Previous Articles

“Our Man in Panama” is Dead

Manuel Noriega, former dictator of Panama, died May 29 at age 83. Americans under the age of 40 have little memory of Noriega because he spent the last 27 years of his life in prison.

The Bitcoin Phenomenon (and How to Profit from It)

I’ve never been an early adopter of new technologies. While cell phones started to become popular in the 1980s, I didn’t buy my first one until a decade later.

US Once Again Proves It’s Best Place to Launder Money

Last week, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed to settle a long-standing money laundering investigation against Citigroup, one of the largest banks in the US, without bringing criminal charges.

How Stable Are Your Social Security and Pension Benefits?

Pensions are a relatively new phenomenon. The first pensions date back to the 17th century, but the first modern pension scheme didn’t come into effect until 1889...

Don’t Get Caught in the Liquidity Trap

When I was 11 years old, my parents took me to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Once we were there, I walked toward the edge of the canyon, approaching a 4,000-foot drop-off.

Don’t Be Taken by One of the World’s Oldest Scams

My client was frantic. She had to make an urgent international wire transfer. The deadline was approaching, but something didn’t smell right.

Lies, More Lies, and the IRS “Dirty Dozen”

About a decade ago, the IRS started communicating with taxpayers by email. While the IRS never contacts taxpayers by email about their personal tax situation, they offer a variety of IRS e-news subscriptions.

Here’s What Can Happen When You Become an “Enemy of the State”

One of the realities of modern life is that government control over its citizens has become pervasive. Nowhere is that more true than in our right to travel internationally.

Get Over It – You Have Zero Online Privacy

Privacy advocates were aghast when President Trump signed a bill on April 3 that overturned restrictions on data sharing by internet service providers (ISPs).

Stupid Asset Protection Tricks

I almost feel sorry for Navinder Singh Sarao. If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll probably remember what he did.

Puerto Rico: Still a Mess?

I might be the only writer on the offshore beat who isn’t in love with Puerto Rico’s tax incentives. Recently, a colleague of mine whom I greatly respect published an entire issue of his newsletter about Puerto Rico.

Time to Get Defensive

I will be the first to admit it: I’m a lousy investor. My first forays into the investment markets came in the early 1980s, when I saved up enough money to buy some stocks.

Why Banks No Longer Want Your Money

When I was nine years old, I opened my first savings account at a small bank in West Virginia.

Could Trump Bring Back the Gold Standard?

Imagine a world in which the president of the United States decides that the government will set wages and prices.

Switzerland: “Tschuess” to Bank Secrecy

In 1713, the City Council of Geneva ratified the world’s first bank secrecy law. The ordinance prohibited bankers from divulging any information about their clients’ transactions, except by agreement with the cantonal council.

Welcome to the USA! Now, Give Us All Your Data

Over the last decade, tens of thousands of visitors to the US – plus US citizens and residents returning home – have been subjected to warrantless border searches of their electronic devices.

Record Numbers of Americans Say Goodbye to Uncle Sam (and the Taxman)

2016 was another record-breaking year for the number of US citizens and its long-term residents expatriating, giving up their US citizenship and passport or green card.

Green Energy: The Ultimate Oppositional Investment

In the darkest days of the Great Depression, a man named John Templeton convinced a bank to lend him $10,000. He took that money and did the unthinkable…

Happy Valentine’s Day… You’re Busted!

How’s this for a nightmare scenario? And while it didn’t actually occur on Valentine’s Day – it could have. One morning, you switch on your personal computer.

This Industry Is Growing Three Times Faster than the S&P 500

There’s a theory in the tech world called “Moore’s Law,” named after Intel’s cofounder, Gordon Moore. The hypothesis is this:
The number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits doubles every two years.

Sense and Nonsense About Citizenship by Investment

Through an accident of birth, I and over 280 million other people are native-born US citizens. Unless we owe the IRS more than $50,000, or are otherwise ineligible, this status entitles us to carry a US passport.

Trump Has Inherited a Terrifying Problem

Every president inherits something difficult. Some problems are simply out of the incoming president’s hands. Obama inherited a financial crisis.

Are You Ready for the End of Cash?

Cash has never been a popular asset with the totalitarian set. It’s difficult if not impossible to trace. Cash makes it possible to do business “off the books.”

These Metals Are Outperforming Gold

Supply and demand: it’s Economics 101. Nowhere is it more obvious right now than in the industrial metals sector. When demand for copper is high, the price goes up.

Boots on the Ground in “Queen of the Caribbees,” Home of the Best LLC Laws

As the ferry from St. Kitts to Nevis pulls into Charlestown Harbor, you see a sign welcoming you to the “Queen of the Caribbees.”

What a Big Bubble on Main Street Means to You

Across America, malls have been left vacant. Once-thriving shopping centers are now empty. Abandoned. Established mainstay stores like Macy’s, Sears, and Kohl’s are struggling.

The Trouble with Living Abroad

Last week, I was in Florida attending a conference for tax professionals sponsored by the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

Why Is No One Scared About This?

Love him or hate him, Warren Buffett has long been a guiding light for investors. Among his many insightful quotes, one that sticks is:

Be fearful when others are greedy.

Getting Rid of Social Networking Surveillance

As a baby boomer, I didn’t grow up with Facebook and other social networking sites. While I do use them – mainly to keep up with younger members of my family – I’m keenly aware of their potential to invade privacy.

Even the Pros Can’t Beat the Market… But Don’t Fire Your Broker Just Yet

At the end of 2015, a story about Donald Trump circulated widely. According to reports, if he had parked his wealth in an index fund 30 years ago, he’d be more than twice as rich as he is now.

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