Let’s start this Friday edition with a question about escaping America.
We put it to several of our global citizens here at Legacy Research… and got some terrific answers.
Legacy co-founders Bill Bonner and Doug Casey… Daily Cut editor Chris Lowe… Casey Report senior analyst Nick Giambruno… Bill Bonner Letter co-author Dan Denning… and Disruptive Profits editor Marco Wutzer all chimed in…
Reader question: I would like to know what countries are considered to have the least control… or where do citizens have the most freedom?
If you ever decide to leave the U.S., what options would you consider? The U.S. is getting worse, but I don’t know if there is any other alternative.
– Jerry R. (Legacy Research member)
Doug’s answer: Joe Louis was right. You can run, but you can’t hide. There are about 200 countries in the world. Each needs a detailed discussion.
In brief, the whole world is going in the wrong direction, and its governments are working together ever more closely. There are no quick, easy and fun answers.
That said, I spend most of my time in backward little socialist Uruguay, and fascist, chaotic, but surprisingly sophisticated and pleasant Argentina.
Bill’s answer: Different countries value different liberties.
We’re building a house in Argentina. No inspectors no zoning. No nothing. But running a business requires a Houdini! And the police stop you on the road looking for illicit meat!
Ireland has all the rules of the EU. But they are enforced gracefully…
Nicaragua seems fairly free… as long as you don’t cross the government…
France is a disaster of rules but a pleasant place to live…
Hard to compare.
Dan’s answer: I picked Australia (and lived there for 10 years before becoming a citizen) because I liked the climate and the lifestyle and intend to live there (off and on) for the next 30 years. Also, my Aussie passport allows me to live and work in New Zealand without a work permit or visa, and New Zealand has an even nicer climate and lifestyle than Australia (plus better meat pies).
There are no tax advantages to living in either place. And both countries are part of the “Five Eyes” alliance with the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. So you’re not going to be off the grid. But you have the advantage of distance from the U.S., if you think something awful is going to happen. Conversely, both countries have ties to China.
Austria and Switzerland are both great places at least in terms of quality of life and relative financial privacy. But you more or less have to buy your way in (Austria has a golden visa program where you can invest in the country in order to obtain citizenship).
Chris’ answer: In my experience, no country is truly free. But you could throw a dart at a map of developed countries and find a freer way of life in pretty much any of them than you’ll find in the supposed Land of the Free.
I’ve lived in Ireland, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Argentina. And barring maybe Germany, none of those governments are as intrusive as the U.S.
Ireland is a good bet. Taxes are low by world standards. The cops don’t carry guns. And people there still have a healthy disregard for authority – a hangover from years of British occupation. You also have top-notch health and education systems.
Marco’s answer: This comes down to personal choice.
For example, the United Arab Emirates is one of the freest places in the world to do business. But being a Muslim country, there is less personal liberty than in Western countries.
On the other hand, most countries in South America offer a lot of personal liberty but are terrible for doing business.
These are just two among many factors one might consider.
Having traveled extensively to all continents (except Antarctica), my personal favorites are Colombia and Argentina.
Nick’s answer: I would start my search by looking for countries that fall into one of these two categories…
The first is whether the country in question has a long history of respect for personal and financial freedom that has been ingrained into the culture and isn’t likely to change soon. This would include the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and Singapore, for example.
The second category would be countries with governments that are too inept or broke to be a serious threat but offer an enjoyable lifestyle and compatible culture. This would include countries like Argentina and Mexico.
This of course is a gross oversimplification of a big topic.
The reality is that there is no perfect place for personal freedom. And what constitutes a good place is constantly changing and often different for everyone.
Next… two follow-up questions to Teeka Tiwari’s comments about protecting your online privacy in last Friday’s Daily Cut…
Reader question: In your coverage of privacy, I note that you have not covered the Onion browser and the use of VPN which both help avoid tracking.
– Johnny B. (Legacy Research member)
Reader question: I would be curious to know your opinion of ProtonMail (secure email; ProtonMail is free encrypted email) and ProtonVPN (a secure and free VPN service for protecting your privacy)? I am going to try using the best-choice paid versions of each.
– Shawn S. (Legacy Research member)
Teeka’s answer: As I covered in last Friday’s edition of The Daily Cut mailbag, I’m a big fan of ProtonMail when it comes to protecting your privacy online.
The second step is to start using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. This is a piece of software you download onto your computer that masks your IP address, a unique identifier assigned to each device that’s connected to the internet.
The key when picking a VPN is to make sure that they do not keep something called “server logs.” That is critical, because server logs track the pages you visit online. That’s why I like IPVanish.
Look, I’ve got nothing to hide. But that doesn’t matter. It’s my data. Nobody else has the right to it. And if I want to monetize it, I should be able to monetize it, not some random company that buys it at auction from my ISP. Nobody should be able to peek into my life, steal all that data, and then make money from it. Period.
Finally, one of Jeff Clark’s Delta Report readers wants to know how Legacy’s master trader uses option prices to gauge market moves…
Reader question: Hi Jeff. You mentioned in your “Thoughts on Sept/Oct Trading” update that “they (S&P options) are pricing in a 3% move over the next three weeks.” Can you explain how you determined this?
– Todd H. (Legacy Research member)
Jeff’s answer: There’s nothing too mystical here.
Basically, to get an idea of the trading range the market is pricing in, just look at the option prices on the S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
I think SPY was trading somewhere around $290 when I wrote this comment. I don’t recall the exact option prices, but I think the October 19 $290 calls were around $4 and the puts were around $4 as well.
So, the option market was pricing in an 8-point trading range for SPY ($4 to either side of $290). That’s how I came up with a 3% range. (8 divided by 290 equals 2.7%.)
If you’re a Delta Report subscriber, catch up on Jeff’s “Thoughts on September/October Trading” post here.
And, as always, send your questions, thoughts, and trading stories to [email protected].
P.S. Can’t make it to Bermuda later this month… but still want to see what Bill, Dan, Doug, Jeff, Marco, Nick, Teeka, and the rest of our experts reveal at the Legacy Investment Summit? Now you can follow right along from anywhere in the world. And the best thing is… the net cost is $0.
That’s right. Each ticket to our Summit livestream comes with a credit for 100% of the price, so you essentially pay nothing. Read on here for more details.