky cash? Holla back.

  180. Getting a second passport and offshore bank account has typically been hard to do for the average internet marketer who is making just $2,000 per month but wants to plant multiple flags. That is why I have concentrated on helping the little guy get set up with Swiss bank accounts and other kinds of offshore bank accounts only requiring minimum deposits of $1,000 to $5,000. Second passport programs do not have to cost an arm and a leg either since I have client’s working on one that will only cost them $3,500 when they are finished but it does take time. Anyway, thanks Tim for your wonderful and interesting blog.

    James

  181. David – Americans are meant to declare their worldwide income to the IRS. I don’t know of any other country that applies this rule to its citizens. Australians who don’t live in Australia for example are treated just like other foreign investors in Australia. There is a much bigger tax free allowance for foreign labor income if you are an American working overseas. To not pay US tax legally you have to renounce US citizenship. If you manage to become a citizen of a developed country you can still visit the US under the 90 day visa waiver program or on a business visa. But I bet if you visit the US too much they’ll get suspicious of your renouncement which is hard to get in the first place.

  182. Out of Africa

    ….and that is precisely what some of us need to do: Get the hell outta Africa.

    So, I have read the book with great enthusiasm, (we do read in Africa, in at least 3 languages, most of us, Eisch) recognized the brilliance of it all, BUT how does one apply ANY of this if you live on a pimple on the big arse of Africa?

    Everyone else’s currency is worth more than ours, mail order doesnt work too well, ie. if you have accidentally (or not) murdered someone and want to get rid of the body, just mail it to yourself, and guaranteed you will NEVER see it again.

    So, what if you are fairly literate, speak a couple of languages, are not entirely untalented, have no fear of traveling anywhere because everywhere else is bound to be safer than your own country, but happen to be born 5th generation African with no distant relative with an anywhere-else passport to piggyback on?

    I need a 3rd World adaption to all the good advice. ANYONE???

    I can offer loads of survival techniques in return….

  183. @Esther: Do it yourself 🙂 There are several other books that are MUCH better than Emergency, that actually gives you real actionable advice. Check my previous post to get some tips. Sign up for Simons newsletter for lots of free and really good advice. Here’s an interview with the guy http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2010/02/03/interview-simon-black-the-most-free-man-in-the-world/ Other than that, start your own business, earn money and think in a long term perspective of at least 10-25 years.

  184. Thanks Mattias – here is your payment:

    survival tips in Africa 1-4

    1.Do not drive a German car, as they are preferred by hijackers – hire a French car, you will be safe because not even the black market gets spares for them

    2.When malaria pills are not available, khaki bush leaves rubbed on the skin keeps mosquitos away.

    3.When parking a vehicle (anything with wheels, including a small plane) where there are lions, cover the tires with thorn tree branches because lions like the smell of rubber and chew the tires

    4. When camping where there are baboons, do not cook under trees. Baboon poo obeys the rules of gravity.

    5. Bank (mall/shop/service station) robbers are usually high on something, so their attention to detail is not great. Hide credit cards etc under the counter, in potplants, behind posters en let them have the cash and (fake) Rolex.

    PS. I saw today that the American Embassy is auctioning off their furniture….

  185. Gotta read this. Neil’s an old friend of mine as we lived together during “the game” days at Project Hollywood. He’s a solid guy who has a real curiosity about life and about not playing by the rules. His contributions to the dating advice for men is some of the best.

    Stephen Nash

  186. Really, I’m flattered that everyone wants to be me, but really, be yourself and remember that it is important to develop skills that will allow you to earn a living in different geographical areas. Money stashed away can be lost or taken away. It will also run out some day.

  187. I have actually looked into onPoint Tactical before, just for that, I may need to pick this book up! Can’t wait to read more.

  188. Great book recommendations here.

    I found Neils book to be a little too basic…but I guess that’s what underground is about, you will never find the best material on the first look.

    Kinda like business and marketing – the best advice is never the best selling advice.

    Anyway, thanks for a “appetizer” of PT lifestyle, can’t wait to do a little more research on my own.

  189. Dear Tim,

    I greatly appreciated your article. I would absolutely love to buy your book, and share it with my parents (seeing as I’m only fifteen). I am constantly affected by the economy, and more so by the stress of my parents. You can be completely assured that I will most definitely be sharing this with my immediate family.

    Thank you for the article

    Yours,

    Hannah

  190. In time people will realize what is important is what is moral – the non-agression principle. What is not important is what’s legal or illegal. What right does a man have to his property and what he earns? Good people disobey bad laws, and rest assured the IRS and USA are full of them. It’s the government that’s making us resort to extremes to live our lives in way we want. Freedom is not being forced to paying for the actions of criminals we call politicians.

  191. I think I will stay put in the world capital of Kool and keep my hard earned money in a good old UK bank, where I know it is safe! And every few years I will take a a 6 to 9 month break in the Caribbean…that’s the way to do it…

  192. Another book you guys will definitely want to check out is called “Inc & Grow Rich”.

    It’s an excellent read, based on US laws but that can easily be stretched to fit Canadian ones too. The premise of the example-packed book is that if you own a business that makes more than about $30,000/year you should automatically incorporate it.

    It outlines the tax savings, the different kinds of trusts, companies, LLC’s, etc. that you can create and where are the best places to have them incorporated.

    I bought it on Amazon which you can do… it’s a little pricey, but then again the value is priceless if you’re going to use it, or at the very least inform yourself.

    Dan

  193. The book was a disappointment – I didn’t need Neil’s personal emotive impressions/opinions of recent events – I was expecting a meaty how-to book, which this isn’t. It was an OK read, but not for the price.

    Don’t forget about the virtual private islands of strong encryption and anonymous digital gold-based crypto-currencies:

    http://www.pecunix.com

    http://www.bitcoin.org

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECache

    http://www.rayservers.com

    http://www.truecrypt.org

    http://www.gnupg.org

  194. 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 :).

    Pete

    PS: Ughh! I’m so frustrated at you guys!! Please, PLEASE stop using those darn bras!!!

    1. It also works best cause you know Ferris and Strauss probably have the knowledge to deliver on pretty much any title they choose!

  195. 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

  196. 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.

    1. 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,

      Jeremiah

  197. 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.

  198. Hi,

    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…

    Be well.

  199. 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

  200. 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 😀

  201. Hi Tim,

    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.

    Thanks

  202. 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?

  203. 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

  204. Hey Tim,

    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

  205. 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!

  206. 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.

  207. 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!

  208. 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.

  209. 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.

  210. 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.

  211. Fantastic items from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff previous

    to and you’re just too wonderful. I actually like what you’ve received here, certainly like what you’re stating and the best way during which you are saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to

    care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to learn far more from you.

    This is actually a tremendous web site.

  212. 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.

  213. 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.

  214. 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.

  215. 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.

    Question:

    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.

    Thanks,

    Ron

  216. 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

  217. 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

  218. 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.

  219. 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.

  220. 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?

  221. 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!

  222. 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.

  223. 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

    @timferris

  224. 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?

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