Chapter 9

Doug Casey on the Biggest Danger to Your Wealth

June 17, 2009

Louis: Good morning, Doug. This week, I’d like to ask you about diversifying your assets outside of your home country. What is the danger for investors who keep all their assets at home, and what are the alternatives? It looks like there’s a real risk of exchange controls blocking capital from leaving the United States. The Obama tough talk on tax havens is one sign. What should people do, while there’s still time, to avoid getting trapped?

Doug: Well, investment risks are huge in today’s world. But political risks are even greater, and most Americans are completely unprepared. The biggest danger to your wealth isn’t the markets, as ugly as they are. The biggest risk today is your own government. The only way you can protect yourself is by internationalizing your assets.

So, while it is still possible—and I don’t think it’s going to be possible for very much longer—you should get as much money out of the United States as you can and put it into something that will be hard for them to force you to repatriate. If you open a foreign bank account or brokerage account, that’s a step in the right direction, and you may be grandfathered somehow, but those things are liquid, so you could be forced to bring the assets back before you want to. I think the best thing that you can do is to either buy foreign real estate or to buy gold coins and put them in a foreign safe deposit box.

L: You mentioned something that Americans ...

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