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Where Were You On 9/11? - Articles Surfing
*Where were you when the world stopped turning*that September day?* - Alan Jackson
My objective in writing The Swiss Preserve Solution is to look at the 21st century world we live in through the eyes, hearts, and vision of our Founding Fathers, who gave so much in the struggle for independence of the United States. What was their legacy to us, in terms of liberty, government structure, citizen participation, politicians and the electoral process? If they were here today, would they be proud of the way we apply the freedoms they provided, or would they be repulsed at the degradation of their dreams for this nation? Ultimately, have we and previous generations failed in our sacred duty to honor and defend the American legacy?
I believe it is time to restore the legacy of liberty, self-reliance, and total resistance to uncontrolled government that motivated these patriots almost three hundred years ago to do the impossible. Our Founding Fathers stood up against the most powerful empire the world had known since the Roman Empire, and with courage as their shields and ideals as their weapons, they united in a battle for independence - and they won. It is time to review our history to see what has happened since our birth as a nation, from what began as a country with a decentralized, limited government, to the political mess that we have today.
Every American will always remember where they were on the clear fall morning of September 11, 2001. It was the day the world as we knew it suddenly collapsed and we wondered if life would ever be the same again. Since then, we have found that the answer to our question is no. Currently, U.S. troops are fighting difficult guerilla wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and much of the support that flooded into the United States after 9/11 has now turned into distrust throughout Europe and Asia, and pure outrage throughout the Middle East.
It is safe to say that as our foreign policy dissipated into shambles in the years following September 11th, the world was indeed turned upside down in other ways as well; life is certainly not the same for the world of wealth preservation, global investing or personal and financial privacy. Following the September terrorist attacks, the resulting *War on Terror* has raged around the world with threats at home and abroad to privacy, confidentiality, and asset protection jurisdictions. In other words, the War on Terror has generated a cold disregard for personal freedoms and civil liberties here in the U.S. without protecting us from those who hate and want to destroy us abroad.
However, it is important to realize that while the Patriot Act and continued terrorist threats have led to the capitulation of many offshore guarantees of financial confidentiality, all is not lost. Investors can still achieve a high level of privacy and asset protection with offshore investing within legal frameworks that are both safe and convenient. This is possible through utilizing the best advisors and consultants and by taking advantage of the unique opportunities that exist in Switzerland, Austria and other reputable jurisdictions.
Over the last three hundred years, the American legal system has been transformed from one that rightfully defended and protected property rights and personal wealth, into a giant wealth transfer scheme that functions for the financial benefit of the legal profession and avaricious politicians. With the outrageous damages and penalties in court cases today, and often with multiple defendants, it does not seem to matter if you are guilty or innocent. Instead, today guilt or innocence is more often decided based on who can afford to pay, rather than on the facts of the case. This is a frightening time to be a successful individual in America, and as a result, many concerned citizens are taking action to remove as much of their accumulated wealth as possible from the risk of the U.S. legal system.
Moreover, our government, which was originally established to protect and defend us, has been degraded into one of the greatest threats to our property. Between the *war on drugs*, the *war on tax havens* and now the War on Terror, almost every activity in the United States could potentially infringe on one of the thousands of laws that no one truly understands but that nonetheless allow any government entity or law enforcement agency the right to make an accusation and confiscate our assets. It is then up to you--and ultimately how much more money you are willing to spend-- to prove your innocence. Sadly, with regard to your property and wealth, the long-standing American legal tradition of *innocent until proven guilty* has been twisted into *guilty and we hold your property and money until you can prove your innocence.*
I understand that writing The Swiss Preserve Solution is not exactly the best way to make friends with the U.S. financial establishment, the American legal profession, and some questionable third-world offshore jurisdictions. I am also sure I will not win any popularity contests with those selling expensive, *old style* asset protection structures, nor with scam artists inhabiting some of the less regulated offshore havens. Likewise, I imagine those financial *experts* on the fringe of legitimacy in the U.S., who are selling questionable structures as the mistaken solution for Americans wishing to protect their wealth, probably will not be calling me for drinks. Nevertheless, as I have said before, I feel an obligation to help fellow investors make the right decisions now that will lead to the best possible financial future.
Finally, I want to directly warn those of you who have previously indulged in suspicious offshore activities that may now be illegal, to avoid certain taxation issues or reporting requirements. This will not be a caveat you will want to hear, but it is one that you should listen to now and take necessary action. Secret accounts and tax evasion have no place in the 21st century. Like it or not, the blatant disregard for taxes or reporting rules actually places you and your wealth in far greater danger of confiscation, fines, and ultimately high losses than had you done nothing in the first place.
Still, after all is said and done, Uncle Sam and his revenue agencies are actually minor players in the field of wealth confiscation. Believe it or not, the highest threats are your spouse, business partners, closest friends and confidants. They are the people who know your secrets and your business and are most likely to sue you. Moreover, your assets are sometimes more jeopardized from risky investments pushed by greedy investment firms and high commissioned salesmen, than even your worst litigants or scandalous lawsuits. Often the most dangerous group to offshore investors and participants in asset protection schemes are the actual promoters who have squandered or stolen the funds. In addition, if you have already followed poor advice in the past by attempting to protect assets through questionable tactics, you can expect eventual disclosure and harsh government penalties, including total confiscation and perhaps even jail time.
Another risk to your wealth that will be discussed later in greater detail is the risk of future exchange controls during a financial crisis, like another terrorist attack. It is important to have your global diversification and wealth planning completed before such a crisis, because it may either then be too late to invest at reasonable prices, or completely prohibited when you need to invest offshore. In upcoming chapters I will outline the importance of establishing a solid, long-term structure that does not require you to adjust your wealth plan for every change in the law, policy, or market trends. After all, a proper wealth planning structure is flexible and allows for rapid changes in both allocation and approach-- without the delays and restrictions that many unprepared Americans may face due to U.S. regulations.
My point is that major threats to your wealth in this century are not always rooted in the government and lawsuits, but instead can stem from other individuals and concerns that you would be wise to prepare for. A timely example is the growing threat to U.S.-based investment portfolios from future terrorist attacks that target our investment markets and financial infrastructure. I will discuss this risk, as well as the long-term risk of America's gradual transition from a constitutional republic to a world empire, in the chapters that follow, focusing on ways to protect your wealth as the dollar falls under increasing scrutiny over the next few years.
The information presented in The Swiss Preserve Solution is the key to legally safeguarding your private wealth for your family and for future generations. However, it is important to remember that successfully protecting this wealth is more than just a legal battle- it is also an intellectual and philosophical struggle, and ultimately a political war between those who value personal property and those who are out to steal it. Remember, no man is an island in this century's fight for defense of liberty, property, and financial autonomy.
Ludwig von Mises, founder of the Austrian School of Economics, appropriately summarized our world situation many years ago when he said:
"Society lives and acts only as individuals; it is nothing more than a certain attitude on their part. Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged."
In order to help achieve final victory in this historic struggle, and in philosophical agreement with Ludwig von Mises, I have made arrangements to contribute 5% of the profit of each print book sold to selected 501(c)3 organizations for the promotion and defense of liberty and limited government. It is my wish and prayer that the new information and strategies presented in The Swiss Preserve Solution will help you defend your wealth and liberties in our new 21st Century world.
I have done my best to present the threats to your liberty and wealth and to introduce new wealth planning features and solutions to counter each threat. Do I have all the answers to the financial needs and concerns of high net worth investors? Of course not. However, what I do have are insightful remedies to the dilemmas we face in the post-9/11 world as we try to protect our assets proficiently and legally. If you want to preserve your wealth and liberties, then take a look at what I have to say. The rest is up to you.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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